Fall 2022 in the Southeast

Time to document our fall 2022 travels! We met up with fellow full-time RVers and stay put for weeks at a time when our Jeep completely conks out on us!

From the Washington DC area, we traveled Southwest to Asheville, North Carolina, to meet up with fellow full-time RVers for Camp Carpedeium, and then on to Knoxville, Tennessee. Since the Jeep issues continued and became worse, we do not have much to share. We are combining the fall into a single post. We also made our way to Winter Garden Florida through Georgia, staying overnight at a Harvest Host for a night.

Asheville, North Carolina

Dates: October 14 - 24, 2022
Site: 38* (53?)

* which site number depends on what version of their map you look at.

We met up with fellow full-time RVers that are transplants from other RV-related events we have met over time. We met up with those old-time friends and made new ones at the 2022 Camp Carpedium event in Asheville. The event focused on mountain biking, with Jason trying for the first time this fall, hiking, and local breweries. The event was centered around Rutledge Lake RV Park, located Southeast of Asheville, between 20 and 60 minutes of travel time depending on traffic.

We enjoyed good drinks (beer and non-beer options), as well as food trucks at a pre-Camp Carpedium #CCD2022 event, meet up at the New Belgium Brewing in Asheville, NC. The best parts of social events like this are the ability to compare notes with full-time RVers and to solidify friendships that continue on social media between physical meet-up events throughout the year.
Jason’s first official trail ride with a fun but a patient group of riders from #CCD2022.
Overall the Rutledge Lake RV Park had decent sites. Unfortunately, our site #53 was immediately adjacent to the park dumpster. New rock had recently been laid and was not yet packed down, making it hard to maneuver around the sites. You can see in this photo how bad the algae has become this year behind the 3M Diamond Shield on the front of the coach!
Over time, friends can drift apart, not only socially but also physically. Social media has brought many of us back together and enabled us to keep tabs on where we physically may drift. In a nomadic lifestyle, we can make those connections when we “swing by” someone on our map. We were happy to meet up with James after over 20 years separated.

Knoxville, Tennesse

Dates: October 24 - November 17, 2022
Site: 11

North of Knoxville is Raccoon Valey, and just West of I-75 about a mile is the Escapee’s Racoon Valley RV Park. We have stayed here several times before and it has been a comfortable “home” for us in this area.

The Jeep had been throwing codes since we left Wisconsin. When we were in the DC area we had hoped we had identified and resolved the problem, but it got much worse. The Jeep started to misfire and went into full limp mode, so we ultimately were forced to park the Jeep for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, the park is in Instacart and Door Dash delivery territory so we could get the staples. We did relocate with the motorhome for a weekend to meet up with a friend for some Jeeping at Windrock, but our Rubicon had to sit on the sidelines and watch.


A suitable replacement for the midwest Pizza Rach is the Pizza Inn in Knoxville. A buffet-style pizza “joint” with unusual combinations because they take guest requests. The pumpkin dessert pizza was absolutely decadent.

We headed North of the campground on I-75 about 10 miles and had some pretty decent BBQ at a golf course in a state park at Rickard Ridge BBQ!

Rickard Ridge BBQ is an excellent place to check out on a sunny day because it is located inside a state park. Locate on the eastern side of I-75 North of Knoxville in Caryville, TN. From here we headed to the west side of the highway and up on the mountain to check out the views.
After having some BBQ in Caryville we drove up the mountain to the west. You can catch up with the Cumberland Trail. In early November, the leaves were mostly gone at the higher elevations and were finishing their color at lower heights.


The K-25 History Center contains lots of artifacts and tells the rather unknown story of nuclear material enrichment required for the Manhattan Project. K-25 was a specific process, of three tried, to enrich materials that ultimately were used to build the bombs used in World War II.
There is a lot to read at the K-25 History Center, but there are also lots of video and static exhibits telling the story.
The leadership of the project had the foresight to run three parallel research teams and thus there were three parallel facilities built to develop the enrichment of nuclear materials. The S-50, Y-12, and K-25 processes were all rapidly working to find the answer. Ultimately, the K-25 process was used to develop the materials used in World War II.


A cloudy morning with fog set in over the mountains of Northern Tennessee. North of Knoxville, Tennesse is the Racoon Valley RV Park is one of the Escapee’s RV Parks across the nation. About a mile off of I-75, about 30 miles North of Smokey Mountain National Park. We were at site 11 again, in the Northern half of the park.

Lane Southern Orchards

Dates: November 17, 2022

This will probably be a repeat stay for us when traveling from Knoxville to Winter Garden, Florida. This is a great Harvest Hosts site, with plenty of space and good stuff to buy.  We took the “west” route around the Smokey Mountains down through Chattanooga. We left at 8 AM from Knoxville and arrived in Fort Valley, Georgia, at Lane Southern Orchards by mid-afternoon. The next day we left before sunrise and were in Winter Garden by mid-afternoon again. The frozen peach cobbler was the best! We were surprised the syrups and jams lacked any strong peach flavor.

Even if you are not a member, you need to check out this host if you are in the area, this is one of the largest Harvest Hosts that we have been yet. Lane Southern Orchard has all sorts of peach and pecan-related goods to purchase, plus a cafe on site to catch a meal. They do ask that you identify when you check out so they can track how much Harvest Host members are purchasing while staying as a guest.
The onsite cafe is open from breakfast through dinner, attached to the country store where you can buy lots of peach products. Surprisingly though Lane Southern Orchard doesn’t feature a lot of peach-related ingredients in their cafe. Eating two meals here we can recommend it, including the chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette.
Many Harvest Hosts do not have a parking lot as expansive as Lane Southern Orchards has available. We could easily pull into a slot that let us leave the Jeep connected. Others decided to park pretty much anywhere in the parking lot to give us ample separation.