Thousand Trails Natchez Trace Preserve, Hohenwald, TN


We continued north on the Natchez Trace Parkway stopping along the way and enjoying the scenic uncluttered parkway. Our trip from Tupelo sliced through the corner of Alabama and into Tennessee.  Due to an 11′ underpass at the Napier Rd exit, we continued north and near milepost 337 we exited onto highway 20 and proceeded back onto Napier road for about five miles south to arrive on a Sunday afternoon at the Thousand Trails Natchez Trace Preserve. We had booked a week long stay via their website months earlier.

We have an Elite membership with Thousand Trails, and it has been a struggle to find a decent campsite once we arrive at one of their properties. Unfortunately, this “preserve” was no exception. We were greeted at the entrance by an exceptionally nice lady, Caroline. She confirmed our registration and explained the map and suggested a couple areas that might be large enough for our 43′ coach.

Campground Map

As you can see on the map, it is a huge campground. I believe they claim 550+ campsites. however, only perhaps 85 are full hook-up, and smaller subset of those sites are 50 amp. And they have about 195 full-time annual residents scattered throughout. See with the forecasted 90-degree weather, we really wanted to find a 50amp site. After 90 minutes of searching, we finally decided on a site which we thought would accommodate and level our coach. It didn’t have 50amp but it did have two separately circuit breakers for 30amp. And we have one of those 2 x 30amp = 50amp adaptors. We’ve used it before and it worked well. So we thought what the heck, let’s give it a try. We could barely level Ike whilst keeping the tires on the ground, but we managed. We hooked up the power, water, and septic.  And decided it was the best could do. Turned on the AC units and tried to relax. So 20 minutes later we lost shore power. I checked the breakers, one of them had tripped, so I reset the breaker and all was good. 30 minutes later the other breaker tripped, and they both were hot. Hotter than they should have been. So I decided to swap over to a straight 30amp connection and adjust the load accordingly. Next morning, I stopped by the front office and spoke with Caroline, informed her of the problem. She said she’d notify maintenance and someone would be by to see what was the problem. At 1400hrs, I gave up and went back to the office to see what happened to the maintenance folks. Another lady was at the front office and attempted to contact the maintenance folks on her radio. No luck. she suggested I go find them at the bathhouse located in Phase Two, which was 100 yards from our site, all the maintenance folks were there replacing the roof. I found them all there, about to quit for the day. They were all very friendly, I explained my problem, and they said: “Oh, those are not really two separate 30 amp circuits, just one 30 amp split to two breakers.” I said: “Really? I don’t think that’s code?” No matter they said there are other sites that you can

We could barely level Ike whilst keeping the tires on the ground, but we managed. We hooked up the power, water, and septic.  The satellite was fine but virtually no Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile nor Sprint reception. We accepted it was probably the best could do. We turned on the AC units and tried to relax. Unfortunately, 20 minutes later we lost shore power. I checked the breakers, one of them had tripped, so I reset the breaker and all was good again. 30 minutes later the other breaker tripped, and they both were hot. Hotter than they should have been. So I decided to swap over to a straight 30amp connection and adjust the load accordingly. Next morning about 0900hrs, I stopped by the front office and spoke with Caroline, informed her of the electrical problem. She said she’d notify maintenance and someone would be by to fix the problem. At 1400hrs, I gave up and went back to the office to see what happened to the maintenance folks. Another lady was at the front office and attempted to contact the maintenance folks on her radio. No luck. She suggested I go find them at the bathhouse located in Phase Two, which was 100 yards from our site, all the maintenance folks were there replacing the roof. I found them all there, about to quit for the day. They were all very friendly, I explained my problem, and they said: “Oh, those are not really two separate 30 amp circuits, just one 30 amp split to two breakers.” I said: “Really? I don’t think that’s code?” No matter, they said, there are other sites that you can park on that have FHU and 50amp. The maintenance supervisor offered to show me. So we followed him around for about 30 minutes, without much luck. We decided we’d try a site not far from us, it had the 50amp but we were not certain we could level. We tried, it wouldn’t level without some major effort.

Our site #LF7

So we decided to bite the bullet and move to the area by the lake, in front of the swimming area. We learned when we registered that those sites were recently installed and that for $10 a day premium, one could park there. The whole idea of paying again for something that I had already paid for just aggravated me and still does. Once we got situated in that site we had no more problems and we enjoyed our time at TT Natchez Trace Preserve.

Campround rules:

Rules at TT Natchez Trace

In summary, the people at Natchez Trace Preserve, each of them from the Security folks; Roger and Linda, the maintenance folks; Tim and Dan, the front desk staff, as well as the fellow campers we met while there, Jeremy and Jan who are fellow bloggers, over at Wooden Spoon Recipes. All those individuals made our stay enjoyable. The facility itself, not so much.