As we made our way back home from our winter Texas adventure, we planned a stopover in Memphis, Tenn., to sleep … and check out the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. Of course there was a LOT more to see in Memphis besides the Pyramid, but since we were on a tight deadline to get home, we had to save those stops for a future visit.
I picked Tom Sawyer’s RV Park to spend the night because it offered cheap full hook-up sites with close proximity to downtown Memphis. On the drive to the campground Kristin was getting a bit nervous about what kind of place we were staying for the night. But once you cross the levy and survive the run-down access road you will arrive at a big-rig friendly RV park that offers awesome views of the mighty Mississippi River.
Since Tom Sawyer’s RV Park is on the Mississippi River, it is located in a flood plain–and the campground still bears signs marking past historic flooding. The good news is that if the mighty Mississippi is going to reach flood stage, the campground staff will have advance warning (about a week to two weeks) so they can contact you about canceling your reservations. Although the river can cause flooding anytime from December into early June, peak season is usually April or May.
Note: To get to Tom Sawyer’s RV Park, follow the directions they give you on the website. You have to drive through a rough part of town where it would not be ideal to make a wrong turn.
Campground: The staff has carefully created this campground to capitalize on the fantastic river views. Certain sections have been designed specifically with motor homes or fifth wheels in mind so that the rigs are perfectly positioned to look out over the Mississippi River. The campground managers have also strategically planted a row of trees for each camping row in the Northern loop. If you want a full shade site, there are some sites that are further from the river in the wooded area, but during our stay these seemed to be occupied by more full-time camping units (i.e. full skirting and large propane tanks for winter).
All of the campsites are full hook-up, pull-through sites. Our site had a little bit of front-to-back slope. Since we were only staying for the night and I didn’t want to unhook the camper from the van, I got creative with the levelers. 🙂 (See pictures below.)
Once we were all set for the night, the kids enjoyed watching the barges going up and down the river. They make a bit of noise with those large engines, but it is a low hum and not really disruptive. The nearby feed mill, however, had lots of trains coming and going and they are very loud!
Bathrooms: Since all the campsites have full hook-ups, the bathrooms were not large and did not appear to be heavily used. They were some of the most unique bathrooms we’ve seen at a campground because they were built on a small trailer that could be moved to higher ground in the event of flooding. One end of the trailer had two self contained bathrooms (each with a shower, toilet, and sink) and the other end had a small (but FREE) laundry room.
Amenities: The RV park offers a few short hiking trails, a lake and two ponds stocked with fish, and tree-houses for kiddos to play in.
Touring: Although Tom Sawyer’s RV Park is located in West Memphis, you are still very close (about 20 minutes) from downtown Memphis, Tenn. Memphis was an ideal place to stop on our long drive home from Texas, so it worked out perfectly to also visit the Bass Pro Pyramid. This HUGE store has large fish tanks, a live alligator tank, indoor ponds with fish and ducks, a shooting arcade, Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Heritage Center, restaurants, the worlds tallest free-standing elevator (28 stories), a bowling alley, and even a full service hotel (The Big Cypress Lodge). We had fun walking around the displays, watching a diver feed the fish, and taking aim at the arcade. As an FYI, Kristin (a.k.a. Annie Oakley) kicked my butt at the range!
Other areas of attraction in Memphis include:
- Graceland, home of music-legend Elvis Presley
- Historic Beale Street
- The Peabody Hotel, famed for its resident flock of ducks, which visitors can see promenade in and out of the hotel lobby twice a day.
Cost: $35 per night for full hook up in the off season (we received a $3 Good Sam discount)
Date of Stay: 1/11/17