RVers who want a glimpse into Dolly Parton’s life on the road can now head to Tennessee’s Dollywood for the “Suite 1986” Tour Bus Experience. Announced earlier this year, guests can book stays on the Prevost tour bus that was Dolly Parton’s home away from home for 15 years. The bus was acquired by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and has been transformed into the property’s ultimate suite, now situated on a permanent parking pad just behind the hotel.
Guests of Suite 1986 will not only enjoy the most interesting accommodations in Dollywood’s history, but they’ll also enjoy unique amenities. The suite features a dedicated concierge service, a chance to sample one-of-a-kind food offerings created by DreamMore’s world-class culinary team, and customized take-home keepsakes.
The tour bus sleeps two, but each reservation also includes a room at DreamMore, which can accommodate up to four additional guests.
Though Dolly is a free-spirited traveler, she doesn’t enjoy flying and much prefers to have her own space, food, and belongings on the road. Her tour bus served as a rolling sanctuary that was customized and upgraded so that Dolly could do two of her favorite things while on the road: writing and cooking.
Dolly loves to read and she’s a writer at heart. She wrote her “Backwoods Barbie” album as well as “9 to 5 the Musical” on the bus, along with dozens of songs, books, and scripts for TV shows and movies. A portion of the proceeds of Suite 1986 stays will be donated to The Dollywood Foundation, which, in part, funds Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gifts free books to children from birth to age 5 and has benefited more than two million children thus far.
Dolly enjoyed making meals in the kitchenette and sharing them with her best friend and personal assistant, Judy Ogle, who traveled with her most of the time, as well as driver Tim Dunlap, who was responsible for the bus and its passengers. To install a full-size refrigerator in place of the typical smaller one, the bus’s windshield had to be removed and then replaced.
Those who are curious about Dolly’s incredible wardrobe will love learning that three of the bus’s six standard bunk beds were removed and replaced with a special closet that could accommodate all of Dolly’s glitter and rhinestones. When Dolly welcomed visitors on the bus, she took great delight in showing off her wig cabinet, which probably isn’t something many RVs or other tour buses feature! Lucky guests may not need the wig closet, but they will appreciate the custom bathtub and electric doors that were added to the bus.
Along with providing a unique glimpse into the icon’s life, the bus features stunning views of the Smoky Mountains, where Dolly grew up, and provides easy access to Dollywood, the theme park she established in 1986 (thus, the bus’s name).
“I have homes all over the United States,” Dolly once said, “But my favorite place is the bus because that way I can feel those wheels rolling.”