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Grades And Travel Conditons On US Rts 81 & 26 in TN & NC

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#1 BettyH42



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Posted 02 September 2014 - 12:41 AM

We are planning on attending the FMCA rally in Asheville, NC in a few weeks. We will start our trip from Gettysburg National Park area, traveling mostly US Route 81 and switching to US Rt. 26 near Kingsport, TN.


Our concern is Rt. 26 as it is not even mentioned in our "Mountain Directory East". Wonder if it is because our copy was published in 2004!


Years ago, we attended this rally in Asheville and are not looking forward to the grades around Back Mountain on Rt. 40 that we will travel over after the rally on our way to attend the Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC on the 29th of October. 


Has anyone traveled these roads recently? 


We would appreciate any feedback, tips, cautions that you may have.


Thanks in advance

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#2 washtech



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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:33 PM

Hi Betty:


Some years back 26 between Johnson City and Ashville was definately "Back mountain road", however that's all been changed and 

I-26 is 4 lanes all the way from Johnson City to Ashville. Still have to go up the mountain outside of Erwin, but NO problem.

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#3 Robsa



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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:16 PM

Still be careful. We traveled it this July. I was wishing I had bigger engine for more jakebrake power doing down hill and making those twists
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#4 wolfe10


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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:33 PM



Anytime you need more engine braking, use the down arrow to select a lower gear.  We have been on some 10+% grades in the Green Mountains of Vermont where 2nd gear was needed to keep our speed in check.

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