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MONTIE

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

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Give me some input on driving the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville, N.C., north. I found a tunnel height chart and that looks OK, but I was more concerned about the sharp turns with a 40-foot motorhome towing another vehicle. I did find a few campgrounds, but the ones on the parkways seem to be to small.

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Give me some input on driving the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville, N.C., north. I found a tunnel height chart and that looks OK, but I was more concerned about the sharp turns with a 40-foot motorhome towing another vehicle. I did find a few campgrounds, but the ones on the parkways seem to be to small.

We live on the Parkway close to where it leaves North Carolina and enters Virginia. I cant speak for the camp grounds near Ashville but there are campgrounds right on the Parkway with the ability to park your coach near Glendale Springs, NC, Laural Springs, NC, and at Doughton Park, which is a national park camp ground. While the road has curves and will require your attention to the task, its views are well worth the effort. Most of the overlooks will handle the coach and those that dont are well marked. It is a wonderful ride, but dont plan on making good time. The 45 MPH speed limit and the overlooks will limit the miles you make in a day to much less than you would think. There is some construction this year but the delays are fairly short and, unless you are trying to make good time, are not a reason to miss driving Americas Favroite Highway.

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How about the tunnel height issue? I have looked at the charts and I know there are several that list heights in the 10 or 11 foot range. Our Alfa SeeYa is 12'6". I have been told the height charts are heights at the shoulders of the tunnel, but does anyone know if I "take my half out of the middle" whether my height is going to create a problem or not? I'd rather not find out the hard way.

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In 2008 my wife and I drove the Parkway and Skyline drive. We guessed about two weeks for the trip. It took us 7 weeks. We found the drive to be very interesting. I had been on the same drive back in the 50's. The biggest change was that the trees had grown and the view was not as majestic at all of the turn-outs like I had remembered. The camp grounds are a little tight and many are for small trailers and tents.

Saying all that we would and plan on going back again. There is so much to see and do...a great place to relax and meet a lot of nice folks.

We drive a class C and pull a car....we are 12 feet high and 54 feet long....we had no trouble on the road.

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Last year we decided to try Blue Ridge with our 35 foot. Entered at Roanoke, Va going south. Very scenic but very difficult to view because road very narrow and they build up curves so tires do not go over side. All I did was watch road and try not to hit road edge and pop a tire bead. Went a very long ten miles and got off at first exit. Driving RV supposed to be fun and Blue Ridge in my estimation is not fun. Best to find campground nearby and use dingy or even rent a car and explore. Much more fun. :rolleyes:

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Monty, We stayed in Luray, Va, at Country Waye, this spring and drove the Skyway and Blueridge in our toad. I can tell you if the driver wants to enjoy the drive then do it in your toad. You will spend most of the drive watching the road in your MH and there are few places to pull a big rig off for a hike, picnic or hike. The valley has parallel roads that make it easy to return to camp.

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Montie-We drove the Blue Ridge summer of 2009 with a 40 Winnebago and toad. Most of the route was white nuckle from Asheville to where we got off in Linvill NC. Narrow and big problem was trees over road. Not trimmed. We are 12'4" and for many miles drove center of road and still kept hitting limbs on our roof. At the high points, we had some overcast and found ourselves literally in a cloud with visibility less than 25 feet. Not recommended for a large coach and toad. Better to go by car alone.

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If you are staying in the Asheville area, I would recommend leaving the RV at the campsite and driving your car up the Parkway. We just returned from a trip to the Parkway. We stayed at Mama Gertie's in Swannanoa (10 minutes from Asheville). The campground is beautiful -- in the woods and built into the side of the mountains -- and impeccable.

The entrance to the Parkway is about 5 miles away back toward Asheville. We left the RV at the campground and drove our car up to Mount Mitchell one day and to Grandfather Mountain another day. Absolutely beautiful drive, but tough on a driver who wants to see all the sights! The tunnels we drove through could have handled our Class A, but it would have been too stressful to drive. Lots of motorcycles and bicyclists on the Parkway that were tolerable in a car -- would have been troublesome in the RV.

Hope this helps some.

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We drove the Parkway the 8th of July this year in our 35 foot pusher diesel north from Ashville to Little Switzerland. I think you should anticipate traveling 20 to 25 miles in an hour, between turning out to let cars & motorcycles by, and the 35 to maybe 45 mph you can drive, and stopping for construction. It was beautiful, but if you have another vechicle to drive on the Parkway i would recommend doing it that way. Although i have already trimed some of the trees on the road to Craggy Gardens with our unit, i would suggest that you not try that in your unit. I suspect there are other roads like that along the Parkway. Our plan was to drive as much as we felt comfortable doing, and then turn around or take another road. The plan worked fairly well, although we would have liked to have seen more of the Parkway.

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Monty:

Drop off the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Roanoke Va. about 50 miles and take Route 60 West down the mountain about three miles to a neat little town called Buena Vista. Camp at Glen Maury park and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The also have a 18 hole Links course if you are a golfer. Check the campground out at: Glenmaurypark.com

Joe in Virginia

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How about the tunnel height issue? I have looked at the charts and I know there are several that list heights in the 10 or 11 foot range. Our Alfa SeeYa is 12'6". I have been told the height charts are heights at the shoulders of the tunnel, but does anyone know if I "take my half out of the middle" whether my height is going to create a problem or not? I'd rather not find out the hard way.

FYI, my 2006 SeeYa measures 13'2.

I have ridden the Parkway many times on my Motorcycle from Rockfish Gap to Cherokee. Aside form tunnel clearances, there are a lot of steep up and down slopes in the section from I-77 South to Cherokee. Plus, it may be hard to stop at the scenic overlooks or attractions (because of your size) especially if you have a Toad. Not saying it cannot be done....but why try? They are so many easy to access campgrounds off the Parkway that you can stay for a day or two and use the toad to go exploring. Plus, there is so much to see and do just off the parkway. Small crafty towns and natural wonders that the old RV just can't get to.

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I guess I'll have to cast a contrary opinion.

We have driven the Parkway twice in our 36' motorhome and find it a delight.

BUT, this presumes that you are you are comfortable and safe (both rig and driver) with lots of grades and curvy roads. It is NOT a "put it in 'D' and go" road! If this is not your cup of tea-- as others have suggested, do it by toad.

Same for Natchez Trace and a few others beautiful drives in our country.

Brett

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We drove entire length of Skyline & Blue Ridge last fall & enjoyed it. BUT would not do it in the RV again. Would use RV to camp off the parkways & use toad to drive the parkways. First, you can not let your mind wander (ie your RV wander), or you will almost immediately be drifting off the road or across the center. We have 33 foot pusher, pulling a GMC Canyon, & max height of 11ft 6in. speed limit is from 35 to 45, but you rarely do it, road is too curvy to maintain speed, or you braking going down hill or trying to regain speed up hill. Worst part for us was that there is little or no parking for RV with tow at overlooks, & even at visitor centers! Twice we had to park on grass, & once park half mile down road & hike back. Our drive was during work day in fall, with school back in session, so it was not busy. Would not recommend making this drive in 40 footer at height of tourist season. The shortest tunnels (& the most tunnels) are in NC; believe the heights listed in Nat'l Park info & don't count on driving in middle of tunnel unless you like to play chicken.

Bigger problem is that park service has not trimmed trees, so we kept getting whacked with tree branches on the side of RV. anything over 12 feet might get roof damage (but only guessing here).

Almost no camping on parkways, do your research to locate campsites in advance. We found info from VA & NC info centers to be almost useless for RV parks-- info is centered on motels. Lastly find out how RV park recommends you drive there. We turned off parkway onto state road to RV park & barely saw a sign that said No Semis Allowed & Not Recommended for RVs! We continually had to cross center line to make hairpin turns. RV park owner stated many an RV'er had burned up their brakes. Bottom line was that we stayed on both Parkways because they were NOT busy & driving conditions did not bother me. If it had been busy, we would have given up. If you can only make drive with the RV, then give yourself plenty of time & do it; it is well worth the effort! - corrie & dan

ps - in our opinion, Natchez Parkway is a freeway compared to these Parkways.

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Guest 2driftrs

Brett, thanks for your comment. I was beginning to think I was wrong telling people it was worth the drive.

After reading these posts it became quite obvious that there are as many types of drivers out there as there are coaches. We've driven the Blue Ridge countless times, and at least three or four with our 34 footer pulling the toad. I guess what's good for the goose....

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We are currently on the Blue Ridge Parkway staying at the Roanoke Valley Campground and we are the only ones in the RV part. There are probably only one or two in the tent camping part!! We have driven the Parkway from Linnvelle Falls(just past Asheville) and have found it to be challanging. Narrow road, slow speeds(25-35) and you Must keep your eyes forward. Lots of low tree limbs, some scraping, some hitting our vent covers. ABSOLUTLY breath taking views. We only stayed in Blue Ridge campgrounds and found them plenty big enough for our 32' Winnebago Voyage. We tow a car and the roads are mostly smooth. We are staying 3-5 days(all dry camping) at each campground along the way. Go slow, take lots of pictures, keep a journal and press on.

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Don't know if you've gone yet, but we'll agree with all those who said take your car! We were planning to take our Class A, but met a full timer before we got there who told us, you can do it, but the driver won't enjoy any of it. We stayed in a campground & took the car thru NC, staying in a hotel 1 night then driving back. Will probably do the same in VA next year. The sights along the way are beautiful, but if you're busy concentrating on the road, which you will be, then take your car & you can both enjoy it.

Karen

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