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Old 06-08-2016, 03:22 PM   #1
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Interstate 40 (Asheville to Nashville)

I live in Hilton Head, SC and will be traveling to Nashville, TN. I'll be stopping in Asheville, NC for the night. The next day I'll be traveling to Nashville via I40
from Asheville. What should I expect as scenery, traffic, grades etc. Any recommendations on alternate routes or places that are a must see. What is route 25 like from Asheville to I40 (through Hot Springs)
Since I live in the Low Country, grade consist is a change of elevation of 100 feet.
My MH is a 2000 Dutch Star DP with a 3126 Cat Engine. I've driven it through Asheville before and it is drives and handles great on grades.
Thanks, Rob
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:33 PM   #2
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I-40 between Ashville and Sevierville TN will be steep, but so worth the drive. It is beautiful. How steep? Assuming you're coming up I-26 to Ashville you'll hit a couple similar grades just east of Asheville. Different than low country driving for sure, but you will not be the only RV on that route the day you are there, or any other day.

By the way, you'll be passing close to us on your way up 26 (or back). Stop by for a visit. Lake Greenwood
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:38 PM   #3
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Asheville to Nashville is a breeze. I40 runs through the Pigeon River gorge and the roadway was cut into rock in the side of the mountain. Watch for falling rock. The road is a bit curvy, but just travel 50 to 55 and it will be fine. No steep grades to be concerned about. Being a native, I believe all of the scenery in WNC and east Tennessee is beautiful.


US 25 through Hot Springs is a different story. It is two lanes with some significant grades and lots of tight curves. I have driven it several times with rv's 35 ft. and smaller, but not in the 40 ft. DP. There is a grade rail crossing in Hot Springs that is pretty steep with a lot of crown. I believe it should be doable though. Just don't get in a hurry on US 25. The scenery is very nice, however.


An alternative is future I26 west out of Asheville to Johnson City, TN. There is steep climb over Sam's Gap at the state line just past Mars Hill, but the drive is beautiful. You can pick up I81 south in Johnson City to I40 west. This route will add about 1-1/2 hours to the trip though.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JMonroe View Post
I-40 between Ashville and Sevierville TN will be steep, but so worth the drive. It is beautiful. How steep? Assuming you're coming up I-26 to Ashville you'll hit a couple similar grades just east of Asheville. Different than low country driving for sure, but you will not be the only RV on that route the day you are there, or any other day.

By the way, you'll be passing close to us on your way up 26 (or back). Stop by for a visit. Lake Greenwood
Being mountain folks, we call I40 a mild downslope. Not much to it. As noted, US 25 through Hot Springs, now that can get steep as a mule's face in places.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:03 PM   #5
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Being mountain folks, we call I40 a mild downslope. Not much to it. As noted, US 25 through Hot Springs, now that can get steep as a mule's face in places.

It's all relative, LOL. For someone coming from the low country my pillow will be steep.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:58 PM   #6
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From Asheville to hot springs is 36 miles. It is pretty twisty although we did this going and coming a few weeks ago (US-25E is nice westward from Newport). There is a nice campground, and also restaurant, in Hot Springs but if you don't plan to stay, I-40 is the better route. Trucks are restricted to no passing through the I-40 twisty part, but, but better get out of the way when you see "Truck Lane Restriction Ends".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARFFMAN View Post
I live in Hilton Head, SC and will be traveling to Nashville, TN. I'll be stopping in Asheville, NC for the night. The next day I'll be traveling to Nashville via I40
from Asheville. What should I expect as scenery, traffic, grades etc. Any recommendations on alternate routes or places that are a must see. What is route 25 like from Asheville to I40 (through Hot Springs)
Since I live in the Low Country, grade consist is a change of elevation of 100 feet.
My MH is a 2000 Dutch Star DP with a 3126 Cat Engine. I've driven it through Asheville before and it is drives and handles great on grades.
Thanks, Rob
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:58 PM   #7
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Oh oh, you're in trouble. That Cat will never make it. I'm just kidding, you'll be fine.I40 is just another boring Interstate with a few hills higher than you're accustomed to. I don't know anything about 25.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:56 AM   #8
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From Asheville, I-40 follows the Pigeon River thru the mountains rather than over them so grades are not really an issue, but you will have about 20 miles of curvy road through the gorge. No problem if you just take you time and enjoy the view. The only grades you will have are going up on and off of the Cumberland Plateau between Knoxville and Nashville and neither is a big issue. I've been over US 25 in a car (when 40 was closed) and don't believe I'd go that way in my RV.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:59 AM   #9
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Forgot - you may already know this but if you come up I-26 you will have a pretty good grade prior to Asheville (Saluda Mtn) but it's nothing your coach can't handle.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:56 PM   #10
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Cat Engine

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Oh oh, you're in trouble. That Cat will never make it. I'm just kidding, you'll be fine.I40 is just another boring Interstate with a few hills higher than you're accustomed to. I don't know anything about 25.
I guess you haven't heard: If it's not a Cat, It's a Dog! lol
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:38 PM   #11
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We had plugged fuel filters and still made that run it coughed a few times, but no problem !
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:45 PM   #12
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Forgot - you may already know this but if you come up I-26 you will have a pretty good grade prior to Asheville (Saluda Mtn) but it's nothing your coach can't handle.
If my 2001 Dutch Star with a 330HP Cummins can handle Saluda Grade (Mile Markers 67ish - 61), you will do fine. There is a truck lane in that area. There is also Green River Gorge (Mile Marker 57 - 55) where you will need your Engine Brake. As far as Saluda Grade was concerned, I was doing between 40 - 45 mph but was keeping up with the semis.

I haven't driven Hwy 25 between I-26 thorough Hot Springs and Mile Marker 432 on I-40 in Newport, TN in my coach. Did it in an auto but that is totally different.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:24 PM   #13
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We ran I40 from Williams, AZ to middle of NC towing a toad in a Class "C". You will have no problems.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:34 PM   #14
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If it isn't a CAT, then it's a DOG!
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