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Old 07-21-2017, 09:26 AM   #1
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Best route from Maine down seaboard to Smoky Mountains? Least traffic?

Hi! We pull a 41' 5th wheel and so far have only traveled out west where the traffic is more sparse. This August we're going to start in the Maritimes and head down the eastern seaboard during fall colors....hoping to end up in the Smoky Mountains around the first of November. My husband is concerned about driving around New York City and the congested areas of the eastern US. Any recommendations on how to avoid some of that traffic? Routes? Back roads? Toll roads vs. regular roads? We'd greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks so much!

I also posted this on another site: rv.net so some of you may see this twice.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:12 AM   #2
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Hi! We pull a 41' 5th wheel and so far have only traveled out west where the traffic is more sparse. This August we're going to start in the Maritimes and head down the eastern seaboard during fall colors....hoping to end up in the Smoky Mountains around the first of November. My husband is concerned about driving around New York City and the congested areas of the eastern US. Any recommendations on how to avoid some of that traffic? Routes? Back roads? Toll roads vs. regular roads? We'd greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks so much!

I also posted this on another site: rv.net so some of you may see this twice.
Coming out of Maine on 95..toll road..to Mass and get on 495 ,take this to 90 ..toll road ...to Sturbridge,Mass to 84 thru Ct,thru NY to Scranton,Pa and get on 81 ,all the way to Tn...you will hit pockets of traffic but nothing epic to br concerned about
You will hit spotty campgrounds....open...as it is November...if I can help with possible campgrounds,fire away...C
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:23 AM   #3
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Coming out of Maine on 95..toll road..to Mass and get on 495 ,take this to 90 ..toll road ...to Sturbridge,Mass to 84 thru Ct,thru NY to Scranton,Pa and get on 81 ,all the way to Tn...you will hit pockets of traffic but nothing epic to br concerned about
You will hit spotty campgrounds....open...as it is November...if I can help with possible campgrounds,fire away...C
I have been this way several times and prefer it over any of the alternatives. If you don't have an en-route destinations east of Scranton, this is the way to go.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:42 PM   #4
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How big a hurry will you be in. They gave you the get there now route. If you want to see more and go slower there are better ideas.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:29 PM   #5
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chuckster52......I showed your suggestion to my husband, and he thinks it looks good. It takes us around or away from all the big cities. Now to the chore of figuring out how far we want to travel each day and find things to do along the way. I may turn to you for campground advice when we get a little farther along in the process. Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
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slowmachine.....no, we don't have any itinerary at the moment. In fact, we now need to find things to do along the way. It's just my goal to get to the Smoky Mountains (or at least to Shenandoah) toward the end of October. Thanks for the confirmation on the route!
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:35 PM   #7
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nothermark.....well, so far here is what I know, tho' this may change. We will be leaving Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on October 13th. We want to stop off at Acadia NP and Freeport, ME, but other than that we don't have a clue yet about what we'll do between there and the Smokies. Having said that, we LOVE to get off the beaten track and take back roads. The problem is that unless we KNOW a road is okay for the 5th wheel, we tend to stick to interstates until we unhook the rig. So if you can suggest some back roads, for at least part of the way, we'd love it. What I'd really love to do is see some small New England towns.....fall colors, church steeples, babbling brooks, while we're in Massachusetts, so that's what I'm researching now. Thanks for chiming in!
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:29 AM   #8
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If you are staying in Cape Breton until Oct 13th you will be one step behind most parks closing dates. Columbus Day weekend, October 9, 2017 is a school holiday and often parks close right after that so they can drain their water lines. You might want to check on where you will be camping for the night north of Virginia.

Off hand I was going to suggest you look at doing some of RT 1 which is free and prettier but you are not doing 65 or 70 MPH watching the same old same old. The same thing with Rt 2 across mid Maine and NH. If you have done western mountains anything you run into there is cake.

There are a lot of variation and areas to hit of you are not in a hurry but you will be so have a nice trip. Come back and check out the rest of the area some time. ;-)
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:21 AM   #9
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How big a hurry will you be in. They gave you the get there now route. If you want to see more and go slower there are better ideas.
Starting near Staunton, VA take I64 off I81 to Waynesboro, VA and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway South. A free road in a National Park that you can drive and camp all the way to the Smokies. It sis a beautiful road with lots of scenic overlooks and points of interest. The speed limit is 35 and 45, but you will see the true beauty of the Virginia and North Carolina mountains up close and personal. You will see hundreds of animals, deer and bear. Maybry Mill, The Virginia Music Center, Mount Mitchell (highest point east of the Mississippi). Ashville, NC.
If you want to see the Smokey Mountains and don't have a tight time schedule, that is the way to see it. It will take you at least 2 days to travel it, but take 3 or 4, you won't regret it.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:46 AM   #10
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Starting near Staunton, VA take I64 off I81 to Waynesboro, VA and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway South. A free road in a National Park that you can drive and camp all the way to the Smokies. It sis a beautiful road with lots of scenic overlooks and points of interest. The speed limit is 35 and 45, but you will see the true beauty of the Virginia and North Carolina mountains up close and personal. You will see hundreds of animals, deer and bear. Maybry Mill, The Virginia Music Center, Mount Mitchell (highest point east of the Mississippi). Ashville, NC.
If you want to see the Smokey Mountains and don't have a tight time schedule, that is the way to see it. It will take you at least 2 days to travel it, but take 3 or 4, you won't regret it.
I would say... check w others about Blue Ridge Pkwy w the 5er.
It's been many yrs since we did it but that was in a van. The Pkwy is not meant for MHs or big 5th whls.
Stay a couple nights along the way and do some sections in your vehicle.
There are many good places to stay near the B R Pkwy.

Just my opinion... I'd welcome opinions from others that have run it w bigger rigs.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:01 AM   #11
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chuckster52......I showed your suggestion to my husband, and he thinks it looks good. It takes us around or away from all the big cities. Now to the chore of figuring out how far we want to travel each day and find things to do along the way. I may turn to you for campground advice when we get a little farther along in the process. Thanks so much for your help!
not a problem ,just fire away with your questions...C
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:01 AM   #12
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As far as things to do along the way...
Camden Me is a nice coastal town. We've stayed near there...nice shops & colorful restaurants on/near the water. Took a lobster boat tour that was very interesting. Wyeth museum is nice if you like art.

There are boat tours from New Harbor Me on Pemaquid Point that go to Monhegan Is for the day or a coastal lighthouse tour.

If you go I 88 from Albany to Binghamton you pass by Cooperstown... baseball hall of fame. At Binghamton you are an hour from Corning Museum of Glass and can take Rt 15 / I 99 S to Williamsport...Little League World Series site & park...then S to pick up I 81 near Harrisburg.

Gettysburg Va if you appreciate civil war history. Also DD Eisenhower home.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:06 AM   #13
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Starting near Staunton, VA take I64 off I81 to Waynesboro, VA and get on the Blue Ridge Parkway South. A free road in a National Park that you can drive and camp all the way to the Smokies. It sis a beautiful road with lots of scenic overlooks and points of interest. The speed limit is 35 and 45, but you will see the true beauty of the Virginia and North Carolina mountains up close and personal. You will see hundreds of animals, deer and bear. Maybry Mill, The Virginia Music Center, Mount Mitchell (highest point east of the Mississippi). Ashville, NC.
If you want to see the Smokey Mountains and don't have a tight time schedule, that is the way to see it. It will take you at least 2 days to travel it, but take 3 or 4, you won't regret it.
Oldeman,
not sure if ya noticed or not, but they are pulling a 41 ft 5er...not sure I'd send them down the Blue Ridgeand in November yet..
would say find a campground along 81 to stay a night or two and use their truck to travel the Blue Ridge..all you said is true..C
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:49 AM   #14
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blue ridge parkway campgrounds close Nov 1

they sure do.

and below Ashville there are 2 tunnels with low clearance.

also to anyone thinking to get on n off the parkway with a big rig pick your access roads from the interstate over to the parkway carefully, some of them are VERY steep with very tight turns.
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