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Old 05-17-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
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Blue ridge parkway

Many years ago, my spouse and I made the trip to Washington D.C. from Chattanooga via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive while tent camping, exploring, etc. We stayed two nights along the way in NP campgrounds. I would like to repeat that trip, but now we are in a 40' MH towing a SUV. As I recall, it will be slow going with lots of summer traffic. I also recall some tunnels, but don't know the locations or what the clearances might be or if there are ways to avoid them.

Is this route feasible in a MH? Are there overnight possibilities along the Parkway, or should I expect to have to go down into North Carolina/Virginia? We will be in Chattanooga in late June and could stay on the main roads to D.C. if necessary.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnParker View Post
Many years ago, my spouse and I made the trip to Washington D.C. from Chattanooga via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive while tent camping, exploring, etc. We stayed two nights along the way in NP campgrounds. I would like to repeat that trip, but now we are in a 40' MH towing a SUV. As I recall, it will be slow going with lots of summer traffic. I also recall some tunnels, but don't know the locations or what the clearances might be or if there are ways to avoid them.

Is this route feasible in a MH? Are there overnight possibilities along the Parkway, or should I expect to have to go down into North Carolina/Virginia? We will be in Chattanooga in late June and could stay on the main roads to D.C. if necessary.
One tunnel at Bunches Bald

255 feet long

18 feet 4 in maximum

10 feet 6 in minimum

Wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:49 PM   #3
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The BRP was built for cars........... And while RVs are not illegal to drive on it, I personally do not think it is an appropriate thing to do.

First, it's simply rude to those touring in their cars / motorcycles and bikes, for a long list of what I hope are pretty obvious reasons.

Second, you can damage your RV. Since there are no commercial trucks allowed, trees often overhang the right side of the road, so you can either cross the center line or scratch up your RV.

And, there are the low arched tunnels, which even if you have clearance on the right side, you'll want to / naturally be on or over the center line.....

And finally, given the above, driving on or over the center line to avoid damage to your RV can be inconsiderate and dangerous to those traveling in the opposite direction.

And, many of the pull outs are not going to accommodate a big RV.

Why they don't put a weight / length limit on it for all vehicles is beyond me.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:49 PM   #4
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I didn't have a problem doing the northern 200 miles over 2 days, last month.

The speed limit is 35 mph and I did about 30 with my 30 ft. MH and toad on a dolly.

Most times I was in second gear but it handled it fine.

Most pull offs were big enough for us and there are many. It seems like a well groomed roadway and we didn't hit any trees.

The motorcycles simply passed us ( no door kicking ) on the straight sections and I didn't feel, in their way at all.

With all of the pull offs, we passed and had the same cars pass us many times.

It was last month and traffic was light but we weren't the only RV or car on the road.

My feeling is, if someone is inconvenienced by an RV on the Blue Ridge Parkway, they are in to big a hurry and should take I 81.

There are campground along the route ( Recreation.gov ), but they were closed in May, so we ran down to a town and stayed in Wal-Mart for 1 night. The roads off the Blue Ridge are worst then the highway.

We will do the lower half soon.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:40 AM   #5
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I don't see many 40 foot RVs on the Blue Ridge Parkway and generally the campground sites are small. I would recommend staying nearby and taking road trips in your toad. Possibly doing sections without the tunnels in the RV. Also be careful which roads you use to exit. Some are very narrow, steep, and have sharp curves.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:58 AM   #6
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We lived very near to the BRP here in VA for nearly 40 years. We have driven and camped on every mile of it pulling a Palomino pop up camper when we were younger. No way would I try to do it in a 40' coach. While it is beautiful in places, much of it is the same view mile after mile. It will be very slow going in your coach. I would travel along I-81, camp in private RV parks along the way and see the parkway in my toad.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:18 AM   #7
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We just did the north end of Skyline drive from Luray, VA going north. (The caverns are worth it!) It's a beautiful drive with no tunnels. The speed limit is 35, so you're really not holding anyone up. The exhaust brake definitely came in handy! No problem with trees, though they hadn't leafed out, so maybe they will be lower in the summer. Since it was the off season, there was little traffic- no one in the pull-offs, and no one caught up to us. We saw maybe half a dozen cars going the other way. I would just mention, though, if you're nervous driving on a road with no shoulder where a moment of inattention will send you down an embankment, you might want to pass on the experience. I would think it would be a bit more challenging during peak season as the trees will block the views along the road and the pull-offs may be too full to stop and take in the view.

Good luck!

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Old 05-18-2016, 12:06 PM   #8
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Thanks all;

We did the trip in 1965. Even then it was a slow go. There were some cabover campers and an occasional airstream on the road. They managed to maintain a reasonable pace. Mostly, the traffic jams occurred when/where a bear or deer was seen on the roadside. Much like Yellowstone where everyone gets out to take pictures of bears and bison and cars back up for a mile or two.

I'm not particularly bothered by lack of shoulders. And the low speed limit should minimize the aggravation of those behind me. But, low clearance bridges and tunnels are deal breakers. It would have been nice to retrace that trip from way back when.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:43 PM   #9
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We attempted to travel the BRP about 5-6 years ago. We were in Maggie Valley and got on close to there. As we traveled north, the tree branches started hitting the coach roof/AC units. It got progressively worse as we headed north so we turned around and went the more traditional route.
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:41 PM   #11
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Here you go. all the tunnels heights and there mile posts.

https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvis...el-heights.htm
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:19 AM   #12
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Thanks all;

After doing a little more research, and especially after seeing the note regarding Bunches Bald, we have decided to take a more conservative route. The NPS reference was very helpful as well. We require minimum clearance of 12' 6". There seem to be several tunnels just too close for comfort.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:59 AM   #13
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To bad. You're missing one of the greatest drives in the USA. I'm >12' and drove both the BRP and the Skyline with out any clearance problems. But you chose to listen to those that have never driven this great scenic highway in a high RV. BTW, the minimum height is measure in the ditch at the extreme right where it is impossible to drive. As I read here, many don't agree. Their loss.
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:53 AM   #14
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Thanks all;

After doing a little more research, and especially after seeing the note regarding Bunches Bald, we have decided to take a more conservative route. The NPS reference was very helpful as well. We require minimum clearance of 12' 6". There seem to be several tunnels just too close for comfort.
I am planning a similar trip with a 33ft and a toad. Looks like the low tunnels are all west of Asheville...so getting on east of Asheville should eliminate that problem?
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