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Old 05-07-2019, 08:16 PM   #1
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Blue Ridge Parkway North Bound

Planning to drive the parkway north from around Asheville, NC, first week of June, mid-week. Would like to make it to Roanoke the first day approximately 260 miles. 2nd day plan to leave the parkway at Charlottesville and then over to eastern Virginia. I believe the speed limit is 45 mph and less on the parkway so at least 5.7 hours (the 1st day) and it is a 2 lane road. This time not interested in stopping at every "lookout" just a leisurely drive pulling our 28' 5th wheel enjoying the spectacular scenery. What can I expect, is the distance per day feasible? A little help please. All comments welcome. I am a retired Navy Chief so, thick skin.

Thanks, Friz
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:29 PM   #2
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Your not going to avarage 45 MPH on the Blue Ridge with your rig.

Its a narrow, winding, single lane, hilly road, that going to slow you down. That along with other traffic is going to keep you on your toes.

I would figure 20 to 30 MPH an average speed and after 3 to 4 hours your going to want a long break.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:55 PM   #3
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Yep I think that 260 miles in a day on the parkway is pretty optimistic. It is 469 miles long and on a bike I spent 2 days doing it, and I could pass folks. Not sure about any campgrounds along the way. It is not a road to take to make miles, it's a road where you enjoy the scenery. If you really want to take it I'd say closer to 8-9 hours at the minimum. BTW just be aware that fuel on the parkway is very limited so fill up before you get on. Also be prepared for fog. Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:08 PM   #4
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We drive 63 mph on the interstate. When I estimate arrival times, I figure the mileage divided by 50mph, which allows for a fuel stop and a quick lunch. Even if you average 35mph, you're looking at 7 hours.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:15 PM   #5
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Plan on almost twice as long as you think. the longest straight stretch on the BRP is less than a mile.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:23 PM   #6
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Read Blue Ridge Parkway?
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:23 AM   #7
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Last September, We drove the Parkway from Asheville (Mama Gerties campground) to Meadows of Dan(US 58) which was about a tick over 215 miles. We left Gerties at 8am and got to Meadows of Dan campground a little after 6pm as I recall. That included a fuel stop, 1/2 hour lunch, about a dozen 5 minute overlook stops and an hour stop at the Blue Ridge Music center. Figuring the 7-7.5 hours we were underway with moderate traffic on the parkway that works out to about 28-29 mph average in our 23' class A.

Theoretically, you could do it in a long day with few stops.....

BTW, I highly recommend both campgrounds
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:29 AM   #8
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Optimistic expectation - pretty far from reality. There is some beautiful country up through there, but pretty quickly you will want to get on an open highway for a while.
You didn't say how you are traveling, towing or MH, but either will be a lot slower than a automobile or a PU truck. We tried the BRP from near Asheville south to Cherokee in a small truck. After several miles all the turns and hill began to look alike. I was ready to get off.
Not saying don't drive it for a while but it is more enjoyable in small doses in normal vehicle.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:49 AM   #9
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I got on and got off ASAP! Not really for RVs! Just my opinion!
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:09 AM   #10
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I would suggest you seriously reconsider your plans. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not big rig friendly. Constant curves and in the southern part out of Asheville, there are a number of tunnels with limited clearance. And, its a relatively narrow roadway with no shoulders. Depending on your size, you will find that many of the pull offs won't work for you. This is a big issue, as you will have a constant line of vehicles stacked up behind you wanting to get by. You will not be able to maintain anywhere near the speed limit. It's just not a good road to travel in a big rig imho.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyjt View Post
I would suggest you seriously reconsider your plans. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not big rig friendly. Constant curves and in the southern part out of Asheville, there are a number of tunnels with limited clearance. And, its a relatively narrow roadway with no shoulders. Depending on your size, you will find that many of the pull offs won't work for you. This is a big issue, as you will have a constant line of vehicles stacked up behind you wanting to get by. You will not be able to maintain anywhere near the speed limit. It's just not a good road to travel in a big rig imho.
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I second that sentiment....much better to park for a number of days in a nice campground, then pack a picknick lunch and go drive the parkway in your toad! There are some nice campgrounds around, we stayed at Walnut Hills Campground just outside of Staunton, Va. last spring, and had a great time. Spent a week there and it was not enough, went to lunch on the square with our pup, watched master glass blowers at work in an art studio, etc., etc.,...and, oh yeah, spent a couple of days touring the parkway. For us, after 5-6 hours in stop and go traffic (people everywhere bear spotting) + lunch, we were done...all pretty much looks the same after the first 100 miles! But pretty! Jut no place for a large coach IMHO...
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:29 AM   #12
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Blue Ridge Parkway North Bound

The BRP is interesting in small chunks.
We plopped our RV in a campground and drove the BRP in our Wrangler for a bit each day. Lovely!
Driving it with the MH will be unsatisfying. The busy driver will see very little. And then there is the constant swaying.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:42 AM   #13
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Well, my experience on the parkway is a different story that most of the other members.

We did a trip from Afton, VA to Galax with our 28' travel trailer several years ago. Our intended trip was to travel all of the way down the parkway, but thick fog the 2nd day prevented that. Fog is something to consider.

We met up with 2 other camping couples at the northern terminus, and had a very pleasant day driving the parkway. We maintained close to 45 mph much of the way, except on the more curvy sections. We did the Mabry's Mill tourist thing, as well as numerous lookouts when we could fit all 3 campers in the parking area.

We stopped at a campground in Galax, which is real close to the parkway. We intended on doing the rest of the way to Asheville the next day, but after about 10 miles of pea-soup fog doing about 5 miles per hour, we got off the parkway and did a more conventional route.

The tunnel height was not a big concern of ours since our travel trailer was 9'10" high, but may be a concern for 5th wheel drives, although all tunnels on the parkway seem to have at least 13'6" of clearances at the edges, and much more in the center.

If someone is not intimidated with driving curvy, hilly roads, I would highly recommend the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:52 AM   #14
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the feedback. And for the nattering nabobs of negativism, Plan B. Asheville to Fancy Gap VA, 200 miles. We have a 28' 5th wheel pulled by a F-250 diesel. Also suspect the 5th wheel is better at negotiating curves than a 40' leviathan. Don't anticipate fuel to be an issue. Truck has over a 500 mile range. Even if I reduce it to 300 for driving/pulling conditions I should have plenty of fuel. Will look into the tunnel issue. My Keystone Cougar is close to 12' and maybe a few inches more. The average speed thing will be interesting. Hope to somewhat mitigate traffic by traveling mid-week and early in the season. RickNC, thanks for your factual after action report. It is the scenic drive we are interested in. If it becomes a chore, I-81 is not far north. Thanks again.

Friz
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