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Old 04-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
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Delaware to SC, and how to not get stuck in Wash DC on the way back!

About to take our very first long road trip in the motorhome, from Delaware (Christiana Mall area) to Darlington, SC for the NASCAR race. I could sure use some advice on the fastest/most direct route.

We will leave around 12Noon, and may drive about 6 hours or so and then stop for the night. So, if anyone knows where abouts that will put us, or a good place to overnight, please let me know that too!

Lastly, when we return back to Delaware, can I take I-495/The Beltway to 95 to get home? Reason I ask is that all of our GPS units had us NOT go that way on our last trip and we ended up circling around like lost hens in the middle of downtown Wash DC. Have no idea why everything routed us off of the main highways and certainly do NOT want to repeat that!

Thanks, in advance for any help you can provide!
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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About to take our very first long road trip in the motorhome, from Delaware (Christiana Mall area) to Darlington, SC for the NASCAR race. I could sure use some advice on the fastest/most direct route.

We will leave around 12Noon, and may drive about 6 hours or so and then stop for the night. So, if anyone knows where abouts that will put us, or a good place to overnight, please let me know that too!

Lastly, when we return back to Delaware, can I take I-495/The Beltway to 95 to get home? Reason I ask is that all of our GPS units had us NOT go that way on our last trip and we ended up circling around like lost hens in the middle of downtown Wash DC. Have no idea why everything routed us off of the main highways and certainly do NOT want to repeat that!

Thanks, in advance for any help you can provide!
Why not go down the Eastern shore & across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. It's a great trip. There is a great overnight spot in a big lighted pull off just before the toll booth on the north end.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Go both ways by way of the Eastern Shore. Getting through Tidewater Virginia is a whole lot easier than going around Washington DC and the suburbs. Might cost you more for the Bay-Bridge Tunnel but the Shore route is much more pleasant (and probably safer).
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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You can take I-495 but it is a gamble. Last time I tried it I was in bumper to bumper traffic for over 2 hours. Plus you can't use the tunnel in Baltimore if you are carrying propane, so you have to go east or west of Baltimore.

Next time I might try Route 301 from 95 in VA to 95 in DE.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice!

Stupid question since I'm not sure I understand correctly, but does 495 have a tunnel (or any other restrictions)? Maybe that's why the GPSs were routing me all over the place near DC?
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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No restrictions on 495 to the best of my knowledge, except stupid drivers, traffic, road repairs, etc. I'd take CBBT.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone

I didn't think I could take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel due to the propane (and wasn't sure of the height clearance). Looks like this is one of the rare instances where I can take a tunnel...
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone

I didn't think I could take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel due to the propane (and wasn't sure of the height clearance). Looks like this is one of the rare instances where I can take a tunnel...
Yep the bay bridge/tunnel only requires that you have your tanks closed before you enter.

Alternatively you can take 301 south, which drops you off right in Doswell, VA near Kings Dominion, VA North of Richmond.

The bay bridge tunnel will have wind restrictions occasionally in bad weather. you'll have to park in the pull off if you get caught in that situation.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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You should be fine with height too if you are no taller than 13' 6''. There is an inspection station that you pull into to turn off your propane. If you are going to hook back up to I-95, you have to drive on US58 to Emporia, VA. It will take about 90 minutes to get there from the CBBT. Watch out because that area is known for its traffic enforcement, especially the closer you get to Emporia. There is a Wal-Mart at Emporia where lots of RVs park for the night and food places like Cracker Barrel are within walking distance. Once you get on I-95 S, there is a highly rated campground at Roanoke Rapids that according to RV Park Reviews is good for an overnight stop.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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I too had the same issue with the GPS! Both my hand-held (which is supposed to be made specifically for RV's) and Microsoft Streets & Trips routed us through the center of DC on 395/Pennsylvania Avenue/numerous other turns. Driving a 40' Safari Simba towing a CRV on this route would be quite the adventure!

We are heading north in the next couple of days going from Florida to Delaware. We are planning on going I-75 to I-10, to I-295 around J'Ville, then 95 straght through till just south of DC. Then, east around DC on 95/495, working our way up the Interstate to 695 and the Key Bridge in Baltimore, eventually back to 95 and my hometown of Wilmington. It's my understanding that the Key Bridge is not a problem unless there are high winds. I just want to be sure the part of the Capitol Beltway that goes over the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge has no weight or other vehicle restrictions.

We've done the other routes (301/CBBT) before, but this trip we really need to take I-95, warts and all...

Any assistance you all can provide is deeply appreciated. Thank you!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #11
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Maybe you could try this. We've started going HWY 50/301 over the Bay Bridge near Annapolis rather than fighting Baltimore. The route is 4 lane all the way through MD with almost NO traffic. (Did it once overnight in the car and was the only car on the road!) and then a little (4 or 5 miles maybe) two lane into Middletown, DE. It may be a little slower, but it's a MUCH less stressful drive You still hit the SE corner of the Beltway and then HWY 50 going out to Annapolis, but you avoid a lot of the DC/Baltimore traffic. There is a toll for the Bay Bridge heading east, but it's not bad, and there is no toll coming back west.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
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I would go around the top side of the beltway on 695 if you're going around on a weekend the traffic is fine. 695 is not 495. Before/After Rush hour it's fine. On 495, it could be 2am on a weekend and you'd be Jammed up in traffic.

Take 495 around to 95 and stay off 295. You should be just fine.


The Woodrow Wilson bridge doesn't have any restrictions I'm aware of. They just finished improving that entire stretch of road between 95 and the Woodrow Wilson bridge. It's a smooth ride, just try to avoid hitting that area any later than 1pm on a weekday and you'll be fine traffic wise all the way through Baltimore. Get up past the 695 on the north side of Baltimore by 3:30 and you won't see traffic until Christiana, DE.

I frequently commute between Alexandria and Northern NJ for work related activities and have intimate knowledge of when to be on the road and when not to be on the road through those areas.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:21 AM   #13
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Either the Bay Bridge Tunnel or 301 through Southern Maryland. Both will keep you out of DC. Eastern Shore route is probably shorter.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:58 AM   #14
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We recently made the trip from about your starting point to Myrtle Beach.
We took 301 / 50 South -- over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and stay on 301 to Exits 13 A/B/C -- this will exit you before reaching Baltimore and head you south on 301. Good road and will keep you far away from both Baltimore and DC. Stay on 301 and you will go over the Gov Harry Nice Memorial Bridge and you will junction at 295 around Richmond, VA. You will then merge directly on 95 S.
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