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Old 04-25-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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Knoxville to Boone

Seems like lots of us are going to be in the mountains soon! One leg of a long trip has us going from Knoxville TN to near Boone NC ... West Jefferson is the actual NC town. The Asheville route takes us up through the mountains, down again, and then back up again. Also, we are not very fond of that section of I-40 through Cherokee National Forest. The combination of grade, sharp curves, and tight lanes with just guardrails dividing traffic directions can be unnerving to us flat-landers!

We are considering taking a bit more time and heading on up I-81 past Abingdon VA to Marion VA, then down to West Jefferson on Route 16. We know the NC part of Route 16 pretty well, but we have never been on the VA portion.

Is anyone familiar with the VA portions of I-81 and Route 16 that I am describing? I drive a 33ft Seabreeze LX on a W-22 chassis, and like others, I have had way too many brake problems. I go slow and let the engine do the braking down hill, but I still had one brake lock up and boil fluid 20 miles AFTER I came down into Marion NC once!

Thanks in advance!

Gary Orwig

2014 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 34TGA
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with Rt 16 in VA but I personally wouldn't go that way. I have gone to that area a few times from the west in both my last coach, a 34ft gas, and this 36 ft diesel.

I have done the Ashville route when I was going a little farther east, but when going to the Boone area I go from I-81 to Johnson City on I-26 then 321 to Elizabethton and on to 421 thru Boone to your destination.

321 is hilly but I've never had a problem. Once in my gas coach I was having a brake problem prior to hitting the mountains and made it safely through this area. I have always seen very little traffic on this route.

You could also look at taking 19E out of Elizabethton to 194 at Elk Park which will take you to 321 near Boone. 19E is an easier drive and 194 should not be any worse than 16.

If you do go through Elizabethton, everytime I've been there fuel has always been much cheaper than anywhere around.

Have a great trip!
2007 Winnebago Journey 36'
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