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Old 10-29-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
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NE to GA

My family and I are planning an extended winter vacation to Savannah Georgia. We have a 31 foot winnebago outlook and plan to tow a car. We've taken a few long range trips in our RV but this will be our first driving trip to this part of the country, I was reading message boards and it sounds like we want to avoid chattanooga due to the steep grades. Here's a post from Wikkipedia that sounds pretty scary.

One of the more hazardous stretches of Interstate highway in the United States[citation needed] is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Chattanooga on I-24 in Monteagle, where the highway crosses the Cumberland Plateau. Compared to grades elsewhere, Monteagle's 46% grade does not come close to the steepest (Interstate 40 between Nashville and Knoxville features 5% grades in each direction as well as a 5% grade north of Nashville on 24, near Joelton), but the slope is protracted over a distance of several miles. While all motorists need to exercise caution, truckers are particularly vexed by Monteagle, and many have died going through this area.

Needless to say, we want to avoid this area. As an alternative we have tentatively mapped out this route:

Ne -> Kansas City via I-29
Kansas City -> St Louis, MO via I-70
St Louis, MO -> Mt Vernon, IL via I-64
Mt Vernon, IL -> Nashville, TN via I-24
Nashville, TN -> Birmingham, AL via I-65
Birmingham, AL -> Atlanta, GA via I-20
Atlanta, GA -> Savannah, GA via I-75/16

We have also considered this route
Ne -> Kansas City via I-29
Kansas City -> Springfield, MO via I- 49
Springfield, MO -> Memphis, TN via HWY 60/63
Memphis, TN -> Birmingham, AL via HWY 78 which appears to turn into I- 22
Atlanta, GA -> Savannah, GA via I-75/16

any thoughts you may have would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:35 PM   #2
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I have been through Chattanooga many times. Never had a problem. Drive cautiously and you'll be fine.

Safe travels

D
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixieray53 View Post
I have been through Chattanooga many times. Never had a problem. Drive cautiously and you'll be fine.

Safe travels

D

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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Hello, rebelkitty. We traveled from Nashville to Atlanta last April on the stretch of I-24 you are concerned with, then back again the other way in May. We have a 33' gasser coach, and had no problems with the grades you mentioned. I am happy to see you are planning your trip and that you did notice the grades and are researching to stay safe!

I am not familiar with your coach, ours has the 8.1 workhorse engine with the allison transmission and a grade brake that had no problems with the hills. Like others have mentioned, pay attention and keep it under control.

If you are still unsure, simply take one of the other routes you have considered. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you are not sure of the capabilities of your coach or your driving skills with steep hills. I will tell you from experience if you think I-24 has steep hills, there are much worse passes that await your nerves as you travel west in this country. They all need to be given the attention that you are already realizing, so good for you! Travel safe.

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Old 11-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Monteagle pass sounds a lot scarier than it really is. It basically a 6 mile grade with a max of about 6% on the eastbound lane. I towed my 32ft 9,000+pound TT over it a couple of times with no problem. My duramax/allison has the grade break mentioned by Firebug. If you decide to take that route, just keep the speed down descending the grade. Use lower gears and you'll probably seldom touch the brakes. If you go to youtube there a videos of trucks descending the grade.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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As others have said, I-24 into Chattanooga across Monteagle is not that bad. Be sure your equipment is in good shape and use caution. We crossed twice this year with 8.1 gasser and numerous times with a 29' TT before that. Not my favorite highway, but I wouldn't waste miles to avoid it.
As you probably know, if possible avoid Chattanooga and Atlanta at rush hour. No fun there...
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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I think that wiki post is a vast exaggeration about the roads around Chattanooga. I have been through there many times with no issues and never thought the roads dangerous.

Personally I would be more concerned about avoiding the heavy traffic times around Atlanta.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:25 AM   #8
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Also it might be a surprise to you how cold Savannah can get in the winter. Being from NE. it won't be a big deal for you, but you might have to keep an eye on your water hookups, and holding tank bays.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
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I can't fault any of the routes you have listed. Also, I haven't really had any problems with Monteagle. Downtown Atlanta should be avoided if your not really familiar with it. Take I285 around Atlanta to get on I75 south. Check out Coastal GA RV Resort in Brunswick, GA, It's a little south of Savannah. Dave
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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thanks everyone - we'll plan to bunk down for the night around Nashville I think - not certain if we're renting a room (traveling with our cats), a campground so we can plug in and run the furnace or just deal with a walmart parking lot long enough to get a decent nap and then move on. Any one know of any campgrounds on the interstate just north of nashville that I could call and see if they are open that week?
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:26 AM   #11
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If your not passed Nashville do a search for campgrounds near Goodlettesville which is just north of Nashville. If you are on I16 and get tired at exit 111 is a small campground - Beaver Run. We stopped there on the way to Brunswick, GA wednesday. Hope you have a jacket it's in the 40's this morning. Dave
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:24 AM   #12
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thanks for all the tips!

We're leaving Nebraska on Dec 27th and will have our winter coats/hats/gloves, since NE weather is probably going to be extremely cold at that time. We hope to make it to Nashville that first day, and expect that it will take another 14-16 hours after that. We have a 50 gal gas tank, however our daughter and her family will be traveling along side in a car or small van - so there will be more frequent stops for gas than if we were traveling alone. That would mean we'd be traveling through Atlanta on Sunday, which I hear is the best time.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the roads through Nebraska, Kansas and northern Missouri are driveable this year!
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #13
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I am in Townsend GA, about an hour south of Savannah off I-95. (exit 49 then north-ish 3 miles) I make regular visits to Savannah (Medical Business, routine, not a medical problem). This is a fun area.

If you arrive more than a week before Christmas.. On the campus of the campground where I am parked is a Cowboy Church (Pastor owns both) and on Dec 18th long about six pm (Get there early) will be the final weeknight service for this church, it is also their Christmas Party, Musical guests include Trinity River (Google them) and ... ME (ulp, that's right, i get to sing a solo) The Christmas Dinner by N.P. Stokey.

I'm more than a little nervious being paired with Trinity River.

After that Cowboy Church will be Sunday and special event only.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:26 PM   #14
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The roads around Chattanooga are fine. No worries.

Near Savannah, we love camping at Ft McAllister State Park. Very nice and historic area and a 25min drive from downtown Savannah.
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