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Old 10-21-2019, 07:01 PM   #15
NXR
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Originally Posted by Bobb.25 View Post
Well Ray, I'm not here to argue, just stating my opinion. I used to have to drive 175 to Knoxville & Oak Ridge about once a month for work. There were many times in the winter months that the roads were clear and dry in Kentucky, and as I climbed that mountain the snows began at higher elevations, and the roads were iced over. Those things combined with the slopes, and truck traffic lead me to avoid that route in my retirement while driving a 35 foot class A towing a car.
Bob
Thanks. This will be our first trip on that route and I was wondering what your concerns were since they probably would be mine as well. We'll be driving a 38-footer an towing a car so that's pretty similar.

Ray
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:28 PM   #16
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Having family and having lived in both TN and OH I've traveled I-75 from Jellico to Knoxville more times than I can count. You do have to pay attention to the weather and time your trip accordingly if you choose to use I-75 in the winter months. Not a big deal otherwise.

Another option you may want to consider is US 23 from Columbus (or wherever you would get 23) to I-26. You do go through Portsmouth and Ashland, KY among other smaller towns, but the route is 95+% 4lane and over half is divided highway. It avoids Cincy and Atlanta which is a big plus, And isn't as far out of your way as I-71 and I-65. Weather can still be an issue, but that is true of any route you take that goes over the Cumberland's or the Appalacian's.

We have gone south using I-75 and gave it up because of Atlanta. I-77 worked, but US 23 is a little more direct for us and is an easy drive.

However you choose, safe travels!

Safari could you elaborate on your US 23 route? We usually make our January trip to FL via I77,I26 I95, but getting from north central OH Willard) to I77 is usually a pain. Any problems with campgrounds or gas on 23? Where are your usual stop overs at? Any info will be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:24 PM   #17
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John,

We pick up I-26 at near Kingsport TN then use it and I-95. There is no problem with making a gas stop on US 23. There are enough towns that gas is never very far away. Camping is a little sparse late in the year as some of the KY and VA state parks are closed. If you can handle a 370 mile day, you could make it to Jessie Lea RV Park in Big Stone Gap, VA. We have stayed there, but usually try to get a little further on the first day (probably further than you'll want to travel from Willard). There is Bob Amos RV Park in Pikeville KY that would be a shorter first day. Gets OK reviews, but we haven't stayed there.

If you do long days, there are a number of parks around Kingsport TN. Warrier's Path State Park is great, but back in sites only. Also, the TN Welcome Center on US 23 will allow overnight even though posted as 2 hours only (if you want to boon dock).

Hope the info helps!
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info. Looks like a great alternate to I75 and/or I77. How is traffic going thru/around Ashville? Any major grades on US23 or I26 north of Ashville? Thanks again.
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Old 10-26-2019, 10:31 PM   #19
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John

From Ashland to Stone Gap Virginia you'll climb about 2,000 feet with rolling hills similar to I-75 through Kentucky. The climb after Stone gap is steeper as you climb about 2,000 feet to the Cumberland Plateau before your head "down" into Asheville. The steepest section is 6% - less than the 7% grades you have on I-77 in Virginia and West Virginia and typically shorter. It's no worse than I-26 south of Asheville.

Asheville even at rush hour is better than Cincinnati or Knoxville. Try to get there before 3PM and it should be pretty easy.

If you take US 23 north in the spring, Paintsville State Park in Staffordsville Kentucky is a nice place to spend the night.

Jim
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