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Old 10-19-2019, 10:45 AM   #1
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Ohio to Florida route that is NOT I-77

Hello. Will be going to Florida for the first time with our new TT in January,2020. Have always traveled I-77 to I-95, but never towing. Not a fan of those mountains and tunnels in a car--let alone towing! Any suggestions? We are not in a hurry; will be taking 2-3 days to get to Fla. Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:43 AM   #2
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You didn't specify and start or end city so I plugged in Columbus to Orlando.

You can hop on 71 to Cinci and pick up 75 and take that all the way down. It only adds about 30 minutes to your travels.

If you have a sturdy setup (vehicle that big enough for your TT and electric brakes) you should have no fear of towing on any highway.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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Take the 71-75 route. Thatís not so bad. I lived east of Cleveland and hated the drive on 71 from Cleveland to Cincy but it was a necessary evil. Iíve done the 77S through the mountains a couple times in our Class A towing our car and itís not as bad as it seems but...

75 is BORING for the most part but is less mountainous.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:06 PM   #4
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Take the 71-75 route. Thatís not so bad. I lived east of Cleveland and hated the drive on 71 from Cleveland to Cincy but it was a necessary evil. Iíve done the 77S through the mountains a couple times in our Class A towing our car and itís not as bad as it seems but...

75 is BORING for the most part but is less mountainous.
We're leaving from just south of Cleveland to FL and that is the route we're going to try for our first time. Mountains, winds, storms? "Boring" sounds like a good plan. It seems to add about an hour which is nothing. I-71 has had a lot of work done in recent years and it's a lot better and wider than it used to be.

Just gotta figure out the other road and traffic problems yet, like Atlanta...

Ray
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:59 PM   #5
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Hello. Will be going to Florida for the first time with our new TT in January,2020. Have always traveled I-77 to I-95, but never towing. Not a fan of those mountains and tunnels in a car--let alone towing! Any suggestions? We are not in a hurry; will be taking 2-3 days to get to Fla. Thanks.
where in OH to where in FL?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:50 PM   #6
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Just gotta figure out the other road and traffic problems yet, like Atlanta...

Ray
I’d think you could make Knoxville day 1 stop. You may have to get onto I-40 a bit to get over near Gatlinburg to get to an RV park if that is a goal. The weather will still be cold so be prepared for that. This might even be an aggressive day 1 depending on the weather you hit. Being from Ohio I’m going to guess you already know that once you get south of C-bus the snow seems to taper off. I’d not try Knoxville in rush hour so either leave later or earlier. It’s not Atlanta bad and not downtown Cleveland bad but enough people bobbing left to right to make you nervous.

Atlanta Seems to absolutely suck no matter what time you go through. I’ve gone through there at 2:00am before and wondered where all the people were going! Definitely try to get through there not within 2 hours of rush hour morning or night. Fridays seem to be rush hour all day long.
We have boondocked at the rest area just south of Macon on 75. It’s got a dedicated RV parking area. From there you’re at least south of Atlanta and Macon so an easy entry into FL. The slowdowns that you will see are mostly I-10 then further south where the turnpike cuts off towards Orlando. If you don’t already have one definitely get a SunPass. Saves almost as much time as money.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:52 PM   #7
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I went from Detroit to Fort Meyers a couple of years ago and took 65 down through Alabama and Florida Panhandle, nice drive with nice state parks all the way.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:58 PM   #8
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Iíd think you could make Knoxville day 1 stop. You may have to get onto I-40 a bit to get over near Gatlinburg to get to an RV park if that is a goal. The weather will still be cold so be prepared for that. This might even be an aggressive day 1 depending on the weather you hit. Being from Ohio Iím going to guess you already know that once you get south of C-bus the snow seems to taper off. Iíd not try Knoxville in rush hour so either leave later or earlier. Itís not Atlanta bad and not downtown Cleveland bad but enough people bobbing left to right to make you nervous.

Atlanta Seems to absolutely suck no matter what time you go through. Iíve gone through there at 2:00am before and wondered where all the people were going! Definitely try to get through there not within 2 hours of rush hour morning or night. Fridays seem to be rush hour all day long.
We have boondocked at the rest area just south of Macon on 75. Itís got a dedicated RV parking area. From there youíre at least south of Atlanta and Macon so an easy entry into FL. The slowdowns that you will see are mostly I-10 then further south where the turnpike cuts off towards Orlando. If you donít already have one definitely get a SunPass. Saves almost as much time as money.
Thank for the guidance. I bought a Florida E-Pass Xtra for the motrohome which works with E-ZPass and SunPass (and PeachPass).

We drove through Atlanta twice pulling a 10' pop-up on a Sunday. People passed us at 85 and it felt downright dangerous trying to stay within the 65 MPH rating on the pop-up tires. We actually were driving at 65 with our four-way flashers on.

When we left going north we got stuck due to an accident for a couple of hours. Now I know why people say "If you live on the south side of Atlanta, you buy home on the south side" etc.

Ray
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:47 AM   #9
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Thanks everybody for suggestions and tips. We start in Cleveland..going to St. Augustine and beyond. Will take all this info and come up with a route. Happy Trails...safe travels!
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:29 PM   #10
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I'll be leaving Columbia Station, it's a bit west of Cleveland, I'll be taking I-71 to I-75 to the Florida Turnpike. Then east to the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have used this route ever since my first trip that was on I-77, I did not enjoy driving my motor home up and down and around the mountains. Gassing up in small towns with a towed is a real adventure. When I drive my car down I do take I-77 because it's easier to get in and out of the towns after gassing up, and it is shorter. JMHO
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:41 PM   #11
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Leaving central Ohio for southern FLa. within the next week. Having experienced Jellico Mountain north of Knoxville in the winter, I won't do it in my class A, gasser. And I echo what all have said repeatedly about Atlanta. Hence I 75 is out. I spend the extra time and take I71 down to Louisville. Take an outer belt around Louisville, and take I65 down to south Alabama, and US 231 to I10 in Fla. Hills are minimal, and truck traffic not real bad. Depending on time of day Nashville can be a bit of trouble, But we stay overnight there on Music Valley Drive, so that breaks it up. Although somewhat longer, it"s a fairly pleasant drive.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:37 PM   #12
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Leaving central Ohio for southern FLa. within the next week. Having experienced Jellico Mountain north of Knoxville in the winter, I won't do it in my class A, gasser. ...
Would you please elaborate on that note?

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Old 10-21-2019, 08:26 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:46 AM   #14
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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!
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