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Old 04-08-2015, 05:10 AM   #1
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Phila, PA to Charleston, SC

Does anyone have suggestion for recent best roads to travel this route? 36' class A. Would like to avoid DC and Richmond as I'm hearing these are two hectic areas.
Also, any suggestions if I leave in the evening for a safe overnight somewhere south of DC? Can you tell I want to avoid the DC traffic? Coming up last year with my truck pulling a trailer was just brutal driving in that area. Lots of construction and swaying drivers, but it was at night so the darkness wasn't a help either.
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:47 AM   #2
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the only time there is less traffic. is late night early morning.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:09 AM   #3
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Does anyone have suggestion for recent best roads to travel this route? 36' class A. Would like to avoid DC and Richmond as I'm hearing these are two hectic areas.
Also, any suggestions if I leave in the evening for a safe overnight somewhere south of DC? Can you tell I want to avoid the DC traffic? Coming up last year with my truck pulling a trailer was just brutal driving in that area. Lots of construction and swaying drivers, but it was at night so the darkness wasn't a help either.
We've made that run quite a few times. The fastest way is right down 95 to 26 into Charleston. Take the Eastern loop around DC and then 295 around Richmond. Really, once you get south of Fredericksburg the traffic is usually fine. I like to time it so that I get to DC by 4, or after 7. There are rest stops in VA that you can stay overnight, but I like to get down to the NC welcome center and stay there. Then I can get to Charleston by early afternoon. Where are you staying?
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:51 AM   #4
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I've found the best way is to go to Baltimore,head west on their beltway, then west on I70 to Frederick, south on US15 then south on US17. That takes you to I95 near Fredricksburg. You'll avoid all the DC stuff and get to see some Virginia countryside.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:12 PM   #5
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Wow, that really is the scenic route. Probably adds at least an hour to the trip, which may or may not be an important consideration.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:19 PM   #6
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Actually, trying to go around the DC beltway and south on 95 will add considerably more than that. We've been rated in the top three having the worst traffic in the country for over ten years.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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Actually, trying to go around the DC beltway and south on 95 will add considerably more than that. We've been rated in the top three having the worst traffic in the country for over ten years.
Yeah, it all depends on when you try to get through there. Before 4pm or after 7pm usually works pretty well most of the time for me, and the Eastern loop usually flows better than the Western one.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:20 PM   #8
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We've made that run quite a few times. The fastest way is right down 95 to 26 into Charleston. Take the Eastern loop around DC and then 295 around Richmond. Really, once you get south of Fredericksburg the traffic is usually fine. I like to time it so that I get to DC by 4, or after 7. There are rest stops in VA that you can stay overnight, but I like to get down to the NC welcome center and stay there. Then I can get to Charleston by early afternoon. Where are you staying?
I think the place we're staying is Mount Pleasant KOA. I can probably leave Philly area between 4 & 5am and I guess I'll just deal with early morning DC traffic. The other option is to leave the evening before, 6 or 7pm, and try to get to a nice place to overnight.

Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:18 PM   #9
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I jump on 301 in Delaware follow it all the way through Annapolis and down through Virginia and jump back on 95 just north of Richmond. Skip Baltimore Washington and the beltways. Little longer but much less aggravation spent three hours in a traffic jam once just north of Baltimore never again. Never had a problem with Richmond. The by pass has always been OK for me.
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:20 PM   #10
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I think the place we're staying is Mount Pleasant KOA. I can probably leave Philly area between 4 & 5am and I guess I'll just deal with early morning DC traffic. The other option is to leave the evening before, 6 or 7pm, and try to get to a nice place to overnight.

Thanks for everyone's input!
It you leave the philly area 4 or 5 AM you will regret it...It will put you on the capital beltway between 6 and 7 and you will set in traffic for hours...
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:55 AM   #11
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It you leave the philly area 4 or 5 AM you will regret it...It will put you on the capital beltway between 6 and 7 and you will set in traffic for hours...
I was afraid of that and I don't want to leave earlier while I am still sleeping. :-)
It looks more and more that I should leave the evening before, drive as far as I can without falling asleep again, then finish the next day. I am in a bagpipe band and we have a performance that evening so I guess I'll be missing that.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:59 PM   #12
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I jump on 301 in Delaware follow it all the way through Annapolis and down through Virginia and jump back on 95 just north of Richmond. Skip Baltimore Washington and the beltways. Little longer but much less aggravation spent three hours in a traffic jam once just north of Baltimore never again. Never had a problem with Richmond. The by pass has always been OK for me.
+1 on this route. There's what, three traffic lights between the start of 301 in Glasgow, DE up near Wilmington, and Annapolis? It's an easy, flat, relaxed drive any time of the day or night. There's a bit of congestion between Waldorf and La Plata, but then it's smooth sailing again all the way down through Fort AP Hill to Richmond. Highly recommended.

(Actually, before anyone jumps on to correct me, I know there are more than three lights. There are a half-dozen around Middletown, and a few more as you go through the stretch between Queenstown and the Bay Bridge. But that's it.)
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:07 PM   #13
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X2, or is it X3. You do NOT want to tangle with DC traffic and you can't use the tunnels in Baltimore, so 301 wins.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:09 AM   #14
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Thanks once again for your tips. I decided to take 301 down toward Alexandria, VA where we spent the night at the Elks Lodge near 495. Had a great night with members there and headed to Charleston early the next morning using 95. On the way back I decided to take 301 just north of Richmond (off 295) and followed that to the Annapolis Elks Lodge. Had another great night complete with dinner and good conversation. 301 did have it's problem with some roadwork being done but only lost about 20 minutes. We left the Elks early this morning and ended up back home by 6am. Now we can finish some chores here at home before we head back to work tomorrow.
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