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Old 09-06-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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Question Route help between Orlando and Blairsville, Ga

New to RVing. Taking our first weeklong trip up to Blairsville/Blue Ridge, Ga. Want to avoid going thru Atlanta, so looking at traveling US441 and 129. Driving a 34 Tiffin Open Road MH. Anyone having traveled those roads up in NE Ga. to know if roads are good to travel in a MH? Planning on stopping overnight about halfway.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:17 PM   #2
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DO NOT take US-129/US-19 from Cleveland to Blairsville unless you're familiar with steep-grade two-lane switchback mountain road driving and you have a good exhaust brake in your MH. Up to Cleveland you're fine.
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Old 09-07-2018, 05:43 AM   #3
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Don't take 129 over Blood Mtin / Vogel State Park between Clevland and Blairsville...... Nope, don't do it, for various reasons..... And I'm not one to shy away from a mountain road, (I just drove Slumgullion Pass and Wolf Creek Pass in CO in the last 6 weeks for instance) but I've found there seem to be more I won't tackle in the N. GA / E TN, W NC areas than out west, just because they are very tight and or simply not suitable for large vehicles for other and often multiple reasons.

Yes, 129 is steep, particularly on the south side, but that alone is not the reason.

Many if not most of the switchbacks on the south side are 2 lanes up which is great, but, they are very tight, AND many have a lot of banking, great in a sports car or sports bike, but not in a longer RV. I bet your outside front tire could well be 5' above your inside rear in some cases, twisting your coach like a wet noodle....... Wether there are 2 lanes on your side or not, you will proably take up the better part of 2 lanes on the tighter switchbacks, so where you only have 1 lane (particularly if coming down that side) you'll be over the center line.

I think US129 over Blood Mtn. on the south side is the best sports car / sports bike road I've ever driven, Tail of the Dragon included. Oh, and even during the week it's a sports car / sports bike "magnet"; on the weekends it can be a zoo. Even "better" are the sports bike vs. bicycle "wars", not sure if that's been tamed any, but the sport bikers were getting pretty agressive with big groups of bicyclists for a while and saying you wouldn't be welcomed by others on the road is a gross understatement to say the least....

From where we live, (near the junction of I85/I985 for simplicity) I can get to Blairsville via 129 in less than 2 hours easy, but to get there in our coach it's proably 3+ hours to go around via Clayton to get there on relatively RV friendly roads, and given that we've just never gone up there given other "local" alternatives.

Either you'll want to get up to 76 in Clayton via I985 and 23 from the east (probably best route coming up from the south), or from the west I'm not sure what is the prefrerd route is to get to 76 from to Blakrsville via Blue Ridge. 76 is still a rural 2 lane, and can be tight in spots but it is what it is, and the best way.

A couple other roads in the area you should be aware of:

GA75 btw Helen and Macedonia wouldn't be fun in a large RV.

US64 btw. Frankin and Lake Toxaway is no fun in a large RV either, narrow lanes, tight turns, low over hanging trees, no shoulder, and cliffs right next to the road....

US 129 on the west side of the Smokies, between Deals Gap (intersection with 28) and Chilowee is the Tail of the Dragon, and it is a total No Go in any sort of large vehicle, don't even think about it.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:20 AM   #4
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We just left Hiawassee on Wednesday to come to Lakeland. You're going farther west, but we went 76 east to Clayton and took 441/129 to Eatonton when it splits. Then we went 129 to Macon and got on 75 there. It was easy peasy. So, as far as missing Atlanta, this routes works well.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:16 AM   #5
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A tip: when you're looking at a map and the road is fairly straight there are no mountains, and when the road looks like a seasick snake there are mountains.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thanks all

Thanks all for the suggestions and warnings. We were up in that area last year in the car and I remember some of those steep grades and drop-offs. Just didn't remember what roads they were. Now just have to decide do I go north from Fla. on I-75 or I-95. Feeling much better about making the trip in the RV and enjoying the views. Thanks again.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:54 PM   #7
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Blood mountain isn't that bad, sure its not flat Florida, but judicious speed, you will not have any problems. Going up, its three lanes, so you can take your time, people can pass, going down the other side its two lane, and a runaway truck ramp if you need it. But if you have done your job, and used a lower gear and steady low speed you will not need it! LOL! I've taken a 96' Southwind pulling a toad with no aux brakes over it both ways. With no problems at all.The biggest problems nowdays is crotch rockets and bicyclists on the weekends. The crotch rockets are flying, the bicyclists ride in the middle of the road. Since your going to Blue Ridge too, the best route is going around The west side of Atlanta on 285 to 75, then to 575/515 just avoid hitting Atlanta at rush hour. You avoid the steep mountain roads, crotch rockets and bicyclists. All four lane all the way past Atlanta. Drive that mountain everyday on my way to work for the past 30 years.
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Betr2Trvl View Post
Don't take 129 over Blood Mtin / Vogel State Park between Clevland and Blairsville...... Nope, don't do it, for various reasons..... And I'm not one to shy away from a mountain road, (I just drove Slumgullion Pass and Wolf Creek Pass in CO in the last 6 weeks for instance) but I've found there seem to be more I won't tackle in the N. GA / E TN, W NC areas than out west, just because they are very tight and or simply not suitable for large vehicles for other and often multiple reasons.

Yes, 129 is steep, particularly on the south side, but that alone is not the reason.

Many if not most of the switchbacks on the south side are 2 lanes up which is great, but, they are very tight, AND many have a lot of banking, great in a sports car or sports bike, but not in a longer RV. I bet your outside front tire could well be 5' above your inside rear in some cases, twisting your coach like a wet noodle....... Wether there are 2 lanes on your side or not, you will proably take up the better part of 2 lanes on the tighter switchbacks, so where you only have 1 lane (particularly if coming down that side) you'll be over the center line.

I think US129 over Blood Mtn. on the south side is the best sports car / sports bike road I've ever driven, Tail of the Dragon included. Oh, and even during the week it's a sports car / sports bike "magnet"; on the weekends it can be a zoo. Even "better" are the sports bike vs. bicycle "wars", not sure if that's been tamed any, but the sport bikers were getting pretty agressive with big groups of bicyclists for a while and saying you wouldn't be welcomed by others on the road is a gross understatement to say the least....

From where we live, (near the junction of I85/I985 for simplicity) I can get to Blairsville via 129 in less than 2 hours easy, but to get there in our coach it's proably 3+ hours to go around via Clayton to get there on relatively RV friendly roads, and given that we've just never gone up there given other "local" alternatives.

Either you'll want to get up to 76 in Clayton via I985 and 23 from the east (probably best route coming up from the south), or from the west I'm not sure what is the prefrerd route is to get to 76 from to Blakrsville via Blue Ridge. 76 is still a rural 2 lane, and can be tight in spots but it is what it is, and the best way.

A couple other roads in the area you should be aware of:

GA75 btw Helen and Macedonia wouldn't be fun in a large RV.

US64 btw. Frankin and Lake Toxaway is no fun in a large RV either, narrow lanes, tight turns, low over hanging trees, no shoulder, and cliffs right next to the road....

US 129 on the west side of the Smokies, between Deals Gap (intersection with 28) and Chilowee is the Tail of the Dragon, and it is a total No Go in any sort of large vehicle, don't even think about it.
Tail of the dragon is not even safe in a car! LOL! The mountain claimed the life of a crotch rocket rider the week before, another crotch rocket pile up last weekend, life flight makes at least two trips a weekend. Its not the mountain, its the riders.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:03 PM   #9
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Just seen a large fifth wheel doing all the wrong things coming south bound on 129. F350 pulling a large fifth wheel not using a lower gear, possibly not in the tow/haul mode, he was going about 10 mph with the trailer brakes rolling smoke. Always use the tow/haul mode when navigating mountains, the transmission will automatically use engine braking regardless if you have gas or diesel engine. If on a steep descent, use the manual shift function so the transmission doesn't automatically shift up when you step on the throttle when coming out of a curve. I have seen some green truckers do the same thing and smoke their brakes. If you have to do more than a light tap of the brakes going down hill, you are in too high of a gear, and going too fast. I missed warning a trucker coming down behind him from further up the mountain, so there is probably some black marks on the pavement!
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:50 AM   #10
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We just left Hiawassee on Wednesday to come to Lakeland. You're going farther west, but we went 76 east to Clayton and took 441/129 to Eatonton when it splits. Then we went 129 to Macon and got on 75 there. It was easy peasy. So, as far as missing Atlanta, this routes works well.
This sounds like a good route. In June as total newbies we took our 37 ft coach from east coast of FL to Blairsville to stay at Crossing Creeks RV Park (which is very nice park BTW). Desperate to avoid Atlanta as daughter and SIL live there and we hate the traffic in car let alone coach, I wound up on GA 75 north of Helen to Hiawassee. Huge mistake. 15mph switchbacks with blind corners and rocks jutting out on door side. Somehow made it unscathed but will not forget. Was given bad advice by people at RV park when i called to discuss route. (in fairness they first said ride ATL Beltway and take 75/575 up from west side).We left going north to NC via 76 through Clayton. Way better.
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Old 09-21-2018, 12:13 PM   #11
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I like to see these posts because as a new coach owner I'm still unsure of where I can go with it. I already got stuck in a sharp right turn on to A-1A (FL coast) so now I sensitive about where I drive and the route I take.

So looking at Google Maps, and coming from 441, there really doesn't seem to be a way to get to Blairsville without using 129 or 75.

And those roads look (to me) to be fine - which is what worries me. I guess I can't count on my Google Map reading skills.

I don't see any easy way to get to it. What's the answer?
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:07 PM   #12
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I like to see these posts because as a new coach owner I'm still unsure of where I can go with it. I already got stuck in a sharp right turn on to A-1A (FL coast) so now I sensitive about where I drive and the route I take.

So looking at Google Maps, and coming from 441, there really doesn't seem to be a way to get to Blairsville without using 129 or 75.

And those roads look (to me) to be fine - which is what worries me. I guess I can't count on my Google Map reading skills.

I don't see any easy way to get to it. What's the answer?
If you are talking about GA 75 north of Helen Ga it is NOT fine. Just did it in June big error.
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:01 PM   #13
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There's no easy way on US-129 or GA-75. Makes me wonder, what's so incredible in Blairsville anyway?
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CountryB View Post
I like to see these posts because as a new coach owner I'm still unsure of where I can go with it. I already got stuck in a sharp right turn on to A-1A (FL coast) so now I sensitive about where I drive and the route I take.

So looking at Google Maps, and coming from 441, there really doesn't seem to be a way to get to Blairsville without using 129 or 75.

And those roads look (to me) to be fine - which is what worries me. I guess I can't count on my Google Map reading skills.

I don't see any easy way to get to it. What's the answer?
Get off 441 in Cornelia and take 23 north to Clayton, then west on 76 to Blairsville.
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