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Old 08-02-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Question Skyline Drive side trip off I-81?

Hi, New here!!!

We bought an older ('91 Winnebago Itasca, 32') earlier this year and contemplating a trip from CT to TX for Thanksgiving this year.

We'd like to stop off in Nashville on the trip down and see the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday evening. Mapping software suggests I-81 to I-40 to I-30 for the trip down.

We should have some extra time on the way down and I'm toying with trying all or part of Skyline Drive in VA. It looks like it only adds 50 or so miles, but I'm guessing that they're "harder" miles because of the hills and turns.

Any thoughts, recommendations??

Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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The terrain would be harder as it's a two lane as opposed to an interstate, but it's worth the trade-off. It's a beautiful drive that you'll always remember. Take the time and enjoy the scenery.

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Old 08-02-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchhiker View Post
The terrain would be harder as it's a two lane as opposed to an interstate, but it's worth the trade-off. It's a beautiful drive that you'll always remember. Take the time and enjoy the scenery.

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Exactly. Always take the time, every chance you get. You will find that the best part of every trip is the "shunpiking" section, where you putter along down some winding scenic two-lane country road, seeing it from a viewpoint you never would in a car.

We did a lot of that in the '89 Suncruiser we had . . for us, what it's all about. You came to the right website. Welcome.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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Ken,

Definitely come into Skyline Drive off I66 and Rt. 340 through Front Royal, VA. It's a gradual climb versus a hard climb up the side of Shenandoah National Park. Buy the CD at the ranger kiosk which tells you about the road as you drive.

Big Meadows has a great campground. No hookups but sites will fit your 32-footer fine. They have a dump station.

Skyline Drive meets up with I64 which takes you back to I81. If you have more time to kill, stay on the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the Great Smokey Mts.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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Isn't there one low clearance tunnel on Sky Line???
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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Mary's Rock Tunnel is 12' 8" just south of Rt. 211 entrance. I believe the 'center line route' is higher if there is no oncoming traffic or if 'Bandit' is running interference for you. From website:

Note: RVs, camping trailers, and horse trailers are welcome, but be prepared to shift into low gear. Also, be sure you will clear Marys Rock Tunnel (just south of Thornton Gap entrance from Route 211) at 12’8”.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the great responses. This looks like a great website, I'm glad that I found it!


RVThere,

We weren't planning on staying overnite there, but your advice is opening up some options. I like getting out of the Northeast at night when possible. We could leave CT late at night and be near Skyline Drive in the AM.

Your advice about the gradual climb in got me looking at Google maps and their terrain/topo feature.

At first, I thought you meant staying on Rt.340 which runs along train tracks to Luray. It would be nice to be able to visit the caverns, but that last part of Rt. 211 to the Thornton Gap entrance of Skyline Drive looks very steep.

You're saying to take the Front Royal entrance into the park, correct??

As far as Mary's Rock Tunnel, I'm a little under 11' (not counting my CB antenna), so I'm in good shape there.

Big Meadows Campground looks nice and it's open until Nov. 29th.

So many options . . . decisions, decisions!

Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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I would recommend that you DO NOT take 211 south. That is motorcycle paradise and as twisty-turny as Deals Gap, TN. Last year I was on it in a 1 ton dually and believe me I was very happy that the 5er was not attached. I would never take it with the now 40' MH with TOAD. There is a big yellow caution sign warning motorcycle riders that the next 3 miles are extremely curvy. Or some words to that affect.

Happy trails.

p.s., And I have been on Deals Gap to Maryville, TN on a motorcycle. And it is aptly called "The Tail Of The Dragon." There are 311 turns in 18 miles.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Ken,

Yes I am suggesting that you enter through the Front Royal entrance. Off I66, you drive through the center of town but it saves a heavy haul up the side of the mountain. If you're pulling a toad, you can stay a Big Meadows and hit Luray Caverns as a side trip.

PS - If the weather is fogging or rainy, don't bother with Skyline Drive and save it for the trip back.

Safe Travels!
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:51 AM   #10
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Wayne & Tom,

Thanks for the advice!

It's so nice to be able to hear from people who've been there/done that.

-Ken
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:46 AM   #11
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Thumbs up A Great Ride!!

Hi Ken,

I have been on it a few times and will echo what everyone has already said!! Also since you say your going from Ct to TX, I just wanted to say that if Ct is your home area Check out the NorEaster section on this site! We have a good time at the rallies and folks get togeather now & then besides the Offical Rallies! Welcome to iRV2 it's a great site full of Great info & Folks!!! Remeber make it about each trip not just where you end up!!! Safe Travels !!!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:11 AM   #12
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Ken,
We stayed at North Fork RV Resort, Front Royal, VA, last year in our 3400RL. We backed up to the North Fork River and had a wonderful view. you can wade in the river, or walk to the end of the CG and Toob the river. It would be a great jumping off point for the next day to ride Skyline Drive. The campground is a Passport America CG. If you are not a PA member and are interested, let me know and I'll give you my number. I get $10 off next years dues. North Fork normal fee is $40, but with PA it is $20. PA discount valid for maximum 2 weeks stay/visit, Sunday through Thursday only.

The original 50% Discount Camping Club - Passport America

Sounds like I'm a vendor for PA!!!!!! NOT

Edited: p.s., reservations a must this time of year.
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