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Old 02-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #1
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Northern Alabama and Georgia

We are planning a trip in a few weeks and will be traveling across northern
Alabama and Georgia into South Carolina. We have a 35 ft Class A motorhome.
We have found campgrounds but they are off the beaten path. I was wondering what the roads are like ? Do you go through mountains with narrow roads and drop offs ? I know this is a loaded question because every state has it's small county roads which can be a joy in scenery but a pain in narrow and curvy.
Appreciate your feedback.
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #2
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A few considerations driving “large RVs” from my perspective in the area you are referencing. Not necessarily all of the roads to avoid, there are plenty more, but certainly ones that come up from time to time for RVers, and ones I am familiar with. I’ve (somehow) lived in the N. Atl. Burbs for 20 years, and spent plenty of time driving these roads for “fun” in sports cars before we got our RV 4 years ago.....

I'm not one to shy away from a mountain road, but I've found there seem to be more I wouldn’t tackle and want to avoid in the RV 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.

To start off with: US 129 on the west side of the Smokies, between Deals Gap (intersection with GA28) and Chilowee, TN 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.

These routes would be no fun in a large RV; narrow lanes, tight turns, low over hanging trees, no shoulder, and cliffs right next to the road.
GA75 btw Helen, GA and Macedonia, GA
US64 btw. Frankin, NC and Lake Toxaway, NC
US19 east of Cherokee, NC

US129 over Blood Mtin / Vogel State Park between Clevland, GA and Blairsville, is one I would not even consider driving a large RV as well. Yes, US129 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 going up the south side 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 going up, so where you only have 1 lane (particularly if coming down that side) you'll be over the center line. Going down the south side wouldn’t be any fun in a large RV either.

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. Even during the week it's a sports car / sports bike "magnet"; on the weekends it can be a zoo; saying you wouldn't be welcomed by others on the road is a gross understatement to say the least.

Any other specifics?

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Old 02-15-2019, 09:54 PM   #3
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Generally speaking, I'd putter along south of Atlanta out towards Eatonton and from there head wherever in South Carolina. That would avoid any excessive excitement of steep narrow winding one-lane roads or 85mph traffic.

The north Georgia mountains is the land of burned brakes.

We could help more if you could be more specific.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #4
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Thank you

Thank you for your responses. We are looking at these places in Georgia :
Toccoa off Hwy 123, Cleveland, Danielsville, Blairsville and Little River Canyon.
Is there a good highway going across to Greensville S.C. or would it be better to get back to I-85 ?
In Alabama we are looking at: Camp Hill by Opelika, Fort Payne and Jasper-
Bankhead National Forest ( Clear Creek ).
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:57 AM   #5
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Approach Cleveland from the south (US-129) or east (SR-115 / SR-105) only. A good CG in Cleveland is https://www.yonahgocamping.com/index.html It's easy to get to and food/fuel is at Ingles a couple of mile south of the CG. Don't take the rig into Helen; roads are tight and there's no place to park.

It's no-go between Blairsville and Cleveland. Don't even think about it.

Cleveland eastward: SR-115, SR-105 toward Cornelia, US-23 to US-123 to SR-17 Toccoa bypass to Lavonia. You'll want to get on I-85 at Lavonia to cross the river.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Cleveland is a neat place but is growing very quickly now. If you go thru Cleveland, take 115 east out of Cleveland toward Clarkesville in order to get further east into SC.

Blairsville is not a good choice if you intend to go south from there. 129 South out of Blairsville will take you over Blood Mountain (already mentioned) and some very crooked and steep mountain roads. I recommend you don't do that route, but if you do, you will pass Vogel SP that is quite beautiful and popular. A better route would be Clarkesville and then US441/23 South to Commerce. You will pass Tallulah Falls SP in the small town of Tallulah Falls (is that amazing!) Beautiful park and some interesting history.
Not sure why you would want to add Danielsville to this list other than seeing the area. In Commerce (US441 bypass) turn east on hiway Ga98 toward Ila and Danielsville. Nice straight 2 lane road to Danielsville. In Danielsville you will hit a traffic circle that is a bit bigger than a 10 gallon hat (trucks run on the curb coming thru it) There you turn N (left) onto US29 N toward Royston and Hartwell. Royston is the home of the famous baseball player Tyrus (Ty) Cobb, who gave thousand and thousand of dollars to the town to build a hospital. Now in the little town of Franklin Springs, just outside Royston, you will pass Victoria Bryant SP. This is a beautiful park and the campsites are the best we have ever seen in all the years we have been RVing. Electric and 30AMP, but sites are roomy, level and very well kept.

From Royston, you will stay on US29 to and through Hartwell, follow the signs. The highway will the take you into S Carolina and on into Anderson. As you approach SC state line you will see and Lake Hartwell and the Savannah river. On the lake and just outside the COE headquarters for the lake you will see Watsadlers COE campground. NICE and right on the lake. One very popular site has water on three sides.

Continuing east on US 29 toward Anderson from Watsadlers you will cross a high bridge over the Savannah River. On the left is the backside of Hartwell Dam and the hydroelectric plant.

When you get into SC your next town in Anderson.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:04 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thank you John Hicks and Doc. This really helps and we love state parks. The place in Daniesville is a vineyard with Harvest Host. It is always great to hear from people that have been there and done that, especially for those of us who have never been there.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:10 PM   #8
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"The place in Daniesville is a vineyard with Harvest Host."


Is Boutier Winery and Inn you speak of ? If so, it really is not Danielsville at all. It does have a D'ville rural route address and that is all.
It is on very narrow tar and gravel roads out in the country. I can almost guarantee you will get lost trying to get there. This is the only winery/vineyard I know of in the area and I have lived here most of my life. I would not drive my MH on those roads, I don't even like the idea of my new truck going thru there. If this is NOT the place you speak of them please disregard.
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:34 AM   #9
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Order this https://www.mountaindirectory.com/shop/ and use it to prepare for any trip (I bought the set). Carry it with you so you can make intelligent decisions on the fly. It tells you things like "avoid this road at all cost, in a large vehicle" - it's very handy and worth the reasonable price. I am trying to see some friends in NC south of Asheville and have found, via this reference, lots of routes that could destroy my 40ft coach while trying to get to their location.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKins View Post
Order this https://www.mountaindirectory.com/shop/ and use it to prepare for any trip (I bought the set). Carry it with you so you can make intelligent decisions on the fly. It tells you things like "avoid this road at all cost, in a large vehicle" - it's very handy and worth the reasonable price. I am trying to see some friends in NC south of Asheville and have found, via this reference, lots of routes that could destroy my 40ft coach while trying to get to their location.
I ordered the set (partially based on your recommendations) and was very disappointed when I got them and discovered they don't include north Georgia. The mountains and roads in that area are as bad as any in the east....I can only guess it's was excluded because it's not an area that truckers travel??? Regretting my decision to purchase at this point.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:59 PM   #11
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Thanks for the heads up about the roads going to Cleveland/ Helen area.....going to a Forest River Rally there in Sept......at the campground that was linked.....Yonah...
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:56 PM   #12
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I ordered the set (partially based on your recommendations) and was very disappointed when I got them and discovered they don't include north Georgia. The mountains and roads in that area are as bad as any in the east....I can only guess it's was excluded because it's not an area that truckers travel??? Regretting my decision to purchase at this point.
Sorry it didn't work for you - I was thinking that if the grades weren't 5+ degrees or the turns weren't tight they weren't included. I would agree that it is truck driver oriented, but there are a lot of 40-45ft RVs that will have a hard time going over the same roads as the truckers.

None of the long, low % grades across I-10 in FL, AL and MS (they do jump up over 3-4% at times) weren't included even though they were some long low degree grades. Northern FL in the armpit area has some long low % grades that aren't covered.
Seems that the mountains are the focus. They show what is covered in the early pages of the book, drawing the areas they cover and they are the routes with extreme grades, tight curves, no guard rails on shear drop offs, etc.

Without having this guide some people in their new 40ft RV might decide to take it up through the mountains and gets in trouble. The books aren't expensive. Its helped me plan routes already. Just another tool.

Maybe there is an input area on their website to update the next rev of the book.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:27 PM   #13
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I stand corrected, they did actually cover 3 routes in north Georgia, but in all 3 cases they start their comments by saying, "We didn't actually drive this route, but we were told....". Maybe I'll find value in other sections, but I was a bit disappointed in this as I am planning trips to that area later. Just not finding it to be terribly useful. Actually, you can get much better information on ANY route right here on this forum. But maybe the forum isn't as readily available to you in the cab of the vehicle. I may change my mind and find it a great resource....hope so.
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