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Old 02-26-2020, 03:55 AM   #1
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I75 alternate: Knoxville TN to Macon GA?

We're taking our first long haul trip from Michigan to Florida in April and are looking at getting off I-75 at times to see some country and enjoy the drive. I was looking at leaving Knoxville TN east on 40 then around Asheville head south on 23 & 441 down through Athens then 129 on to Macon.

Wonder about quality of these smaller highways for our 2000 Bounder 34D gaser, we know we will hit quite a few towns but that is the idea, most of the time we will stick to the big interstates. We have a week of travel time both down and back so some spare time to enjoy the trip. I did get a new RV type Garmin to avoid tunnels and bridges outside our capacity but wonder if anyone has done this route or has other suggested side trips. Historic and Natural wonder type stops suggestions also appreciated. the plan is to head back north on a more easterly route to see a different part of the country.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:59 AM   #2
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If you can't spring for an RV GPS, I suggest getting a Motor Carriers Road Atlas. They are less than $14 on Amazon and list low clearances and tunnels on a state by state basis. It also highlights approved trucker routes. We have an RV GPS and still use the road atlas.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:44 AM   #3
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Have done that route several times. You will have several places that will be 2 lane roads but all are in very good condition. I live just off 129 in Georgia. The only steep climb will be between Dillsboro and Franklin NC. Just take your time on it and it will be easy.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:54 AM   #4
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Have done that route several times. You will have several places that will be 2 lane roads but all are in very good condition. I live just off 129 in Georgia. The only steep climb will be between Dillsboro and Franklin NC. Just take your time on it and it will be easy.


I agree I have traveled those roads a number of times myself. I would only caution that east of Knoxville and around Maryville TN there are a number of low railroad underpasses. You are fine if you stay on the US numbered routes.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:06 AM   #5
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Try 411 to 41. When you get to Atlanta, take 285 around the west side of town, then catch 41 again south of the airport.

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Old 02-26-2020, 08:21 AM   #6
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Have done that route several times. You will have several places that will be 2 lane roads but all are in very good condition. I live just off 129 in Georgia. The only steep climb will be between Dillsboro and Franklin NC. Just take your time on it and it will be easy.
If in Franklin, NC do yourself a favor and have lunch or supper at Caffe Rel. Definitely not your typical chain diner. Awesomely different menu. They are generally not open for a couple of hours in the afternoon, BTW.
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:57 PM   #7
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I agree I have traveled those roads a number of times myself. I would only caution that east of Knoxville and around Maryville TN there are a number of low railroad underpasses. You are fine if you stay on the US numbered routes.
He’s not going into Knoxville, he’s taking I-40 towards Asheville. 23 is one of my favorite roads except for the slow moving 4 wheelers. 441 has one decent climb/decent shortly after getting on. Take your time going down... couple fairly sharp curves. 441 is a good 4 lane, most of the way... some 2 lane.

Where in Fla are you going?
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:33 PM   #8
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If in Franklin, NC do yourself a favor and have lunch or supper at Caffe Rel. Definitely not your typical chain diner. Awesomely different menu. They are generally not open for a couple of hours in the afternoon, BTW.

BEST "Gas Station" food I've even eaten!
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:05 PM   #9
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It's a great way to go! I do it all the time when going to the Smokies. From 40 take 74 to 23 to 441 to 129. Jump on 75 just south of Macon Ga. It keeps you away from the dreaded Atlanta mess. A great place to stop and take in some sightseeing is River Vista Mountain Village and RV Resort. You will love the area and the campground! I use a Garmin GPS.*
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:51 AM   #10
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If your wife is a fan of the book and movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” you can make a side trip to Juliette Ga where most of the scenes were filmed. The cafe (Whistle stop) used in the movie is open for lunches. I surprised my wife with a stop there. She got all giddy and didn’t pester me to shave for the next two days.

From 441 in Eatonton take 16 west to Monticello and then 83 to Junction with US 23. I drove that route in October 2019.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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BEST "Gas Station" food I've even eaten!
I would concur. Kinda weird having a restaurant that good attached to a gas station.

I've traveled the 441 quite bit in GA. The southern part is two lane but deliciously rural and uncrowded. I usually branch off to Jasper, FL and hook up with I-75 there. One could continue on 441 to I-10 or farther.

Do double check a traffic app for accidents before heading to I-75, backups can be horrendous. BTDT.
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:35 AM   #12
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Exit I-75 southbound at Calhoun GA onto GA 53 toward Rome. At Rome get on US 27 southbound to LaGrange. At LaGrange go east on GA 109 for 3 miles. After passing the mall, enter onto I-85 north for about 100 yds then immediately enter on to Interstate 185 southbound to Columbus/ Ft Benning , then east on GA 520/82 through Ft Benning staying on GA 520 to Albany, then GA 520 back to I-75 at Tifton.

Best news is you miss all of jammed up Atlanta. Along the way you move south out of the mountains, crossing the Georgia Piedmont and into the coastal plain. Zero Traffic, a few stop lights in a few towns, mostly 65 MPH, ALL 4 lane road. This route is not out of the way. Best RV route in the south!

Sites along the way include Callaway Gardens and resort, Pine Mountain, FDR State Park, West Point Lake and its awesome COE Campgrounds, the new Infantry Museum in Columbus GA and more.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:09 AM   #13
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Exit I-75 southbound at Calhoun GA onto GA 53 toward Rome. At Rome get on US 27 southbound to LaGrange. At LaGrange go east on GA 109 for 3 miles. After passing the mall, enter onto I-85 north for about 100 yds then immediately enter on to Interstate 185 southbound to Columbus/ Ft Benning , then east on GA 520/82 through Ft Benning staying on GA 520 to Albany, then GA 520 back to I-75 at Tifton.

Best news is you miss all of jammed up Atlanta. Along the way you move south out of the mountains, crossing the Georgia Piedmont and into the coastal plain. Zero Traffic, a few stop lights in a few towns, mostly 65 MPH, ALL 4 lane road. This route is not out of the way. Best RV route in the south!

Sites along the way include Callaway Gardens and resort, Pine Mountain, FDR State Park, West Point Lake and its awesome COE Campgrounds, the new Infantry Museum in Columbus GA and more.
Andersonville is also in that general area. A haunting experience from the Civil War. There is a decent modest in town CG, water, electric, (sewer?) within a long walk of the site or simply drive over. We toured the place and spent a night.
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Old 02-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #14
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Your proposed route is the best. Ivylog is right. Enjoy the ride and pay attention to the down hill section north of Franklin. Curves have very little bank and can sneak up on you.
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