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Old 11-27-2021, 08:13 PM   #1
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Scenic Route second thoughts

So I am driving East on I40 through AR. I knew the Hot Springs National Park was close so I looked at general distance off I40. Put it in my GPS and didn't look too bad so I went ahead and set it as a destination.

It routed me off I40 on Route 7 a "Scenic" byway. No big deal, only about 5o miles. Jumped off the interstate and went through a small town and then routed onto the scenic byway.
The GPS soon started displaying sharp curves warnings continuously. This got progressively worse but the road was nothing I hadn't driven before in my ~40' motor home pulling a toad. It handled it pretty well, kept my finger on the PacBrake and let it do it's job.

I thought this isn't too bad, I got about 2/3rd of the way through the route and then there was a large yellow warning sign saying ~"Next 3.5 miles sharp curves and steep grades". Yikes, like the lat 30 miles wasn't that way.

Sure enough, the curves became more frequent and the grades more demanding. Some curves were 180 with steep banking roadway.

I should have known when all I was seeing were smaller SUV's either approaching me or piling up behind me. It might have been my imagination but I thought some of the drivers were wearing driving gloves. I slowed where I could and let them pass. Some of them took the que and did it pretty quickly, others would ride behind me until I almost stopped and used my turn signal to give them a clue.

Anyway, the route was almost 55 miles. Wonder how many vehicles I passed who wondered what was that Idiot driving a Motor Home on this route. Toward the end a number just kept following to see if I'd complete the route. I'd probably be wonder the same thing.


All in all I made it. The motor home preformed great. PacBrake worked great.

But the lesson learned is not to just blindly follow the GPS. I should have taken the time and investigated the route. I'm sure I could have found a more RV friendly route.
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Old 11-27-2021, 08:22 PM   #2
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I always checked my scenic routes or any new route I traveled with my Road Atlas as I also got burned once.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
So
I should have known when all I was seeing were smaller SUV's either approaching me or piling up behind me. It might have been my imagination but I thought some of the drivers were wearing driving gloves. I slowed where I could and let them pass. Some of them took the que and did it pretty quickly, others would ride behind me until I almost stopped and used my turn signal to give them a clue.
I found the above line pretty funny. I always worry until I see a large truck on a side road that I've selected.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:53 PM   #4
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Wonder how many vehicles I passed who wondered what was that Idiot driving a Motor Home on this route.
You were passing vehicles?
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:00 PM   #5
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I say that GPSr units are for amusement purposes only. Hopefully you were amused along your 55 mile route
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:08 PM   #6
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Chuck A Nut drive along the Washington Pacific coast is a great drive. BUT I also should have check it out first. 8500 lbs limit, tight curves, right up against rock cliffs.
My 60' with toad DP made it. No oncoming traffic. Will never do it again.
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:01 PM   #7
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Hwy 7 in Arkansas is a favorite with motorcylists but as you found not the greatest for RVs. Glad you made it okay and hope you enjoyed the scenery.
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Old 11-28-2021, 12:03 AM   #8
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Good writeup by JacwJames. I enjoy taking Hwy 7 from Hot Springs to the Russellville area, then on to the Harrison area in the Ozarks. It is a real "scenic" drive as he portrayed for us.
I'm a little shorter than him and also can take my time, so it doesn't matter if I meet myself coming and going on some of the curves. It is a beautiful drive, and I just like Arkansas.
Thanks Jim for sharing your experience and glad you enjoyed it.
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
I should have known when all I was seeing were smaller SUV's either approaching me or piling up behind me. It might have been my imagination but I thought some of the drivers were wearing driving gloves. I slowed where I could and let them pass. Some of them took the que and did it pretty quickly, others would ride behind me until I almost stopped and used my turn signal to give them a clue.
These folks are among my pet peeves. They'll tailgate for miles like they're desperate to get by then refuse to pass when they have a perfectly safe and legal opportunity to do so.

I assume you got onto Hwy 7 somewhere around Russellville? If so, I don't know a better way to Hot Springs that wouldn't have added 30+ miles. Hope you enjoyed your visit.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:35 AM   #10
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The trucking app Hammer will tell you if the route isn't a good idea. I'll do the route on Google, then verify it in Hammer. You can use it in place of Google or any GPS.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:55 AM   #11
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Wonder if RV Trip Wizard would have blocked that route? Not enough info for me to plug it in and try.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:09 AM   #12
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Wonder if RV Trip Wizard would have blocked that route? Not enough info for me to plug it in and try.
Look up Hot Springs, AR to Russellville, AR in Trip Wizard and see what route it provides. I put it in Google Maps and it said go Hwy 7 the entire way. I don't use Trip Wizard, so do know what it would do. Let us know what route it takes if you look it up.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:02 AM   #13
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I ran it through Trip Wizard using "RV Routing" and it used Highway 7. I have RVTW set up for my coach, towing (60' total length, 32k lbs, 12.5' height).

Regards.

Chuck
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:29 AM   #14
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Jim, you need a Trucker's Atlas as a backup!
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