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Old 04-16-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 148
Blue Ridge Mt Advice

We are newbies headed out on our first adventure. We are planning to head south from Grand Rapids, MI to Top of Georgia AS park and then hook up with the Blue Ridge Parkway going east. We have a 5.7 l hemi jeep pulling a 25 fb. Having never towed through mountains before, how difficult can I expect it to be. Can I make the 45 mph speed limit or should I plan for slower going? Any suggestions on full service campgrounds nearby and things to see are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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1976 31' Sovereign
Ball Ground , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 254
What to do

I too am planing a trip on the Blue ridge parkway. Just a suggestion, Go by Costco and buy a discount ticket (may save 20%) and go by Biltmore House in Ashville NC. Sort of pricey but very interesting.

A husband is the biggest baby you will have and take the most adult supervision.

Gene and Elaine Thomason
Ball Ground Ga.
1976 31 foot Sovereign
2011 GMC 2500HD Denali
6.6 Duramax Diesel
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Are there trailer size restrictions on the Blue RIdge Park way?

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Old 04-23-2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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1995 34' Excella
Corinth , Mississippi
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I traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2012 pulling my 34'ftr. No restrictions on the Parkway, however I did start down a access road to refuel and found that there were signs stating no trucks over 35 feet; it was too late, I could not turn around but by taking both lanes in some switchbacks I made it alright.
Why settle for anything less?
1995 34ft Classic Excella 1000
2012 Kings Ranch F-250 FX-4, 6.7 diesel, 6 speed auto trans.
TAC # MS-8
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:20 AM   #5
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1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
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I remember catching up to about a 33' motorhome on the blue ridge towing a car behind it and all the way down a long hill the brakes lights were on near the bottom smoke started coming out of the wheels. Thankfully he made it down and got pulled over. I stopped and showed him how to cool his brakes. He had no idea about shifting down on down grades.

You will encounter some steep hills, espessially on the access roads but nothing your jeep cannot handle easily if shifted properly.

If you are going down a hill and needing your brakes to control speed then you are in the wrong gear and you need to shift down further or let the speed build in the gear you are in. the hemi needs to be at 3500 to 4000 rpm to get substantial engine braking. Turning the ac on helps as well.

So you are in second gear going down a hill and the rpm starts to climb past 4000 then use the brakes to slow to a speed where you can shift into first gear and let first gear hold it back. There isn't hill it won't easily hold you back on in first gear.

There is a mountain pass directory book you can get that tells you all the grade percentages if you like. I kind of use it in reverse to find where the scenic roads are.

What year is your Jeep and what hitch system are you using?

Have a great trip

Andrew T
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:57 AM   #6
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2006 19' Safari
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Are there any height concerns with the tunnels on the Blue Ridge? I've ridden it many time on a motorcycle but always wanted to take the Bambi there.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:17 AM   #7
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Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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Did it last year (and the U.S. and Canadian Rockies), but with a smaller trailer (23' Safari) and bigger tow vehicle (GMC 2500 diesel pickup) ... my only real advice would be not to think about how fast you can go, but how slow. Patience and caution will pay big dividends. Speed is your enemy here going down grade; remember that your kinetic energy goes up with the square of your speed. So when you crest a hill and start down, be sure you're going SLOW and in the lowest possible gear. You can always upshift and gain speed, but losing speed is a lot harder to do.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
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If I remember the speed limit is 45 mph, and it is a federal spreading ticket if you mess up. A great drive, have fun. Jim
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:56 AM   #9
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I have been on parts of it and did not remember anything that would cause white knuckles. I do remember not liking all the Harley's with straight pipes.

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Old 04-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #10
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Colfax , North Carolina
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The WBCCI has caravans on the parkway from end to end. They would not do this if it was tough to do.
When people lie to you, and refuse to honor their word, don't regret trying to follow a dream, new adventures and friends await you.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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I went on the caravan last year. Have also been to Alaska and the west on caravans. The Blueridge parkway is right up there with hills and curves. I pull a 25 foot Airstream with a diesel. One of the other drivers with a 3/4 ton Ford van (a national caravan leader) remarked that he had never driven 450 miles in second gear before he did the Parkway. The big plus pulling on the Blueridge is that it is well paved and well marked. But for the driver you need to pay attention and you will be pulling and braking a whole lot. Some of the other roads around the parkway are totally unsuitable for trailers so using the GPS to pick routes can lead to very bad results. You will average below 45 if you follow the 45 max speed. We stayed in mostly private campgrounds along the way. We did stay in the peaks of Otter campground. Pretty tight and hilly. Could not get level enough to run the fridge.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:07 AM   #12
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2006 23' Safari SE
Floral City , Florida
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Try Julian Price Park Campground (mile 297) near Blowing Rock, NC. Very few sites by the lake will handle your Airstream, but there is a campground loop up above the campground check in with sites designed to handle larger rigs. It is a great campground, lots of nearby hikes to take, and the lake is lovely. Just be aware, you will be dry camping so a generator is a must. Bathrooms but no showers...typical National Park. Just up the road is the Moses Cone Park with 26 miles of carriage trails. The trails circle Bass Lake, Trout Lake, and go to two mountain tops at about 4,000 feet with lovely views. Don't figure on parking the Airstream at Cone Park...parking is very limited. Grandfather Mountain and GF Mountain State Park are nearby as well.

Also the quaint town of Blowing Rock is worth a visit. Good restaurants, great wine selection at the town's gas station!! and lots of small shops.

Boone is also nearby. It is a larger town and has a greater variety of shopping (WalMart, Lowe's, Larger Grocery Stores, etc.).

I don't think you will have any difficulty with the trailer on the parkway. There are several "exciting" exits from the parkway that are not a lot of fun going down the hill with the silver bullet pushing you along, so plan your exits carefully...use US highway exits where possible.

There is a travel planner available from Blue Ridge Parkway - Home. It has lots of good information on the parkway and nearby towns.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:26 PM   #13
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
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Thanks all! So far the brakes have only been smoking once! Can't wait for the gas station wine stop.

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