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Old 08-21-2019, 07:16 AM   #1
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Great Smoky Mountains Driving Advice

In early September we are staying in a KOA near GSMNP. Coming from the Dallas area I-20 & I-40 are just about the same but Iíve driven I-20 many times and would prefer to drive through Tennessee.

My question is, howís park road 441 with a 25 footer. Seems to be a lot of hairpins and overlooks? Iím sure traffic can be bad, too but I assume most schools will be back in session after Labor Day.

Thank you,
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
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No issue taking our Serenity 28 through Gatlinburg and over the mountains to Cherokee towing with an F250 diesel. I would not do “Tail of the Dragon” ( but the pictures from Kilboy.com would be awesome)
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:42 AM   #3
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Not too sure about 441. From the Google map views it looks normal for a two lane scenic route. The shoulder looks clean. Not always really wide, but not intimidating. Would think 441 was a nice route to explore.

Now I40 through Tennessee is another story. It's been a lot of years and we were not towing, but I swore to never take I40 through there again. It's not road condition. It's the trucks. Enough hills that they struggle, but not so steep they can't make time. They group together so that when one decides to make better time it's a long slow pass and the left lane is full of cars trying same, so that truck is likely to pop out right in front of you.

It's possible, that all works reasonable when towing. I doubt it and won't try. Good Luck with your routing. I understand not wanting to travel same over and over. Something new does help. Pat
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:05 AM   #4
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441 through the park is a very good road. Wide, smooth, well marked. I40 is a good road and it has heavy truck traffic. All with less traffic than Dallas. If you go in the Cherokee, NC area beware of blindly following the GPS. Check parkway exits with a map. The G p s will sometimes put you where you can not go with a trailer over in that area.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:38 PM   #5
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Hwy 441 should be fine but no go on some of the roads off of it in the park. Don't go to Clingmans Dome for example even though they takebussrs up there.

I-40 is fine. Well depending upon traffic. The nice thing is it dosen't go through Atlanta like I-20.

Hwy 441 through Gatlinburg can be a trail.

You cannot legally tow on the blue ridge parkway.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:49 PM   #6
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We took an Airstream caravan on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sure it is legal to tow on the Parkway. No commercial vehicles though.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:42 PM   #7
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Many nice campgrounds on the BRP.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:42 PM   #8
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Any "must sees" on the BRP and any "don't try thats"? What CG did you like best on the run over the BRP? Your impressions are appreciated. Sorry for a bit of hyjack, but it's related. Trust me. . Pat
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:36 PM   #9
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Also read the sections on the park website about what roads are friendly to trailers. Heed these warnings!

I took my Airstream to GSMNP for its shakedown trip and I stayed at Elkmont for 4 nights and thought it was great. But an ďinformation centerĒ employee in one of the towns gave us bad advice and we took a road to Elkmont which basically eats trailers for dinner. There is a turn onto a wooden bridge which has apparently ripped off the sides of many an airstream.

Thank goodness a ranger coming the other way on the road saw us coming and turned around and pulled us over. And though we (including three ranger) blocked traffic on this tiny mountain road for 20-30 minutes I was able to turn the trailer around in a small pullout, having to unhitch and rehitch a propride in order to get the rig facing the other direction.

This was my first trip with the Airstream. I learned a lot that day.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
We took an Airstream caravan on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sure it is legal to tow on the Parkway. No commercial vehicles though.
True..... There are camp grounds too. But I recall some restriction. I usually base camp and travel from trailer to local area.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:54 AM   #11
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We did the Taste of the BRP caravan in May, 2019. It was fantastic! On our way to the starting point we went across the Cherohala Skyway towing our 2019 27' Globetrotter. It's a beautiful drive - but not one that I would do again while towing. Lots of turns and the highway is a bit narrow in spots.

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Old 08-22-2019, 09:05 AM   #12
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The Blue Ridge runs along the crest. There are a few good roads that access lt. Be sure you take one of them when towing. There are also roads you do not want to try. My GPS took me off a US highway onto a dirt forest service road in the Virginia mountains and then back to the highway. A road map is your friend here. Even some of the main US highways are hairpins and grades for stretches. I write this from Yellowstone Park. I have not seen anything out here that is more challenging than the highland regions of NC, TN, and VA for pulling.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:16 AM   #13
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Dallas to Nashville is 10 1/2 hours going on I-30 to Arkansas and then I-40 through Arkansas and Tennessee. I-40 is a piece of cake across TN. 80 MPH all time. Take the I-840 loop around Nashville to avoid Nashville traffic. It's longer however it a nice ride and good road. It connects back up with I40 East of Nashville.

If you are little adventurous take the I-140 Pellessippi Parkway Exit on the West side of Knoxville towards Alcoa and Maryville TN. Follow it into Maryville and keep going through Maryville on TN 321. You will leave Maryville on TN 321 going through Walland TN and eventually end up in Townsend TN. Nice little town with great campgrounds. You can enter the GSMNP right there just east of Townsend which will take you to GSMNP entrance in Gatlinburg on TN 441 OR continue on 321 North towards Pigeon Forge. 2 lane road from Townsend to Pigeon Forge however no problem with your trailer. Stop in Wears Valley in the middle and have a look around. When you git to Pigeon Forge you can turn right on TN 441 and go to Gatlinburg and eventually Cherokee NC. This is same location you would arrive at IF you take the GSMNP entrance in Townsend TN.

Make sure you stop at Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley NC. Well worth the time and very interesting.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:24 AM   #14
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Come I 20 to Atlanta north to Helen Ga.for October Fest and stay at the Top of Georgia Airstream Park. The fest starts in September. Then continue north to Hiawassee Ga. and on to GSMNP. Great place to stay over at the foot of the Blue Ridge.
TOG is 6 miles north of Helen on Georgia 75.
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