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Old 08-08-2014, 08:09 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Ball Ground , Georgia
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Posts: 281
Is the Blue Ridge Parkway safe

I would like to travel some or all of the Blue Ridge Parkway starting at the southern end. I have a 1976 thirty one foot. I have a 2500 diesel TV so I think I have enough pulling and stopping power. My concern is clearance both top and side. Should I be concerned of meeting something in a sharp curve or side clearance . I want to go but don't want to put any dimples in my AS.

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 08-08-2014, 08:16 AM   #2
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I have been up and down the Parkway with my Airsteam. No clearance problems. Enjoy your trip.


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Old 08-08-2014, 08:24 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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I have wondered the same thing. Let us know how your trip goes and if there are any pucker moments while towing the BRPW.

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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2014 28' International
Blacksburg , Virginia
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I agree with what Dan said. The road is very wide and surprisingly most of the brush is cut back from the road adequately here in Virginia. The road needs to be paved, but other than that, it is a good drive.
There are plenty of scenic view places with good space to park for a rest, with your trailer.
Have a good one !
Ra, Chelle & Natasha
For my next trick, I will use my new Airstream & Dodge Ram 2500 CTD to make this pile of money disappear.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
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1998 31' Excella 1000
1979 23' Safari
Mooresville , Indiana
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The WBCCI has had several Caravans along the Blue Ridge Parkway, using the entire route. Here is what it says.

Come with us as we travel the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end. It will be a 500 mile adventure as we explore the history of the area enjoy the scenery, listen to the mountain music, and soak up the beauty of this unique roadway and the surrounding area. The driving route will cover the entire Parkway and our stops will allow us to experience things like train excursions, Early American history, the biggest private home in the USA, some Civil War history, a Winery or two, mountain crafts, and much, much more.
A word of Caution:
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a winding 2 lane scenic road with a speed limit of 45 mph (you should drive slower than that to take maximum advantage of the scenery). It extends for about 500 miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. The road goes up and down and around the mountains -often- and the elevation varies from 650 to 4900ft. Our longest travel day will be about 140 miles. If you think this adventure is for you, your equipment should be in top shape.
WBCCI Caravans ยป Future Caravans 2015

They are doing another Caravan next year.

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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The speed limit is 45 mph. This is a 2 lane country road. There are lots of twists and turns and there are quite a few places where you CAN go over a 400 foot drop if you have "acute cranial-rectal inversion." It is like any OTHER 2 lane country road in hilly country, but better designed than many of them.

One hint, use your map or GPS for the scenic overlooks - most have a lane to exit the road, and one at the other end to exit the overlook. Ask me how I found ONE that didn't have enough room to turn around in even with a 20 point turn and only one entrance. OH and a semi-BLIND curve leading up to the entrance/exit!) Thanks to the kindness of strangers.... A NICE "bad biker dude" directed me into a safe backout and stood guard against someone coming round the curve! 20/20 hindsight? There was about a 30 foot turn lane leading into that rest area. And If I'd slowed way down I would have seen that It was a 2 lane entrance exit. I could have put on my left turn signal (or flashers) and eased back into very light traffic without getting all the way inside and having to back out.

Extreme fog conditions can happen - you are literally IN the clouds - so be prepared to creep along at 10 mph with your flashers on until you find an exit or a campground or an overlook where you can wait it out. The parkway can be closed due to snow too. It might be a winter wonderland in the snow, but I'd rather not have a trailer attached if I were exploring - snowmobile though?

Do plan to stay at Virginia Highland Haven.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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Trent Woods , North Carolina
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We did it last year...gorgeous drive. Speed limit is 45 but we were not going that fast. I think we averaged a driving speed of 35-40, with plenty of stops in turnouts. The twisties are very tiring and 4 hours was all I cared to drive. I found it less tiring to drive down the middle of the road until I saw oncoming traffic, then I would stay in my lane. I did 3 days on the Parkway and while it was beautiful, I will probably never do it with the Airstream again.Larry
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:02 AM   #8
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1989 29' Excella
1974 Argosy 26
1999 25' Safari
Youngsville , North Carolina
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Just be careful where you get off the BRP, there are several small roads leading east that have VERY sharp turns, if you meet a truck going the opposite way there is not room for both of you. Keep to the main hyways, and fill up on fuel before you get on it. The road has spectactular views and plenty of scenic pull offs all are large enough for your rig.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #9
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As a solo traveler, I'll probably never do the Blue Ridge Parkway, more's the pity. I've learned, by hard-earned experience on Arkansas's Scenic Byway 7, that the drive isn't very scenic at all if you're the one driving and you can't look away from the road long enough to admire the view!
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #10
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1987 32' Excella
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Safe. Beautiful. Do the whole thing if you can. As someone said, be very, very careful about any side roads to and from. You can have real trouble with many of the approaches. That's a good reason to just go from end to end. At the Cherokee end follow the major newer roads from a map and do not just follow the gps. There is a kOA near the Cherokee end. Expensive but pretty well located to start. The campground at peaks of otter is very hilly. We could not get level enough for the fridge to run in our site. The parkway is slow and hilly. One person in a 350 van pulling a 30' airstream said it is the first time he ever drove 450 miles in 2 nd gear. It gets a lot of traffic during leaf peeping season.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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Actually in most of VA the darn thing is 35 mph with 45 mph interceded here and there. Honestly, as someone who lived near it for their whole life, I'd just do the section in Shenandoah. It's the prettiest (IMO). Unhitch and drive across Skyline Drive for the best views. Or Camp in Skyline. Big Meadows is a pretty campground. Nice restaurant there too. Lots of great day hikes.

Pull offs could be tricky with the Airstream. And watch out for BIKES!
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Powder Springs , Georgia
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We did a leaf-peeping tour in the fall of 2012. We went to Acadia National Park in Maine and then took the scenic route home (to GA.): Skyline Drive in Shenandoah as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. I, like you, was nervous about driving on the parkway. I'm not sure what I can say to relieve your fears but it really wasn't bad at all. I was comfortable with the road and the trailer. (Don't forget to use low gear if you need to instead of wearing out your brakes.)

I do remember that there are some exits from the parkway that you should avoid because some of them can be quite treacherous. I hesitate to tell you this without providing the details (i.e. avoid exits: X,Y, and Z.) I'm sure the information is available somewhere.

If you have enough time to include it, I agree with BoldAdventure, Skyline Drive truly is a gem!

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Old 08-08-2014, 12:00 PM   #13
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There's room, see!

Full disclosure, I think this tunnel was actually on Skyline Drive:

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Old 08-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I think driving the Parkway even with an Airstream is a pretty easy and relaxing drive, as long as you are not in a hurry.

The speed limit on the entire 460 mile Parkway is 45 mph. The speed limit on the 105 mile Skyline Drive is 35 mph.

One of our favorite campgrounds is Loft Mountain on the Skyline Drive. They have great sunsets from the Appalachian Trail that skirts the campground.

Enjoy the drive.


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