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Old 08-22-2016, 07:37 PM   #1
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2016 28' International
Franklin , Maine
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Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway trip

Planning a road trim with my 28 foot Serenity and Chevy Tahoe tow vechicle. Want to do Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway but need input. Have read some scary reports about unpleasant driving along the parkway but most were from Class A owners. Would like to hear from some Airstreamers on their experiences. We plan on a Sept. departure with about a 12 day time limit. My equipment is all 2016 but I am somewhat of a novice at this. Did drive home from Florida to Maine in April but not any long trips other than that. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Don
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:52 PM   #2
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It's a great drive, check out Crabtree Falls, Humpback rock, Big Meadows, the list could be endless! Take your time, relax and stop if you feel like stopping. With all new equipment, (assuming you mean truck and trailer) you should be good to go. My tow vehicle is a 2008 GMC 2500 d max crew. My trailer is a 75 Argosy. I've been all over that area, currently building a "tiny house" in Shenandoah County (Newmarket area) VA but camped from Charlottesville, Crozet, Montebello, Stanardsville, Verona, Harrisonburg, Newmarket, Lexington and Cass WV. I love that part of VA, so much to see and do. Have fun, and don't worry, it's not scary!
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:59 PM   #3
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Great trip! Just do it. We went on a WBCCI caravan the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway with 30 units and everybody made it just fine. Have done the Blue Ridge and the Skyline drive separately also. Yes, the drive is a bit of a challenge. The road is wide enough, well paved, and well marked. But there are few flat or straight spots. The driver has to be on duty at all times. Figure on stopping a lot so the driver can see the views. The speeds are slow. One of the caravan leaders who pulls with a E350 van announced that the BRP trip was the first time he had driven 450 miles in second gear. Between the parks my impression is that the road in the Blue Ridge Parkway is a good bit better for a trailer than the SNP.

One tip: The parkway is a good road but many of the roads that access it are just plain treacherous or even worse with a trailer. Check out the routes to and from the parkway carefully and do not take a route just because your GPS suggested it.

I am not sure how many of the park campgrounds will hold an RV. Sorta plan ahead from that standpoint. We stayed at a lot of campgrounds off the parkway on the campground. I have only spent a 3 or 4 nights in the Airstream in a park campground. Peaks of otter is one. And one down in the Tennessee end.

Side trips: Floyd, the Virginia Highlands Airstream Park, Roanoke, Maggie Valley, GSPN, Ashville, Hendersonville, Front Royal.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:15 AM   #4
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If you will do a search, there are quite a number of threads on this subject. I have posted my experiences there.
In short, one of the most beautiful drives in the country, but it is not restful for the driver. I learned that it is even more work when you try to stay in your lane so I use the whole road until I see someone coming my way, then I stay in my lane. Although the posted limit is 45 on the BRP, I never did more than about 40. I have done enough of the BRP that I do not care to do it again, although I will do part of Skyline next year.
Larry
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:41 AM   #5
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We did part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive on the way back from the WBCCI International this year. We took the 34 footer and pulled with the Chevy Dually. It is a slow beautiful drive, but sometimes can be foggy. One night, we stayed at a NPS, camp near the north end of Skyline drive. If you do not have "Tow Haul", it is hard on your trailer brakes. Pull outs are frequent and big enough to allow the driver to also see the views. Speed limit is 35-40 mph.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:08 AM   #6
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I recently completed three weeks on the Parkway also on the way to WV and the International. "Unpleasant" not in the least. I camped in every official NPS campground I came too. Some days only made 40 miles before stopping at the next campground. Dry camping at its finest. True that the some of the campsites can be a challenge to set up level. But well worth the effort. I met some wonderful people along the way. Beautiful drive with post card views around every corner. Restful relaxing drive at 35 MPH. I am looking forward to a return in the fall to Smoky Mountain NP area as I sort of rushed thru that area to the Parkway. I would recommend having some solar or a small quite generator available. My solar was actually pretty useless as most of the campsites were in heavily wooded shaded areas. I found that running the propane Yamaha 2000 generator for a couple of hours each early evening was sufficient to top up the batteries to safe levels. There are lots of pull over areas if you feel you are holding up traffic. Every one of them had fantastic views. Go, have fun and make lots of memories.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:34 AM   #7
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Question

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Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
We did part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive on the way back from the WBCCI International this year. We took the 34 footer and pulled with the Chevy Dually. It is a slow beautiful drive, but sometimes can be foggy. One night, we stayed at a NPS, camp near the north end of Skyline drive. If you do not have "Tow Haul", it is hard on your trailer brakes. Pull outs are frequent and big enough to allow the driver to also see the views. Speed limit is 35-40 mph.
What does tow haul have to do with brakes? My understanding it has to do with transmission not brakes, to save on brakes just manually down shift to control speed going down hill.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:44 AM   #8
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The new tow haul is a lot different than us old timers know.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:02 AM   #9
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Our new tow vehicle has the tow/haul feature in the transmission, but I prefer to shift manually rather than let the computer decide. Even the steepest downhill grades are easily handled if approached at a reasonable speed and with attention to detail.

The same was true with our old tow vehicle without tow/haul. Just pay attention, start downhill slow, and choose the proper gear. Brakes are seldom necessary. And emergency flashers on starting at the top as you slow down in preparation for the downhill.



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What does tow haul have to do with brakes? My understanding it has to do with transmission not brakes, to save on brakes just manually down shift to control speed going down hill.
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The new tow haul is a lot different than us old timers know.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:06 PM   #10
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We did it last year with a Silverado 1500 and 30' Classic. It was a wonderful drive. We did the whole length and if we did it again we would do 1/2 of it. Big Meadows is really great. The National Park campgrounds are a little sorry. Some of the sites are really tough. They let us pick a good one if the site we had reserved was bad. Have a good trip. Take you time.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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Just do it

It is a beautiful drive, but don't plan on making good time with the speed limit and all the curves. I would plan on NOT driving on weekends or holidays as a lot of people go there for sightseeing.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:24 PM   #12
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Hello, I was the leader of the blue Ridge caravan for two years as of last year and have pulled my 2000 34' airstream with my 1997 F-250 now 346,000 miles on it and there is no problem with any trailer. We also had a couple of 36 & 39' motor homes on the caravans. I never take any ones advice about going any place. Just go and U will find there is no problem. Have been to the panama canal, Baja twice and Alaska twice with my 34' also Newfoundland. Never had a problem any of those places.

I have found in the past if U Listen to some drivers U will not have the good experience of seeing the good old US.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #13
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Hello, I was the leader of the blue Ridge caravan for two years as of last year and have pulled my 2000 34' airstream with my 1997 F-250 now 346,000 miles on it and there is no problem with any trailer. We also had a couple of 36 & 39' motor homes on the caravans. I never take any ones advice about going any place. Just go and U will find there is no problem. Have been to the panama canal, Baja twice and Alaska twice with my 34' also Newfoundland. Never had a problem any of those places.

I have found in the past if U Listen to some drivers U will not have the good experience of seeing the good old US.
Was there any police escorts for traffic as some curves you need most of road way? as some curves are blind. The park way also advises as to length of units. plus the speed racers make it hard to enjoy the drive, pulled over many times both to enjoy views plus let crazies go. Ashville NC. has visitors center with easy on and off from both dir. We drove both ways out of Ashville last fall when colors were at prime.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #14
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. . .
We drove both ways out of Ashville last fall when colors were at prime.
What time of year is considered prime time for folks interested in the fall foliage? From what I read most of the action is over by Election Day.

Thanks,

Peter
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