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Old 09-24-2014, 05:59 AM   #1
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I-95 or...

NJ to FL with 3 kids.

I'd like to stay away from I-95 where possible, at least for a large part of the route.

We leave Nov. 1 and going to spend two nights on the road. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
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I-81. Less traffic, much more scenic. I just drove down it from New York ( 1000 islands), to VA/TN. Not sure what you'd hook up with from southern VA.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:37 AM   #3
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Once into Ga, you can get on to US 301. This will take you to central Fl. Jim
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:51 AM   #4
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How much of a diversion are you willing to take? Western or Eastern side of Florida?

My first instinct was to think 81. From you that means taking 76 out to PA and then cutting down. You'll avoid Baltimore and DC doing that but add Philly and more miles, so it might be a wash.

You could also go through Baltimore and DC (if you time it right it's no big deal) and then cut over to 81. That's a good route for Western Florida.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SCOTTinNJ View Post
How much of a diversion are you willing to take? Western or Eastern side of Florida?

My first instinct was to think 81. From you that means taking 76 out to PA and then cutting down. You'll avoid Baltimore and DC doing that but add Philly and more miles, so it might be a wash.

You could also go through Baltimore and DC (if you time it right it's no big deal) and then cut over to 81. That's a good route for Western Florida.

Thanks Scott - headed to Disney. Is really like to avoid the cities if at all possible.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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I do it often from CT, Take 287 to exit 78 West, To 81 South, To 77 South, To 26 South (in SC) will bring you to I95. It adds about 100 miles to my trip to Venice FL but avoids NY and DC. Worth it in my opinion.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:02 AM   #7
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I agree with weirdstuff, 81 is the way to go. Up and back from FL to CT this late Spring, less hassle. More hilly but doable, no problem. Go change of pace from the 95 crowd.

We stayed at campgrounds, Walmart, Elks Clubs and a Gander Mountain Store parking lots, good to go! Other options include Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, do a Google for location. These are the options to get FL fast. It seems that November 1 will be cool for campgrounds with pools etc. Get to FL quick and enjoy the warmth!

Where in FL?
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:07 AM   #8
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The Route through the DelMarVa is an option, culminating with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (not sure on the propane restrictions but I think it is do-able). Lots of stop and go with lights though.

I-81 is nice but you have to cut over to Harrisburg from SJ to pick it up or go through Northern Maryland / WV. From there, you can pick up I-77 through Charlotte and on to Columbia SC via I-26 and then pickup I-95 which isn't too bad, or take I-85 through Atlanta and I-75 down to Macon where you can pick up I-16 over to I-95 in Savannah (this is actually a pretty quiet route but getting through Macon construction is a challenge). Taking the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge parkway will lead you to the same routes. I prefer to avoid Charlotte and Atlanta if at all possible. Be aware that Georgia has very few rest areas anymore so plan your stops (SB is better than NB in this regard).

Once into FL on I-95, you can take a short jog over to 301 via 295W to I-10W. This will bring you into Ocala north of the TP. This is a favorite route for most snowbirds towing 5th wheels. Just make sure you watch your speed through Waldo and Lawtey. AAA has designated this area the TOP speed trap in America although recent events have put some pressure on the local law enforcement to amend their practices.

When I travel to SJ, I prefer the DelMarVa, but I am usually not in any hurry. It adds a couple of hours on average... But then again, the BWP also can be extremely variable depending on traffic. I-95 through Megapolis, which now stretches through DC,down through Richmond can be very frustrating at Rush hour(s). SC has the cheapest gas so fuel up there if you can.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firedog1 View Post
I do it often from CT, Take 287 to exit 78 West, To 81 South, To 77 South, To 26 South (in SC) will bring you to I95. It adds about 100 miles to my trip to Venice FL but avoids NY and DC. Worth it in my opinion.
With this route, I suggest taking I-485 to bypass Charlotte on the west side of the city. My GPS never suggests this because it's 3 miles longer, but it is almost always at least as fast as taking I-77 through town, and it is usually much more pleasant.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:28 AM   #10
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We often stop to visit our daughter in Baltimore on the way to Florida. It's an easy connection from Balt. over to I 81 or a nice drive through central VA on 29/15 and work your way to 81. If you like 301 is a good ride with a few stop lights but not bad at all to Richmond then onto I 95. We mostly go 78 - 81- 77 in Va.

I, like you, will go to great lengths to avoid 95 through the DC area but below Richmond it's not bad at all. We've taken 301 all the way through Georgia and it's a nice ride. SO, you have lots of choices.

See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #11
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Your choice on getting to the Delaware Memorial bridge. After the bridge down 95 to 896 just before the Delaware toll. 896 becomes 301 and follow it about 15 miles past Annapolis to where it brakes off of 50 at Bowie. 301 south into Va. and around the Bowling Green bypass. Watch for 301 to turn right at the end of the bypass, Take 301 south to 295 east around Richmond to 95 south. At this point 95 is no worst than any road in Jersey.

Do not use EZ Pass on the Delaware bridge as you will be charge commercial rates if you do.

At Yulee F. take 301 to Ocala and 75

There is a campground, South Forty, just east of exit 41 in Va. that is open year round. Crooked River State Park in Ga.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:34 AM   #12
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Do not use EZ Pass on the Delaware bridge as you will be charge commercial rates if you do.
What's the option? Per the website RV's pay $5 per axle.

Just as a point of reference, I recently drove to DC with the Airstream and paid $20 at the bridge ($5 per axle x 4), $12 at the Baltimore Tunnel, and $7 between the two. That's $39 in tolls plus whatever it costs you on the NJ Turnpike if you hit that.

I'm more north but could have gone out through PA and dropped down. Pretty sure that would avoid almost all tolls. Maybe takes me 30 miles out of the way, adding $10 in gas.

Saving $39 in tolls minus $10 in gas leaves me $29 saved. Pays for a night in a campground should I desire.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:52 AM   #13
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In NY I was able to call the EZ pass service center and verbally request a separate EZ pass tag that is linked to a non-commercial charge for a passenger vehicle (F250) towing a trailer with 2 axles. It is blue and comes with a storage sleeve so only 1 tag is charged when I travel. Have been able to use it all up and down the east coast. That has kept me from getting commercial charges.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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As a llife long VA resident and hater of all things I-95 north of Petersburg/Richmond....I agree with taking the Eastern Shore Route thru the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Tourist traffic in the fall is less, teh drive should be good. From CBBT, Take US 58 to Emporia pick up I-95 there. You are well south of Richmond there and I've found I-95 south from that point pretty good.
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