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Old 05-09-2021, 09:36 AM   #1
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2021 16' Basecamp
​2020 Atlas​
Park City , Utah
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Route 441 in Smoky Mountain park

I have Atlas with 11’6” clearance. I was planning to drive through Smoky Mountain National Park on 441 but RV Life does not list it as a “RV Friendly” road. Has anyone driven it? Should I give it a pass?
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:43 AM   #2
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That is definitely mountaintop road. Hairpin turns, distracted tourists, the whole bit. The park rangers will dissuade you.
Where are you coming from, going to? I40 east to Clyde in NC, then Rt 74 south will get you there in about the same amount of time, without the need to rinse your underwear afterwards.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:35 PM   #3
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Along the same lines, does anyone have suggestions for getting around Nashville (from I40 on the east to a state park on the NW side)?
I40 through Nashville makes me wake up screaming. 440 around the south side seems a bit long.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:00 PM   #4
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I have pulled my 25' across 441 several times. It is a wide, well paved, well marked road. Some of the roads leading to 441 on the NC side are bad so you need to watch your routing at that end. I have not driven an Atlas. I also have never read RV life so I do not know what they are worried about or what RV friendly means. In the fall leaf season 441 suffers hugh traffic jams and sometimes a bear jam. I would be mindful of the season and day of the week if contemplating a drive across the Smokies. I 40 is a good route if you are just "traveling" through the area. It is also pretty steep and has curves and tunnels. And some great views. Overall the interstate is faster and easier than any trip through the Park.

The 2 ways I know to go through Nashville to the NW from the east are I40 or the Briley Parkway. I generally go I40 with the trailer. But either works and either can be open or jammed up.
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:28 PM   #5
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Well, I guess I should not rely on my memory. Google street view does show 441 as a nice wide road with shoulders, wherever I dropped it. The eastern mountain directory agrees, but describes the TN side as 13 miles of 6 to 8% grade with two short tunnels. The NC side is 8 1/2 miles of 7 to 8% grade.
The 20 to 30 mph curves are not always marked.
On any roads in the Smokies, be aware of rock faces that lean over the road. The scrape marks are a good reminder to slow down and not cut corners too close.
Happy travels!
Bill M, thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #6
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Just take it easy. It is the Newfound Gap road through the park and is heavily travelled by big rigs.

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Old 05-10-2021, 10:30 AM   #7
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Just made that trip last month. 25’ AS and F250 diesel handled it no problems.
As always you just need to be aware your rig and others coming the opposite way and you’ll be fine. My advice would be to time your trip over the mountain at the earliest possible time that you have good daylight. That way you avoid a lot of the traffic. I would not attempt it the dark however.
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Old 05-10-2021, 11:11 AM   #8
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We prefer to take the really long bypass of I-840 around Nashville, as we don't like waking up screaming after taking 40 through the city, either. The last two times we went through, I-440 was under construction, leading us to opt for the longer option


I-840 is about 75 miles, so make sure your gas tank contains enough to go that far. We've never had to exit in search of fuel, but our niece, who lives near N'ville, warned us that some of the advertised gas stations along there may be "phantom" gas stations.

Distance and fuel aside, you will enjoy I-840. We call it our time warp into the '80s or earlier, before semis took over the interstates!
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