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Old 11-17-2009, 12:49 PM   #1
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Driving Suggestions Please

Hi everybody,
As you know, Ron & I are SO excited about our first trip coming up in January.

When we had our car, we took hwy 81 down to I95, but I really don't enjoy the trip with all the traffic & big trucks. And now that we will be travelling with our truck, pulling our trailer (27 ft), I am a little concerned (just a little, not a lot). Can anyone suggest a more enjoyable route, since we will be leaving NB (Canada) and travelling all the way down to Jacksonville, Fl?? Since we have never taken the side-roads, I am not sure which ones are ok. We also don't want to drive through every small town or big cities either.

Help!
Thanks for any advice you can give us,
Alice
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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340 from Front Royal, VA south to rt. 64 is a nice alternative to I81. Also, 29 South out of Charlottesville is so much nicer than I95. These are going to be slower than the interstates, although 29 isn't that much slower.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:37 PM   #3
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I can agree with Tweety about US 29 out of Charlottesville being a nice drive. That's my choice of routes when travelling to and from that area of Virginia. We usually stay on 29 all the way to Charlotte, NC.

If you are travelling to Jacksonville, FL from Charlotte, NC I would use I-77 thru Columbia, SC. Not bad for an Interstate. Then down thru Augusta, GA... avoid Atlanta unless you want to go there.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:22 PM   #4
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Route

We drive as little of the Interstate as possible. I assume that you have time because the Interstate is always faster but not more fun. You pretty much have to follow Intersate until you escape the North East. However the route we take is mostly non-interstate yet mostly four lane highways in excellent condition with generally little traffic.

From Salisbury I would take Canada 1 from Moncton to RT 9 at St Stephens. Follow Rt 9 to Bangor, ME and get on Interstate 95 taking it to Rt 495 in MA.

Follow 495 to I290 through Worcester and onto the Mass Pike. Take it one exit to I84 to NY. Follow I84 to I 684 south to 287 west across the Tappen Zee Bridge. Follow 287 to the Garden State Turnpike and follow that across the Deleware Memorial to RT 13 in Deleware

From here it's mostly a four lane non-interstate road 90% of the way from here to Florida. Take 13 thru Deleware and Maryland and across the Chesepeake bay bridge. After the bridge you take Rt 17 all the way to GA then it's just a short hop across I95 to Jacksonville.

If you like I can give you the names of some campgrounds along the way that we stay at.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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Coast Route

Another aspect of taking Rt 17 south besides the absence of traffic is that that there are a number of potentially interesting side trips - like the Outer Banks of NC and the best walk around city in the east, Charleston, SC and equally interesting Savannah, GA. Another aspect depending on when you're leaving is the reduced chances of snow.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:55 PM   #6
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I 81 in the North East PA area has been a mess for awhile, I haven't been up since late summer, but I would avoid that unless you can get confirmation that the road construction is completed.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:15 AM   #7
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In 25 years of driving I81 in Penn I have never seen it without construction.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #8
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Hi

This is a little off the topic but maybe helpful. barb and I always talk about the roads less traveled but almost always go the US interstates

Its sounds like your new to towing a trailer so I might make a suggestion for towing on the interstates. Make sure you know what you are looking at in your mirrors. What I mean by that is that you can tell if there is a vehicle in the lane beside you and you can see where the rear of your trailer is. I am an RV's but always pass RV's with a lot of caution because I am not always sure that I am not in their blind spot.

For a long time I thought the mirrors on my truck where doing the job but then I bought a set mirrors from the Hensely Hitch folks and its made all the difference in the world. Thats why all these semi's have so manny mirrors.

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:53 PM   #9
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OMG Norm,
Many thanks for the directions! How nice of you to list the routes all the way, even from our little village. You must have done some homework for us, so a BIG thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for.

Ron & I will be leaving early January, only because we promised the grandkids that we would be here for Christmas, but not next year. Next year we plan on leaving in November to avoid all snow hopefully!

Hiller - thank you also for your suggestion. We agree about the mirror problem, so we have been lucky enough to borrow a couple of mirrors from our BIL so we have less to buy our first year on the road.


Now, only about a month or so to go. We've started packing the trailer (yahoo!) but only with essentials; the food etc. will wait til we get down South so we have less weight.

Norm - I would love to know which campgrounds you stay at, saving us the hassle of finding out which ones are not worthwhile, lol.

Again, many thanks for your advice.
Alice
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:22 PM   #10
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Campgrounds

I'll give you a list of the campgrounds we stop in on our way South via the coastal route. Though we have driven from Moncton thru New England a number of times we have never done it in the winter so I really don't know what might be open in that part of your trip.

We'll provide a list next week and I'm sure others will fill in sites as well. Generally when we take this route we stay at state and national parks and Passport parks.

As well we rarely do more than 150 miles a day. Our first trip to Florida took us 18 weeks. My list will be sequential from NJ south to Florida.

Do you kniow where you're staying in Jacksonville?

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Old 11-19-2009, 03:23 PM   #11
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Hi,
I agree with Norm he gave you a great plan to get to Fla.
We always take the the Chesapeake Bay bridge & tunnel going to Fla. It's the best way to go south from any NE location.

The only difference from Norm's route is we take the Garden State PARKWAY (after the Tappan zee bridge from 287) to the end, all the way through NJ to get away from the Big trucks... Then we take the the Cape May ferry to Delaware, (app. 1 1/4 hr.trip, app. $50. for your TV, Trailer & 2 persons). It is a nice Rest from driving! Then you can take Rt.9 app. 25 miles to Rt.13 south like Norm said.

We take Rt.9 to 113 south to 13 south. Because we have to stop west of Ocean City Md. for the Best Crabcakes we have ever eating ! But that's just us. We do the same on are way home .
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:01 AM   #12
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Norm - we hope to stay at the Half Shell Resort in Satsuma because it looks the nicest, and is also a PA club. They are booked solid right now, but they claim they will probably have room for us by the time we get there. So far, we plan on leaving here Jan. 4 and will stay in hotels til we get some warm weather, and then slow down the trip in order to enjoy it.

Our boat is in San Mateo, a small town near Palatka, a small town just South of JAX. Since we will be working on the boat so we can sell it, I wanted a nice place to rest our heads at the end of the day, rather than a smelly boat, lol.

Luvrque - thanks for advice, but for this year we will stick to Norm'a itinerary, rather than try a ferry.

alice
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:04 AM   #13
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We've taken HWY 23 South out of Michigan all the way to the Virginia's and then from there found backroads into the Carolina Coast which is a very nice drive.

Little Traffic and lots of cool small towns to play around in
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #14
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I bought a book for Ron (because I wanted to read it, lol) for Christmas on Boondocking, hope to do some one year once we get all settled and know more than we do now.

Also bought him Moon's RV Camping for Florida, and The Next Exit. Great books!
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:08 PM   #15
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Boondocking

You may find this sites interesting.
http://www.qsl.net/ve3lgs/boondock.htm

The following site costs $5 to join.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/...rectory/files/
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:59 PM   #16
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Thanks Norm!
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