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Old 05-25-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
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HELP!!!! Need a route from SC to NY

We could really use some help. This will be our first trip ever with our new 34' Windjammer. We are leaving from Columbia SC to go to Oswego, NY. We would usually take I-77 to I-81 but my husband is concerned about driving thru the mountains. Going up and down plus the high winds. We thought about taking I-95. But then we had relatives say that the belt way around DC is terrible. Also, were told not to miss our exit to go towards I-81 because we would end up in NYC. We have NEVER towed anything before and we have lots of concerns. We want to have fun and not worry about everything. Any ideas on the easiest and safest way to go to NYS?
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would go the I-77 and I-81 route. That is the preference that Google Maps is showing.

I have towed my camper on I-81 through southern Virginia with no major problems. Sometimes i would just get behind a loaded semi, and stay in the slow lanes with that. I would sometimes loose them going downhill, and have to pick another slow one for the next uphill trek.

I avoid I-95 as much as possible, especially around the D.C. area.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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After towing our previous travel trailer on the Beltway once, I can tell you I would avoid that route at all costs. Swore I'd never do it again. I was relatively new to towing and was only towing a 22' trailer, but talk about "white knuckling" it. After that trip, my DW said we'd never camp north again lol. On the other hand, I've always enjoyed towing on I81. Mountains are not too steep, the scenery is nice, and if you take it easy and watch out for the 18-wheelers, you'll be fine, though I've never towed farther north than Pennsylvania. Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer11 View Post
We could really use some help. This will be our first trip ever with our new 34' Windjammer. We are leaving from Columbia SC to go to Oswego, NY. We would usually take I-77 to I-81 but my husband is concerned about driving thru the mountains. Going up and down plus the high winds. We thought about taking I-95. But then we had relatives say that the belt way around DC is terrible. Also, were told not to miss our exit to go towards I-81 because we would end up in NYC. We have NEVER towed anything before and we have lots of concerns. We want to have fun and not worry about everything. Any ideas on the easiest and safest way to go to NYS?
Hope this works, this link is the route I use to get up/down the east coast and avoid the mountanitains (big ones at least) and DC. I think you can click on it, if not PM me and I will send you a personal email with the info.

Columbia, SC to Oswego, NY - Google Maps

I adds about 40 min to the more direct 77 or 81 route. Being from Ohio I jump on/off at Hagerstown MD, on the north end.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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Personally, I would avoid I-95 if possible. Going thru Richmond, DC, Baltimore, and Philly is not fun!

The only downside to the I-77/I-81 route is the grade between Mt. Airy, NC, and Hillsville, VA. The really steep part is about 7 miles long. But there are slow vehicle lanes the whole way and pull-outs to rest your brakes (on the return trip). If you just take your time it shouldn't be too bad assuming your tow vehicle is adequate.

The rest of that route has its share of rolling up-and-down hills but so does I-95. I would take that one-time 7 mile grade over the city traffic any day.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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Unless your tow vehicle is really under matched, the I-77/I-81 is not worth worrying about. It's not as steep as you're making yourself worried about and it comes in sections anyway.

Enjoy.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:07 PM   #7
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Thank you all so very much!! We will look at all the possibilities everyone has been so wonderful to share.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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Of course you could take the scenic route through Va. by taking Route 11. It parallels I-81 the entire length but it'll take forever! So I'd do what everyone else suggests and take 77 to 81. I'll be taking that same route in July to camp throughout New England!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Go the I-77/I-81, You should have no problem pulling the Windjammer ! Or I-77/ I-90..but I'd go the I-77/I-81 route ! We pulled our TT up/down I-77 Fancy Gap area, just take your time!
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:03 PM   #10
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Hi Jammer11,

We live in Fort Mill and have gone the i-77/81 route a few times. As Willis stated, the grade up to Fancy Gap is no joke. But there is a third lane to allow for slow moving trucks and campers, so take advantage of that and you will be fine. Did the 95 Beltway thing once and only because we were spending a couple of days near DC. I'd rather do the climb at Fancy Gap anytime.

Just be sure to keep an eye on your tow vehicle's coolant temp while making the climb.

Enjoy your Windjammer. We got one a few weeks ago and love it. Wish we had made some Memorial Day weekend reservations

Happy Camping!
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