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Old 02-23-2019, 09:41 AM   #1
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Ct to Fort Wilderness route suggestions?

hi folks,
i am looking for a bit of help in planning out my north-south route for the upcoming family vacation to disney fort wilderness in april. this will be the families 1st 1000+ mile adventure. its a great start to our 2nd season of owning our camper.

helpful info -
tow vehicle - 2010 chevy tahoe
camper - 2014 rockwood 2306
driver - me
passengers in the great journey - DW, DS (12)
2 1/2 planned travel time
ct. to va.
va. to ga
ga to the fort

now the question? i will do a short hand of routes to make this short.

route #1 - stay on rt 81 alot
routes 84 - 81 - 77 - 26 - 95

route #2 - stay on rt 81 alittle
routes 84 - 81 - 66 - 17 - 95

the other question would be, would you plan those legs of a trip with a reservation at a campground. approximately 8 1/2 hours for the long legs. a helpful note, DW has not warmed up to the idea of boondocking yet.

thanks in advance with any helpful suggestions for the upcoming adventure.
take care, david
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:21 AM   #2
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Off of Rt.81 in Va. I have used Fort Chiswell RV Park, ez in and out pull thru sites probably won't have to unhook, just not sure if it's before or after the turnoff for 77. Safe travels.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:45 AM   #3
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I'll be watching this, as I would like to make same trip one day, but I plan on training my wife to tow the trailer too, as 8.5 hours a day towing a trailer with one driver does not sound like fun, and my trailer is only 20'.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:07 AM   #4
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I've made that trip a few times when I lived in CT. My number one rule has always been to stay off and away from I-95 as much as possible. The maps may say it takes longer to go the westerly route, but if you take I-95 you will ALWAYS hit extremely time-delaying traffic incidents.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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I must be extremely lucky because I have been a few times to Disney and just drive on I-95. I went last year to the Fort from North Carolina and no problems on I-95. I only drive about three hundred miles and stop for the night. Normally I stop at Inland Harbor RV Park at Darien GA, easy in and out.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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i havent had a chance to look real deep into this, and hard to know where in CT, but see if you can plan this in google maps.

CT to Cherry Hill Park in college park MD. easy in and out. looks to be around 7-8 hours depending where you start from? then cherry hill park to creek fire rv resort savanah GA. then from Savanah just a couple hours to the fort. gives you more time on the 95 than you had planned though.

My only caveat is i hate towing on the I4. Much worse than the 95. whenever possible, and i come from Niagara Falls area, i always try to come into Orlando from the west side I75 to the turnpike. but that is likely going to take you a bit out of your way. last year i did this route, but did longer days. Niagara Falls to Knoxville, Knoxville to Orlando.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
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I'll be watching this, as I would like to make same trip one day, but I plan on training my wife to tow the trailer too, as 8.5 hours a day towing a trailer with one driver does not sound like fun, and my trailer is only 20'.
Kris,
last year, our first with this camper, we went down as far down a Key Largo with stops in Fort Bragg NC, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah, Crystal River Fl, Ft Lauderdale and Key Largo. Coming Home we stopped in West Palm, St Augustine, and Williamsburgh VA.

Going down we took 95 to DE and then 301 and 50 through Annapolis then back onto 95 Ft Bragg. Mostly secondary roads I think 17 was most used till Savannah, then we went back to 95 but criss crossed FL alot. also used both 75 and 95 down there. Coming home was almost exclusively 95, but again detouring through Annapolis to avoid the tunnels.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Coney, why did you avoid the tunnels? Seems like detouring through cities would be a horrible option.
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Old 02-23-2019, 01:46 PM   #9
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Coney, why did you avoid the tunnels? Seems like detouring through cities would be a horrible option.
Propane not allowed thru tunnels in Baltimore thus the detour, the 301 route is more scenic but there are sections you have to deal with some traffic lights. We live off of 301 in De. so we always use that route. Also remember if you jump on Route 1 in De. you can now use a connector route ( tolls ) for 301 to by-pass the town of Middletown.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:02 PM   #10
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We recently did a very similar trip. We made stops on the way Virginia and Charleston SC. Unlike you, we did not try to avoid 95 for the most part, but also unlike you, we stopped in in Charleston for a few days, so our trip down 95 was broken up by a 3 day stop, essentially. The big thing to keep in mind is that you need to avoid the Ft. McHenry tunnel in Maryland if you have propane, which i get the feeling you are aware of. We did not mind 95 too much, and you really can cover some ground, but the 70mph speed limits may reveal trailer balance/sway issues you haven't experienced in the northeast. The other big thing to consider is that our experience was that if google maps said 6 hours, it took us 8 hours, in general, with food and fuel stops. so your 8 1/2 hours might be 10 or 11 hours. Just keep that in mind, especially consider that when planning how early you want to leave so you can avoid arriving in the dark, which is never fun.
I will also agree with Primo20 about I4. I had heard stories but kind of forgot about it until we wound up on it and I was like "oh, so this is I4". Being from the northeast you are used to bad roads, but this is bad, with tons of construction, and narrow lanes due to that construction. Avoid if at all possible.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:05 PM   #11
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I have done this trip several times and generally winter time so I choose I-75 to avoid the mountain areas.

I am going to the Fort in August and will be starting in the Niagara area so I-90 > I-79 > 19 > I-77 > I-26 > I-95. Around Yulee I will be getting off the I-95 and heading SW to join the I-75 around Zuber. I am doing this to avoid the I-4.

I will be exiting the I-75 at exit 328 (Florida Turnpike) and will travel down to the 429 toll road exiting at exit 8 (Western Way) and then keeping left following the Disney sign - about 500 meters along Western Way you will go through the welcome to Disney gateway. The rest is signposted to the Fort.

Lookout for the signs to the campground as you see the entrance to Magic Kingdom in the distance as they have cut a new road off to the right and you will have to get over to the right

Good luck and enjoy the fort
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:08 PM   #12
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One more point, your camper is a 2014, which means it is right on the edge of having tires that are 6 years old, which is the recommended replacement interval, regardless of wear. If you haven't replaced them i'd take a look at the date codes, and a close inspection for any dry rot, cracking, etc if they are within 5 or 6 years old.
We upgraded to brand new goodyear endurance right before our trip and it really put my mind at ease for the long tow down and back (almost 4000 miles for us, since we went all the way into the keys as well).

Add some tire pressure monitors and you will be kept aware of any issues that might develop before they become a big problem.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:24 PM   #13
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For fun, now that you mentioned tunnels and LP gas, I found the following:
Maryland/Baltimore:
Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry (I-95) tunnels. Alternate route for RVs with propane over the Francis Scott Key Bridge is I-695.

Virginia/Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel: RVs equipped with ICC-approved compressed cooking tanks not exceeding two 45-pound capacity tanks (or two permanently mounted containers with maximum total capacity of 200 pounds) may cross the facility provided that, in the opinion of the toll collector or police sergeant after inspection, the tanks are completely shut off and securely attached.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston View Post
I have done this trip several times and generally winter time so I choose I-75 to avoid the mountain areas.

I am going to the Fort in August and will be starting in the Niagara area so I-90 > I-79 > 19 > I-77 > I-26 > I-95. Around Yulee I will be getting off the I-95 and heading SW to join the I-75 around Zuber. I am doing this to avoid the I-4.

I will be exiting the I-75 at exit 328 (Florida Turnpike) and will travel down to the 429 toll road exiting at exit 8 (Western Way) and then keeping left following the Disney sign - about 500 meters along Western Way you will go through the welcome to Disney gateway. The rest is signposted to the Fort.

Lookout for the signs to the campground as you see the entrance to Magic Kingdom in the distance as they have cut a new road off to the right and you will have to get over to the right

Good luck and enjoy the fort
this is great. where do you leave the 95 to get the 75? i came all the way down 75 just to avoid the I4!
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:55 PM   #15
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i am looking for a bit of help in planning out my north-south route for the upcoming family vacation...
Your route #2 is the one we use going from Richmond to your neck of the woods. It's simple, direct. (We do take U.S. 15 from Harrisburg to Opal, Va., to pick up Rt. 17, but you can stay on 81.)

Quote:
The other question would be, would you plan those legs of a trip with a reservation at a campground. approximately 8 1/2 hours for the long legs. a helpful note, DW has not warmed up to the idea of boondocking yet.
Since your DW is not into the adventure of boondocking, I'm betting she would much prefer to set out knowing she had a safe, reliable place to spend the night. I know my wife does.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
For fun, now that you mentioned tunnels and LP gas, I found the following:
Maryland/Baltimore:
Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry (I-95) tunnels. Alternate route for RVs with propane over the Francis Scott Key Bridge is I-695.

Virginia/Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel: RVs equipped with ICC-approved compressed cooking tanks not exceeding two 45-pound capacity tanks (or two permanently mounted containers with maximum total capacity of 200 pounds) may cross the facility provided that, in the opinion of the toll collector or police sergeant after inspection, the tanks are completely shut off and securely attached.
That's right Kris, but that is only half of it. By going through Annapolis, especially in OCt, you will have much less traffic than going through Baltimore, 695 and then though DC. There are great eateries for meals and snacks Camper parking might be tough. altogether A much more sce3nic and pleasant drive
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:22 PM   #17
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hi folks,

i am looking for a bit of help in planning out my north-south route for the upcoming family vacation to disney fort wilderness in april. this will be the families 1st 1000+ mile adventure. its a great start to our 2nd season of owning our camper.



helpful info -

tow vehicle - 2010 chevy tahoe

camper - 2014 rockwood 2306

driver - me

passengers in the great journey - DW, DS (12)

2 1/2 planned travel time

ct. to va.

va. to ga

ga to the fort



now the question? i will do a short hand of routes to make this short.



route #1 - stay on rt 81 alot

routes 84 - 81 - 77 - 26 - 95



route #2 - stay on rt 81 alittle

routes 84 - 81 - 66 - 17 - 95



the other question would be, would you plan those legs of a trip with a reservation at a campground. approximately 8 1/2 hours for the long legs. a helpful note, DW has not warmed up to the idea of boondocking yet.



thanks in advance with any helpful suggestions for the upcoming adventure.

take care, david


Hi, we’re from central CT and live near WDW in the winter so we make this trip both ways every year. There’s the 84-81-77-26-95-4 route. Or 84-81-66-17-95-4 route. Or 84-87-287-78-81 or 95-287-78-81-take your pick route. They’re all fine routes to follow. We don’t travel over the GW or on the NJ Turnpike or through Baltimore and Washington DC when towing. We’ve stopped at Falling Waters Campground in WV along 81, Jellystone Park in Hagerstown MD along 81, Mayberry CG in Mt Airy NC along 77, Coastal GA RV Resort in Brunswick GA along 95, Raleigh Oaks or RVacation in Selma, NC area along 95. We do not boondock along these routes.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:02 PM   #18
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Adding thoughts. I like your (the OP) route #1 most but route #2 has advantages too. I'm from MA. When I leave New England towards the West or South, I always take 84 from CT to NY. I don't like going anywhere near NYC. Baltimore is a PITA in a motorhome (width/propane). DC is also difficult, so, I81 to get past all of that is an absolute for me.

Your route #1 has one very long down hill on I77 in NC. Nothing like the rocky mountain highways (did that last summer!) but be prepared with Tow Haul mode, slow approach to the beginning of the down hill, and other down hill grade techniques. You can do it, just be ready. This to me is the only down side to route #1.

Route #2 accomplishes the avoidance of NYC/Baltimore/DC nicely. I've found the cut over from I81 to I95 is a nice respite from the highway. (And I'd recommend I81/50/17/I95; some lights but again, a rest from highway). If you go back to I95 (route #2) I suggest I295 around Richmond VA and I295 (west side) around Jacksonville FL. On the west side of Jacksonville you can either continue on I95 to I4 or take I10 to 301 south.

We (my family, my MH) have always stayed at Walmarts or truck stops. That time of year, campgrounds are pretty easy to find without reservations. Driving my in-laws coach (38' DP with toad) to FL one year where they insisted on CGs, we found pull though sites every night without issue or reservation about the same time of year.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:56 PM   #19
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I'll be watching this, as I would like to make same trip one day, but I plan on training my wife to tow the trailer too, as 8.5 hours a day towing a trailer with one driver does not sound like fun, and my trailer is only 20'.
I'm so glad that another lady will be towing. I see so few these days. When I'm asked by other women how to start, I tell them to just tow on a straight road (freeways are good unless there's a lot of traffic) for 15-30 minutes to start. Just get on, go straight for a while and get off.

Keep doing this until you feel like you want to go more and then double it.

Pretty soon, you'll be the secondary driver! Lol!!!
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:07 PM   #20
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I'll be watching this, as I would like to make same trip one day, but I plan on training my wife to tow the trailer too, as 8.5 hours a day towing a trailer with one driver does not sound like fun, and my trailer is only 20'.
First thing my wife learned was how to test, adjust and use the brake controller. She had no idea how important it is. It's our first trailer with brakes
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