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Old 06-10-2019, 12:28 PM   #1
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Interstate 81 vs 79

Going to the Bristol Night Race in August. Pulling my 2902WS from Syracuse NY to Bristol TN (2 day trip). The straightest shot is simply staying Interstate 81 the entire way. Google Maps shows an alternative is to take I-90 west to Erie PA, and then I-79 south, which would add about 50 miles to the drive.

It appears that I-81 is much more hilly, especially through Virginia. I'm familiar with it through central PA where it's also somewhat hilly.

I've never traveled I-79 any further south than Pittsburgh. Research on Google implies it's much flatter of a terrain than I-81.

What are anyone's experiences on I-79 in West Virginia vs I-81 in Virginia?

Yes, my F150 Ecoboost is up to the task, but regardless of TV, would the extra "flat" miles of I-79 be worth it? MPG alone may end up making it worthwhile.

TIA!!!
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:38 PM   #2
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I use 81 every time I go to Nashville. 3100SS class C towing a 16 ft car trailer with my classic on it. There are a lot of trucks, but not a bad run.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #3
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79 gets quite mountainous once you get into WV. I dont think no matter which way you go steep grades will be encountered. I would go the shortest route.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:00 PM   #4
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As far hilly... both Interstates are similar with neither being concern for pulling.

My experience is I-81 is much busier than I-79.

I-79 has it's issues too around Pittsburgh and then unless you take I-79 into Charleston, WV and then south (to stay on all Interstate) the better route is 19 at Sutton. 19 is a good road and most of it is 4 lane but a lot of it is 50-55 MPH and heavily enforced. Still quicker than going to Charleston.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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Stay on 81
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Thanks Everyone!!! 81 it is!!!
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired on a mountain View Post
Stay on 81
X2

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Old 06-11-2019, 04:07 AM   #8
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Thanks Everyone!!! 81 it is!!!
Good choice.

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Old 06-11-2019, 05:45 AM   #9
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Rte 81 is a pretty ride. I've not taken rte 79 for comparison. The only issues I see on 81 are the speeds. For a good distance 70 mph is the posted limit which means a LOT of car and semi traffic whizzing by you at 75-85 mph. Second is the ability for trucks to ride in the left lane especially through the southern states and use that as a travel lane not just a hammer lane. With that being said, you can get irritable truckers taking up both lanes as travel lanes and effectively blocking traffic behind them as they see fit. Rte 81 has decent roads especially deeper in VA. No doubt though you will see a trailer or two on the side with a blown tire. Excessive speed, improper inflation? Who knows, but it's common place on that highway.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:14 AM   #10
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The worst hills you’re going to encounter on 81 are between Scranton and Frackville. Once you come down off the Broad Mountain and hit Pine Grove, 81 is pretty flat, even in VA (a few hills but nothing like NEPA.).

The bigger problem is truck traffic and accidents. 81 is a really busy highway with tons of 18 wheelers, especially once you cross 80 and get all the NY truck traffic heading south. The gods can be kind, or the gods can be cruel.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:33 AM   #11
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Just drove 81 from Harrisburg to Binghamton and back with the TT. Get ready for some rough PA high quality road between the NY line and Scranton in both directions...
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:48 AM   #12
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We’ve travelled I-81 South from the top all the way down to North Carolina tons of times heading for Florida.....and we were “loaded for bear”.

Never even realized any hills of concern until heading over the Blue Ridge Parkway from Wytheville. On that crossing, I wasn’t the fastes, but I wasn’t the slowest.

Take 81.....you’ll be fine.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:37 PM   #13
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I-81 and accidents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
The worst hills you’re going to encounter on 81 are between Scranton and Frackville. Once you come down off the Broad Mountain and hit Pine Grove, 81 is pretty flat, even in VA (a few hills but nothing like NEPA.).

The bigger problem is truck traffic and accidents. 81 is a really busy highway with tons of 18 wheelers, especially once you cross 80 and get all the NY truck traffic heading south. The gods can be kind, or the gods can be cruel.

As a suggestion download the Virginia 511 app from the Play store or the Apple Store. With that you can look ahead and see if there are problem areas with wrecks to avoid. With warning you could take an alternate route then get back on once past the problem.


Here around the Roanoke Valley from about MM 118 to about 180 or so, North or South, there can be spates of wrecks. 90% or better are tractor trailers who were avoiding stoopid 4 wheelers doing really stoopid shtuff and the truck took the dive to keep from squashing said cars.
BUT, I-81 can be and is a nice ride through the state. Just take your time and enjoy.



Hope this helps


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Old 06-11-2019, 05:05 PM   #14
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I travel from SC to near Erie several times a year. 81 is more heavily traveled than 79, especially by semis. I do take the rt 19 cut of five mentioned above. Cheapest fuel I see at Wythville VA on the trip.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:33 PM   #15
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Bristol motor Speedway

I went to Bristol race this spring and I went 90 through Buffalo on the way down and came home 81 I am also from SYRACUSE and I will tell you that I’d like 81 a lot better just for thoughts do you do Walkins Glen The first weekend in August
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:41 PM   #16
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I went to Bristol race this spring and I went 90 through Buffalo on the way down and came home 81 I am also from SYRACUSE and I will tell you that I’d like 81 a lot better just for thoughts do you do Walkins Glen The first weekend in August
Thanks. Camped a couple times at the Glen. Usually though will just drive down on Sunday and sit on the turn 11 berm.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:41 AM   #17
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I see some fellow NASCAR fans here. We are going to Pocono for the July race. Anybody know of somewhere to load up with potable water near the track? We are traveling from Ontario along I81 and I380.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:40 AM   #18
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I see some fellow NASCAR fans here. We are going to Pocono for the July race. Anybody know of somewhere to load up with potable water near the track? We are traveling from Ontario along I81 and I380.
Sparky, I did this exact thing last year - went to Pocono and looked for water to fill up before the track!!! I went to the Petro Shopping Center, 98 Grove St, Dupont, PA 18641. It will add about 15 minutes to your drive and you'll not be getting onto I380. But it was the last best place to stop, as after that, you're off the interstate and on state/county highways for about 45 minutes.

I believe they charged $10 to fill up with water and use the dump station. The station is a nice store with some food inside for eating as well. Good break for the final push!!! If you don't use the honeywagon service at the track (i.e. the mobile dump services), then this is also a good stop for emptying out on the way home.

When you pull in to the parking area, the store will be at the top of a hill, so you'll not be able to see it from the road. It's a steep hill and then the store will be on your left. The water station will be straight ahead as you are driving in (if you're facing the store, it would be on the far right side of the parking lot).

A couple side notes: On your way down, PA has a nice welcome center just past the NY/PA border. Another good break that's about 1 hour or so before the Petro station. On your way home, NYS has a very nice welcome center just inside it's border.

I can't ever suggest travel through the area without recommending Bingham's Family Restaurant in Lenox, PA. https://www.binghamsrestaurant.com/Home Their Homemade Pies and Breads are to die for. In fact, the DW says their Lemon Meringue is the best she's ever had!!!

Finally, I drove down Rt 81 just a couple weeks ago and I have to say, the stretch from the NY/PA border south towards Scranton is in very rough shape. Be ready for a bumpy ride!

Safe travels and enjoy the race!!!
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:40 AM   #19
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Rough road is an understatement. Just ran it from Carlisle to I 80.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:20 PM   #20
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Sparky, I did this exact thing last year - went to Pocono and looked for water to fill up before the track!!! I went to the Petro Shopping Center, 98 Grove St, Dupont, PA 18641. It will add about 15 minutes to your drive and you'll not be getting onto I380. But it was the last best place to stop, as after that, you're off the interstate and on state/county highways for about 45 minutes.

I believe they charged $10 to fill up with water and use the dump station. The station is a nice store with some food inside for eating as well. Good break for the final push!!! If you don't use the honeywagon service at the track (i.e. the mobile dump services), then this is also a good stop for emptying out on the way home.

When you pull in to the parking area, the store will be at the top of a hill, so you'll not be able to see it from the road. It's a steep hill and then the store will be on your left. The water station will be straight ahead as you are driving in (if you're facing the store, it would be on the far right side of the parking lot).

A couple side notes: On your way down, PA has a nice welcome center just past the NY/PA border. Another good break that's about 1 hour or so before the Petro station. On your way home, NYS has a very nice welcome center just inside it's border.

I can't ever suggest travel through the area without recommending Bingham's Family Restaurant in Lenox, PA. https://www.binghamsrestaurant.com/Home Their Homemade Pies and Breads are to die for. In fact, the DW says their Lemon Meringue is the best she's ever had!!!

Finally, I drove down Rt 81 just a couple weeks ago and I have to say, the stretch from the NY/PA border south towards Scranton is in very rough shape. Be ready for a bumpy ride!

Safe travels and enjoy the race!!!
Csyrell.
Thanks. That's what I was looking for. I read Pocono only had nonpotable water. Wasn't too keen on filling up with that.
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