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Old 09-02-2020, 07:56 AM   #1
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Route 81 South

We will be driving a class C, self contained to Florida in November.
Have done this for years, leaving from NJ making our way to Rt 81 South to avoid the Rt 95 traffic.

Can someone suggest a stopover along 81 in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina?
Considering the pandemic, not keen on crowds.
Would like something scenic, not too far off of 81.

Thank you
George
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:58 AM   #2
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Candy Hill CG in Winchester, VA was nice. We stayed there on the way home when all of our reservations were canceled due to the virus.

Candy Hill Campground
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:04 AM   #3
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Another nice one is Claytor Lake State Park a little south of Christiansburg, VA. This is one of our favorites, senic, lots of trails, and quiet.

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/claytor-lake

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Old 09-02-2020, 08:06 AM   #4
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I have heard good reviews about Riverwalk Campground in Elkin NC. But that is on I 77.
https://riverwalkrv.com/
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:32 AM   #5
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Not knowing how far you like to drive in a day will depend where you will stop. Candy Hill in Winchester is nice, we just used Lee Hi in Lexington which is behind a truck stop which was fine, if stopping there you need to check in at the fuel desk first for the parking permit, we will use here again. Farther down is Fort Chiswell which is another nice spot to stop with all kind of fuel options nearby.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:23 PM   #6
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There is a KOA at Lexington Va just a short drive off I81, it was under new management 2 yrs ago, it was nice and quiet and friendly owners. Very Clean.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:01 PM   #7
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I would definitely recommend Candyhill we stay ther every year on our way south....
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:57 PM   #8
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We use Walnut Hill KOA in Staunton Va. when we travel south to Tennessee. 6 hours from here in South Jersey (Millville) just about exactly 1/2 way to the Dollywood area.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:08 PM   #9
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We have stayed at Shenandoah Campground in MT Jackson VA a few times very close to 81 and if you can get down to Camp Lake Jasper in Hardeeville SC is a good stop over too.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghhmtnboy View Post
We will be driving a class C, self contained to Florida in November.
Have done this for years, leaving from NJ making our way to Rt 81 South to avoid the Rt 95 traffic.

Can someone suggest a stopover along 81 in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina?
Considering the pandemic, not keen on crowds.
Would like something scenic, not too far off of 81.

Thank you
George

A bit further south on I-81 is KOA in Wytheville. Just off the Interstate, easy in and out sites and a real good place to stay. It has been our stop over every trip we go up I-81. Good food available in the store, putt putt and bowling. Competitive prices also.
Sorry but I do not know the Exit number, but it will be the first Wytheville exit going south
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:01 PM   #11
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We frequent 81 from Harrisburg, PA to where it joins up with 40 in TN. We have used Natural Bridge, VA KOA multiple times (maybe same as Lexington above). It is a just far enough away from 81 not to hear the highway, like a mile. Rustic, quiet.
Further north I can recommend the Harrisonburg KOA, also close to 81, not as rustic as Natural Bridge, but we liked it and had great WiFi. Both locations adhered well to CDC and State pandemic rules. We were unable to get reservations farther north (MD, WV) as they were either closed for the winter, or this summer had no availability when were traveling.
We were similarly unable to get a spot in Bristol this summer, it was full. I would avoid Bristol on a NASCAR or Race weekend if you don't want crowds.
About 20 minutes off I40, on the way to I75 is Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. It was a bit busy for us but it was ok. Kids will love it. Good pandemic etiquette.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghhmtnboy View Post
We will be driving a class C, self contained to Florida in November.

Have done this for years, leaving from NJ making our way to Rt 81 South to avoid the Rt 95 traffic.



Can someone suggest a stopover along 81 in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina?

Considering the pandemic, not keen on crowds.

Would like something scenic, not too far off of 81.



Thank you

George


I live right along 81 and would choose either Candy Hill or the Yogi Bear in Williamsport, MD. Both are easily accessible from 81 and are clean, well-managed parks. My husband just picked up some items from the store at Candy Hill last week. BTW, thereís also Leathermanís in Falling Waters WV. He has a lot of long term rentals in that park due to the many new area residents who have come to work at the new P&G factories in our county.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:12 PM   #13
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We always stay at Lee Hi, just off I-81 at Lexington VA when we head to SC from PA. We have a 41 ft 5th wheel. No issues pulling in or parking. Full hook up. We like that there is an IHOP there, so we can eat if tired (can order and take back to eat at camper if you want to). Even though the truck stop is below the campground, we didn't hear anything with AC (or furnace) running. We find it very convenient and safe. Plus can fuel up easily before leaving.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:25 AM   #14
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I run that route all the time from harrisburg pa to central fl. Heading north I stay in I77 statesville koa north of charlette. Heading south we stay at Yemassee SC KOA.


But coming from NJ have you thought of 95 to Wilmington than rt 1/13 south past Norfolk to 64 that takes you to 95 at rocky mount NC? Many from new England run that route (or something similar). You could even drop into outer banks for a day or more.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghhmtnboy View Post
We will be driving a class C, self contained to Florida in November.
Have done this for years, leaving from NJ making our way to Rt 81 South to avoid the Rt 95 traffic.

Can someone suggest a stopover along 81 in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina?
Considering the pandemic, not keen on crowds.
Would like something scenic, not too far off of 81.

Thank you
George
First I81 does not go near West Virginia or N Carolina (unless you are taking I77 on south).

Watch MM168 many Tractor Trailer Accidents in the curves. The I81 traffic can be rough, until after the I77 split. If going on to Tennessee there are a couple campgrounds not too far into TN.

There is an easy in and out campground at the I81 I77 split Fort Chiswell Rt 52 Exit not too far behind the first Flying J, it may be the KOA Wythville spoke about earlier.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:19 AM   #16
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First I81 does not go near West Virginia or N Carolina (unless you are taking I77 on south).


There is an easy in and out campground at the I81 I77 split Fort Chiswell Rt 52 Exit not too far behind the first Flying J, it may be the KOA Wythville spoke about earlier.
i81 does indeed go through W VA. its about 20 miles wide, below Maryland.

and original poster said they are going to Floridan in November, and 81 don't go to Fl so I think most are assuming they will be coming down 77, than 26 towards Charleston and jump on 95.
there is another option from Charlotte to Atlanta but that adds another hour onto trip.
Even for West Florida (Tampa) you come down to Jacksonville, take the west beltway and jump on 10, than 301 to Gainsville and 75 south.

I make this trip about 4x per year (2000miles Rt). Maybe every 3rd trip I will get stuck in traffic, but every trip on 95 through Washington Sucks.

From East side of Lancaster PA the 81 trip is about 75 miles longer than taking 95 (1 additional hour), but the less stress is worth it. Even just driving a car I still take 81 to 77 to 26 to 95 to 285 to 10 to 301 to 75 to 44.

If you do take 95, know that the tunnel on 95 in MD does not allow any propane, you have to go 695 across the Francis Scot Key bridge.


Thanks for the tip on Fort Chriswill recommendation. I did not know it was there since I am only on 81 above 77. I will remember that but for us, if heading south its too soon, or heading north Its to far away , unless we start adding another day of travel in there .
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:27 AM   #17
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Ok I should have said for the most part I 81 does not go close to West Virginia.

I live near the Roaonke part of I81 and accidents usually involving tractor trailers are just about a daily occurance from Rockbridge County to Pulaski County. Back ups are common.

Accidents are common on I77 from I81 to the state line but not as bad. The 102 car pile up on Fancy Gap mountain due to fog was the worst. But usually it is ok.

Not saying I95 is better as I know it is not. Just saying don't expect I81 to be a piece of cake as it was 20 years ago.

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Old 09-20-2020, 08:30 AM   #18
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Only been to Candy Hill one (1) time and that was enough. Awning of the camper next door was within inches of my camper and the noise from the livestock pens was disturbing.

Any reason your Class C can't fit on the AutoTrain? I hate I95 as much as the next guy and I81 in Virginia isn't much better with all the truck traffic but at least you miss the cities.

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Old 09-20-2020, 08:46 AM   #19
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Ok I should have said for the most part I 81 does not go close to West Virginia.

I live near the Roaonke part of I81 and accidents usually involving tractor trailers are just about a daily occurance from Rockbridge County to Pulaski County. Back ups are common.

Accidents are common on I77 from I81 to the state line but not as bad. The 102 car pile up on Fancy Gap mountain due to fog was the worst. But usually it is ok.

Not saying I95 is better as I know it is not. Just saying don't expect I81 to be a piece of cake as it was 20 years ago.

I81 is treacherous all of the way through Virginia. I have driven 81 more times than I can count and there were very few times that I didnít encounter some sort of backup due to an accident, and every time I drive it, there are new places where it was evident there was a terrible accident. I donít know this for a fact, but 81 must be one of the heaviest-traveled roads for tractor trailers in Virginia. I would hate to be a truck driver on 81 in Virginia, having to deal with all of the jerk-offs in smaller vehicles cutting me off with no regard for the safety of me and all of the other sane drivers on the road.

There is also a lot of RV traffic on 81 with drivers who donít respect the rules of the road. I dread cresting a hill on 81 and seeing any sort of RV in front of me. I hate to say it, but people driving or pulling RVs are some of the biggest problems on the interstates in Virginia.

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Old 09-20-2020, 08:49 AM   #20
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Any reason your Class C can't fit on the AutoTrain?

-- Chuck

I have used the Auto train (for a SUV) and would recommend it. I tried to ship a car from PA to FL and the autotrain was less than 1/2 the price. The ride was good, the food was good. I got on in VA and Off in FL. I would recommend bring a lunch with you as the train station food was spoiled (and expensive).


We got to FL ahead of schedule, so we had to sit a little while until they opened the station, but still, we were on time once we got out. It did not take long to get my car once we were off train.


I settled for just a seat (which was better seat than any first class air plane seat). when I got to FLA I felt like I had just flew a "red eye". For the price of a hotel I could have added a bed.


but as far as an RV? here are the max size requirements.


Extended Vehicles



Check-In by 2:30 pm (no exceptions)

  • Maximum length: 216 inches (18 feet)
  • Maximum height: 85 inches
  • Maximum width: 84 inches, including mirrors
  • Ground clearance: 4+ inches
  • Maximum tire width: 14.5 inches
they do have a special pricing for small trailers and limo's.
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