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Old 08-19-2018, 06:07 PM   #1
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Suggestions for avoiding the Tail of The Dragon

We are planning a multi-stop month long camping trip at the end of September. During the course of our adventure, we will be leaving Whittier, NC (between Bryson City and Cherokee) and traveling to Townsend TN for a few days. We have been in both areas numerous times but we always end up on the Tail of The Dragon while traveling between the two and I want to MAKE SURE that DO NOT do that pulling my TT. I don't mind going "waaay" out of my way to do it, I just want to get from Whittier to Townsend while avoiding the Tail altogether. Suggestions appreciated!!!
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:25 PM   #2
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You can run from Cherokee to Pigeon Forge on 441 and right at Sugarlands Visitors center take a left. At the end of the road turn right and go to Townsend TN. There is signs there. Or you can stay on 441 until you come to the Gailtnburg cutoff. Take that road to Pigeon Forge. Stay on 441 until you come to 321, take 321 to Townsend. Thatís Wears Valley Road. Park road is 45 but you miss all that traffic in Pigeon Forge. I have took my Cedar Creek on the park road
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:37 PM   #3
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Dragon and Trailer, two words that don't work well together! Amazing that this was and is a US highway that thousands of TT and even Tractor trailers have and still do traverse!
It was the weirdest sight riding motorcycles and see a tractor trailer rig with tractor crossing into your lane in a turn, part of the trailer in the turn and the back half still behind around the corner! I couldn't imagine towing a TT through there.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:47 PM   #4
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Dragon and Trailer, two words that don't work well together! Amazing that this was and is a US highway that thousands of TT and even Tractor trailers have and still do traverse!
It was the weirdest sight riding motorcycles and see a tractor trailer rig with tractor crossing into your lane in a turn, part of the trailer in the turn and the back half still behind around the corner! I couldn't imagine towing a TT through there.
Tractor trailers are forbidden on the road but it still happens occasionally.
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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Tractor Trailers are restricted to less than 30 ft. on US 129, State Patrol loves to watch for crotch rockets with a death wish and trailers violating length ordinance. It hasn't always been that way... Before 2014 if it could hook up and be towed you'd likely see it.
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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Tractor Trailers are restricted to less than 30 ft. on US 129, State Patrol loves to watch for crotch rockets with a death wish and trailers violating length ordinance. It hasn't always been that way... Before 2014 if it could hook up and be towed you'd likely see it.

Depends on which side you are on.


2015 - TENNESSEE HAS FINALLY BANNED TRUCKS ON THE DRAGON
It has taken 15 years, numerous accidents, close calls, and a motorcyclist death to finally get the Late Great State of Tennessee to ban trucks on this stretch of highway. You can see by the photos we have collected over the years that these transports just do not belong here not only for the good of other people on the road, but for their own safety.
Signs have been installed restricting vehicles more than 30 feet in length and trucks with trailers more than 30 feet in length. Watch it though, we still see trucks sneaking through. If caught the drivers will lose their CDL. So if you see one approaching the Dragon advise them to turn around.


https://tailofthedragon.com/trucks-on-the-dragon/
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:30 PM   #7
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Hey, Happy!

You'll be coming to my home; let me know if you need anything while in the area. Oh, and coffee's usually on!



Mickey
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:17 PM   #8
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Hey, Happy!

You'll be coming to my home; let me know if you need anything while in the area. Oh, and coffee's usually on!



Mickey
Wonderful! Thank you! We love your town, have been going there for over 30 years. Still as sweet, quaint, clean and gorgeous as it was the first time we visited. And the people, all like you, so kind and welcoming.
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:56 PM   #9
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Hm. Maybe asking too much....any way to avoid going through the mountains a majority of the trip? Just thinking about the parkway, some of the mountain roads are nearly as bad as the Tail.

Maybe I should explain.... last Fall we took my brand new Mustang convertible up to Townsend to see the leaves changing. It was just starting to rain, I was trying to climb a tall hill to get to a cabin and when I turned to follow the curve of the road, my car slid backwards, landing with both rear wheels on the edge of a cliff and the front two wheels literally in the air. It was horrifying. Long story, but in the end, luckily I was able to be rescued by a kind local in a 4WD - he hooked up to my front axle and pulled me off the edge.

So this is the first time I am towing in the mountains since that incident. I have been towing campers through the Smokies for years and years, but, I admit, now I am nervous. I know that doesn't help; I'm sure once I get up there it will be fine. But if I can travel from Whittier to Townsend avoiding the tail AND avoiding crossing through the mountains, I am game for that, even if it adds a ridiculous amount of time to my trip. ???
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:39 PM   #10
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Hey, Happy!

You'll be coming to my home; let me know if you need anything while in the area. Oh, and coffee's usually on!



Mickey
Is this an open invitation? We will be there in October!
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:43 PM   #11
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Hm. Maybe asking too much....any way to avoid going through the mountains a majority of the trip? Just thinking about the parkway, some of the mountain roads are nearly as bad as the Tail.

Maybe I should explain.... last Fall we took my brand new Mustang convertible up to Townsend to see the leaves changing. It was just starting to rain, I was trying to climb a tall hill to get to a cabin and when I turned to follow the curve of the road, my car slid backwards, landing with both rear wheels on the edge of a cliff and the front two wheels literally in the air. It was horrifying. Long story, but in the end, luckily I was able to be rescued by a kind local in a 4WD - he hooked up to my front axle and pulled me off the edge.

So this is the first time I am towing in the mountains since that incident. I have been towing campers through the Smokies for years and years, but, I admit, now I am nervous. I know that doesn't help; I'm sure once I get up there it will be fine. But if I can travel from Whittier to Townsend avoiding the tail AND avoiding crossing through the mountains, I am game for that, even if it adds a ridiculous amount of time to my trip. ???
I would definitely avoid 441 from Cherokee to Gatlinburg. The road from Pigeon Forge to Townsend through Wear Valley has some very tight turns too. I wouldn't want to pull our camper over either one, but that's just me.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:57 AM   #12
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Is this an open invitation? We will be there in October!

If we're around, sure - we have a couple trips coming up as well. PM me.



Mickey
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:26 AM   #13
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We drove our 5th wheel over the Dragon by mistake around 12 years ago. Boy was that a trip to remember. My husband "cursed" me the whole way down! From Townsend. We had stayed at the campground there and left going back home to GA. Would never attempt that again! I love mountain roads but not towing a 5th wheel behind a truck! It was fun and we laugh about it now though. Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:18 AM   #14
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Take the Cherohala Skyway all the way to Maryville. Not too twisty, still a beautiful drive, and meets your requirement of going WAAAAY out of the way. LOL

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Old 10-13-2018, 09:37 AM   #15
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Take the Cherohala Skyway all the way to Maryville. Not too twisty, still a beautiful drive, and meets your requirement of going WAAAAY out of the way. LOL

Tim


Thank you! Indeed this is the route we took and it WAS INDEED LONG but it was also scenic and not very curvy. We end up going into Maryville for supplies all the time when we camp in Townsend, so instead of settling in at Ye Old Mill Campground in Townsend and then doubling back to Maryville, we did our supplies shopping "on the way in" and it was great.

Definitely....the long way around. But I would do it again in a heartbeat to avoid the mountain roads towing.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:04 AM   #16
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The Tail, my favorite road of all time! Yeah, if you don't have a Corvette or equivalent, stay off of it. Nothing more annoying than someone getting on that road with a trailer or other incapable vehicle and ruining the experience for the people who should be on it.

I'm very thankful for the RVers who have the decency to pull off at the numerous cutouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway made for such purpose to allow traffic behind them to pass. For those who don't, forum rules will not allow me to type what I think of you! Fortunately, most RVers seem to share a common decency and respect for fellow motorists. Part of the reason I want to join your ilk!
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:09 AM   #17
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I'm very thankful for the RVers who have the decency to pull off at the numerous cutouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway made for such purpose to allow traffic behind them to pass. For those who don't, forum rules will not allow me to type what I think of you! Fortunately, most RVers seem to share a common decency and respect for fellow motorists. Part of the reason I want to join your ilk!

Agreed!! I watch very closely behind me, whether towing or not, and always pull aside to let folks pass. Those mountain roads - we all rely on everyone to be doing the right thing....staying in our own lanes, driving respectfully, and yes, pulling off into one of the many areas dedicated for just that purpose (as well as stop to sight-see), to let faster drivers pass you by so as not to annoy them and make their ride less enjoyable. And for the occasional driver who either doesn't notice or doesn't care, shame on you.
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