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jperera
We are planning a trip to some of the southeastern states this spring. We are hoping to travel through TN, GA, SC, NC and KY. In TN I was going to stop in Memphis then go to Chattanooga, loop around through the other states I just mentioned then come back to Nashville on our way to KY.

When I look at any trip routing (AAA and Google Earth) both suggest going through Nashville to get to Chattanooga. On a map there is 64 that looks like a more direct route to Chattanooga but it looks like it is through mountains. What would that route be like in a motorhome? Crazy???

If the best way to go is through Nashville, I will revise the trip.

Thanks,
jp
wprigge
Hi jperera,

I have never driven any of the roads you mention, but I checked the parameters with Google maps. Going through Nashville should be 344 miles and take 5 hours 13 minutes, taking highway 64 should be 327 miles and take 7 hours 8 minutes. So you save 17 miles in distance, but spend about 2 hours more on the road. So it's your call....
John Blue
Nashville can be a mess to travel in and out of any time day or night. Hwy 64 will work with no problems. On your travels, east stop off at Lynchburg and see the Jack Daniel still, good stuff! Then back down to 64, go east to exit 127, go south on I-24 into Chattanooga. The mountains are all around this place but you will have no problems due to roads. If you plan to travel into other parts of TN or anyplace in south let me know, we have been to about everyplace or everything in south. smile.gif
Jerry S.
Just looking at a map of TN, tells me that there has to be more than a 17 mile difference between going from Memphis to Nashville (via I-40) and then to Chattananooga (via I-24). The mileage charts I checked show M to N as 210 miles and N to C as 130 miles for a total of 430 miles. Even allowing for not going from city center to city center to city center, it is over 400 miles. Either way, we are talking about almost an additional 100 miles more than going from Memphis to Chattanooga via US 64.

While you may encounter some hilly (up and down 500-1000 feet at times) terrain on 64, the real slowdown is due to going through numerous towns that don't have by-passes for 64 and some winding stretches where you won't be able to go 60 mph. You'll be lucky to average 50 mph for most of the 330 miles from M to C. Including even short stops, You're looking at 8+ hours on the road. The 400+ miles on the M-N-C route is all interstate, so you may be able to do that in a little over 7 hours with a few quick stops. All this changes, of course, with the addition of variables: weather, construction, your speed, etc.

Unless you decide to stop and see Nashville, it seems to come down to what is more important to you: an easier 400+ miles of interstate driving that costs you 100 miles worth of gas or a more challeging 330 mile drive that takes an extra hour or so.

Good luck.
Texasrvers
Oh Jerry, I hate to be the one to point this out, but when my calculator adds 210 (from M to N) and 130 (from N to C) it gets 340 not 430. You may want to check the batteries in your calculator, or perhaps shivering in all that cold weather you're having up there caused you to hit the wrong keys.
abmonty
I have made the trip via 64 and I40/I24. 64 isn't a bad road to travel even for a novice MH driver. Hills aren't bad to climb or decend. Don't do it in the snow or with ice on the road. Wait till road conditions support MH travel, but that's true on any road. Going into Nashville on I40 can be a little harry and you neet to pay very close attention to the road signs as exits tend to pop up quickly and you won't want to be in the wrong lane.

My recommendation, and I've done the road in both a gas and diesel rig, is to use 64 and plan to make the trip in one day as there are few places to camp overnight.
jperera
Thank you for your suggestions and comments. They are helpful. I'm sure I'll have more as we continue planning and when we are actually on the road. We have not traveled in this area except by car and that was a long time ago. We are planning on leaving N CA the first part of April and will be in TN in May.

jp
Jerry S.
To all,

Thanks for not ripping on me. I won't even claim a "senior momment" - it was a really dumb mistake. I was just so convinced looking at the map that there had to be a bigger difference that my mind wouldn't let me do simple addition correctly. US 64 for must be an even more "long and winding road" than it appears on the map.

Mea culpa!
wprigge
No problem Jerry S.

We all have our moments, and it's true that looking at the map it appears there is a bigger difference, but I have found this to be often quite decieving. The best is really checking it out with at least two different trip routings ex: Google maps and AAA.
Texasrvers
Streets and Trips mapping program also routes you through Nashville, so as stated before do you want to stay on the interstate or do you want to go through small towns? Both have their advantages. I sort of like to see the local "color" along the backroads, but usually that is much slower going.

We went through Nashville on I-40 twice this past year, and I remember lots of construction on the east side. We took Loop 440 around the city on the south side but still ran into some construction so be careful.

Sounds like a great trip. Travel safe!
tallyo
For my nickel I would take 64 across. Going up around Nashville can get into a lot of traffic. You could get off I-40 just before Nashville and snake your way to 840 to I-24 but I still think 64 is the best route.
Coming down I-24 you will still have to cross over Monteagle, Tn. but the climb and decent isn't that bad if you take your time. Just don't go over in the winter unless it's a nice day.
Lindsay Richards
Monteagle can be very bad on the down hill side. I had my boat almost beat me to the bottom. Don't know the actual grade, but it must be about 8 or 9 degrees and goes on for quote a while. It will also freeze there when it is not freezing on either side.
jperera
Thank you. Unless we decide we want to specifically visit Nashville on this leg of the trip, I think we will try 64. We won't be there till the first part of May and I'm hoping the ice will not be a problem. Tornadoes might be a different story. We have driven through some pretty high mountains with a fairly steep grade in the West, but they weren't necessarily a steep, long grade. We have an exhaust brake that we use that helps.
j&b
We have traveled this route in September and it really depends on what you want to do along the way whether the extra miles are worth it. While staying in Memphis, I suggest staying in W. Memphis Arkansas at Tom Sawyer's Mississippi RV Park. It sits on the Mississippi, easy to get to, shopping and restaurants close by if trying to avoid the Memphis rush hour, free wi-fi and free laundry. The KOA on Music Valley Drive in Nashville was an easy stop and because it was on an outer belt did not cause some of the traffic nighmares. It is close to the Opry Mills Mall and you can be downtown in 30 minutes. We tried to plan traveling on Sundays to avoid some traffic.
jperera
THanks for the campground suggestions. I will check them out. I don't think we will have the luxury of traveling on Sundays alot as we won't stay in one place that long. However, it is a good point to consider when we need to move on. Perhaps we can adjust our schedule.
RLM
jperera> I was in Memphis a few months ago and came to the conclusion that they must enjoy out of towners getting lost. The signage left a lot to be desired.

Nonetheless, those states have a considerable amount of things to see and do. It would take several months to enjoy it all.

And speaking of distilleries, Buffalo Trace is in Franklin County, Kentucky. Excellent personalized tour if you go during a weekday. Free samples, too. There are also some excellent Mennonite farmhouse type bakeries in most parts of KY. Good stuff!

Enjoy the trip.
John Blue
Do not miss all the great Bar-Q in Memphis and a trip to Graceland. Ducks at Peabody hotel downtown are also fun to see each day. They come down from the pen house and into the hotel lobby and get in fountain to play all day and then back up to pen house at 5:00pm. Hotel is full of people to see the duck walk. Nice city to tour in.
jperera
.Thank you for the suggested places to visit. The distillery sounds interesting. I've not been through anything like that. We enjoy tours like that. I have picked up a book called Made in the USA specifically to find possible tours.

Graceland is already on our list of must do's. I am always looking for good places to eat.

I am keeping a list of all the suggestions I see on this and other posts on the forum.

Thanks again.
John Blue
OK, add this to your notebook as well. Stay at "Memphis Graceland RV Park & Campground" across the street from Graceland, rear of Heart Break Hotel. You can do the short walk to Graceland office in couple mins. and save the parking cost. Now the good part, RV park will call Bar-Q restaurant about one mile south and have you picked up in a Pink Cadillac at RV park. At time you completed your great meal Cadillac will return you to park. Now how cool is that? Also note the large number of trophy cases on display for cooking great Bar-Q. It is very good! tongue.gif
zingy
If in the Chattanooga area, the Holiday Trav-L Park is great, and just off Highway 17.

I've been in Nashville a few times, but not in our motorhome. I LOVE Nashville! The downtown area has bars up and down a couple streets, I think on Broadway, and some fantastic live country, bluegrass, and rock bars there even in the afternoons! Fun!
jperera
QUOTE(zingy @ Mar 5 2008, 06:04 PM) *

If in the Chattanooga area, the Holiday Trav-L Park is great, and just off Highway 17.

I've been in Nashville a few times, but not in our motorhome. I LOVE Nashville! The downtown area has bars up and down a couple streets, I think on Broadway, and some fantastic live country, bluegrass, and rock bars there even in the afternoons! Fun!


Thanks zingy. I will check out the park. We've been to Nashville once before, but it was a long time ago with children. We will be able to visit different places - like bars with good music this time. We are looking forward to it.
wildwood
Hello,

I may be late on this, but I live just out of memphis, and the way we always go is through nashvile. Its the best way. We have been there a few times.

I was wondering if you were from memphis, or just traveling through.
jperera
QUOTE(wildwood @ Mar 7 2008, 11:52 PM) *

Hello,

I may be late on this, but I live just out of memphis, and the way we always go is through nashvile. Its the best way. We have been there a few times.

I was wondering if you were from memphis, or just traveling through.


We are just traveling through. We have picked a tough year to take an extended trip in our RV from No Ca to several of the southeastern states. We wanted to do this about 3 years ago and couldn't. Now we will suffer the very high diesel prices but if we don't do it now, we may not ever do it. If it becomes too expensive, we will have to cut our trip short and come home. We leave next month.
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