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Old 08-22-2017, 02:40 AM   #1
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Helen, GA to Pigeon Forge, TN

Planning our first long trip in our Challenger. 1553 miles over 5 states in 2 weeks. The route from Helen, Ga to Pigeon Forge on US-23/US-441 looks harrowing to a flatlander from Florida!

Has anyone done it? I understand there are tunnels. How do I find out the height limits? The stretch from Cherokee to Gatlinburg I gather is the hardest part. Is there a better route? Any insight is appreciated.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BradnKaren View Post
Planning our first long trip in our Challenger. 1553 miles over 5 states in 2 weeks. The route from Helen, Ga to Pigeon Forge on US-23/US-441 looks harrowing to a flatlander from Florida!

Has anyone done it? I understand there are tunnels. How do I find out the height limits? The stretch from Cherokee to Gatlinburg I gather is the hardest part. Is there a better route? Any insight is appreciated.
Get a truckers Atlas, either at at truck stop or from Amazon, the Atlas will have clearances from bridges, tunnels, or anything else along your route. Be sure you know the actual height of your coach then add a couple of inches just to be safe.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:35 AM   #3
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depends on what you mean by 'better' route.... you could certainly bypass all the fun and go west to I75, up thru Knoxville, and I40 over to Sevierville/PigeonForge/Dollywood/Gatlinburg... but where's the fun in that!?


yes, 441 N will be the 'fun' part, but that's what it's all about...

try from Helen north on 17/75 over the mountain to Hiawassee first, that will give you a taste...
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BradnKaren View Post
Planning our first long trip in our Challenger. 1553 miles over 5 states in 2 weeks. The route from Helen, Ga to Pigeon Forge on US-23/US-441 looks harrowing to a flatlander from Florida!

Has anyone done it? I understand there are tunnels. How do I find out the height limits? The stretch from Cherokee to Gatlinburg I gather is the hardest part. Is there a better route? Any insight is appreciated.
We live near there and take that road over the mountain all the time (in our jeep) and never see any type of RVs on it. Not sure about restrictions but maybe consider going up to Waynesville and catching Rt 40...
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking we need an iPhone GPS app, that lets you input avoidances like low bridges, propane restrictions, ect. Husband uses his iPhone 7 plus mounted on the dash and Google maps as a GPS currently. I don't want to spend a couple hundred bucks on an RV dedicated Garmin. We've already blown the budget on upgrades this year. I see there are a few apps out there, anyone have any experience with a GPS app for Rving?
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:42 PM   #6
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:17 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=

try from Helen north on 17/75 over the mountain to Hiawassee first, that will give you a taste...[/QUOTE]

2nd that. I live in Hiawassee and travel through Helen regularly.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BradnKaren View Post
Planning our first long trip in our Challenger. 1553 miles over 5 states in 2 weeks. The route from Helen, Ga to Pigeon Forge on US-23/US-441 looks harrowing to a flatlander from Florida!

Has anyone done it? I understand there are tunnels. How do I find out the height limits? The stretch from Cherokee to Gatlinburg I gather is the hardest part. Is there a better route? Any insight is appreciated.
I cannot answer about leaving Helen but I have traveled over the mountain from Cherokee to Gatlinburg multiple times. I have crossed it in a 36 footer w an enclosed 6x12 many times. It is steep and crowed but is manageable for a KY/WV guy. If ur afraid or have concerns I'd go around.You'll be slow going up and probably want to take a pull off every now and then to let traffic around.
Going down the other side needs to be just as slow or slower. Use lower gears consistently. Once u start too fast it is usually too late!!! Don't want to scare u but be very cautious.
Once in Gatlinburg I always use left lane as the street posts are very close to the road. Just look at all the mirrors marks from either trucks or shuttles!!!
I usually go early in the morning to avoid the crowds on the mountain. Thx, Dennis.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:43 PM   #9
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Id rather go over the mountain than drive an RV in Gatlinburg. That is toad territory. Definitely recomend Cades Cove as a scenic valley drive through outing.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:18 PM   #10
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Id rather go over the mountain than drive an RV in Gatlinburg. That is toad territory. Definitely recomend Cades Cove as a scenic valley drive through outing.
We would take the bypass to Pigeon Forge. Don't need to drive through downtown Gatlinburg. Are the tunnel heights ok? We're spec'd out at 12ft 11in I think. I believe my husband can handle the drive. He's been driving decent sized Class A's for many years, including to Helen, GA in the past. Just haven't been north of that. It's the part from Cherokee to Gatlinburg that looks hairy on a map.

Cades Cove sounds lovely, but were doing this trip without a toad.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:43 PM   #11
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We would take the bypass to Pigeon Forge. Don't need to drive through downtown Gatlinburg. Are the tunnel heights ok? We're spec'd out at 12ft 11in I think. I believe my husband can handle the drive. He's been driving decent sized Class A's for many years, including to Helen, GA in the past. Just haven't been north of that. It's the part from Cherokee to Gatlinburg that looks hairy on a map.

Cades Cove sounds lovely, but were doing this trip without a toad.
I have never taken the by-pass in an RV. So not sure what it is like. But I will say if u make it to the by-pass the worse is behind u. Gatlinburg is a breeze except for the right hand lane. Unless a storm or something keeping folks off the street u only go a hundred feet and stop for people crossing anyway!!! Be careful and enjoy. Thx, Dennis.
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:56 AM   #12
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My toad comment was for downtown Gatlinburg. Cades Cove is an easy slow tour through pasture like terrain. Very easy. You almost always see wildlife (animals).
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:00 AM   #13
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I'll agree with Computer Chips, Cade's Cove is a nice drive. When we were there 2 years ago, there a lot of people driving the loop.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:21 PM   #14
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where are you staying?
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