Is Driving The Parkway For You?
The author and his wife made the full-length trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a 22-foot Type B motorhome (without a towed vehicle). But if you have a larger Type A or Type C, and tow a vehicle, can you still enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway, with all of its tight turns and elevation changes?
The answer: It can be a fun trip or a white-knuckle exercise, depending on your personal driving comfort level. Leesa Brandon, National Park Service public information officer for the parkway, advised, “You have to plan ahead and keep in mind this road was built before RVs got as big as they are today.”
Drivers should expect their speed to average approximately 30 mph, regardless of speed limits; it’s not a road to take quickly.
Drivers should know the road is open to all kinds of travelers. “Hikers, bikers, and 40-foot RVs all share the same road,” Ms. Brandon said.
The road was not made to accommodate everyone at every stop, she added. “We have over 800 pull-off overlooks, and some are designed for a car or two, and some easily can accommodate a large RV. That’s just the way the parkway was designed. If you don’t fit in one, keep driving to the next overlook.”
The park service regularly trims trees and vegetation alongside the road, but your visit may not coincide with the optimum point in the trimming schedule.
Because of these things, and that comfort factor mentioned above, some motorhomers posting on FMCA.com’s Forums (www.FMCA.com) have suggested it’s best to leave a large coach at the campground and drive a towed vehicle on the parkway. Other members insist they had zero problems driving a diesel pusher and pulling a towed vehicle.
Whatever you choose to do, Ms. Brandon said, “We encourage drivers to have patience and navigate carefully. Motorhomes should be able to manage most of the roadway just fine.” She echoed the park service motto: “Enjoy the view and watch the road.”