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Open Roads Forum  >  Roads and Routes

 > Memphis to Springfield, MO

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mikemc53

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Posted: 03/26/22 10:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi gang, and I likely asked this a year or two ago but ended up making a different trip. I'm really looking for the best route from Memphis (actually Southaven, MS) to Springfield, MO. We leave north central Florida and go to visit family in Springfield before heading to Michigan. About three years ago I came down to Florida via Springfield and took 60 to 63 on through to 555. My recollection was that 63 was very mountainous and twisty - not really enjoyable. Now it might have been a combination of my rig (37 ft Class A V-10 gasser towing a car), at the time, and my, less than exemplary, driving skills but it wasn't a lot of fun. Is there a better route that doesn't add 100's of miles? Or is that a decent route that I just was not ready for, maybe?


Some background: I have driven hills/mountains through Tennessee on I-75 and West Virginia and they sometimes tested the Class A but not overly so. As I said, maybe it was just me at the time. I now have a 30 ft Class C with the Ford 7.3L V-8 and it seems to have quite a bit more power than the old V-10 so it might not be an issue but if there are alternate routes that travel easily I would appreciate any info out there. Won't be making the trip until beginning of May but want to have some ideas by then.

Thanks in advance!


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Thom02099

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Posted: 03/26/22 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An option to consider would be taking US 65 south out of Springfield thru Branson and on to I-40 at Conway, AR. Then I-40 east to Brinkley, AR where you could take US 49 south to the Helena crossing of the Mississippi River, then take US 61 north to Southhaven area.

Have used that route in the past to avoid the Memphis mess and to get on to I-22 down to Alabama. Don't recall anything that would cause concern, maybe a little traffic around Branson but nothing compared to Memphis-West Memphis.

I've also been further west, at Joplin and then south on I-49 thru NWAR area to I-40 at Alma, AR, then east on I-40 to Brinkley.

Just some alternate routes.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 03/26/22 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just looking at the topical map between my ears, I think that to get where you want to go you will need to go around or over a mountain range.
I have never drove a MH for any distance, but back in mid '70s I would run KC to Searcy Ak with a naturedly aspirated NTC 250 Cummins a couple times a month. I found that I could make the trip easier running 60 to 63 and down than I could on 65. Now over the decades they have done a lot of work on 65 moving it around towns, straighten the curves, making much of it limited access, and reducing the dips so you go up/down at a more constant rate.
2009, I hauled a permit load south on 63. Now 53 ft RGN load 10 ft wide, GVW near 98,000. That short section of 63 worked me pretty hard. Few weeks later, moved the machine again. This time the permit called for me to come up 65. That improved road gave driver a lot more room for mistakes, but my transmission and rearends got as hot south of Branson as they did when I took same machine thru Eisenhower tunnel.
All this is a lot of words to say I think 63-60 is best way. After all, the only hard part is less than 30 miles long. Any other route adds more than 30 miles, so if you drive that section at half speed you save time.

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Posted: 03/27/22 03:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As living in Branson we've traveled that route afew times. You really have two choices both end up on hwy 65. The more laid back, yet alittle longer is I40 through Little Rock and meeting hwy 65 at Conway. The part around Little Rock is not bad traffic wise.

The other route is hwy 64 out of Memphis to Bad Knob then hwy 167 to hwy 36 at Searcy then onto hwy 124 to hwy 65. This is a true ozark mountain driving experience. The road is great the scenery is great its a sit back enjoy whats around you. Very doable with many curves.
Good Luck


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JRscooby

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Posted: 03/27/22 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

craig7h wrote:



The other route is hwy 64 out of Memphis to Bad Knob then hwy 167 to hwy 36 at Searcy then onto hwy 124 to hwy 65. This is a true ozark mountain driving experience. The road is great the scenery is great its a sit back enjoy whats around you. Very doable with many curves.
Good Luck


This is a way. OTOH, if the OP is worried about US63, which he has used, I would be very surprised to learn he was looking for "true ozark mountain driving experience"
And traffic around Branson can be as bad as around some much larger cities. I sure would not go out of my way to drive past. (Now this is not to say I would avoid the area if I was wanting to do tourist stuff)

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