Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #29
3 Rivet Member
 
Bluestar99's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Bartlett , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 133
First off, our state is broke, so any help you can make with tolls is appreciated.
I have lived west of Chicago for 60 years. It amazes me how many people fear driving around Chicago. If you are on 294 you are well west of any downtown traffic, and while busy, traffic usually moves along very well. My suggestion, is if you want to avoid some traffic and are coming from MN take I90 into Rockford, go west on the RT20 bypass a few miles to I39 south and take it down to I80 east. To me that is the best you will get, going east, if you want to avoid city traffic.

If you are in Milwaukee heading south around the lake toward Indiana, take 94 south to 294 south and hook up with 80/94 into Indiana. Drive the second lane in, stay out of the merge lane and you will be fine. If there is a stretch of hwy I hate on the way to I65 south it's once I get into northern Indiana on 80/94. Every truck in the world is there.
__________________

__________________
Bluestar99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2015, 06:56 PM   #30
3 Rivet Member
 
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Streator , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 129
MainStreamer, I think that is the route most of us are talking about. We drive it all the time from West to East and always avoid rush hours but the truck traffic ALWAYS seems bad but doable. Once you cross I-55 going West, things should ease up. Travelingl across the U.S., we face these situations every month whether or not it's Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, etc. We just avoid rush hours, stay in our lane and pray.
__________________

__________________
jbroedlow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2015, 07:37 PM   #31
Regular Guy
 
NavyCorpsman's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 572
I hate toll roads. I pay fuel tax for what? You cant see America from the interstate system. The secondary roads are slower but for the things that you see and experience, it's worth the extra time that it takes. If your on a vacation, isn't it to be a relaxing experience? Follow the money on the EZ Pass system. Where does it go?
__________________
NavyCorpsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2015, 09:05 PM   #32
1 Rivet Member
 
2013 25' FB International
Madison , Connecticut
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
Images: 1
EZ pass and TT

You need to apply for second EZ pass, used only when towing. Definitely not doubling of toll, actually a reasonably small increase in toll, based on number of axles.
__________________
obsail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2015, 10:36 PM   #33
3 Rivet Member
 
JustSomeGuy's Avatar
 
1990 25' Excella
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 117
Images: 3
Wow, thanks for all of the excellent suggestions and comments everyone! I've read each of them, and checked out all of the routes, highways and interstates on Google maps. My first destination is Can-Am RV in London, Ontario Canada - so that narrows it down to two border crossings: Detroit, MI into Windsor, ON or Port Huron, MI into Sarnia, ON (my preferred crossing). As mentioned earlier in the replies, since I'm travelling from such a distance (PNW, Vancouver BC, Spokane, WA, etc) I can easily take one route over another to avoid Chicago by many, many miles. Normally I'm not that afraid to drive through big cities, but I see I'm not alone in wanting to avoid Chicago (or the state of Illinois) - especially when towing my 25' Airstream.

I liked all of the suggestions for avoiding the heart of Chicago and skirting around the downtown core. But I think there will still be a decent amount of traffic, and in some cases tolls. I might wait to try these routes out when I'm driving solo, without the trailer. Sooner or later that opportunity will come up. But for this trip, as I'm still a towing newbie (though feeling more confident with each trip when I tow something), I'd rather take a less heavily travelled route, preferably without tolls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearheart View Post
+1 vote on this trip. Losing an hour to avoid Chicago, and toll roads too, is a no brainer in my books. The UP and northern Wisconsin are beautiful. Pick up I 75 at Mackinaw city and head west on I 69 at Flint. Cross at Sarnia and it's 1 1/2 hours to Can Am.
After reading all of the suggestions, this one sounded like the best one to me. Thank you for suggesting it. I would never have thought of it. Last time I went through the MI upper peninsula, I crossed into Canada at Sault-Sainte-Marie since my destination was Barrie, Ontario (north of Toronto), so it made sense. But I see how taking the Mackinaw bridge and I-75 and then I-69 will be a nice, laid back route to Can-Am RV in London, ON. Looks like it will only take about one extra hour of driving. Well worth it to avoid Chicagoland and Indiana, especially while towing.

The only caveat with this one is that I will need to print out or write out on paper the directions for going through the upper peninsula in northern Michigan. Last summer I went through Duluth, MN/Superior WI and all went well until I got near the WI/MI border. The roads just don't seem to be mapped out well on the GPS. It shows roads that don't exist, and sometimes it fails to shows well established roads. Even the locals will attest to this. Ask me how I know. I wasted a good two hours taking a much longer route than I needed to, and at one point (travelling from west to east) ended up back in Wisconsin after I had entered Michigan where the was a construction detour and was not aware that I had been turned around and ended up back in WI again. I had to stop to ask for directions several times. But, now that I know about this potential problem, I will print out the directions for that part of the trip. Actually, I will print out the directions for the entire trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Wanderer View Post
We live in VT and registered for our EZPass in NH as there are none in VT. The website was very confusing, so I had a customer service agent walk me thru the process. She had me registered with my Ram TV and the AS. It was NOT a commercial account. If we go thru a toll without the AS, it charges us only for the Ram. Before we travel in toll areas, we always make sure that our account has enough money in it. As for Chicago, there is nothing easy about it. We always take the interstates west of the "beltway" that is right next to the city. (Still crazy busy.) There is nothing like the EZPass in that area, as you do not have to go thru a toll booth - just stay at highway speed in the main lanes and the sensors read your pass. Wish I had done the EZPass years earlier.
Good to know, thanks! I'm not sure if it matters which state your EZ-Pass is issued from. Maybe this week I'll call the New York State Thruway Authority and ask if I can set it up so that I can use my NY EZ-Pass like you - when towing it will recognize that and charge accordingly, and when not towing, it will charge for a single passenger vehicle. I love the time savings with the EZ-Pass, but for this trip, I would like to avoid any toll roads. Worst case, if I actually do end up on a toll road I can pull up to a manned booth and ask the attendant, and either pay the difference in cash, or the whole toll in cash. I don't want to risk any fines as others have mentioned, nor do I want to overpay and be charged as an 18 wheeler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obsail View Post
You need to apply for second EZ pass, used only when towing. Definitely not doubling of toll, actually a reasonably small increase in toll, based on number of axles.
This also sounds like a good option if I'll make enough use of the EZ-Pass. I like the idea of using one EZ-Pass where the scanners will recognize if I'm towing or driving solo. But using two EZ-Passes (one registered for driving solo, one registered with the TV and trailer together). I'd just have to make sure they're both well marked and stored in foil bags until needed, then attach the correct one to my windshield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineStreamer View Post
I'm driving with my Airstream from Maine to Davenport, Iowa in May for a wedding there, plus visits and a genealogy research stop along the way, so will want to avoid Chicago as well, presumably going around it to the south, but not too far out of the way. Is there a problem just driving across Indiana and Illinois on Route 80?
I wouldn't mind trying this route on a trip when I'm not towing, or maybe after I get a bit more experience towing - and make sure I'm up to speed on the EZ-Pass situation. All I know is that I would really like to avoid going through downtown Chicago again - or any of the nearby Chicago bypass routes which could still be busy and confusing, and have tolls, even if they're not as bad as driving through the heart of downtown Chicago. I want to stay as far away as possible from Chicago, unless I'm flying in and taking a taxi, lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyCorpsman View Post
I hate toll roads. I pay fuel tax for what? You cant see America from the interstate system. The secondary roads are slower but for the things that you see and experience, it's worth the extra time that it takes. If your on a vacation, isn't it to be a relaxing experience? Follow the money on the EZ Pass system. Where does it go?
I know what you mean. Normally I would like to take my time and see the nicer scenery. But this time I will be in a bit of a rush to get to my destination as both of my elderly parents are not doing very well, and my father is currently in the hospital with a 1 in 4 chance of not making it past this week. I may have to leave sooner than planned, but even leaving when I originally planned, I just want the quickest, easiest way. I'm taking the Airstream because I may have to be there for several months or longer, and need a place to stay, and the Airstream is perfect. Going through the Rockies, I like the Interstates through Washington, Idaho and western Montana. Well engineered roads without any crazy steep hills or sharp turns. And it's an easy drive through the Great Plains.

True, it's not as scenic as some of the back roads. But I think the last part of my trip, in order to avoid Chicagoland, will take me on some back roads through northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Last summer when I went through the upper peninsula in MI I got to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) for real for the first time! On my way back out west, I will probably be able to make it a nice, relaxed road trip, maybe taking two or three weeks to get back. I'm thinking of either taking a detour and going to Key West, FL and/or travelling some of Route 66 and checking out some of Arizona and California.
__________________
1990 Airstream Excella 25 Double
2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L with the Can-Am Special Hitch
JustSomeGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 02:47 AM   #34
3 Rivet Member
 
JustSomeGuy's Avatar
 
1990 25' Excella
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 117
Images: 3
Looks like I'd be going through Minneapolis. I don't recall having driven through it before. I was supposed to once, but my GPS sent me through St. Cloud instead, which wasn't that bad for traffic. Google maps lists toll charges, but those seem to be applicable only to HOV lanes going through the twin cities. That leads me to believe Minneapolis, like most major cities, gets very congested at rush hour and should be avoided, especially for a towing newbie, especially if lane changes and tolls are required. If I detour around Minneapolis, I'd actually be able to go the entire way from west to east, without going through any big, major cities, which is a good option.

But I've kind of been wanting to check out Minneapolis for a while, even if just driving through. I see lots of Walmarts are there, so should be a place to stop for the night. Depending on when I arrive, I could always plan to stop at a Walmart for the night, or to wait out the rush hour. Or if I arrive at night, I'd stop at one on the far east side so when I leave in the morning, I'd be able to avoid much of the rush hour, unless it happens to be on a weekend, but weekends can be unpredictable too. Or maybe I'll be lucky enough to pass through during an off-peak period, like 10am-2pm on a weekday.
__________________
1990 Airstream Excella 25 Double
2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L with the Can-Am Special Hitch
JustSomeGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 06:54 AM   #35
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 27' Flying Cloud
Stowe , Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 248
Note - All EZPasses issued from any state, work in all states that have EZPass. There are maps on websites that indicate the states with EZPass. You DO NOT need 2 separate transponders (1 for TV solo, another for TV & AS) if you register correctly. Also, you do not need a commercial transponder unless you are a commercial vehicle. All the toll sensors scan and record the proper vehicle with or without the trailer. Ask for a customer service agent to guide you, instead of going thru the questionable website.
__________________
VT Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 08:08 AM   #36
Rivet Master
 
Gearheart's Avatar

 
1973 Argosy 24
Kitchener , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 852
Images: 1
Do you have CAA? They'll write out a blow by blow turn by turn aid called a trip tick. It's free to members. It includes points of interest along the way. Well worth the $$ of membership.
__________________
Gearheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 10:11 AM   #37
3 Rivet Member
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 185
I tow a 31' AS and went thru Chicago last summer. I only travel in daylight and was familiar with this route .
If you want to miss most of the "Windy" you could get on I-80 at some point and follow it along the bottom of Chicago, this route gets really busy too but if you stay in right lane and plan your route you should be fine.
I don't use GPS I use my Truckers Atlas and if I'm going to travel an unfamiliar route I write it down and hang it on the dash, (this method worked for me for over 1,000,000 mi as a truck driver).
I use CanAm for all my AS work good people and if you take 69 off 94 thru MI and cross at Pt Huron Sarnia, you will miss all of Detroit ,Good luck, Bev
__________________
Bev1940 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 10:23 AM   #38
Rivet Master
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,327
Blog Entries: 1
Smile chicagoland

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineStreamer View Post
I'm driving with my Airstream from Maine to Davenport, Iowa in May for a wedding there, plus visits and a genealogy research stop along the way, so will want to avoid Chicago as well, presumably going around it to the south, but not too far out of the way. Is there a problem just driving across Indiana and Illinois on Route 80?
I 80 -90 from point where splits to toll 94-splits 80 is to avoid from this point to where 80-94 [most traffic goes north on toll 94] splits to 80 west during rush hour & early evening, then stay out of right lane as idiots come onto 80 with no regard for traffic, it is approx. 10 to 15 mile stretch. I have driven this way many times with As at all hrs. w/out any probs. and there isn't any way around this point wout going many miles out of way. You can look at rt. 30 a little south of 80 but towns run together many stop lights heavy traffic. I tried 1 time never again. Bill
__________________
featherbedder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #39
3 Rivet Member
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St Paul , MN
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy View Post
Looks like I'd be going through Minneapolis. I don't recall having driven through it before. I was supposed to once, but my GPS sent me through St. Cloud instead, which wasn't that bad for traffic. Google maps lists toll charges, but those seem to be applicable only to HOV lanes going through the twin cities. That leads me to believe Minneapolis, like most major cities, gets very congested at rush hour and should be avoided, especially for a towing newbie, especially if lane changes and tolls are required. If I detour around Minneapolis, I'd actually be able to go the entire way from west to east, without going through any big, major cities, which is a good option.

But I've kind of been wanting to check out Minneapolis for a while, even if just driving through. I see lots of Walmarts are there, so should be a place to stop for the night. Depending on when I arrive, I could always plan to stop at a Walmart for the night, or to wait out the rush hour. Or if I arrive at night, I'd stop at one on the far east side so when I leave in the morning, I'd be able to avoid much of the rush hour, unless it happens to be on a weekend, but weekends can be unpredictable too. Or maybe I'll be lucky enough to pass through during an off-peak period, like 10am-2pm on a weekday.
Yes get a TripTik or route mapped out for you. You won't need to go through Minneapolis or Chicago. The UP is gorgeous but not sure I would want to tow across Mackinaw Bridge on a windy day. That's just me with bridges! Another route would be to go to Manitowac WI and see if you can take the Spartan or Badger ferries over to Ludington MI but check all that out as it's been a few decades since I took the ferries across - both cities have some interesting places to check out - you can relax on the ferry if it accommodates the TV and Airstream. If you do come to Minneapolis/St. Paul take 94E to 694 to 94E towards WI - and watch closely as 694 and 494 loop the city. Where 694/494/94 meet on the east side of St Paul - keep on 94E towards Wisconsin. You won't see much of the cities only the outskirts. Or, if you are coming to Minnesota stop in at The MN Airstream Park for a few days and explore the Minneapolis area with public transit or your TV. It's about an hour commute depending on what you want to see. It's a short distance to Shorewood RV - Airstream dealer in MN. Have a great trip!
__________________
Seemore2006 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 10:35 AM   #40
3 Rivet Member
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St Paul , MN
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 139
BTW lesson learned the hard way - don't travel UP of Mich when the mayflies hatch.....slip skidding away and no vacancies at hotels!
__________________
Seemore2006 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 02:10 PM   #41
3 Rivet Member
 
briboy's Avatar
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 100
Images: 3
Blog Entries: 77
From I-90 take I-39 South from Rockford to I-80 East. This is the way to go. We live in Chicago and store the trailer west of I-39, and this is how we would head East. There is one small patch of tollway on 80, but i'ts minimal and not worth the effort to avoid. Happy Trails!
__________________
Brian & Mark

wbcci 4174
air 38117
briboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #42
3 Rivet Member
 
JustSomeGuy's Avatar
 
1990 25' Excella
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 117
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Wanderer View Post
Note - All EZPasses issued from any state, work in all states that have EZPass. There are maps on websites that indicate the states with EZPass. You DO NOT need 2 separate transponders (1 for TV solo, another for TV & AS) if you register correctly. Also, you do not need a commercial transponder unless you are a commercial vehicle. All the toll sensors scan and record the proper vehicle with or without the trailer. Ask for a customer service agent to guide you, instead of going thru the questionable website.
Thanks, sounds logical. I'll call the NYS Thruway Authority and see if they can help me set up account/transponder the right way, so it will be ready if/when I need to use it next - towing or solo. I don't want to pay more than I have to, nor do I want to get any fines for doing it the wrong way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearheart View Post
Do you have CAA? They'll write out a blow by blow turn by turn aid called a trip tick. It's free to members. It includes points of interest along the way. Well worth the $$ of membership.
Yes, I have CAA (AAA). In this day and age with GPS and Google Maps, the Triptik is probably not used much, but I would definitely want one if I were to go through the upper peninsula in Michigan. Lots of turns and roads to take, and the GPS isn't accurate in that area, as I discovered last summer. A Triptik might be a good idea, but I'd better order it soon. I plan on leaving in less than two weeks, and it might take them a while to get it ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev1940 View Post
I tow a 31' AS and went thru Chicago last summer. I only travel in daylight and was familiar with this route .
If you want to miss most of the "Windy" you could get on I-80 at some point and follow it along the bottom of Chicago, this route gets really busy too but if you stay in right lane and plan your route you should be fine.
I don't use GPS I use my Truckers Atlas and if I'm going to travel an unfamiliar route I write it down and hang it on the dash, (this method worked for me for over 1,000,000 mi as a truck driver).
I use CanAm for all my AS work good people and if you take 69 off 94 thru MI and cross at Pt Huron Sarnia, you will miss all of Detroit ,Good luck, Bev
Sounds good. I might try that when driving solo, or after I have a bit more towing experience. I also prefer crossing at Port Huron. Not as busy as Detroit, nice small town feel. I bought my Airstream at Can Am and they also set up my hitch. I need some minor servicing done on my Airstream, so I want to drop it off and possibly store it there for a few weeks before I need it. Looks like I might be full timing in it for the summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seemore2006 View Post
Yes get a TripTik or route mapped out for you. You won't need to go through Minneapolis or Chicago. The UP is gorgeous but not sure I would want to tow across Mackinaw Bridge on a windy day. That's just me with bridges! Another route would be to go to Manitowac WI and see if you can take the Spartan or Badger ferries over to Ludington MI but check all that out as it's been a few decades since I took the ferries across - both cities have some interesting places to check out - you can relax on the ferry if it accommodates the TV and Airstream. If you do come to Minneapolis/St. Paul take 94E to 694 to 94E towards WI - and watch closely as 694 and 494 loop the city. Where 694/494/94 meet on the east side of St Paul - keep on 94E towards Wisconsin. You won't see much of the cities only the outskirts. Or, if you are coming to Minnesota stop in at The MN Airstream Park for a few days and explore the Minneapolis area with public transit or your TV. It's about an hour commute depending on what you want to see. It's a short distance to Shorewood RV - Airstream dealer in MN. Have a great trip!
Thanks for the warning about the Mackinaw Bridge and the wind. I didn't realize how long it is - about 5 miles! (8km). Out on the open water, I can understand that it's susceptible to high winds. I've driven on shorter bridges across open water, not towing, and I know what you mean. It's not fun when there's high winds. Quite scary really. I found this video of a small, lightweight utility trailer being blown over on the Mackinaw Bridge:



Rules & Regulations - Mackinac Bridge Authority

The ferry sounded like a great alternative, until I found out that it won't be running until May 15... I'll be there about a month too early, darn!

SS Badger Ferry Schedule, Fares, Reservations | Ludington & Manitowoc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seemore2006 View Post
BTW lesson learned the hard way - don't travel UP of Mich when the mayflies hatch.....slip skidding away and no vacancies at hotels!
Thanks for the warning. When do they usually hatch? I'm planning on passing through in about two or three weeks, so mid to late April. By "slip skidding away" did you mean they actually make the road slippery, or just smear up the windshield? No worries about a hotel, as I'll be towing the Airstream this time.
__________________

__________________
1990 Airstream Excella 25 Double
2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L with the Can-Am Special Hitch
JustSomeGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GoldenAge Pass aka America The Beautiful-The National Parks & Federal Rec Lands Pass Driver1 Boondocking 16 07-22-2009 11:00 AM
Minimising / avoiding import tax to UK Boom Sounds Shipping & Export/Import 0 07-25-2007 04:22 PM
Avoiding the full monte (we hope); Overlander redo/repair blackboat 1970 Overlander 9 07-18-2006 08:39 PM
Weight Distribution Bars-Avoiding a mess JaceBeck Hitches, Couplers & Balls 18 11-25-2004 01:29 PM
avoiding tire flat spots thedakotakid Tires 3 07-08-2003 05:48 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.