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Old 04-06-2015, 02:40 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by briboy View Post
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!
Actually, this sounds like a pretty good compromise! After considering the Michigan Upper Peninsula route, and now that I know about the wind risks on the Mackinaw Bridge, and the ferry to cross Lake Michigan not being in service until May 15, this is starting to looks like a good alternative. Looks like the later portion on I-80 after Joliet might be a bit busy, so I'd aim to go on an off-peak time, or maybe even get off and take Highway (or State Route) 30 and then 421.

It's not so much the tolls I'm trying to avoid (although that would certainly be nice ) but heavy traffic and lane changes towing the trailer. Out of the entire trip from west to east, this is the one part that's very urbanized, heavily populated and busy. Getting to my destination needs to be fairly quick, with no time for long detours or sightseeing. On the way back, I can do that, but on the way there, I need to get there as quickly as I can.
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Old 04-06-2015, 02:57 PM   #44
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I just had a brainstorming idea...

So far all of the suggestions have been for a fairly direct route with minimal backtracking or extra driving. Since I'm not too keen on driving though heavily populated areas with lots of traffic, lane changes and tolls, I could go through the upper peninsula in MI, but then cross at Sault-Sainte-Marie into Ontario, like I did once before, but not towing, although as I recall, it seems like an OK area to tow. But... I'll arrive at my last destination BEFORE Can-Am RV in London though.... This route would take me through Sudbury and into Barrie (my intended destination on this trip). I'd then have to continue almost three hours south-west to get to Can Am RV in London, and then another three hours to get back to Barrie. Plus a couple of hours to stop for lunch and drop off the Airstream. So almost an extra day's driving time and gas. I'd take the 407 toll highway to avoid the heavy Toronto traffic.

I was hoping to avoid backtracking and take a route so that Can Am RV in London was along the way, rather than making a special trip, out of the way to get there and back.

Hmmm.... decisions decisions.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:08 PM   #45
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Cool

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.
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.[/QUOTE]

I am so sorry to hear about your parents condition. God is still on the throne and prayer changes things. We will pray for you and your family's health, safety, and a double blessing of His Peace.

Your circumstance is my exception, when time is of the essence and you must be somewhere ASAP. Isn't it wonderful having a rig that you can feel good about when you have to open up the throttle? I still cringe when I think about the Dan Ryan and JFK expwy in ORD.
I retired from a career of dealing with people that had "helmet fires"; always in a hurry, blood pressures in the stroke range, early Cardiac disease etc..
You can hit everything you aim at, when you can control your breathing and heart rate. It's impossible when you don't.
Have a safe journey, and if you pass through my neck of the woods, let me know. Petit Jean State Park is an awesome experience, and it is on the way if you are going to drive RT66.
Pm me if there is anything else you need prayer for.
Clayton and Tammy
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:19 PM   #46
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90-39-80-69, cross at Sarnia, one hour to Can Am, and then off to Barrie on the 401 & 400. Don't worry too much about Chicago since it's always hit and miss just like Toronto. Nice to see that you made it west ok. Jim


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Old 04-06-2015, 03:20 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy View Post
Actually, this sounds like a pretty good compromise! After considering the Michigan Upper Peninsula route, and now that I know about the wind risks on the Mackinaw Bridge, and the ferry to cross Lake Michigan not being in service until May 15, this is starting to looks like a good alternative. Looks like the later portion on I-80 after Joliet might be a bit busy, so I'd aim to go on an off-peak time, or maybe even get off and take Highway (or State Route) 30 and then 421.

It's not so much the tolls I'm trying to avoid (although that would certainly be nice ) but heavy traffic and lane changes towing the trailer. Out of the entire trip from west to east, this is the one part that's very urbanized, heavily populated and busy. Getting to my destination needs to be fairly quick, with no time for long detours or sightseeing. On the way back, I can do that, but on the way there, I need to get there as quickly as I can.
Just stay in truck lanes as req. w/trailer. After split of 80 94 where traffic goes north 80 rest of way west not congested. Joliet not congested few cars & semis there only slow is where I stated west by Gary on 80. Rt. 30 very congested, you will lose much time as I stated I tried once never again. Not any other way but 80. I live west of 55 6 miles or so & 13 miles north of 80, & my oldest son pro semi driver termin. at Minooka on 80 also says going East 80 best unless going South then we have short cuts to bypass 65 & 57 at 80 then a little farther south then east back to them with miles saved & time. I have been driving 66 yrs, long before Intersates and toll roads. My son has over 4 million miles accident free driving and he keeps me up dated as to construction zones or impediments to driving. Also Mac. bridge shuts down because of winds for trucks & trailers, & it is frequent. Going across Lake Mich by ferry puts you into urban area on west side of lake.
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Old 04-06-2015, 03:41 PM   #48
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We travel pretty extensively. I have my E-Zpass issued in NJ. With one exception ( I'll mention that later) it works exactly as intended. If I am not towing it charges me for my truck ( single wheel 3500 Dodge) as expected. When towing it charges me for class 2 which includes 4 axles. Pennsylvania turnpike is one exception because they charge by weight at each exit toll plaza. My truck is 8200# and is always charged class 2. The exception mentioned above seems to be a glitch in the computer at one PA/NJ crossing on Rt. 78. If I go through the high speed E-Zpass lane with my 2 axle Airstream it will hit me for a commercial 18wheeler rate of $16. If I go through the toll plaza lane w/E-Zpass it charges me correctly at $3 ( I think). They have always made the adjustment after I bring it to their attention but I doubt it has been corrected so I simply use the toll plaza when I travel that route. I DO NOT have any special E-Zpass account. I have a single unit and it charges me correctly based on the number of axles crossing through the toll. Tow vehicles with dual wheels are a different class than mine and would be charged according to the vehicle class schedule which may also include the extra axles even if not towing.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:02 PM   #49
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If the heat is on to be in Barrie ASAP then over the top makes sense and bite the bullet for Can Am and make it a separate trip.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:42 PM   #50
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There is no reason to drive through Chicago unless you want to. You can drop down on I-39, 355, or 294, all west of the city, to I-80. The problem is that you have to go around Lake Michigan one way or another. To the north, across the UP of MI, or to the south and across 80. Indiana, and I-80/94, is the scariest part of that route as everything is funneled into that section. Just avoid it at rush hours (or Friday night if headed west during the summer)
There is one more option that I didn't see in the thread IIRC, and that is the Badger ferry across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc WI. Runs May - Oct
SS Badger, Lake Michigan Car Ferry | Manitowoc, WI - Ludington, MI
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #51
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Regarding the EZ pass (I Pass in IL)- I listed my trailer on the list of vehicles authorized to use the pass, along with the license plate, and I've never been mischarged. I think the plate triggers the proper charge, so that the system doesn't have to figure out what the trailer is. When I'm not towing, the I-Pass pays the standard rate.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #52
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Thanks again everyone, for all of the excellent suggestions and feedback! I really, really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
We travel pretty extensively. I have my E-Zpass issued in NJ. With one exception ( I'll mention that later) it works exactly as intended. If I am not towing it charges me for my truck ( single wheel 3500 Dodge) as expected. When towing it charges me for class 2 which includes 4 axles. Pennsylvania turnpike is one exception because they charge by weight at each exit toll plaza. My truck is 8200# and is always charged class 2. The exception mentioned above seems to be a glitch in the computer at one PA/NJ crossing on Rt. 78. If I go through the high speed E-Zpass lane with my 2 axle Airstream it will hit me for a commercial 18wheeler rate of $16. If I go through the toll plaza lane w/E-Zpass it charges me correctly at $3 ( I think). They have always made the adjustment after I bring it to their attention but I doubt it has been corrected so I simply use the toll plaza when I travel that route. I DO NOT have any special E-Zpass account. I have a single unit and it charges me correctly based on the number of axles crossing through the toll. Tow vehicles with dual wheels are a different class than mine and would be charged according to the vehicle class schedule which may also include the extra axles even if not towing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert claus View Post
Regarding the EZ pass (I Pass in IL)- I listed my trailer on the list of vehicles authorized to use the pass, along with the license plate, and I've never been mischarged. I think the plate triggers the proper charge, so that the system doesn't have to figure out what the trailer is. When I'm not towing, the I-Pass pays the standard rate.
Good to know. I think if I register my Airstream to my current New York State EZ-Pass, I should be charged correctly when towing and when driving solo, and can continue to use the EZ-Pass lanes to save time. I can review the charges online later, and if there's a toll that was billed too high, I'll call them and see if they can correct it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearheart View Post
If the heat is on to be in Barrie ASAP then over the top makes sense and bite the bullet for Can Am and make it a separate trip.
Yes, that's one option I'm considering. I think I'll play it by ear... if I get an urgent phone call and need to be in Barrie as quickly as possibly, then I'll take the route through Sault-Sainte-Marie, Sudbury, etc. I will arrive in Barrie at least 4 hours sooner than if I go the southern route and stop at Can Am RV in London. But, I'm not sure where I'll be able to unhitch and park my Airstream in Barrie, now that my parents have sold the house. And driving around town towing it everywhere I go is not appealing, not to mention trying to find parking around the hospital. But for one day, I could probably do it, and then go to Can Am the very next day, if I'm able to get away for the day. Of course, this option adds another 6 hours of driving time (3 hours each way from Barrie to London and back) and about a full tank of gas, and the better part of a full day. If I can void it, I'd like to. But I'm keeping this as an option, depending on how things unfold as I get closer.

As it stands, in an ideal world, I should be there already. I reached a compromise to finish up things in Vancouver and leave in two weeks, plus about 4 or 5 days driving time, which "should" be OK. I'd just hate to arrive a few days too late, and be arranging my dad's funeral instead of visiting with him and helping him transition into a nursing home or senior's residence. I "could" leave Vancouver immediately, but the domino effect will have me incur lots of financial expenses and the need to return in a while. If I take two weeks, I can avoid all of that and there will be no rush to come back. It seems every time I come back to BC, something happens to my parents within days, and I need to rush (drive) back across the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert claus View Post
There is no reason to drive through Chicago unless you want to. You can drop down on I-39, 355, or 294, all west of the city, to I-80. The problem is that you have to go around Lake Michigan one way or another. To the north, across the UP of MI, or to the south and across 80. Indiana, and I-80/94, is the scariest part of that route as everything is funneled into that section. Just avoid it at rush hours (or Friday night if headed west during the summer)
There is one more option that I didn't see in the thread IIRC, and that is the Badger ferry across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc WI. Runs May - Oct
SS Badger, Lake Michigan Car Ferry | Manitowoc, WI - Ludington, MI
Great idea! Another variation on dropping down a bit to make a bypass around Chicago. I took your suggestion, and some from other people, and looked at my entire trip and came up with this: after Billings, MT I will take the more southern I-90 instead I-94 which would have put me through Minneapolis. I'd still like to see Minneapolis, but I'll plan for it when I can spend at least a few days there and I'm not rushed. Anyways, back to the route... I then go south on I-35 in Iowa, branch off at Highway 18/218, then I-380, then finally pick up I-80 (a bit earlier and more west than you suggested), and follow it right through Illinois and Indiana. Looks like I'll miss the worst of the congested areas, and most of the tolls! For my own peace of mind, I'll try to pass through this area during an off-peak time, or better yet, between midnight and 5:00 if possible. Here's how it will look on Google Maps (shows in kilometers, to see distances in miles, change the starting city to Bellingham, WA instead of Vancouver, BC).

https://goo.gl/maps/fu3iz

The ferry would be nice, and I'd love to try it, perhaps on the way back, if not too late in the season. Unfortunately, it won't be open by the time I pass through. I'll be going through about 3 to 4 weeks before they open.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #53
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Regarding the mayflies hatching - I'm not sure - but when they hatch the roads are so slippery it's sometimes recommended not to travel - I continued on but very cautiously as that year they were especially numerous and created slick roads - cars were in the ditches. This was mostly along the lake. I think this only occurs for 24-48 hours and I am not sure when they hatch.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:17 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyCorpsman View Post
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.
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.

I am so sorry to hear about your parents condition. God is still on the throne and prayer changes things. We will pray for you and your family's health, safety, and a double blessing of His Peace.

Your circumstance is my exception, when time is of the essence and you must be somewhere ASAP. Isn't it wonderful having a rig that you can feel good about when you have to open up the throttle? I still cringe when I think about the Dan Ryan and JFK expwy in ORD.
I retired from a career of dealing with people that had "helmet fires"; always in a hurry, blood pressures in the stroke range, early Cardiac disease etc..
You can hit everything you aim at, when you can control your breathing and heart rate. It's impossible when you don't.
Have a safe journey, and if you pass through my neck of the woods, let me know. Petit Jean State Park is an awesome experience, and it is on the way if you are going to drive RT66.
Pm me if there is anything else you need prayer for.
Clayton and Tammy
Thank you.

I'm getting more comfortable towing, backing up the trailer, etc. When driving solo, not towing, I'm OK with driving just about anywhere. There are a few exceptions, like Chicago, some of the steep, twisty mountain passes in the Rockies, especially in the dark, rain or snow, etc. I'm pretty careful and don't push the limits past what I'm comfortable doing, which has resulted in an excellent track record for me. New cities always present a challenge. There are a few I've driven in enough that, although I don't know them really well, I feel comfortable enough to drive in them.

Lately, it seems like I'm always rushing back east or west. It's been a very stressful, unpleasant year. I'm not sure what the future will hold in store for my parents, but I hope things work out well. Thank you for your prayers. I'm really happy that my mother got to go on a cross-country road trip with me and my dog last year when I got my Airstream. She really enjoyed it and talks about it often. A few days later, she had a stroke and now lives in a nursing home where she needs full care.

Now my father has taken a turn for the worse with a hip fracture and they found he has a heart murmur. I was just there a couple of weeks ago. This happened a day after I got back to my condo out on the west coast. These things always seem to happen right after I drive back out west. Sadly I don't think my father will be any condition to travel now. He's always wanted to see the Yukon and Alaska. Would have been a nice trip in the Airstream, or even to fly and rent a car. A year ago, both of my parents were still living in their own home, driving, etc, and were supposed to move out west with me. I doubt that will happen now. At least I've got my Airstream to stay in during the warmer weather. On the bright side, I'll finally get some good use out of it!
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:19 PM   #55
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Just so you know, I-80 all the way across Illinois is a toll road.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:20 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seemore2006 View Post
Regarding the mayflies hatching - I'm not sure - but when they hatch the roads are so slippery it's sometimes recommended not to travel - I continued on but very cautiously as that year they were especially numerous and created slick roads - cars were in the ditches. This was mostly along the lake. I think this only occurs for 24-48 hours and I am not sure when they hatch.
Wow! I had no idea! Thanks for the heads up on that. I thought winter was the only time I had to worry about slippery roads and cars sliding into the ditch. Who would have thought summer could be like that. Good to know that it's only for a day or two. If I happen to be in that area when they hatch, I'll play it safe and park for a couple of days. Or maybe I'll consider a different route, as I'll be in a bit of rush to get to my destination.
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