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Old 04-06-2015, 08:33 PM   #57
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Contrary to what Bluestar 99 just said, none of Rt 80 across Illinois is a toll road - it is all free. It is Rt 88 that is the toll road.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:37 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Bluestar99 View Post
Just so you know, I-80 all the way across Illinois is a toll road.
OK, thanks. I kind of expected I might still encounter a few tolls, but at least I'll avoid all of the never-ending tolls going through Chicago, where it seems like every few miles there's another toll to keep driving on the same road.

I'll just make sure I register my Airstream to my EZ-Pass before I leave, and try to go through Illinois and Indiana during off-peak times, or super early in the morning to avoid the heavy traffic. I think I'll be avoiding the worst of it. I originally thought going through Peoria, IL and Peru IN would be good, but according to Google Maps, it will add TWO hours of extra driving time!

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Originally Posted by robert claus View Post
Contrary to what Bluestar 99 just said, none of Rt 80 across Illinois is a toll road - it is all free. It is Rt 88 that is the toll road.
Even better! I'll prepare myself for the occasional toll, but I think I'll be avoiding most (hopefully all) of them if I go the way I just mentioned.

I don't think I'd be taking I-88 anyways.

According to Google Maps, it looks like I-90 is an Indiana toll road, but not I-80 or I-94, which are the ones I'd take if I went this way during my upcoming trip.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:05 AM   #59
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I wouldn't worry about the mayflies - I've lived in the Midwest for ages but have only been caught in the 'hatch' twice. Just be aware and if you see snowplows plowing bridges in the summer - slow down - they are removing the mayflies. Look up car accidents caused by mayflies and you will have more information on mayflies than you wanted to know. Pack your snowscraper and brush just in case. ��
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:25 AM   #60
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I was in Little Falls Min. 1 yr. during may fly hatch, they had end loaders cleaning bridge over Mis. river some places close to river ankle deep.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:29 AM   #61
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I80 in Il has 1 small toll where 80 94 splits free rest of Il west.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:34 PM   #62
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Wow, I've never seen anything like those mayflies when they're hatching! Seems to be a midwest thing. I'll definitely remember the warning and stay off the road should I be caught in "the hatch." For anyone who's interested, I found this video clip of a news segment on an accident caused by the mayflies.

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Old 04-09-2015, 03:54 PM   #63
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I just called customer service for EZ-Pass New York because I was having trouble adding the Airstream myself online. I selected what I thought was the right category (trailer, 2 axles, 4 tires, less than 7000 pounds), and then when it came to select "make" and "model" it was listing all of the automotive brands, no RV brands. At first the lady told me I had to get a second EZ-Pass for the trailer. I told her that I'd heard about other people being able to use one EZ-Pass tag for the tow vehicle and trailer, and that it would recognize when the trailer is there or not.

She put me on hold to ask her supervisor, came back on the line, and asked if I will always be towing the trailer. I said no, just sometimes. She then said it was OK to use one EZ-Pass for both the tow vehicle and trailer. She deleted the one I set up and put in a different category, but for "make" and "model" it just says "other." She said as long as the license plate is correct, that's what matters. I guess we'll see... if I end up going through any toll roads with an EZ-Pass reader I'll be sure to log into my online account later to verify I got charged the right amount. And I hope I won't get pulled over by police for a violation or warning, because I've done everything I can to make sure the Airstream is registered the right way.

I wonder what triggers the police to pull someone over for a suspected violation - does the EZ-Pass system automatically detect a trailer and the plate number of the tow vehicle, or trailer, and send it to police who then look for it? Or are there police parked at the EZ-Pass booth who monitor who goes through and look for violators (perhaps inadvertent violators who incorrectly registered their travel trailer)?
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:12 PM   #64
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I'm going to give you another option - our standard route between Alberta/BC and Ontario.

Continue on I-90 from Spokane across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Head south at Sioux Falls on I-29. Pick up I-80 east near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow I-80 across Iowa and Illinois to I-94. Yes, you will have one toll just before you reach I-94. The last time I paid with the trailer attached, I think it was $1.70. Follow I-94 east to Detroit, or switch to I-69 east of Battle Creek to head for Port Huron. The Port Huron/Point Edward crossing is easier than messing about in Detroit and Windsor.

The only traffic congestion I would expect to find is at Chicago, but it's usually tolerable. Yes, I-80 can be very rough as you approach the Chicago area. Watch out for bad pavement around bridges.

Your hardest pulls will be Lookout Pass at the Idaho/Montana line, and the Continental Divide east of Butte, MT.

I would not go north around Lake Michigan, except on a sightseeing tour. It's beautiful, but it will cost some time.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:11 PM   #65
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Avoiding Chicagoland while towing? EZ-Pass when towing?

AlbertF, that looks like a pretty good route and has the advantage that one could avoid the Mall of America and blame it on the route. I'll try it on my return from Calgary in May. Jim


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Old 04-09-2015, 06:30 PM   #66
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We're heading that way this summer, too - Detroit - Mackinac, Milwaukee/Green Bay, Chicago, and then back toward home. Really looking forward to the trip, including the famous bridge.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:05 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF View Post
I'm going to give you another option - our standard route between Alberta/BC and Ontario.

Continue on I-90 from Spokane across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Head south at Sioux Falls on I-29. Pick up I-80 east near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow I-80 across Iowa and Illinois to I-94. Yes, you will have one toll just before you reach I-94. The last time I paid with the trailer attached, I think it was $1.70. Follow I-94 east to Detroit, or switch to I-69 east of Battle Creek to head for Port Huron. The Port Huron/Point Edward crossing is easier than messing about in Detroit and Windsor.

The only traffic congestion I would expect to find is at Chicago, but it's usually tolerable. Yes, I-80 can be very rough as you approach the Chicago area. Watch out for bad pavement around bridges.

Your hardest pulls will be Lookout Pass at the Idaho/Montana line, and the Continental Divide east of Butte, MT.

I would not go north around Lake Michigan, except on a sightseeing tour. It's beautiful, but it will cost some time.
That looks good - similar to what I had mapped out earlier, but your route has the advantage driving through even less populated and congested areas. I'm somewhat familiar with the first part of the route (through Spokane, WA, through the Idaho panhandle, into Montana, etc). I've driven that way twice in the last year, but only solo. Although I wasn't towing, I remember thinking to myself that it looks a lot easier than it would be going through the Rockies in Canada, in BC (mostly) and in Alberta. I'm sure I'll be able to handle those two tougher stretches at the ID/MT line and the continental divide east of Butte, MT. I've towed my 25' Airstream through the Rockies on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Coquilhalla last year, and that was a tough haul! Especially for my first time towing! That stretch is enough of a challenge just driving solo!

Looks like the only heavily populated areas will be around the Illinois/Indiana border, but I'll aim to pass through that stretch on an off-peak time, either between 10am and 2pm, or better yet, between midnight and 5am. Worst case, if I encounter traffic there, I don't think it will be as bad as going through downtown Chicago. Nice to know that there will be only one toll. Now that I've added the Airstream to my EZ-Pass, I should be all set. So, the route would look something like this:

https://goo.gl/maps/J1FBe

I think the upper peninsula of Michigan, as you said, will cost some time and better left for later when I can take my time and go sightseeing, which I'd like to - it looked nice a nice place to explore last time I passed through. Or I'd take it if, for some reason, I can't take the southern route, or have to get to Barrie immediately and then postpone dropping off the Airstream at Can-Am RV in London on the way.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:30 PM   #68
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Try the ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Mich
It completely avoids all Chicago, I-80, etc horrific traffic
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:59 PM   #69
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One of my posts earlier about I 80 from I 80 90 split to 80 94 split west bound is not bad as some horror storys here, just stay in truck lanes as req. in this area, not in merge lanes. Truck traffic is heavy at times but they move rite along. Construction this area is finished. If you are afraid of driving moderate to heavy traffic it would be a prob. I'm 81 yrs. old pulling 31ft. AS or flat bed implement trailer in heavy traffic is not a prob. for me nor do I go slow. I do not like St Louis area as I feel worse than Chgo. but I still have to drive there. A final word I have been pulling trailers since 1954 so I have much experience and living in high density area helps.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:29 PM   #70
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Quote:
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Try the ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Mich
It completely avoids all Chicago, I-80, etc horrific traffic
It looks like the ferry doesn't start until May 15, which is a bit too late for me. I'll be passing through the area a few weeks too early, but I would definitely like to try it out on a future trip.

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One of my posts earlier about I 80 from I 80 90 split to 80 94 split west bound is not bad as some horror storys here, just stay in truck lanes as req. in this area, not in merge lanes. Truck traffic is heavy at times but they move rite along. Construction this area is finished. If you are afraid of driving moderate to heavy traffic it would be a prob. I'm 81 yrs. old pulling 31ft. AS or flat bed implement trailer in heavy traffic is not a prob. for me nor do I go slow. I do not like St Louis area as I feel worse than Chgo. but I still have to drive there. A final word I have been pulling trailers since 1954 so I have much experience and living in high density area helps.
Thanks, I'm getting more comfortable towing. I've only been towing a few times over the last year, so it's something fairly new to me. Normally I'm not afraid to drive in urban areas, when driving solo, not towing. Although I don't exactly yearn to drive in heavy, congested traffic in big cities, I would not normally not be in a panic to avoid them, but this time I'm towing. Maybe as I get more experience towing I'll feel more comfortable with that. I've been driving for 26 years and for most of that time have driven in mid size cities, with occasional trip to, or through large cities. I'm OK with driving in New York City, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, etc, but for some reason, Chicago scares me. I've never driven in St. Louis, but I'm sure sooner or later I will.
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