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Old 04-13-2015, 10:05 PM   #71
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The ferry costs for me plus TV and AS $658 for round trip. I can suffer the drive for that amount.


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Old 04-13-2015, 10:54 PM   #72
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The ferry costs for me plus TV and AS $658 for round trip. I can suffer the drive for that amount.


Yikes! If it costs $658 for a return trip, that should be $329 each way. Yeah, that's a lot! I would have hated to find that out on the spot, because I would have expected a lot less. Never really thought about how much it would cost, but those figures did not enter my head. If I were already there, and in a hurry I'd do it. Otherwise I'd gladly take a two hour detour around Chicago. Can't see it costing more than an extra quarter tank of gas.

I had no idea the ferry would be that much, but I guess the price is based on the distance travelled across water and the benefit or time saved by doing so. I priced out the cost of the ferry to get to Vancouver Island, and I believe it was around $250 with my Airstream. Each way. I thought it would be nice to go there for a few days or a weekend. But not if I'd be paying $500 just for the ferry.

We need to choose when to use the ferry, there are times when it's worth it, and times when we should use it sparingly, unless money is no object.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:38 PM   #73
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Based upon the round trip rates published it is about $109 per senior, $118 for the TV, and $13.90 per foot for the trailer and the Serenity 30 RB is about 31 feet long.

To be a fair comparison the round trip Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI through Chicago would be about $200 - 250 for fuel and tolls. So, roughly $400 more to ride the boat. And, of course there is the venture through the UP, for those so inclined. Another 100 miles.


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Old 04-13-2015, 11:57 PM   #74
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Avoiding Chicago while towing

We have used the Manitowoc Ferry several times when traveling from Wisconsin to Michigan. Much prefer the Ferry to going through Chicago. You can boondock at both ends, so we prefer to take the afternoon Ferry & sleep overnight at Luddington dock then go on to Port Huron or wherever. Yes, it does cost a bit more but we like avoiding Chicago.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:24 AM   #75
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I would think if one has a shorter trailer this becomes more sensible as a 20 footer would be about $150 less money.

It may not be so much avoiding Chicago, as the frustration has a lot to do with our expectations and attitude before we enter the traffic. But, when riding motorcycles, my son and I were on the ferry across Lake Huron and the high speed catamaran from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Portland, and the experience is so great it is worth every penny.

Gosh, I might be talking myself into this😂


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Old 04-14-2015, 04:14 PM   #76
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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 have driven to Maine a couple times and went through Canada, great roads, friendly people and no Chicago. Driving I-80 will take you through a nightmare area south of Chicago between I-65 and I-57.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:36 PM   #77
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Can't be any worse than driving through downtown Chicago on a Friday night. I hope. I guess I'll find out soon enough. Gotta make a decision soon, I'll be leaving soon.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:19 AM   #78
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I live in Arizona and drive to Nova Scotia every summer with my 28' CCD and would advise to avoid I-80 at virtually any cost. We splurge on the ferry going (free camp for a couple extra days to average down) and usually return in the fall through the UP which is beautiful and uninhabited
Dropping to a more southerly route through Indiana is good as well. Good luck
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:42 AM   #79
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We live about 80 miles southwest of Chicago and use I-80 frequently when traveling east to camp in Indiana or Ohio. I'm somewhat surprised at the length some people will go to avoid this stretch of road around the southern part of Chicago. Yes, it is busy. Yes, there is a lot of commuter traffic. Yes, there are a lot of trucks. Doable? For sure. Any more busy then traveling around Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas or any other metropolitan city during their commuter times? I delivered an 18 foot Aliner trailer into metropolitan Atlanta right before we bought our Airstream and did what I advise everyone else to do when traveling into these areas. You set your time to avoid the rush hours a.m. and p.m., get in and get out. If everyone reading this post believes that Chicago is the worst of all of the major cities to drive around, then I'm ready to drive the whole U.S.A. without worrying about anything.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:14 AM   #80
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We live about 80 miles southwest of Chicago and use I-80 frequently when traveling east to camp in Indiana or Ohio. I'm somewhat surprised at the length some people will go to avoid this stretch of road around the southern part of Chicago. Yes, it is busy. Yes, there is a lot of commuter traffic. Yes, there are a lot of trucks. Doable? For sure. Any more busy then traveling around Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas or any other metropolitan city during their commuter times? I delivered an 18 foot Aliner trailer into metropolitan Atlanta right before we bought our Airstream and did what I advise everyone else to do when traveling into these areas. You set your time to avoid the rush hours a.m. and p.m., get in and get out. If everyone reading this post believes that Chicago is the worst of all of the major cities to drive around, then I'm ready to drive the whole U.S.A. without worrying about anything.
Agree, I've lived here 18 years and pull my AS on all the roads. I only try and avoid rush periods (they're longer than a rush HOUR).
I've been in many cities which I consider worse, but have come to the conclusion it is more a matter of familiarity with traffic loads and patterns than anything else. Chicago is expensive with the tolls, but at least the condition is excellent on roads under the Illinois Tollway authority. Always under construction and improvement. But you can't appreciate the sunshine without a little rain.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:41 AM   #81
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Your route looks great - you've certainly done your due diligence. I see you are going around Detroit, and not through it. That is a good move, IMO. I drive around Chicago every day, making sales calls in the city and suburbs, without any hesitation. The traffic through the Detroit area makes me nervous whenever I go there. The traffic seems to move too fast for conditions, and the on/off ramps are frequently abrupt.
If you have any problems while coming through the Chicago area, don't hesitate to PM me for help.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:56 AM   #82
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Your route looks great - you've certainly done your due diligence. I see you are going around Detroit, and not through it. That is a good move, IMO. I drive around Chicago every day, making sales calls in the city and suburbs, without any hesitation. The traffic through the Detroit area makes me nervous whenever I go there. The traffic seems to move too fast for conditions, and the on/off ramps are frequently abrupt.
If you have any problems while coming through the Chicago area, don't hesitate to PM me for help.
True dat! I run Detroit roads frequently (obviously) and it is a bumper to bumper speedway! Turn signals are a sign of weakness there.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:47 AM   #83
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The ferry's value to me is that you get to explore two quaint towns - Ludington for the Victorian B & B's and more...Manitowac for the Maritime Museum - also a great once in a lifetime - at least - to take a ferry across one of the Great Lakes on a ship that might remind you of an Art Deco (?) era. Looks like a ship right out of a travel poster. It's fun just to watch the ship come in - money and time aside - weather cooperating it's a nice way to relax. And if the cherry trees are blooming in Michigan - wow! And, my Chicagoland hassle begins around Rockford and through Gary. So, when it was quoted as two hours... I wish. If you know where the tolls are and which lanes to be in - less stress - if you can get over! I prefer rush hour on the outskirts as you don't have the crazies weaving in and out as much at high speeds. When you have time if you are in Indiana and near Elkhart stop in at the RV museum - fun to see vintage trailers and support some nice people who work there and a great library that you can utilize! Safe travels!
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:57 PM   #84
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I have driven in many large citys in US & many others & in 8 countrys in Europe, yes there are some not to desirable to drive, but as I stated be fore it can be done, but if you are afraid to drive these areas then avoid them.
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