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Old 03-22-2005, 10:56 AM   #1
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Best Route Boston to Tucson?

We will be taking a trip from Boston to Tucson soon and would like to know what routes others have taken. I am wrestling with going West thru New York thru Ohio / Missouri / Oklahoma / Texas

Or should I go south through Virginia / Tenn etc.. although I am concerned about how many mountains we may encounter (on the interstate I think it is 81 )
I would like to take the southern route in that I have not visited many of the states we would go through (Arkansas especially) but just wonder how the towing will be.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:14 PM   #2
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..... just wonder how the towing will be.
I-10 through Lousiana and Texas is really in pretty good shape. Construction still ongoing in the Houston area - avoid rush hour if at all possible.

I-20 from Dallas to Hotlanta is also OK - Likewise avoid Dallas Fort Worth (I-20) at rush hour if you can. Texas State Parks are great, but could fill up on the weekends.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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If you decide to stay north for a while, I-70 thru the mountains of Colorado is rather scenic. Then you'd have a few great options for turning south: either south out of Grand Junction thru Durango (a little hairy in the San Juan Mt's, but worth it) and into New Mexico; [OR] south from the Cisco exit (28 miles into Utah), which takes you thru Castle Valley (amazing) onto 191 south thru Moab and eventually Monument Valley (a show stopper) and into Arizona, where you have some interesting scenery. You've seen Monument Valley and Castle Valley in roughly 6 million movies and a gazillion car commercials. Those two options are mostly two lane, so you'd have to be up for that. PM me if you'd like more info. - Roy
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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We use 80 to get over to 81 and miss the worse of the PA mountain climbs which are North of 81/80. There is one South of Scranton that will test your TV to the max but it is North of the 80/81. It's the only real challenge and there is nothing on a New England Interstate like it.
We found the northward trip on 81 easy from NC to Harrisburg. All very gradual. South from there I don't know. RichardT could tell you I think. The trick is getting around NYC without getting lost. There was bad construction I80 Eastboard around the Allentown Easton area, huge road holes and bumps. I would call PA State Police in the area and ask if using the old route 22 would be better in there. 90 to 81 to Knoxville where you have to pick which way to do it. I cann't imagine driving the long diagonal across the mid-west on an Interstate.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:22 PM   #5
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Lots & Lots of Trucks on Route 81

A year ago we took 84 to 81 to head down south for vacation towing our 25'. Lots of steep grades, many times when climbing the mountains we couldn't get the truck over 45 to 50 miles per hour and down hill was even less fun. That wasn't the worse part though, there had to be thousands of 18 wheelers traveling the same route, some would barrel past us at high speed causing us to sway quite a bit. On the return we took Route 95 and as soon as we got home we purchased a Hensley Arrow hitch. I'm not sure I'd travel Route 81 again (at least not without drugs).
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:45 PM   #6
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We do half this trip every year from Louisville to Portsmouth (Rye Beach) NH and back.

We pickup the Mass Pike (at 495) to 84 through to Scranton then onto 80 across PA (fewer mountains and no tolls). [You can take a more southerly route 91 to 95 through CT then back up 81 to trade grades for traffic, but I'd rather avoid 95 at all costs through that neck of the woods].

Then we come out of PA into Youngstown OH, onto 76 to Akron then down 71 through Colombus, Cincy then Lousiville. 71 is a great big flat road and the easiest part of the trip. [You can also peel off onto 70 at this point and head West]

While I've not made the other half of the trip (yet), my plan would be to take a southern route down 65 to Nashville, then 40 Memphis and onto Little Rock, Amarillo and into AZ. Then down 17 to Tuscon. This trip has been in my brain for next summer and I want to avoid the mtn passes on 70 (while beautiful then are steep).

It also crosses through many of the cities that we want to stop and visit.

Let us know what your final "triptick" looks like!
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:01 PM   #7
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I-90 in NY is good

I've never traveled further than to Indiana from Boston (by car or truck, that is) so I can't help with most of your trip. I just thought I'd mention that if you decide to take the I-90 route across New York to Ohio, it shouldn't be any problem at all. We brought our Safari home from Western NY last month across I-90 and it was an easy trip all the way.
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:07 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the excellent assistance ! I will map out my plan tonight and post it for additional suggestions on Campgrounds / Sights to see etc..
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:16 AM   #9
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Deo,

I haven't trailed yet through 81, but as I recall, the parts through Northern and Central VA are pretty flat (you are just travelling straight through the Shenandoah Valley most of the ways). When you hit SW VA and NC, then you hit the mountains. Then it gets into some really hilly sections (though there are some great views).

Still, I don't know that I'd ever opt for 95 over this. I still have nightmares of spending 5 hours trying to cross NYC in bumper-to-bumper traffic when I first picked up the trailer from the PO (not a nice first towing experience). Rt. 95 is just a non-stop traffic nightmare from Boston to Miami! Yes, it is flatter, but there's a reason why all the big rig trucks go on 81--it's to avoid 95!

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Old 03-23-2005, 10:09 AM   #10
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I agree with you on the route 95 thing... We did Boston to Orlando last year around this time and went around NYC on the return. One thing we did do was to take off at around 2am each day and managed to skip a lot of traffic. It also worked well in as I got tired it was daylight and it was easier to drive than at night with lights in your eyes. I definitely will not take 95 directly south in that we are going to hopefully get to Tucson in about 4-5 days. My calculations are that this would be about 10 hours of driving a day.
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DEO
I agree with you on the route 95 thing... We did Boston to Orlando last year around this time and went around NYC on the return. One thing we did do was to take off at around 2am each day and managed to skip a lot of traffic. It also worked well in as I got tired it was daylight and it was easier to drive than at night with lights in your eyes. I definitely will not take 95 directly south in that we are going to hopefully get to Tucson in about 4-5 days. My calculations are that this would be about 10 hours of driving a day.
slightly off-topic barge: how many hours to Orlando from here? (where exactly are you, "west of boston"? pm me if you don't want to post it).

we just got back from Orlando...not airstreaming; flying, and what a royelle pain in the posterior commercial flying has become. ugh. seriously considering a road trip, next time.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:51 AM   #12
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Chuck -- I can sure sympathize with you on flying these days - Ugh!, double ugh! with kids.

I'd also be interested in learning the best routes south from New England to DC area, and to Florida. The trip through CT and getting around NYC can be a bit of a nightmare in a car. Can't imagine doing it with the trailer.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:08 PM   #13
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We will be taking a trip from Boston to Tucson soon and would like to know what routes others have taken. I am wrestling with going West thru New York thru Ohio / Missouri / Oklahoma / Texas
Ah-oh! Do I detect in this post that one of our 50 is missing?

Lynn
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:24 PM   #14
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Chuck -- I can sure sympathize with you on flying these days - Ugh!, double ugh! with kids.

I'd also be interested in learning the best routes south from New England to DC area, and to Florida. The trip through CT and getting around NYC can be a bit of a nightmare in a car. Can't imagine doing it with the trailer.
There is no best way. NYC gets bigger and the roads more crowded every year. Even if we are going into NYC we avoid 95. If you cross the Hudson at the Tappanzee Bridge and pick up the Garden State you can avoid 95 for awhile. But unless you go east on 78 to 83 in Harrisburg you end on on 95 in NJ. Last summer 78 had some real bad areas for traielrs. We use to take 130 in NJ on heavy traffic days but it may also be full by now.

It is amazing, 2.20 gas and everyone is out zooming around at 75 or 10 mph filling up the Interstates. They built it and they sure did come.

If you can go through NYC between 2am and 5am it's clear sailing. Just don't break down.
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