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Old 04-24-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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Southern Illinois is my home town area, too. Overlander64 is right. True Southern Illinois is not at all like the landscape just 2 or 3 hours north from the southern tip of the state.

We'll be at Little Grassy Lake Campground this weekend. When we're not at Little Grassy, our two favorite RV Parks are Whittington Woods near Benton, IL (and near Rend Lake) and Marion Campground and RV Park at Marion, IL. Both are easy access to Interstate 57. We've become good friends with the owners of both. Either would be a comfortable stop if you need any assistance with resources on your first outings.

Whittington Woods is less than half a mile down (or up) the road from one of our favorite local wineries.

Interstate 57 has several construction spots on it especially at Marion, West Frankfort, Mt Vernon, and Effingham. Sometimes you can get through without delays -- and sometimes not. At Effingham they are in the midst of a massive reconfiguration of the Interstate in the area where 57 and 70 combine. We've found the Google Maps Traffic feature to be a pretty accurate indicator of traffic problems around there. If you see a sign that says, "Expect Delays" then believe them -- especially if they suggest taking an alternate route.

Good luck and enjoy your outing . . . hope to see you down or up the road one of these days.

Nancy Mac

Whittington Woods Campground -->> Whittington Woods Campground at Benton (formerly Benton Best Holiday Trav-L-Park)

RV Park Reviews -->> RV Park Reviews :: Whittington, Illinois ( IL ) - RV Parks and Campground Reviews

Marion RV Park and Campground -->> Marion Campground

Pheasant Hollow Winery -->> Home

Little Grassy Lake and Campground near Carbondale, IL and Giant City State Park -->> Home

Shawnee Hills Wine Trail a little further south than Benton, IL -- >> Home | Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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We have had MANY rally events at Whittington Woods in Benton, and is one of my favorite campgrounds. Reed and Mary are great.

Steve
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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As far as where to get gas I use an iPhone app called "gas buddy" to look for the best diesel price. It will search for the best price in your geographic area for the type of fuel you want.

I suspect it's available for other smart phones other than the iPhone. It's often worth the trouble to detour a mile or so off the freeway to avoid off ramp prices.

What to carry?

Duct tape
Small socket set including phillips and straight head screw driver bits
Spare appropriate fuses for your trailer and toy vehicle
More duct tape
Electrical tape
Vise grip
Crescent wrench
Needle nose plier
Wire cutter
Good flash light

and the list goes on...
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #18
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Welcome and good luck on your first trip. I bought and read the Newbie's Guide and it's invaluable. I have to say that I loved reading this thread as there are so many great recommendations. I am starting a log of all of these suggestions so when we are ready to start traveling, we'll have a great start. cheers!
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings Tartimisl!

You are welcome, and I am happy that you enjoyed my suggestions. My mother's family has called this area home for more than a century, and I have called the family farm of 100 years home since 1973. My aunts and uncles took great pride in showing me around the area and teaching me about places of historical significance when they realized how much I wanted to know about our new home when we moved here from the Chicago suburbs in 1973 (I was 13 at the time).

I hope that you enjoy your visit to Southern Illinois . . . and if you are like many of my friends, you will wonder whether you are actually in Illinois if your prior expriences have been with Northern Illinois!

Kevin

P.S.: When considering US 36 as your route, there are several ways of getting there from Southern Illinois. My usual route has been IL 127 North to Interstate 64 West . . . from I-64 take exit 23 (Mascoutah/Lebanon) . . . head North on IL 4 (toward Mascoutah) . . . continue on IL 4 about 30 miles . . . then Interstate 55 -- North toward Springfield about 50 miles . . . continue onto Interstate 72/US 36 West at Springfield . . . if you have time, Springfield has much to offer the tourist . . . one of the few remaining operating drive-in theaters in the state (Route 66 Drive In) and there are two museums that I always try to take friends to visit . . . Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum.
That helps tons. About how long does it take to go to KC from Benton on the US 36 route
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:49 PM   #20
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Only problem taking a 2 lane like 36,, is at this moment farmers are going 200mph trying to get crops in.. ,, ( well 5mph)

Your going to have to deal with fertilizer tanks,, seed trucks,, tractors pulling large planters and other hazards that are only active a few weeks a year.. Like right now..

Sodbust,, NW Kansas
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:18 PM   #21
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First Trip! Need advice

Greetings Sodbust!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodbust View Post
Only problem taking a 2 lane like 36,, is at this moment farmers are going 200mph trying to get crops in.. ,, ( well 5mph)

Your going to have to deal with fertilizer tanks,, seed trucks,, tractors pulling large planters and other hazards that are only active a few weeks a year.. Like right now..

Sodbust,, NW Kansas
As of August 16, 2010, US 36 became four-lane throughout Missouri, and it is four-lane throughout much of Illinois as well (a large part of US-36 provides the roadbed for I-72 through Illinois). Even in Kansas, I never had any real problems with the two-lane streches . . . of course, I enjoy traveling KS-18 its entire length . . . . the traffic on Kansas secondary highways is relaxing compared to what we have East of the Mississippi. I lived in Natoma, Kansas for many years and learned to enjoy traveling KS-18, US-24 and US-36 . . . so much more relaxing and interesting than the Interstates.

Kevin
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:26 PM   #22
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Greetings Tartimisl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post
That helps tons. About how long does it take to go to KC from Benton on the US 36 route
For me, the travel time from Benton to KC was approximately 6.5 hours . . . that is with Airstream in tow. When I am on vacation with the Airstream, my maximum highway speed is 55 MPH. When traveling the route sans Airstream, I generally cut about an hour off of my travel time. When making the trip, I usually left home so that I could enjoy lunch at one of the KC area White Castle Restaurants when not towing the Airstream.

Enjoy your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:21 AM   #23
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Make sure you bring a spare set of keys....car AND Airstream. I also recommend a weather radio, especially where you are traveling. We have a little "crank" model we like.

Best place to get gas: Taco Bell.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:27 AM   #24
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Thanks for the suggestions- we will be packing the liquor and humor first! I think I will lay off of the beans and broccoli. What are you trying to do? Kill me! I already know it is tight quarters. Is "Next Exit" an app for the phone? I will keep a journal. I think we have a lot to learn- But the good news is... I hear that the Airstream people are really nice and helpful! Thanks Again

Next exit is a phone directory type book with interstate highways. Just look up you highway and find the exit and it tells you what services are there and if they are RV accessible.

I use the all stays Camp and RV APP. It does basically the same thing. You can search a destination of your current position. It has filters that let you delineate what you are looking for. Has everything from walmarts to national parks. Just touch the icon and the phone number and website come up. There is nothing better than to see your curent location with what's around you. A must have for smart phone users!

The book is a better look ahead for planning stops for the day, the app is a better tool for finding things and researching them.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #25
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Dear Tartimisi, Go to LongLongHoneymoon.com | Videos, tips, and information for Airstream / RV travelers. It is a blog by Sean & Kristy Michael . They too live in Birmingham,Alabama they have a great e book called Living Large in a Small Tin Can. This is a e book for only $2.99. I met Sean and Kristy when they were camping at a Wal Mart in my home town of Moundsville,West Virginia and have become good friends with them.I hope you have enjoyable and safe trip. Jim Lawther
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:03 AM   #26
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Did not think about 36 in Mo... just Kansas

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Sodbust!



As of August 16, 2010, US 36 became four-lane throughout Missouri, and it is four-lane throughout much of Illinois as well (a large part of US-36 provides the roadbed for I-72 through Illinois). Even in Kansas, I never had any real problems with the two-lane streches . . . of course, I enjoy traveling KS-18 its entire length . . . . the traffic on Kansas secondary highways is relaxing compared to what we have East of the Mississippi. I lived in Natoma, Kansas for many years and learned to enjoy traveling KS-18, US-24 and US-36 . . . so much more relaxing and interesting than the Interstates.

Kevin
Kevin,,

Your in our area,,, or were.. My wife came from Natoma area.. McNeal...

But the farmers do have the 2 lanes plugged up around here at the moment,..

Sodbust
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #27
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Greetings Sodbust!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodbust View Post
Kevin,,

Your in our area,,, or were.. My wife came from Natoma area.. McNeal...

But the farmers do have the 2 lanes plugged up around here at the moment,..

Sodbust
Denzil McNeal taught English and was Yearbook Sponsor when I taught Business Education and was Concession Stand Sponsor and Co-Junior Class Sponsor in the mid-to-late-1980s at Natoma High School.

I remember planting season very well . . . always enjoyed seeing the activity in the fields . . . the only time I every worried about travel was during the wheat harvest when the combines could kick up some thick dust which wasn't conducive to my usual mode of driving around with the top down on my convertible. I still have particularly fond memories of my years in Natoma and the little home that I owned South of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Kevin
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:35 PM   #28
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1. A spare tire
2. Spare fuses

Then you're golden! Have fun!
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