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Old 06-21-2003, 08:31 PM   #1
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Route Considerations - International in Vermont

In preparing to depart for the International Rally in Vermont, I have come to the realization that it may be very difficult to avoid major metropolitan areas taking the quickest route from the Midwest. Rand McNally TripMaker advises that the quickest route is basically I-90/Ohio Turnpike/New York Thruway - - the program also adds about 35 warnings regarding steep grades along the route. As a Free Wheeler, the thought of battling heavy traffic and route changes in unfamiliar territory is about to give me a panic attack - - I have towed my Airstream over 50,000 miles touring the states West of the Mississippi, but this is going to be an entirely new experience.

Since I am running late, I am looking for the quickest route that avoids major metropolitan areas as much as possible. Am I missing a better potential route that my computer is overlooking?

Another concern that I have is the availability of gasoline from stations that accommodate cars with trailers. Will I be likely to encounter difficulty finding such stations at an interval of about 180 miles - - the absolute maximum cruising range when towing with my Cadillac is 216 miles.

I am not generally an "uneasy traveler", but this is my first trip to New England so am a bit concerned about what to expect concerning grades, heavy traffic, and the availability of fuel from stations that accommodate cars towing trailers.

An input will be welcomed!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-21-2003, 11:58 PM   #2
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You'll make it

Back in the 80's I did a stint as an OTR truck driver. Mostly I had driven out west - UT, CO, ID, NV etc. Then I got a different job that took me to the East coast and I was aprehensive about going to a more congested, confined part of the country. Heck, Chicago was scary to me then.
What I did was not so much plan my route - the company did that.
But I planned my timing. I'd take naps here and there and go through buisy places during off peak hours. It's pretty hard to beat the interstate system. Not only for convenience (gas every 180 mi. in a place that accepts trailers) but also the stats say you are safer running the big roads.
I found it was easier to be a napper and a night owl than it was to run with white knuckles all the way.
Worked for me.
With 50K behind you already you'll be fine.
Wish I could go.
Have fun.

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Old 06-22-2003, 05:12 AM   #3
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can't tell you about ohio, but I've driven most of the New York Throuway, and I don't remember much of any steep grades. pretty much straight and flat. I don't know how you were planning on getting into VT from the throughway...your program probably tells you to stay on I-90 into MA and then take 91 up to 89; That'll work, but I would suggest getting off the throughway in Albany, and take rt 7 to Bennington. From there, you can take 7 all the way to Burlington...a very scenic, though not terribly fast ride. another option would be to stay on rt 9 from bennington over to Wilmington, then take 100, which goes right through the center of VT, through some of the most beautiful scenery in New England.

I am headed to southern VT later thismorning for a family party....I'll ask my folks which one they think is best, and report back later. probably not till later tonight, though....
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Old 06-22-2003, 06:07 AM   #4
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Hi Kevin,
Ohio, PA, and most of NY should be a breeze. If you are East of Cleveland, the BP station at Exit 200 (RT44) would be very difficult, if not impossible to pull a rig into. Next exit, Vrooman road BP would be OK. Further down, about 20 miles there is a Flying J, and Pilot at RT 45. Terrain through most of Ohio, PA, and Western NY should be fairly level. Have a good trip, wish we were going!

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Old 06-22-2003, 08:12 AM   #5
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I live in Bennington, Vermont and will be traveling to International next Saturday. Just a few comments regarding the routes to take:

1. Avoid Rte 9 from Brattleboro to Bennington at all costs! The section from Wilmington westward is under serious construction . There is no pavement and they have some narrow, temporary bridges. I wouldn't take my Honda on that road nevermind my 22' AS.

2. If I were coming in on the NY Thruway, I would take I-87 North at Albany. At Glens Falls, get off and take Rte 4 towards Whitehall, NY. From there one can go either Rte 22A North towards Vergennes or Rte 4 towards Rutland and then North on Rte 7.

3. Coming into Bennington and then taking Rte 7 North is also very nice and is the route my in-laws will take with their 25' Excella. The problem with this route over option 2 is that driving through Troy, NY is heavily congested unless you catch it at just the right moment. Otherwise it's fine.

4. Extreme hills are not really that big of a problem once you get into the Champlain valley. It's traversing the Green Mountains where things get hilly.

If it ever stops raining, I'm sure all of you will love The Green Mountain State. Burlington is a great town and my wife and I have many things planned outside of Int'l - from minor league baseball (Vermont Expos) to outdoor concerts at the Snowfarm Winery.
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Old 06-22-2003, 08:24 AM   #6
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Cleveland and Albany are the only major cities that you'll pass through along the I-90 route, so you won't sweat too much. There are travel plazas that will accommodate your rig every 30 miles or so along the tollways. There is road construction on Rte. 9 in southern Vermont and also steep grades. Hwy. 100 along the Green Mountains is indeed an awesome route, but it will add hours to your ETA. You might consider it for your trip home? For the quickest route, I would stay on the interstate, either I-91 in Mass./ Vermont (easier, but longer) or possibly I-87 out of Albany in New York. From I-87 you can get to Rte. 4 over to Rutland, VT, then Rte. 7 up to Burlington. Rte. 7 out of Bennington, VT, would also be a good route. An alternative from NY is the Lake Champlain Ferry. You can cross from Essex, NY, to Charlotte, VT, or Port Kent to Burlington (longer).

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Old 06-22-2003, 07:15 PM   #7
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well, since the real Vermonters have chimed in, you don't need me but fwiw, my folks concur: 7 is the way to go. nice scenery...views of the green mountains to the east, and the Adirondacks to the west, but not too rugged.

saw 2 Airstreams today; one on 495 in the Lowell, Ma area...but none the rest of the way. not even on 91, even though I wasn't on it that long. Lots of SOBs, though. then on the way home, I spotted a small Argosy parked on the side of the road...actually it was on the off-ramp from I-495 to Rt 2 west; no tow vehicle in site. must have had a flat or something, to be just left there. Anyhoo......actually saw the sun today in Newfane. Imagine that....

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