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Old 07-26-2016, 07:45 PM   #1
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Toronto, Ont. To Stugis SD any interesting routes

We leave Aug 4th to drive to Sturgis, SD to attend the Harley Davison Rally ( my husbands dream and his anniversary gift). This is our first big trip towing a new to us 30 ft AS Classic. Our TV is a 2012 VW Tourag turbo diesel. We will camp at a KOA in Spearfish SD for 3 nights.
We plan on stopping at Walmarts along I90. We wonder if anyone has done this route and can offer suggestions re: alternate interesting routes, places worth visiting.
We will continue to Santa Rosa, California to arrive by Sept 5. My husband likes serendipitous travel, I like a little planning. Any suggestions on what routes to avoid.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:49 PM   #2
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Instead of a Walmart stay at the Cabelas in Mitchel, SD. They have a big rv lot. We've stayed at the Spearfish koa and think it's pretty good got a koa.


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Old 07-26-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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Carol,

We were in the Hill City/Spearfish/Deadwood area two weeks ago, which we reached via I-90. We've been out that way before.

There are numerous campgrounds along I-90 that cater to overnight visitors in your situation that are reasonably priced and may offer an improvement over Walmart. I would suggest Checkers Welcome as being one convenient, inexpensive stop. There are several campgrounds in Mitchell though we have not stayed there. On our recent trip, we stayed at the Army Corps of Engineers facility in Lake Sharpe, which I would recommend, reasonably priced and no reservations necessary except on holiday weekends. It is about 30 miles off I-90 at Chamberlain. Quiet lakefront sites, and about a day's drive from Sturgis.

The drive through the Badlands is worthwhile if you like geology and unusual topography, but I would suggest doing it either on the way there or back, not both. The southern part of the Badlands east of Red Shirt is rarely traveled and just as pretty as the part where you have to pay money to drive through.

We've stayed at the Sioux Falls fairgrounds for special events. It is open to all comers when there's nothing else scheduled, full hookups, reasonable rates, might be something to consider

Absolutely nothing around Chicago although a few airforums members offer courtesy parking
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:04 PM   #4
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Have you got a list of the towns along your route with Walmarts, and their phone numbers? Just to make sure they're where you want them; and that they do, in fact, allow overnight camping. Although the Walmart corp. seems to approve camping throughout the US, some municipalities don't allow it. Apparently truck stops and Cracker Barrel restaurants are other options for people who prefer this type of "camping."

You might get a Good Sam guide and think about calling ahead to a few more scenic camping spots, as August is a super busy vacation time for many RV parks and state parks.

When we lived in southern Ontario, we generally took the border Sarnia crossing to avoid Windsor-Detroit.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:45 PM   #5
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Suggest you stay somewhat South of Chicago to avoid the traffic in that area. Also, there are toll roads in and around that area which may be of consideration. If no electronic pass, you have to pull over and pay. Not a big deal, but takes a few minutes, so allow for a bit slower pace.

On the way to Santa Rosa, you can take Interstate South and West if you are in a hurry or go to Portland and enjoy the Columbia on the way to HW101 down the coast, which would add some nice scenery to the trip. There is a reasonably priced KOA at the locks on the other side of the Dalles. There are some threads that discuss good RV park options on the coast that should help for that route. If you take I80, there is a nice park "Iron Horse" in Elko and if Passport America is one of your travel options the "New Frontier" in Winnemucca is nice.

Good luck on your trip. Pat
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:00 AM   #6
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You can avoid Chicago if you enter the state's at Sault Ste Marie, work west across the upper peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, to South Dakota. Michigan offers mining history for copper and iron, cooler temperatures, local flavor of pasties, fresh water fresh fish. Wisconsin and Minnesota likewise offer unique history. The rural two lane roads are far less crowded than the freeways across the lower peninsula, have no tolls, like the Chicago area, and do not induce stress.




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Old 07-28-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
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You can avoid Chicago if you enter the state's at Sault Ste Marie, work west across the upper peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, to South Dakota. Michigan offers mining history for copper and iron, cooler temperatures, local flavor of pasties, fresh water fresh fish. Wisconsin and Minnesota likewise offer unique history. The rural two lane roads are far less crowded than the freeways across the lower peninsula, have no tolls, like the Chicago area, and do not induce stress.




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I second what Tom says. This was the way we crossed to Toronto last year. Gorgeous and so easy.

We've traveled across the country on all the Interstates from North to South and East to West. My advice to you if you want a really memorable trip is to take them only when necessary. You can use US highways most of the time and so many are now 4-lane divided.

When you cross at Sault Ste Marie drop South and pick up US 2 to go West and stay above Lake Superior. You can drop South to I 90 easily at Minneapolis or Fargo.

There are many options besides dreary Walmart parking lots so do a little research near your anticipated stopping points.
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:47 PM   #8
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We just completed a route like the one you are intending. Try the International Peace Garden campsites or Lake Metagochi State Park in North Dakota. Then head over to T. Rooselvelt National Park but stay at Sully Creek State Park in Medora, ND. If you have the time, the Enchanted Highway is something to check out. We stayed at the Spearfish County Municipal Park. Bear Butte State Park was another good spot for the night.
Have a great trip. Safe travels.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:09 PM   #9
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Gillette, WY is not that far from Sturgis and you should definitely do a side trip to Spotted Horse, WY, a regular destination for the biker crowd. Great burgers.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:44 PM   #10
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When in the Sturgis area, drive the Needles Highway near Mt Rushmore in your Toureg (without the trailer). It's a beautiful drive.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:06 AM   #11
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Driving around the "toe" of Lake Michigan and Chicago expressway traffic is best avoided during rush hour if that's even possible. It starts in Indiana and continues through the northwestern suburbs. Not only the toll booths, but congestion-- often aggravated by construction. The northern route is longer, but more scenic
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:38 PM   #12
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Hi Carol,

I have traveled from Detroit. Michigan to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally the last 5 years for work. I produce a calendar for The Legendary Buffalo Chip (largest venue in Sturgis and host to ALL the big concerts!) Scheduled this year: Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more. It's their 35th Anniversary at the Chip. Be happy you didn't attend last year (Sturgis's 75th Anniversary and extremely crowded!!!) You should definitely check them out or camp there (free concerts with RV spot). Will you be bringing a motorcycle?

Here's a route I would suggest as we filmed a pilot for a Travel TV Show to Sturgis.

Our starting point with the Mothership (Airstream Factory in Jackson Center, OH)

Airstream Factory (Jackson Center, OH)
Green Field Village/Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI)
SS Badger Steam Ship across Lake Michigan (Ludington, MI)
Harley-Davidson Museum (Milwaukee, WI)
National Motorcycle Museum (Anamosa, IA)
Badlands National Park (Interior, SD)
Wall Drugs (Wall, SD)
Sturgis, SD
Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park)
Deadwood, SD
Devils Tower, WY

Steam Ship across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger takes 4 hours and must be booked in advance (you may still be able to get a spot if you call now) SS Badger in Ludington, MI - arriving in Manitowoc, WI. You can then take I-90 across or head south to H-D Museum and that route we took.

Good luck and safe travels. Unfortunately I won't be attending Sturgis this year - but will be back the following year.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:48 PM   #13
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Also Happy Anniversary!

SS Badger Info: http://www.ssbadger.com
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tvketchum View Post
You can avoid Chicago if you enter the state's at Sault Ste Marie, work west across the upper peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, to South Dakota. Michigan offers mining history for copper and iron, cooler temperatures, local flavor of pasties, fresh water fresh fish. Wisconsin and Minnesota likewise offer unique history. The rural two lane roads are far less crowded than the freeways across the lower peninsula, have no tolls, like the Chicago area, and do not induce stress.


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^^ We did this route in June (primarily on US-2). Good advice! ^^
We never made a reservation. When we were ready to stop for the night we always found something nearby. Google, Garmin, or RVParkReviews.com always pointed us in the right direction.
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