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Old 02-21-2021, 02:48 PM   #1
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Best route from Denver to Eastern Long Island, NY

We will be towing our 31' Airstream Classic from Denver to Eastern Long Island in the spring and want to avoid NYC, but are not sure what the best route would be to get do that.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:04 PM   #2
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That's a bit vague.

Interstate across from Denver. Since Long Island is directly east of New York City it's a bit hard to avoid. You could come through Elizabeth New Jersey onto Staten Island than into Brooklyn and then out to Long island.

You might just stay in New Jersey until off hours traffic and then pass through. It would be a matter of educating yourself on bridges and tunnels and major thru ways.

Good luck should be a great adventure.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:39 PM   #3
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No great choices.
Try to take the Tappan Zee bridge north of the city down to the Throgs Neck bridge. Then down to the Long Island Expressway (495).
DO NOT take any road called a
“parkway“ in NY. No trailers allowed.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:48 PM   #4
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Technically, aside from taking a ferry from Connecticut, there is no way to avoid NYC. I would say the most direct route would be I95 -> George Washington Bridge -> Cross Bronx Expressway - Throgsneck Bridge -> Clearview Expressway -> Long Island Expressway. Most important thing to remember is EXPRESSWAYS ONLY on Long Island. Parkways have low bridges and trailers are not allowed. Also, avoiding rush hour is key.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:57 PM   #5
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. . .
. . . aside from taking a ferry from Connecticut
. . .
Bingo!

Take a ferry from either Bridgeport or New London CT imo. I have been towing from Long Island since the early 90's -- a 25' back then and FC20 now. Too many BQE horror stories to bore you with the details.

The only way I will tow off Long Island is via one of the two ferries. They take large tractor-trailers onboard all the time, because the shipping companies have made the business decision that it is less expensive to take the ferry than to drive around, especially in light of the risks of NYC-centric traffic.

Will leave the ferry details until later -- you could search and find these easily IMO:
-- Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry
-- Cross Sound Ferry

So . . . how to approach from the west? Just picking one simplistic approach:
-- I-80 to the George Washington Bridge at the north end of NYC
-- Continue east on I-80 until it runs into I-95 which take you to Bridgeport, or New London further east

Many problems with this simplistic approach, but it will get you to either ferry.

Much better IMO is to loop north of the whole NYC mess, by taking I-287 north from I-80 in central NJ. ["Parsippany Troy Hills"] This loops around like the top 1/2 of a circle, crosses the Hudson at Nyack NY and continues east through White Plains NY, ending at the same [as above] I-95 eastbound to Bridgeport or New London.

For a few extra miles, this results in huge savings of risk and hassle IMO. Yes the ferries cost money, but -- like most investments -- this one pays off big time IMO.

Later:
-- Ferry details -- Brideport terminal is hard to find, and impossible to back-track if you make a wrong turn; New London much safer IMO.
-- NYS EZ Pass form to include trailer.

If you are interested in more details, please do some research and ask questions.

Where are you headed? KOA in Greenport/Hither Hills SP in Montauk/relatives/a winery maybe?

Happy trails!
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Old 02-21-2021, 04:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BevnCraig View Post
We will be towing our 31' Airstream Classic from Denver to Eastern Long Island in the spring and want to avoid NYC, but are not sure what the best route would be to get do that.
PS -- I ran out of edit time before . . . also have some tips for Eastern LI if you take the New London ferry to Orient Point, especially if you are heading to Montauk on The South Fork. The Shelter Island ferries both north and south are also great time-savers.

The best thing about the two ferries from CT is that you park the rig, and go to an upper deck of the ferry -- which in effect is like a small cruise ship. Usually a good snack bar, plenty of sun, and great views and vistas of the CT and LI shorelines. It is a very relaxing break from driving!

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Old 02-21-2021, 05:56 PM   #7
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Following. This is some good info!

To the OP, not sure how much ground you cover in a day. If you are going to drive I-80 across Nebraska, I highly recommend Kearney RV park in Kearney NE. There is a also a Casey's gas station near by where we get gas and pizza.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:48 PM   #8
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Otra15,

This is great info to hear. My daughter and her husband recently moved to LI from Astoria and bought a house. We were conjecturing how we would visit her with the AS. We lived in the NE for several years and were thinking about how we would do this without driving through Queens. Now we have an alternative.!! Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Dave.

Not sure where you want to camp/park the trailer, but Queens is just south of the Whitestone and Throggs Neck bridges, on the very western end of Long Island. The ferry suggestions were mainly designed to get to Eastern Long Island per the OP.

Do you need to have the trailer in Queens for some reason? Maybe leave it someplace a little north, and come over one of the bridges by car to visit?
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:24 AM   #10
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Her house is in Patchogue, about half way out LI on the south shore. That's where we would want the trailer. Would the ferry still make sense?
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:46 AM   #11
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We have had our Airstream on several ferries, some long (7 hours) and some short (15 minutes). For me they only make sense if they will save you hours of travel (Port Townsend) or there are no other options (Newfoundland).

I am not sure that the Bridgeport to Port Jeff ferry is worth the time and money, but that would be your call. Throgs Neck Bridge to the LIE and then to Patchogue should be fine. I would definitely travel in the middle of the night to avoid as much traffic as possible.

I grew up on Long Island and I am not going back...
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:52 AM   #12
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I live in Sayville, 10 minutes from Patchogue. The best, most cost effective and time efficient route from the west is the George Washington Bridge to the Cross Bronx Expressway (east) to the Throgs Neck Bridge to the Clearview Expressway (south) to the Long Island Expressway (east). You would want to exit the LIE at exit 62 Nicolls Rd. (south) to Montauk Highway (east) to Patchogue if they are south of Sunrise Highway, or exit 63 Ocean Ave, if they are north of Sunrise.

Driving your trailer through the tight streets and hills of Port Jeff to get on/off the ferry is no picnic.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:46 AM   #13
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Her house is in Patchogue, about half way out LI on the south shore. That's where we would want the trailer. Would the ferry still make sense?
Probably not, as suggested by the recent good comments.

If your home state RV/trailer EZ Pass does not cover you with reciprocity for NY, you might want to research getting one for your rig IMO:

https://www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/ta-w68176.pdf

If you have an plans to travel north on the NYS Thruway, or south along the east coast, this NYS EZ Pass will make most trips easier IMO, but I am not 100% sure about other states' reciprocity.

Happy trails.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:14 AM   #14
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gln826, your directions were spot-on. Direct and to the point.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:35 AM   #15
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Thanks all for your inputs. Sounds like the GW to Throgs Neck to LIE. I have driven extensively around the NY area back in the 1980s/90s, just never with a trailer in tow so I am being cautious. I think getting a NY EZ Pass is a good call.

Thanks (everyone) for all the good inputs.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:39 AM   #16
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Also you probably need to define NYC as it is large! Do you mean the whole area, just the busiest parts or just Manhattan?

But like everyone says the GW to Throngs Neck to LIE is your best bet. Also traffic is very hard to predict unless you are at night (and even then can be bad if they close a lane) but this would be the way to avoid most of it
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:46 AM   #17
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Having grown up on the North Fork let me throw in my 2 cents. I highly recommend one of the ferry routes. I grew up in Cutchogue which is much smaller and further east than Patchogue. It's a shorter drive from the Port Jefferson/Bridgeport ferry terminal to Patchogue than the one from New London/Orient Point terminal. They are both about 1 hour 20 minutes in length depending upon which ferry boat you catch.

The advantage of taking a ferry route is it is stress free while traveling through NYC is stressful. With that said consider how you enjoy driving in heavy traffic.

Although the drive from Port Jefferson is a bit shorter than from Orient Point I can tell you the North Fork is absolutely beautiful.

With either ferry you should get a reservation. A few days in advance in usually okay unless it's the beginning of a weekend.

If you take the Orient Point Ferry I can suggest a couple of stops on the North Fork. First, The Candyman, in the hamlet of Orient. This was started by a retired German candy maker who moved to Orient in the sixties after he retired in the 1960's. He started the business as a hobby in his garage. The shop is still in the family.

With your Airstream I would bypass the wineries but check them out once you've parked your trailer. In Cutchogue I can recommend Wickham's Fruit Farm stand on the left in Cutchogue.

Enjoy and I am happy to answer any questions.

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Old 02-22-2021, 09:53 AM   #18
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Welcome to the forum, Wells, and thanks for those details.

Any chance you are related to a Huldah Ann Wells back in the 1800’s?



Recommend more lead time for ferry reservations for a combined rig length >40’ . . . The ferries have limited space for this, and semi’s often book way in advance IMO.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:12 AM   #19
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Welcome to the forum, Wells, and thanks for those details.

Any chance you are related to a Huldah Ann Wells back in the 1800’s?



Recommend more lead time for ferry reservations for a combined rig length >40’ . . . The ferries have limited space for this, and semi’s often book way in advance IMO.
Here's my long answer. The Town of Southold (Most of the North Fork plus Fishers Island) was settled in 1640 by 13 families including the Wells and Horton families. I describe myself as years of inbreeding. If she lived on the North Fork then I am related.

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Old 02-22-2021, 11:25 AM   #20
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Wells,

Thank you for the information. I may have to toss a coin when I get off of the GW. I don't like NYC traffic and I like ferry rides.
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