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Old 08-26-2015, 07:17 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
East Tawas , Michigan
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 61
Ontario Travel

Has anyone pulled a travel trailer from Maine to Sault St. Marie Ontario ? Aside from higher fuel prices,are there any down side to taking this route over entering Michigan via Port Huron ? Are the roads in good shape ? Are there plenty of fuel stops and campgrounds ? Early Sept. travel.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:56 AM   #2
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Burlington , Ontario
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If your travels bring you across Ontario via Toronto, you will be traveling on "interstate" type roads (401 and 402) all the way to the Michigan entry point at Sarnia / Port Huron. If you wanted, you could select secondary roads that more or less parallel the main highways.

In either case, the roads are in good shape. There are several highway service centres right on the 401 between Toronto and London where you branch onto the 402 towards Sarnia / Port Huron.

On that stretch of road (402-London to Sarnia) there are not so many gas stations and I would suggest ensuring you fill up at London - a fair sized city right on the 401 before getting onto the 402. It is maybe a 1 1/2 hr drive from Toronto to London, then about an hour from London to Sarnia where there is a bridge to Port Huron.

If you have not been to Toronto before, be aware that although there are very large roads, many lanes wide, going east-west right across the city, but as with many large cities, they can be REALLY congested especially at rush hours.

If you want to spend the $$ (not cheap), there is a toll road - 407 - that takes you right across the city. Another option, if you don't like the aggravation / frustration and sometimes scariness of big city downtown expressways, would be to pick a route on secondary roads taking you around the north of Toronto. Slower, but may be more relaxing!

I find that towing a trailer across a busy city, especially if you don't know the route can be a bit daunting - other drivers just assume you now the route and don't give you inch. It can really be a problem if you suddenly find your route obliges you to cut across all lanes of traffic in a short distance! In this regard, the GPS surely is a great help.

If you don't necessarily need to go via Port Huron, perhaps a more interesting route might be to travel through Northern Ontario and go via Sault Ste Marie in Ontario.

To do that, depending upon your wishes as you traverse Ontario, you could come west to Toronto then North on the 400 towards North Bay and then west to SSM, or if you are coming through Montreal towards Ontario, you could take the TransCanada highway via
Ottawa, North Bay and over to SSM. Of course that route avoids Toronto entirely - could be a blessing!

Safe journey! .............. Brian
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:05 AM   #3
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Your plan is sound, except for the different currency and better quality roads, you would not know you were not in the U.S. I would do anything to avoid I-69 between Port Huron and Flint. It wins Michigan's worst road award and that's saying a lot!
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:25 AM   #4
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Ocala , Florida
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Just traveled from Niagara Region of Ontario to Montreal and then on to Bangar ME. Traffic in Montreal can be hectic as well with lots ofroad construction ongoing. Toronto being a very large Metro area is nearly 80 miles of heavy traffic from east to west. Took 2 hours to travel through the city after 9:30 in the morning with some construction on the 401 through the city. Would not recommend the 407 toll road as it is only electronic toll collection (similar to EZ pass).
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:49 AM   #5
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Is your objective to make time or see stuff? Are 2 lane roads OK? Where in Maine are you starting from? Mountains and lakes in the north east make for the classic "You can't get there from here" scenario. Crossing into Ontario at Cornwall avoids Quebec. East of there it seems that all roads pass through Montreal. Lake Champlain in Vermont is a ferry crossing. if you go that way. The 401 over Toronto can be a mad house during rush hour but in off hours it is OK. Scenic route would go north to Ottawa and Hwy 17 through North Bay, Sudbury and on to the SOO. Decent 2 lane road lots of camping as it is "Ontario's playground". All depends on whether you would rather boogie or bumble along.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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Perfect timing for this topic. We expect to do the same in a couple of weeks, only entering Canada at Sault Ste.Marie and traveling east to Maine. We're interested in the "bumbling" more scenic/interesting route and prefer to miss the congestion where possible. I'm taking notes! The wife wants to savor Quebec but am expecting challenges for this couple from Texas that's better with howdy than bonjour. 😊
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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Baylito99, You could always go thru MI to SSM and come back the other way thru On. The one thing I would say if your travelling through unfamiliar territory carry extra gas! Keep your tanks as full as possible, because worrying about running out can ruin your trip. Also I would suggest carrying a good truck road Atlas, they have clearly marked routes I would NEVER depend on a GPS in unfamiliar territory. I headed out last July crossed at Sarnia into MI travelled across to Minot ND and back into SK then on to Whitehorse YK 7000 mi round trip solo it was great !
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #8
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If you want to take secondary roads that are less congested and don't mind traveling at a more leisurely 50-55 mph, then one route I used to take to bypass the heavy Toronto traffic was as follows:
1 - take the 401 to 416 (the highway to Ottawa) and go north on 416 to exit 34 (Kemptville).
2 - take County Road 43 west, through Kemptville, through Merrickville, through Smiths Falls to Perth, where it meets Highway 7;
3 - take Highway 7 west until just past the Peterborough Airport, take the right fork onto Highway 7A towards Bethany; Note that there is a jog right and left where you cross County Road 35;
4 - at the end of Highway 7A keep on going straight on Regional Road 21 to Goodwood where it ends
5 - At the end of Regional Road 21, turn left on County Road 40 and go until it ends, after you have crossed under the 404
6- turn left on highway 38 and then right on county highway 11 until Nobleton and turn left (south) on highway 27.
7 - go south on highway 27 until you come to Highway 7 - turn right (west) and continue along Highway 7 until you get to the 410. Take the 410 south to the 401 and continue west knowing you have bypassed the worst of Toronto traffic.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:17 PM   #9
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We would do a lot to avoid Toronto area traffic (Markham to Mississauga, and then some.) When we lived in southern Ontario and "commuted" to Colorado and Utah, we normally chose the Sarnia-I-69 route, because the alternative was going through Detroit. Huge border delays, and then a lot of city driving through Detroit-Windsor. Sault Ste. Marie was out of our way, though.

However, if you've got some time to see what southwest Ontario has to offer, the "locals" enjoy camping at The Pinery and McGregor Point provincial parks on Lake Huron. The Great Lakes are a beautiful scenic asset for the most part. (OK, OK-- minus the industrial areas.) London, Ontario is home to the Can-Am RV centre, which is an Airstream service centre, should you want one.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:52 PM   #10
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Still in Maine, probably stay till Labor Day. Have not yet decided on the return route back to Mich. Thinking of heading west to Niagara Falls then north to Sault St. Maria . Will ask ONSTAR to route me around Toronto. Plan A.
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