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Old 04-01-2021, 05:03 PM   #1
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
Waterford , Wisconsin
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Route suggestions

Iím looking for route suggestions here in Wisconsin/Illinois. We live in Southeast Wisconsin. Normally, when we drive East to visit family in northern New York we take I94 through Chicago. This June weíre heading east, this time with our brand new Airstream (Flying Cloud 25 ft). I donít want to drive through Chicago with the airstream! The traffic, congestion, lane changes, stop and go traffic, etc. scares the heck out of me. Especially because, for me, towing a 25 ft airstream behind me is all new to me. Iím eager for route suggestions south from Milwaukee around Lake Michigan and then east south of Lake Erie, while avoiding Chicago! Any route suggestions fellow airstreamers?
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:14 PM   #2
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I would go 355 - 294 it’s avoiding the heart of Chicago and it’s not too far out of the way. I try to stick to interstates for the convenient gas stations, and you avoid oncoming traffic and blind intersections. There are going to be times you just can’t avoid all of the traffic, you may as well get used to it. We just got rid of our 25FB...it pulls well. Readjust your rear camera so it’s not pointing at the bumper like it is when you pick it up. When you pass a car and see it in the camera, you are clear. Piece of cake...safe travels!!!
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astasiewsk View Post
I’m looking for route suggestions here in Wisconsin/Illinois. We live in Southeast Wisconsin. Normally, when we drive East to visit family in northern New York we take I94 through Chicago. This June we’re heading east, this time with our brand new Airstream (Flying Cloud 25 ft). I don’t want to drive through Chicago with the airstream! The traffic, congestion, lane changes, stop and go traffic, etc. scares the heck out of me. Especially because, for me, towing a 25 ft airstream behind me is all new to me. I’m eager for route suggestions south from Milwaukee around Lake Michigan and then east south of Lake Erie, while avoiding Chicago! Any route suggestions fellow airstreamers?
Thanks for the flashback!
I used to haul Airfreight into Chicago Ohare nights, from Indy, many moons ago.Heres my advice, nothing really changes there.Its a rough yank.Especially if your hung up after about 4am during workweek getting out.
Run through at night, ( 2am-5am) on a Friday thru Sunday night.That will build your confidence.Its pretty clear sailing.
I would have to get out a old truck atlas, to give you a route( s).
My advice for new drivers of combination vehicles, is stay in far right lane, on ANY INTERSTATE SYSTEM, as much as possible.That also keeps your speed down, you arnt trying to run with the "Super truckers") They come in all shapes and sizes.
That also keeps one lane of traffic ( 50% of potential problems) away from your side.Slow down, anticipate your lane changes to left lane as much as possible.Then, back to far right, like clockwork.Like coming up on a interchange.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:12 PM   #4
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I usually head down I-94 from Milwaukee, and then take I-294 (toll road) around Chicago. Not many good options without adding hours to the trip. If you avoid the worst of the morning or evening rush hours it's often not too bad.


Last summer there was traffic due to construction as you headed towards Indiana from I-294, so you might want to check the status of that currently.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:53 PM   #5
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Astasiewsk, I share your dislike for urban expressways, but they are doable.
I assume you have an I-Pass? Make sure you add the trailer to the account.
As others said, choose your time of day! If you don't drive at night, consider a weekend day. Sunday morning can be practically deserted.
You may find the second lane from the right works better, if there is a lot of merging traffic. The maniacs still have one or two lanes to the left to go around. You will not be the only slowpoke on the "rightish" side.
Before it's time to depart on the big trip, drive around Milwaukee or Madison for a short trip to build confidence. Reward yourself with a destination, like a brewpub or winery! Nothing like a "We're here beer!" or a "Stateline wine"... (Just save it for when you have reached your destination and unhitched.)
If you REALLY don't want to do the big cities, you can head down I-39 to El Paso, IL, and then take Rt 24 east through Indiana to Toledo. It adds about three hours, and almost 200 miles, but there are some enjoyable destinations along the way. (Indiana Amish country, for example) There are several options to cut back to the Indiana Tollway once you are past the Region, as well.
Or, if you really want to try something different, there is the SS Badger from Manitowoc to Ludington MI. It's a four hour crossing, plus loading time, but it would be memorable.
Happy travels!
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:57 AM   #6
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I think 94 to 294 and down to 80 East is a doable bypass that is the fastest route so long as you pass through mid day. If you get caught during rush hour...the term miserable comes to mind.
If you are dead set on bypassing the Chicagoland area completely: 43 West out of Milwaukee to Beloit, 90 South to Rockford, 39 South to I-80 at Lasalle, IL. Then just head East on 80 from there. You'll still get into some congestion in Gary, IN., but you will have missed a whole lot of traffic by that point.
Happy trails.
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