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Author Topic: Goin' on a road trip  (Read 1884 times)
hargreaves
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« on: March 25, 2014, 04:52:36 PM »

Hi all ! My lovely wife and I are heading out on a road trip April 2nd to Kalamazoo Michigan. We are moving our daughter and her family to Vancouver Washington. We plan on heading down to Vancouver  to scout out some rental houses for them and then head east to load them up and head back.

We plan on heading east on I 84 down to I 80 all the way to Michigan.

Has anyone traveled that route recently and if so I would appreciate some info on road conditions, things to see, places to go along the way.

We will be towing a 24 ft car trailer so I won't be able to get off the beaten track to much.

Cheers, Gerry.
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lvmci
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 07:19:28 PM »

Hi Hargreaves, I84 south and east of Pendelton, Oregon, is a terribly long climb, I think its called dead mans pass, even worse going down the pass in the winter, lvmci....
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hargreaves
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 07:31:08 PM »

Thanks lvmci  I guess you can still call this winter LOL .  Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 07:44:36 PM »

Gerry,

If you take the pass really slow, you will be fine. I have driven that pass more times then almost any other one in country. I agree with LV. It is long, but very doable. Otherwise, that is the route I would take. Enjoy the trip. That is one of my favorite routes across the country.

John
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 08:07:15 PM »

I 84 down through Boise and to Utah is not going to be much of a problem we have driven it all times of the years, I 80 can be a bitch across Wyoming, Elk Mountain always get me closed because of snow and ice 1 time on Memorial day  Huh
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hargreaves
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 08:40:12 PM »

Geez guys, I thought going I 80 would be a lot better than I 90 at this time of the year  due to it being a couple of hundred miles south. Now I'm beginning to wonder.  I have travelled I 90 but not I 80. I know I 90 has some good hills.  Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 10:03:15 PM »

Those Pronghorns through Wyoming are like jack rabbits in west Texas at dawn or dusk   Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 06:12:47 AM »

Hi Hargreaves, I84 south and east of Pendelton, Oregon, is a terribly long climb, I think its called dead mans pass, even worse going down the pass in the winter, lvmci....
The West side of that pass is/can be really scary. In the winter/slick conditions you don't dare use the Jakes. Gear down and keep it slow. The East side isn't nearly as bad. I 80 across Wyoming can be really bad for winter weather. It's elevation stays around 7000'. Usually the wind blows east to west. It gets closed often because of really bad winds. 50+MPH winds are common. Blowing snow can be an issue as well. I was just on a trip to Tahoe from Denver and got 12 MPG from Cheyenne to Evanston. I got 25 MPG on the way back. When the wind is up no empty trailers !!! EITHER WAY.
Another other way across is I 70. Cut off near Provo down to it. (@ Denver it's 100 miles south of I 80). One bonus of I 70 is Moab/Arches N.P. Then you have Vail and Eisenhower passes to deal with in Colorado. Vail pass is 10,600 and Eisenhower is 11,000 Stunning views of the rockies... really scary in winter with big rigs. Unless it is storming, it is very well plowed and Mag Chloride keeps the road wet. Regardless of which route bring chains and practice/know how to install them.
Don & Sheila
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 08:06:32 AM »

I have ran them all, where your starting point is i would go i90..
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Box Elder,S.D.  Battle Mountain,NV


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hargreaves
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 08:12:41 AM »

Thanks Don, I went over Granite pass on hwy 14 alt. from west to east a couple of years ago, in the summer of course ! That was nasty. Do you think going I 90 would be any better, would the winds be less?  I don't have winter tires but I do have chains have had practice putting them on.  Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 09:05:46 AM »

Like Matt, i would also go I-90.
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 09:21:33 AM »

My philosophy has always been I would wait it out in the bus if chains were ever required.  We hit a nasty snow/ice storm (chains not required) in Utah/Wyoming the first week of October 2009 on I-80.  We were doing about 25 MPH for a good six hours or more and passed several semis rolled over in the left lane.  It was absolute white knuckle driving.

For some reason nobody uses tire chains in Minnesota when it snows.  They would probably prevent some of the huge chain reaction crashes from this winter.
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 10:52:15 AM »

when you get east of livingston montana you have ran out of mountains,get on 94 at billings and go east , the only real climb i can think of is east of wallace id. when you cross the rockys west of livingston you hardly know you went over them, YOU HAVE THE WIND PUSHIN you east, now 80 whole differnt story , cross the rocky like 4 -5 times and wind could be from anywhere,..
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Box Elder,S.D.  Battle Mountain,NV


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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 11:21:23 AM »

I-84 to I-80 is quite a ways out of way, and a fair amount of mountains.

I'd do I-94 or I-90. You'll probably have a bit of snow in the mountains of MT, but I wouldn't expect it to be difficult. Doesn't bother me,
but I run lug tires and have a lifetime of experience in that kind of stuff.

I-94 is a good road across North Dakota and Minnesota.

You can drop down through South Dakota from MT through WY on I-90. Always windy across SD. I-90 is rough across SD.

I'd go through Rockford and straight down to 80 to avoid Chicago. Never liked Chicago. 
If you're on I-90, you could drop down from Sioux Falls to Omaha on I-29. That's a pretty rough road, though.
Or you could drop down from Albert Lea on I-35 and cut over through Cedar Rapids on 27 from Clear Lake. That's a good road.
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Craig Shepard
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 11:35:05 AM »

And you could stop by on your way to Kazoo and see us Smiley We are in Berrien Springs, MI right off of US-31
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Scott & Heather
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hargreaves
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 12:27:12 PM »

Thanks for all the info guys, sounds like you guys have convinced me to take I 90 or I 94.  Anyone know which interstate has less truck traffic?

Gumpy, how would dropping down I 39 to I 80 be?

Saddleup, Is I 94 a better road than I 90  and how is getting through Minneapolis?

Scott , If our time frame permits we would definitely like to stop by. How far from Kazoo are you ?
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gumpy
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 01:19:38 PM »

Thanks for all the info guys, sounds like you guys have convinced me to take I 90 or I 94.  Anyone know which interstate has less truck traffic?

Gumpy, how would dropping down I 39 to I 80 be?

Saddleup, Is I 94 a better road than I 90  and how is getting through Minneapolis?

Scott , If our time frame permits we would definitely like to stop by. How far from Kazoo are you ?

I-39 from Rockford to I-80 is what I was talking about to get around Chicago. Been a few years, but last time I was on it, it was good road.
I think there's one toll booth there, and one or two on I-80 (though I haven't actually been on that stretch of I-80 for many years, so it may have changed).

Personally, I think 94 is smoother than 90. I've done 90 in the bus quite a bit, and it's always rough. Expansion joints are always offset and just the right distance
for the wheel base to be a pain in the bus. It's been awhile since I had the bus on 94 in ND, but I was across it on the bike last summer, and it was a fine road
all the way.  It's good in MN, too. Won't be much construction this time of year. That'll start about the first of May.

Getting through Minneapolis is not a problem, depending on the time of day. Avoid 6:00 am to about 9:30 am and then again from
about 3:00 pm to about 6:30 pm. Varies with weather conditions. If it's not snowing or raining, it's not bad even during rush times for the way you will
be going. 94 and 694 are all good road and mostly at least 3 lanes, though I think there may be 2 lanes for a little ways after you get to the east side
and make the curve south back to 94 and WI. Haven't been over that way for awhile. Belfert could tell you more about that side.

We're a couple miles south of 94 at Albertville exit, about 15 miles west of the outer ring. You're welcome to stop in for a beer and show and tell if you
need to kill some time to avoid the rush hour traffic. The neighborhood streets are bus friendly. Easy access and plenty of street side parking in front of
the house for bus and trailer. If you need a place to stay, there's a Cabela's in Rogers with great parking and waste dump, just 7 miles away.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 01:25:49 PM by gumpy » Logged

Craig Shepard
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2014, 02:47:04 PM »

Gerry, i have not been farther east on 94 then FARGO,ND but it all good freeway to there, you just going to have to watch the weather, last year i spent a week snowed in ,in Sturges sd on i90,,in mid april,and that storm put no snow down in ND..
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 02:52:24 PM by saddleup » Logged

Box Elder,S.D.  Battle Mountain,NV


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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2014, 04:04:46 PM »



I just spent a week just east of Fargo.  It was 80 degrees most of the week.



Fargo GA. that is   big town one jottem down store and gas station

uncle ned
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hargreaves
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2014, 04:14:07 PM »

Man I love this board, Thanks guys, I think I will take I 90 to I 94 and then down to Minneapolis and on down to I 80 . I will keep you guys posted on my progress.Craig, if it works out, I will message you when I'm close and see if we can get together for a beer.

Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2014, 08:44:15 AM »

 I know a little about Kalamazoo, I was born and raised there..............course that was 1941...............>>>Dan
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Utahclaimjumper 
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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2014, 10:00:14 AM »

Any way you go I hope you have a safe trip.
That being said there are 3 passes in Montana on I 90
 1. Lookout pass on the Id. Mt. border
 2. Pipestone just east of Butte
 3. Bozeman Pass just east of Bozeman.

 All three are better going down the east sides (west to east travel).
 I like http://roadreport.mdt.mt.gov/travinfomobile/ for travel info in this state but
 I am partial because our unit built this app. Before I retired that is Smiley.

later
Skip
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2014, 03:54:34 PM »

I apoligize for some misinfomation. I talked about 12 MPG going into the wind across Wyoming and 25 on the way back. That was in my car. My point was how much wind can be there and it's effect on MPG.
Don & Sheila
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gumpy
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« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2014, 04:25:07 PM »

Man I love this board, Thanks guys, I think I will take I 90 to I 94 and then down to Minneapolis and on down to I 80 . I will keep you guys posted on my progress.Craig, if it works out, I will message you when I'm close and see if we can get together for a beer.

Cheers Gerry
Gerry, when are you making this trip? 

I need to send some coffee mugs to my daughter who's going to school in Chicago. She's going to Japan this summer on an internship. I made
a bunch of coffee cups for her to sell for fundraising and she's been selling them to her friends in school. Shipping is nearly as much as the mugs,
we we're looking for someone going that way who would be willing to take a small box. She could meet you in Rockford to pick them up.

If it's soon, though, it may not work, as I still have to get some more finished. But let me know what you itinerary is, and if you'd be willing to take a
small box from here to Rockford.
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Craig Shepard
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hargreaves
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« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2014, 06:18:24 PM »

Craig, we are leaving Vancouver BC Monday March 31st. Hopefully reaching Kazoo on the following Sunday weather permitting. If you have them ready we would love to meet her in Rockford.  E mail me at big-ger@shaw.ca  Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2014, 06:51:15 AM »

Sorry for the late update, no rv places open in Michigan at this time of year. Staying at the inlaws  in  Vicksburg. 

The trip out was  good until midway through Montana, them all hell broke loose. I guess there was a big low pressure system coming up from the south and it chased us all the way to Chicago. At one point couldn't see out the windshield due to ice buildup on the wipers. That was scary. Bus handled it well but I'll tell you those truckers don't slow down too much!

Stopped for a short time to meet and chat with Gumpy in Minneapolis, nice folks, Craig does very nice pottery and wine :-). Didn't stay long which was a disappointment due to snow, they were due to get up to 8 inches that night so Craig suggested I try and beat it be driving a couple of hours out of Minneapolis. Good advice, thanks Craig.

Just about loaded up and going to head back on Wed/Thurs . Going I 90 and do a little sightseeing  on the way back. 
 Sorry Scott I didn't get to meet you guys . By the time we came around the bottom of Lake Michigan it was late and threating to snow.

Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2014, 05:29:16 AM »

Really enjoyed having you guys stop. Wish the weather had been better so you could have stayed longer.

I really liked the layout of your interior. If I keep thinking about it enough, maybe I can get myself motivated to start
working on mine again.  Smiley 

Drive careful.
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Craig Shepard
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hargreaves
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2014, 06:08:55 AM »

Gumpy, we had a little going away party for the kids last night. Brought out some of your wine, everyone loved it,  especially the apricot wine. :-)  Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2014, 08:12:51 AM »

Gumpy, we had a little going away party for the kids last night. Brought out some of your wine, everyone loved it,  especially the apricot wine. :-)  Cheers Gerry

Glad it was well received.

Have a safe trip.
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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
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