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Old 01-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
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Best East to west coast route

Hi there,
Well here I go again with anothe question that may or maynot make sense. My wife and I are going to be going cross country from Upstate NY to Vancouver WA sometime this summer. What I would like to do is plan a route that takes us over the least elevated route as possible. I realize that we cant eliminate the hills all together but would like to keep them to a minimum. In 2011 we took the same road trip in our car and took route 80 to Salt Lake then headed north on 84 to Vancouver.
Im just courious if this would be the best route to take again with my 27ft class C or is there another that would better suit the RV? Once again sorry if this post seems a little on the dumb side -lol

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Why so concerned about hills/mountain passes? We take our 32-footer over Washington Pass (North Cascades Highway) quite often, which goes to just over 5000 feet, without any trouble. I-90 is pretty easy, but a bit boring.

I-84 has a nasty bit in Eastern Oregon, but it's only an issue when icy. There was a fatal bus crash there a few days ago.

If it's a sight-seeing/vacation/no big hurry trip. I'd go for the best scenery.

Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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Since you have tried the Salt Lake to Vancouver route, is there something about this route that concerns you? Or are you looking for a bit a variety for the next trip? It may also help to understand the concern about elevation. It is personal preference, medical or something about the RV?

Without knowing these items, for sure, I'd get on Interstate 90 as soon as possible. The purpose in taking I90 is the traffic is much less and the sights to see are much more. Starting in Southwest South Dakota, into Wyoming and Montana, there is a lot of American/Natural history and sights to see.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for Info

Hi Frank & Gary,

My concern with the elevation was just the RV chugging up the hills and it over heating I guess and of course my inexperience. I believe its going to be a 3 week trip to go out and back with some stops in between. The Rv will be having a full blown inspection inside and out since I have no idea what the previous owners did or didnt do for maintenence and up keep. I guess I have some other options to look at thanks.

Mike & debbie
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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I've only been west a few times, BUT 1) avoid Chicago and the ridiculous tolls - seems like $10 every 5 miles, plus the constant stop/start kills momentum and fuel mileage. I'll drive an extra 100 miles to avoid this mess. 2) Once past Chicago, it seems like a slow gradual climb for about 500 miles. I discovered this when I saw the turbo boost very high for my normal 65mph travel speed (fuel mileage was awful too). My only trip further west was I80 in the spring. Strong headwinds in Donner Pass had tractor trailers and large campers parked. The mountains are a challenge for ANY vehicle, just slow down and keep an eye on trans and coolant temps.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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Three weeks for the round-trip means a direct trip with few sightseeing stops along the way if your WA destination is a 5-7 day stay. I90 isn't too bad, but means the GaryIN/ South Chicago traffic and rough interstates in places. Seems like they are continually working on I80/I90.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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Might take the road less traveled . Pick up Hwy 2 in NW Wisconsin & take it across to Glacier National Park. Mostly 2 lane road that runs just South of the Canadian all the way across
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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My east to west coast route

Hello there fellow RVer's,
well after looking at mapquest & goggle maps this is the route I think were going to travel to go out to Vancouver WA this time. I-90 and head up to Sioux Falls SD, follow that and head to Spokane WA then down into Vancouver. I have looked at various areas along the way and the roads look to be in good condition and well traveled. I did look into going on the Washington pass but that was to far west and north in WA then I wanted to travel. if anybody has any info on the I-90 route I plan on taking I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 01-13-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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I 90 in northern Idaho and Montana has some decent sized mountain passes, but great scenery as well and lots to do. I've been on it a few times and took it in our RV this past summer to Yellowstone. We returned via the I-84 route, but also skipped off to highway 26 for fun when we returned to Oregon for a different pace and enjoyment of central Oregon.

If taking the 90 route, after Spokane you can also exit at Ritzville to head south through Tri Cities and on to I84. That is the quickest route from Spokane to Vancouver and an easy drive. Alternatively you can continue on to Ellensburg on 90 and head south through the Yakima area. In either case, when approaching the Oregon border you can stay on the Washington side of the river for a change of pace and some interesting small towns along the way and campgrounds.

Depending on timing there are interesting things to see (maryhill museum and winery, local festivals, concerts @ the gorge near George, Sternwheeler on the Columbia river, etc. )

Test different options by adding stop points on google maps.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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The trip could be arranged to take you toward Indianapolis and then west which would get you around Chicago with all its tolls and slow traffic. Once in the Indianapolis area I would then aim my GPS at Spokane and this would take you through some of the great tourist meccas all the way west.

Some place on I 90 there is the continental divide at a tad over 6000 feet File:Homestake Pass.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and we made that in our 1977 GMC 400 CID unit (24 ft C Class) in April [east] and late June [west] without incident. In fact we managed to turn 100 grand on the odometer as we were leaving Bear Canyon Campground just before heading up to the pass.

One thing while climbing great hills, if you do get into an overheat situation it is not a great idea to turn off the engine. Pull off to the side of the road where it is safe and let the engine fast idle in park while the cooling system does its thing. Turning off the motor causes latent heat to build up in the motor and may do more harm than good.

Enjoy the trip in both directions and take in the sites. Lots to see and do all along I-90 and along 84. Safe travels.

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