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Old 01-13-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
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California to Illinois

Hi folks:

We are planning a cross-country tour from California to Carpenterville, Illinois, which is near Elgin/Rockford, probably between May-June. Climate should be agreeable for traveling by then. We will be driving a Class B van conversion, so we won't have any restrictions per se on road usage.

There will be two drivers, and two dogs. We are both disabled females, so we probably won't be doing any boondocking/Walmart camping unless absolutely necessary. As Thousand Trails members, we already know we're not going to find much in our park system past Arizona.

Has anyone taken this trip before? Is it faster to go thru Arizona-Utah, etc., or to go thru Texas? I've never driven across country; we're both retired, so there isn't necessarily a schedule other than staying within our month.

We are also Passport America, Escapees, RPI/Enjoy America which gives us plenty of lodging options. Anyone know about the parks between California and Illinois? We want to plan to some extent so we have somewhere to land, but still want it to feel like the sight-seeing vacation it is. Can't wait...very excited!
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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You could take I40 which was Route 66 in the olden days.

We did a Route 66 trip several years ago and enjoyed exploring the old towns, etc.

The Mother Road: Historic Route 66

At that time of the year it won't be too hot.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldtat View Post
Hi folks:

We are planning a cross-country tour from California to Carpenterville, Illinois, which is near Elgin/Rockford, probably between May-June. Climate should be agreeable for traveling by then. We will be driving a Class B van conversion, so we won't have any restrictions per se on road usage.

The USA is full of wonderful things to see between CA and IL: the Grand canyon, Arches national Park, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Wisconsin Dells, Air Force Academy, Rocky Mountains(Colorado), Taos(New Mexico) , Petrified Forest, and on and on.

My recommendation is to first pick out 5 or 6 things you want to see on your way to IL and also on the return trip. Pick out things from a northern route for one direction and for a more southerly route for the return trip.

After you decide what you want to see ... narrow it down to 1 or 2 things you want to see most days ... then plan a route ... then start looking for campgrounds / RV parks ...

You can't see it all ... but you can see some of it.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:44 PM   #4
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Check Woodalls, Good Sam,RV Parky and of course right here on IRV2 for campsites. Most of the mentioned will suggest a route,attractions and even gas stops with prices. Sounds like a fun trip, enjoy!
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by baldtat View Post
Hi folks:

We are planning a cross-country tour from California to Carpenterville, Illinois, which is near Elgin/Rockford, probably between May-June. Climate should be agreeable for traveling by then. We will be driving a Class B van conversion, so we won't have any restrictions per se on road usage.

There will be two drivers, and two dogs. We are both disabled females, so we probably won't be doing any boondocking/Walmart camping unless absolutely necessary. As Thousand Trails members, we already know we're not going to find much in our park system past Arizona.

Has anyone taken this trip before? Is it faster to go thru Arizona-Utah, etc., or to go thru Texas? I've never driven across country; we're both retired, so there isn't necessarily a schedule other than staying within our month.

We are also Passport America, Escapees, RPI/Enjoy America which gives us plenty of lodging options. Anyone know about the parks between California and Illinois? We want to plan to some extent so we have somewhere to land, but still want it to feel like the sight-seeing vacation it is. Can't wait...very excited!
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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SKIGRAMP is right on. Nailed it. !! Use Southern route there, cooler in May?June, and Northern route back, also cooler. There is so much to see and do, that I would use "streets and trips ", to plan route, using the feature, "nearby places", to find campgrounds, casinos, walmarts, nat'l parks/monuments, restaurants, etc. etc. It also computes mileage/costs for you. Enjoy the trip. Make it "fun", not a "chore".
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #7
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Also, route I88 in Ill. is a toll. you may want to avoid. Use I80, to I39, to route hwy 72, Higgins road, I think.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
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Recommendation.. Many years ago our family tradition was to pack 3 weeks of stuff into a 2 week time slot.. Did not work all that well... Finally we got smart and decided to pack 2 weeks of stuff into a 3 week time slot.. That worked out fantastic cause.. Well, there is always the attraction you spot you decide to spend a day or two at. and that extra week .. Soon is filled.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #9
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This year we left california we went North to visit friends in Idaho then went east on Highway 2 the Lincoln Highway. Off the interstate seeing grassroots USA, great!
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:05 AM   #10
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Cali to Illinois

Thanks to everyone! Gonna go with Skigramp recommendation of North in & South out. We wanna hit Utah parks..Zion, Bryce, Arches & Canyonlands. Then off to Colorado for a couple of days. Probably will blow thru Nebraska/Iowa to Illinois, and Route 40/66 on the way home. Woohoo...should be fun.
Can't wait!!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:33 PM   #11
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You are going to have the trip of a lifetime. So much to see and do. Take your time. Utah is so beautiful. Who knew rocks could be so awesome. The museum over I 80, in Nebraska is a must see. Kearney, I think. St.Louis arch is too. Just have fun. Enjoy!!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:48 PM   #12
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Well folks, much has changed since our plans for cross-country. We're still going, but will be towing a 23' toyhauler/TT behind a '05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 instead of the Class B van. That darn thing was just too small. This will be more work to drive; but we'll be happier wherever we stay. We've made reservations, and decided North route to Illinois, going through Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and on to Illinois. We will be taking Route 66 (US 40) back, as we live in the high desert of California...near Victorville. We want to avoid toll routes; and are there any special notes of interest as far as making the drive easier? As stated in our original post, we are 2 small and disabled females. We will be traveling with 2 dogs and 1 cat. The driving may be split; but we are planning no more than 8 hours total drive time daily.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:19 AM   #13
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Just my thought, being a long time Chicago area resident. If I were to do Rt 66, I would have to start my trip at the historical marker where it begins, in Chicago. Even though it would make more sense for me to pick up the route in Joliet.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Recommendation.. Many years ago our family tradition was to pack 3 weeks of stuff into a 2 week time slot.. Did not work all that well... Finally we got smart and decided to pack 2 weeks of stuff into a 3 week time slot.. That worked out fantastic cause.. Well, there is always the attraction you spot you decide to spend a day or two at. and that extra week .. Soon is filled.
Like it!
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