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Old 08-04-2015, 06:06 PM   #1
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E-ZPass Toll Roads North East US

I am looking at my trip for next summer. We are in Arizona and will be driving in my truck towing my travel trailer. We will be heading to Kansas to visit family, then to Niagara Falls, then heading to Maine before turning around and heading Boston, then to New York City (staying in NJ - Liberty Harbor), then to Washington DC, then to Nashville and then head home. It's going to be a two month trip.

So obviously I have been looking at routes. I have the route mostly pinned down now with places to stay along the way. I am now looking at where I will have to take toll roads.

Looks like I will definitely be on the I90 a lot to and from Niagara Falls. I haven't even started to look at what toll roads I might encounter heading south from Maine.

I searched this forum for ez pass information and read a few. None would specifically answer the questions I have:

1. Can I buy an E-ZPass for my equipment before I start on my trip?
2. If so, how can I make sure that both my truck and trailer are covered?
3. How can I figure out how much the tolls will cost?

I went on the E-ZPass website and it is not specific about towing at all. There was a few lines about motor homes, nothing about trailers. I wanted to contact them, but their website says to contact them through a link that doesn't exist - only let's you contact them if you are a member. I tried to sign up to contact them as a member would, but it wouldn't accept my zip code. I haven't tried to put in a zip code locally to the states up there. I went onto a New York website that lets you select the toll roads to figure out the cost, but I don't know exactly where the entrance/exit to the toll roads I will be traveling is. It would be nice if they had a map where I could select the roads I will be traveling on.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:34 PM   #2
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Where are you going to get your EZ Pass? Each state works differently. I went with Delaware because Maryland (my state) wanted to charge a monthly fee.
Take a look at DE's guide:
http://www.ezpassde.com/pdfs/CustGuide-Master2013.pdf
1. Yes.
2. Register your vehicle and the scanners are supposed to detect that you are towing and charge appropriately.
3. There may be a website somewhere, but otherwise, you are going to have to go to each state's website and look up the toll information for your route.

Edit: I found a website that lists tolls. It will also calculate the tolls for a route.
http://beta.costtodrive.com/us-tolls/
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:07 PM   #3
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I do not think EZ pass cares about trailers as they just collect tolls. You need to look at the tolls for each road you will be on. Some roads differentiate between commercial and non commercial big vehicles. That is where the different code in a MH transponder vs an automobile transponder comes into play.

In NY you will get dinged on the Thruway for extra axles and height measured as you go through the toll plaza. Here is a link to the toll calculator for NY:

- New York State Thruway

When you roll through the plaza it automatically counts your axles and looks for vehicles over 7'6" or so tall then classes your vehicle for that trip.

FWIW You can do most of that trip in the NE on toll roads or you can avoid a lot of tolls with changes in your route. Often the alternates are shorter but slower so the time is close to the same. It depends on what you want to do. For instance I would be inclined to run 90 up from PA to Niagara Falls then go east on Rt 31 with a stop in Lockport to see the locks. Then on to Rochester via 31 to 531 to 490 to 90 to somewhere between Herkime and Fonda where I would cut north to head to 29 through Saratoga and on into VT where I would be heading for Rt 2 accross NH and most of ME. Shorter, a bit slower but more places to stop and see&do things. Mostly good 2 lane through a lot of lightly populated country. Some congestion where you might want to be stopping. Some free super slab. Coming out of Maine you can do Rt 1 and sight see or 95 and run. Coming out of Boston and heading south run the super slabs as needed to DC. The whole area is congested enough to make that the better choice. Mix of toll and free depending how you go. Ask for information when you know where you want to go up there as there are better and worse routes. Out of DC pick up 66 to 81 all free.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ylexot View Post
Where are you going to get your EZ Pass? Each state works differently. I went with Delaware because Maryland (my state) wanted to charge a monthly fee.
Take a look at DE's guide:
http://www.ezpassde.com/pdfs/CustGuide-Master2013.pdf
1. Yes.
2. Register your vehicle and the scanners are supposed to detect that you are towing and charge appropriately.
3. There may be a website somewhere, but otherwise, you are going to have to go to each state's website and look up the toll information for your route.

Edit: I found a website that lists tolls. It will also calculate the tolls for a route.
Cost 2 Drive | US Tolls
That beta.costtodrive site looks promising. When I get closer to my trip, I will purchase it for my iphone. No need to until then. Thanks for that link. I have it bookmarked now. I am looking at the Illinois e-zpass as I will be going through there first and could pick one up. They also need me to get the "blue" transponder if I am towing a trailer.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
I do not think EZ pass cares about trailers as they just collect tolls. You need to look at the tolls for each road you will be on. Some roads differentiate between commercial and non commercial big vehicles. That is where the different code in a MH transponder vs an automobile transponder comes into play.

In NY you will get dinged on the Thruway for extra axles and height measured as you go through the toll plaza. Here is a link to the toll calculator for NY:

- New York State Thruway

When you roll through the plaza it automatically counts your axles and looks for vehicles over 7'6" or so tall then classes your vehicle for that trip.

FWIW You can do most of that trip in the NE on toll roads or you can avoid a lot of tolls with changes in your route. Often the alternates are shorter but slower so the time is close to the same. It depends on what you want to do. For instance I would be inclined to run 90 up from PA to Niagara Falls then go east on Rt 31 with a stop in Lockport to see the locks. Then on to Rochester via 31 to 531 to 490 to 90 to somewhere between Herkime and Fonda where I would cut north to head to 29 through Saratoga and on into VT where I would be heading for Rt 2 accross NH and most of ME. Shorter, a bit slower but more places to stop and see&do things. Mostly good 2 lane through a lot of lightly populated country. Some congestion where you might want to be stopping. Some free super slab. Coming out of Maine you can do Rt 1 and sight see or 95 and run. Coming out of Boston and heading south run the super slabs as needed to DC. The whole area is congested enough to make that the better choice. Mix of toll and free depending how you go. Ask for information when you know where you want to go up there as there are better and worse routes. Out of DC pick up 66 to 81 all free.
That's some great information. I tried to use that site you linked to. It is confusing because I don't know what entrance/exit and it doesn't tell me what the toll would be with the e-zpass. The route info you gave is great. I will be looking into all of that info in the coming weeks/months. I am going to try and put the best routes into Garmin Basecamp and then upload it to my Garmin 2699LMTHD (I get it tomorrow).
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:40 PM   #6
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When driving in NY, remember that you CAN'T drive on a Parkway because of the low bridges so you need to take the Expressway!

However, in NJ, you're fine driving on the Garden State Parkway.

Yes, it is confusing.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:03 PM   #7
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We bought an IPASS from Illinois. You can buy it in advance and it works in any state that uses EZPASS. It has no monthly fee and once you have your pass, you set up an account on line with your credit card. When the balance dips below a predetermined level, they will add money via your credit card. We only use one pass for our truck and 5th wheel and we can move it to any vehicle. We found a nifty gadget at a truck stop that you mount your pass onto and then it suction cups to the windshield making it easy to transfer between vehicles (was $5). We even used our IPASS in a rental car in May. We do not need it often but it sure beats sitting in toll lines and trying to come up with exact change. You can get a pass from any of the states that use EZPASS but watch out for monthly fees. Some states have them while others do not.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
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Smile EZ Pass NY

we have been using EZ Pass NY on our personal vehicles for over a decade even though we don't live in NY. When we bought our DP we called and asked what we should do. They sent me on EZPass unit for the Bus that was programmed for the Bus with the Toad behind. They sent a second unit just for the car to be used when we were only in the car. They included a special bag to stick the car unit in when we were towing it so we wouldn't be charged for the car when it was behind the Bus. I keep a replenish amount high in order to never run out of $$. I sure don't want to be digging for change as I wend my way thru the lines of cars and then thread myself thru the toll booth. So far all is working well.
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