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Old 01-05-2015, 06:05 PM   #1
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Elkhart, IN to Boston, MA

Hi All,

Just bought a new THOR Miramar and have to pick it up in Elkhart and drive it home soon. Was wondering what would be the best route for a complete RV newbie from Elkhart to Boston as I'm completely clueless?

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Old 01-05-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Want some company?

There were several recent threads about Ohio-Boston and western PA to Cape Cod. No real consensus but they all ended on the Mass Pike. (That might have been on another forum).

I do not recommend I-90 past the lee of Lakes Erie or Ontario this time of year. Probably I-70 to I-76 to I-84 to the pike.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:41 PM   #3
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I 80 will run you right toward NYC from Elkhart from there I'm sure you probably know the best route. Watch the weather this time of year could be a challenge with a new coach Pa. has a few hills and I 80 is usually loaded with trucks. If it were mine I would head south and wait for spring just to avoid salty roads.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:57 PM   #4
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I don't think the RV will be ready until 3rd week of April so hopefully the snow may be gone by then?
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:21 PM   #5
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69 - 80 - 81 - 84 to whatever looks good will bypass most of the Great Lakes snow pattern. Cost you a few minutes and a few miles over taking the Thruway but no Tolls on those roads so probably cheaper. Once you get over around the Hudson you run into the coastal weather and the NY - Boston traffic corridor.

Western PA is pretty empty as I recall. I understand Ohio has better fuel prices so you might want to top off around Akron. I'd try to keep above an half tank on that trip just in case I got stuck somewhere.

If you are planning on sleeping in the unit get the generator and furnace running before you shut down the engine. Keep it running while you sleep or you will freeze. ;-)
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonless View Post
I don't think the RV will be ready until 3rd week of April so hopefully the snow may be gone by then?

Third week of April you'll have a fair chance, but if you've lived in Mass long you know it's bad to bet against snow in April! ;-) The mountains of Penn might be interesting-- just keep an eye on the weather.

You never said whether you prefer to avoid the tolls. Simplest is I-90 all the way, but that will have you on toll road all the way, and the toll in NY is nasty. You'll have to pay the toll through IN & OH, but after that what I've always done is what nothermark suggested-- just stay on I-80 through most of PA, cut north on I81 to I84 in Scranton, and that will take you through CT to the Pike. It also avoids ALL of metro NY. Note: I84 has some tough patches in CT, and a lot of that is in Hartford and southwest of Hartford. To avoid most of that rough, after Waterbury , take I-691 to connect to I-91 north in Meriden. When nearing Hartford from the south, watch for signage directing you to US-5 to connect back into I-84east. It's only about a 1 mile connection. There is no direct ramp from 91N to 84E. It's easy and it avoids a lot of bad patches.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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Vis-a-vis tolls; You'll probably want an ez-pass anyway so get it for the trip. It covers all the tolls you will encounter.
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:31 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone!! I take it tolls are much more expensive for a Class A motorhome? Seeing this is the first time I've ever driven one we're thinking about taking the easiest route. It's going to be a blast and quite advantageous for us, but what the heck we've worked all our lives for the kids and we only have one more to get through college!!
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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FWIW I think I would be inclined to look at alternate routing along some of the super slabs. Depends on my time window. I'd plan on a night near Elkhart to sort out the MH a bit then take US 20 across the lower Peninsula to get a feel for the MH. I could pick up 90 anytime or stay off it as traffic, time and confidence indicated. I'd also be looking hard at the 80 option for no tolls, low traffic, and time to gain confidence before hitting continuous traffic. Let us know how it went. ;-)
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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FWIW I think I would be inclined to look at alternate routing along some of the super slabs. Depends on my time window. I'd plan on a night near Elkhart to sort out the MH a bit then take US 20 across the lower Peninsula to get a feel for the MH. I could pick up 90 anytime or stay off it as traffic, time and confidence indicated. I'd also be looking hard at the 80 option for no tolls, low traffic, and time to gain confidence before hitting continuous traffic. Let us know how it went. ;-)
Awesome ideas and we'll most likely do both... we did plan on staying overnight to make sure we worked out as many issues we could.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:12 PM   #11
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If you watch your weather you should be okay on I-90, but if you don't watch your weather anywhere on your stated journey you can be in trouble. I-80 is a heavily truck travelled hilly interstate and is far from being immune to bad weather. The NY Thruway is pretty well maintained for the most part in the winter. PA tends to use sand rather than salt and that can make travel dicey. Be prepared with frequent fuel stops and make sure you have the rig well winterized if you do not have heated bays.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:43 PM   #12
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Folks the alternate to 90 in New York is I-86 which meets 90 outside of Erie PA just before the state line. For a new driver it is a mice highway that is not too busy.


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Old 01-12-2015, 07:42 PM   #13
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I did Elkhart to central Pa Jan 5-6. Of course it snowed Jan 5 & 6. I'd never driven an RV before and we made it home fine. My dad came with me and we alternated driving. Go slooooow through the toll booths. You barely fit!
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:06 AM   #14
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For a newbee,, The turnpike,, .. I keep wondering though, why they call it a Turnpike in IN and OH (And there are very few turns) but in PA they have a different name for it and of course there is no mile of straight road.

But still the Turnpike/toll road is your easiest drive to MA for the most part,, Only did that run one time.

Plan a stop in Hershey PA on your way,, Pick up some chocolate for the other half of your team.
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