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Old 05-21-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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Philly to South Bend, IN

We are heading from the Philadelphia area (actually Timberlane Campground in NJ) to the South Bend, IN area. I've looked at a couple of routes and am not sure which would be better - PA Turnpike all the way or I-476 up to I-80 and then west. I drove the I-80 route before several years ago in a 40' DP, and I don't remember it being a bad drive. I have driven the PA Turnpike route several times as far west as Harrisburg but never past that. Tolls are not a deal breaker, but as with just about everyone, less money spent on tolls is better. Oh, yeah, we now have a 36' gas Class A, so if that plays into the equation, please let me know.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:59 PM   #2
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I'm a Pittsburgh guy so I've used the turnpike all my life.

Pa tolls are high but I justify most of that cost by fuel saved crossing the mountains and time and convenience.

OH pike fees are much lower.

-Tom
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:14 AM   #3
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Here's what I recommend. Delaware Mem Bridge to I-95S.
I-695 to I-70
I-70W to I-68W at Hancock, MD (I-70 heads N into PA there.)
I-68W to Morgantown WV and pick up I-79N into PA
I-79N to New Stanton.

Here, you have a couple of choices - Stay on I-79N and then the PA Turnpike/I-76 up to I-80W, or get back on I-70W and take it west as far as you want before heading north again, to South Bend.

We did the I-68-69-70 route a couple of years ago and apart from some slowdown around Cambridge, OH, it was fine. Nice ride, not too busy with trucks, and no cost. I can't say the same about the I-80 route farther north.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:10 AM   #4
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The PA turnpike west of Carlisle starts to get hilly and twisty and the tunnels are not super fun but it isnt something someone with even minimal experience driving an rv should avoid. Ohio turnpike and west to South Bend is a very easy drive.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:37 PM   #5
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I-68 is VERY hilly. Near Cumberland, Maryland there is a hill on I-68 that is posted as 6% for 13 miles.

Much of the PA turnpike west of Carlisle is now 6 lanes.

The Pa pike goes through the mountains, not over them. Maximum grade is 3%.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:46 AM   #6
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I-68 is VERY hilly. Near Cumberland, Maryland there is a hill on I-68 that is posted as 6% for 13 miles.

Much of the PA turnpike west of Carlisle is now 6 lanes.

The Pa pike goes through the mountains, not over them. Maximum grade is 3%.
I don't remember I-68 as being all that hilly. My ancient old 88 Bounder did it without any complaints back in 2012 - and that's with a carb'ed 454, a three speed transmission, and about 180 HP. I DO remember it being free, though...
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:52 AM   #7
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I-68 is a very scenic drive Traffic is very, very light.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the advice. I decided to take the more direct route using the Turnpike as far west as I-70. Went through Columbus and then up to Michigan City, IN, so we could avoid a couple of bigger cities and the traffic. Not too bad of a drive, but when you grow up in southern Louisiana where the highest hills are the overpasses, all of the routes would be considered hilly!!
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:55 PM   #9
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...when you grow up in southern Louisiana where the highest hills are the overpasses, all of the routes would be considered hilly!!
But up Nawth here, if you run off the road, you're not likely to be chewed up by a 'gator! Good luck on further journeys!
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:26 PM   #10
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Philly to South Bend, IN

Abc
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:10 AM   #11
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This map will show the western end that is either 6 lanes or shortly will be.

https://www.patpconstruction.com/mp3...p_Dec_2012.pdf

-Tom
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