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Old 06-06-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
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Road Trip, First time in a Motor Coach!

Looking to go to Madison, WI from Charleston SC this summer, need idears on route, where to stay and was thinking about stopping in Chicago for the day! Any advise or help will be appreciated!
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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I would avoid getting close to Chicago, stay west on 39. If you want to stop stay at Shabbona state park or Sycamore rv park. Take the train from Elburn.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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Looking to go to Madison, WI from Charleston SC this summer, need idears on route, where to stay and was thinking about stopping in Chicago for the day! Any advise or help will be appreciated!
Sorry to say, if you get near Chicago you'll be stopping, creeping, crawling thru Chicago and it might take a day and you'll never leave the RV. You can expect traffic tie ups from Merrillville or Portage, IN right on through to downtown and beyond. We've been visiting relatives in the region for many years and you can always expect construction constrictions (especially in orange barrel season) and traffic jams even in the middle of the night.

My route to Madison is to go across Indiana on I-74 to Bloomington, IL, then N on I-39 to I-90 to Madison. From your start point, I've used I-26 to I-40 to I-75 N. In Cincinnati pick up I-74 W to Bloomington, IL. It's 1,100 miles. I find it comfortable to drive no more than 350 in a day, you may be different. Lots to see along the route, but it does avoid Chicago.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:50 PM   #4
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We would highly recommend you skip Chicago, especially for your first motorhome trip.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
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Seems most of the responses are suggesting you stay away from Chicago and not responding to your initial request for ideas on where to stay for a visit there.

Chicago is not typically considered an RV destination and you won't find anything in the city, but a number of cities nearby have RV parks. In checking RV park reviews I see one highly rated park listed in Elgin. It appears to be right off I90, which is on your way to Madison (our home town).

As for getting through or around Chicago, take the 295 bypass around the city and you won't have too much of a problem. A couple of caveats, however. One, without an IPASS transponder you'll be stopping at a lot of toll booths. (As we used to go through there frequently we have an IPASS and it makes the trip much faster and less stressful) Second, the toll booth lane farthest to the right is USUALLY a bit wider than the others. Lastly, avoid rush hour, if at all possible.

Big city navigation is something most of us would prefer to avoid, but as long as you're mentally prepared for the inevitable construction and traffic delays you'll do fine.

Enjoy the trip.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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Seems most of the responses are suggesting you stay away from Chicago and not responding to your initial request for ideas on where to stay for a visit there.

Chicago is not typically considered an RV destination and you won't find anything in the city, but a number of cities nearby have RV parks. In checking RV park reviews I see one highly rated park listed in Elgin. It appears to be right off I90, which is on your way to Madison (our home town).

As for getting through or around Chicago, take the 295 bypass around the city and you won't have too much of a problem. A couple of caveats, however. One, without an IPASS transponder you'll be stopping at a lot of toll booths. (As we used to go through there frequently we have an IPASS and it makes the trip much faster and less stressful) Second, the toll booth lane farthest to the right is USUALLY a bit wider than the others. Lastly, avoid rush hour, if at all possible.

Big city navigation is something most of us would prefer to avoid, but as long as you're mentally prepared for the inevitable construction and traffic delays you'll do fine.

Enjoy the trip.
Thanks Jim, I might just drive tru and not stop! My thoughts are city buses travel thru the city every day! What about a place to stay up in Madison? My son lives in Middleton! Would like to find a place close to him.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:28 PM   #7
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I stayed in one last summer, Madison KOA. It was.... a KOA. We were just passing thru and only spent a day in Madison and one night at the CG.

Try these:
https://www.google.com/search?num=40...55.Y63C5rKeXcg

You can also look here:
Reviews of RV Parks and Campgrounds - RV Park Reviews
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim, I might just drive tru and not stop! My thoughts are city buses travel thru the city every day! What about a place to stay up in Madison? My son lives in Middleton! Would like to find a place close to him.
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City buses travel thru the city every day because they never get enough passengers when they by pass the city.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:53 PM   #9
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I went through Chicago once in my motorhome. I think Chicago is a native word meaning "Land of Many Toll Booths" I just love being nickle and dimed by a bureaucracy devoid of reason.

We loved Madison though. We can't remember the name of the campground we stayed at but we enjoyed the experience of being there.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:01 PM   #10
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WReeder
City buses travel thru the city every day because they never get enough passengers when they by pass the city.
Mel
Plus, they're driven by people who don't have to make monthly payments on them!
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #11
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Many city buses get special lanes or permissions to turn where no one else can. In addition, most big cities now put transmitters in buses that change stop light timing to so they can travel with less stops. No one will give a break to an RV, allow you to change lanes or give you any distance in front for stopping.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:48 PM   #12
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I just looked on RV Park Reviews and for Middleton there is Lake Mendota County Park and in Madison is Lake Farm Park and Babcock County Park. You might check this same site for other towns nearby.

Middleton (Wisconsin ) - Campground Reviews - RV Park Reviews
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:50 AM   #13
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The only full hookup RV park in the Madison/Middleton area is the KOA. Not the most scenic RV park you'll ever visit, but has full facilities. It is a 30 to 45 minute drive from Middleton, on a good day, via back roads.

As for the county parks, Lake Farm would be the best bet for a big rig. There are plenty of sites on the west side of the campground you'll easily fit on. You'll have 50 amp electric only but there is an easily accessible dump station and potable water available. You'll also have direct access to the bike trail system and hiking trails from the Lake Farm campground. It would be an easier trip to Middleton from here compared to the KOA.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:49 PM   #14
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Sad to say I90 coming out of Chicago is a construction mess. The Paul Wolff campground (Elgin) is a great place to stop and then drive or take the train into Chicago. But it is on I90. Do not take I90 through Chicago. I294 or I355 are ugly but a better routes. This year, I39 is the best way to go as said above.

If you do not need full hookups use Reviews of RV Parks and Campgrounds - RV Park Reviews. They show some places I did not know about round Middleton.
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