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Old 04-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #15
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:42 AM   #16
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And this is the point before a trip where the anxiety starts to set in
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
Thank you all very much for this. Took a peek at the maps, and it's interesting that my initial good sams map took me a slightly different route through the country on 57 - wonder which is better?

Also, the Ipass seems like a tad of a waste as I won't spend all 40 dollars, but 40 dollars is worth the ease of hassle to me! our toll booths in houston are TINY and i wold be trapped if I tried to drive through one, unsure what yours are like there.

Here's the good sams route.
57 is a longer route, 55 more direct. They're both decent highways.

As soon as you get in Chicago area you would want to find a Jewel that has the transponder.

As far as the toll booths, the semis have to go thru them with no problem nor do I with my Adventurer.

Here's info on the transponder:
Transponders obtained at a Tollway Customer Service Center are already activated. Activation is required for transponders obtained at a Jewel-Osco or Road Ranger location. Activation instructions are included in the transponder box. Once activated, transponders are ready for use within 24 hours in Illinois and within 48 hours in other states that accept I-PASS.
  • Activate online
  • Activate by phone: 800-926-6500
    • Weekdays: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Weekends: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You will need the following:
  • Serial number and activation code from the sticker on the transponder
  • License plate number and plate type for each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
  • Year, make, model and color of each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
  • Driver's license number of the I-PASS account holder
  • Credit/debit card information to register for automatic balance replenishment (optional)
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Romer1 View Post
57 is a longer route, 55 more direct. They're both decent highways.

As soon as you get in Chicago area you would want to find a Jewel that has the transponder.

As far as the toll booths, the semis have to go thru them with no problem nor do I with my Adventurer.

Here's info on the transponder:
Transponders obtained at a Tollway Customer Service Center are already activated. Activation is required for transponders obtained at a Jewel-Osco or Road Ranger location. Activation instructions are included in the transponder box. Once activated, transponders are ready for use within 24 hours in Illinois and within 48 hours in other states that accept I-PASS.
  • Activate online
  • Activate by phone: 800-926-6500
    • Weekdays: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Weekends: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You will need the following:
  • Serial number and activation code from the sticker on the transponder
  • License plate number and plate type for each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
  • Year, make, model and color of each vehicle using the I-PASS transponder
  • Driver's license number of the I-PASS account holder
  • Credit/debit card information to register for automatic balance replenishment (optional)

If I hit the pay as you go booths, your post indicates that:

A) I'll fit in them.
B) Be able to reach whomever is to be paid.

Just want to verify that that info is correct.

And from there should I come up 355 or 294? Thanks so much!
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
If I hit the pay as you go booths, your post indicates that:

A) I'll fit in them.
B) Be able to reach whomever is to be paid.

Just want to verify that that info is correct.

And from there should I come up 355 or 294? Thanks so much!
Unless you're larger than a semi, you'll fit with toad. Trust me the toll collector will make sure they get your money.

If you come up 55, take 355. If you come up 57, take 294. Traffic wise, I would recommend 55. 57 has you in more urbanized area longer, i.e more traffic. Only thing to be aware of is bridge construction on 55 just south of Joliet, IL mile marker 250 or so. Depending on time of day can be a real bear. CB radio will alert you.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:04 AM   #20
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Also, be warned that in order to pay manually, you mustget out of the thru lanes and into the cash lanes to the right. If you don't, the cameras will get you and hunt you down. If by mistake, you go thru the thru lanes, you can mail the toll in within 7 days.
Also, the toll with Ipass is half of what you will pay if done manually for cash.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:08 AM   #21
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You can also come up 57 to I80 and go west on 80 to 355 north.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:30 PM   #22
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I57 to west bound I80. Then I355 straight north is the best option. I294 can be a lot of heavy traffic. I drive this route all the time. Just make sure you are not going north between 4:00 and 6:00 PM.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:27 PM   #23
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Normally the far right lane is much wider to accommodate large vehicles at all toll plazas. We've never had any concerns with toll booths if we stay right at the entrance lanes.
Last winter we were in Florida, at one toll plaza I drove through a standard auto booth lane. While narrow, I had no trouble getting through, the roof is the same height as the truck lane.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Normally the far right lane is much wider to accommodate large vehicles at all toll plazas. We've never had any concerns with toll booths if we stay right at the entrance lanes.
Last winter we were in Florida, at one toll plaza I drove through a standard auto booth lane. While narrow, I had no trouble getting through, the roof is the same height as the truck lane.
Sounds good, makes me wonder if going through the trouble of an ipass is workth it.

If I come up 355, it seems I would only go through 2 tolls each direction?
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:57 AM   #25
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The good thing about the I-pass is that you can use it all over the East coast as well. Except Florida, of course. There is no monthly service charge and you can set it up to add money automatically when you are low. Getting around the Chicago area is difficult even when you have an I-pass for the tolls. Trying to avoid them could add a lot of time.

Enjoy your time in Schaumburg. Great area. Home area for us.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:10 PM   #26
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The IL I-Pass website is somewhat confusing to me. One page says to mount the transponder in center of, and a few inches above bottom of MH windshield. Then an imbedded link says to mount it on the roof with bolts. Vehicles with more than 2 axles must use the IL "blue" transponder, which is also for commercial vehicles.
One attractive thing for our upcoming trip is, the IL I-Pass works in 15 states.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:26 PM   #27
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I have driven both routs going to Texas and back. My start point was Downers Grove, Il. Also, I just did a Mapquest to refresh this old brain and I was right for once! The I55 to I355 is shorter, fewer crazy people and faster.

Ipass has been great for me. So far they have billed me correctly with and without the toad every time. I have one standard “white” Ipass.

Three things good about Ipass. First is half price tolls. Second is you do not have to stop at any toll booths. Third is if you ever head to the north eastern states Ipass works there.

The only places it did not work years go are Indiana and Florida. I understand that that may be changing. Mapquest also suggested I55 to IL-83 N. IL-83 is a four lane toll free road but slow, many stop lights.

Have a safe and fun trip.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:29 PM   #28
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Can you move an I-Pass transponder between RV and auto? And will it register the correct toll even if the RV is pulling a toad?

I've been thinking of getting one just for the occasional trip through the area. Would be nice if it was compatible with Sunpass in Florida.
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