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Old 06-23-2020, 02:52 PM   #1
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Coastal SC to Bismark, ND

I had our route from the coast to Ft. Abraham Lincoln all mapped out on RV Trip Wizard. Not bad, we were going by way of B'ham to visit with family and the route seemed pretty straight forward, the worst seemed to be getting around St. Louis and Kansas City.

We had to drop B'ham from the trip and when I put in start and end on RV Trip Wizard they are taking us on a most bizarre journey that almost goes through downtown Chicago!!!

I think it need to recreate our original trip just not tell the family we will be a few miles from their house as we camp out for one night before heading north on I-65.

Thoughts on best route to the Bismark area?
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:37 PM   #2
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I've never been as far north as you are going, but I have been close several times. I always go Nashville, St Louis, Kansas City, Sioux Falls. I go through St Louis on I-64. I've found that it is much easier than I-70. We like to camp overnight at Duck Creek RV Park south of Paducah, KY, Lazy Days RV Park near Danville, MO, at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta, KS, and Grand Island KOA in Grand Island, NE. All were good overnight stops.

I like to get off the interstate when I get past Kansas City and I have found the major roads to be very good. For instance, US 75 north out of Mayetta, KS is a good drive and a nice alternative to doing the interstate shuffle.
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:51 PM   #3
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That sounds really close to what we are seeing. I've read bad things on here about I-70 and glad to know there is an alternative.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:37 PM   #4
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I've never been as far north as you are going, but I have been close several times. I always go Nashville, St Louis, Kansas City, Sioux Falls. I go through St Louis on I-64. I've found that it is much easier than I-70. We like to camp overnight at Duck Creek RV Park south of Paducah, KY, Lazy Days RV Park near Danville, MO, at the Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta, KS, and Grand Island KOA in Grand Island, NE. All were good overnight stops.

I like to get off the interstate when I get past Kansas City and I have found the major roads to be very good. For instance, US 75 north out of Mayetta, KS is a good drive and a nice alternative to doing the interstate shuffle.
Agree, avoid I-70.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:00 PM   #5
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Google Maps shows 1793 miles via I-26/I-40/I-75/64 to I-65 to 294 at Chicago to 290 North to 90 West to 94/694 at Minneapolis and continue on 94.

Are you in a hurry? I'd surely take some secondary highways to get off those interstates.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:12 AM   #6
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Frankly, I always stay as far from Chicago as possible. Now, I would count Minneapolis the same.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:04 AM   #7
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Google Maps shows 1793 miles via I-26/I-40/I-75/64 to I-65 to 294 at Chicago to 290 North to 90 West to 94/694 at Minneapolis and continue on 94.

Are you in a hurry? I'd surely take some secondary highways to get off those interstates.
Agreed, That is why I posted the RV Trip Wizard's route was nutz!

The route outlined by other posters is pretty close to what I came up with when I put in a stop at St. Louis. From that point on it is much like the original route I plotted when we planned to visit the grands in B'ham.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:49 AM   #8
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If it were me, instead of taking I-65N out of Indianapolis, I'd take I-74W out of Indianapolis to Bloomington, IL. At that point, you can choose to take I-39N up thru Rockford, IL and Madison, WI to eventually reconnect with I-90W and I-94W to your destination. Or you can stay on I-74W all the way to north side of Davenport, IA at which point you connect with I-80W to the north side of Omaha and then I-29N. That will take you up to Fargo, ND and I-94W eventually to Ft. Abraham Lincoln. I also avoid Chicago whenever possible. Rockford can get congested depending on when you hit it, but I've traveled on both routes mentioned and they are very doable, just a little more mileage. And, of course, you can get off the interstates and travel US and State Routes wherever you choose. There are many good options available for that as well.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:25 PM   #9
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If it were me, instead of taking I-65N out of Indianapolis, I'd take I-74W out of Indianapolis to Bloomington, IL. At that point, you can choose to take I-39N up thru Rockford, IL and Madison, WI to eventually reconnect with I-90W and I-94W to your destination. Or you can stay on I-74W all the way to north side of Davenport, IA at which point you connect with I-80W to the north side of Omaha and then I-29N. That will take you up to Fargo, ND and I-94W eventually to Ft. Abraham Lincoln. I also avoid Chicago whenever possible. Rockford can get congested depending on when you hit it, but I've traveled on both routes mentioned and they are very doable, just a little more mileage. And, of course, you can get off the interstates and travel US and State Routes wherever you choose. There are many good options available for that as well.
Great idea! What do those mapping programs know?

I just did a Point A to B on Google but we would rarely do that. We look on a paper map for alternates. We didn't care if it added some miles to give us a better trip.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #10
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Just a further observation re: RVTW routing. Once you set your Avoidances (if any), RVTW routes you on the fastest RV route from A to B. If that means a route thru Chicago, then you're going thru Chicago. Same for Atlanta and other major cities, if they are on the fastest RV compatible route. Unfortunately, there isn't an ability to name cities in Avoidances. So If you don't want to transit thru a major metropolitan area, you are just going to have to tell it that after you see the initial route plan. No need to be frustrated with what you see. AI is not involved, and it's just doing what it is programmed to do. You just have to tell it that you don't want to go that way. Once you add an intermediate point, it will gladly set a new route plan for you.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:42 PM   #11
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Just a further observation re: RVTW routing. Once you set your Avoidances (if any), RVTW routes you on the fastest RV route from A to B. If that means a route thru Chicago, then you're going thru Chicago. Same for Atlanta and other major cities, if they are on the fastest RV compatible route. Unfortunately, there isn't an ability to name cities in Avoidances. So If you don't want to transit thru a major metropolitan area, you are just going to have to tell it that after you see the initial route plan. No need to be frustrated with what you see. AI is not involved, and it's just doing what it is programmed to do. You just have to tell it that you don't want to go that way. Once you add an intermediate point, it will gladly set a new route plan for you.
Thanks, Not frustrated I was surprised that it liked that route. I chose a stop that puts us on the route Andy suggested.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:36 AM   #12
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Trip Update

Thanks to everyone for their great advice. DH and I are very concerned about the virus and what would happen if one of us contracted the virus far from home. It is a possibility no matter how careful you are. Plus even though this is a trip of the great out doors for us, we love museums and restaurants. To miss those would be to miss so much about the areas we are visiting.

It is a great trip and I am saving the routing suggestions in my Trip Wizard account for 2022. We will be free that summer to travel as much as we want with no restrictions to be back home on certain dates. At our ages we hate putting anything off but have agreed that right now, it is not the right thing for us to do.

We will be back on the road next spring for more than a few days at local state parks on our belated Florida trip.
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:15 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for their great advice. DH and I are very concerned about the virus and what would happen if one of us contracted the virus far from home. It is a possibility no matter how careful you are. Plus even though this is a trip of the great out doors for us, we love museums and restaurants. To miss those would be to miss so much about the areas we are visiting.



It is a great trip and I am saving the routing suggestions in my Trip Wizard account for 2022. We will be free that summer to travel as much as we want with no restrictions to be back home on certain dates. At our ages we hate putting anything off but have agreed that right now, it is not the right thing for us to do.



We will be back on the road next spring for more than a few days at local state parks on our belated Florida trip.


The country will still be here next year so nothing to regret about canceling. We are still planning on leaving on the 12th. But if the virus situation looks much worse we may postpone or cancel ourselves.

Have a good summer!
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