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Old 02-29-2020, 08:27 AM   #1
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I-80 East to West: Indiana to Wyoming

Help!
We will be making this trek in August. Have never traveled in this part of the USA, so totally new to us. Rock Springs Wyoming is the destination.
Looking at maps, I-80 appears to be the most direct route. And appears to deal with less severe elevation change? Is this true or not?
Also, what are the road conditions? Good, decent, rough, lots or few potholes, etc.
Your input is appreciated, as this will be our first ever venture out West!
Thanks,

Allan
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabber Jaw View Post
Help!
We will be making this trek in August. Have never traveled in this part of the USA, so totally new to us. Rock Springs Wyoming is the destination.
Looking at maps, I-80 appears to be the most direct route. And appears to deal with less severe elevation change? Is this true or not?
Also, what are the road conditions? Good, decent, rough, lots or few potholes, etc.
Your input is appreciated, as this will be our first ever venture out West!
Thanks,

Allan
As I've made this trip more than just a few times I'd look at getting to the Rockies then head North - Sorry the fly over states are just that - you need to get out to something that is different than Corn and Wheat!

I'd Suggest Hannibal, MO and RT 36 - just easy to drive - few trucks - Good Road - more Fun to drive - JMHO. That will get you to Denver/Golden then if we knew what you had planned we could help with the options available.

Time of year is critical - length of time available - as is knowing what the Mission is - So help us so we can help you. -

In a word I-80 Is a No No. - -

With Flaming Gorge the Goal I'd use Colorado as the access point to the North, catching Dino NM along with a good bit of RT 40 in Colorado.

Something like this - https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=38814...=2&form=S00027

Let me Know if I'm on the right track, Hope this Helps,
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:55 PM   #3
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I-80 is the most direct route, however, it has tons of truck traffic.
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Old 02-29-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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We've driven quite a bit of that stretch of I-80 in the las couple years and found the road to be in reasonable condition with the worst part being in Illinois.

Yes indeed, there is a lot of truck traffic, especially in the Chicago area. I grew up in northern Indiana and loved to be on the road, but the drivers in the Chicago area are like no where else with their tendency to speed up, slow down, lane hop, tailgate, etc., oh, and stand on the breaks for no apparent reason. About a year and a half ago we were headed to north central Indiana and went through the Chicago area about mid-morning on a Sunday morning in our Class C, thinking the traffic wouldn't be too bad. There might not have been as many vehicles on the road that Sunday morning, but most of them lived up to the bad reputation of Chicago drivers. I then vowed to never drive through there again. I'm not a white-knuckle driver, but that's just nuts. In fact last year when we made the trip I made the choice to transition to US 24 an hour or so west of the IN/IL state line and that takes us directly to our old hometown of Wabash. Yes, its slower and there are stoplights and other minor issues, but it was actually enjoyable to go through some of the small towns. Took the same route on the return trip.

Aside from a few river valleys, there are no significant elevation issues on that part of I-80 to Rock Springs.

If you have the time and inclination, take a side trip to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, Mount Rushmore, and Devil's Tower. All great places to see!

Oh, and since its probably going to be very hot that time of year, make sure your cooling and air conditioning systems are in tip top condition.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabber Jaw View Post
Help!
We will be making this trek in August. Have never traveled in this part of the USA, so totally new to us. Rock Springs Wyoming is the destination.
Looking at maps, I-80 appears to be the most direct route. And appears to deal with less severe elevation change? Is this true or not?
Also, what are the road conditions? Good, decent, rough, lots or few potholes, etc.
Your input is appreciated, as this will be our first ever venture out West!
Thanks,

Allan
Good Morning Allen,

You didn't say what part of Indiana you are travelling from. If it is the northern part near South Bend than I80 all the way makes a lot of sense. Know that I80 is a VERY MAJOR truck route from Chicago all the way to the West coast. By the time you get to Wyoming there are as many as 5 trucks to every car on the road. Although you attain 8600 feet elevation on I80 the grades are not steep just annoying. The terrain in Wyoming is rolling hills that are 4-5% grades. The heavily loaded trucks can't maintain speed and sometimes clog up the highway for a ways when 2 trucks get side by side at 45 MPH.

If you are closer to Indianapolis then I70 may make more sense. Take I70 to Denver than I25 north to Cheyenne and then I80 to Rock Springs. Traffic around St Louis, Kansas City and Denver can be an issue depending on the time of day. There are tolls on I70 near Topeka.

Both above routes avoid major mountain passes and steep grades. The steepest part being between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming. That is pretty tame compared to a major pass.

Any route that takes you west from Denver through Colorado has at least 3 major passes. All are navigable with your RV. It just depends on your mountain driving skills and desire to drive those roads.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:39 AM   #6
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Might be a little breezy in Wyoming.
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:34 PM   #7
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Ok, a little more info about the trip. We will be leaving from the Richmond Va area and drive to Newmar in Napapnee In. And from there proceed west to the Newmar International Rally at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs Wyoming. The event runs from August 21-29.
Our time schedule is to leave home on or about July 30 & arrive in Napanee August 1st. Will be in Napanaee 2-3 days, so leaving there on or about August 4th, with plans to arrive in Rock Springs, August 21st.
As of today, nothing other than the stop over at Newmar has been planned.
So we will have some flexibility of schedule to drive, camp, & sightsee until we get to Rock Springs.
Seems I-80 is the most direct route, but would be interested in other routes with some scenery & points of interest.
We will be traveling in a 2020 Newmar Canyon Star & pulling a 2017 Colorado ZR-2.It has had suspension enhancements & an Ultratune engine tune. Has plenty of power in the Virginia mountains, and handles quite well. But have never been to or through the Rockies, with the substantial differences in elevation. This will be a totally new experience for both of us!
Recommendations are appreciated, with regard to trip routing & maybe some places to see along the way.
Thanks for your help & advice!
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jabber Jaw View Post
Ok, a little more info about the trip. We will be leaving from the Richmond Va area and drive to Newmar in Nappanee In. And from there proceed west to the Newmar International Rally at the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs Wyoming. The event runs from August 21-29.
Our time schedule is to leave home on or about July 30 & arrive in Napanee August 1st. Will be in Napanee 2-3 days, so leaving there on or about August 4th, with plans to arrive in Rock Springs, August 21st.
As of today, nothing other than the stop over at Newmar has been planned.
So we will have some flexibility of schedule to drive, camp, & sightsee until we get to Rock Springs.
Seems I-80 is the most direct route, but would be interested in other routes with some scenery & points of interest.
We will be traveling in a 2020 Newmar Canyon Star & pulling a 2017 Colorado ZR-2.It has had suspension enhancements & an Ultratune engine tune. Has plenty of power in the Virginia mountains, and handles quite well. But have never been to or through the Rockies, with the substantial differences in elevation. This will be a totally new experience for both of us!
Recommendations are appreciated, with regard to trip routing & maybe some places to see along the way.
Thanks for your help & advice!
Biggest question now is how long do/will you have to get back to Richmond - 30 + days or so?

You and your Rig along with Your Toad will have no issue in the Rockies - JMHO,

If so we could make this an Epic Loop Trip - Heading north to Custer/Black Hills/Rushmore - then Cody/Chief Joseph Hwy/Beartooth Hwy - YNP - Tetons Out through Jackson and on to the Rally.

If we have the time.....this could really be FUN!....Leaving Flaming Gorge to Dino/Vernal/Green River - to the Colorado Monument - RT 128/Colorado River/Moab/Arches/Canyonlands - then into Colorado for Black Canyon - Ouray - Silverton - Aspen Trees/Leaves - Buena Vista - Collegiates - Cottonwood and Independence Passes (Day Trips in the Toad to Crested Butte and Maroon Bells) - Leadville - Breck - RT 6 Golden/Coors/Denver before RT 36 and home to Richmond.

MAP - https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=4e459...=2&form=S00027

Few links that might help;

Usually after the second or third week of September - depending on Elevation - https://lynn.smugmug.com/Travel/Colo...pens/i-tsVRkXg

San Juan's/Lake City - https://www.flickr.com/photos/michae...n/photostream/

I could go on and on but you will need to get back to us on the timeline and your Interests, am if this is even close to what you might be looking for. -

Hope this Helps,
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:52 AM   #9
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I have driven this route atleast 20 times in the last 25 years and not the most scenic but by far the fastest route--Once you get thru Gary,Id and Joilet Il you are home free--after you pass I-55 west of Joilet the traffic drops off a LOT!!!! You will hit some traffic around Davenport,DesMoines and Omaha but usually not bad--Take your time in the cities and you will be fine--I pull a 37 Ft toy hauler and its not a bad drive-- Just did it last summer going to Moab,Ut and back !!!
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