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Old 03-30-2023, 05:40 PM   #1
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Chicago on I-80

We will be traveling east on I-80 in May on our way to Newfoundland. We do not like driving in big cities. Our rig will be a 27' Class C with a toad. What are opinions of staying on I-80 vs dropping south to US 24 or other routes?
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Old 03-30-2023, 06:27 PM   #2
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I did 2 trips last year,,, I stayed on 80.. one trip out, I got off 80 due to accident,, that was nasty thru chinatown.. but way back both times, smooth..
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Old 03-30-2023, 06:36 PM   #3
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I stopped going thru I 80 in Illinois from the Indiana border to Joilet.
It’s the most dangerous 40 miles on any interstate. The road condition are absolutely terrible. Traffic is terrible, truckers are terrible. Cars are terrible. Roads are full of big pothole. I remember slowing to 30mph in some areas of I 80. I didn’t care who got mad. I didn’t want a flat tire. Last time I did that 40 miles I passed 4-5 vehicles with flats.

I use this bypass, it’s about an hour extra but, no anxiety, and no deep potholes that can ruin your suspension
This route is a nice two lane Thru farmland. Almost no traffic except a little in Kankakee.

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Old 03-30-2023, 06:41 PM   #4
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Have driven that section of I 80 several times and it is always a parking lot! Last time through that area, we got off and took US 30. DW says never again for that section of interstate.
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Old 03-31-2023, 03:10 AM   #5
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We will be traveling east on I-80 in May on our way to Newfoundland. We do not like driving in big cities. Our rig will be a 27' Class C with a toad. What are opinions of staying on I-80 vs dropping south to US 24 or other routes?
If you are leaving from Albuquerque I don't understand why you are going near Chicago. Go to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, OH, and then work your way to Maine to cross the border and travel to Sydney, Nova Scotia to take the ferry.
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Old 03-31-2023, 03:50 AM   #6
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Avoid I70 in Indiana at all costs, terrible road, construction everywhere, DW almost cried when we saw another bridge as the pavement was so rough at the road joints. Stopped in Ohio and bought a MORryde rubberized pin box to soften the bucking and chucking which helped immensely and saved my marriage. One reason why we are buying a DP motorhome and selling the TV and FW.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:06 AM   #7
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If you are leaving from Albuquerque I don't understand why you are going near Chicago. Go to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, OH, and then work your way to Maine to cross the border and travel to Sydney, Nova Scotia to take the ferry.

We will be leaving from Santa Fe. We will visiting family in Colorado Springs on our way. Thus I-80 makes more sense. I really don't like any of the bigger cities and try to avoid as many as possible.


I remember the rough roads on I-70 in the Indiana area from a previous trip back east.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:46 AM   #8
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All "I" roads are laid out to connect big cities. There is no way to avoid them while staying on "I" roads. I80 through Chicago is a by pass route, but that helps very little.

State and Federal highways are almost always slower. Condition of the roads vary just as much if not more than "I" roads. They always have lots more stops and stop and go passage through cities and towns.

Keeping track of where to turn is an issue. GPS devices always try to put you back on interstate highways especially if you are using one of the truckers or RV devices.

My Garmin GPS will plot a route form Ill to NY that avoids toll roads. The calculated times are many hours longer. I have always chosen the I80 and ongoing toll route because I am unwilling to take the extra time.

You may consider traveling north of the Great Lakes through Canada. Take your passport. I recommend going through Duluth and Superior.

Stop at Goose Berry Falls and the Provincial park just east of Thunder Bay. It used to be called Sibley, but the name has changed to Sleeping Giant I think. Seney in Ontario is full of swans.

Alternately, cross at Sault Ste Marie from Michigan to Ontario for a shorter route.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:58 AM   #9
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All roads are likely to bad, especially during the spring thaw. I haven't been on a good road anywhere, unless it is in the process of being repaved.
Most metro areas have truck bypass or ring roads. Otherwise, I find going through large cities no big problem and it doesn't usually last long. Just pick a middle lane and don't try to keep up with traffic, which is always much faster than the speed limit.
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Old 03-31-2023, 12:18 PM   #10
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I wouldn't change your route if I80 is the quickest.
We live in Wisconsin just north of Chicago and at least once a year take our Class C with toad east on 80/90 to visit relatives in Pennsylvania

Over 40 trips since married in 1980

If you've got a good GPS or copilot that will get you in the correct lane for turns, exits in enough time.

There's going to be slowdowns, traffic, construction but nothing you can't handle.
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Old 04-04-2023, 01:58 PM   #11
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I live in the Chicago area and while I-80 is awful, it is much less painful if you go through at non "rush hour" periods. Try to time your trip so you go through midday or an early Sunday morning.
I dread going through there but there really is no viable alternative unless you have a lot of patience and time to kill.
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Old 04-04-2023, 04:00 PM   #12
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May I humbly suggest the Trans-Canada Highway, since your eventual destination is Newfoundland? We took the TCH from Vermont to out west instead of using I-90, I-80, and it was like night and day: No tolls, very few potholes, well-maintained surface, and sparking clean rest stops. Only downside was driving through Toronto, but if you are willing to pay the toll to take the bypass, you can avoid that. We never travel along the south side of the Great Lakes anymore.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:02 PM   #13
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May I humbly suggest the Trans-Canada Highway, since your eventual destination is Newfoundland? We took the TCH from Vermont to out west instead of using I-90, I-80, and it was like night and day: No tolls, very few potholes, well-maintained surface, and sparking clean rest stops. Only downside was driving through Toronto, but if you are willing to pay the toll to take the bypass, you can avoid that. We never travel along the south side of the Great Lakes anymore.

A warm thanks for the ideas. Our trip is based on going east on via the norther US and return west via Canada 1. The route you describe. We try hard to avoid retracing our routes any more than we must. I this case we close our great loop one day from home. The total trip looks like about 11,300 miles, not counting day tripping.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:28 PM   #14
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I stopped going thru I 80 in Illinois from the Indiana border to Joilet.
Itís the most dangerous 40 miles on any interstate. The road condition are absolutely terrible. Traffic is terrible, truckers are terrible. Cars are terrible. Roads are full of big pothole. I remember slowing to 30mph in some areas of I 80. I didnít care who got mad. I didnít want a flat tire. Last time I did that 40 miles I passed 4-5 vehicles with flats.

I use this bypass, itís about an hour extra but, no anxiety, and no deep potholes that can ruin your suspension
This route is a nice two lane Thru farmland. Almost no traffic except a little in Kankakee.

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Thanks, I've been looking for a recommendation around Chicago. One question though, why not just take 114 and 10 out of Momence to 65N?
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