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  1. Default Moving from Denver, CO to Fairfax, VA - tolls?

    My wife and I are moving from Denver, CO to Fairfax, VA. We are going to take I-80, but we see that there are a bunch of toll roads. I am going to drive a Penske 16' truck and my wife will be driving our Toyota Corolla.

    I've been looking forever to figure out how much we need to bring to pay for these tolls. I have gone to each state's website, but I get confused because I don't know which exit I get on and off.

    I wish there was a website where you just enter your starting point and ending point and it'll tell you all the toll roads and what they will cost. Any suggestions? I was thinking of bringing $30 in quarters for each car - will this be enough? Do I need $.10 rolls too? I'm not used to toll roads so I am not familiar with them.

    We are going to do this trip in 3 days. We don't know where to stop for the nights. What cities along I-80 do you recommend to stop that would be safe? What hotels would you recommend?

    Thanks for any advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Tolls - Skip Em!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I would be nice there was a toll website like you suggest, but I don't know of one currently in existance. But I wouldn't worry about bringing exact change, the ones you have to deal with in Indiana, Ohio, and Penn, give you a ticket and then you pay when you get off. The tolls through Indiana and Ohio run about $10-12 total

    But instead of worrying about toll prices, I would skip them altogether! Instead of taking I-80, I would take I-70 which is toll-free. 3 days is a very good pace for this trip, and I would say Kansas City and Cincinnati would be good stops for you on this route.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply. I was thinking about taking I-70, but it'd save me 4 hours to take I-80. I actually live in Fort Collins, CO (just said Denver b/c people are familiar with Denver), so I can get to I-80 easier by going through Cheyanne, Wyoming rather than go all the way through Denver to get to I-70.

    Where should I stop along the way when I'm taking I-80?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I see...

    Well then, I think a couple of good stops along I-80 would be around Omaha, Nebraska, and then Portage, Indiana. Omaha is a very nice city, and Portage has quite a few motels right along the freeway, and you'd be past Chicago's traffic when you leave for your final day of the trip.

    Another option would be to take I-74 from Dubuque, IA to Indianapolis, and then join I-70 from there. That would also allow you to skip Chicago traffic and the tolls, without adding any significant time to your trip. Danville, IL would probably be a good stop for this route.

  5. Default You're right


    You're right - cutting down from I-80 to I-70 through I-74 is a better route, so I'll do that. Very good suggestion - thank you.

    As far as stopping places, I like the idea of stopping at Omaha and Dainsville, but I'm afraid it might be too soon to stop at those places because Omaha is only 8 hours away (it would make the trip heavy driving on day 3 which I'd prefer to have lighter so I can move my stuff out of the truck).

    I'm concerned for safety and hopefully not getting the truck stolen with all our stuff in it. I don't know much about these cities so any suggestions would be helpful. Here's what I'm thinking:

    Day 1 - Ft. Collins, CO to Des Moines, Iowa (takes about 9 1/2 hours)
    Day 2 - Des Moines to Springfield, OH (Takes about 9 1/2 hours)
    Day 3 - Springfield to Fairfax, VA (8 Hours)

    Do you know anything about Des Moines, Iowa and Springfield, OH. I was told to stay away from Columbus.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You are being overly optimistic!

    Quote Originally Posted by mastac741 View Post
    Day 1 - Ft. Collins, CO to Des Moines, Iowa (takes about 9 1/2 hours)
    Be very cautious about using the driving time estimates you are looking at on online travel sites. Remember, you will be driving a Penske 16' truck (which will have a Federally-mandated governor speed control installed) and, in addition, you are probably not a skilled truck driver and so you are going to get fatigued much faster (and so will need to take more rest stops) and so a much more likely scenario is that it will take nearly twelve hours to drive to Des Moines, about the same +/- an hour on day two and pretty close to your projected on day three of 8 hours. It can be done, but this is EXTREMELY rushed. I urge you to make this a four day trip -- much better to arrive in one piece instead of in the back of an air ambulance...
    Do you know anything about Des Moines, Iowa and Springfield, OH. I was told to stay away from Columbus
    All four of these cities are fine. Also, here is a good discussion about reasonable distances to drive each day.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Upon Further Review

    Looking at it again, I think I did underestimate a little bit on the second stopover, and I think you'd probably want to be shooting for about Indianapolis instead. That would give you 3 fairly equal 600ish mile/11-12 hour days on the road. You'll have a slightly less miles on that first day, but if moving cross country multiple times has tought me just one thing, its that it always takes longer than you expect to get going on that first day, and you'll need a little extra time getting comfortable driving the truck.

    However, I agree with Mark that you are being overly optimistic on your time estimates and I don't think you'll make it Des Moines that first day, and you certainly wouldn't do it in just 9 hours.

    I think you can make this trip in 3 days, but it will be 3 very long days of work. The fact that you and your wife will both be driving solo, and you'll be driving an unfamiliar truck means this trip will take far more time and energy than you might expect. I would also keep things flexible enough that you can take another night on the road if the trip takes you longer than you are planning.

  8. Default

    Thanks for the advise everyone. Yea, you're right - I'm probably a little too optimistic. I'll notch it down a little and take it 600 miles at a time.

    I'll shoot for making it in 3 days, but if we have to, we'll stop and go a forth day.

    Thanks for your advise. It'll make our trip a lot smoother.

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