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  1. Default Madison, WI to Washington D.C. Two Day Trip in a Uhaul with Tow Dolly

    I am in the process of moving from Madison, WI to Bethesda, MD and would appreciate some advice from the members of this forum. It's a solo driving trip—my first one this long alone—and I will be doing it in a 10" UHaul towing my Toyota Corolla using a tow dolly. I'm planning to leave on July 27 and need to be in Bethesda by 8:30 am on the July 29th. According to Google Maps, it's approximately an 840 mile trip that will take 15 hours. My thought is that between gas stops, rests, and eating, it will take between 18 -20 hours of driving time.

    My proposed route is is to take I-90 around Chicago, head onto I-80 to I-76 and then I70 into Maryland. I'm planning on leaving at around 9:00 am in an attempt to bypass traffic on the Ryan Expressway in Chicago. I plan on stopping every two-three hours to take a 15 min break. I'm usually inclined to plan hotel stops ahead of time but this time I'm thinking that I will identify a couple of hotels along the way and call ahead to see if they have availability. I plan on going as far as Elyna the first day and if I hold up, perhaps make it to Youngstown before I call it a night. I'm not sure where I should stop the next day that will accommodate the UHaul and Tow Dolly but still allow me an easy ride into Bethesda on the morning of the 29th

    I'd appreciate any input on this plan or tips that you want to share with me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    If you are not an experienced tower, I'd recommend you rent a trailer instead of a dolly - with a dolly, you CANNOT back the rig up.

    If you are planning on taking the toll roads, the tolls are going to be a killer compared to what they are for cars. The South Beloit toll on I-90 which is 50 cents I-Pass, $1.00 cash with a car will be $2.85, for example.

    Even though it's 120 miles longer, I'd recommend the following route for a couple reasons - less tolls, and you can get a bright and early start the first day - you won't be going anywhere near Chicago. The extra gas vs. tolls should be pretty much a wash.

    I-90/39 through Rockford to Bloomington/Normal, I-74 to Indy, I-70 to Washington PA, I-79 to Morgantown WV, I-68 to Hancock MD, then I-70/I-270 into DC. The halfway point is somewhere around Dayton OH. I'd try to make it into DC the night before you actually have to be there, you don't want to get caught in morning rush hour.

    Most lower priced hotels at Interstate exits have truck parking, which is where you are going to have to park the rig.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If you use GLC's route (and I highly second the nomination as a better route for you), there is a good hotel at Springfield OH (just east of Dayton) at mm 54 on I-70. It's Comfort Suites, and if you stop at the Ohio Tourism Dept at the first exit, you can pick up a coupon booklet that has that hotel in it. Nice place, not too expensive ($69 for one or two people), comfortable. It had truck parking between it and the cheaper motel nearby - they shared it.

    I also second his suggestion not to use a tow dolly, but a "4 wheels up" trailer. U-Haul has them and they're just pennies more. Those pennies will be saved by less wear and tear on your rear tires, and if you accidentally forget that you can't back with a tow dolly and attempt to rip up the transmission of your car!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You won't rip up the transmission if you try to back up a dolly - you will simply jackknife the rig. The only way to back up is take the car off the dolly, and even then you may have problems, you may have to uncouple the dolly and move it by hand. NO fun. If you are traveling alone, this may not be feasible!

  5. Default

    I appreciate the responses so far. I asked Uhaul about the car transport and they claim that my Toyota does not have the proper clearance to be loaded on it; however, this came from the 800 number call center as opposed to the local franchise. I'll stop by there tonight and speak with them.

    I'm somewhat reluctant to add more mileage to the trip as 120 miles is going end up being another 2 1/2 hours of driving. At best I can do 65 with the towing combo and that will be dependent upon my comfort level and weather conditions. On the other hand, I'm driven by Chicago enough to know that it's a crap shoot. I may sail by or be there for 2 hours trying to get through traffic. Perhaps the deciding factor for me will be construction reports on the two roadways. Either way I'm looking at a long two days of driving.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    At best I can do 65 with the towing combo
    Nope - 55 as per the U-Haul site. That's for a dolly or a trailer.

    How to load a low-clearance vehicle onto a trailer

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