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  1. Default 3 day trip Allentown Pa area to Boulder CO

    Hi all,
    New guy here and am driving my son to college starting this coming Sunday morning from Just south of Allentown PA to Boulder CO. We need to be at Denver Int. Airport by 6PM Tues. to pick up mom. We are travelling with 2007 Honda CRV and a utility trailer. Wondering if anyone has experience traveling US 30 west through Ohio, Indiana, and part of Illinois. I'm trying to avoid the more expensive tolls for a third axle on I -80. My current plan is to travel I-80 PA to I-76 then I-71 south in OH and then catch U.S. 30 across OH, IN, around Ft. Wayne and on to Il and reconnecting to I-80 @ or after Chicago area. I'd really appreciate any advice from those with experience. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    You barely have enough time to make this trip via fastest route, much less off the Interstates. You are pushing 600 miles a day.

    Your fastest route to avoid tolls would be I-78 to I-81 to Hagerstown MD, then I-70 to Hancock MD, I-68 to Morgantown WV, and I-79 back to I-70. Take I-70 all the way to Denver, using appropriate bypasses around Columbus (270 south), Indy (465 south), STL (270 north) and 670 through downtown KC. No need to even get near I-80 and I do not recommend US-30. The only tolls this way are in Kansas between KC and Topeka, car towing a single axle trailer is $3.50 cash. There are also tolls in Denver on C-470, they are cashless transponder or license plate tolls. Sorry, no EZ-Pass on either of them. The toll-free way to DIA off I-70 is Exit 285 - Pena Blvd. To get to Boulder from DIA, take Pena Blvd back to I-70, go west to I-270 to US-36.

    This route is only 1 hour longer than I-80 all the way to I-76 into Denver, and that hour can get eaten up real quick around Chicago. Dropping down to US-30 will take considerably longer than my route, because it's only an expressway in OH, it has lights all through IN, and is extremely congested all through the Chicago area.

    You should be looking at overnights around Richmond IN and Topeka KS. You will need a crack of dawn start out of Topeka (think 6am) to make it to DIA in time.

    Just so you know, I travel frequently between MO and the east coast, and that's the route I take - 70/79/68/70/81.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info. I never even considered this route but your suggestion to avoid Chi town rings true and the IN US 30 info certainly negates that thought because of the lights. Thanks again.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 08-11-2015 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Removed quote for in line response for easier reading.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Here's a "Second" to that suggestion that glc made to get yourself across country without using US-30. For the record, I was on US-30 several times last summer in the IN/IL area, trying to see relatives, and the lights are awful. One after another. Hit one red, and you'll hit them all red for miles.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Well - it doesn't really get bad till you get past Valparaiso - but from there to Joliet it's miserable. It's now an expressway from Mansfield OH to the IN line, speed limit mostly 70, but from there west, except for the Fort Wayne bypass, it has grade crossings, lights, and speed limit 60 and lower. West of Merrillville, the speed limit is 45 and lower almost all the way to Joliet.

    Bottom line - I-70 is a much better choice than either I-80 or US-30. US-30 is really only viable if you are actually going into Chicago and trying to avoid tolls.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    You barely have enough time to make this trip via fastest route, much less off the Interstates. You are pushing 600 miles a day.

    Your fastest route to avoid tolls would be I-78 to I-81 to Hagerstown MD, then I-70 to Hancock MD, I-68 to Morgantown WV, and I-79 back to I-70. Take I-70 all the way to Denver, using appropriate bypasses around Columbus (270 south), Indy (465 south), STL (270 north) and 670 through downtown KC. No need to even get near I-80 and I do not recommend US-30. The only tolls this way are in Kansas between KC and Topeka, car towing a single axle trailer is $3.50 cash. There are also tolls in Denver on C-470, they are cashless transponder or license plate tolls. Sorry, no EZ-Pass on either of them. The toll-free way to DIA off I-70 is Exit 285 - Pena Blvd. To get to Boulder from DIA, take Pena Blvd back to I-70, go west to I-270 to US-36.

    This route is only 1 hour longer than I-80 all the way to I-76 into Denver, and that hour can get eaten up real quick around Chicago. Dropping down to US-30 will take considerably longer than my route, because it's only an expressway in OH, it has lights all through IN, and is extremely congested all through the Chicago area.

    You should be looking at overnights around Richmond IN and Topeka KS. You will need a crack of dawn start out of Topeka (think 6am) to make it to DIA in time.

    Just so you know, I travel frequently between MO and the east coast, and that's the route I take - 70/79/68/70/81.
    Glc, I don't see I-675 in Indy on google maps I do see US 36 that looks like a beltway would that be ok. Also Is I- 270 around Columbus OH necessary on a Sunday evening or would I-70 through town be better?

  7. Default

    I guess I missed a button or something but my original thank you post never made it to the forum. Thanks to all who replied. I'm going to take all of your advice and Go I-70. I'll splurge a little and go PA turnpike (toll) to New Stanton PA and get on 70, and with my son and I sharing the driving I'll try to make the far side of Indianapolis before stopping for the evening around Cloverdale IN. Next night somewhere around Salina KS. Thanks again. This is a grate site

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Get some real maps before you leave home.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonzoso View Post
    Glc, I don't see I-675 in Indy on google maps I do see US 36 that looks like a beltway would that be ok.
    Those are the limitations of computer mapping. Get hold of good paper maps before you hit the road. Don't be tempted to rely solely on electronics. Many have done so at their peril, some fatal.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    It's I-465, not 675. That's the south bypass. I would still take the south bypass around Columbus.

    Do you mean you can't find I-670 through KC? It's on recent maps, it's a very short stretch that cuts out part of I-70 that curves around a lot.

    Carlisle to New Stanton on the PA Turnpike with a trailer is $26.30 cash, $18.83 EZ-Pass.

    Allentown to Indy is over 625 miles, you are right at the point of pushing it a bit much. There's very little in Cloverdale, I'd stop just west of the airport at the Plainfield exit, there's a ton of hotels there. Indy to Salina is pushing it too - that's 660 miles. The only places you will find between Topeka and Salina are around Fort Riley.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    It's I-465, not 675. That's the south bypass. I would still take the south bypass around Columbus.

    Do you mean you can't find I-670 through KC? It's on recent maps, it's a very short stretch that cuts out part of I-70 that curves around a lot.

    Carlisle to New Stanton on the PA Turnpike with a trailer is $26.30 cash, $18.83 EZ-Pass.

    Allentown to Indy is over 625 miles, you are right at the point of pushing it a bit much. There's very little in Cloverdale, I'd stop just west of the airport at the Plainfield exit, there's a ton of hotels there. Indy to Salina is pushing it too - that's 660 miles. The only places you will find between Topeka and Salina are around Fort Riley.
    My mistake, 465 around Indy at a distance is shown as US36 on google maps. When you zoom in close it shows 465. Not too concerned about the daily distance. As a former Truck driver I've done that many times in tandem team and even on my own private vehicle with minor breaks. Cloverdale IN shows 4 relatively inexpensive motels near the interchange. Planning on camping o/n in Salina KS. Thanks for the heads up though.

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