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  1. Default Moving from Seattle WA -> Albany NY : I-80 or I-90

    The perennial 'which route' question!

    I will be leaving this Saturday.

    I will be towing a small boat, have a loaded down SUV, and will have my dog with me.

    My gut is to do I-80, merging onto I-90 just after Chicago, as it seems to avoid most of the major cities. But anyone who has done both, or has current road information - would love to hear it and have my mind changed if that makes sense.

    I'm planning five 8.5-9 hour days, trying to drive only in the daylight, not looking to break any land speed records, nor tour any sites.

    Thoughts? Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,122

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Are you aware of all the toll roads? I-80/90 from Chicago east is toll, and I-90 through all of NY is toll. With a trailer, the tolls are not cheap. I would recommend the following:

    Take I-90 to I-82 to I-84 to I-80 to Omaha, then I-29 to St. Joseph, then US-36 (expressway quality) to I-72 to Champaign, then I-74 to Indianapolis, I-70 to Columbus, I-71 to I-76 through Akron, then I-80 to I-81 to Binghamton, then I-88 to Albany. Use the bypasses around the applicable cities.

    Note - you can take a shortcut at Lincoln NE - take US-77 to NE/IA-2 to I-29.

    I would plan on 6 full days with a 7th available for contingencies. You are looking at 3200 miles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,690

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    Hi, and welcome!

    You're smart to realize that a moving trip is a lot different from a sight-seeing trip. Avoiding large cities when you're towing, even if it's a small boat, is also a good idea. The route suggested by GLC is one I would have suggested. The cities that he mentioned aren't nearly the problem that some of the other cities could be, including Chicago, and toll roads are not "fun" for those that are towing. (As an aside, we towed an auto transport with one of our vehicles this summer. A section of toll road that cost a single auto $5, cost $12.50 for the vehicle towing an auto on a trailer. There were two sections of toll road -- $25 for the vehicle with the toad, $10 for the single car.)

    Other things to think about when you're traveling with a dog: eating your meals, and staying overnight. You might want to preplan your trip overnights and get reservations so you don't get somewhere for the night to find that all the "pets okay" rooms are taken. It may also help you find places with a restaurant close by where you can walk to pick up your food, since most hotels won't want you to leave Fido unattended in your room for long.


    Donna

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Hi, and welcome!

    You're smart to realize that a moving trip is a lot different from a sight-seeing trip. Avoiding large cities when you're towing, even if it's a small boat, is also a good idea. The route suggested by GLC is one I would have suggested. The cities that he mentioned aren't nearly the problem that some of the other cities could be, including Chicago, and toll roads are not "fun" for those that are towing. (As an aside, we towed an auto transport with one of our vehicles this summer. A section of toll road that cost a single auto $5, cost $12.50 for the vehicle towing an auto on a trailer. There were two sections of toll road -- $25 for the vehicle with the toad, $10 for the single car.)

    Other things to think about when you're traveling with a dog: eating your meals, and staying overnight. You might want to preplan your trip overnights and get reservations so you don't get somewhere for the night to find that all the "pets okay" rooms are taken. It may also help you find places with a restaurant close by where you can walk to pick up your food, since most hotels won't want you to leave Fido unattended in your room for long.


    Donna
    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    Are you aware of all the toll roads? I-80/90 from Chicago east is toll, and I-90 through all of NY is toll. With a trailer, the tolls are not cheap. I would recommend the following:

    Take I-90 to I-82 to I-84 to I-80 to Omaha, then I-29 to St. Joseph, then US-36 (expressway quality) to I-72 to Champaign, then I-74 to Indianapolis, I-70 to Columbus, I-71 to I-76 through Akron, then I-80 to I-81 to Binghamton, then I-88 to Albany. Use the bypasses around the applicable cities.

    Note - you can take a shortcut at Lincoln NE - take US-77 to NE/IA-2 to I-29.

    I would plan on 6 full days with a 7th available for contingencies. You are looking at 3200 miles.
    Thank you both! I will map this route out, see what I can make of it. I did get an EZPass ahead of the trip knowing I would hit tolls - I hadn't considered the additional cost of the boat, though of course, I should have given that I bring it on ferries here in WA and it costs a fortune. And I did pre-reserve hotels along the I-80 route with the dog in consideration....I knew pet friendly didn't mean free pets, but have found between some La Quinta and some Comfort Inns, good options that don't cost much. Appreciate it all!

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    Are you aware of all the toll roads?
    Okay, follow up question....money no object and toll costs not a concern, would you still do the same route you recommended?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,681

    Default

    I'm planning five 8.5-9 hour days,
    To cover the ground in 5 days you will be looking at more like 10-11 hour days on average and would be right on the cusp of what we would regard a safe pace on a multi day trip as doing this day after day will get tougher and fatigue can set in. Take regular breaks to stretch your limbs and clear your head and better still if you can, add an extra day. Over the course of a day when you consider the need for breaks, fuel and adding possible delays for congestion and construction etc you will be lucky to average 57mph. Add checking in and out of a Motel, walking the dog, breakfast and evening meal etc they quickly turn to long days.

    Have a safe trip !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,122

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiattle View Post
    Okay, follow up question....money no object and toll costs not a concern, would you still do the same route you recommended?
    Nope, the fastest route, and considerably shorter, is this:

    I-90 to Sioux Falls
    I-29 to Sioux City
    US-20 to Waterloo
    I-380 to Iowa City
    I-80 to Indiana Toll Road and Ohio Turnpike to Ohio Exit 142
    I-90 to Albany

    6 days recommended. When towing, recommend 500 miles a day max.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,733

    Default

    Personally, I'd actually probably take I-90 as far as Sioux Falls, and then drop down to I-80 via I-29/I-680. You'll have a little less elevation that way, which with a loaded down SUV that is towing, would likely be helpful.

    You will pay more in tolls while towing, but you do have to weigh the toll costs against the costs of using more fuel on a longer route. The one place I would avoid tolls as much as possible is Illinois, because a car towing a trailer gets charged the same as an 18 wheeler. Your tolls in IL while towing are 4 to 5 times higher than if you're in a regular car, especially because towing eliminates the EZ-Pass discount. If you take I-80 across IL, you'll only have 1 toll in IL. Other states are going to charge you more for towing, but it will usually only be about twice the normal rate, because most other states have lower rates for cars pulling a single axel trailer compared to a full semi-truck.

    In normal times, I'd also consider taking I-94 across Michigan and cutting across Canada, but that can be an issue when you're moving all your stuff (i.e. it looks like you could be trying to move to Canada) and getting a covid test while on the road, which is required in addition to vaccination to cross the border, is likely more hassle than it's worth right now.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Nope, the fastest route, and considerably shorter, is this:

    I-90 to Sioux Falls
    I-29 to Sioux City
    US-20 to Waterloo
    I-380 to Iowa City
    I-80 to Indiana Toll Road and Ohio Turnpike to Ohio Exit 142
    I-90 to Albany

    6 days recommended. When towing, recommend 500 miles a day max.
    I've adjusted my route to fit your original rec...now planning on 6 days, under 500 a day. Seems safer. Thank YOU!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, I looked at that northernly route, but realized Canada + Covid wouldn't really make it a sensible option. Maybe my return trip a few years down the line...

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    To cover the ground in 5 days you will be looking at more like 10-11 hour days on average...Have a safe trip !


    Thanks...I've adjusted my expectations - and duration - based on all the help in this thread. I feel like a 6 day route is far more do-able. Currently planning on approximately Seattle - Boise - Rawlins - Lincoln - Champaign - Pittsburg - Albany.

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