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Author Topic: I-80 across the Great Plains  (Read 755 times)

irishtom29

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I-80 across the Great Plains
« on: August 21, 2019, 05:46:24 PM »
I'm thinking of traveling from Des Moines to Cheyenne in late September. What's the road like--surface, winds, camp grounds etc.? Any information is appreciated.

Vehicle is 2016 34" Tiffin gasser pulling an Explorer.

Tom

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 06:32:43 PM »
We travel I-80 several times a year - Columbus, OH to near Salt Lake City, before turning north to Star Valley, WY (50 miles southwest of Jackson). I-80 is a good/well maintained road, and I don't think you'd have an issue with roads that time of year. I don't recall winds being an issue, and the climb over the continental divide is gradual.

We avoid I-80 later in the year (Thanksgiving to early January) when we travel California to Ohio, when snow and ice are likely in one direction or the other; That's when we stay south as far as we can, but eventually have to turn north to get to Columbus.

It's been a few years since we made the trip with the coach (we now make it by car and stay in motels), so I'm not current on campgrounds. Maybe someone else has more current CG info, but I'd think it would be prior to the end of their season. If nobody has CG info, you'd best look online at CG's along the route and either check their web site or call them.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 07:10:20 PM by Tom »
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Isaac-1

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 09:08:26 PM »
I did that section of I-80 back and forth in early / late August a couple of years ago, overall it was good other than construction zones in western Nebraska, which hopefully are better now.  Cross winds were an issue at times, a tanker truck just a mile or so behind be was blown over into the median between Cheyenne and Laramie, so that when I got into Laramie all the east bound traffic was being turned around and sent back to town.

Campground comments along I-80 for places I stayed, including west of Cheyenne.

Laramie KOA Journey (lowest level of KOA's)  Gravel parking lot surrounded by mobile home parks.

Vedawoo NFS campground about 15 miles east of Laramie, within a mile of I-80 dry camping only, nice campground, high altitude, over 8,000 ft.  limited number of sites for larger RV's (3-4 sites larger enough for a class A with TOAD, only 1 or 2 being wide spot in the road "pull thrus")

Cabellas headquarters store RV park, located by the Cabellas store in Sidney, Nebraska, nice enough first come first serve park, tends to fill up around sunset when I stayed there on two occasions.  Good place to do laundry, cheap coin op laundry machines as of 2 years ago.  Could be ran better, when I was there check in was at the cash registers in the store about a 5 minute walk from the campground, several nearby (sub 10 minute walk) dining options.

4 Season RV park near Elm Creek, Nebraska, just west of Kearney.  cheap  $30ish full hook-up gravel parking lot across from a soy bean field with self pay drop box where US 183 crosses I-80.  Spent 1 night here, did not use any of the facilities, had a fair size metal building which claimed to have restrooms, laundry room, etc.  real mix of long term residents and one nighters, everything from falling apart trailers, to high end diesel pushers where there the night I was there.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 09:11:51 PM by Isaac-1 »
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PJ Stough

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 09:08:39 PM »
I-80 through Omaha is one of the roughest roads we have traveled on, otherwise the road is in pretty good shape.  Been a few years since I have driven 80 into Wyoming, but the winds can get pretty strong.  Can't help you on the campgrounds.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

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UTTransplant

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 10:09:04 PM »
Thought I entered a response, but it must have gotten lost. We travel this road at least once a year, sometimes 3 or 4 times. Cabela’s south of Omaha is a quiet free parking lot experience. There are Nebraska State Parks around some borrow pits along the road. We have stayed at the biggest, Mormon Lakes, a number of times. It is expensive because of the state park fee, but it feels like “camping”. East of York we have stayed at the Double Nickel a few times. We have also stayed at Holiday in North Platte. Both are nice enough, and Holiday is open all year, a rarity around this area. We have stayed at the main Cabela’s in Kearney, using their campground. Nice enough and inexpensive. We have stayed at the Cheyenne KOA, but as others have said, it is just a gravel parking lot. Handy to the tourist sites though, and very tidy.

Paul is right about I-80 through Omaha. It under a major reconstruction, and is generally a mess. Watch the signs carefully because your maps and GPS may not match the new roads. Winds can pop up so watch the forecasts too, as others have said. Wyoming seems to specialize in winds!
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
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Tom

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 10:44:44 PM »
I'll bow to others on the winds; I just don't recall them being an issue.

Just checked my notes for on our recent (end of July) trip from OH to WY. Major road works & detours were an issue on I-80 east of you.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 08:59:26 AM by Tom »
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irishtom29

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 08:43:35 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 08:57:25 AM »
We've always had problems with wind around Cheyenne. Spent an extra day inn Ft. Collins a couple of years ago because the wind gusts were so bad.
Gene

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richclover

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 09:27:35 AM »
I'm thinking of traveling from Des Moines to Cheyenne in late September. What's the road like--surface, winds, camp grounds etc.? Any information is appreciated.

Vehicle is 2016 34" Tiffin gasser pulling an Explorer.

Generally speaking, uphill and headwinds westbound.  Keep an eye on the weather and your fuel gage.   Lotsa fuel stops and campgrounds along the way. 

We recently crossed Nebraska in a day and spent an overnight at the Pine Bluffs (WY), RV Park.  Not too pretty but a big site, full hookup and paid with credit card over the phone.  Railroad tracks nearby, but that’s I-80.

There are about 6 campgrounds in the Cheyenne area according to the RVParky app which I really like for trip planning.  It worked very well for us during our May-June 5200-mi road trip.

Safe travels and have fun!
Rich, Jill, the Pups, Buddy and Bitsy
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irishtom29

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Re: I-80 across the Great Plains
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 11:23:09 AM »
Thanks again to all.

Our plan now is to go to Scotts Bluff for a couple of days and then down to Denver where we have several days reserved at Cherry Creek state park. Then south on I-25 to US87, then 87 down San Antonio way. Figuring on stops at Capulin New Mexico to see the volcano; campground there has good reviews.