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Author Topic: Best route to bypass Chicago  (Read 8271 times)

Mark R.

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Best route to bypass Chicago
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:07:09 AM »
I have not had the best luck getting around  (as in bypassing) Chicago, first year I blindly follower Map quest directions, BIG mistake, they took me on the Skyway through the heart of the city Friday afternoon rush hour.  Last trip two years ago I got around the city and was north bound as per a truck drivers directions with my father in law as a navigator, next thing I know I am getting detoured off the highway and driving around a city in my 36 foot MH, not fun. This year I am solo again and am heading to Oshkosh Wi., looking at the atlas it looks like best route from Rt. 80/90 is to follow 80 to 294 north then pick up 94, this is where I have  a problem as I want to end up on 41 in Oshkosh but it looks like 94 to 41 takes me down town Milwaukee (I think that is where I got detoured last time). If anyone can tell me the best route from 80 to Oshkosh I sure would appreciate it, I should be ready to get off 80 this Friday late morning or early afternoon, I am coming from NY driving 36 MH towing a small trailer. Thanx in advance for any help.
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 08:27:13 AM »
We go through Chicago on I-94 to the Edens expressway to US41.  There are stoplights on 41 but you have no tolls on this route.  We try to do this on a Sunday morning to minimize the traffic.  If you don't mind the tolls, then the Tri-State will take you around Chicago and join I-94 at the state line.

When you get to Milwaukee, take I-894 around the city and it will take you to US45 to US41 to Oshkosh.  There is lots of construction on I-94 from the IL state line to Milwaukee at this time.

Avoid the Skyway, although we've driven it in the past with our motorhome.  It has to be the most expensive toll road per mile anywhere :)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 08:30:47 AM by Ned »
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

judway

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 09:00:19 AM »
I take US24 from Fort Wayne over to I39 and go north to Rockford and then back east to Volo where we camp. You could take I39 all of the way to Madison and then over to Oshkosh. All depends on how big a problem going through Chicago is to you. Going north on IL 47 is a reasonable way to shorten the trip somewhat.
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2012 Chevrolet Malibu
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Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 09:31:08 AM »
Madison is quite a bit out of the way to Oshkosh but if you really want to avoid the traffic around Chicago, it's an option.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

BernieD

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 09:51:11 AM »
We've used Ned's routing between Chicago and Milwaukee many times. Edens Expwy is I-94 until you reach the northern Chicago suburbs where I-94 branches west and US 41 goes north, stay on US 41. The whole secret of getting around Chicago is timing. Sunday mornings or middle of holiday weekends are ideal ;) Friday afternoons, or any rush hour periods are crunch time :'(
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

AndyinLexington

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:58:39 AM »
If you have a LOT of extra time (like a couple of days) I would recommend heading north through the lower peninsula of Michigan, then across the Mackinac Bridge, US-2 to Escanaba, then turn south.  Lots of sight seeing, and you should be out of all of the traffic once you get north of Flint, which is about 100 miles into Michigan.
Andy Holmes
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2005 Chev Malibu Toad
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Lexington, Kentucky

Mark R.

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 11:24:13 AM »
Ned; when you say "Tri-state" are you referring to 294? Also the atlas I am looking at in my office is old (1991) I do not think 894 around Milwaukee is on this map at all, will look at new atlas in MH,  thanks for that tip. I have to leave NY Thursday  morning so I end up in the Chicago area Friday midday anyway I figure it. I would love to do the north route from Detroit some day but that puts me going through Detroit and would be a longer trip, with a view and a bridge!
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 11:41:57 AM »
Yes, I-294 is the Tri-State tollway.  I-894 was there in 1991, but you do need some new maps.  I would suggest the Motor Carriers Atlas, available and any large truck stop.  It not only is an excellent all around atlas, but shows the truck routes in yellow where you can travel without being concerned about load limits and height restrictions.  But even a Rand McNally atlas from Walmart is better than 19 year old maps.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 11:53:52 AM »
Here's a map of the Milwaukee area with the I-894 route shown.  It starts from about College Ave. on the south and ends on US41 headed to Oshkosh.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

Mark R.

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 12:39:52 PM »
Thanx Ned actually my much better half bought a real large new atlas last year, it is in the RV, the old one in my office (30 miles from home) is just for reference when someone asked me about where a city is or town, they tend not to change location too often. Thx again
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 01:04:10 PM »
Well, the town of Valdez, AK, did move several miles at one time :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

ArdraF

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 10:19:19 PM »
A few days ago we were heading west on I-90/I-94.  Our GPS wanted to take us on the Skyway through Chicago which we thought a bad idea.  So we opted for I-294 north.  Not a great idea.  BIG construction project.  This was Sunday with relatively light traffic, but it seemed to take forever even with traffic moving.  It would have been awful on a weekday.  I'd definitely find another route, although the U.S. Government's funding for traffic projects to get the economy moving is evident everywhere in the country!  Lots of bridges being rebuilt.  Some construction zones have been 15 miles long.  Also lots of "wide load" restrictions in those areas, usually 12 feet but saw one warning today of 11 feet width restriction on another road.

Also, the tolls in Illinois were pricey with the motorhome (3 axles) plus toad.  Everytime we thought we were finished there was another tollbooth.  We figure we've "given" the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 in tolls!  Unfortunately those were the roads that went where we wanted to go and alternate routes would probably have cost as much or more in fuel, not to mention time when we just wanted to get from point A to point B.  You can't win....  If we knew then what we know now, we might have purchased an EZ Pass or whatever they're called.  It might have been a little easier.  So, go prepared with a good supply of cash.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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mariekie4

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 12:28:07 AM »
After visiting with our daughter in Kalamazoo MI, we decided to bypass Chicago, and instead cross lake Michigan by taking the ferry out of Ludington, to Manitowoc WI, since were on our way to Montana.

It was extremely convenient, cost effective and saved us a lot of time, with a great adventure as a bonus!!! 

Mariekie
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


2007 Winnebago Journey 35'
2011 Jeep Liberty

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 07:36:27 AM »
The Ludington ferry (S.S. Badger) is another option.  Manitowoc is east of Oshkosh.  Go through Fon Du Lac and take US41 north to Oshkosh.  Here are the RV rates; $5.50/foot, not too bad.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 07:38:27 AM by Ned »
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

BernieD

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 08:41:48 AM »
Ardra

As long as it was a low traffic Sunday, the route we always take between Indiana and Wisconsin is I-80 west from IN to I-94. I-94 north to the northern Chicago suburbs and stay on I-41 where I-94 turns off to the Illinois Toll Road. No tolls, less miles and, usually, less hassle.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Mark R.

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2010, 10:31:55 AM »
I looked up the ferry, yes it looks nice but it is expensive 5.50X48=264 + 11 fuel and port tax =275 and then I get to drive through Detroit during Friday rush hour, must be there by 8:30AM for 9:00 sailing time,  some day maybe, but need to save the nickels for now.
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

Ned

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2010, 10:40:10 AM »
Subtract the fuel savings and the cost isn't quite so bad.  And you get to see beautiful Lake Michigan :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

mariekie4

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2010, 10:59:37 AM »
When you call the ferry booking office to make a reservation they will tell you about their special. We paid $357.50 for a 35ft coach and our Jeep. We arrived at the ferry the previous afternoon and stayed overnight in the parking lot, with their permission. You have to make your reservation ahead of time. Believe me, this is easy!

Mariekie
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


2007 Winnebago Journey 35'
2011 Jeep Liberty

Mark R.

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2010, 01:10:30 PM »
I lived on an nice island  and took a ferry to work everyday on another island, I now live in the Hudson Valley with my boat on the Hudson River, arguably one of the prettiest places in the USA, I know to you desert dwellers of the south west, the view of the lake must be something special, and anyone that grew up in Milwaukee town will look at that big brown puddle with beer glasses on and see a  blue ocean surrounded by palm trees! :P (LOL) Sounds nice, but time and money are not right for this trip to Oshkosh via ferry. I would like to try the north route one of these years and go over the Mackinaw bridge, not that going over a bridge is special to someone from NY (land of bridges and tunnels) but I have seen the building of the bridge so many times on the discovery channel that I feel I should cross it some day, just to do it.

P.S. The ferry was built and finished in 1953, and so was I, I am falling apart and have had regular maintenance, not sure about the ferry. :D
If you do not stand behind our troops please feel free to stand in front of them!

ArdraF

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Re: Best route to bypass Chicago
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2010, 10:07:40 PM »
The S.S. Badger is the only coal-burning ferry still operating on the Great Lakes.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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