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Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer

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FlatlanderinVT:
Hello everyone!
I am brand new here and joined as a result of stumbling onto this forum researching a trip I will likely be doing within a month to 6 weeks from Northern Vermont to somewhere in the WV panhandle area more or less. My Mother-in-Law is in the process of looking for a place in WV and we have committed to renting a U-Haul trailer and moving some of her "stuff" down there for her from storage up north from us.

What landed me here after the more or less straightforward beginning to the trip was the mostly the idea of taking I-88 west from the Schenectady area to Binghamton to hook up with I-81 which we could then stay on until Martinsburg WV. The reason this route seems appealing to me would be that I have a thought that it might be a less traveled way to get west of the NYC Metro area than given I-84 or especially going as far south as I-78. My plan is to absolutely take our time and be in no rush whatsoever and given how we hope to play renting & loading the trailer we would leave late morning(maybe) and take two days to complete the trip. Given that we are in no rush, I am looking for the least stressful route possible even if it takes a bit longer. I know the many of the other interstates that are possibilities somewhat well with the exception of I 88, so any input on towing on that road would be greatly appreciated as far as what traffic can be like and also if the highway is especially hilly. Of course I am absolutely welcoming any input on any other route people that might have more experience on these highways might have. I very much look forward to the feedback and hopefully whatever I can garner from discussing it with anyone interested here. Thanks very much in advance for your input!

froggie:
Coincidentally, I was just on I-88 this afternoon while returning to Vermont.

I-88 is certainly an option to cut over to I-81.  It does carry less traffic than 84 or 78.  There are a couple disadvantages, however.  The pavement on much of 88 is lousy, especially from ~Otego to ~Cobleskill....I ran into 3 single-lane construction zones on this stretch that are beginning to address it, but it's going to take more than just this year to finish.  I-88 and I-81 are also much hillier than taking a route closer to NYC.  That will slow things down, and also causes problems with the trucks on I-81 which lacks truck climbing lanes outside of the I-80 to I-84 segment.

FlatlanderinVT:
Thanks for the input Froggie, I really appreciate it!

I had a thought I might here something along the lines of exactly some of what you mentioned. Nothing is even close to being set on when the timing of this adventure will be so perhaps it will be after construction season is over but that certainly is something to consider of course. Its also great info that climbing lanes are not common. While I don't expect to be setting any speed records as we probably both know it isn't fun to crawl uphill behind someone.  While I am not worried about my Nissan Frontier's ability to do this I don't want to push it any harder than I have to. I will certainly keep it in mind as I continue to ponder this trip.

I did notice though that we actually will be starting this trip not all that far from you at all in Morrisville almost on the Wolcott line. While she isn't a Vermonter either my better half's family lived in Elmore and Stowe and we know the area up there very well. We are way down pretty much on the Massachusetts border now. 

cpzilliacus:

--- Quote from: froggie on September 02, 2021, 09:19:14 PM ---Coincidentally, I was just on I-88 this afternoon while returning to Vermont.

I-88 is certainly an option to cut over to I-81.  It does carry less traffic than 84 or 78.  There are a couple disadvantages, however.  The pavement on much of 88 is lousy, especially from ~Otego to ~Cobleskill....I ran into 3 single-lane construction zones on this stretch that are beginning to address it, but it's going to take more than just this year to finish.  I-88 and I-81 are also much hillier than taking a route closer to NYC.  That will slow things down, and also causes problems with the trucks on I-81 which lacks truck climbing lanes outside of the I-80 to I-84 segment.
--- End quote ---

The hilliest part of I-81 is (from south to north) from I-78 (Exit 89) near Lebanon, Pennsylvania to PA-171 (Exit 230) near Great Bend, Pennsylvania.  Pavement varies from good to terrible along all of I-81 in Pennsylvania. 

Not all of I-81 in this part of Pennsylvania has steep grades, but the longest and steepest grades on I-81 can be found in this section of the corridor. 

Rothman:
Has construction started on the stretch from the NY line to New Milford?  That stretch is horrible, but I think I saw VMSes that said they were finally fixing it.

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