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Author Topic: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer  (Read 7523 times)

snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2021, 10:25:13 AM »

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.
No. Im heading there on Friday possibly and will let you know.
Due to my family's busy schedule, I have decided NOT to go. I am however, going to FV this weekend.  :colorful:
« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 04:34:53 PM by snowc »
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snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2021, 10:26:59 AM »

Much appreciated cpzilliacus!

Just to make sure I am thinking along the same lines that you mean... Are you implying that I would be mostly going downhill traveling north to south or would I still have to deal with significant climbs? I have driven I-81 once from Harrisburg to Binghamton but clearly I wasn't concerned with topography on that trip since nothing was remarkable to me, that I recall anyway.

I had hoped that this I-88 to I-81 would be a good way to avoid tractor trailer traffic at least but maybe since I will be be towing as well the I-78 route might prove best. All good food for thought and no decision has to be made immediately at least.

There are steep uphill and downhill grades both northbound and southbound on I-81 between Lebanon and Great Bend.  I am not confident to say which direction has the steepest grades up or down.  There is truck traffic along the entire corridor, though some trucks do leave I-81 at both I-78 and at I-80.  Still, you will encounter trucks all the way to Binghamton, N.Y. (and probably beyond - the only part of I-81 that I have not driven is between I-90 and the Ontario border).

One word of warning regarding the interchange at I-80 and I-81 in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania north of Hazleton - it is badly substandard, the ramps are sharp and (properly) posted with low speed limits.  This was mentioned by another poster upthread  - in case you take the alternate route suggested, then you will be on those substandard ramps.
I had to pop my ears NUMEROUS times going up the hill from I78 to I80. Also, this highway was JUST reconstructed from 1998-2018.
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snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2021, 10:29:25 AM »

There is one advantage to I-88 that hasn't been discussed - the fact that the Thruway is free between I-87 and I-88 (though you still pass under gantries).  Traveling the Thruway to I-84 or NJ is not, and it's now an all-electronic toll road with no cash option.  If you don't have E-ZPass (or if the trailer creates an issue) that could be quite expensive.

And speaking of pavement, a co-worker told me that the pavement on the north end of I-81 in PA has gotten really bad.
And bumpy! Look below and observe
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snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2021, 10:34:27 AM »

For the OP, one comment regarding towing a trailer: Don’t be tempted to use I-70 between Frederick and Hagerstown, especially coming eastbound if you’re towing a trailer on your way back north. That segment has a lot of accidents near South Mountain and there are a fair number involving trucks. If you come through Maryland, I’d suggest you take US-340 southwest from Frederick to Charles Town, then WV-9 to Martinsburg.

I have a work colleague who lives in the Catskills during weeks when she telecommutes, and she regularly visits her mother in the Martinsburg area. I’d be happy to ask her what route she likes if you want, though it’ll be Tuesday before I get to ask her due to the holiday tomorrow.
My family usually stays at Comfort Inn on that route.
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snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2021, 10:39:37 AM »

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.

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.
As a regular on I81, i would say AVOID the part from Binghamton to Scranton. VERY rough and needs a LOT of work. BE warned, as it popped my tires!  :wow:
I will be going back up probably next week or the week after, so I would pretty much avoid the rough patch!

Well I appreciate this input as well!

From what everyone seems to mention the consensus appears like taking I-88 to I-81 might not be the best course of action. I am leaning towards staying on 87 down to 84 and making way westward from there to connect to 81 in Scranton. I haven't ruled out thinking about 78 but I am not sure I want to deal with the traffic levels I know can exist down that way. My hope with having a relative plan in mind is so that I can at make a bit of a chart of what look like easy fuel up locations along the route every 150/200 miles or so to make that process pretty seamless hopefully.

I plan on touching base with the NYS Thruway folks tomorrow on what my options for the tolls might be. I will report back on what they have to say.
for people who are going to Mburg from SYR, highly recommend going down route 13 (exit 12) all the way to dryden, following it to corning to I86. Go down I86 and take the exit for I99. Continue through the PA border and take the exit to US 220 SB. Get on I80 and get on I99 (the other one). continue on it until you reach us 30 (lincoln highway) to bedford. once you are in breezewood, get on the FREE part of I70, and continue to the MD border. Get on I81 SB from I70 and follow it to the WV border. then get on exit 16e to mburg.
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webny99

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2021, 01:21:08 PM »

From what everyone seems to mention the consensus appears like taking I-88 to I-81 might not be the best course of action. I am leaning towards staying on 87 down to 84 and making way westward from there to connect to 81 in Scranton. I haven't ruled out thinking about 78 but I am not sure I want to deal with the traffic levels I know can exist down that way. My hope with having a relative plan in mind is so that I can at make a bit of a chart of what look like easy fuel up locations along the route every 150/200 miles or so to make that process pretty seamless hopefully.

I should give Pennsylvania credit for their section of I-84. It's a very nice route between the NY line and Scranton; one of very few PA interstates that I don't have any complaints about.  :) Traffic on I-84 also moves along well with a lot less truck traffic than parallel sections of I-80 or I-78.
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snowc

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2021, 02:06:19 PM »

From what everyone seems to mention the consensus appears like taking I-88 to I-81 might not be the best course of action. I am leaning towards staying on 87 down to 84 and making way westward from there to connect to 81 in Scranton. I haven't ruled out thinking about 78 but I am not sure I want to deal with the traffic levels I know can exist down that way. My hope with having a relative plan in mind is so that I can at make a bit of a chart of what look like easy fuel up locations along the route every 150/200 miles or so to make that process pretty seamless hopefully.

I should give Pennsylvania credit for their section of I-84. It's a very nice route between the NY line and Scranton; one of very few PA interstates that I don't have any complaints about.  :) Traffic on I-84 also moves along well with a lot less truck traffic than parallel sections of I-80 or I-78.
I don't go through I84 to NYC. Too busy.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2021, 04:22:32 PM »

For the OP, one comment regarding towing a trailer: Don’t be tempted to use I-70 between Frederick and Hagerstown, especially coming eastbound if you’re towing a trailer on your way back north. That segment has a lot of accidents near South Mountain and there are a fair number involving trucks. If you come through Maryland, I’d suggest you take US-340 southwest from Frederick to Charles Town, then WV-9 to Martinsburg.

I have a work colleague who lives in the Catskills during weeks when she telecommutes, and she regularly visits her mother in the Martinsburg area. I’d be happy to ask her what route she likes if you want, though it’ll be Tuesday before I get to ask her due to the holiday tomorrow.

Thanks for the heads up on that!

I hadn't really considered I-70 for the trip down anyway as I am hoping to make my way west long before that but it certainly sounds less than ideal now. Fortunately the trailer will only be going south and being returned somewhere in WV. Given that I am far less concerned with my route to return to Vermont but of course avoiding known trouble spots is never a bad idea.

It would certainly be interesting to hear what someone who does essentially the same trip prefers! There is no timeline yet as to when this will be happening so I am in no rush at all. Thanks very much!

My colleague responded that she lives about 45 minutes southwest of Albany and that her preferred route to Martinsburg is the Thruway south to I-287 to I-78, then I-78 to I-81.

The big thing she warned of is that apparently Pennsylvania now has speed cameras in the work zones and she emphasized that on one part of the drive, there was a spot where a work zone ended but another one started up again within a mile or so and they got a warning in the mail with an extremely clear picture of their car. She didn't remember exactly where that was, but I didn't realize Pennsylvania used speed cameras at all, so it was useful info to me.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2021, 06:49:07 PM »

... her preferred route to Martinsburg is the Thruway south to I-287 to I-78, then I-78 to I-81.

That route is actually very comparable to I-84 to I-81 in terms of both time and distance. Google suggests it's about 5 miles and 5 minutes shorter.  I-287 is a nice road and mostly six lanes, but it may come down to whether you'd rather deal with Scranton or the fringes of the NYC metro. The latter is fine most times of day, but I'd probably prefer Scranton during the morning/afternoon peaks.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 07:41:24 PM by webny99 »
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2021, 12:52:09 PM »

I personally would not want to deal with I-287 or I-78 with the amount and type of traffic, and especially not if pulling a trailer, but that's just me.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2021, 05:12:38 PM »

I personally would not want to deal with I-287 or I-78 with the amount and type of traffic, and especially not if pulling a trailer, but that's just me.
287 in NJ is not a fun drive, especially if you hit it at the wrong time. Lots of traffic and maniac drivers. I'd never choose any route through NJ if there's a good alternative.
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1995hoo

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2021, 05:25:27 PM »

I've never been on the New Jersey portion of I-287 and that's one reason why I didn't comment on the pluses or minuses of the route. But I said I'd ask my colleague for her comments and pass them on, so that's what I did.

I don't love I-78, but the trailer aspect would at least cause me to consider it to minimize time spent on I-81.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2021, 05:46:46 PM »

I personally would not want to deal with I-287 or I-78 with the amount and type of traffic, and especially not if pulling a trailer, but that's just me.
287 in NJ is not a fun drive, especially if you hit it at the wrong time. Lots of traffic and maniac drivers. I'd never choose any route through NJ if there's a good alternative.
It's fine if you travel outside of rush hour. I don't want you in my state then.

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2021, 07:22:14 PM »

Thanks for all the input above everyone! After reading it all I am definitely leaning towards basing my primary planning on taking I-84 west to head to 81. I have driven I-287 a handful of times and without the trailer in the equation I would absolutely give that route to I-78 more consideration and I will certainly have it in mind as the Plan B. The way this trip is likely to work out for us we will be loading the trailer the morning we will be hitting the road and hopefully getting underway by late morning. Given that timing it might put us in the thick of afternoon commute by the time we get towards I-287 so that might not be a ton of fun. We intend to split the trip over 2 days anyway so maybe bailing onto I-84 there in Newburgh will help avoid rush hour and we likely would stop before Scranton for the day anyway.

After a couple of crazy days I was finally able to wait on hold long enough to talk to someone at both NY EZ-Pass and Massachusetts as well. The person from NY was unfortunately not all that helpful at all. For whatever reason he completely dismissed the idea of using the Toll NY app since I already have an EZ Pass account. Outside of telling me that I shouldn't worry  and the tolling system will just charge me accordingly the only other constructive thing he mentioned was to call Mass, which I did. According to them my only option would be to request a second transponder programed for my truck and the trailer rate. I will certainly try this approach but I will have to see what kind of trailer U-Haul will have available when we get the go ahead on a scheduling this whole adventure. Of course I could just come up with ways to avoid the Thruway and its tolls as well. Maybe US-9 down the east side of the Hudson but I don't know much about that route at all. Luckily still plenty of time to ponder.
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hbelkins

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2021, 09:02:59 PM »

we likely would stop before Scranton for the day anyway.

Been awhile since I've been on that route, but I don't really remember a lot of lodging options along I-84 between the Port Jervis/PA state line area and Scranton. It traverses a pretty rural area. There are a bunch in Middletown, but that may be too far to the east for your liking.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2021, 09:24:47 PM »

we likely would stop before Scranton for the day anyway.

Been awhile since I've been on that route, but I don't really remember a lot of lodging options along I-84 between the Port Jervis/PA state line area and Scranton. It traverses a pretty rural area. There are a bunch in Middletown, but that may be too far to the east for your liking.

I had noticed that Middletown looked like one of the places with plenty of options along the I-84 corridor there. I'm not sure that there are many more options once past the Port Jervis area than you recall from my research so far. We won't book lodging until the day of just too keep our options open on how the day has gone. That being said that area in NY or just over into PA might well be a decent stop over point.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2021, 09:33:19 PM »

If you're trying to avoid the Thruway, US 9W might be less traffic than US 9.  South of Poughkeepsie in particular can have a fair amount of congestion.

Any particular reason for going through MA?  Most people going between VT and NY would take the local roads between the two states rather than dipping all the way down to the MassPike, given how far northwest of Springfield Albany is.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2021, 08:26:08 AM »

Any particular reason for going through MA?  Most people going between VT and NY would take the local roads between the two states rather than dipping all the way down to the MassPike, given how far northwest of Springfield Albany is.

That's especially true for western Vermont, but it probably depends on the starting point.

Google currently suggests that I-91 to I-90 to I-87 is faster from Brattleboro, but that changes pretty quickly once you get west of I-91, , with VT 9/NY 7 being faster from Wilmington and even Marlboro.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2021, 10:48:03 AM »

Any particular reason for going through MA?  Most people going between VT and NY would take the local roads between the two states rather than dipping all the way down to the MassPike, given how far northwest of Springfield Albany is.

That's especially true for western Vermont, but it probably depends on the starting point.

Google currently suggests that I-91 to I-90 to I-87 is faster from Brattleboro, but that changes pretty quickly once you get west of I-91, , with VT 9/NY 7 being faster from Wilmington and even Marlboro.

My apologies, mentioning the Mass EZ-Pass folks was a bit confusing I guess. The reason I spoke with them was that my EZ-Pass account is with Mass not that I have any intention of heading all the way down to the pike.

We will be starting out from Morrisville VT which is just north of Stowe. From there in my mind the best course of action would be to head over towards Burlington and head south from there via US-7 and into NY from there likely via VT-22A to US-4. From there I would either get on I-87 near Glens Falls or continue using more secondary roads if I want to avoid the Thruway and toll headaches.

If you're trying to avoid the Thruway, US 9W might be less traffic than US 9.  South of Poughkeepsie in particular can have a fair amount of congestion.

I actually started looking at 9W last night as a thought after I had logged off here and certainly looks like a very viable alternative to the Thruway. I also then started entertaining the idea of taking US-209 from Kingston on to Port Jervis either from 9W or having crossed the Hudson there in Kingston. It looks like it could be a very nice drive but perhaps with the trailer it will be hillier than I would like. I do quite enjoy taking secondary roads at times to get more of a feel for where I am driving through but of course on my trip down the trailer might make that less enjoyable than sticking to the interstate.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2021, 10:55:48 AM »

He's departing from along my own commute route.  The problem is there's no good east-west way between most of Vermont and the Thruway/Northway.  Sure, US 4 is freeway west of Rutland, but that dies at the state line.  I'd rather slit my wrist along NY 7 in Troy and Brunswick than deal with Fort Ann and the western NY 149 terminus.

A further complication, but one he (and I) will just have to live with, is just getting out of Morrisville.  Both 100 between Morrisville and Stowe and 15 through Morristown have repaving projects underway.  15, in point of fact, is down to bare dirt through Morristown (and they were ripping up the pavement at 15/100 as I left work last night).

Given the trailer, my suggestion is to get down to Rutland via whatever route you're most comfortable with (on that note, I've heard 100 towards Killington is ripped up too), then continue on US 7 south to Bennington, then VT 279/NY 7 over the Albany region.  Despite it likely being afternoon rush hour by then, I'd suggest taking 787 through Albany and picking up the Thruway at Exit 23.  You'll at least save a little toll that way.  And this route avoids Massachusetts entirely.

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2021, 12:06:48 PM »

I guess my wishful thinking that one or both projects in/near Morrisville would be done kept pushing the thoughts of them to the back of my mind. The last time we were up there in late July the Rt 15 project was a huge mess. On the advice of our friends who are on the east side of town off 15 we came and went via Rt 12 and snuck through Elmore and Wolcott to 15. 

Well I am quite familiar with NY 7 through Brunswick & Troy and if it is preferable to what Fort Ann is like, Fort Ann must be pretty bad. I've definetly given consideration to taking US 7 all the way down to Bennington. In fact I even had a thought the other day of of possibly taking NY 22 from Hoosick down towards Brewster to pick up I-84 as an alternative to the Thruway. I've taken it a couple of times and for the most part recall it being relatively flat and lightly traveled until you get down towards the southern end. Of course that conceivably adds quite a bit of time.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2021, 01:01:42 PM »

If you're going through the Burlington area, VT 22A/VT 17/NY 185/NY 22/NY 74/I-87 is also an option.  Much less traffic than the other ways of getting between Albany and VT.  There's a bit of an incline on NY 74 leaving Ticonderoga, but it has a nice long climbing lane.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2021, 01:35:58 PM »

If you're going through the Burlington area, VT 22A/VT 17/NY 185/NY 22/NY 74/I-87 is also an option.  Much less traffic than the other ways of getting between Albany and VT.  There's a bit of an incline on NY 74 leaving Ticonderoga, but it has a nice long climbing lane.

I took most of that route back in 2018 and it was decent, with no major snags or choke points and not much traffic at all west of Addison. US 7 north of Vergennes and VT 22A were slow (moving at or slightly below speed), as they're only two lanes and part of a major N/S truck route, but I suppose that's par for the course in Vermont.



The problem is there's no good east-west way between most of Vermont and the Thruway/Northway.  Sure, US 4 is freeway west of Rutland, but that dies at the state line.  I'd rather slit my wrist along NY 7 in Troy and Brunswick than deal with Fort Ann and the western NY 149 terminus.

I'm curious about your experiences with Fort Ann. I don't think I had ever heard of it being problematic until you mentioned it. Is there a something going on currently, or just slow/congested in general?

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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2021, 02:01:06 PM »

US 209 from the Kingston area to Port Jervis isn't bad. The one time I was across the route, there were tons of NY 209 error signs.
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Re: Trip from Northern VT to WV Panhandle w/ trailer
« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2021, 07:11:15 PM »

If you're going through the Burlington area, VT 22A/VT 17/NY 185/NY 22/NY 74/I-87 is also an option.  Much less traffic than the other ways of getting between Albany and VT.  There's a bit of an incline on NY 74 leaving Ticonderoga, but it has a nice long climbing lane.

Interesting option. I am definitely considering VT 22A as an alternative to US 7 but I was thinking all the way down to Fair Haven and US 4 from there. I thought other routes across that part of NY might be pretty hilly but from your description NY 74 doesn't sound too bad. It would be some uncharted territory for me and I am never opposed to that.

US 209 from the Kingston area to Port Jervis isn't bad. The one time I was across the route, there were tons of NY 209 error signs.

Good to know thanks! Could make the trip a bit more interesting since I have a feeling once we are into PA interstates will make too much sense to not take. Depending on how it is all going could be worth the extra time.

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