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MelindaK
I have a 30' TT I will be towing and the plan is after seeing Niagara Falls to stay a week around Ellsworth, Maine. The trip will be late September and the first part of October. I do all the driving so one driver. I am looking to avoid routes with steep grades, curvy roads, and heavy traffic, but I want to see some of the countryside. For example I would like to be able to stop around Conway, NH for a little sight seeing. Any suggestions on either routes to use or routes to avoid would greatly be appreciated.

Oh, I have gone from Evanston, WY towards Salt Lake City on I 80, and going down was fine, but I would not want to pull up a stretch like that. I think on something like that I might encounter overheating of engine. Not sure what the grade was there and how long that stretch is. In addition, in Utah I took Route 6 over to 191 going down was fine not sure about going up. This may help you with what I looking for in regards to a route.
Jerry S.
MelindaK,

I am not certain why you have received no responses to your question, but I can think of two possibilities:

There are dozens if not hundreds different routes you can take travelling from Niagara Falls to Ellsworth. Unless you give us an idea of what you want to see between these two points (besides Conway, NH), there are too many options.

Do you want to drive throuh the Adirondack Mountains in NY, the Green Mtns. in VT, and the White Mtns. in NH? Your concern about mountain driving leads one to believe so. Personally, I think your concern is unfounded. These are not the Rockies. Only a handfull of "peaks" exceed 5,000" and the main state and U.S. highways in these areas rarely reach elevations above 2,000'. You just don't have short or long incline stretches where you gain thousands of feet in elevation that would stress your tow vehicle. I can't rule out "curvy" (I don't know what you would consider "too" curvy) roads or "busy" (it will be the fall color season) roads.

Maybe now someone will chime in an say there are some "mountain" roads in this area that are a problem.
MelindaK
Jerry S.,

Thank you for bringing to my attention that my request may have been to open. I am still kind of new at this and last year I was fortunate enough that campers next to us mentioned the down grade between Wyoming and Utah on I 80 and I knew to take things slow. If I had been coming from Utah to Wyoming on that trip I would have definitely had problems pulling the TT up that constant grade. It was a real eye opener for me. I guess in some way I may be trying to over prepare for this trip and eliminate the surprises. In addition, I read recently on a post on this site how everyone thought the roads out west were better than the roads on the east coast. There was also a mention of the roads being more narrow too.

Okay a little back ground I have never been further east than Arkansas and have no knowledge of what the roads are like in the East. I am from Texas so I am use to flat roads for the most part. On the section from Niagara Falls to Ellsworth, Maine I am a little tight on time so I may have to bypass Vermont. My original thought was to start on I 90 as on interstates one can usually make better time. However, it looks at though I 90 may be a toll way all the way and that could get expensive. I noticed Hwy 20 parallels I 90 in New York. Would 20 be a better choice? Or around Albany I could take US 4 over into Vermont and then over to Concord New Hampshire and then go to Conway. However, I noticed on US 4 between Rutland and the junction of highway 100 there is a grade of 6% and possibly some miles in there of less or more grade. Because of this should I rule that route out?

In addition, I have been told there are a lot of covered bridges in the East. Will the coverage bridges pose a problem regarding height?


QUOTE(Jerry S. @ May 30 2011, 11:29 PM) *

MelindaK,

I am not certain why you have received no responses to your question, but I can think of two possibilities:

There are dozens if not hundreds different routes you can take travelling from Niagara Falls to Ellsworth. Unless you give us an idea of what you want to see between these two points (besides Conway, NH), there are too many options.

Do you want to drive throuh the Adirondack Mountains in NY, the Green Mtns. in VT, and the White Mtns. in NH? Your concern about mountain driving leads one to believe so. Personally, I think your concern is unfounded. These are not the Rockies. Only a handfull of "peaks" exceed 5,000" and the main state and U.S. highways in these areas rarely reach elevations above 2,000'. You just don't have short or long incline stretches where you gain thousands of feet in elevation that would stress your tow vehicle. I can't rule out "curvy" (I don't know what you would consider "too" curvy) roads or "busy" (it will be the fall color season) roads.

Maybe now someone will chime in an say there are some "mountain" roads in this area that are a problem.

Tom
QUOTE(MelindaK @ May 31 2011, 11:01 PM) *

In addition, I have been told there are a lot of covered bridges in the East. Will the coverage bridges pose a problem regarding height?


You are only going to encounter covered bridges on side roads, and you will have lots of warnings. You do not have to worry about them on main / highway roads. We have more covered bridges than other parts of the country, but that is just relative - they are few and far between.

There are few "flat" areas of New England - you are always either going up or down, usually not steeply though. There are not many roads that I would consider to be "pulling a grade".

The scenery in upstate New York and upper New England is beautiful, pretty much no matter where you drive.

Have you tried asking for information on Open Roads forums? You can access the forums through RV.net and many other sites. (I don't think it is bad to mention other forums here?)
Butch
QUOTE(MelindaK @ May 28 2011, 02:03 PM) *

I have a 30' TT I will be towing and the plan is after seeing Niagara Falls to stay a week around Ellsworth, Maine. The trip will be late September and the first part of October. I do all the driving so one driver. I am looking to avoid routes with steep grades, curvy roads, and heavy traffic, but I want to see some of the countryside. For example I would like to be able to stop around Conway, NH for a little sight seeing. Any suggestions on either routes to use or routes to avoid would greatly be appreciated.

Oh, I have gone from Evanston, WY towards Salt Lake City on I 80, and going down was fine, but I would not want to pull up a stretch like that. I think on something like that I might encounter overheating of engine. Not sure what the grade was there and how long that stretch is. In addition, in Utah I took Route 6 over to 191 going down was fine not sure about going up. This may help you with what I looking for in regards to a route.



Having been going to the Ellsworth Maine area for the last 20 years, we use either the interstates or could use the states' highway systems. The interstates are quicker, but are toll highways. Personally we prefer to use the less travelled highway systems. You are going to be to far north on the route 4 Vermont hiway, and it does have a steep grade leaving Rutland. Good road otherwise. We use VT route 9 from Bennington VT, this roadway is a good road but is up and down, is only about 38 miles to New Hampshire, but is do able. We drive a 37 foot MH w/toad on the Vermont route 9 roadway. If you want a more detailed route, from eastern New York, to Ellsworth, would be glad to advise, and to include Cgs on the way.
vincee
Melinda, Hi! My wife and I are from the Buffalo, NY area, which is about 25 miles from Niagara Falls. Last September, we took a trip to Ellsworth Maine and Bar Harbor, home of Acadia National Park.
You are correct that I-90 (New York State Thruway) is a toll road. Because of time and just overlooking the tolls, we took it to the end, which is to the Mass. Turnpike. Toll for our motorhome and tow was around $58! However, because we left after work to get a jump on the trip, we did stay in a rest stop on the highway overnight, safe and secure. Route 20 does parallel I-90 and can be a very good ride on a good road. Some great towns to stop at, including Geneva, NY which has Emil's restaurant, best seasoned prime rib in the east. Casual family run place worth the visit. Also, Geneva is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of NYS that boosts the 4th largerst wine production in the US. There are many wineries not far off the path of Rt. 20, some having world class wines. One caution on taking 20 is that it is Main St. in Syracuse NY which means it takes you right through the heart of the city. Not a real big problem after evening rush hour or on weekends.
I would avoid the Vermont option to your trip. Vermont does not spend alot of money on their roads and highways. Highway 100, which is a main north south road is one of the worst roads I have ever driven my motorhome on. White knuckle because it is narrow, twisty with blind curves, and potholes or lack of shoulder that will eat small cars. The grade you spoke of is going up Mt. Killington, which itself isn't that bad, you have room to get up to speed for the climb. Anywhere through Vermont and New Hampshire for that matter you will encounter hilly twisty roads and small towns. On our trip last year met a fellow in Portland Maine who came across Rt. 4 across Vermont with a 38ft diesel motorhome with tow. Was not pleased with the trip or the time it took to traverse the mountains and 30mph speeds in the towns.

We took the Mass. Turnpike across Massachusetts. You have to go over the Berkshire Mts. (no, they are not the Rockies) and it is a great road. There will be hill climbs and decents, but because the road is so well done, it is a comfortable drive with nice scenery. We took this to about 30 miles outside of Boston to I95 north. This is the road that kills you on tolls. It seemed every 4-5 miles there was another toll booth asking for $5 or $6. We followed it to Portland, ME. If you have the time, spend a couple days here. The old historic port area is cobblestone streets and a ton of unique shops and restaurants. Beautiful and worth the visit. We stayed at a campground about 5 miles out of town that my review is posted on this website.

From Portland you want to follow US 1. It follows the coast line dotted with postcard perfect seaside New England towns. About 22 miles from Portland is Freeport, ME, home of LL Bean. The entire village is around 150 outlet stores with some of the biggest names. Wandering around town you will be going shop to shop. Great prices! Taking US 1 will take longer than the interstate, but again, the sights, towns and scenery are worth the trip. If you like lobster, there will be fresh caught lobster shacks in many places along the route. Cheap!

Hope this helps out, enjoy the trip as the colors and sights will be awesome at that time of year. Campgrounds will have plenty of avaiable sites at reduced rates. Read some of the reviews on this site as there are a couple large commercial locations I would stay away from, including Mount Desert Narrows.
MelindaK
This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. THANK YOU to everyone!

I had stumble across the RV.Net but had not had a chance to check out the site. Glad to know that it is helpful. The information you all have provide about the different areas is great.

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