View Full Version : Beware - Bad Roads - Montana/USA

07-15-2012, 04:39 PM
Just thought I would let folks know that the roads between Great Falls and Billings Montana - US 87/191/12/3 are garabge!!!! I came from Canada and picked up US 89 thinking it was a short route to Billings, however, all these roads are under construction and are in terrible shape. Some do not even have pavement and are extremely bumpy and damaging.

I beleive my Monty has suffered severe damage throughout the shaking, bouncing, etc. I had to repair one of my side panels that popped off the bolts on the undergarage and I have seen a cracked pipe at the back of my monty where a drain was installed for the fresh water.

I just noticed a leak of something from under the trailer which I am not sure what it is, hopefully, not hydraulic fluid. (I will check tommorrow).

Anyway, if travelling north or south between Billings and Great Falls please avoid these roads. I can see that it will be years before that stretch of road becomes a real road..

I am still about 3 days from home so hopefully I will make it before and additional problems surface. (On Highway 29 and going to 80 tommorrow).


07-16-2012, 01:31 AM
thanks for the advice, we were heading that way in a few days.

09-17-2012, 07:02 PM
Oldgeezor...I just responded to you about our bad roads in Montana on another topic line. I have lived in Montana for 8 years now. I moved up from Chula Vista, California. The road conditions here (in MT) astounded me. I think it is because we have some harsh winters (sometimes -30) and a very short window when they can be repaired. Some areas are worst than others. We haven't traveled the section you are talking about in quite some time so we were not aware of just how bad it has become. There is a website by the Montana Department of Transportation that tells you the current road conditions:


Hope that helps in case you need to travel back through here! They are pretty good about keeping it up to date. Send us a shout when you are heading through and we can maybe meet you for coffee or something! We live in Billings (the ONLY city in the state of Montana, everything else is a town).

09-17-2012, 07:13 PM
Sorry, oldgeezor, but respectfully Canadians have no room to talk. We just finished a 4 month trip that included traversing Canada from BC to Toronto on the Trans Canada Hiway. Our trailer is in the shop as of today to assess the extent of the damage. The TC was a horrible road from west to east. Full of bumps, dips, potholes and it seemed as if every single bridge is under construction all at the same time. Now, it's probably your winters, I get that, and I know you have a relativly short construction season.
To be fair, California roads were horrible, too. I do not think they have done any work on them for decades!!

09-17-2012, 08:20 PM
Road information can be of great value to ALL MOC members. Factual reports are appreciated.
Each state / province has good and bad roads. We do not need to start pointing fingers at each other.
Please just indicate problem roads. If you know of viable alternatives that information could be valuable too.
Thank you, RVWheels, MOC Admin.

09-18-2012, 06:07 AM
I am sorry if I offended anyone and I re-posted this by mistake after trying to include a map. I had originally posted this when we had stopped for the evening after that terrible drive. The stress was unbelieveable over that 230-280 mile stretch. It contributed to the fact that now my wife has decided that RV'ing is not our lifestyle and she will not go into the trailer again after that trip. She has asked me to put both the truck and trailer up for sale, which I will do after I finish this season. (I had to do a small trip ny myself to visit some friends). I cannot tell you how much this forum has helped me since I purchsed the truck and trailer in late 2011. I have learned a great deal about my trailer and travelling, unfortunately, too little to late as they say.

Washley1, you are absolutely right we do have some bad roads in Canada and when we went through Saskatchewan we had some bad roads and some very bad weather that attributed to our stressful trip.

My intent for posting the original note was just to let folks know not to travel through there with a big rig.

Cheers and happy travelling..


09-18-2012, 08:05 AM
I was not offended in any way by your comments! I took them as ironic after our trip, I am sharing your misery more than anything. And I am REAL sorry your wife had such a bad experience that you have to leave us! As has been said, RVing is not for everyone, but it's still sad to loose fellow travelers. Perhaps she'll change her mind, but if not, I hope you find a pursuit that you can both love. All the best!

09-18-2012, 08:11 AM
Canada has some great highways also. The 200-mile stretch from Port Huron, MI to Niagra Falls, Canada is one of the best highways I've ever driven on. There wasn't one crack, bump, broken pavement or even the semblance of anything bad in that whole stretch of highway.


09-18-2012, 09:19 AM
I appreciate any and all road information. I travel with a 150 pound mobility cart mounted on the front of my rig. I do not enjoy roads that are bumpy. Not just because I don't enjoy the ride as much but my cart takes a beating. A couple of times I have hit such rough roads that the cart almost got launched off of its carrier! It was a nervous time.

Our most recent trip took us to the Seattle, WA area. Our friend and fellow MOCer Carl and Susan gave us some invaluable information on the rough roads in that area. He also suggested some alternative routes. These routes worked great! Thanks Carl.

Just saying that some state or area has bad roads does not help me. I need and appreciate specific details. Thanks to all for helping with road reports. Dennis and Mary Kay

09-18-2012, 12:04 PM
No offense taken and none intended here either! I live the roads in Montana and cannot tell you how many rock chips I have had due to the rough roads. I wish everyone safe travels and I truly appreciate the honest input on road conditions.

Wishing everyone safe travels!

09-21-2012, 03:59 PM
HamRad... This is way off topic and I think you should ride in either the driver's seat or one of the passenger seats of the TV. I can only imagine the beating you'll be getting riding in that cart at the front of your TV. You are brave to say the least, but catching all those bugs without a windshield to protect you has gotta hurt, plus I think there are better ways to get your protein than riding in a cart at the front of the truck. Maybe you can mount the cart facing the truck cab so the bugs will only smack you in the back of the head?

Okay, okay, back on topic. I have spent the last several weeks towing all kinds of stuff like boats (on trailers), cargo trailers, RVs, and car haulers in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, and Idaho and I can say all states have horrible roads - Interstates, State Hwys, etc. It is so bad, it seems that we can only praise good roads because there are too few to mention. This is not the way it used to be.

It seems the better the suspensions get on new vehicles, the worse the roads seem to get to offset them. AGHHHH! I just finished towing a HUGE boat 1200 miles from Monroe, Washington, to Long Beach, California and my kidneys, my rump and even my hands and fingers from holding the steering wheel ache real bad. I'll stop there describing aching anatomy. The only decent road was Hwy 58 from Eugene, OR to the OR 97, except for the tunnel construction. But this is only a two lane highway so hardly traveled by most. I-5 was horrific from Washington to California but right now much of hwy 99 is under construction and there are few good parts on that road too.

Ironically, I thought the roads oldgeezor mentions, I used a few weeks ago and are not as bad as what I was just on, but I do know what he's talking about as his road concerns. I'm just saying there are many worse routes out there. What irks me the most is traveling many of these routes and they are under repair all the time but you never see anyone actually working on them! AGHHHH!

Time to calm down. (umpteemzillion? Is that a lot a lot?)

09-22-2012, 06:51 AM
Art you are so funny! The visual I got Hamrad riding in his cart on the front of the truck was a hoot! At least I think you were joking! :-)

I agree roads everywhere are bad! Oh well! We still get to enjoy a beautiful spot when we finally arrive!

BTW...umpteemzillion is a LOT a LOT but not as much as a googol! Te phrase came from my dad when he saw what model we bought....'Boy you got it with upmteemzillion bells and whistles!' ;)