View Full Version : Travel Advice: Fort Wayne, IN to Durham, NC

D and M On The Road
01-22-2014, 07:00 AM
I finally get my big chance to go near the Elkhart/Goshen area and I won't have my Montana with me and there won't be a rally. :(

I'm flying from the west coast to Denver in early February. Then driving a car on 2/9 to the Chicago area. We will have one overnighter somewhere in between, probably around Lincoln/Omaha City, NE and one overnighter in the Chicago Area.

From Chicago area I'm driving to Fort Wayne, IN for a quick stop (2 hours) and back on the road to the final destination of Durham, NC.

We will be traveling by one car and a 14' U-Haul truck. The tricky part for us, is the route from Fort Wayne, IN to Durham. We only want to travel during daylight. I'm actually guessing the REAL tricky part is the weather we will encounter.

I'd like to solicit advice from the experts here who have traveled the roads in-between Fort Wayne and Durham:

Best route from Fort Wayne, IN to Durham, NC.
I was on AAA last night working on their Trip-Tix program but I don't know if they just give you the shortest route or the 'best' route. I really don't want to be off major roads too much because U-Haul trucks are notorious for breaking down and I think I will have a better chance of using the Marriot employee discount that I get (through my son) at hotels along the way.

Best weather apps for an Iphone and an Ipad?

Sure are lots of cashless toll roads. How do you deal with them? Just wait for the notice in the mail to arrive on how much you owe?

Words of wisdom about traveling the area between Fort Wayne and Durham?

I've flown to Chicago once and that's been my only trip east of Denver. This road trip is going to be very interesting and I'm not looking forwards to doing it at this time of year, but it has to be done.

Thanks so much in advance. I appreciate the help.

01-22-2014, 11:03 AM
IMHO, 69 to Indianapolis, then, 65 to Louisville, then, 64 to Charleston WV, then, 77 to Mt Airey NC, then 74 to 52 to 40 east, to Durham

01-22-2014, 01:07 PM
quote:Originally posted by HOOK

IMHO, 69 to Indianapolis, then, 65 to Louisville, then, 64 to Charleston WV, then, 77 to Mt Airey NC, then 74 to 52 to 40 east, to Durham

HOOK is correct, but keep an eye on the weather channel for the WV turnpike (I-77) and I-77 through Virginia. It can get treacherous quickly (like in an hour) between Charleston and the North Carolina line at that time of year. You can also check wv511.org for road conditions, road sign postings and even a camera or two.

D and M On The Road
01-22-2014, 04:20 PM
Hook and bncinwv,

I sincerely appreciate the advice and it' nice to see you agree upon the route!

I'll be traveling with my daughter and her new husband. None of us have driven past Chicago.

I've printed out your responses and they are in the travel folder I am making of anything I can think of or get advice upon.

If there are cashless toll roads along the way... how do you deal with them? We don't have them here in N. California other than over some of the larger bridges.

I've even received an email from a couple here at the MOC who have extended an invitation for us all (including the dog) to drop by and/or meet up for dinner if we should have some time when traveling through their area. How great is that?

I don't fly out of here to Denver to until the 7th so if anyone else has any words of wisdom on their experiences between Fort Wayne and Durham, please don't hesitate to post.


01-22-2014, 04:57 PM
WV Turnpike is a cash and cashless toll road, so it should not be a problem, no tolls south of WV that I am aware of and I-64 is likewise not a toll road. Not sure about the roads outside of Kentucky though, sorry,

01-23-2014, 06:00 AM
Is there any way you can get to I-75 south from Fort Wayne? If so, then take it south to I-40 in Tennessee. It would keep you out of the mountains until then. It may not be the shortest, but it is the easiest. The only part is getting over the mountains from Tenn to NC. It will take you about 6 hours to get to Durham from that point. I use Weather Bug as a app on my smartphone. It does give radar for the area you are in. This route does not have any toll roads. Welcome to Durham!!

01-23-2014, 07:34 AM
quote:Originally posted by HOOK

IMHO, 69 to Indianapolis, then, 65 to Louisville, then, 64 to Charleston WV, then, 77 to Mt Airey NC, then 74 to 52 to 40 east, to Durham

From Indianapolis you could also take I-74 to I-75 in Cincinnati, I-75 to I-64 in Lexington Ky. then continue with Hook's directions. Reason I say this is I-65 between Indianapolis and Louisville is pretty rough and construction off and on at the bridges crossing the Ohio River into Louisville. Tim

D and M On The Road
01-23-2014, 01:21 PM
Thanks Time,

My head is spinning with all these different roads but I really appreciate the advice I'm getting about trying to stay out of the mountains as much as possible and away from road construction areas.

I am so leery about traveling with a U-haul truck and don't want to break down on a road where we might not have cell phone service or a AAA tow truck can't find us. I always think of the worst that can happen and try to be prepared for it, just in case.


Mrs. CountryGuy
01-23-2014, 04:04 PM
We each have a definition of rough roads. Have to say, I 65 south of Indianapolis all the way to Nashville the first week of December 2013, we thought the roads were pretty good. You can check for construction zones, not as many at this time of the year due to weather.

For the most part we just don't bother or worry about construction zones, there are some everywhere it seems. Not worth the trouble to re-route around them.

In our opinion I 65 is not near as hilly as I 75 is. That is one of the reasons we find ourselves taking 65 south in the winter over 75. Cincinnati has that MONSTER hill, going south, you come off that bridge and bam, you are going up, long grade and rather steep. It is NOT nearly as bad now as it was 20 years ago, but, still, that is one monster of a hill/grade.

Your mileage may vary. But, of course! ;):D;)

D and M On The Road
02-17-2014, 04:30 PM
We did our trip from Colorado to N. Carolina. We made it from Denver to Chapel Hill, NC with a Penske 16' rental tuck and one car.

We left Denver on 02/10 and arrived in Chapel Hill on 02/16. Had to stop a couple of places until we could continue on but we didn't encounter any problems with storms, breakdowns, etc.

It was my 27 year old daughter and myself; my 27 year old son-in-law and his father from Denver to Chicago. Then the father-in-law stayed in Chicago and the 3 of us continued on.

We had a couple of what I call "travel guardian angels" helping by sending me weather reports & warnings all the time and we had weather apps and radar on our cellphones and iPad that we constantly consulted.

It was quite a trip and the snow was amazing in some of the areas that we drove through. I'd say Cincinnati had the most snow, vehicles on the sides of the roads stuck in snow and current accidents on the road. We feel fortunate that we made it through there without any problems.

Our biggest worry was the Appalachians (and black ice) as we knew we had to cross them but they were a piece of cake.

Next time someone wants me to help them move in the middle of winter, I'm giving them the phone number to a couple of moving companies.

Thank you to those who advised on routes. :)