We also have a 2016 GC Overland High Altitude, and installed the Blue Ox baseplate to go with our Aventa towbar, which we've used for 8 years now (actually on our second one, sold the old one to a friend). The installation is relatively easy, except for the careful trimming of the front fascia for the towbar sockets and electrical connector. We did it at home, with experienced help.
Love the Jeep, and I'm very happy with the way the baseplate install went. Very easy connect/disconnect, and problem-free towing.
OP, I'm curious as to why you dismiss all Jeeps with a "been there, done that." We replaced our 2008 Jeep Liberty toad (after 110k or so miles) with a 2014 Honda CR-V. The Jeep was a dream to tow, but as a near-daily driver, I hated the lousy mileage (15-20 mpg). The CR-V was fine, but more work to tow than the Jeep, and a bit small for our tastes. After 2 years, we sold the CR-V to an RV-ing neighbor, and upgraded to a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We couldn't be happier with it -- very easy to hook up and tow, lots of room, full 4WD capability, and WAY better mileage than the Liberty ever got (we're seeing 26 mpg on the highway).
This wouldn't be everybody's choice, I know, and it's about 1000 lbs. heavier than the CR-V. But Jeeps have continued to evolve, and they cover a wide range of models. You might want to give them another look.
...Make sure you load up your EZPass $$ if you're going on many toll roads. You can burn thru a lot of $ in a day.
the Illinois I-pass will automatically replenish itself when the balance reaches a pre-determined level.
Sorry, I should have clarified -- I'm sure they all have that feature, but as I discovered, Delaware (at least) had a bug in their program, as of a couple of years ago. If you burned through all of your balance in a day (not hard to do on turnpikes) and went to a negative balance, the system got confused and cut you (me) off. I couldn't figure out why they didn't just automatically replenish it, but the system wasn't coded right to do that. I tried to explain that to the rep I talked to on the phone, but they didn't get it (or couldn't fix it), so I had to go online and make a manual payment. As long as you don't go negative, it adjusts for greater use, by taking bigger automatic replenishments.
We also noticed that the bay bridge toll booth (outside of Annapolis MD) for EZpass lanes state nothing over 5 tons GVW. We would have to then go through the regular lanes anyway.
EZPass or no, you should plan on using the far right lane through toll plazas whenever possible. Some places require it for oversize vehicles, because it's usually the least restrictive for width.
I too have a Delaware EZPass, and thus pay more than MD EZPass users to cross the Bay Bridge. I believe New York similarly discounts tolls for its EZPass customers.
Make sure you load up your EZPass $$ if you're going on many toll roads. You can burn thru a lot of $ in a day.
A couple of comments, from a 2014 Tuscany owner:
Too many of the comments here are blanket slams at Thor products (kind of like hating on a Cadillac because your old Vega was cheaply made). Thor is the largest manufacturer in the RV industry, and builds in every segment. No comment on anything but a recent Tuscany is really relevant to the OP.
The Venetian is not the current "top of the line" Thor product. In order, from the top, Thor diesel pushers are:
We now have over 30k miles on our 2014, and are still happy with it. We bought it because we felt it had the best features and floor plan in our price range, and nothing since has changed our opinion. It had a few initial problems, which Thor fixed under warranty, and anything since has been what I'd consider normal wear and tear. We have two Schwintek slides (the smaller ones), and one full-wall hydraulic slide, and have had no problems with any of them.
Wow, thanks for all the good responses -- lots of useful info there! I'll try to add a few comments/clarifications:
- Good tip about Kingman -- we've driven through and/or by there a few times, but haven't really checked it out. Will have to do that.
- We're not really interested in Yuma -- too far south and close to the border for us.
- We live in Delaware, and love it here, but our favorite places to travel are in the West. We'd like to be able to spend several months in the Southwest in the winter, as well as explore the Rockies, Pacific Northwest, etc. in the summers. Having made multiple trips west in the last few years, we're thinking in terms of establishing a "base of operations" from which we can explore, and where we can put our feet up between trips in the area. Some place like Salt Lake City would be more central, but too cold in the winter, so we've looked at places like St. George, Las Vegas, etc. We've found homes with RV garages in various places, but none that we like (or can afford) as well as the BHC area. The one development we actually have our eye on is Valley View at Sunrise Hills, in Fort Mohave. Each home there has an RV garage plus an RV pad alongside, so friends can join you.
- Interesting point about doctors. We try to keep our routine appointments at home in Delaware, but need to consider unplanned medical needs as well. I did see a newish hospital, Valley View Medical Center, in Fort Mohave.
- We stayed at Vista del Sol the first week of March. Know what you mean about the wind up on that bluff! Saw their "houses" too ... double-wides rolled into place and plastered over with stucco. Not for us.
Thanks again to all. Nutinelse2do, I'll PM you.
Not sure where to put this, so I'll try here. On a six-week swing through the Southwest, we spent a week in the Laughlin NV/Bullhead City AZ area. We really liked the area -- relatively quiet, but reasonable proximity to a lot of places we like to go (Vegas, Grand Canyon, Sedona, southern California, southern Utah, etc.). Apparently lots of snowbirds must feel the same way, since there are RV parks everywhere, mostly full.
What caught our attention was that several local builders there are marketing smallish homes (1000-2000 square feet) with good-size RV garages (50-foot-plus long, with 12x14 or larger doors). In the past, we've considered buying a slab in a nice RV resort, but by the time you add improvements, you can go well into six figures. For a little over $200k (yeah, I know that's not pocket change) we can have a real second home with room for guests and a garage where we can safely leave our coach between trips if we want. And if and when we can't use it, it looks like the rental market would be good.
So my questions are: does anyone have any knowledge of that area, good or bad, to share? And does anyone know of similar opportunities elsewhere? (We saw some in Lake Havasu City, but that's just too crowded and pricey for us.)
You've got the right idea on the first part of your route. However you leave Delaware or Assateague, you'll find your way to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Routes 50/301. On the other (west) side of the bay, you'll stay on 50 to I-97 north, to MD 32 west. As you said, that will take to to I-70 at West Friendship. (It's the easiest way in an RV, trust me, I've tried every route.)
From there, you could stay on I-70 the whole way to St. Louis if you want, though I prefer to get on I-68 at Hancock, MD, then I-79 north at Morgantown, WV, back to I-70 in PA. (Avoids the PA Turnpike.) As you say, you could do Rocky Gap in MD, or (my preference) Deep Creek Lake (stay in the state park campground). The rest of I-70 isn't very scenic, though there's the Columbus Zoo and the museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, for starters.
An alternative we've tried is to take I-79 south instead at Morgantown, then pick up I-64 west at Charleston, WV. A much prettier route, to me, though it takes a bit longer.
Good luck, and enjoy the trip!
Make sure you check the routes you plan to take ahead of time. There are a number of restrictions, mostly based on size. If I recall correctly, you can't drive a motorhome that size in D.C. at all (not that you'd want to). You also can't drive on the George Washington Parkway along the Virginia side of the Potomac (low underpasses), nor through the interstate tunnels under Baltimore Harbor if you have propane (though I heard this might have changed).