The absolute best steak I ever had was back in the early 70s at a little bar south of Grand Island, Nebraska, perhaps 3 miles or so north of the interstate. No atmosphere whatsoever, but that steak just melted in my mouth. Unfortunately, several years after that, when we wanted to stop there, we couldn't find it - it was just gone. :(
I agree with those who recommend camping on both sides. We did that last summer and were very glad we did. In our case, we spent 5 nights on the west side and 4 on the east, but almost any combination of at least 3 nights each side would work well. Otherwise you'll just find yourself driving a lot many of the days you're there just to get to the places you want to hike or photograph.
US 2 between east & west sides is no issue whatsoever.
We fell in love with a 34' TT in 2008, and loved the interior space, but towing it was just a bit much - and we found over time that we no longer spent time outdoors, which we used to enjoy when camping in "lesser" units. We downsized to a 27' TT last year and have found it fits in more of the state/federal campsites we most enjoy, and we are more encouraged to spend time sitting outside, yet it's comfortable enough indoors in bad weather.
Fort Laramie in Wyoming (and it's not in Laramie - it's on US 26 between Torrington and Guernsey.)
Fort Clatsop in Astoria, OR - where Lewis & Clark overwintered at the destination end of their journey of exploration
Haines, Alaska is built on the grounds (and using many of the buildings) of an old Army fort. Beautiful setting!
All good advice. We have pulled our 34-foot, 7500-lb (or so) TT with a Tundra 6.0L 1/2 ton up some pretty good long grades, no problem. Going slower, gearing down as needed, etc. should help when going down those grades. You shouldn't have a problem.
Robin, I hope you realize that you will need to plan in your budget for water and for sewage disposal, as well as heat. RVs are heated by propane-fueled furnaces, and unless they are specifically built as 4-season models, they will run through a whole lotta propane in the winter months. (Especially in Massachusetts!) In most cases, water & sewage disposal hookups are only available in established campgrounds, in which case your budget will need to allow for a monthly rent.
From East Glacier you might want to consider driving north to just before Babb and take route 464 to get to Browning. We used 89 between Browning and East Glacier both directions with our 24ft Class C, no toad, but you might be more comfortable avoiding the curves and short grades on that section of 89 with your longer length.
I would suggest that upon leaving St. Mary, go north on 89 toward Babb and turn right on Duck Lake Rd(464) to Browning. It is a lot better drive than taking 89 to Browning.
We followed this advice last summer and it was a good option. Still quite scenic.
Perhaps the rumor started when someone noticed camping trailers in a weigh station? Indiana is the biggest producer of RVs in the country, and there are a lot of them being delivered to dealerships across the country by professional drivers. However, they are, in that situation, in a commercial enterprise. To my knowledge, camping trailers pulled by their owners for recreational purposes are not required in any state to spend time at weigh stations.
Backing into a campsite with a steep approach angle (90 degrees or less) is more difficult with a longer TT. We ran into this a few times with our previous 34-footer. Once the turn is actually made, however, the longer trailer behaves a bit better, taking longer before it starts heading off in a direction you didn't intend, than a shorter trailer does. What you may find is that your campsites are limited, especially in national & state parks, due to the length of the TT. Many of those campsites were designed years ago, when trailers weren't that large.
If you're starting out going around Chicago, your best bet is I-80 until at least I-39, if not farther west. We used to make that drive several times a year. 80 can back up during rush hour, but is still the best game in town for going around the city - short of going up to the UP and across from there.
I spent many, many hours on 94 and 294, going to meetings and other work-related things. I do NOT recommend it. You pay extra (tolls) for more hassle.
Djcjc, why 94? 90 will be much faster to get to Yellowstone. Any specific reason to go farther north?
As for the "easy 6 hours to Grizzly" - in my first post I mentioned going through Yellowstone being quite slow going. If you think you'll be much faster going around via Bozeman, you will be disappointed; going thru town there (which is what we needed to do going the opposite direction from 191 to I-90) is also slow going, lots of stoplights, traffic, etc. Maybe there's a bypass around Bozeman I'm not aware of, but even then - if you're starting that day anywhere east of Billings, it won't be any 6 hours to Grizzly. Just sayin'.
RV circus is right, I think. Backing won't be any easier than going in frontwards, but coming out frontwards is definitely preferable to backing out - especially with others living on your street. Our last house had a narrow driveway, basically 9-10' wide, at a 90-degree angle from our small street; the street had deep ditches on both sides of it too, making things a little more complicated. Our TT at the time was 34' long. I have a good "backing coach" (DH) and, not worrying too much about a few ruts, as long as we missed the ditches, we were able to get the trailer in. We'd block the street off for a while until the job was accomplished, but so be it. Neighbors were mostly understanding. :) I'm sure your long-bed truck doesn't help matters. I think I'd opt for the pavers, or even getting the end of the driveway paved a bit wider. Good luck!
Long days no matter what; if you want to take US 212 you could also camp at/near Hardin MT in place of Buffalo WY. A bit longer drive from Mitchell, but will make the drive into/through Yellowstone the next day a bit less long than it would be from Buffalo.
If you do decide to stay on 90 and stay in Buffalo, when you head out the next day avoid US14 and 14A, and be aware that US16 will also be lots of climbing, winding roads, descending, etc. over the Bighorn range - much slower going than the interstate. It may be shorter but probably won't save you any time.
From 90 near Laurel MT you can take US 212 and then US 310 to SR 72 (which turns into SR 120 in Wyoming) to drop down to Cody - not too hilly, still plenty scenic, and it may save you a bit of time over towing through the park from the north entrance. From Cody head west into Yellowstone, go in the east entrance and out the west. Towing through the park is slow, as is all driving in the park - traffic, animals, animal jams, and the 45 mph speed limit all make it at least a 2-hour drive from east to west across the park. From the north entrance, you'll encounter MAJOR road construction from Mammoth to Norris, which will slow you down even further, hence my recommendation to go in from Cody.
I'm used to them too - they've been doing Idaho SPs for some years and WI SPs (our former camping haunts) for many years. I will say they have not (so far) messed us up with mixing up reservation dates, etc. BTW, they still post campsite pictures for Idaho, Oregon, Utah and some other states. Perhaps PA is to blame for that feature being lost? RA contracts with each state individually, as far as I know.
The only hassle we have had with RA, which I now expect so it's not a hassle anymore, is that our password changes if I don't use the site in a few months. And they generate the PW. I now know to save the one they gave me last.