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Old 09-23-2019, 03:00 PM   #1
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Dealing with toll roads for the infrequant user

As we travel the roads in our RVs we sometimes come into areas where we have a hard time avoiding toll roads, bridges or tunnels. We are on the West coast at the moment. My grandson graduates from HS in 2021. We will be going back East for the event. He is in MD. The northeast corridor has many toll roads. Navigating them for a reasonable cost, and avoiding long delays at toll booths, can be a challenge.
I inquired about the Nationalpass program but it requires a monthly balance and automatic replenishing.



I am hoping that there is a toll pass transponder that I can purchase that will allow me to pay as I go. Am I dreaming? I am most interested in the toll roads of the northeast states.


A side note: I go white knuckle when I head East and cross the Mississippi. It seams to me that the drivers east of it are rude and aggressive, and the roads are either in need of extensive repair or have been under repair for the last 30 years. Adding tolls to the mix just depresses me that much more. Once I reach my destination I am usually very content with the beauty of the area, even if the locals are a bit eccentric. Hope no one is offended with a blunt truth.


Happy trails all.
Rick Y
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:22 PM   #2
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I think you are dreaming.
EZ-Pass is the most common in the East but still not linked between states in some places (you buy from one state and it works in all EZ-Pass states but may not be the same rate that the "locals" get).

I have an EZ-Pass from Ohio.

It charges me a $1.00/month service fee and I have to maintain a balance on the account.
I also have a Florida SunPass which has a balance (home state) and it will work in some states but not all that EZ-Pass does.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
... I am hoping that there is a toll pass transponder that I can purchase that will allow me to pay as I go. Am I dreaming? I am most interested in the toll roads of the northeast states. ...
Rick

The EZ Pass is good for some midwest tolls and the northeast. It does require a standing balance and automatic replenishment, but you can keep a reasonably small balance with small replenishments. We keep a $10 minimum balance with a $30 replenishment, but I think you can have a smaller increment; we went with what works for us.

Be sure to shop around. The different states' charges vary for the actual transponder, but they all work for all EZ Pass states. Some states offer discounts on their tolls if you have their transponder (e.g., New Hampshire), others have discounts but it doesn't kick in until you travel that road a lot (e.g., Maine). Other states (like Illinois) have their own pass but honor the EZ Pass. I understand Florida is also now honoring the EZ Pass on certain toll roads.

Even if the EZ Pass doesn't save you money, it saves you time. You get to zip through a special toll booth lane versus sit in line waiting for others to pay. Many states are also going to a system where there is no manned toll booth; you get charged as you pass under a reader (e.g., Massachusetts Turnpike). If you don't have the EZ Pass you also get charged a look-up and processing fee, significantly increasing the cost of the toll.

Good luck and safe travels.

Ken

Edit: noting what ThomB said, the NH pass does not charge a monthly fee; that's what we have (even though we vacation mostly in Maine, we travel more NH toll roads than in Maine).
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:50 AM   #4
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After a lot of reading on this topic we got the North Carolina Quick Pass EZPass transponder.

It works in the greatest number of states, cost $7.50 to purchase, has no extra fees and is auto replenishing.

We’re in Ohio right now and it’s a great help when traveling the Turnplke.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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After a lot of reading on this topic we got the North Carolina Quick Pass EZPass transponder.

It works in the greatest number of states, cost $7.50 to purchase, has no extra fees and is auto replenishing.

Weíre in Ohio right now and itís a great help when traveling the Turnplke.

I think this is great news. I'll look into it.


My thanks to all who have responded to this topic. Your shared experiences have shed much light on my ignorance of this topic.


How, you might wonder, could I not know more about toll systems? In short, in all of my lifetime of driving I have very infrequently had to use toll roads. The most common need was when I traveled to MD from MA to visit my daughter. In the early days toll booth where the only choice. Transponder passes have only become popular and refined since I have retired. They were becoming available 15 to 20 years ago but the expense and frequency of need was not that great. I think conditions today require me to catch up with the tech world of toll road travel.


Happy trails all.
Rick Y
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:21 PM   #6
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We live in Texas and have no toll roads in the San Antonio area (yet). Austin and the DFW area all do and I presume they do in Houston, as well.

We traveled to Mich, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania last year without a transponder and regretted it. In the past year we got a Texas Toll Tag and have used it a couple of times. So, when planning our trip East this year we got the NC Quick Pass and it's been great.

We can keep both the NC pass and the TX pass on the windshield together at the same time without problem. On the way North we went through Dallas and it worked there, then we went through Oklahoma and it worked there as well. Once we got to Ohio it worked perfectly as well.

Once you get one you'll appreciate the convenience. Especially if you travel around Chicago!!
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:07 PM   #7
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Transponders

I have a NJ EZ Pass which had no charge for the transponder itself. Itís $1 per month to service my account of 3 Transponders. One for our car, one for our toad which is kept in a special bag (or could be in tin foil) since the third transponder covers the Sunstar and toad. It saves so much time! I think I maintain a $25 balance for the single account charged to a credit card automatically.


https://www.ezpassnj.com/en/home/index.shtml or just google ez pass for any state you want to check out!

I worked for NJDOT when EZPass was starting. It was many meetings between DOT, the Turnpike and Parkway before a protocol was selected to say nothing of the Port Authority and Atlantic City Expressway. NJ was a leader in getting other states on board in the I-95 corridor along the east coast!
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:26 AM   #8
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We have a VA EZPass. There is no fee if you keep a minimum balance of $35.00. We have used it from Florida up through Maine without a problem. Works great.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:51 PM   #9
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Virginia ez-pass

VA EZ-Pass can be terminated if not used in six months!
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:12 PM   #10
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Do you pay more with an RV for the tolls? Can you use your car EZ-Pass in your RV?
thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:52 PM   #11
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If you have only two axles, it should be the same as a car unless the facility charges more for dual wheels. Of course if you were towing, there is a charge for both vehicles.

You can’t simply move a transponder between vehicles; they are generally attached to license plates!

Uh oh! I have new plates on my RV and toad. I need to change both the transponder for RV plus toad and transponder for toad.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:52 PM   #12
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I am also interested in more news of what works best across the country. We only live about a mile from the toll 130 road around Austin and went with using a Txtag as a way to ease getting on the toll and going to/from the local airport but after two years of fighting the system on billing, we have stopped the account.
The time saved on the road is much less than the time we spent on the phone or trying to contact somebody/anybody who could straighten out the overbilling! It has actually taken as much as four hours on hold or waiting for callbacks which never happen and multiple days to get contact which is then often not done as promised! Money would just "disappear" from the credit card and we never could find out why???

Our latest was when we sold a car and wanted the account closed, so we got it closed but we were required to put up a $20 deposit and renew automatically. So when the account was finally closed after 6 weeks, they did not refund the remaining money in the account! It took several weeks to get that done and then in about a month we noted twenty dollars was taken out of the credit card as they noted we did not have the required minimum balance! It took 18 days for that refund to show up!
We do not know if they are totally incompetent or just plain crooks but we will never deal with Textag again!
Our primary use is when we pass through Oklahoma but it would ease our minds a bit to have a much more logical national pass.
If there are any politicians reading and they want to assure their next election, there are two issues they could deal with! Stop spam calls and get a national highway network setup and working.
Maybe they could call it something nice like "interstate highways"!!!
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:42 AM   #13
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If you have only two axles, it should be the same as a car unless the facility charges more for dual wheels. Of course if you were towing, there is a charge for both vehicles.

You canít simply move a transponder between vehicles; they are generally attached to license plates!

Uh oh! I have new plates on my RV and toad. I need to change both the transponder for RV plus toad and transponder for toad.
Thanks for the "reminder" I just got new plates for the MH, will need to update my EZPass info for the transponders I have.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:04 AM   #14
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There is a lot of discussion on this topic on www.irv2.com.

Before our trip East a couple of years ago we researched this and found the North Carolina QuickPass to be the best option. It works in the largest number of states including all EZ Pass states, plus most of Florida and other systems, too.

It doesn’t work in Texas, we got a TEXTag and it works in Texas and Oklahoma.

We keep both the NC QuickPass transponder and the Textag RFID card on our RV windshield at all times. Both work with a TOAD automatically. We also keep a second device in protective bags in our toad to only use them when we are driving the vehicle sans RV.

The NC QuickPass is super inexpensive to buy, has no monthly fee and is the most compatible of the bunch. Plus adding and removing license plates is an easy online process.

As I understand the NationalPass has fairly high fees and monthly fees if you don’t use it regularly.

Using any of these devices gets you lower cost tolls and generally save lots of time at toll booths.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:11 AM   #15
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We do not know if they are totally incompetent or just plain crooks but we will never deal with Textag again!
Richard, they are difficult (horrible) to work with. That’s for sure. And I do think it’s deliberate many times. But they are the only Toll Pass that works all over TX and Oklahoma, too. I think they may be usable in Kansas now, as well.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:56 AM   #16
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Richard, they are difficult (horrible) to work with. Thatís for sure. And I do think itís deliberate many times. But they are the only Toll Pass that works all over TX and Oklahoma, too. I think they may be usable in Kansas now, as well.
When speaking to them, it's almost as if they do not listen and if you finally get their minds down to the question, they do not think. When we had closed the account and they did not remove the automatic refunding from the credit card, we finally got them to see they were still taking money for a closed account and they left the phone only to come back and ask if there was some reason we did not want automatic billing?
It seemed to be a hard item for them to understand we did not want them to keep taking more money for an account which was closed! Why the computer system would not be set up to remove the billing when an account is closed is just a mind bender!

In view of the idea we want to use the pass mostly when going through Oklahoma and it "might" be handy to use the Toll 130 here during the highway 183 construction, I think our best move might be to look into getting the pass in Oklahoma to use at times here in Texas.
Worth a try to see how it works from that end, perhaps!
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