Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Hwy 54 in Kansas vs Hwy 56
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 > Hwy 54 in Kansas vs Hwy 56

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Posted: 03/18/23 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hwy 54 and 56 both go diagonally across Kansas and they are approximately 30 to 40 miles apart. I will be pulling a 36' 5th wheel with a Dodge diesel and a Polaris Ranger on a small aluminum trailer behind the 5th wheel. Starting in Mesa, AZ and heading to west central Iowa.

Which road is the better option? 4 lane or passing lanes and good surface conditions are what I am mostly concerned about.

I have searched this topic on this site and all the results I find are 10-15 years old, so looking for some updated info.


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Posted: 03/18/23 05:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both are 2 lane until you get to Emporia or Wichita. We were on both within the last 5-6 years. Pavement wasn't too bad for the most part. Lot of small towns that speed limit drops for but we still made decent time pulling 35 ft 5er. I had to plan fuel stops as I do not have extra tank but found diesel no problem on either. Lot of tractor trailers on both routes but they were always courteous and did not impede us. Passing lanes kinda rare as I recall but never felt that was a big deal. All the farm/ranch equipment will pull off for you to pass. We are both from Eastern Kansas so either route is "local". We find it scenic and nostalgic. I find the KDOT sight very up to date on listing road construction. We check it every time we head west which is most of the time. Research it within a week or so of departure and you will see anything that might cause grief.
Hope you have a good trip through and try the BBQ.[emoticon]

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Posted: 03/19/23 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My route, with a semi would be catch US 54 at Tucumcari. Run that up thru Pratt, catch Ks 61. That will put you on US50, just west of Hutchison. Ride 50 over to Emporia where it meets I35, or the Turnpike. Pike up to Topeka, then north on US75, or (More likely for I35 or I29 to Iowa
Now, there are probably better ways if you want to do touristy things as you go, but this is a good way to get there.


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Posted: 03/25/23 12:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have travelled through Kansas twice a year in our travels between the East Coast and New Mexico since 2007. US 50, 54, 56 and 400 have generally been good roads as are the North/South routes US-83, 183, 283, 81 and 281. We have also found that the KS state highways are also generally in good condition. Your total length and what type of accommodations you are looking for if you plan on stopping overnight may be more of an issue for which route you take than the road conditions.

Safe travels!

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