Like many Van Halen tours, the routing only took the band across North America, as travelling internationally was hard for the band's complicated and heavy stage set. Furthermore, Hagar wanted to establish himself as the band's new singer in their homeland. The first leg of the tour was entirely USA dates, though a few Canadian ones slipped into the second and third legs.
The 1986 Tour took place in the context of the great David Lee Roth-Van Halen split, with former Van Halen fan base being split as well. Those who had gone onto the new Van Halen's side of the split used the concerts as an opportunity to voice their stance, frequently via unison chants of "Fuck Dave!" The tour set a trend later Hagar-era ones would follow: the number of pre-Hagar Van Halen songs was kept to a minimum, with Hagar only being willing to play that era's best-known songs. An Eddie/Sammy guitar duel was also a frequent part of the concerts. "Rock and Roll", by Led Zeppelin was the closing song every night. Canadian rock legends Bachman–Turner Overdrive and Loverboy were support acts on many of the outdoor stadium gigs in North America.
The tour was supposed to start with dates in Hawaii and Alaska, but they were cancelled at the last minute, due to the band finishing the mixing of the album.
The group's biggest hit, "Jump", was usually omitted from the set list, or sung by the audience instead of Hagar. To fill in the set list almost all the songs from the 5150 album were used, as well as covers and some of Sammy's pre-Van Halen work. This included solo work like his recent MTV hit "I Can't Drive 55" and Montrose songs. Indeed, the addition of Hagar's guitar gave Eddie Van Halen more room to move, or to play keyboards on certain songs.
The 1986 Tour was a major high for the band, although they had a couple a low moments during the tour. The first blow was when their new manager Ed Leffler was hospitalized in Texas after an altercation in a hotel elevator. To make matters worse, Eddie's wife Valerie Bertinelli suffered a miscarriage; she didn't reveal to Eddie that she was pregnant at the time, until it was too late.