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Old 02-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #1
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Driving I40 west from North Carolina

I have searched the forums for the past couple of weeks but still need some more information from some of you travelers that have pulled campers along I40. I will be heading out to the Grand Canyon in April. I have not driven I40 any further than Marion N.C. What is I40 like going out to the Grand Canyon? Is it very level or hilly or Mountainous. Are there areas that I need to be especially aware of with long downgrades. I have a 03 Ram 2500, cummins diesel with 6 speed straight drive transmission. I will be towing a 12,000 lb 5th wheel. I have not had any problems here in my area but I normally camp in either NC, or SC. I have been thinking about getting a PACBrake for my truck but I would like to be sure that I will need it before I spend the $1500 to $2000 dollars for the upgrade. I have already mapped out my stops and made all of my reservations so now I just need to know how hilly I40 is. I appreciate any and all input on what to expect on I40. Thanks,


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Old 02-02-2015, 04:58 PM   #2
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We came back that way in Oct last year.Nothing to worry about at all.About the longest down hill is coming into Albq.NM,from the west bound side.Your ram will do fine.Mine did and it's a 2013 1500 towing a 32' Chaparral 5er.Have a fun trip.We stayed in the KOA in Williams and base camp out of there.The one right on I 40.

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Old 02-02-2015, 07:01 PM   #3
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You will have no problems with I-40 east or west. Can be very busy around the larger cities. Lots of places to fuel and eat.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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Did a motorcycle trip back in September, down I-81 from PA, through VA and into TN, then all the way across TN into AR. There's an uphill between Knoxville and Nashville, but nothing too severe--your Cummins won't have any issues. Some downhill between Nashville and Memphis, and then flat across AR. That's as far as I went.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:29 AM   #5
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Have taken it before. Main issue is boredom. Just try to avoid rush hour through the cities. Otherwise, just miles and miles of miles and miles.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:14 AM   #6
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No issues the entire way. Have towed that route many timed. Set the cruise control and go. Black Mountain into Asheville will be the hardest pull, and you go over it no problem.

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Old 02-03-2015, 08:51 AM   #7
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I haven't made the drive between Little Rock and Memphis in over a year but there has been construction on the segment between Forest City, AR and the White River for quite a while. If there is still construction going on then strongly consider exiting I40 to US70 when you see any signs stating a construction zone is coming up along with a suggestions to exit.

Village Creek State Park just north of Forest City is a nice park. Good place to stay if it fits your schedule. The wife and I also enjoy Willow Beach COE campground just east of Little Rock on the old Arkansas River channel. I'd also recommend Lake Dardanelle State Park near Russellville.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:22 PM   #8
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Avoid rush hours in the larger cities. Nashville rush hours can be a bear with 3 interstates crossing the city so pace yourself to hit it between 10am and 3pm. Memphis and Little Rock not so bad. How many miles to figure on traveling each day? It will take you 2 days across Tennessee with 455 miles of I-40.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:31 PM   #9
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Trip west

KOA in Oklahoma City East is good and near the Cowboy Hall of Fame ( National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum ) if you have time for a visit. The KOA in Amarillo, TX was near a dirt race track. We tent camped there and were placed near the entrance to the park where everyone coming in late not only woke us up with their vehicle and rig noise but coated us with dust. The race track operated pretty late and was a hassle trying to sleep. We were headed East from California and when we rolled into the Oklahoma City KOA the guy asked where we had come from. Told him we had come from the KOA in Amarillo and he replied "Oh, yeah. The dirt track, right?" Ayup!!!.
Traveling in a 5er will be a better experience than we had in Amarillo.
Enjoy your trip.

Chris in Virginia
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:26 PM   #10
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We have several facilities here in Albuquerque, although I have never used them, being from here. The KOA out towards Williams Arizona also looks great. I've been wanting to try that one, but have not had time. The plus to Williams is that the train to the Grand Canyon departs there. There are several facilities in Flagstaff as well, but Ican't vouch for their quality. I did have a friend tell me that Black Bart's RV was nice, except for the around the clock train noise.

I hope that helps.

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