Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-15-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
GracefulCamper
 
rocknroos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Maumee, Ohio
Posts: 53
Great American Western Road Trip 2016

After 6021 miles, 35 days and a million splattered bugs we have finally returned home from our great American western road trip. We started out in Toledo, Ohio in mid-August just a few days after taking delivery of a brand new Rockwood Roo 19. Right away I would like to say that both the Roo and the Andersen WDH worked flawlessly. I know that some have had issues with their Hybrids but during the duration of this trip we used every possible system in the Roo and everything worked perfectly. I also would like to give some kudos to the Anderson WDH. We hitched and unhitched at least 15 times and the Andersen made this simple and easy. After packing up the Roo and the DW we headed west. Our trip took us first to 2 days in the Wisconsin Dells then onto Custer State Part, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse monument for 4 days. From there it was a night in the Big Horn mountains and then onto 6 days in Yellowstone. Next was 2 days in the Tetons and what should have been a 2 hr drive turned into a 6 hr drive because of a fire in the Tetons that closed the road south from Yellowstone. We then headed into Utah for Arches, Canyonland, Bryce and Zion. From Utah we headed south again to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for 4 days. Our last park was the Petrified Forest east of Winslow. Except for a couple of days coming home in KOAís all of our camping was done in either State or National Parks. While the camping at most of the state parks were really good the national parks were absolutely amazing. IMHO we have great National Parks with some of the best camping I have ever done. Now I would like to share some of our impressions, likes and dislikes about this trip.
My choice for Best Parks.
1. Yellowstone National Park. What an amazing Park. This was our first time and now I see why it is at the top of the list for must see places. What an amazing park. We saw a lot of wildlife including a wolf pack in the Lamar Valley. There were tons of people. There were many different nationalities and heard many different languages, which helped make this a unique experience. Even though there were tons of people it never diminished from the natural beauty of Yellowstone.
2. Grand Canyon North Rim. (The DW was a little more partial to Bryce Canyon over Grand Canyon.) The lodge at the North Rim was an amazing place to sit on the balcony right on the edge of the canyon with a drink in your hand and watch the sunset over the canyon. Spectacular and I am sure the drink also helped.
3. Mt Rushmore. I guess I did not have real high expectations for Rushmore and I was really pleasantly surprised. I think that every politician today should take a trip to Rushmore. The quotations from some of our past and best presidents are displayed in the exhibit. You have to be dead if you donít come away with a really great sense of pride and awe over what a great country the USA is. I am 68 years old and served in the military but I canít remember the last time I felt such pride at being an American.
4. Bryce
5. Canyonland
6. Tetons
7. Arches
8. Zion
9. Dells
10. Petrified Forest.
Best Campgrounds
1. Canyon Villiage Campground in Yellowstone. We had campsite 275 which was a pull thru site and very secluded. Everything in Yellowstone was convenient from there and the Canyon Village offered restaurants, delis, groceries, gift shops, gas and most any other stuff needed. The showers were really good and always available. Usually when dry camping I save the water for the DW who likes to shower in the camper. It also had a really good laundromat. There are no hook-ups and there is a length limit, but if you can tolerate dry camping for a while this is a fantastic place to camp.
2. Dead Horse Point State Park. While this is a State park itís location and seclusion made this park my second choice. It is about 20 miles from Moab and centrally located between Canyonland Arches. In fact from the campground you can see a portion of Canyonland. The visitor center was really nice. The campground sits at about 7700 feet up on a high mesa. The night sky was beyond description. You have to get your water in Moab and there are no showers but they had by far the cleanest bathroom facilities of any place we stayed at. They did have electric hook-up.
3. North Rim Campground. We had campsite 18 which was about a 50 foot walk to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Like Yellowstone this is a national campground and the facilities are top notch. There was only one shower for men and one for women, so you had to pick your shower time. There was a camp store and also a laundromat. There was wifi at the camp store, but it was iffy at best. The campsite sites at 8800 ft. which was a little hard on this old body, but it made the days pleasant and the nights nice and cool for sleeping.
4. Custer State Park. We had a campsite at Stockade North. Had electric hook-up. Really nice place and convenient to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Cody Wy. Had a wildlife loop that included large Bison herds and wild Mules. Be careful of the Mules. If given a chance they will stick their heads right in your window looking for handouts. Sure surprised the DW. I havenít heard here squeal like that since, well never mind. I wonít go into that.
5. Kodachrome Basin State Park. Very secluded and a little out of the way from Bryce and Zion, but it was a special place. You are in a basin surrounded by multi-hued peaks and some very unique geological features. While fewer in number there were some Hodoís in the park. Full hook-ups, but no cell phone reception.
6. I also would like to mention that we stayed overnight in a very nice little campsite in the Big Horns along Rt. 16 No hook-ups but the restrooms were clean and there was a very large Bull Moose crazing in a bog very right in the middle of the campground.
Worst Campground
1. Wasatch Mountain State Park. Between Dead Horse Point and Kodachrome Basin, we camped overnight at Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway UT. First it is almost impossible to find. The GPS had us going all over the place and the road signs were almost non-existent. It took me almost an hour and three stops to ask directions before we finally found the campground. I am after all only a man and after the third time stopping to ask directions, I was ready to pull into someoneís driveway and pay them to camp for the night. Once I found the campsite it was very difficult to back into because the road was very narrow. My TT is only 21 ft. If I would have had anything longer, I am not sure I could have gotten in. There was water and electric, but the electric was only 20 amp and then as soon as I started the AC the breaker would trip. Without anything else going in the TT a 20 amp circuit should have been okay to run the AC. This was the low point of the trip.
Most Difficult Inclines.
1. Since I am a flatlander from northern Ohio, I knew that I was going to encounter some mountains. However I was not prepared for the continuous ups and downs. I knew that the pull up the Bighorn Mt. was not going to be easy, but after that I did not expect what was ahead. My Roo 19 when fully loaded weighed in at about 4300 lbs. (Before we left I took my rig to a scale). My TV is a Lincoln MKT with ecoboost rated at 4500 lbs. I was also a couple of hundred pounds under my GCWR for the Lincoln. So I was close to my limits, which made pulling up some of the grades something of a challenge. I soon learned that once the turboís started to kick in the engine would start to heat-up pretty quickly. I learned that by watching my temperature gauge, I could tell if I needed to change gears. By dropping down my speed and my gear, I could control the amount of turbo-boost and my temperature. I also found that a short 8% grade up was easier to climb than a long 6% grade. The worst climb actually was on I-70 heading west towards Salt Lake City. We were heading towards Wasatch Mountain State Park from Moab. It was a very long climb and by the time I finally got over the pass I was down to 2nd gear and 20 MPH. Not fun.

I know this has been a long post, but I would like to say that this was a trip of a lifetime. The vastness of the west is truly awesome and the landscape and natural wonders and diversity found in the USA helps make this country a truly great country. It is great to be back home , but I would not have changed a thing except maybe the Wasatch Mountain campground.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0035.jpg
Views:	106
Size:	525.1 KB
ID:	120308  
__________________

__________________
2015 Roo 17
2010 Lincoln MKT
rocknroos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2016, 04:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
grumpy0374's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 991
Sounds like you had a great trip. Just so happens we're in the middle of our 30 days on the road, and we're in Hill City now. Did the Mt Rushmore tour today, and I agree with you 100% about the pride you feel when visiting it and the other parks around this area. Fantastic scenery, friendly people.
Don't realize how big, wide open, and beautiful this country is until you drive it.
Grumpy
__________________

__________________
Steve & Cheryl + Charlie & Casey, our furry kids.

2012 Forrest River Lexington 283ts
Toad, 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
grumpy0374 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2016, 04:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 894
Great report!
__________________
Lee and Anne

2016 F250 2WD CC SB XLT 6.2 3.73 3,295 lb payload cap.
2014 Salem Hemisphere 282RK 8k lbs loaded, Equal-i-zer WDH, TST 507 TPMS
2017: 4 nights camped, 12 booked
Teamfour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2016, 10:11 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19
HEBER

The place to stay instead of Wasatch Mountain State Park is Mountain Valley RV Resort in Heber. The service and park is top notch. But if traffic noise is a problem for you. You might want to pass. The park is right next to the 40 and can be very loud. We just got back from staying there for nine nights at a total cost of $350, which included the ice and other items purchased in the store. Has a Good Sam rating of 10 and well deserved.

If you like to play golf the area is perfect with four 18 hole courses in the State Park. Soldier Hollow and Wasatch Mountain.

You didn't mention that they lock the gate at 10pm at the state park.

Sounds like a great trip. We have been to all of the places many times over the years. It gets a little worse every year.
__________________
Cigar Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 01:10 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 179
When you spring for a bigger tow vehicle, come back west to the mountains of Colorado. You'll need the new TV because we have lots of those looooong 6% grades that you don't like and even some not-quite-so-long 8-10% grades.

But we can offer you a wide variety of national park and monument experiences in one state. In Rocky Mountain NP, you can tow your Roo on US 34 over 12,000-ft high Trail Ridge Road. Then head west on US 40 to Dinosaur National Monument for a raft trip on the Green River through Echo Park--named by John Wesley Powell during his first trip through the Grand Canyon. Head south from there to Grand Junction and Colorado National Monument to see some of the same Colorado Plateau rock formations, tall spires, and hoodoos you saw in Arches, Bryce, and Zion. Then it's south to Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP and Mesa Verde NP (set aside by Teddy Roosevelt as the nation's first national monument). On your way from Mesa Verde to Great Sand Dunes NP, you can stop at brand-new Chimney Rock NM to visit an incredible Anasazi "lunar observatory." After Great Sand Dunes, you will have sampled just a small part of what Colorado has to offer RVers. So you can begin planning your second Colorado trip on your way home!
__________________

"Retirement is the best job I ever had!"
2016 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8244WS 5th Wheel; 2015 Ram 2500 4x4 CC-SB 6.7L CTD
Sold: 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
fanrgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 07:25 AM   #6
GracefulCamper
 
rocknroos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Maumee, Ohio
Posts: 53
To do the trip that fanrgs is suggesting I would need to get a dually with a diesel. Seriously a new TV is in the future soon and I like your suggestions. The west is sooo large and there is so much to see and do, I think it would take months to see it all. I am not sure the DW would put up with me that long in a 21' TT. But, then again, maybe that is not such a bad idea.
__________________
2015 Roo 17
2010 Lincoln MKT
rocknroos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 12:38 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroos View Post
I am not sure the DW would put up with me that long in a 21' TT.
I can identify since my wife and I spent nearly 3 months in our 21' Rockwood Mini Lite on our 2013 Alaska trip. On the trip home, we traveled from Banff NP to Denver in only 4 days because we were so tired of 24/7 living in that small space. And our experience on that trip is the primary reason we now have a Ram 2500 and a 5th wheel!

I have lived in Colorado for 53 years and have worked in every Western state but Hawaii. Although I have seen considerable parts of the West through both work and play, I still haven't seen all of it. In fact, despite having worked in California since the 1970's, last year was my first ever trip to Yosemite, King's Canyon, and Sequoia NPs. That's why we now take at least 2 one-month RV trips a year. And retirement RV trips sure beat work trips!
__________________

"Retirement is the best job I ever had!"
2016 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8244WS 5th Wheel; 2015 Ram 2500 4x4 CC-SB 6.7L CTD
Sold: 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
fanrgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
CaptnJohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Ocean Isle Beach NC
Posts: 1,993
Quote:
Originally Posted by fanrgs View Post
I can identify since my wife and I spent nearly 3 months in our 21' Rockwood Mini Lite on our 2013 Alaska trip. On the trip home, we traveled from Banff NP to Denver in only 4 days because we were so tired of 24/7 living in that small space. And our experience on that trip is the primary reason we now have a Ram 2500 and a 5th wheel!

Same result but did not give it a chance like you did to fester. We had a 28' TT with a slide. We would go for a week at a time and all was well. When my wife mentioned going farther and staying longer I put her in the F250 and we went to CW and bought a new 5er. The following day
I went and bought a new F350. Never looked back.
__________________
2016 Keystone Cougar 303RLS
2016 F350 diesel
Edgewater 205 EX 150 Yamaha
CaptnJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 06:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Vince and Charlette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Spring Valley OH
Posts: 418
Did an 8 week trip to almost all states west of Ohio in 2014, followed that with a trip to almost all states east of Ohio in 2015. The west wins hands down. The east is mostly man-made stuff and the west is mostly God-made...no comparison!
__________________
2015 GT 364TSF
Vince and Charlette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
geeman53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,526
We did Yellowstone,Gr.Tetons , Devil's Tower and Mt.Rushmore in the first western trip.
This year's trip included Arches,Canyonlands,Zion, North Rim, Petrified Forest,Cedar Breaks,Yosemite,Henry Cowell Redwoods S.P.,Kirk Creek N.F.S. and Thornhill Broome beach c.g. @ Pt. Mugu S.P.. Rocknroos- I agree on the I 70 pull in Utah -Steeeep !
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	California trip 2016 177.jpg
Views:	54
Size:	298.2 KB
ID:	120427  
__________________

__________________
2016 sunseeker 2250slec
1988 Jayco p.u.,Coleman Plantation p.u.,1989 Jayco class c, Coachman TT,1995 Little Eddie fthwheel,2007 Heartland Sundance 2500 lS fthwheel
geeman53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:20 PM.