Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-19-2022, 09:07 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 57
Estes Park to Moab, UT

We are heading out on our first cross-Rockies/cross-Sierra Nevada trip this June. I'm towing an Arctic Wolf 305ML6 fiver with a 2014 F-250 w/6.7 power stroke (please no chastising about my choice of truck, it's the truck I have). As a flatlander, I've only towed our Arctic Wolf over the Smokies, but nothing like out west. Our first big "crossing" will be our Estes Park, CO to Moab, UT route. I figure I'll either stop in Grand Junction, CO or, if I follow the RV Life Trip Planner, in Delta, CO. The I did select "no tunnels" in the RV Life GPS, so it has us going south of Denver picking up 285 to Hwy 50 and on to Delta. I plan on making Moab on the second day.

QUESTION: Are there issues with taking I-70 and going through the tunnel(s)? We will have propane and I hear that some tunnels require you to bypass the tunnel if you have propane onboard. If I take 70 versus the more southerly route, I save about 50 miles and 70 is an interstate.

Thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?

Oh, did I mention this is my first time in "real" mountains.
kermitvb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2022, 09:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,728
I can’t say that I can answer your question but your truck and trailer will work great together. I did Estes two year’s ago we drove down through Nebraska and Kansas to get home. At the time Kansas and Nebraska were two of the 3 states we hadn’t camped in. Washington was the other. Enjoy your trip welcome to the forum and you don’t have to keep checking in to see if you got a reply you should get an email. Sorry your user name intrigued me so I looked at your profile and it told me were in forum you were reading
moose074 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2022, 09:34 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 13
We went across I-70 with a large fiver couple of weeks ago. No issues with the tunnel at all. Beautiful drive, just control speed at top of grades before heading down. We stopped at Grand Junction KOA. Great park - see the Colorado National Monument if you have time.
Also, take UT 128 south at exit 204. It follows the Colorado River into Moab - simply stunning and beautiful drive. A postcard scene at every turn. We stopped where 128 crosses the river for a relaxing picnic lunch by the river.
Enjoy the trip and safe travels!
We did Arches, Canyonlands, Deadhorse, and Capital Reef from Moab. The south to Cannonville for Bryce, Zion, Cedar Breaks, Kodachrome, and Escalante Grand Staircase.
__________________
2019 Cedar Creek 36 CK2 pushing our '19 GMC Duramax SLT
Roger & Michele
RogerY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2022, 10:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Arizona
Posts: 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by kermitvb View Post
We are heading out on our first cross-Rockies/cross-Sierra Nevada trip this June. I'm towing an Arctic Wolf 305ML6 fiver with a 2014 F-250 w/6.7 power stroke (please no chastising about my choice of truck, it's the truck I have). As a flatlander, I've only towed our Arctic Wolf over the Smokies, but nothing like out west. Our first big "crossing" will be our Estes Park, CO to Moab, UT route. I figure I'll either stop in Grand Junction, CO or, if I follow the RV Life Trip Planner, in Delta, CO. The I did select "no tunnels" in the RV Life GPS, so it has us going south of Denver picking up 285 to Hwy 50 and on to Delta. I plan on making Moab on the second day.

QUESTION: Are there issues with taking I-70 and going through the tunnel(s)? We will have propane and I hear that some tunnels require you to bypass the tunnel if you have propane onboard. If I take 70 versus the more southerly route, I save about 50 miles and 70 is an interstate.

Thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?

Oh, did I mention this is my first time in "real" mountains.
No issues with your setup through the tunnels. From AZ, we typically travel through Moab to 70 when heading to Northern Colorado... RM National Park/Estes area is one of our favorites.

We typically stay for our overnight stop in the Grand Junction area. Colorado has a decent system of State Parks...The James M. Robb - Colorado River State Park actually has two sites. One at Fruita just west of Grand Junction and one at Island Acres just east of Grand Junciton. With the daily car fee for the Colorado State Parks and site fee it's around $50 a night with full hookups. Definatley hot enough to run AC in the summer in Grand Junction. KOA seem to be around this same price, but we like the parks better.
__________________

2020 Rockwood 2104S
2019 Ram 2500 Crew 4x4 6.7 cummins
theHookers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 09:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,828
I'll second the advice for the KOA in Grand Junction AND taking the time our to drive through the national monument there...really nice. The Route 70 is as others have said...no problem with tunnels & gas & just control your speed before heading down some of the super long grades. Have a great trip.
__________________
________
Cam
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 09:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Rhumblefish's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Right in the Middle
Posts: 605
Don't discount the weather! Check out what's facing Estes Park this weekend:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 10.56.02 AM.jpg
Views:	32
Size:	305.2 KB
ID:	273574  
__________________
2022 Rockwood Roo 235S
2017 Audi Q7 3.0 Prestige w/air (yes, it actually tows that)
WeighSafe hitch - no WD or anti-sway
Rhumblefish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 09:45 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 1,222
I used to live Colorado. Estes Park is a good town to drive around in summer due to the crowds and mayhem.

The tunnels are no big deal if you just turn off your propane tanks. Eisenhower is really tall over 11,000 feet on the interstate.
ppine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 09:47 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Livermore, CO
Posts: 54
Want a beautiful drive? Trail ridge road closed? Go HWY 14 Pouder Canyon to Walden and from there go to Steamboat Springs. There are short tunnels, but semi trucks use this road to Walden.
Bronco Carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 12:25 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,989
First. Be sure you have an exhaust brake on your truck. The downhill side of many mountain passes is 15 to 20 miles long. You'll have zero brakes by the halfway point without an exhaust brake. The image is Wolf Creek Pass, but even the passes on I-70 are long and winding.

Second. I always recommend manual shifting for the climbs...and it's absolutely essential for the descents. This is not a place to rely on "tow-haul mode." Find a gear that can handle the grade and stick with it. It's hard on the transmission and the passengers to approach a turn on the uphill, lift off, upshift, round the turn, plant the throttle, and force a downshift. Keep your revs up (I know it's a diesel) in the powerband and give your transmission a break with all the full power up and downshifts.

Third. Tunnels on I-70 are meant for semis. Turn off your propane (if you run with it on) as you approach the tunnel. There are lots of pull-offs on I-70 for such things, because, in winter, trucks need lots of room to chain up, etc. By the way, the worst case scenario, taking Rt. 6 up and over the pass...around the Eisenhower Tunnel...is not the end of the world. Semis carrying hazardous materials do this all the time, summer and winter. Rt. 6 is a decent road.

Before you leave, check the news for landslide and rock-fall work on I-70, especially in the Glenwood Canyon area. There, I-70 is essentially a miles long bridge clinging to a cliff-side just above the Colorado River. If there's rock fall, the road closes. If they are "scaling" and mitigating, the road closes...and detours are about 4 hours or more on back roads. Check the conditions for I-70 right before you leave Denver.

Fourth. I lived in Bailey, on 285, and it's a fine road. But much of it is just two lanes with a 65 MPH speed limit, and parts of it are winding and slow through canyons. It is, by all accounts, the most dangerous road in CO by accident count...especially between the Denver metro and Bailey...the commuters are nuts. Beyond Bailey, it's a pleasant road. When you crest Kenosha Pass, you'll plunge down into South Park (yes, THAT South Park). It's a wide open high plains with a LOT of wind. Riding my motorcycle, I've spent many hours on a straight-away leaning 30 degrees into the crosswind. There's less of that on I-70.

Note that there are passes on Rt 50. Monarch Pass is a big one.
About Rt. 50: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_50_in_Colorado

Fifth. Trucks: Trucks are different out here. Many of them will PASS you on the climbs. They are running huge engines and can maintain the speed limit or more on climbs. On the flat, they can blow by you like you're parked. Be prepared for this. The bow wave on some of these will surprise you and rock your world.

Sixth. We don't believe in guardrails. There are a few, but it's not uncommon to drive right next to a 500 foot drop with no guardrail. If you find this disquieting, avoid, at all costs, RT 550, the Million Dollar Highway. Your driver's seat will be full of bricks. I don't think your planned route includes this section, but fair warning. Picture.

Seventh. Your alternate route is what amounts to a "local road." It goes THROUGH every small town along the way. So you'll be dropping down to 25 MPH in many cases and dealing with local traffic...not an issue on I-70. In some places, you come to a traffic light and must make a 90 degree right or left to stay on your intended route. No big deal, but there's that. OTOH, you get to try out some local cuisine along the way, whereas I-70 is all chain stuff. Bear in mind that parking your rig anywhere may require a LONG walk to where you want to grab lunch. Most of these small towns don't even have a proper Kroger supermarket to stash your rig.

Eighth. Plan your fuel stops on 285/50. While every rancher out here has a diesel dually, towns that have fuel can be far apart. Remember that those ranchers have fuel delivered for their farm equipment. And a typical mountain pass is about 20 miles up and 20 miles down, with no fuel along the way. It's not unusual go go 50 miles between villages that have fuel. Not so much of an issue on I-70. And while many fuel stops can accommodate a fiver, lots can't. And, at those that can, maneuvering can be tight, whereas the fuel stops on I-70 are far more accommodating of big rigs. On 285, BE SURE TO STOP in Fairplay for fuel...regardless of how much you think you have. Top off there. As you enter the village from the east, there is a huge fuel stop complete with pumps dedicated to semis and fivers. That fuel load should get you up and over Monarch Pass and beyond.

Ninth. Altitude. You're coming from essentially sea level to spend a LOT of time at altitudes over 7000 feet or more. Mountain passes are 11,500 +/-. If you spend a bunch of time in Estes Park, you may adjust somewhat. But many people struggle with this huge altitude shift. Two things. Drink LOTS of water...lots. It's both arid out here, and the O2 in the water will help oxygenate you a bit. And get a few of these portable oxygen canisters. A couple of hits on these can make the difference between continuing your journey and altitude sickness. Got a headache? Take a few hits off the O2 canister. And there's no correlation between how "tough" you are and how prone to altitude sickness you are...if you don't feel right, air up. Also note that, if you get to the top of a pass and decide to sight-see, don't go hiking off down some trail. You'll run out of gas VERY quickly, and you might induce altitude sickness.

EVERY ROUTE across Colorado crosses multiple mountain passes at altitudes over 11,000 feet. For a self-confessed flatlander, don't underestimate the impact the thin air can have on you, and how easily it can ruin your good time.

Tenth. Yes, we have deer like every other state. Then there are elk, mountain goats, and other big game...including moose. An adult elk cow weighs in at 600 pounds. Hit one of those and your trip is done. Hit a bull, at 1100 pounds, and you'll get hurt, and you may wreck your rig. Mule deer are VERY abundant out here, and they "own the road." If you are driving at dusk, you and your co-pilot MUST keep your eyes open for wildlife crossing the road...don't just be alert. Expect them. Worst case scenario, you swerve to avoid a deer at a point in the road where there's no guardrail next to a 100 foot drop. You get the picture.

Last but not least. Runaway Truck Ramps. If the unthinkable happens, you MUST be prepared to use one of these. If you are out of control, don't get the bright idea that you can take your chances and maybe use the next one. The next one might be 2 or more miles away...an eternity in a downhill out of control run. This inexperienced truck driver skipped a runaway truck ramp thinking he could "handle it"...and this crash was in the Denver metro.

Enjoy your trip. The ONLY thing that's absolutely mandatory for this journey is that exhaust brake. The rest is common sense and simple choices.
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Vallecito
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 12:29 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: 8300 Feet - Rocky Mountains
Posts: 1,989
I don't see my pictures. Try again. Two are Wolf Creek Pass...not on the route, but good images.
The third is the Million Dollar Highway...cliffs with no guardrails.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Wolf Creek Pass-3.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	93.8 KB
ID:	273589   Click image for larger version

Name:	Wolf Creek Pass-2.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	213.9 KB
ID:	273590  
Attached Images
 
__________________
Jim & Renee
2020 Jayco Jay Feather X-213
previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
2006 Ram 1500 4WD Crew with Firestone Airbags
Every weekend boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Vallecito
jimmoore13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 12:36 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Chuck_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 3,013
Why the long route? Why would anyone turn the propane Off in a mountain tunnel -- unless posted (which they ain't -- you're not towing a 20,000 gallon propane tanker)? Interstate grades are long but not severe. Let your truck shift it's own gears. Drive conservatively.

-- Chuck
__________________
2006 Roo 23SS behind a 2017 Ford Expedition
Chuck_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2022, 01:21 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
I don't see my pictures. Try again. Two are Wolf Creek Pass...not on the route, but good images.
The third is the Million Dollar Highway...cliffs with no guardrails.
That last picture looks just highway 49 in California.
aircommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2022, 10:11 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 64
Thumbs up Moab Trip & the Mountains

Sounds like you have a great trip planned!

The advice JimMoore13 gave you is very, very good! I've been to CO several times (live in Silicon Valley) & the altitude should not be taken for granted. First time in Aspen to go visit a friend & ski, I almost passed out from the altitude & I had been there several days prior to skiing.
Another good item to carry for yourself is plain aspirin, it helps to thin your blood! (Tip from the ski patrol)

As to your propane tanks, keep them turned OFF! Many western states have laws on this, (CA), for tunnels etc.

As one other person pointed out, the weather in the western mountains can change at any time! Bring chains with you so you can get off the road if needed.
Can't begin to say how many times I've been in the Sierras in summer & had a snowstorm come thru.

ENJOY!
__________________
Thanks, Bob
2011 Tahoe w HD Tow Package & WDH
2017 Rockwood 2109S
Celicabob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2022, 12:49 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Chuck_S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 3,013
The National Weather Service is scheduled to start predicting mountain weather sometime soon which will may negate the need to take tire chains and arctic survival gear on a 6 hour drive in I70 in the summer. Yeah, it can snow. Check the weather reports it's not that difficult, you're not transiting the North Pole.

-- Chuck
__________________
2006 Roo 23SS behind a 2017 Ford Expedition
Chuck_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2022, 03:40 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 64
Weather Conditions

One more tip, if you will...

Best site for road conditions is;
"codot.gov"
I'm sure you have the same thing @ home.
It will include road projects as well any controls in place.
CA we have CalTrans website, you can check by Hwy #

FYI: In Glenwood Springs (left turn in town) is where Doc Holliday is buried.
__________________
Thanks, Bob
2011 Tahoe w HD Tow Package & WDH
2017 Rockwood 2109S
Celicabob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2022, 10:01 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celicabob View Post
Sounds like you have a great trip planned!

The advice JimMoore13 gave you is very, very good! I've been to CO several times (live in Silicon Valley) & the altitude should not be taken for granted. First time in Aspen to go visit a friend & ski, I almost passed out from the altitude & I had been there several days prior to skiing.
Another good item to carry for yourself is plain aspirin, it helps to thin your blood! (Tip from the ski patrol)

As to your propane tanks, keep them turned OFF! Many western states have laws on this, (CA), for tunnels etc.

As one other person pointed out, the weather in the western mountains can change at any time! Bring chains with you so you can get off the road if needed.
Can't begin to say how many times I've been in the Sierras in summer & had a snowstorm come thru.

ENJOY!
Could you please provide a link to the (CA) law about propane tanks and tunnels or driving in general.
aircommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2022, 12:22 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 91
Thanks for this thread. We will be heading that way from the west in a week or so.
__________________
2020 Rockwood 2511S MiniLite
2018 RAM 2500 Crew Cab 6' bed 4X4 6.7L Diesel Turbo
'We may never pass this way again'
2021 Days Camping 184
2022 Days Camping 32
TwoKozy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2022, 10:26 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 64
Moab Trip & the Mountains

Sorry, Don't have the links, use the CHP or Caltrans websites,
Also, varies by county.

What can I say, it's CA?
Safe travels!
__________________
Thanks, Bob
2011 Tahoe w HD Tow Package & WDH
2017 Rockwood 2109S
Celicabob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2022, 10:35 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celicabob View Post
Sorry, Don't have the links, use the CHP or Caltrans websites,
Also, varies by county.

What can I say, it's CA?
Safe travels!
Just wondered where you got your info. I have lived here seventy years and haven’t found the law yet. Seems like it would be difficult for propane powered vehicles.
aircommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2022, 10:42 PM   #20
Scoundrel
 
HangDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Montrose, Colorado
Posts: 2,314
Jimmoore13 pretty much covered it all. I'll just add this: Hwy 50 is closed weekdays for road construction between Gunnison and Montrose (except for 90 minutes starting at noon). I would avoid Hwy 50.

I also suggest taking I-70 though the tunnels. Be advised that Glenwood Canyon is reduced to a single lane east bound and west bound (and will be in June). No big deal, just expect a slowdown though a small section of the canyon.

Enjoy the journey!
__________________
2014 Micro Lite 19fd
2015 F-150 5.0L V8 XLT Crew Cab, 4x4, Tow Package, 36 gal tank, 3.55 locker, 1891 payload, Integrated Brake Controller, Roadmaster Active Suspension

Wooden Spoon Survivor
HangDiver 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:21 AM.