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Old 01-31-2015, 06:36 AM   #1
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First trip out west - NJ to Utah

I will be taking my gas 2012 Georgetown out to the Mid West in late May of this year. I'm a newbie for traveling the Midwest. I would be interested in any info that could help me plan for the trip. Routes to avoid due to hills and narrow roads, places that are must see, etc. I have 16 days to complete the trip. I appreciate any feedback.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:11 AM   #2
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One thing I bought was the mountain guide that shows the grades of the roads. Good thing to review when planning the trip.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:28 AM   #3
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We did Salt Lake trip from Cleveland last September . Take interstate 80 all the way to salt lake city. We have a Daybreak 34ss gas motor home and had no problems with the grades and high altitude . There will be construction. The worst was just north of Park City Utah. Plan ahead on your stops as there are some areas with little or no camping. We took 7 days driving out. One of the nicest stops was the Amana colonies in Amana Iowa. Great campground and lots of shopping. The worst camping was in Wyoming. Lots of gravel with little character . That being said we were only stopping near I80.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:32 AM   #4
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Must be too early. I read your post as going to Utah.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
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I have the Garmin RV 760 works great. Big difference between this and the Tom-Tom that I have. Use Garmin Express, 20min to down load everything.
Garmin RV760LMT
Garmin Express
You can plan your trip here plus you will not get lost.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:07 AM   #6
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You might want to change your title as it doesn't match your message. If you are going to the midwest, expect a lot of flat - flat roads, flat scenery, it's just flat all the to Appalachians.

Expect lots of road construction. Avoid indianna - maybe the worst roads in the country. Try to avoid major cities. If you do have them on your route, try to hit them between 10 am to 2 pm.

BTW, NJ is anything but the midwest.
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by melkyev View Post
I will be taking my gas 2012 Georgetown out to the Mid West in late May of this year. I'm a newbie for traveling the Midwest. I would be interested in any info that could help me plan for the trip. Routes to avoid due to hills and narrow roads, places that are must see, etc. I have 16 days to complete the trip. I appreciate any feedback.
I don't know how much time you are planning in Utah, but I can give you some highlights. First off, come in on I-70 down US191 to Moab where you can spend several days touring Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. The drive down 191 is very easy. We stayed in the Portal RV park on the north end of Moab and it was nice.

If you have more time in Utah, go back to I-70 then west to Sevier, then south on 89 to Bryce Canyon. In my opinion Bryce is one of the most beautiful places on earth. (See Below) There is a more direct route down Hwy 12 from Torrey, but it is narrow and winding. It was a spectacular ride between Boulder and Escalante on our Gold Wing, but would be a white knuckler in a motor home. There is only one RV park near Bryce and it's Ruby's RV and Hotel at the intersection of Hwys 12 and 63.

If you have still more time, then go west from Bryce back to Cedar City, then south on I-15 to Toquerville and enter Zion National Park from the west. DO NOT come into Zion from the east. There is a mile and a half long tunnel on Hwy 9 that is narrow and has an arched low ceiling. Motorhomes and RVs have to be escorted through when traffic is halted so you can straddle the center line. Also, you must purchase a permit and no vehicle over 50 feet in total length (including Toad) is allowed. They have a highway attendant with a tape measure to make sure you are under 50'. There is a very nice RV park in Springdale, just outside the west entrance of the park.

Just some suggestions and have a fun, safe trip.

Photos shown are Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands NP, Arches NP and Zion NP.
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:35 PM   #8
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I will be taking my gas 2012 Georgetown out to the Mid West in late May of this year. I'm a newbie for traveling the Midwest. I would be interested in any info that could help me plan for the trip. Routes to avoid due to hills and narrow roads, places that are must see, etc. I have 16 days to complete the trip. I appreciate any feedback.

Mountain driving requires knowledge and foresight. The old rule-of-thumb is, never go down a hill/mountain faster than you ascended it, and use the lowest gear used while ascending for descending. Begin every mountain grade descent slowly, use your transmission gears manually to control speed along with stabbing your brakes, NEVER ride your brake pedal.

Purchasing the West edition(they publish an East edition too) of Mountain grade magazine early and peruse through it as time allows before beginning your trip.
I carry a "truckers road atlas". It has every route that is approved for semi's highlighted in orange/yellow. I seldom deviate from that, and have never had a road restriction problem, low clearance problem, weight limit problem, etc. yet. I did encounter a low clearance underpass one time, but that was an emergency interstate detour route.

16 days is not much time for such a trip. I assume National Parks are your priority, if you haven't already visited their website, I recommend doing so. It will help with planning your routes and best use of your limited timeframe. U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Just use the tow/haul mode when going up and down hills.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:56 PM   #10
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That(tow/haul) may not be adequate for mountain grades. I did exactly that in Alaska descending into Skagway. I boiled the brake fluid in my dually trying to keep my speed to 30-35 MPH. After that I always manually downshifted to 2nd gear at the top of those mountain downgrades.
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:10 AM   #11
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Mountain driving requires knowledge and foresight. The old rule-of-thumb is, never go down a hill/mountain faster than you ascended it, and use the lowest gear used while ascending for descending. Begin every mountain grade descent slowly, use your transmission gears manually to control speed along with stabbing your brakes, NEVER ride your brake pedal.

Purchasing the West edition(they publish an East edition too) of Mountain grade magazine early and peruse through it as time allows before beginning your trip.
I carry a "truckers road atlas". It has every route that is approved for semi's highlighted in orange/yellow. I seldom deviate from that, and have never had a road restriction problem, low clearance problem, weight limit problem, etc. yet. I did encounter a low clearance underpass one time, but that was an emergency interstate detour route.

16 days is not much time for such a trip. I assume National Parks are your priority, if you haven't already visited their website, I recommend doing so. It will help with planning your routes and best use of your limited timeframe. U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America
Thanks for the info. I was planning on using Jackson Hole as my base camp and renting a car to go south. Nj to Jackson hole using I-90. Do you know if that route more flat lands ? Also, I'm now thinking 16 days to get there and back isn't enough. I'm now considering restricting my trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons hitting, Rushmore and the Badlands on the way out. Any thoughts ?
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:14 AM   #12
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4500 miles in 16 days? That would mean driving 5 hours a day, every day. Certainly could do it, but that would tire me out. And that does not count actually sightseeing. But the places to see in Wyoming and Utah are spectacular. Whatever you decide, I know you will create some great memories.

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Old 02-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #13
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If you are not use to driving in. Mountains, I would suggest avoiding I-70. Maybe I-80 through neb. Or I 40 up to st George Utah.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info. I was planning on using Jackson Hole as my base camp and renting a car to go south. Nj to Jackson hole using I-90. Do you know if that route more flat lands ? Also, I'm now thinking 16 days to get there and back isn't enough. I'm now considering restricting my trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons hitting, Rushmore and the Badlands on the way out. Any thoughts ?
I live in Indiana. When we go West I use I 80. You'll pass the Corn Palace at MItchell, then Badlands NP., of course the tourist-trap Wall Drug is on I 80 too, Mt. Rushmore is about 35 mile South of I 80, Devils Tower is about 35 mile North of I 80 in SD. The quickest and easiest way (IMO) to Yellowstone NP is I 80 to Rock Springs WY, then North on WY 191 to Grand Tetons/Jackson WY.
Then on North into Yellowstone. You may exit Yellowstone via the East entrance-it's all downhill exiting Eastbound, mountain grade to the park boundary, very curvy, with a 35 MPH speed limit (I think). At Cody you go South through Wind River Canyon Reservation to Rawlins, missing the steep mountains East of Cody. OR, you may retrace your route back to I 80.
I'm not telling you to go my route, just relating our route to see those things.
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