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Old 09-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #1
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Colorado RV/snow skiing help

Hello, hope someone who has done this before and offer advise and suggestions of a nice place to camp while snow skiing.

We have never snow skied or been to Colorado. Also never drove the RV in possible icy weather, much less on a narrow mountain road.

We have an older (1999) 36ft gas class A and would like to camp close to a place to ski, preferably that may have a shuttle service to the slopes. Since we have an older RV it can't be at a place that would restrict that sort of thing. We are looking at Thanks giving time frame or if that does not work Christmas break. A few questions I have:

1. Is it nuts to try driving the RV when its possible to have icy weather.

2. I hear some roads require you to have snow chains on board. Do you have to have them on both duallys i.e. 4 chains or just on the outer tires on each side? Anyone have links to a good source to by snow chains?

3. Looking for a nice camp site for the RV.

Thanks
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:59 PM   #2
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Most Colorado ski resorts aren't on narrow mountain roads, they are pretty large, developed highways. If they are requiring chains for certain mountain passes, you don't want to be driving an RV, even with chains. Park it and wait for the weather to improve. Chains would be very expensive and you might not have clearance in your wheel wells to swing them. In Breckenridge is a RV park open, not sure about some of the other ski resorts, but you could call them. Most every ski area has shuttle buses and even pretty decent city/county bus service to cut down on traffic.

The big issue is how winterized is your RV? A few years ago I spent Christmas in Frisco, CO, we could ski at Copper, Winter Park, and Breckenridge. Temps during the day were -9 and colder at night, we stayed in a condo. You'd have to be able to tolerate the cold and have lots of heat, in addition to the issues caused by condensation and frosted walls and windows.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:41 AM   #3
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Thanks BFinn
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:14 AM   #4
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I have driven many time in winter in the Colorado mountains in a car, and would never try to drive an RV with any chance of snow/ice. So it will be interesting to see who who has actually done it. If you can go & make it, then Breckenridge has a great RV park just outside of town called Tiger Run.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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Since you're from Texas I would suggest that if you've never skied before and never drove the RV in snowy areas to do your first outing at Santa Fe, New Mexico ski area. We stayed with our RV in Albuquerque and drove up during the day for skiing. Albuquerque didn't have any snow so nothing to worry about driving the RV. Santa Fe was a very nice ski area.


Have fun and be safe!
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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I agree with the Gypsies on this. You don't have to go all the way to Colorado, I would look at a less northerly location. And I prefer spring skiing, when it's not so cold. Gypysies, I notice you always have good and helpful advice on locations, is there somewhere in North America you did not travel to in your rig? Thanks for your great input!


Last spring I wanted to take my moho skiing to Sunrise Park Resort on the Apache Reservation here in AZ. My rig has a rear garage and I think would be perfect for skiing with a handy place to store and don all the gear. There is the Hondah Indian casino/hotel just outside of Pinetop that has a shuttle bus to take customers to the ski slopes (20 Miles). Next to the casino is a rv park, also owned by the Apaches, so I figured I could stay there and ride the bus. "No can do" according to the hotel, its only for hotel customers, no rv park customers. I thought this was silly since both enterprises are owned by the Apache tribe, but they wouldn't budge, so it didn't happen.


So I'm still looking for my first moho ski trip. But it will be a spring experience, when I won't have to worry too much about the plumbing, and hopefully someplace fairly local. I was thinking maybe about Telluride, which is a day's drive from me. I know you can stay in town and ride the gondola up to the mountain base, maybe they have some rv parks within walking distance of the gondola.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:15 PM   #7
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Thanks, lots good advise. Like the NM suggestion.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I agree with the Gypsies on this. You don't have to go all the way to Colorado, I would look at a less northerly location. And I prefer spring skiing, when it's not so cold. Gypysies, I notice you always have good and helpful advice on locations, is there somewhere in North America you did not travel to in your rig? Thanks for your great input!
Thank you! We didn't make it to the Maritimes. The distance from the West didn't appeal to us although we've been to the eastern lower 48. We felt we covered our bucket list in many other ways. We had an awesome 16 years of traveling and full-timing. If you could see my original road atlas which I saved over the years and look at the highlighted roads we've taken, it's difficult to find a road we haven't been on. We love secondary roads for travel.

By the way, we were in Arizona's White Mountains this summer trying to stay cool. Sorry the skiing didn't work for you there.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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We have skied most of the Colorado Resorts. Our favorite is Vail....With that said. If you are taking I-70 to Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Copper or Vail Do Not. I'll repeat that Do Not Travel I-70 westward Friday, especially after 10am. It will be heavy, heavy traffic. Same goes for all the people returning on Sunday to Denver.

I know Breckenridge does have a campground close by. A little further west, Steamboat Resort has campground 5 miles out of town. Vail used to have RV overnight parking, but I'm not sure if they still do. Here are a few picture galleries for a few Colorado resorts we have been too.

Vail has a lot of ski trails for beginners, and grooms their slopes like velvet. We have been going there 17 times since the mid 80's. Everything there is top of the line. The Village of Vail is like walking thru a Tirolean European village. Vail has the 2nd largest bus service in Colorado. And it's free. So there are really no cars in the village.

~ Vail

~ Steamboat

~ Winter Park

~ Snowmass / Aspen

Snowmass is at a little lower elevation, so it tends to stay a little warmer. Aspen is not for beginners, so avoid that one. Beaver Creek Resort which is part of the Vail family of Resorts is 10 miles west of Vail, and is a little lower elevation.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:18 PM   #10
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I am looking at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts right now. I am at 7000'. To get here you need to go from sea level to 7000'. The grades the front way are about 8%. The back way they are 16%. We were having fun in a storm, a blizzard, one day doing the forest service roads. As we were heading home, back way, there were about 30 idiots stopped on the highway trying either to put their chains on or adjust those that were put on incorrectly. There was a pick up headed down with a trailer, saw him two days later halfway down, facing up on the wrong side of the road. Chain restrictions were in effect.

It's not unusual to have all 3 roads up the mountain closed because of masses of stuck, often abandoned cars, busses and trucks.

So think of this you have chained all drive wheels on a RV. You are going up a steep grade in weather and come upon 3 cars stopped in your lane, stuck. After them is a car into the rail coming down. If you stop you are dead in the water, if you go around you will probably get hit by another idiot coming down going around the guy in the guardrail.

Later that day or early the next a tracked rescue vehicle shows up and after waiting your turn you are brought up the mountain, you see there are from 50 to 200 others. The next day plows and tow trucks reach your vehicle and remove it but the large blower has put a few holes in your windshield.

So you decide if an RV on a mountain road in the winter is a good idea. BTW this happens every winter. It happens in Vail, Tahoe etc. Us locals will refer to you as a flatlander. We will rescue you, feed you, house you and laugh a lot, at you. After 4 to 5 days the road will open. Some not for a month or months. We love it, you won't.

Weather reports,forget it, this is a mountain. A large percentage of car drivers, bus drivers - the worst and trucks will try to avoid the chain restrictions. They cause the problems. You have done everything right. You are stuck.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:24 AM   #11
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I agree Forest, no way I would take my moho up into the mountains in the snow. My sister attended college in Gunnison, Colorado, and the locals there would always make fun of all the Texans trying to get around in the winter mountain roads. But there are a few ski areas, especially here in the southwest that are not real high in elevation, with nearby towns where you could camp your rig and ride a shuttle bus or toad up the mountain to the actual ski slopes. I'm thinking Durango, Telluride, Sunrise, and some in New Mexico.
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Old 09-16-2015, 12:52 PM   #12
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Typical flatlander asks why aren't these chains working, to me a volunteer. Do you have front wheel drive? Don't know. Well your front wheels are spinning and yours chains are on the rear which suggests you might have front wheel drive you need to move your chains to the front. Can you help me. No we can't, legally. Can I change them here? No your in the middle of the road, pull into the parking lot. I'll pull over and do it here. Fine I'll write you a ticket right here and call for a tow. They move into the parking lot and fix their chains.

How many times has this happened in 5 years of volunteering - 100's. They want a deputy. I call for a deputy. He knows the story from the radio traffic. They move very quickly. They found out I was the nice guy.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:22 PM   #13
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A few facts here. First, the OP is in Texas and asked about COLORADO skiing. Since Denver is at 5,280 ft in elevation, he'd start from there. In California, unless you backed into the ocean you wouldn't climb 7,000 ft to get to either ski area you mention, San Bernardino, at the base of the roads leading up to them is over 1,000 ft elevation, so you'd go 6,000 ft higher.

The factor no one has mentioned yet is salt. They use it in Colorado on the passes and highways. It doesn't play well with RV under carriages. So, besides the chilling cold at most CO ski areas, you also have to deal with salt.

I have an RV, I go to the CO mountains every winter. I don't go in my RV. Better to stay in a nice, warm, hotel, resort, or rental condo and enjoy the cold when you want, not while you're sleeping.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:59 PM   #14
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Colorado RV/snow skiing help

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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
A few facts here. First, the OP is in Texas and asked about COLORADO skiing. Since Denver is at 5,280 ft in elevation, he'd start from there. In California, unless you backed into the ocean you wouldn't climb 7,000 ft to get to either ski area you mention, San Bernardino, at the base of the roads leading up to them is over 1,000 ft elevation, so you'd go 6,000 ft higher.

The factor no one has mentioned yet is salt. They use it in Colorado on the passes and highways. It doesn't play well with RV under carriages. So, besides the chilling cold at most CO ski areas, you also have to deal with salt.

I have an RV, I go to the CO mountains every winter. I don't go in my RV. Better to stay in a nice, warm, hotel, resort, or rental condo and enjoy the cold when you want, not while you're sleeping.

R u serious bashing over 1000' and you are wrong. Come up 38 and over Onyx Summit at 8,400' or 18 from the 330 7400'. He was talking about driving his RV up into the mountains for skiing. It's not the first 5,000' that are the problem it's what's next. At 5000 to 6,000' your out of it or getting into it. Snow is snow, mountains are mountains, summits are summits, altitude is altitude and stupid is stupid. You can start at the ocean, many many do it's where most come from coming into Big Bear. All 50,000 of them on any given day. Come on up the 330 to the 18 on a winter day. 30 miles - 5 hours last 10 can be 3 hours assuming the road is open.

Chains slip on pavement. We don't use salt.
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