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Old 08-01-2015, 02:53 PM   #1
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Difficulty Level towing across UT to CO on I-70

Hey guys...I'm towing a heavy toyhauler 38' with my Ram 3500...considering taking I-70 from Utah to Denver. How difficult will that be...should I avoid the tunnel, etc? Anyone done this drive safely?
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:31 PM   #2
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Truck diesel or gas? Either way don't try to keep up with autos and empty pickups, downshift manually if/when the temperature gauge begins to rise. This permits RPM's to rise and the fan and water pump to turn faster and improve engine cooling. A gas engine may sound like it's going to fly apart by the time you reach the top, but as long as you stay below red-line it should be fine. I seem to remember there are pull-outs for overheating vehicles and emergencies. If your truck does over-heat, simply let it idle, raise the hood and pour a glass of water slowly across the front of the radiator(not on top tank) to assist cooling.
I've been over that mountain with my 96 Dodge CTD 3/4T, and my Chevy Duramax dually, both times @ very near my GCWR. If you are over GCWR all bets are off. Utilize the truck slow lane, keep RPM's up, sit back and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:52 PM   #3
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No big hills on 70 in Utah. Co Tunnel. At divide is cool in mornings.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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I-70 has been traveled by thousands of RVers. You'll just be going slower than cars but you'll make it. Don't worry about the tunnel. Semi trucks drive this route, too.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:37 PM   #5
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Eisenhower tunnel is the best way over the summit. I-70 is major trucking route, so the grades are kept at 6% or less. Some can be a little long, just let the truck work where it is doing good. That means gear down and rpm up. Not the place to worry about gas mileage, burn some dinosaurs. I-70 in UT us flat and easy, so is western CO until Glenwood Springs, where it starts to go up. Western Co along I-70 is a pretty drive, even up the hill is nice.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:17 AM   #6
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Several years ago I crossed that area with my 01 Dodge 3500 pulling a 36 foot King of the Road 5th wheel trailer. Was no problem.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Eisenhower tunnel is the best way over the summit. I-70 is major trucking route, so the grades are kept at 6% or less.
Not all interstates are entirely 6%.

The Eisenhower Tunnel at elevation 11,013' is 7% for 6 miles. Granted, 1% isn't going to make a big difference.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:09 PM   #8
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I have towed across I 70 from end to end with several different Ram/Cummins trucks, including a '96 2500 pulling a 14000 5er. Never had any problems in doing so, just remember to use the same gear going down hills as you used coming up, an exhaust brake will save a lot on the brakes keeping them cool for when you really may need them.
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