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Old 01-18-2015, 08:07 AM   #1
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Driving Rt 90 to Yellowstone

Can anyone tell me if my motorhome will make the hills on Rt. 90 from NJ to Yellowstone? It is a 38 ft, not a diesel. We are worried about the climb.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:33 AM   #2
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You should make it without any problems. Which entrance to Yellowstone do you plan to use? If you are thinking East through Cody the Bighorns are quite a pull and a long steep downgrade. Then after Cody Sylvan is a steep climb. If you in through Gardiner Mt. that is the easiest route. Also if you don't want mountains and climbs don't go through Redlodge . The downgrades around Yellowstone can be a problem for inexperienced drivers. Yellowstone is worth the ride.
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Old 01-18-2015, 02:14 PM   #3
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I believe the going to Bozeman, then down 191 to West Yellowstone is a great drive.


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Old 01-18-2015, 02:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceil Iradi View Post
Can anyone tell me if my motorhome will make the hills on Rt. 90 from NJ to Yellowstone? It is a 38 ft, not a diesel. We are worried about the climb.
We did Billings, Livingston, Gardiner, to Yellowstone in 2012 with toad and it's no problem at all. Not any climbing, you're following a river the whole way. There's a bit of a climb from Gardiner up to Mammoth inside Yellowstone but it's short. Stayed in West Yellowstone at Yellowstone-Grizzly RV Park as a base camp.
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Please be equally concerned about descending the steep roads and the different types of runaway ramps.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:21 AM   #7
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Ceil,

Like someone asked, it depends what Ystone entrance you are taking. I've done the drive many times from NJ and will probably do it again this summer as my son is guiding backpacking trips through Ystone from June to August.

I have found the easiest route is I80 to I25 in Cheyenne, WY to Casper. The take Rt. 26 to Rt. 20 in Shoshone. This will lead you to Thermopolis where you can cut off to Rt. 120 and go right to Cody. Take Rt. 14 W right into the east entrance of Ystone. Very little climbing and descending.

Safe travels!
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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Before you go, Make sure you replace the brake fluid if it is over two years old.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:20 PM   #9
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Before you go, Make sure you replace the brake fluid if it is over two years old.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:22 AM   #10
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Brake fluid absorbs moisture. The master cylinder has a vent hole. Over time moisture is drawn into the master cylinder. When braking hard, this moisture will turn to steam and you WILL lose your brakes. Ford recommends changing the brake fluid every two years. I would never go out west, into the big mountains, without changing the fluid. (If over 18 months since last change.)
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:43 PM   #11
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As for the OP's original question, I see no reason why their rig shouldn't be capable of handling the trip assuming the rig is in decent running condition. They will probably see plenty of rigs just like theirs chugging up and down the hills in the mountain states.

Almost all of our trips consist of some mountain driving. In a Class C with a SB 350 we have been over 3 of the 4 major Washington Cascade passes many times. We have been all over Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska without incident. Sometimes a long uphill grade would bring our speed down to 20mph (think Jerome, AZ). Going downhill we just didn't let the speed build up beyond what the brakes could handle. Sure there are some roads we probably wouldn't attempt but not because of the grade. The condition of the road is much more important.

I agree that the OP's transportation should be in good condition to make the trip but I respectfully disagree on changing the brake fluid unless there is an obvious problem with it. I would be more concerned with the condition of the brake shoes and/or pads.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:07 PM   #12
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OMG, that last comment about brake fluid is actually dangerous. As pointed out earlier in the thread, brake fluid starts absorbing water the instant the seal is broken on the bottle. Every week the boiling point drops, but it will continue to work beautifully if it isn't stressed. How many of us go out and panic stop our motorhomes several times just to be sure our fluid is still "dry"?

Get into a situation on really old fluid that has worked perfectly right up until you started down the long grade and you'll put enough heat into your brakes that you'll reach that new, lower boiling point. At that point, you are in all kinds of trouble.

If heading out on a trip where I know I will be seeing long, steep downgrades I would absolutely flush my brake fluid unless I knew it to be of top quality and less than 24 months old.

My hobby is car racing. I drive into slow speed corners from 130 mph in 90 second intervals for 30 minutes at a time. I understand brake fluid and its limitations. I bleed my brakes constantly and replace the fluid every year. Racers are so respectful of the water absorbing property of fluid that we never buy the big economy size - we buy multiple 10 or 12 oz containers so that it is always fresh when we put it in our race cars.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:49 AM   #13
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OMG, that last comment about brake fluid is actually dangerous.
Well I don't know about dangerous as I don't actually know what condition the OP's brake fluid is in, assuming he has hydraulic brakes. I agree with most of what you say about brake fluid, I just wouldn't let 2+ year old brake fluid cancel my trip.

Some info on brake fluid

general information: note the OEM recommendations.
Why Change Brake Fluid

any brake fluid can boil if you get it hot enough.
Z Meets Wall: We Investigate Why the NISMO Z's Brakes Failed at Lightning Lap - Feature - Car and Driver
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:26 PM   #14
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I have been to Yellowstone several times & I believe the least stressful route is 90 just west of Billings exit in Laurel on 212 south to 120 to Cody, stay a couple of days in Cody then 14 west to Yellowstone.
The only real climb is on 90 going thru Black Bear Mtns & an its 6% grade on the interstate, what ever route you decide on make sure you don't take 14 or 16 off I-90.
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