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Old 04-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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Q's... Our first trip east of Indiana

Hello All

First, I wanted to say that I (shamelessly) hijacked my husband's login for the irv2 forums instead of creating one of my own!

Of course trips are always better when they are well researched and planned out, but there are times in life that doesn't work out... like now. I am doing as much research as I can in a short amount of time, but would like to ask a few questions some of you more seasoned travelers may know.

1. The first question is not something that can be predicted, but more about bouncing this off others to see if we've prepared as best we can for mechanical items.
We are pulling a 35' Carriage 5th wheel with a Ford F350 Diesel truck. The truck is a 2001 with a 7.3 engine, and although it's an older truck Randy is a diesel mechanic and has kept up on maintenance. Wait. Let me examine my bank account and then tell you he's MORE than kept up on maintenance! You men may know more about this, but he's put a whole new breather kit on the truck so the air flow is better when pulling. He installed a "Tuner" on the truck where you can choose various engine settings for different pulling conditions, etc. He uses premium plugs, oil, transmission fluids... you get the picture. We have also re-upped our Coach Net. Is there anything you can recommend in pre-trip things you do to reduce the likely hood of mechanical problems?

2. Our route from Rising Sun, IN to Sioux Falls, SD is: I-74W, I-280, I-80W, I35N, I90W. I cannot find internet resources that tell the elevations along a route. Once you get into MN, and SD, is it hilly or mountainous terrain? Anything we need to be aware of along this route would you let us know?

3. This time of year I would assume parks are going to be open, especially with the warmer weather. Alot of passport america parks I call (if we're lucky enough to find one that's decent otherwise we use KOA, etc.), say they are open April 15 on.

4. After a time in Sioux Falls, we plan to venture to the Denver area. I understand we will have to plan that trip much more carefully after reading about some of those mountain passes! One fella said "take this route, blah blah blah, and even though it's going to be a challenge, your wife will be enjoying the scenery so much she won't even notice". I was born and raised a flatlander and I'm sure I'll be white knuckling it a bit!


I'm going to get back to cleaning, going to the grocery, etc. (btw we're very new full timers), so if you have any tips for this trip, give us a shout. I'll sign back on tonight.

THANKS A MILLION

Laura
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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Welcome Laura,
If you download and use Google Earth, you can trace along a highway and see elevations. You will encounter less hills on your route to Sioux Falls than around Rising Sun, IN! From Sioux Falls to Denver, its according to how you go. If you go back south and across I 80 to I 76, You'll see nary a hump in the road to Denver. For some more interesting driving, going N to I 90 W takes you to Mitchell SD (Corn Palace!) Wall Drug, Badlands NP, Mt. Rushmore, Custer St Park, Wind Cave NP, Crazy Horse, etc. Then you go through some hills on US 16 to US 85 south to US 20 to I 25 S to Cheyenne and Denver. The road from Custer to I 25 has a few hills, but no mountain passes or real drama. Its pretty good 2 lane road with berm and passing lanes on hills.

Enjoy your trip and pick a route that takes you to things you want to see!
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Laura,

Try this: Mountain Driving Guide for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers for road elevations and grades. I find it very useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyMan View Post
Hello All

First, I wanted to say that I (shamelessly) hijacked my husband's login for the irv2 forums instead of creating one of my own!

Of course trips are always better when they are well researched and planned out, but there are times in life that doesn't work out... like now. I am doing as much research as I can in a short amount of time, but would like to ask a few questions some of you more seasoned travelers may know.

1. The first question is not something that can be predicted, but more about bouncing this off others to see if we've prepared as best we can for mechanical items.
We are pulling a 35' Carriage 5th wheel with a Ford F350 Diesel truck. The truck is a 2001 with a 7.3 engine, and although it's an older truck Randy is a diesel mechanic and has kept up on maintenance. Wait. Let me examine my bank account and then tell you he's MORE than kept up on maintenance! You men may know more about this, but he's put a whole new breather kit on the truck so the air flow is better when pulling. He installed a "Tuner" on the truck where you can choose various engine settings for different pulling conditions, etc. He uses premium plugs, oil, transmission fluids... you get the picture. We have also re-upped our Coach Net. Is there anything you can recommend in pre-trip things you do to reduce the likely hood of mechanical problems?

2. Our route from Rising Sun, IN to Sioux Falls, SD is: I-74W, I-280, I-80W, I35N, I90W. I cannot find internet resources that tell the elevations along a route. Once you get into MN, and SD, is it hilly or mountainous terrain? Anything we need to be aware of along this route would you let us know?

3. This time of year I would assume parks are going to be open, especially with the warmer weather. Alot of passport america parks I call (if we're lucky enough to find one that's decent otherwise we use KOA, etc.), say they are open April 15 on.

4. After a time in Sioux Falls, we plan to venture to the Denver area. I understand we will have to plan that trip much more carefully after reading about some of those mountain passes! One fella said "take this route, blah blah blah, and even though it's going to be a challenge, your wife will be enjoying the scenery so much she won't even notice". I was born and raised a flatlander and I'm sure I'll be white knuckling it a bit!


I'm going to get back to cleaning, going to the grocery, etc. (btw we're very new full timers), so if you have any tips for this trip, give us a shout. I'll sign back on tonight.

THANKS A MILLION

Laura
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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Might want to get a map and compass. Sioux Falls and Denver are both WEST of Indiana.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief7155 View Post
Might want to get a map and compass. Sioux Falls and Denver are both WEST of Indiana.
Now that's funny!!
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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You are going WEST ...

I have one tweak of your route ...

I suggest at Iowa City you go north on I-380 and then west on US-20 .. it is slightly shorter and you will miss the heavy traffic as you approach Des Moines from the east.

You will be going near the Amana coloies ... they have good food, wines, woodworking, etc. ... they also have a nice campground just north of Amana .. if you want to go to the Amana colonies ... travel on I-80 until the intersection with US 151 and then go north.

Kansas, Nebraska, and both Dakotas are essentially "flat" (not level) ... they have a steady gain in elevation from east to west ... you will be amazed at how far you can see to the horizon ... often 40 to 50 miles ... they are all essentially 1000 ft in elevation at the eastern border ... and about 3000 to 4000 feet at the western border ... so you have a steady uphill climb as you travel westbound ... the wind is generally a bigger factor than the climb.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
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Good Morning!

Thanks for the info. We are on the road now and will definitely take the tip on the adjustment to the route. That community sounds like the Amish -- looking forward to that.

And thanks for the link to the routes for truckers and rv's! We were going to buy a truckers Atlas at the next Pilot, so you saved us a few bucks

Less hills than Rising Sun, IN huh? Interesting that the wind in the Dakota's could be more of an issue than the hills.

We are super excited about traveling to places we've never been! Especially seeing the Rockies for the first time.

Thanks for your posts and info. God's Blessings to all, and Happy Easter.

Laura
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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A nice stop is Winterset, Iowa. John Wayne's birthplace and where "Bridges of Madison County" was filmed. Nice fhu campground in city park.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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if you use google earth directions you can right click on the blue line and click on elevation profile, that will show elevations for entire trip .
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