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Old 04-03-2010, 09:11 AM   #1
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Road Topography Conditions

Does anyone know of a web-site, a book, a map availability, etc that can give a travelor all the necessary info about a given route. For instance, how much of a grade, break-down pull over space, twists and turns, tunnels/bridges/overpass heights, and anything else that an RV travelor might want to know about possible routes between the interstates.

Thanks in advance for any info........

Marilynn

PS I've already tried different state transportation department web sites and either I can't find the info, or it is too difficult to use. New Mexico has a topographic map on their site, but the roads aren't overlaid on it, so it doesn't help in that regard.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:54 AM   #2
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You might check this site: Welcome to Mountain Directory

I like the new 2010 Trailer LIfe Directory on CD.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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The Mountain Directory is good for grades on major roads but other factors are a bit harder to come by.

You can find bridge data and there are some GPS personal navigation devices (PND) that have 'truck or rv' settings but these are iffy. You can download POI (points of interest) files with low clearance data.

I have heard some folks using satellite pictures to investigate potential fueling (or other) stops to evaluate feasibility. This gets to be rather easy with I'net services these days.

Any printed road atlas should provide reasonably accurate information about the type of road and that will provide a good first approximation. Once you get off the main routes, and especially if you get off pavement, you will be taking your chances. That is where direct, recent, experience shared on forums like this can help.

I was talking with a DOT guy in our club about this. I also recently saw an article about the USPS doing road analysis as something to make extra use of their delivery habits. Then there are the live traffic services that some PND's tap in some areas. We are just beginning to approach the time when vehicles will talk to each other and a central repository about the roads they travel. It is a 'big brother' issue but there could be advantages for routing if you knew how fast people traveled a road with various types of vehicles and how much bounce they encountered. (It'd help the DOT allocate its resources, too).

But, for now, we can only explore and find out for ourselves.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Check the terrain feature of Google Maps which you probably already have installed on your computer. I found that feature handy last year for travel between Taos, NM and Chama, NM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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You can also get a Street View in Google Maps by dragging and dropping the little guy in the upper left down to the road you want to see. Then use the mouse to move your view around 360 degrees and even move slowly down the road. See example below of one of the Yosemite exit roads. I use this method to make sure there are no surprises on a new route off the beaten path.

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Old 04-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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FleetMan...that is one of the exact routes we are interested in learning more about.........I would love to hear what you learned actually traveling it, if you would share. And thanks for the reminder about google maps.

RVThere...WOW. I didn't know to do that. Thanks for a great tip!

Logthumper and BryanL...I have yet to check out the Mountain Directory, but do intend to....thanks for the tip.

We are actually looking forward to some exploration, but until we are a little more seasoned travelors, I'm thinking forwarned is the best course of action.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
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MoRV...We traveled Route 64 west from Taos to Chama in September last year. The road is excellent. Westbound, the grade is pretty gradual, no hard pulls - My ISB had plenty of power pulling the grade with our 4,000# toad behind us. The 10,400+ foot elevation had me spooked a bit before we took off but a former Greyhound bus driver I met while fueling up at the Smith Grocery Store in Taos assured me I would not have a problem. His advice was right on. The pull east bound from the Chama side looked a bit more of a challenge but we saw plenty of motor homes, Class A and Class C plus fivers going east. Many years ago when we were young and foolish, we drove our Dodge 360 powered Class C eastbound over that route and never gave it a second thought. Must be old age that makes one more cautious. Beautiful scenery all the way! Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire if you have the opportunity.
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