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Old 11-21-2019, 08:00 PM   #1
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West trip from Florida.. Should we reschedule???

We may have made a critical error. Were truly Florida folks. Born and raised.

We were planning on leaving Northeast Florida headed to Austin Texas then to Las Vegas the last week of March. With stops of course along the way.

From Vegas we were going to head to Moab. We would be there in mid to late April.

From Moab we were headed to Breckenridge then on to Colorado Springs and Denver.

After Denver we were going to go to Rapid City for a week. We would have been in Rapid City for the first week of May.

All of the reservations have been made for this what I thought would be an epic trip. We would have been gone for over two months.

In talking with the folks in Rapid City and Breckenridge they cautioned that there still may be a thick blanket of snow, and we may need chains to comply with Colorado law.

OMG! This Florida boy can tell you about hurricanes but not driving in snow. Not with a 45 foot motorhome towing a Jeep.

As it stands right now, we are going to move the trip back to start from Jacksonville in mid to late May. I have no desire to drive through snow. Nor do I want to buy chains for the motorhome. But we were looking forward to experiencing spring out west.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:02 PM   #2
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Not to mention the height of tornado season...
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:09 PM   #3
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Given those dates, I think most years you will be fine at least through Las Vegas. I was in NM in Mid March in the snow around 15 years ago, the snow lasted for about 24 hours, and then was gone, the next day I crossed the pass west of Roswell and it had all but completely melted. As I recall the locals around Carlsbad to Roswell were a bit surprised about the snow that late in the season, and the TV news coverage out of Albuquerque was talking about road closures along I40, but even that was open and free of snow within 24-48 hours. So as long as your travel schedule remains somewhat flexible I suspect you will be ok. As to the mountains in Colorado, that may be a bit more hit or miss, though Breckenridge is not that far off I-70, so again if you can wait out a snow event before getting into / out of the mountains I think you will probably be ok around the first of April most years, there may be snow on the ground, but I suspect most days the major roads will be reasonably clear, particularly during the mid day hours.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:23 PM   #4
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^^^^^^^ this

You may get a storm move through but its a 24 hour event and by then the roads are all clear . Leave some flex time in the schedule and you should have no issues. The southern part to Vegas is great.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:21 PM   #5
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I'd keep your original plans. Here is May in Rapid City - an inch or two of 'possible' snow. It certainly won't be sticking and lasting long:

https://weatherspark.com/m/4074/5/Av...-United-States

The only issue I see is for Breckenridge. Is that a 'must do' for some reason? You could even stay around Denver and drive the car to Breckenridge if you just wanted to see the area.

https://weatherspark.com/m/3362/5/Av...-United-States
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Trip View Post
We may have made a critical error. We’re truly Florida folks. Born and raised.

With your Schedule be sure to Bring Your Winter Clothes - as in many places out west the Swings in temperature are BIG - Need a Floppy Hat for the Sun but it also Helps for the Rain or Snow.

We were planning on leaving Northeast Florida headed to Austin Texas then to Las Vegas the last week of March. With stops of course along the way.

IMHO this is a GREAT Time to GO - Lot of great things to see and do between the two - Carlsbad - Canyon de Chelly - GCNP - .......

From Vegas we were going to head to Moab. We would be there in mid to late April.

Need to check ahead in Moab for Rallies - 4runnerguy has great info here - https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/29448394.cfm - Again so much to see and do in Utah - hoping you have given yourself time, as this is the time, March/April/May to enjoy Utah.

From Moab we were headed to Breckenridge then on to Colorado Springs and Denver.

While it is still Ski Season in the Mountains it will be a wide variety in the Range of Temps you will experience - you will not be able to go over some of the passes in Colorado as they are Snow Covered and many do not open till Memorial Day, or later - but with your Coach if the Weather turns south - Gets Bad - just pull off turn on the generator and stay toasty till it passes. I-70 will be Fine - just wait and the sun will come out and the road will be dry. (We've wintered in Colorado for three Winters and never had an Issue with the Coach and the Snow) Tiger Run will be Fun - While there take the toad - guessing the Jeep - up to Leadville and drive to Minturn then back on RT 24 Beautiful and likely have the mountains covered in snow but the roads Black

After Denver we were going to go to Rapid City for a week. We would have been in Rapid City for the first week of May.

Great time for the Black Hills - but keep a little slack in your schedule for the unexpected weather, just in case

All of the reservations have been made for this what I thought would be an epic trip. We would have been gone for over two months.

I'd see if you could add another 30 days or so - as reservations should be easy in many places and there will definitely be too much to take in in just 60 days - JMHO.

In talking with the folks in Rapid City and Breckenridge they cautioned that there still may be a thick blanket of snow, and we may need chains to comply with Colorado law.

Only if you are Crazy and try to Drive in the Blizzard - Sorry again, JMHO - Chains and RV's do not go together. I have ten's of thousands of Winter miles in Colorado and have NEVER Used CHAINS, so..... if you drive smart you should not have an issue.

OMG! This Florida boy can tell you about hurricanes but not driving in snow. Not with a 45 foot motorhome towing a Jeep.

There are few who have driven an 45' RV in the Snow - think most are smart enough to not do it - although I once got caught driving from Steamboat to Golden in a Storm and while we had 8" on the West side of Eisenhower the sun was Shining when we came out to the East

As it stands right now, we are going to move the trip back to start from Jacksonville in mid to late May. I have no desire to drive through snow. Nor do I want to buy chains for the motorhome. But we were looking forward to experiencing spring out west.

Add some more time for weather and Stay the Course - you will love it - We usually only travel in the Shoulder seasons or the Winter, and have Never regretted it. Best trip to Zion was on December 21st Hiked to the top of Angels Landings in shorts and t's only to Drive to Bryce in 6" of snow on the Hoo Doo's for SunSet Beautiful. Not that I recommend driving in the Snow - In my former Life I was a contractor and Pushed snow for Years - so like Hurricanes are to you - snow and I get along pretty well.

Thoughts?
Worst comes to Worst - you head South or spend more time in Utah - you can easily find 20- 30 days and still only scratch the surface there - then into Colorado in June. Texas/Vegas/Utah are HOT in the Summer - IMHO your time frame is Great.

Hope this Helps,
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:55 AM   #7
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Few images; These were from last February - Monument Valley, not my Picture, but sure is Beautiful - I-70 Clear - RV in CG - The Rockies in White - Great time to be there.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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I worked in Custer State Park for 3 years. It often will snow in So Dakota early May. I would get there nearer the end of May if you can. From Florida are you taking I-10? You will be fine all the way to AZ. Can head to Tucson/Phoenix after site seeing in NM and then head up Hwy 93 for La Vegas and I-15 to Moab. If you go up to I-40 in NM you could hit some snow near Flagstaff. There is a Jeep event in Moab at Easter in April. From Moab you can head up to I-70 to Denver. I have seen snow the first week of June going thru Vail so check conditions. Take I-25 from Denver to get to Rapid City via Hwy 18. Sounds like a great trip. Im a western boy heading to FL this winter.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:14 AM   #9
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When we needed to cross the Rockies with our rig a couple of years ago at the end of October, a very thoughtful staff member at Cabela's in Grand Junction, Colorado, suggested that we check out the Colorado DOT's trip planning web site: https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm.

We used the cameras on the Interactive Map to check the condition of I-70 before we crossed, and we could easily tell that there was snow in the mountains but the roads were clear.

It might be a good resource to keep in your back pocket. There may be similar sites sponsored by the DOT in other states, but I've never checked.

Good luck with your trip and enjoy every minute - it sounds like a magnificent adventure!

Mary
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:37 AM   #10
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When we needed to cross the Rockies with our rig a couple of years ago at the end of October, a very thoughtful staff member at Cabela's in Grand Junction, Colorado, suggested that we check out the Colorado DOT's trip planning web site: https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm.

We used the cameras on the Interactive Map to check the condition of I-70 before we crossed, and we could easily tell that there was snow in the mountains but the roads were clear.

It might be a good resource to keep in your back pocket. There may be similar sites sponsored by the DOT in other states, but I've never checked.

Good luck with your trip and enjoy every minute - it sounds like a magnificent adventure!

Mary
Pictures are the new way to see the Highway in real time - https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/defa...CameraId=10600
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Old 11-23-2019, 03:59 PM   #11
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Pictures are the new way to see the Highway in real time - https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/defa...CameraId=10600

Great site for Colorado!!
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