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Old 02-09-2014, 09:31 AM   #15
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We drove our gas class A, pulling toad all over the above mentioned highways. No problem.. ever.. Even wolf creek pass was "fun', just go slow. Too bad if truckers don't like getting stuck behind a slow-going motor home. We are there for the "pleasure', and are in no hurry. We stay in the right lane, with flashers on.
The last trip, we went out I 80 to "flaming gorge",[ side trip to dinosaur park], then down to Zion, over to Bryce, to escalante, up highway 12, a real adventure, not to be missed, capital reef, to Moab, to Mesa Verde, then back over Wolf creek pass. Our "95 Flair, Ford 460, got the job done with NO PROBLEMS. And I am a flatlander from Wisconsin. SO... don't hesitate, go for it. HAVE FUN.. ps. we did it in 6 weeks..
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:57 AM   #16
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This thread is making me want to go out and brush the foot of snow off our 5th wheel, hook up and head for Colorado! We have pulled it over every major CO pass, both ways, with the exception of Wolf Creek, with no problems. We usually spend a few days in Durango and a few in Ouray. The San Juan Skyway is well worth exploring and all the passes are spectacular in the fall when aspen trees are turning. Take your time and enjoy Colorado, there is much to see and do there!
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:11 PM   #17
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I guess we got off-track. You asked about I70. It is interstate, so it is designed for big rigs, whether trucks or RV's. So is the tunnel. You will have no problems. Neat thing about I70, in one of the "gorges", it is so narrow, the road lanes could not be built "side by side", so they double tiered it. One side has the mtn, the road, then other side has a stream, RR tracks, and the mtn. Very fascinating. Also, don't miss out on the Colorado Nat'l Monument, outside of Grand Junction. Another fascinating drive.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:52 PM   #18
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I drive that route (Denver to Glenwood Springs on I70) at least once a month. Some MHs seem to struggle and some seem to do fine. There are two climbs (including Vail Pass). Going west-to-east is a tougher climb, especially up to the tunnels, in my opinion. Winter travel is the worst (in either direction).

On the east side of the tunnels, there are several ChainUp areas that are convenient rest areas if you start to run hot. I have seen people stop there for lunch, and others use them to disconnect their toads. Another option is to drive it very early or very late in the day when it is cooler. Like 'dwkerch' says, if you drop down a couple of gears, keep the revs up, and keep the engine cool, I think you will be fine. If you have to (or want to) take I70, don't make it a race.

Don't forget to keep it in the same gear going down the other side!

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #19
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A route that has not been shared is to take US285 southwest out of Denver towards Buena Vista. A much prettier drive, in my opinion, and the pass is not nearly as difficult. Route is [mostly] only two lanes and is many more miles, but the views of the Collegiate Range, etc., are absolutely gorgeous.

When US285 intersects US24, you can take it north to Leadville, then on to westbound I70 (past Vail and all those big hills). Or you can take US24 south to westbound US50 or US160. Both of these routes will offer you great scenery on your trek west. There are also many more camping options on the US285 routes than there is on the I70 route.

I guess it might just come down to how much time you have!

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:27 PM   #20
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Driving Wolf Creek Pass

We live near the base of Wolf Creek Pass. Any time we need to go east, we have to cross the pass. Don't let others dissuade you.

We see gassers crossing the pass frequently, as well as many other kinds of vehicles. Chances of seeing fresh snow in July is pretty darned slim, although there may be remnants from the winter in the shadows.

The key - be prepared for mountain driving, go slow (25-35mph is fine), find the right gear, take your time, and enjoy the ride. Going down the pass (either side), gear down (use the same gear you went up in) and enjoy the ride - but don't ride the brakes.

C.W.McCall got people stirred up about it decades ago:

C.W. McCall - Wolf Creek Pass Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Granted, there are accidents on occasion, some fatal. Most of them happen to truckers/other drivers from the flatlands who aren't experienced in mountain driving and don't gear down and take their time.

Google "Wolf Creek Pass video" and you'll find lots of videos about the trip. Here's but one example, and they're driving the pass in November 2013:

wolf creek pass video - Bing Videos

As you will see, much of the pass is 4-lane, but there are some 2-lane segments, a snow tunnel with a sharp curve below Wolf Creek Ski Area on the east side, and two runaway truck ramp safety exits on the right (down hill) side on the west side if things go bad.

There's a sharp U-turn curve on the west side of the pass near the bottom by the scenic view point/rest area. Be careful - it's well marked in advance - yet we see semis upside down there on occasion - and it's a 1000 foot drop from there to the ground if you miss it and go over the edge and large concrete barriers.

I don't endorse the speed this guy is driving at in this video, but he's in a car, not an RV. Be aware the pass is heavily patrolled - obey the speed limits.

At the top of the pass (Continental Divide) there's a large rest area. Wolf Creek Ski Area is on the east side, just below the top of the pass. Heading toward South Fork (east), there are several pull outs on either side of the road if you need to take a break - we do frequently.

The road going down the east side becomes a two lane just before the tunnel, and after exiting, it's a two lane road until you get to South Fork. There's a rest stop shortly after exiting the tunnel east bound. Use caution - you'll be tempted to look at the beautiful mountain creek alongside the road.

Take your time, and you'll have fun! We do!
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:30 PM   #21
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"The Million Dollar Highway from Durango up through Ouray is a fantastic experience and will take you north to Grand Junction to rejoin I-70 - but if you are in the least not inclined to drive on roads with sheer drop offs having no guard rails (you'll be on the inside near the mountain heading north, and away from the drop offs), check it out first. In addition to the drop offs, there are a few tight twisty turns. Commercial buses and 18 wheelers make the trip routinely, but it's a bit unnerving the first time. I've been driving over that pass since the late 1950s."

That route is fine between Durango Silverton, but from Ouray to Silverton, it is not for the faint of heart. I chose to take the toad and not the motorhome on the latter route, and boy was I glad to be in the car when an 18-wheeler suddenly came around a blind curve and forced me toward a 1000 foot dropoff with no guard rail. I know that people do it, but I would not drive a big RV between Ouray and Silverton in either direction. All you need is a big rig to meet you going the other way at the wrong place, and you could meet your maker.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:44 PM   #22
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Bobb.25... as others have mentioned you can do I-70 if you want but the passes are much higher than I-80, Eisenhower Tunnel is 11,000' and Vail Pass is about 10,500'. The problem with I-80 or I-90 is you are going way out of your way to the north to get to Moab/Canyonlands and then to the other parks you mentioned.

You said you will be in Colorado Springs, so there is a option that eliminates both of the high passes on I-70. US-24 runs right through Colorado Springs, take that west past Buena Vista and Leadville and it puts you on I-70 just west of Vail. You won't save any time going this way, but it is a nice relaxed ride on beautiful, RV-friendly 2 lanes roads and you don't have any real steep climbs. You'll still hit some high elevations but not the steeps like I-70. And if you want to do a little sightseeing you have some great little mountain towns that you are already rolling through, like Leadville and Minturn.

From there it's an easy shot to Moab and Canyonlands & Arches NP. If you want to make the drive to Moab a real easy relaxed one, take this route and overnight at the public rest area in the town of Eagle just off I-70. This is our standard routine for going to Moab. Don't miss the Grand Ave. Grill in Eagle for a great dinner.

Happy motoring.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:00 PM   #23
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I lived in Denver for 20 years and had a 73 Winnebago Chieftain at the time. I use to run I-70 west at least once a month, summer and winter and never had a problem. I have pulled probably every pass with that MH and always made it. Don't push it, let the MH pull the pass at a comfortable speed in low gear and you should be fine. Go down the pass the same way, low gear and pump the brakes, don't ride them.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #24
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I live just west of Glenwood springs. I have seen a many gasser pulling toad some old some new doing fine. Then like others have said you do see some overheated and broke down. Most of them are heading east.

Gas up in Denver as fuel prices are higher on the west side of the tunnel till you get to Grand Junction. I am talking .30 cents cheaper.

Both big passes have rest areas. Like others have said take your time.

At grand junction head towards Durango and over red Mountian pass. Stop near the top for a cool down and history. Then down Durango and on to Mesa Verde spend atleast a day or 3 in that area. We stayed at lightner creek campground I think it is spelt that way.
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