Originally Posted by joe7434
I am driving from the Chicago area to Moab Ut. I have a 30 foot class A and I m pulling a Jeep Wrangler. Is it safe to go through Colorado on I-70 with this equipment. I am hearing it could be steep at times in some of the areas. Please advise. Thank You
I have driven this route many times although not in an RV. Basically you are totally flat and very easy all the way to the CO/NE state line. Then you start going slightly uphill for a few hundred miles. Once you pass Boulder you start to get into the mountains.
At this point it just depends on your equipment, the weather, and how comfortable you are with everything. All I can tell you is that people have done a lot more treacherous routes in worse equipment.
I-70 is a pretty good road as far as steepness and hairpin turns. It's designed for giant rigs. However, it is the only way to cross the mountains for hundreds of miles and it is at >>>6000 feet elevation for hundreds of miles at a time. It is therefore susceptible to extreme weather at all times of year.
Even into June there can be heavy snowfalls. However, the road is well maintained, and if you have your rig, the worst thing that can ever really happen is you might have to stop and camp for a day or two. There are a lot worse things, and you'll be way better off in your rig than everyone who is camping in their cars. You might even be a hero in extreme weather. You'll also be well equipped if you have a toad with 4WD. I would 100% recommend on having chains for snow AND mud regardless of what time of year it is.
All that being said, if you are prepared for the worst, there is a virtual guarantee you will end up with a very very smooth and comfortable ride. It is a well-maintained interstate after all.
Just be aware that there was a rock slide that shut down part of I-70 for weeks a few years back. The detour from one side of the slide to the other was a 6-8 hour drive all the way around the mountain.
As far as steepness goes, the grades are well-marked, and there are emergency runaway ramps on all the steep downgrades. A gas coach might struggle uphill a little with a toad but that is ok, I wouldn't expect a problem getting over the top even if you have to go a little slow.
Downhill, you will need to engine brake, and check your brakes before hand. There are 6% grades going down most of the passes, not sure if any there are 8% but definitely no more than that. There's only a few summits the whole way through Colorado, while you are definitely at elevation the whole time, the climbs and descents are really not as severe as the connections between 395 and 95 in NV/CA.
My point is just that there all sorts of contingencies to plan for but this is an absolutely beautiful drive and I would encourage you to do it 100%! However, since you are asking for advice I figured I would point out all the potential pitfalls.I also have some particularly perfect places to boondock out along that way that I don't necessarily want to publish to the world.