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Old 12-30-2019, 02:32 PM   #1
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First RV Trip To Colorado

We want to spend about 3 or 4 weeks in CO this summer of 2020, and only stay in 2 or 3 campgrounds with hookups while there. We will make day trips in our Jeep Liberty.
Our RV is a 2018 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 32SA (v-10 Gas, 34 foot long). We have taken it in the mountains of NC and TN. I don't want to take on more than our rig or us can handle, but want to see beautiful mountain scenery.
Would appreciate some names of towns and campgrounds that you would suggest staying in and venturing out from for day trips.
In years past we have been to Durango and Estes Park-RMNP (touring in a car).
We will be driving the motorhome from TX, so can come in to CO from the east around Colorado Springs, or from the south into the Durango area.
Thanks for any suggestions,
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:25 PM   #2
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You'll surely want to take the Liberty on some 4-wheeling trails and the Silverton area is the place to go. (We had a Liberty, also) Since you've mentioned Durango and want something different then stay at Ouray/Ridgeway and drive Libby down to Silverton. You probably wouldn't want to drive the motorhome to Silverton although we've done it often - easier from Durango northward than from Ouray. Ridgeway has a nice state park with full hookups.

We don't care for the extremely busy area of Colorado Springs or Denver.

Pagosa Springs is another favorite area of ours and we love soaking in the springs.

Other favorites are Lake City, Gunnison, Buena Vista, Cortez
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:47 PM   #3
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I will offer with your minimums. 3 weeks / 2 parks. I suggest Gunnison KOA. Also, Tiger Run in Breckenridge. Both areas offer lots to do, good base camps and really good parks.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:57 PM   #4
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We spent 2 weeks at Tiger Run ion Breckenridge two years ago and I was totally impressed with the resort and the amount of things to do in the area. If you are going there you will need to make reservations. They stay booked up most of the summer.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:47 AM   #5
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We love to stay at Winding River Resort and Campground just outside of Grand Lake (south entrance to RMNP). There are a lot of day trips from there. Of course heading in to RMNP, Trailridge Road over to Estes Park, Grand Lake is a great little town, a lot of hiking, Hot Sulpher Springs, and Winter Park just to name a few. There are also three nice lakes close by, Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, and Lake Granby....all have boat rentals if that is of interest to you. If you are more into the RV Resorts there is a brand new one that just opened in Granby called River Run Resort. We have not stayed there but have driven through it. Looks like they will have a lot going on there and should be about done with construction by next summer I would think.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
We want to spend about 3 or 4 weeks in CO this summer of 2020, and only stay in 2 or 3 campgrounds with hookups while there. We will make day trips in our Jeep Liberty.
Our RV is a 2018 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 32SA (v-10 Gas, 34 foot long). We have taken it in the mountains of NC and TN. I don't want to take on more than our rig or us can handle, but want to see beautiful mountain scenery.
Would appreciate some names of towns and campgrounds that you would suggest staying in and venturing out from for day trips.
In years past we have been to Durango and Estes Park-RMNP (touring in a car).
We will be driving the motorhome from TX, so can come in to CO from the east around Colorado Springs, or from the south into the Durango area.
Thanks for any suggestions,
First let me say - Good Choice - Colorado, Yellowstone and Glacier would be my top three places to recommend, for a single summer destination. Each is uniquely different and each will easily fill your month with unforgettable memories.

As Colorado is your destination and Texas is the point of origination - Lets head to Creede as the beginning of this adventure - this is a favorite of many Texans, I suggest a couple days in Creede to meet with others to find similar likes from fellow campers and to acclimate to the elevation and the cooler temperatures you will experience in Colorado - From Creede to Lake City as this would be the first week plus of your trip - Sort of a out of the way town with many places to drive that Jeep of yours - The Alpine Loop to Silverton and Back - Ouray and Telluride are longer drives but doable this area is IMHO one of the last Great Wild places in all the US. Because of the fact that it is not yet a National Park - while still very popular it is far from the Circus of Yellowstone.

Sorry, just a Personal Opinion on the sad state of the National Parks System. Don't get me wrong - Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are still two of the top spots in the World, they have been discovered and that makes for much more Planning and Luck to enjoy these Masterpieces of Nature.

Next would be The Collegiates - which can be best accessed from the Buena Vista Area, but also from Crested Butte and Salida or Twin Lakes - Great drive over Cottonwood pass - now paved - Independence Pass in the Toad to Aspen and Maroon Bells - Leadville/Red Cliff/Minturn/Camp Hale..... are all also available as a wide variety of 4X4 trails in the Jeep. River rafting - the New Browns Canyon NM - lakes and 14'ers in every direction.......on and on.

Now if you still have any time left the Last area would be in and around Steamboat Springs - this ia a pick em as to what you think you might like - Three State parks come to mind - Steamboat Lake it is popular and filled with things for the family to do and is still close enough to all the other attractions in the area. Yampa State Park west of Steamboat Proper and Stagecoach Lake south of Steamboat proper - Yampa is away from much but may be in an area that requires you to go to areas to do things, the plus is the drives are many and all beautiful - Stagecoach is just out on its own - with a good drive to get to Steamboat and Granby.

There you go - Just one more option from the long list that I' sure you will get.

If you give us more specific wants we can work from there.

Few links that might help;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michae...n/photostream/

https://www.pbase.com/sparker1/root%26view=tree

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f42/ouray...it-442372.html

I could go on and on but will wait for some more direction if I'm on the right track.

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Old 12-31-2019, 11:03 AM   #7
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I appreciate all the responses. All are very helpful. I will study them as I make my plans.
One question I have is, "will we be OK traveling in the mountains with our 'gas powered class A'?" I do not want to take it on Hwy 550, but should I be OK taking the gas motorhome on all other highways and to all the destinations mentioned?
Thanks for all your responses and advice.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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I will offer with your minimums. 3 weeks / 2 parks. I suggest Gunnison KOA. Also, Tiger Run in Breckenridge. Both areas offer lots to do, good base camps and really good parks.

I too was going to suggest the KOA in Gunnison. I've been to that park a couple times now and never had a bad experience.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I appreciate all the responses. All are very helpful. I will study them as I make my plans.
One question I have is, "will we be OK traveling in the mountains with our 'gas powered class A'?" I do not want to take it on Hwy 550, but should I be OK taking the gas motorhome on all other highways and to all the destinations mentioned?
Thanks for all your responses and advice.

We're in a gas 33' Winnebago (Ford V10 F53 chassis) towing a Mini Cooper Roadster (so likely a bit lighter than your Jeep). We drove up Rt-50 - Monarch Pass with no problems a couple years ago and did I-70 over the Rockies this past year with out a hassle. I've not done 550, so can't help there.
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Old 12-31-2019, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wog099 View Post
I appreciate all the responses. All are very helpful. I will study them as I make my plans.
One question I have is, "will we be OK traveling in the mountains with our 'gas powered class A'?" I do not want to take it on Hwy 550, but should I be OK taking the gas motorhome on all other highways and to all the destinations mentioned?
Thanks for all your responses and advice.
Having driven all through Colorado in Both Diesel and Gas let me try to make a couple of points - Gas will be fine on all the roads in Colorado and is/has been driven by every size and shape vehicle imaginable......and some you could not even Imagine - all these roads are also navigated with Bicycles of every type you might Imagine often these cost much more than the Gas Vehicles that transport them to the extreme locations.

Also Stay in your Comfort Zone - YOURs - not others - RT 550 is not that difficult, JMHO - but if you have any fear just drive it in the Toad - as it is just a Beautiful Drive as it RT 145 with Lizard Head Pass - I may have suggested - the steepest #1. Slumgullion Pass – 9.4% grade at 11,361 feet - to get from Creede to Lake City - It to is Doable and with many pull outs not usually crowded - so while steep just gear down - manually shift the Auto Transmission to stay at the correct RPM your gas MH will be fine.

So with that said - drive it in the toad to be sure you are Comfortable.

I have driven the Hills back East - Trust me they are much more of a challenge than any paved road in Colorado. again JMHO.

Back before the Internet and the Forum - I would drive all these roads in Colorado with just a paper map - if the Roads goes from Paved to Dirt/Gravel then you might just think long and hard before going on......been there done that.

Think you might have figured out that I'm very partial to Colorado - Love it every Day of the Year - every pass Possible, the further from a town the Better, if you want to get away from the People and into the Wild and Beautiful spaces you see in the video then just go - maybe slow - But Go!

Best of Luck,
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:08 PM   #11
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Your personal interests matter more than anything. These are my observations from 50 years of camping. The last 10 years I have used a travel trailer of one sort or another.

Texas is wonderful in the spring. Blooming deserts are an amazing sight to see. Big Bend National Park is a special place. There are Jeep roads to challenge even the most experienced adventurers. It is huge with isolated oasis and amazing hidden places. You could spend weeks here searching out a new place every day. Avoid the desert in the summer.

Use the Rio Grande Village campground or private campgrounds outside the west entrance of the park. The Chisos Basin campground is more interesting, but requires small camping units and does not have hookups in the sites.

Davis Mountains State Park is in the same desert environment and warrants a couple of nights. It is a good quick stop on your way north from Big Bend.

Approaching Colorado from the south, stop at Mesa Verde National Park. A few days here is amazing. Further west is the must see Grand Canyon.

The mountains of Colorado are great fun in the mid summer period. Spring comes late and fall comes early. Many high places don't melt until late July. Snow in the high passes is possible in July. Once into the mountain areas of Colorado there are endless small places to discover where ever you go in the mountains. Various hot springs are wonderful targets. Places posted above are great.

Google "Colorado National Parks". This is only a start. There are endless state and local campground in amazing places. Rocky Mountain National Park is really two great parks. The eastern slope is entirely different from the western slope. Unfortunately the eastern slope is usually crowded with locals from the big cities especially on weekends. The western slope has suffered a major forest die back and is now in a transition condition.

The motor home will be limiting even on paved mountain back roads, but the Jeep will be great. Towing with a motor home means avoid steep switchback narrow roads. You may be required to back out of some encounters with oncoming vehicles.

With either vehicle, expect lower power performance. 15,000 feet mountains limit air for the engine. Use lower gears and expect to drive slower or work the engine harder. This is not your eastern mountain experience. Just read Lewis and Clarks accounts of first encounter with the Rockies. There is no question, they are not the same as the Appalachians.
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:42 PM   #12
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The motor home will be limiting even on paved mountain back roads, but the Jeep will be great. Towing with a motor home means avoid steep switchback narrow roads. You may be required to back out of some encounters with oncoming vehicles.
Not sure what you mean by this. We've towed in all the mountain states and never encountered a road that was too narrow that one would have to back out to avoid oncoming vehicles! Can you name such a road?
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:28 PM   #13
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Just a thought about the concerns of gas/diesel RVs in hilly country. Since moving to Or from WV in the early 70s we've made about 40 cross country trips between using many different routes to get there to see things along the way. We've never had a problem with any of them, whether in the Appalachians, Rockies, Sierra/Cascades, or Coast Range. Just be careful going down.

Our RV's have always been a bit shorter, the longest at 30' which makes it easier to get around sharp curves, but I don't think the few more feet (34) would make that much difference. Although the air does thin out a bit with elevation, it also gets cooler. I've never paid much attention to how that affects getting over the hills, I just did whatever was necessary to accomplish what I wanted to do. I suspect you will too.

As noted CO has a lot of natural beauty, here's hoping you enjoy it to the max.

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Old 01-01-2020, 12:28 PM   #14
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Not sure what you mean by this. We've towed in all the mountain states and never encountered a road that was too narrow that one would have to back out to avoid oncoming vehicles! Can you name such a road?
I have been there and done that. It depends on which roads you take. On unpaved roads I have backed out as much as a half mile to allow a vehicle with a tow to pass. On paved roads I have backed on several occasions to allow a vehicle with a tow to pass at switchback curves.

I wish you more good luck and happy trails!
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