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Old 08-30-2017, 02:36 AM   #1
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Lafayette, LA to Rapid City, SD...in January! Any route suggestions...

As the title indicates I will be going from Lafayette to Rapid City in January. A little back story. I am active duty military stationed in Rapid City, and will be returning from a deployment around January. I drove my wife and kids to southern Louisiana to be with my wife's family while I was deployed. We live in our fifth wheel full time, so leaving it there and waiting for a better time of year is not an option. I am looking for any suggestions on the best route during winter weather. From what I can tell I have 3 options. 1) LA, AR, MO, IA, SD. 2) LA, TX, NM, CO, WY, SD. 3) LA, TX, OK, KS, NE, SD.

I would like to take option 2. Mostly because I would think it is the most scenic going through northern NM and through CO. Plus we have already driven the other 2. I also realize January is probably not the best time to drive it. But the other 2 aren't ideal in January either.

I will be pulling a 40' 2017 Montana with a 2014 F350 FX4. Best case scenario I have 30 days to do it, so stopping and waiting for bad weather to clear is the plan regardless of route. Any input is much appreciated.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:17 AM   #2
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As the title indicates I will be going from Lafayette to Rapid City in January. A little back story. I am active duty military stationed in Rapid City, and will be returning from a deployment around January. I drove my wife and kids to southern Louisiana to be with my wife's family while I was deployed. We live in our fifth wheel full time, so leaving it there and waiting for a better time of year is not an option. I am looking for any suggestions on the best route during winter weather. From what I can tell I have 3 options. 1) LA, AR, MO, IA, SD. 2) LA, TX, NM, CO, WY, SD. 3) LA, TX, OK, KS, NE, SD.

I would like to take option 2. Mostly because I would think it is the most scenic going through northern NM and through CO. Plus we have already driven the other 2. I also realize January is probably not the best time to drive it. But the other 2 aren't ideal in January either.

I will be pulling a 40' 2017 Montana with a 2014 F350 FX4. Best case scenario I have 30 days to do it, so stopping and waiting for bad weather to clear is the plan regardless of route. Any input is much appreciated.
Look this over - https://binged.it/2vErf80

Upper right corner to zoom in and get a satellite view.

I'd stay out of the Mountains with your Rig - it is January - if you run up the Foothills in Colorado you can take the truck back into the mountains to see the sights, but a 40' unit in the snow, and there is snow on the roads in the passes so, you just can't stop. (Or go in many palaces)

Use the CDOT cameras to help out in the winter - real time live pictures - Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation

Should be able to find the same in all states.

I've spent a few winters out West and while you can drive, and they do plow, it is just not a good idea to get into those mountains and have to get out, every year is different - some good some bad - so just be smart.

If this were summer it would be Awesome but it's not so you need to just be smart, stay where the snow is limited, venture out in just the truck.

Best of Luck,
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:47 AM   #3
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Thank you! I definitely don't plan on taking the trailer in the mountains, but would love to show my family the rockys. I have been there as a kid but haven't been back since. Are there many RV parks open near I-25 in winter I know in SD most are closed that time of year?
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:31 AM   #4
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Tbuddy, With the 30 days with which to travel...I'd say take the scenic route and show your family the sights. If you're comfortable towing your rig, and are properly prepared for winter travel....It should be no problem. We have cables for the truck and trailer (more important than for the truck). Truckers travel most roads in the states 24/7. Yes...you may have to "lay-up" a day or two along the way, and you may have a few "white-knucle" moments,but that can happen in the summer time. Probably the most important item is....can you maintain the trailer temp's warm enough inside as not to have problems? We've been on ice packed roads a few times....not fun, but doable!
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:37 AM   #5
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Thank you! I definitely don't plan on taking the trailer in the mountains, but would love to show my family the rockys. I have been there as a kid but haven't been back since. Are there many RV parks open near I-25 in winter I know in SD most are closed that time of year?

I'll check this afternoon but I've stayed in Colorado Springs (Long Time ago) - Spent two Winters in - cityofgolden.net/play/recreation-attractions/clear-creek-rv-park/ - If I recall the Jeffco fairgrounds are open - LongMont Fairgrounds are Open - so, yes, there are places to stay.

If you have the time - you could run all the way to Canyon de Chelly - run up to Monument Valley - Hit Moab - then if there is a Break in the weather you could take I-70 to Golden then I-25 on up to SD. On this route you could catch White Sands - Carlsbad Caverns - Canyon de Chelly - Grand Canyon - Monument valley - Colorado National Monument - Vail - Breck - Golden then north.

If you give me more particulars on the Mission and time frame - I might be able to be more specific.

Southern Utah, in the desert is fine but at elevation you get Real SNOW - So Utah would be a fun place to explore - just keep your propane full and find places that are open.

We have done most of this in the Winter and Love It - no crowds - just fun.

Would love to help out,
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:00 PM   #6
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I'll check this afternoon but I've stayed in Colorado Springs (Long Time ago) - Spent two Winters in - cityofgolden.net/play/recreation-attractions/clear-creek-rv-park/ - If I recall the Jeffco fairgrounds are open - LongMont Fairgrounds are Open - so, yes, there are places to stay.

If you have the time - you could run all the way to Canyon de Chelly - run up to Monument Valley - Hit Moab - then if there is a Break in the weather you could take I-70 to Golden then I-25 on up to SD. On this route you could catch White Sands - Carlsbad Caverns - Canyon de Chelly - Grand Canyon - Monument valley - Colorado National Monument - Vail - Breck - Golden then north.

If you give me more particulars on the Mission and time frame - I might be able to be more specific.

Southern Utah, in the desert is fine but at elevation you get Real SNOW - So Utah would be a fun place to explore - just keep your propane full and find places that are open.

We have done most of this in the Winter and Love It - no crowds - just fun.

Would love to help out,
As it gets closer I will know more on how much of that 30 days I will be able to take. More than likely we will only see a few of the sites in CO along the way. Stretch Colorado into a 3 or 4 night trip.

We moved into our trailer at the tail end of last winter and haven't done any traveling during freezing temps. Do you need to winterize when pulling if it is below freezing, or is draining lines good enough?
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:08 PM   #7
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Tbuddy, With the 30 days with which to travel...I'd say take the scenic route and show your family the sights. If you're comfortable towing your rig, and are properly prepared for winter travel....It should be no problem. We have cables for the truck and trailer (more important than for the truck). Truckers travel most roads in the states 24/7. Yes...you may have to "lay-up" a day or two along the way, and you may have a few "white-knucle" moments,but that can happen in the summer time. Probably the most important item is....can you maintain the trailer temp's warm enough inside as not to have problems? We've been on ice packed roads a few times....not fun, but doable!
Those are all pretty much my thoughts on this. We should be fine with maintaining temps. We moved into the trailer at the end of last winter in Rapid City and it was good. I don't think it went below zero while we were in it, but it was in the teens. We have the propane furnace, and an electric heat pump. We are in a 4 season unit, but I haven't added to the factory insulation at all...and we have the heated water hose.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:16 AM   #8
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I would stick to roads that are most likely to be dealt with best from a snow.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:21 AM   #9
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As it gets closer I will know more on how much of that 30 days I will be able to take. More than likely we will only see a few of the sites in CO along the way. Stretch Colorado into a 3 or 4 night trip.

We moved into our trailer at the tail end of last winter and haven't done any traveling during freezing temps. Do you need to winterize when pulling if it is below freezing, or is draining lines good enough?
Seen -20 in January in the Foothills so if you have good compressor, this will work when you are not heated - https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/how...erize-your-rv/ - Also a heated water line might be smart - I keep one in the coach for winter - - never need to use the foil but you will get the idea.

It is Winter - but the temps will range from -20 to 60 so just hope you get the higher range of the temps so as to enjoy.

You will certainly have an Adventure on this relocation.

Best of Luck,
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:43 PM   #10
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Be sure to get the Military All-Stays App. There is a nice Fam Camp at the Air Force academy in Co Springs.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:07 PM   #11
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Be sure to get the Military All-Stays App. There is a nice Fam Camp at the Air Force academy in Co Springs.
I've been meaning to look into the famcamps/dod places available that time of year, thanks.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:36 PM   #12
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Busskipper, I'm back in the states and will be hitting the road within the week. Still not sure how I will handle the winterization while towing (air or antifreeze kit). Thank you for the DOT link that will be very handy. We will be staying in Colo Sprgs for a few days, do you know of a few must see places in the area?
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:07 AM   #13
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Busskipper, I'm back in the states and will be hitting the road within the week. Still not sure how I will handle the winterization while towing (air or antifreeze kit). Thank you for the DOT link that will be very handy. We will be staying in Colo Sprgs for a few days, do you know of a few must see places in the area?
You will be driving out, I'll be flying out this week - Use the Cdot cameras to give you real time weather - Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation -

The Air Force Academy - The training center - Valley of the Gods - then on Up to Red Rocks - Golden - Boulder - Longmont all are interesting - But it is winter!

A lot will depend on your Comfort Level - Unhook and drive on up into the Mountains - use the cameras to be sure all is good - Then just go where you don't leave your Comfort Level - For me that Means just slow down and Enjoy - we skied for 20+ years so my comfort level is just this side of White Out ...

That's not a lie - actually drove back in a blizzard once, using the GPS to see the road - don't advise it.

I'm a little crazy and I still Love the snow - .................

As you move along just check with the Locals they generally will give you GOOD advice.

Best of Luck,
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