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Old 03-08-2021, 02:34 PM   #1
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Road to Carlsbad

In a few weeks my wife and I will be travelling to New Mexico. We want to stop at White Sands National Monument and then go on to Carlsbad Caverns. Does anyone know if hwy 82 between Almagordo and Artesia is Ok to travel on with a 40 foot motorhome towing a car? The maps I look at make it look like a very narow and winding road.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:02 PM   #2
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We did this in 2018. Not positive but I believe we went the troute you describe. Check out the Space Museum in Alamogordo. Below is my trip write up on this section. We were in a 36' pulling a fullsize SUV. We should have disconnected before pulling into Carlsbad. After Carlsbad, we went north to Roswell, which was also an interesting stop.

"Leaving the Missile facility, we went to White Sands National Monument. This is a huge area of gypsum sand particles which is one of the most unusual natural formations of sand anywhere. The dunes move with the wind and rain but are “anchored” in this particular area by a water table which is unusually close to the surface. Even though it is a sensitive area (like our sand dunes at the beach), they do let people slide down the dunes in certain places and even sell or rent discs in the gift shop. Wildlife has evolved through 1,000s of years to turn white to camouflage themselves from predators.

Continuing a busy day, we stopped at the New Mexico Space Museum in Alamogordo. This was a great stop and had some displays even better than the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The International Space Hall of Fame is part of this museum and we enjoyed seeing all the participates, including Russians, who have been named to the Hall of Fame. Even a special section to Star Tek!

Jill found an RV park (Boot Hill) just north of Alamogordo which was perfect. We had dinner at a New Mexican restaurant which was good but too much food.

At the last minute, we decided to go to Carlsbad Caverns National Park so this morning we drove 200 miles through a vast variety of terrain to the Caverns. Arriving sort of late, we got our tickets and took the elevator down 750 feet to the cavern floor. We did a 1.2 mile hike on a constructed path through the large cavern. This is only a small part of the cavern which is accessible either via self-guided tours or Ranger guided tours. All the Ranger guided tours were booked for the rest of the day and even tomorrow so if you ever want to do the guided tours, make a reservation. By the way, it took a wait of 75 minutes to get the elevator up from the cavern floor at the end of the tour – just like Disney World without Fast Pass. The sites were amazing and I could not possible do justice in a description. So I will quote the US Department of the Interior Inspector, Robert Holley, who was sent in 1923, to see whether Carlsbad Caverns was an outstanding natural scenic wonder. Originally a skeptic, he wrote “I am wholly conscious of the feebleness of my efforts to convey on words the deep conflicting emotions, the feeling of fear and awe, and the desire for inspired understanding of the Divine Creator’s work which presents to the human eye such a complex aggregate of natural wonders.”

Jill and I are glad we went out of a logical route to make the trip to Carlsbad. Unfortunately, upon arriving there we had to disconnect the car from the RV or risk getting stuck in the parking lot. Jill then noticed that the electrical plug had popped out of the receptacle and we had dragged it for 200 miles. A new light cable is required but we should have no trouble getting one in the city of Carlsbad on the morning.[/I]
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mandvalen38 View Post
Does anyone know if hwy 82 between Almagordo and Artesia is Ok to travel on with a 40 foot motorhome towing a car? The maps I look at make it look like a very narow and winding road.
It isn't narrow at all other than through one tunnel a few miles west of Cloudcroft. Beautiful drive through the mountains. You'll need to check if there are any height restrictions. My Nash TT is 11.5 ft high.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:35 PM   #4
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We've driven it a few times - both directions - with our 40' MH pulling the Jeep. It was a good drive to us but then we drive mountains all the time.

It sounds like you're going eastbound so all it is is a 16-mile uphill... very doable for you. To give you an idea.... here is a description going westbound.

From the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers' (highly recommended):

"Westbound - 16 miles of 6% - 7% downgrade. It's a 4315' drop in elevation in 16 miles. It begins at Cloudcroft. Speed limit is 35 mph with 30 mph curves. There are two runaway truck ramps with a tunnel inbetween them".

Note that 6-7% is very typical in the western mountains.

Again.... you're going eastbound and it's all uphill... a lot easier than a downhill. Enjoy the trip!
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WorldCat25 View Post
We did this in 2018. Not positive but I believe we went the troute you describe. Check out the Space Museum in Alamogordo. Below is my trip write up on this section. We were in a 36' pulling a fullsize SUV. We should have disconnected before pulling into Carlsbad. After Carlsbad, we went north to Roswell, which was also an interesting stop.

"Leaving the Missile facility, we went to White Sands National Monument. This is a huge area of gypsum sand particles which is one of the most unusual natural formations of sand anywhere. The dunes move with the wind and rain but are “anchored” in this particular area by a water table which is unusually close to the surface. Even though it is a sensitive area (like our sand dunes at the beach), they do let people slide down the dunes in certain places and even sell or rent discs in the gift shop. Wildlife has evolved through 1,000s of years to turn white to camouflage themselves from predators.

Continuing a busy day, we stopped at the New Mexico Space Museum in Alamogordo. This was a great stop and had some displays even better than the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The International Space Hall of Fame is part of this museum and we enjoyed seeing all the participates, including Russians, who have been named to the Hall of Fame. Even a special section to Star Tek!

Jill found an RV park (Boot Hill) just north of Alamogordo which was perfect. We had dinner at a New Mexican restaurant which was good but too much food.

At the last minute, we decided to go to Carlsbad Caverns National Park so this morning we drove 200 miles through a vast variety of terrain to the Caverns. Arriving sort of late, we got our tickets and took the elevator down 750 feet to the cavern floor. We did a 1.2 mile hike on a constructed path through the large cavern. This is only a small part of the cavern which is accessible either via self-guided tours or Ranger guided tours. All the Ranger guided tours were booked for the rest of the day and even tomorrow so if you ever want to do the guided tours, make a reservation. By the way, it took a wait of 75 minutes to get the elevator up from the cavern floor at the end of the tour – just like Disney World without Fast Pass. The sites were amazing and I could not possible do justice in a description. So I will quote the US Department of the Interior Inspector, Robert Holley, who was sent in 1923, to see whether Carlsbad Caverns was an outstanding natural scenic wonder. Originally a skeptic, he wrote “I am wholly conscious of the feebleness of my efforts to convey on words the deep conflicting emotions, the feeling of fear and awe, and the desire for inspired understanding of the Divine Creator’s work which presents to the human eye such a complex aggregate of natural wonders.”

Jill and I are glad we went out of a logical route to make the trip to Carlsbad. Unfortunately, upon arriving there we had to disconnect the car from the RV or risk getting stuck in the parking lot. Jill then noticed that the electrical plug had popped out of the receptacle and we had dragged it for 200 miles. A new light cable is required but we should have no trouble getting one in the city of Carlsbad on the morning.[/I]
Thank you - We will definitely stop at the Space Museum
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
We've driven it a few times - both directions - with our 40' MH pulling the Jeep. It was a good drive to us but then we drive mountains all the time.

It sounds like you're going eastbound so all it is is a 16-mile uphill... very doable for you. To give you an idea.... here is a description going westbound.

From the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers' (highly recommended):

"Westbound - 16 miles of 6% - 7% downgrade. It's a 4315' drop in elevation in 16 miles. It begins at Cloudcroft. Speed limit is 35 mph with 30 mph curves. There are two runaway truck ramps with a tunnel inbetween them".

Note that 6-7% is very typical in the western mountains.

Again.... you're going eastbound and it's all uphill... a lot easier than a downhill. Enjoy the trip!
Thanks for the information. I will give it a try. Sounds like it might not be as bad as I thought. We will be heading Eastbound.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:57 PM   #7
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It isn't narrow at all other than through one tunnel a few miles west of Cloudcroft. Beautiful drive through the mountains. You'll need to check if there are any height restrictions. My Nash TT is 11.5 ft high.
Thanks. I will be sure to check the tunnel height
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thanks. I will be sure to check the tunnel height
The tunnel is no issue. Our 40' MH fit and semi trucks use the road.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:05 PM   #9
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Spent many a summer in Cloudcroft as a kid. Great place.

You might also look at going through Ruidoso and Roswell then down to the caverns. It's a good bit farther but much better roads.
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Old 03-21-2021, 03:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the information and suggestions. We started on our trip a week ago but had the motor that operates the slides and jacks seize. We were able to get back home but our trip to New Mexico has been canceled. Maybe next year
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