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Old 02-15-2021, 03:30 PM   #1
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Tunnel Route to/from Zion?

We have a 37 foot MH pulling a Kia Sorrento on a dolly. In late April/early May we plan to go from Monument Valley to Page to Zion and then on to Bryce. The most direct route to/from Zion appears to be Route 9. I understand that there is a tunnel with size restrictions. I think our height is fine (just under 13 feet) but our total length would exceed the 50 foot limit. I was wondering if it would make sense to unload the SUV from the dolly and just have my wife drive it through, thus meeting the length requirements? I assume there would be some sort of pull offs within 10 to 15 miles of the tunnel to accomplish this. We would probably just unload it once before the tunnel coming into Zion and then reload it after the tunnel after leaving Zion. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageNomad View Post
We have a 37 foot MH pulling a Kia Sorrento on a dolly. In late April/early May we plan to go from Monument Valley to Page to Zion and then on to Bryce. The most direct route to/from Zion appears to be Route 9. I understand that there is a tunnel with size restrictions. I think our height is fine (just under 13 feet) but our total length would exceed the 50 foot limit. I was wondering if it would make sense to unload the SUV from the dolly and just have my wife drive it through, thus meeting the length requirements? I assume there would be some sort of pull offs within 10 to 15 miles of the tunnel to accomplish this. We would probably just unload it once before the tunnel coming into Zion and then reload it after the tunnel after leaving Zion. Any thoughts?
I assume you've read the Nat'l Park Service info on the tunnel.

https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvis...mel-tunnel.htm

A very good option is from Page to take 89 to Kanab, UT then head south a few miles to Fredonia, AZ and pick up AZ389 which becomes UT 59 and head east on UT9 to Zion.

For Bryce take UT9 to I-15 north to UT20 then east to 89 south to Hwy 12 east to Bryce.

Don't be tempted to take UT14 off I-15 instead of UT 20. It's very steep.
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:14 PM   #3
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I believe they charge for large vehicles as they have to stop tragic & pilot you through. There are sharp switchbacks after the tunnel. That's why the length limit.
Been a few years since we were there.
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
I assume you've read the Nat'l Park Service info on the tunnel.

https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvis...mel-tunnel.htm

A very good option is from Page to take 89 to Kanab, UT then head south a few miles to Fredonia, AZ and pick up AZ389 which becomes UT 59 and head east on UT9 to Zion.

For Bryce take UT9 to I-15 north to UT20 then east to 89 south to Hwy 12 east to Bryce.

Don't be tempted to take UT14 off I-15 instead of UT 20. It's very steep.

Thanks for the feedback on this. However, that makes me question the ability of RVTripWizzard to keep me out of trouble as it tells me to use UT14.
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:34 PM   #5
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Nope... don't use 14 unless you're very confident driving a steep mountain. I'd never rely totally on any kind of mapping program with a RV. Always research the highways when in the mountains. There are many YouTube videos of popular drives. A lot are done by motorcyclists which go faster and they love those curves so keep in mind that you'll be going much, much slower. Some have awful music which you may have to mute.

Instead, get the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers & RVers'. It states: "10,000' elevation, 8% grades, 25 mph curves, it's in a forest, etc."

Hwy 20 is also in the directory "westbound 4-8% grade, 45 mph curves for 7 miles"; "eastbound starts down about 8% and gradually lessens over the next 3.5 mi until it flattens out". The elevation isn't nearly as high and it's wide open countryside.

We've driven both.... Hwy 14 in the Jeep and it's a beautiful drive but we wouldn't take the motorhome on it. Hwy 20 was a piece of cake.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:03 AM   #6
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you are smart to ask about the tunnel restrictions. go to the web site and verify what the restrictions are. there are two types.

for the smaller restrictions you pay a fee (i think it is $15 but not sure). this allows the traffic control people to close the tunnel to two way traffic and open it to one way traffic. you can then drive through the tunnel in the middle of the road and not have to worry about oncoming traffic. this fee allows you to travel the tunnel both ways within a 7 day time period. but expect dome delays as it take them time to stop the two way traffic and get the one way traffic going each way.

the next restriction is no access as you simply will not fit. no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

check the website and see where you fit. the idea of offloading the car is a good one. but if you are going to have to pay the fee anyway to get the rv through, and leaving the car attached still keeps you within the limits, i don't see a need to detach it.

but all this depends upon knowing you size and the limits. the web site if very good explaining this.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Nope... don't use 14 unless you're very confident driving a steep mountain. I'd never rely totally on any kind of mapping program with a RV. Always research the highways when in the mountains. There are many YouTube videos of popular drives. A lot are done by motorcyclists which go faster and they love those curves so keep in mind that you'll be going much, much slower. Some have awful music which you may have to mute.

Instead, get the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers & RVers'. It states: "10,000' elevation, 8% grades, 25 mph curves, it's in a forest, etc."

Hwy 20 is also in the directory "westbound 4-8% grade, 45 mph curves for 7 miles"; "eastbound starts down about 8% and gradually lessens over the next 3.5 mi until it flattens out". The elevation isn't nearly as high and it's wide open countryside.

We've driven both.... Hwy 14 in the Jeep and it's a beautiful drive but we wouldn't take the motorhome on it. Hwy 20 was a piece of cake.



Good resource about the mountain directory. As a new RVer from flat Florida, mountain driving has me a bit apprehensive. We did some coming through the mountains in Virginia and North Carolina but that was while not pulling a toad. What grade percent up and down is considered to be reasonably doable when pulling a vehicle with a as Class A? I'm sure the number and severity of the switchbacks factors into that equation.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:04 AM   #8
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Zion tunnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageNomad View Post
We have a 37 foot MH pulling a Kia Sorrento on a dolly. In late April/early May we plan to go from Monument Valley to Page to Zion and then on to Bryce. The most direct route to/from Zion appears to be Route 9. I understand that there is a tunnel with size restrictions. I think our height is fine (just under 13 feet) but our total length would exceed the 50 foot limit. I was wondering if it would make sense to unload the SUV from the dolly and just have my wife drive it through, thus meeting the length requirements? I assume there would be some sort of pull offs within 10 to 15 miles of the tunnel to accomplish this. We would probably just unload it once before the tunnel coming into Zion and then reload it after the tunnel after leaving Zion. Any thoughts?
I've done the Zion tunnel 3 times with a 36' Winnebago Journey towing a car and it was really neat. There was a charge don't remember $10 or $15 bucks the rangers stop the traffic and you have to disconnect the car. Don't skip this adventure we have done it bouth ways without a problem. Go for it!
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:53 PM   #9
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Have you considered staying east of Zion and just driving the Kia to the zion visitors center when visiting the park? From what I have read you may need to be there before 8 am to get a parking spot, but that would avoid the tunnel with the class A. We are going in July, durango, moab, then Panguitch. Staying east of Zion puts us within range of Zion, north rim, capitol reef, and Bryce from one camping location. From NC, going out on 40, home on 70. Just food for thought, we recently changed our itinerary ourselves. So much to see in that area.


Dan
NC
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageNomad View Post
Good resource about the mountain directory. As a new RVer from flat Florida, mountain driving has me a bit apprehensive. We did some coming through the mountains in Virginia and North Carolina but that was while not pulling a toad. What grade percent up and down is considered to be reasonably doable when pulling a vehicle with a as Class A? I'm sure the number and severity of the switchbacks factors into that equation.
The Directory is also published in an Eastern version. Even though we drove in the mountains all the time we still referred to it to refresh our memory as to what is coming up.

Even interstates go to 6% and a few sections are 7% but having more lanes makes them easier since you can get in the far right and go at your pace and you can see farther ahead. Sometimes on two-lanes you feel pressured if someone is behind you, especially motorcycles. Don't let them get to you.

In the western mountains 7% & 8% are typical on two-lane roads and are very doable pulling a car behind a Class A. You just have to be in tune in what you're driving. Going uphill is just slow. Don't pull over midway since it will be more difficult to get going uphill again. Just keep on pluggin'. Going downhill you have to remember not to leave your foot on the brake pedal or they'll be smoking in no time. Get into low gear before beginning the downhill and you won't have to use the pedal but for a few short pumps.

We find the eastern hills can be difficult because they're usually short and curvy and you can't get a running start going up.

Above all, don't avoid those areas. That's where the beauty is! The more you do it the easier they become.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:47 PM   #11
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One new YouTube video mentioned that they were not allowing any restricted traffic as there was a manpower shortage and they didn't have the personnel to control traffic at both ends of the tunnel. So read carefully, make phone calls, etc, first.

Also another video mentioned that there are no turn arounds on either end of the tunnel or even large enough pull offs for anything other than a car or pickup.

This video is new and I believe that they were out in Zion last fall.

https://youtu.be/O8I9-IHmvlo

Charles
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