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Old 03-24-2021, 07:31 PM   #1
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Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

Any thoughts on traveling from Pagosa Springs Colorado to South Fork Colorado over Wolf Creek Pass? Towing 15k 5th wheel with 1-ton diesel.

Any better alternate routes?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:45 PM   #2
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I can't specifically speak to your setup pulling a 5th wheel, but we traveled that pass a year ago, March, in our gas Class A with toad in the same direction as your planned trip. My recollection is that the ascent was not all that bad and well within the capability of our Ford with V10 and 6-spd. The descent, however, was fairly steep and required judicious speed and brake control. Using a semi ahead of me as a guide, we were in 3rd gear and holding at a speed in the 30's for most of the steepest section until it started to flatten out. That enabled me to stay off the brakes except for when speed started to climb, at which point momentary hard braking brought the speed back down and let the transmission work again at retarding speed. It was very doable in our Class A. You'll just need to manage gearing and speed on the descent.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:56 PM   #3
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Did it in a Trpe C mh w/351 Ford engine towing an older '95 Honda Ody on a dolly. Made it but 25 mph in low or second. Down the west side was a trick to keep the brakes from overheating. Friend of ours in a Type A MH had no brakes and couldn't stop at all.
I ended up having to replace the brakes on the dolly but the surge brakes did their job.
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:19 PM   #4
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I drive wolf creek at least 20 times a year so probably a bit biased but it is a good road and there are no better alternatives unless you are willing to go way way way out of the way as in hundreds of miles
Sounds like you might be going west to east so you will go up the seemingly steeper side and going down the east side which I would say is easier to get down. You should have no problems
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:35 PM   #5
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Have driven it many times and it's a good condition road. As said, it's a steep climb going east but keep your speed under control coming down and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:30 PM   #6
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No better routes. Go for it! It's traveled by many RVers.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:43 AM   #7
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Thanks...will be going that way in late May...hope everyone has a great 2021!
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:55 AM   #8
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We had MUCH less trouble with Wolf Pass (both ways) then we did with Teton Pass going west !!!

Like most anything - go to youtube and search for wolf creek pass westbound or eastbound to watch a video

The first ascent on Teton surprised me since it was after a SLOW hard left turn (mainly because of cars going 25 mph thru it) and then straight up ! I never recovered and was yelling "I'm Sorry!" out the window to the many, many cars behind me

Thought about pulling off to a pullout, but they were on the downhill side and I didn't think I'd make it across traffic and gain even the 25 mph speed I was going :(

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Old 03-25-2021, 08:28 AM   #9
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we did it last fall towing a 16,000 lb 5th wheel with a 1 ton diesel pickup. you'll go slow but big deal. downshift and use the diesel exhaust brake going down. we did and i barely even touched the brake pedal. i can't think of any reason why you shouldn't do it. you've got the proper tow vehicle. just pay attention! and enjoy yourself!
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:07 AM   #10
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I'd highly recommend you get (check online) the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers'. It comes in both eastern and western editions. Very helpful to give you a 'heads up'.

It states "from the summit you'll see signs of 7% for the next 9 miles. Stay in lower gear. Speed limit is 25 mph and it's four lanes. There are two runaway truck ramps at 4.5 and 6 miles down from the summit. After passing the second ramp the 7% grade continues for another 2 mi. and then gradually changes to rolling hills."

We did this Pass in the opposite direction one rainy, foggy, cold Sunday. The workers weren't on duty but they had the hwy. torn up and the bare sections had a coating of oil on it. Not fun!! We've done it at other times in both directions and no issues.... just take it slow.

While in Pagosa Springs definitely take the time to soak in the awesome immaculate pools of varying temperatures. The Springs overlook the small town and the river and it makes for a very relaxing couple of hours. Bring a cooler with drinks and snacks and enjoy!
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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