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Old 06-23-2021, 07:18 PM   #1
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Nervous about towing 44 ft 5ver thru Colorado

Have been towing for years - Most recently 35ft travel trailer and 30ft gooseneck but never been out west. Just about to buy a new fifth wheel toy hauler to take on a 18 day midwest adventure with the family. Traveling from North Carolina up to Mt. Rushmore, down to Silverthorne, CO then to Farmington NM, then back home across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee. Don't see many people talking about towing a 44 ft, especially in the Rockies. Pulling with a 2016 Chevrolet 3500 dually diesel. Trailer should weight 18K +/-. Should I be worried about anything?
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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Paying attention to the driving and not sight seeing while moving

Paying attention to the Idiots

Otherwise....enjoy the trip and the memories being made!
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:57 PM   #3
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Your bumper to bumper will probably be less than 5' longer with the 5er, if that much. I went from a 20'TT to a 30' fifth wheel and my bumper to bumper lengths are within inches of each other. Sit back and enjoy. BTW I'm just at 65' with the Jeep hooked up. Doesn't cause any problems at all if I don't back up.
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:58 PM   #4
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^^^^ What OLD BISCUIT said.

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Old 06-24-2021, 05:01 AM   #5
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That's a trip you will never forget, enjoy! Your truck will handle it.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:09 AM   #6
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The truck will handle it fine but some of the areas you mentioned you will need to pay attention to curves in relation to the length of your rig. You are going to be in the area of a semi lengthwise and there are some roads in Colorado that will be really tight. Red Mountain Pass on the Million Dollar highway between Montrose and Farmington is high (12,000 ft), twisty and has an absence of guard rails. It is completely doable in you rig, just have to extra vigilant.

In the Black Hills in South Dakota don't even think about doing the Needles Highway with the trailer. You will never make it through the tunnels.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:27 AM   #7
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keep your downhill speeds in check

Not much to add, and I'm not sure you're familiar with mountain driving but I'd say just be mindful of speeds. 6 to 10% grades will get you accelerating in no time. While you have a very capable tow vehicle with good engine braking, that is a lot of weight behind you. Make sure trailer brakes work well and do use the brake check areas before heading downhill. Allow time for brakes to cool too. Don't start an 8% downgrade at 65 MPH.

Happy travels.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:12 AM   #8
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plan ahead

I agree with the others. I towed my 41 foot fifth wheel into the mountains of NC. Not exactly the same but some of the issues I had may help. Getting there on the highways was easy. The problems were:
1. Low hanging trees. Just keep an eye on where you are traveling
2. Getting into campgrounds. Some of the entrance roads were very tight off of the main road.
3. The tight turns were hard on the backroad causing me to swing into the oncoming lane to keep my camper on the road. Use your GPS ( camper type) to keep you out of al tight turn roads. Mine redirected me a few times.
4. Hills up and down can be challenging. Take your time.
5. Keep fueled up. Diesel maybe hard to find were you can get to a pump with the trailer on.

Hope this helps. Most are just common sense. I know it was allot more challenging in the mountains. Plan ahead. I pulled up blood mountain in NC. It was a long pull with allot of turns. I will not do that again
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:29 AM   #9
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Choose your route carefully, imo, Silverthorne to Leadville to Buena Vista south to the 160 to Durango to Farmington. Only real bad pass is wolf creek, there i would suggest be extremely cautious coming down the west side to pagosa springs.
Smooth sailing from pagosa to Farmington.
Or , take I 70 to grand junction then south to Durango. Probably the least strssful , but, a little further.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:07 AM   #10
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Whenever I see a thread like this I think about the old movie "The Long Long Trailer". When I was a kid our family camped in a fairly long trailer all the time, towing it with a station wagon, which often overheated. When we were out near Saint George Utah my Dad decided to rig up a hose to the hose bib at the front of the trailer, ran it through the vehicle, and rigged a garden sprayer in front of the radiator. He put a valve at the left side at the driver's seat, and whenever it started overheating he'd turn it on and it would cool it right down. Pretty clever.

Later on a company called Vapor Cool made a product that included a tank with a 12v pump, tubing and a sprayer. He used that for years, then I later used it in my small pickup truck when I was towing a ski boat. It really works like a charm.

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Old 06-24-2021, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvafamily View Post
Have been towing for years - Most recently 35ft travel trailer and 30ft gooseneck but never been out west. Just about to buy a new fifth wheel toy hauler to take on a 18 day midwest adventure with the family. Traveling from North Carolina up to Mt. Rushmore, down to Silverthorne, CO then to Farmington NM, then back home across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee. Don't see many people talking about towing a 44 ft, especially in the Rockies. Pulling with a 2016 Chevrolet 3500 dually diesel. Trailer should weight 18K +/-. Should I be worried about anything?
Most of that route is not an issue except for Silverthorne - 9K feet and single lane winding road with rocks on one side and river on the other. Learn to use your engine to slow down on the way down and go slow. Pull over and let those behind you pass.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:15 PM   #12
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Just remember the roads are built for 18-wheelers hauling trailers much larger than what you are pulling. You've got plenty of truck and experience. You'll be fine.... have fun!
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:42 PM   #13
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Be aware that while I-70 is fairly straight forward there are portions that are bad. Particularly some very rough road to bridge transitions that have the potential to get your whole rig loosey goosey if you take them at the speed limit.
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:58 PM   #14
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Nervous about towing 44 ft 5ver thru Colorado

There is a directory you can get called Mountain Directory West. There is an east one also.

I would never ever take that rig across the million dollar highway. I can’t drive it in a dinky jeep without shaking. It means I wouldn’t take a million dollars to drive across that road.

Before the pandemic, a bunch of us went to Crested Butte across route 50.

We went Over a pass about 12500 ft. I followed a Ram dualie towing a huge fiver over and it has zero problems. Your truck will be fine. Just make sure you check them trailer brakes before leaving also and to use all the tricks you have on that truck to keep the speed down.

Some of those road out there aren’t meant to go over with any truck. So went I went across the million dollar hwy in 2013, I stopped at a rest area half way up, in pulls one of those rental class c’s and out pops like 8 teenagers, the driver was chain smoking, they just jumped back in and he floors it and up the mountain he went.

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Not me! I’d research any mountain route thoroughly. That is a pic at the rest area halfway up. Gorgeous
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