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Old 10-26-2020, 11:44 AM   #1
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Travel through the Rockies in December

We have a 2012 Fleetwood Jamboree Sport 28y. We are considering a roundtrip from Burlington, NC to Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Does anyone know if chains are required along the way. Has anyone ever used chains on their RVs? Do we need to be concerned about frozen lines as long as we are traveling and using the RV every day and staying in it during the evening? Any precautions on using the slide-out overnight during stops? It will be heated while parked. Will the heat from the cab be sufficient for the coach while we are driving? We will be leaving Burlington on 12/1 and will be back in Burlington on 12/23. We don't plan on putting winterizing because we need to use the facilities during the trip - although, if necessary, we can put antifreeze in the gray/black tank and down the drains if deemed necessary. Any suggestions to make this a memorable (in a good way) trip.

Thanks for any helpful advice

The Budinskis
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:48 AM   #2
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You'll need to check the rules for each state regarding chains. Sites like this one for Washington (not in the Rockies). https://www.wsdot.com/winter/tires-chains.htm

I'd be concerned about leaving a slide out when it could snow. Both weight issues and concerns with how you'd clean it off to retract. If you need to have them out bring ladder(s), broom(s) and whatever else you might need to clear the top of the slide or it's cover.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:56 AM   #3
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The chain requirement , will be road condition dependent , you have to have them and be ready to use them when the signage goes up , or get off the road and wait till the signage comes down , and in December that could be a long wait.
Areas in CO , had a foot of snow over night , and they are still under a winter storm warning . Who knows what the weather will hold 6 weeks from now .
Slides could freeze open and plumbing freeze up due to sudden overnight temp drops , even with heat on in the RV.

Any chance you can reschedule your trip to next June?
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:42 PM   #4
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Avoid the mountains in a RV in the winter. Lived there 22 years. RVs are scary on snow and ice. Little control.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:51 PM   #5
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Current chain laws
https://landline.media/article/ooida...9sfR2BvM9NOIG8
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:58 PM   #6
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For Washington that only shows the rules for vehicles over 10,000 pounds. My last weigh of my combined weight was 180 pounds less!
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:06 PM   #7
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For Washington that only shows the rules for vehicles over 10,000 pounds. My last weigh of my combined weight was 180 pounds less!
2 Whoppers,large fries, and a couple of jumbo shakes ..You will exceed that "cushion"....
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:14 PM   #8
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2 Whoppers,large fries, and a couple of jumbo shakes ..You will exceed that "cushion"....
And when the officer takes a look at my cat he'll be really skeptical!

My main concern would be that the officer might not accept the weigh ticket that's months old, or that I might be in an area where I cannot download it to my phone. If you look at those Washington rules there are areas where you are supposed to carry chains during certain months of the year, regardless of the weather. I'm very unlikely to drag my trailer through snow, but one of those areas is part of I-90. I could see myself going through there in warmer weather. I guess I'd better not speed!
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:20 PM   #9
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Who knows? Maybe you'd be lucky and have an easy passage through the Rockies. However, weather can change quickly here. Two days ago it was 70 and today at noon it's 10 and snowing. You will need chains in Colorado. Places to pull off the road to wait things out can be few and far between - and often the truckers will have claimed all of them.

Just things to consider.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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I lived in colorado for 10 years, in my experience people there take chains required as a warning and don't use them anyhow, so just be extra cautious of idiots
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:18 PM   #11
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We had to drive the motorhome from CA to CO last February since we moved. But we were a bit nervous and checked the weather forecast as far ahead as we could. Avoided I70 and I80 because of unfavorable snow forecast and took the most southern route on I40. Turned out a good trip until we got to Pueblo. Got snowed in on the campground and had to knock the frozen slush from the slide covers (took about an hour in freezing cold). And, yes, all the plumbing froze, fortunately no permanent damage.

That said, some 30 years ago we rented a motorhome not knowing anything, and spent 4 glorious sunny weeks driving around the Southwest and the Rockies in December and January.

So, your mileage my vary....If you really want to do this, maybe sneak up from the South and make a quick dash through the mountains when the weather looks good. Or stay south on I10 to Arizona if that does not look good.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fiesta48 View Post
Avoid the mountains in a RV in the winter. Lived there 22 years. RVs are scary on snow and ice. Little control.
Agree, go south, will only add another day. I just went through Colorado last month and there was snow on the ground when we went over Monarch. No way I would ever run any of those mountain passes on ice covered roads. We came home on the southern route.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:24 PM   #13
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Chains are required in Colorado after September 15 I believe. The fine for not having them is pretty stiff.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:29 PM   #14
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You state you're from Tucson, AZ. Is there any specific reason you're doing those states in winter as a quick roundtrip? Basically, not advised in winter.

Leave your slides in... not only for the fact of freezing, snow, ice but also because your RV will stay warmer with the slides in.

Don't leave your sewer or water hose outside. Use and fill and then store it. Run off your fresh water tank.

Do you have heat running into your basement for your lines? If not, it's best to winterize. Bring jugs of water for use and have your meals in a restaurant.

Have you rounded up RV parks to stay at that time of year?

One thing... your bed mattress will be freezing when you get in at night. Bring along flannel sheets. If you find a park with electric an electric blanket or mattress pad would be great.

It doesn't sound like a pleasant trip. Good luck!
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