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US 34 & 40 RMNP Estes PArk to I70 Safe for 5thwheel?


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#1 FLAKPA

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

We are planning to spend considerable time discovering (and flyfishing) Colorado in July and August in our new 5th wheel.. We will be towing a 39ft Montana BigSky with a new F350 dually king cab. Will we be safe over these mountain roads? Meaning is there enough room to tow the rig safely. Of course I'll make every effort to be courteous and use pullouts, but just need to know if this is in the realm of doable. We are thinkng of leaving Ft. Collins up US34 through Rocky Mountain National Park, through Grank Lake to Grandby and then US 40 to I70 near Georgetown. Thanks!
Robert & Kerri
Class of 2012
2011 F350 King Cab Dually
2013 Montana 3582RL (July delivery)

#2 Jim2

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

Although its a long climb up (topping out over 12,000 ft), US 34 is a good road during the short summer season when its open. Most years they try to have it plowed open by Memorial Day weekend, but some years its closer to the 4th of July. Since this winter has been a light snow year so far, unless the spring brings unusually heavy snows, it should be no problem this July. Its a popular route with lots of tourist traffic, but plenty of pullouts.

Unless you have a reason to return via Winter Park/Bethoud Pass, I would consider continuing west on 40 to Kremling, then south on 9 past the Green Mountain Reservoir & Blue River, hitting I70 at Silverthorne. There is some good fishing along Hiway 9, and you will avoid the sharp switchbacks going down Berthoud Pass..

Or for some premier fly fishing, stay on US40 over Rabbit Ears Pass to my old hometown of Steamboat Springs. Depending on where you're headed next, fishing the Yampa and mountain streams around Steamboat is hard to beat.
Jim

#3 Al Florida

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:57 PM

Going through RMNP on route 34 is the problem. Do you have experience going up long slow steep climbs at 15mph to 30 mph, then coming down in 2nd gear, maybe even getting up to 3rd gear, using your engine braking to keep from overheating your brakes? If so then yes you can take this route maybe. Will this be the first time with this rig? Then NO. You haven't tested how you rig will handle in not nearly as steep, slow climbs and descents. This road will test the abilities of most any large rig and the driver. I don't think you can find a more severe road in the west than this route, unless you go on some local roads or state highways.

The road itself is a normal width 2 lane highway. Generally no paved shoulders though.

I don't know the loaded weight of your 39 foot trailer and the combined weight limit of your truck, but I would be very surprised if, loaded for travel, you were not a the max GCVR if not somewhat over.

Al & Sharon
2005 Born Free 26RSB 4X4
No Toad
San Antonio, Tx


#4 FLAKPA

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:08 PM

Jim... THANK YOU! I will take your advice. My hopewas the US highway system (34&40) might provide safe passage with a large rig. I believe I'm hearing that State 9 is also passable (and fishable!)??

Our destination is Glenwood Springs for a week on the Pan and Roaring Fork. Then a week on the Gunnison then a week on the Animas and a week on the Conejos. Then it's off to Escapade Bootcamp.

Appreciate the advice. I thought 9 would be out of the question. Great to know!
Robert & Kerri
Class of 2012
2011 F350 King Cab Dually
2013 Montana 3582RL (July delivery)

#5 FLAKPA

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

Al... Yes, this will be the first time out. Our original plan was to come down I25 and up I70 to Glennwood Springs. Thanks for the advice!
Robert & Kerri
Class of 2012
2011 F350 King Cab Dually
2013 Montana 3582RL (July delivery)

#6 Rif

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:43 PM

I took my rig (see description in my sig) over this route. Some of the turns were tight, be we manged fine. The only issue we had was when coming in to Estes Park itself. I did not take the truck route and had to make a right hand turn in the middle of town on the main street. There was no easy way to make that turn. Traffic had to get out of my way so I could swing wide enough.

It is a steep, slow, beautiful drive.
2000 Volvo 770, 500HP/1650FP Cummins N14 and 10 Speed Autoshift 3.58 Rear 202" WB, 2002 Teton Aspen Royal 43 Foot, Burgman 650 Scooter

#7 Al Florida

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:03 PM

Keep in mind an F350 towing max load slowly up a steep grade could overheat. If it does there are a limited number of places on US34 inside RMNP to pull over and let it cool. You could be in the position of having to either stop and block traffic for the time it takes to cool down or keep driving for 1-4 miles looking for a place to pull over.

Al & Sharon
2005 Born Free 26RSB 4X4
No Toad
San Antonio, Tx