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1st Time heading west in our HDT from Delaware


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Ok experts this will be our 1st trip westward in the HDT and looking for any and all advice. We plan to make it to Taos New Mexico,( visiting son) so going out 70 looking for places to stop, I did check the guide and plan to hit the casino for the St. Louis Arch and also the campground listed in Dodge City. After Taos looking to head up thru Co to pick up 80 heading back east, thanks for any help and info. This is the biggest reason we got our HDT because I told the wife I would not head west with the dually. Thanks again.

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Ok experts this will be our 1st trip westward in the HDT and looking for any and all advice. We plan to make it to Taos New Mexico,( visiting son) so going out 70 looking for places to stop, I did check the guide and plan to hit the casino for the St. Louis Arch and also the campground listed in Dodge City. After Taos looking to head up thru Co to pick up 80 heading back east, thanks for any help and info. This is the biggest reason we got our HDT because I told the wife I would not head west with the dually. Thanks again.

 

You're going to love the truck out on the open road.

 

I'm headed to Moab in mine tomorrow. Really looking forward to it.

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HDT vs a pickup, the ride is different in the way you hit the bumps when going onto a bridge or overpass. If there is a divot out of the pavement the HDT will sound like the front end is coming off, the pickup won't take it as badly.

 

I just did a run from the NO area, Nashville, Hardinsburg, St Louis, KC, Lincoln, Cheyenne, SLC, Boise to Vancouver then finally Victoria. There are good roads and overpasses as well as terrible ones or stretches.

One consistently bad stretches is the I 90 curb lane over the Snoqualmie pass westbound.

 

Areas around Cheyenne to Douglas Wyoming down to Denver get very strong winds which can blow rigs over or off the road, seen that happen. If winds or weather is poor or going to be, hunker down for a few hrs. You don't absolutely have to get somewhere. That having to get somewhere mindset has killed a lot of pilots.

 

Check weather radar on your phone or tablet prior to departure, heed the hiway warning signs, check at the truck stops with drivers for Pireps or actual eyes on weather up front.

 

Do a proper pre trip inspection. More than one person has found a bulge on the inside of a tire. Me included.

 

Be sure everything works the way it should and don't drive when tired.

 

Give at least a 5 second separation b/w you and the vehicle in front, 7-8 if roads are slick.

 

Google up cheap fuel on your route, prices will vary wildly over a short distance.

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Remy, As soon as you leave the Maryland-Delaware area the campsite size generally increases. We've used RV park reviews with good HDT guide. We look at reviews for places that have had either large coaches or 40+ foot fifth wheels.

Run some state roads if you can, the interstates will get you there, but the slower roads have more to see.

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Remy, As soon as you leave the Maryland-Delaware area the campsite size generally increases. We've used RV park reviews with good HDT guide. We look at reviews for places that have had either large coaches or 40+ foot fifth wheels.

Run some state roads if you can, the interstates will get you there, but the slower roads have more to see.

Thanks Jim I always compare the 2 sites for info and will check on secondary roads if time permits.

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We should be leaving around May 15th, headed for Nawlins, Houston, San Antonio, and points West. Eventually to make it around the lower 48. Our first big trip also. Still finding stupid stuff to do before we leave. Remy, I'd leave some bread crumbs for you, but I think you'll be too far North.

 

Stay Safe

Paul & Paula

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I'd steer clear of US64 between Raton and Taos. It's a windy 2-lane road--scenic and fairly flat along the edge of the river for most of it, but fairly narrow and definitely slow (lots of wildlife too). If you want to see it, take the smart. Are you wanting to go to Dodge City for any particular reason? The quickest way from St. Louis--and I would argue easiest with an HDT--is I-70 to US40 at exit 76 in Kansas (Oakley), jog south on US287 to CO-96 and 71, then CO-10 all the way to Walsenburg, where CO-10 continues as US160. That'll take you over La Veta Pass, which is the only significant grade on the route--it's pretty easy, with an extra climbing lane and wide shoulders, and a very gradual descent into Ft. Garland. Personally, I find it easier than Raton Pass just south on I-25, which is more curvy and exposed to the wind. Hang a left in Ft. Garland (only one real intersection in "town"--has a stop sign from the south), and you're headed straight into Taos. Link

 

Depending on what all you're trying to see/do on the trip, you might also consider I-81 to I-40 to US285, or I-44 to I-40 from St. Louis. US285 from Clines Corners to Santa Fe is 2-lanes, but easy; I-44 takes you through the Ozarks in Missouri (and on the OK Turnpike).

 

Make sure you're up-to-date on your navigation heading in to the Casino Queen. There have been a lot of changes in the last several years. My first attempt (when navigation was a GPS connected to a PC with the maps on DVD...) was quite the experience--I was driving faster than it could recalculate, and ended up going through some really rough neighborhoods trying to get turned around. Great place to stay though, especially if you're going over to visit the Arch and museums. If you have time, check out the City Museum.

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As David was mentioning the turn at Oakley, you could take a hard south turn and head straight south on Hwy 83, a little more than an hour, and you will come upon Lake Scott State Park. A nice park with plenty to see, and you might even run into one of the local volunteers there by the name of Larry, our very own past HDT National Rally director! Knows the area well and can give you all the fine points to go explore. If you so go that way, don't miss

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark

After that just head south to Scott City and then turn west on 96 and you will soon be back on route with David's suggestion.

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I agree with David (NukeE) about most of his suggestion, especially CO10/CO160, but taking US50 through Dodge isn't such a bad idea, especially if as a kid, you sat in front of the tv watching cowboys.

 

We rode US50 coast/coast a few years ago, on motorcycles, so I've been to Dodge. Spend a little time there soaking up some history. On the west side of town, on the right, is an overlook where you can see the ruts made by the covered wagons on the Sante Fe Trail. A few miles down the road on the left is the largest privately owned cattle feed lot in the nation. Smells like money...

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Don't have an HDT, but have travelled from the East Coast to the Western states and back for the past 10 years. From Delaware take I-95 South to I-695 West to I-70. There are no tunnels on this route and no need to go South through Baltimore where the tunnels are located.

 

We prefer to take I-68 to I-79 to I-64 to Saint Louis rather than I-70. There is less traffic and the road surface is generally better. From Saint Louis we take US-50 or US-54 West through Missouri and Kansas. Then US-54 to US-412 West in Guymon, OK. US-412 will take you to US-64 at Clayton, NM. You can take US-64 to Taos or stay on US-412 to I-25 North and then take NM-58 West to Cimarron and US-64. There is some mountain driving along this route so get a copy of the Mountain Directories.

Thanks for the info I do know about the Balt tunnels and was looking at 68 to 79, will look at 64 as another option.

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We should be leaving around May 15th, headed for Nawlins, Houston, San Antonio, and points West. Eventually to make it around the lower 48. Our first big trip also. Still finding stupid stuff to do before we leave. Remy, I'd leave some bread crumbs for you, but I think you'll be too far North.

 

Stay Safe

Paul & Paula

Paul, good luck on your 1st big trip keep us informed. Also PM me your email as I never got it at the ECR and want you to get the help needed on your Thunderbolt, I've got a good contact at Forest River who will at least get you the right person to contact to get things started.

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Dave, all great info for me to look into, Dodge City looked cool, I like the old westerns and was a plus as campground listed in the HDT guide but will look at all options as everything west of Indiana will be new to us, thanks again and safe travels

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