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Old 06-22-2016, 06:32 AM   #29
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He happens to have an F-150, he was not asking what to buy, and I am sure he did not want to get into the argument of what is the best truck. I am sure there are many trucks out there that can do a great job, but that is not what he asked.

If you are reading this, it means I have made it another day!!!
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:32 AM   #30
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The family moved to Co. in '59. I learned to drive here. The most important thing to remember is to give yourself enough time to really enjoy the scenery, and solve the odd problem or two. Second most is to stay prepared for weather and road conditions far worse than where and when you woke up - things can change a lot 10 miles or 10 minutes down the road. Almost everybody makes it OK. Go slow and enjoy.Don

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:41 AM   #31
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I've not towed on those passes. I am not found of driving them at all. I've only driven them in the winter when there was no other option. <3
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:17 AM   #32
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Right you are

Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
This is about two miles from my house. I drive it several times per week. I don't think it's quite that steep. I believe the signs say 6%, maybe 7%. Fortunately, the steep part is only about six miles. Also, there are no 1000 foot drops, 150 maybe, but only trucks have an issue with it.

Here is some info on that runaway ramp. I think there are only a couple like it in the country. http://www.wyoroad.info/Highway/Runa...mpInfo2012.pdf
Thanks, Thalweg... We hit 9% last summer somewhere out your way... I thought it was that stretch. I just thought the runaway ramp there looked like aircraft carrier arresting gear... I didn't realize it actually was until your link. Looks like it stopped an 80,000 pound truck doing 80 MPH without injury to the driver. Pretty impressive!

The other 9% we hit this year was on Utah 46 just west of the Colorado line where the road becomes CO 90. AllStays says: Road Grade, La Sal, Utah 84530 - Road Grade, 46, La Sal Jct, UT and Bedrock, CO, GPS: 38.33977, -109.20961 7690 ft elev, 9 percent grade for 2 miles.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:13 PM   #33
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I remember doing Utah 46 a few years ago on the way to Moab. Totally caught us off guard; we had NO idea going by the old fashioned Rand McNally map that there was THAT big and long of a climb there. It wasn't on the edge of a cliff or anything like the San Juan Skyway, but man was it a looooooooong constant slow pull. I had never heard of it before, and haven't caught a mention of it since anywhere. But that IS a hardly-talked-about climb that surely seems to come out of nowhere.

Another one is McClure Pass at 9% for several miles. McClure made Monarch seem like nothing...it is VERY hot in the summer up McClure Pass, and it is unforgiving and constantly up up up...coolant temps hit 238 going up that one but ultimately was no real problem. Just unexpected!
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:14 AM   #34
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We had an F150 and used it but passes either up or especially down were too much work and we switched to an F350 6.7 Diesel. Just for kicks we took the same route with this set up, the F350 and our 30' FC to see the difference between the two.

Simply no comparison. Engine brake and diesel power actually make the trip a fun experience. And we lost our "tow/haul function on the way out last year, still not fixed as the "computer" says it's working, but even without it not one issue.

One can certainly do it with the 1/2 tons if one wishes, just take it slow and don't get caught up in the psychology of trying to not hold people up if they get stuck behind you.


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Old 06-23-2016, 09:37 AM   #35
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I agree with GHAYNES 755. My husband and I have lived in Colorado all our lives and have traveled on almost every road in the state. We live in Summit County and have to travel a pass in every direction just to leave our home in Frisco. It's no big deal if you know what you're doing. The most frightening thing on the road is getting behind someone who doesn't.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:04 AM   #36
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I'm a "flat lander"; I have asked this question many times. I don't go east or west or take big bridges and do everything to avoid them. I wish there were warnings ahead of time to indicate the type of hills and mountains. I try to avoid them and not obstruct traffic. I don't even climb ladders.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:21 PM   #37
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[kdickinson---"I've been over most of them including Mosquito, Engineer, Black Bear, Imogene, just did Cottonwood a couple weeks ago - none of those with my Airstream. Monarch, Wolf Creek, La Veta, and Raton..... ]

Wow!!! I've seen some REALLY incredible things claimed, but I thought I'd seen the most incredible just above. I had to read it twice to note that you DID write "...none of those with my Airstream." I was blown away when I first saw Black Bear noted.....That's the only mountain pass I've ever seen where you had to deliberately crab the wheels across the shale.....

Raton, as you obviously know, is Interstate, four lane-divided I-25 going south. My wife and I were in a '97 Expedition with the big engine, towing a 30' AS, in early September. We made the top at about 40 MPH, crested and started down. I down shifted one gear (wasn't the first time over Raton, nor the first time in the Rockies), and sat back with the rig making steady about 50-55, with the engine doing the braking. About a half mile down, the trailer did a doe-si-doe to the right, which I corrected automatically. About 2 seconds later, the doe-si-doe was the other way. This time I couldn't correct it completely, and we started oscillating back and forth, with bad wind gusts not helping at all. I was fighting the rig so hard that I couldn't get to the trailer brake squeeze paddle to dampen the oscillations. I managed to get the whole thing down to about 35-40, but I was pointed at the left Jersey barricade by that time. Both airbags blew, and the TV rolled twice and came to rest right side up; the trailer laid down on its right side, collapsed, and separated from the hitch by about 10 feet across the two southbound lanes. Both vehicles were demolished. My wife got a slight bruise on her left thigh, and I got a tiny cut on my left elbow. Ben, the Airedale, who had been asleep on the back seat, went (deliberately) out the one side window that was gone, and headed north for Denver.....he didn't know what had happened, but it was enough for him.

The post mortem showed there were no problems with any tire (all were undamaged), the Reese hitch and sway components were undamaged, and the NM patrolman found no evidence of any malfunction with the brakes. Interestingly, a trucker had left the summit parking lot behind me just as we went past; he got the whole thing on his dash cam, but unfortunately he was too far back for it to show any detail.

The insurance contact in Albuquerque said that he had had a similar experience on Raton near the summit in a midrange 4-door sedan. He said that there are occasions of high wind gusts on the pass. The AS has a lot of area to gather sideways forces from wind gusts.

Interestingly, last summer we were coming back from Creede towing a 30' AS, and went over Raton in a 2011 F-250 diesel. I set the cruise control on 70, and the transmission on manual; it stayed between 65 and 70 all the way up the north slope, and all the way down on the south side. The trailer was comparable, but the TV certainly was more hefty.....

Mosquito I've never been over, but all the rest are magnificent and worth the trouble.

Except Big Bear.....
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #38
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Raton Pass claims it share of trailers of all types. In the last 6-7 years I've driven that pass 1 to 2 times per year. I've seen two travel trailers and one boat flipped over. All three had the tow vehicle on it's side. Trooper was spot on about the winds in the pass. Can be very gusty.

Did Mosquito pass when we first moved to Colorado. Eastbound Leadville to Alma. Fantastic scenery and like 99.9% of all roads in Colorado no guard rails. Wife said never again but eastbound the passenger side gets the best views .
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:17 PM   #39
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Try Hwy 12 in Utah. 14% grade. Beautiful drive.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:55 PM   #40
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We recently moved to beautiful Colorado. We tried one of these mountain passes years ago. Luckily we had the Jeep. Tight, but made it okay.

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Old 06-27-2016, 09:38 PM   #41
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Photo shopped?
Evelyn & Mikki,(chihuahua) or Nikko (Pomeranian mix) Near Denver, Colorado
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:19 AM   #42
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I've been so fortunate to be able to drive the passes in the southwest part of the state. I grew up in the Scouting program and joined Explorer Post 404 in Albuquerque. That was in the 70's. We were a 4X4 (why the 404 number was chosen) Explorer Post and did search & rescue through the year but once a year we did a big trip which included the big passes in Colorado. Great days and great memories - I drove a '74 Blazer that still had the genuine Hurst shifter for the transfer case and the removable fiberglass top which extended over the driver & passenger area to the windshield. That was then, these days when I want to go up the expert jeep trails I pay for a Jeep tour and sit in the back. Ouray is still recognizable from as it looked in the 70's, Telluride is as if it was torn down and rebuilt which it basically was. If you ever make it down there a fun drive is from the Segway area to Telluride across the Last Dollar road - also not a trailer road and it requires a high clearance 4WD vehicle just because you cross a few shallow streams and bump across some rocks. No high passes but beautiful scenery and you come out above the Telluride airport looking down on it. Great trip.

Raton Pass - I am so very sorry to hear about your experience. When we are towing our trailer south I plan our trip according to the time of day we will be on the pass and the weather. Even little old Monument Hill a few miles east of where I live - which I don't think of as an actual pass at 7,200' - is unpredictable for weather Labor Day through Memorial Day and any high hill or pass will slow trucks to a crawl creating interesting traffic challenges. Even with my experience driving over these passes I am not immune from an accident on a pass or on a flat road in clear weather and I will tell you it is something I think constantly about when towing.

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