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Old 06-16-2019, 01:45 PM   #1
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70 East Moab to Clear Creek Reservoir Colorado??

Any feedback on towing the 70E to Colorado? I am considering a trip towing my 27fb with a 1996 7.4 Suburban 2500 in July. I am reading conflicting information online regarding this route. This would be my first tow to Colorado, I did tow to Moab from SoCal with last year same setup so am comfortable with that part. Any words of advice? Im rollin solo
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:44 PM   #2
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Enjoy the ride. Downshift for the steep grades, up and down. What conflicting information could there be other than winter weather?
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:22 PM   #3
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On other RV forums many are saying its super steep up & down and suggest alternative routes..etc..theres always conflicting info..i like to check these things w/ my Airstream peeps...
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
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I-70 is not a problem. We've driven it many times. You will see all kinds of trucks and RVs on it in both directions. There are some high passes, but there are high passes throughout the West. Take it easy. If need be, stay in the right lane, but if you're going faster than big trucks with their flashers on, stay in a center lane so you don't lose your momentum.

Even in winter, this route is popular with skiers.

Enjoy the views!
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for this info...just trying to be prepared..
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:15 AM   #6
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If you could offer the concerns expressed, maybe we could be of help. It is possible that the age of your rig is of concern to folks who are not aware of how easily an Airstream tows.

The 70E from I15 on through CO to Denver is not exceedingly remarkable, but it is notorious for the truck/trailer testing up and through the Ike Tunnel. I find the long run down the East side into Denver to be the most intimidating section. It is not difficult, but the considerable semi-tractor traffic makes up for the time they lost climbing by rolling quickly on the down grade. The turns are not especially tight, but the trucks make good time. Not necessary or advisable for you to keep up. Those folks have a schedule to keep so they can put money in the bank. Let them take the lead and you take your time.

The mechanical shape of your vehicle (brakes, suspension, transmission, cooling system, and engine) could be of concern if it is not well maintained. The 70E tends to be long with respect to distance at grade, but being an Interstate the grade is only about 6%, and so not overly steep. With a naturally aspirated engine, you will lose some power at altitude, but a 7.4 should have the torque to see you up and over. As normal climbing practice, drop out of the overdrive gear and let the engine breath during the climb.

If you are overly concerned then give the rig a rest on the up side and then again on the down grade. Would not expect it to be a problem, but you should know best what she'll handle.

Good Luck with the trip. Slow and steady. Keep the mirrors adjusted to see the blind spots. Stay rested. Don't push the schedule. If not comfortable, slow down, stop or leave the area. Solo is twice as hard as doing the trip with a navigator, so take care and enjoy the view at a lookout once in a while. Hope to see you and your shiny down the road. Pat

Edit : Route to Clear creek reservoir from 70 may be more of an issue. Options are 91, 24, or 82. There used to be signs with narrow road warnings, but I have no specific memory of where they were. If I was headed that way, 82 would likely be the choice, but there is some fishing around Basalt, that I'd really like to try, so my thought is of not much value with respect to ease of travel. Any input from the regulars?
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:37 AM   #7
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I think about this a lot. I’m in Grand Junction and expect to be crossing I-70 soon. The recent terrible I-70 tractor trailer accident that went viral has me more anxious about it too. Similar setup, 07 Tahoe, 25ft 2015 Flying Cloud. My truck tows ok, but I did have a minor issue going through 7000 ft near Flagstaff awhile back, the Tahoe said, “low oil pressure, turn off engine immediately”. Others around here report similar issues and Vail pass is something like 12,000 ft. My dad recommended using thicker oil which is my plan when I have to cross. Personally, I’d also fill up in Grand Junction and down an Aspirin and lots of water, elevation over 6500 ft makes me uneasy.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:54 AM   #8
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Only thing I’d add is that the road is pretty chewed up after winter, particularly from Vail to Georgetown so just take it easy. Hopefully fixed up by then. Vail and Loveland passes are no worse than 6% grade and heavily trailer traveled. Should be no problem.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #9
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Hi Lilnomad, The very first trip I took with my 2018 16ft Sport was from Salt Lake City to Denver on the i-70 March 2018 (when snow flurries were an issue at higher elevations.) My tow vehicle is a 2018 Toyota Rav4 Adventure (with a tow rating of 3500 so I was at the limit of my tow vehicle capacity.)
My rig made the trip over the 11,000 foot summits no problem, but I did slow way down and stay in the far right lane in order to stay within my comfort zone with the trucks, the road grade, and the snow. Also watch your gas gauge because there are stretches of highway that have no services for over 100 miles, if I remember correctly. With my tiny 12 gallon gas tank, that was an issue for me!
I had never driven that stretch of interstate before and I was amazed at the beauty of the terrain, the ski slopes right off the highway, the tunnels through the mountains, and the incredible feat of engineering that produced that highway. The town of Glenwood Springs is a nice resting point with a beautiful rest stop and charming town area. I hope you like that route as much as I did.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:18 PM   #10
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Im not worried bout my tow vehicle or anything like that. I trust my Suburban more than my newer Infiniti. Before I do a big tow I just like to check with my Airstream family and others towing to see if theres anything I should be aware of prior to departure..this is just part of my prep. The only issues I saw on other forums was that it was very very steep (of course thats subjective based on where you live) so wanted to investigate that...of course the internet being what it is Ive received conflicting information from doom & gloom to "its pretty flat". Ive towed SoCal through Oregon, Utah, up and over the Grapevine, Mammoth Lakes, Big Bear, Sequoias, etc so am hoping those experiences have sufficiently prepped me for the Colorado trip...I have no problem getting behind a semi and going slow..gives me time to enjoy the scenery and from what I heard acclimate to the elevation??..Clear Creek will be the basecamp then i'll explore in the Suburban..
Appreciate all the feedback
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:25 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=slgriffith;2253409]
My rig made the trip over the 11,000 foot summits no problem, but I did slow way down and stay in the far right lane in order to stay within my comfort zone with the trucks, the road grade, and the snow. Also watch your gas gauge because there are stretches of highway that have no services for over 100 miles, if I remember correctly. With my tiny 12 gallon gas tank, that was an issue for me!

Hi Slgriffith..Thanks for the tips...Im fortunate that ive got a 44 gallon tank
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:42 PM   #12
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Lil Nomad

Checking in with the airforum family is always a good idea. It sounds like you have lots of good experience you will have no problem.

It is a major Interstate after all. I actually find it to be similar to grapevine.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:44 AM   #13
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Think of the millions of RVs that make this trip ongoingly. Not to mention the Coloradoans who regularly drive up and down this interstate, notably on weekends.

I used to live in and around SLC, and for two years that one long steep stretch of I-80 of Parley's Canyon just east of SLC was a daily commute. Where you have 3 lanes of Interstate going up hill, oftentimes the middle one is best. The really slow trucks with their flashers on would be in the right lane. Behind them, you lose your momentum. The fast cars stay in the left (passing) lane. In the middle you can usually keep up a decent normal speed.

Ditto for driving down the eastern slope to the Front Range cities. I-70 is full of signs warning truckers about the long steep grades, so they'll be creeping along in the right lane-- hopefully without the odor of burning brakes.

In Utah there is that long, 105-mile stretch of I-70 with no services, so people typically gas up in Salina (east bound) or Green River (west bound.) If you're coming from Moab going eastbound, you shouldn't have problems if you gas up in town.

This is just a beautiful stretch of Interstate with multiple rest areas, so hopefully you have a great trip. A great one is at Fruita, CO just west of Grand Junction, with a park-like setting, a sani-dump, a staffed information desk, and free (if weak) coffee.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
-- snip -- Route to Clear creek reservoir from 70 may be more of an issue. Options are 91, 24, or 82. -- snip --
OP is taking 24 down to Clear Creek Reservoir. Western Mountain Directory describes the passes as 6% or less.

Should be a good trip. Pat
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