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Old 10-29-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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CO to TN in winter - best route?

We are scheduled to pick up our AS between Christmas and New Year's in Wheat Ridge, CO (just outside of Denver). A straight route would take us east on I-70 through east Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois then down through west Kentucky home.

This is the shortest route, but is it the smartest that time of year? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kelly & Matt
Bogey (the booger dog) and Bailey (the booper dog)
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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In 1999 we drove out to Co. Springs Co. to start Rife the Rockies.

Driving my Suburban with dogs and just wanting to enjoy the ride we opted to drive US highways whenever possible vs. Interstates.

I'd watch the weather and think about getting out there via the Interstate then find the southernmost route that time will allow and try to take US Highways.

We didn't actually loose a bunch of time doing this and we saw some very nice roads along the way.

If the weather is bad you could head down south to Memphis and out to Amarillo on I-40.

Lots of options.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Glen is spot on - watch the weather and make decisions accordingly. Out to CO and back I was hustling to stay in front of crazy weather.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #4
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Fly!

Ok, seriously, look at internet weather data up to a week in advance of departure. You will have advance warning for most winter storms and interstate conditions days ahead of time. Plan the route according to the available data.

Having delivered many campers all over the country I can affirm that the route you suggested is the best. Plan your stops ahead by finding the Flying J truck stop locations as they have RV parking available, you won't be stuck with the big rigs. Go here Flying J to find locations.

Have a great trip!

Godspeed,
Trent
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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I've driven that route at that time of the year with a Land Rover; it can be nasty. I'd go
south down I-25 and pick up I-40, which can be nuts, or I-10, which would be my choice.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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I've driven to Albuquerque and return from Northern Virginia many times.. (about 10). If winter storms are predicted in Kansas and Okla, I-10 would be my choice, but it is out of the way. Otherwise I-40 is OK, (ha) except for OK city. That place is chuckhole city.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great advice. We'll be spending 3 nights in CO checking out the trailer before we head back. If it looks like we'll need to be in front of something we'll leave early.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #8
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You are actually picking one of the rougher times of the year to come out and pick up your trailer. Both I-70 and I-40 can be pretty rough that time of year. Some good advice has been given on watching the weather channel, no more needed. However if you drop south on I-25 to catch I-40 and the weather is nasty, be extremely careful on Monument Hill (between Denver and Colorado Springs) and then Raton Pass, just as you cross into New Mexico. They are not high passes but they do accumulate a lot of snow in winter time. I-40 across the entire state of Oklahoma has pot hole problems. Good luck on your trip out and back.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #9
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Kelly,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new purchase.....what a great coach. Nice to see someone from the stomping grounds of my youth.....grew up in the Concord area and attended Farragut H.S.....still have family there.

Don't know your plans for the stay in the Denver area, but Cherry Creek looks really good: Cherry Creek State Park Home - Colorado State Parks We will be staying there next May, as part of a 30-day excursion.

If I were driving from CO to TN at that time of the year, the choice would be I-10......nothing like adding the stress of winter driving to a maiden voyage. You could always join us here in NW FL for: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...9-a-44317.html We have 30+ units signed up already, and the weather should be good (at least better than most places where it's snowing). When it's time to drive home, you will only have 490 miles to go!

Ron
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogpound View Post
You are actually picking one of the rougher times of the year to come out and pick up your trailer. Both I-70 and I-40 can be pretty rough that time of year. Some good advice has been given on watching the weather channel, no more needed. However if you drop south on I-25 to catch I-40 and the weather is nasty, be extremely careful on Monument Hill (between Denver and Colorado Springs) and then Raton Pass, just as you cross into New Mexico. They are not high passes but they do accumulate a lot of snow in winter time. I-40 across the entire state of Oklahoma has pot hole problems. Good luck on your trip out and back.
Bob
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Yep we lived in Trinidad for a while both of these are nasty places when it snow and often close.... So does 1-70 Just watch the weather, and plan a couple of extra days on the end of your trip...
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:01 PM   #11
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Kelly and Matt,

Actually you've picked a better time to travel in Colorado than November and early December and then again starting in Late February through April. It's drier in early winter.

Nonetheless, it can be really bad. Many of us remember the Christmas Blizzard of '83 (actually it was the day before and it wasn't 1883). Storms east of the Front Range can be quite amazing and once the storms hit the plains of eastern Colorado and Kansas, wind can be quite a serious problem. When a warm front comes through the Rockies, Chinook winds on the eastern front of the Front Range and as far east as I-25 can hit 70 mph and up. Don't park broadside to those.

The best place to stay near Wheat Ridge is Dakota Ridge on West Colfax. There's another campground across the street and that's very crowded—small spaces and difficult to get into.

The weather service website is: NWS Grand Junction, CO
That's the Grand Junction website, but just enter any city on the page and you'll get the latest report and radar plus much other information. A weather radio is good too because you can keep track of what's happening without an internet connection while driving.

I-70 is the shortest best route. Nonetheless, weather will determine your route. It's true that Monument Hill between Castle Rock (south of Denver) and Colorado Springs can be bad and Raton Pass on the Colorado/NM border too. Have plenty of maps to know where you are. If you decide or have to go south, at Springer, NM, there are shortcuts over to either Tucumcari or further west to Texas and down to Amarillo, but those are two laners without a lot of services and it can be windy and it snows there too.

Make sure that Airstream has good tires too. If it's new, so much the better and you got it from the dealer there (I think their address is Golden or Arvada, not Wheat Ridge), but it sounds to be pretty new the tires ought to be good. Make sure you have a brake controller too. And that the propane tanks are full for those cold nights. The furnace will use a lot of propane during cold nights when it's too cold for the heat pump (you can probably use that during the day though to save propane when you have a 120 v hookup).

I hope your Ford is a 3/4 ton because that's a lot of trailer for a 1/2 ton truck.

Make sure you have plenty of time to make the trip if you run into bad weather. Best to stay put until the roads are clear. I don't know whether you've done this before, but towing in snow would be a challenge for towing for the first time, towing a new trailer, and maybe for everyone.

Good luck and welcome to the Forum.

Gene
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