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Old 09-10-2016, 06:48 PM   #15
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racer57, you gotta have a real compelling reason to plan a trip like that with two young ones. The drive half of the way across this beautiful country of ours isn't worth the hassles you will endure. You're talking nearly 4000 miles round trip. I've crossed the great plains many times and find it very flat.

The Rocky Mountains are majestic for sure, especially after two days on the great plains. But you have beautiful areas much closer to home, such as the Adirondacks, White and Green Mountains, western Pennsylvania, and Appalachian mountains. If you have visited those areas, you may find the Rockies just another beautiful place. Some folks think Glacier National Park is one of the better places to visit in the Rockies.

However long grueling trip notwithstanding, you would be most welcome. We are heading out soon from the Denver area to Yellowstone and plan on seeing some beautiful scenery. Likewise, we will always fondly remember our trip to Acadia National Park, it was just as nice as the Rockies.

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Old 09-11-2016, 07:04 AM   #16
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I just remembered a couple of other things we did when traveling with our kids. Prior to the trip, I made "Treat Bags" for the kids. I put lots of penny candies, small candy bars, packs of cookies ... whatever I found that I knew they would like. That was for the trip out. Of course my son, "Mr. Immediate Gratification," would have his devoured before we got out of town, while his sister would save hers and torture him with it for the rest of the trip!

The other thing we did was to give monetary rewards for good behavior. Back in those days, it was $.25/day on a travel day and $1.00/ day while backpacking. That was their souvenir money. Your 3-year-old is probably too young for these, but it may help with the 7-year-old. Enjoy these years. They will be gone before you know it.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:12 AM   #17
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We just got back from Jackson Hole Wy and Yellowstone. Since we are new to airstreaming we decided not to pull "Thelma" that far without a little more experience. That whole area is amazing. The Grand Tetons just outside of Jackson are the most gorgeous range I have ever seen. Do not miss Grand Teton National Park. Obviously a must see if you are in that area is Yellowstone. We were there for 3 days after Labor Day and I could easily spend another week. The scenery and wildlife is spectacular! If your young travelers like to see animals in the wild they will love this place. I was talking with a fellow airstreamer while we were in stand still traffic waiting for 2 large Rams to cross the road and he said that the only problem he had pulling his airstream out there was that the campgrounds in Yellowstone were completely full and that he was going to have to go outside of the park to camp. I thought the camp grounds would be less crowded after the holiday but apparently not. We saw moose, hundreds of bison, lots of elk, mountain goats, mule deer, 4 black bears, coyotes and numerous other small game. Do not miss this place. The town of West Yellowstone is a neat little town with shopping and great restaurants. It's only a mile or so from the West Entrance to Yellowstone. Safe travels!
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:53 AM   #18
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racer, you've gotten some great advice here!

Just one more thing I noticed is that you have a BIG rig.

If you hope to get a National Park CG site on a first-come first serve basis, please be aware that a lot of the in-park sites were built a long time ago, when the typical RV was a lot smaller. (We decided on a petite Bambi in part for that reason.) When you make a reservation, the concession reservation services have a record of the length of each site and can make sure you get a long one.

Also, first-come, first serve in-park campgrounds can have line-ups of site-seekers starting early in the morning.

Alternatively, most RV parks these days are set up for the big MoHos and monster 5th wheels, and can more readily accommodate the long, long trailer.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:25 PM   #19
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Re: Colorado Attractions

The following are Colorado attractions that are geared for families, and that both adults and small children will enjoy:

Colorado Springs & Manitou Springs, CO:

Durango & Silverton, CO:
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:14 PM   #20
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September, maybe OK. October... be careful.

Phoenix offered some very good attractions. Even the Royal Gorge near Canon City, Colorado and Cog Railway down to the Arkansas River is worth investigating.

Some of the biggest one day snowfalls start... you guessed it... September and October in Colorado High Country. Pikes Peak had snow on top this year, late August. Even in July on Pike's Peak it can... SNOW and the wind... well, reminds me of Wyoming. Along the East Side of the Front Range... we can get the up slope and get socked in with blizzard conditions at the same time!

Eastern flat land Colorado and western Kansas... find a Walmart when the snow flies. Do not try to out run or drive through a Snow Storm. Been there, done that. Doughnuts at WalMart at Goodland, Kansas are soggy in the packages... so try something else.

The Fall Colors are beautiful. Trees drop their leaves, not for the beauty of it all but to prevent having their limbs stripped off during these early WET snows!

Just follow Colorado and Wyoming weather reports. You most likely will be camped at campsites in the valley's where the roads are plowed. Avoid getting into areas that are predicting SNOW... often it can be one inch or three feet.

Residents of Wyoming will tell you... snows an inch, drifts a foot.

This is that time of year when High Country weather can be pleasant one day, cold and raining the next and only to repeat itself.

Our mid August in Wyoming High Country had high wind, rain, hail, fog and snow on the higher peaks... all within three days of arriving. Later to become sunny and warm once down elevation in the 6,000+ range.

If you hear the Ski Resorts are 'making snow' for the coming holidays. Take notice.

By mid October you are in the 'danger zone for being snowed into an area for a few days'.

It may be hot and humid in the under 2,000 feet elevation parts of the USA... but out here it is a whole different climate.

Not all is gloomy for Wyoming snow. Saratoga, Wyoming has Hobo Hot Springs. It can be Below Zero and you can soak in these very hot springs with a dense Fog rolling off their surfaces. The swimming pool next to the Hobo Hot Springs also is naturally heated... or it appeared, as we used the free hot springs and showers next to the pool.

Enjoy your Rocky Mountain trip, but... just be careful. Snow is only pretty if you are not stuck in it.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:57 PM   #21
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Amen on the rapidly changing mountain weather in the spring and fall. We are going to try Yellowstone next week. I hope we are not too late. Some small campgrounds around us are already closing for the season, mainly due to low visitor rates. Winter can start in October in the mountains.

I ain't towing on slick roads, period.

David
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:13 PM   #22
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options

It is important to me, as the driver, to prepare food and drink for the cab on long drive days. It can be difficult to find a place to stop for lunch or a snack when you are underway with such a big TT. We have a 34' classic. I have a thermos of coffee in the morning. Unless we have a lunch stop planned we pack one in the cab in soft sided cooler along with drinks.

We have done short days and long, we drove all the way from Calgary, AB to Lynden Washington one day. But that is a long day. If we are trying to get somewhere we try to limit the day to around 400 mi. If there are interesting stops along the way or we are just poking around we like the rule of 2s. Travel no more than 200 miles per day, get in by 2:00pm and stay for 2 nights.

We find it much less stressful to plan our stops, fuel, food and campgrounds in advance so we can be sure we can get in and out without a hassle. We carry 10 gal of extra fuel. It has come in handy when there are no good option for fuel. just hit a rest stop to add fuel.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
racer57, you gotta have a real compelling reason to plan a trip like that with two young ones. The drive half of the way across this beautiful country of ours isn't worth the hassles you will endure. You're talking nearly 4000 miles round trip. I've crossed the great plains many times and find it very flat.

The Rocky Mountains are majestic for sure, especially after two days on the great plains. But you have beautiful areas much closer to home, such as the Adirondacks, White and Green Mountains, western Pennsylvania, and Appalachian mountains. If you have visited those areas, you may find the Rockies just another beautiful place. Some folks think Glacier National Park is one of the better places to visit in the Rockies.

However long grueling trip notwithstanding, you would be most welcome. We are heading out soon from the Denver area to Yellowstone and plan on seeing some beautiful scenery. Likewise, we will always fondly remember our trip to Acadia National Park, it was just as nice as the Rockies.

David
David, children are the BEST reason to take these long trips! To see these places through the eyes of your children is to see things in a whole new way. I wish I had had enough money to make these kinds of trips when my children were young. I did manage LOTS of camping, hiking, backpacking, and fishing trips with them, and to this day all of them do the outdoors, the two who are married with children now take their own children to camp, fish, hike, and I know that my grandchildren will be backpackers as well.

I remember one long drive to the Colorado River with my daughter and 3 Boy Scouts. I was an Assistant Scoutmaster, our troop was going on a 17 mile canoe trip and meeting other troops for a canoe rally type of thing. My daughter was in the attached Venture Crew. The drive took an extra long time because the weather took a severe nose dive. Rain, sleet, snow, hail, and fog so thick you could only see the taillights of the car in front of you; we were on the Bakers Grade. You know what? We had a BLAST on that drive! The boys and Erin were at the age that they'd be drivers themselves in a couple years, so I began quizzing them on rules of the road, and offering up various situations asking what would they do. We played the usual car games, and most fun, we did the arm pump with ALL the truckers! I'd drive by, slow down, and all kids did the arm pump, of course the truckers responded with a blast of horn. But after several miles we became aware that the truckers were talking about us because I no sooner came upon a truck and their horn would be going and they'd be waving!!! We did that for hundreds of miles.

I see traveling with children as part of the grand adventure. Love it! Can't wait until I can take my grandkids along with us.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:36 PM   #24
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When do you leave? We just spent the last 2 months in Colorado, and we're in WY right now, and we'll be here for another 3 weeks. We have a few videos of our adventures in Colorado. We really enjoyed crested butte, gunnison (for the mountain biking) and the winter park area.

Denver and its suburbs were a mess. It was super tough to find camping, and they don't let you stay at Walmarts there. Maybe it'll be easier now that it's after Labor Day. If you're coming to the Jackson area, we'd love to connect.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:20 PM   #25
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Pack some warm clothes as there is already snow on the 14ers (Mt. Blanca) in southern colorado, it looks like winter is coming early this year according to a friend that lives there.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:34 PM   #26
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We are in Pinedale right now. The Wind River range got snow last night.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:27 PM   #27
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Looks like we did a good job of talking racer57 out of the trip plan from Pennsylvania to Colorado and Wyoming.

racer57, what says ye? On the road yet?

David
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:44 PM   #28
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When my wife and were young, as in the 1970s, we traveled back and forth across the USA with a shorter trailer (23') and three kids. You don't say whether there will be one adult or two, with the two small children. If there are two adults, you will manage, but if you are driver, navigator, and child care superintendent, I would suggest you borrow another adult to accompany you. The 7 yr old isn't old enough to manage all of the 3 yr olds needs, and you can't be turning your head and trying to manage whatever is going on in the back seat, and drive a 34' triple axle Airstream at the same time. Just saying.

The second issue is your tires: check them or have them checked for age, condition, air pressure, and if you don't have a tire pressure monitoring system for both trailer and tow vehicle, spend the money and get them. Have you had your AS bearings lubed recently, and your brakes checked? If not have both done. You don't want to break down in Wyoming or Nebraska or Western Kansas or...you get the idea. If you have a GPS with a larger screen great, if not your navigator will need good eyesight, and you should have maps as well.

You don't say what your tow vehicle is. Your tow vehicle will need HP and Torque, but if you pull the mountain grades in Western PA you should be alright. As your elevation rises in the West, the HP of your vehicle drops. If you are in Eastern Colorado and Eastern Wyoming less of a problem, if you are going over 7000 it is more noticeable.

The other advice from Posters you have been given is right on: limit your total driving to 300 or less, take many stops and exercise the kids, insist that they go potty every time the vehicle stops, fuel, rest stops, whatever. I don't have to isn't an acceptable answer. Have finger food in small baggies to keep them busy, along with iPads or equivalent, preloaded with their favorite games and diversions and cartoons.

Good Luck, and have two adults. I'm in my 70s and I've done this for a long time; kids and grandkids, and pets.
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It will be 4 adults an 2 kids. I will be pulling with a diesel truck so power will be no problem. Thanks for the advise!
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