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Old 05-26-2014, 11:37 AM   #15
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Eight cyl or six? Jim
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:38 AM   #16
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This is great information for all. Even though we lived in Craig, Co. years ago, I learned something here about some great routes to take. Also recommend going over Rabbit Ears pass to Steamboat and on to Craig and Dinosaur National Monument and Utah.
As far as going down passes, that is one of the main reasons we like our Diesel with the engine brake. With the truck in tow haul and the engine brake on, you normally don't have to touch the brakes and the engine brake reduces the amount of rpm on the engine.

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Old 05-26-2014, 01:26 PM   #17
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We've been in Texas the past couple years, for family stuff, but I still like to keep tabs on whats going on. This link has a link to CDOT.

If it's open, I highly recommend 550. You can't beat the views!


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Old 05-26-2014, 01:29 PM   #18
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Whoops!

Rock Scaling Work to Get Underway on US 550 Red Mtn. Pass — CDOT
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:46 PM   #19
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Clinton Twiss describes the following technique. The first person to notice the upgrade yells "HILL". The driver then guns it to increase forward inertia. If the momentum is insufficient to carry the rig over the crest of the hill the passengers jump out and chock the wheels. Modern technology has greatly improved the efficacy of this technique as a cell phone can then be used to call for a tow truck depending on the number of bars.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:31 PM   #20
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Great site is Road Conditions, Speeds, Travel Times, Traffic Cameras, Live Streaming Traffic Cameras, Road Closures and Road Work Information provided by Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) a branch of Colorado Department of Transportation. Here's the latest on 550.

US 550 is closed over Red Mountain Pass daily, Monday-Saturday 8:30AM-12:30PM & 1:30PM - 6:30PM during rockfall mitigation work likely through June 13th. Open for Memorial Day weekend, see below.
Alternate route: From Ridgeway, Hwy 62 to Hwy 145, then to US 160 (reversed coming from Durango). Alternate route is approximately 88 miles.

All other times traffic will be in a single-lane alternating traffic operation controlled by a traffic signal.
Open for Memorial Day weekend. US 550 over Red Mountain Pass will be fully open to single-lane, alternating traffic from Thursday, May 22, at 6:30PM. through Wednesday morning, May 28, at 8:30AM. Starting after 8:30 am on May 28, US 550 will be closed daily Monday-Saturday 8:30AM-12:30PM & 1:30PM-6:30PM. Work is expected to be completed, June 13, 2014.
Road Closure began May 11th, 2014 at 10:42am.

With a 23 you won't have any problems. Semi's run that route all day long. Really there are no highways in CO that will cause you an issue. There are some great back roads, dirt, like Rt 12 out of Crested Butte that lead to some great camping sites especially if you like boondocking.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions - we are getting excited for our trip - we may take a run at those alternating lanes of 1-way traffic in just the TV because it looks like it will be mostly closed on 550 when we planned to travel it. We plan to stay at at Haviland Lake outside of Durango and One-mile campground in Taylor Canyon east of Gunnison - hope we meet some of you along the way...
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:29 PM   #22
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Haviland and Taylor are both excellent CG's.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:43 PM   #23
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Great info to read. Being a newbie, how do I know when to shift out of OD into D or 3, 2, 1?
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snickers View Post
Great info to read. Being a newbie, how do I know when to shift out of OD into D or 3, 2, 1?
When your start bogging down or your transmission is cycling from one gear to another. A tach and a vacuum gauge can also help. Tachs are more common. I would switch back to OD if rpms go much over 4000. It is only rarely that I take my F250 gasser out of OD.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by snickers View Post
Great info to read. Being a newbie, how do I know when to shift out of OD into D or 3, 2, 1?

I don't tow in od or with cruise control engaged per advice and owner's manual. When the automatic transmission keeps shifting between two gears, I manually downshift. If both the rpm and speed start to decline, I will downshift. If the rpm is too high I'll slow down to reach a happy balance between rpm, speed and thrust/power. I keep my rpms between 2500-4200 and cruise at 65/70 mph at 3200rpm all day.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #26
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We are planning this general route for this fall en route to the ABQ Balloon Festival. We will stay overnight in Telluride at the City RV Park. So far we haven't decided over taking our 27' Airstream over the Million Dollar Highway, which we have driven before without our trailer. However, we live in Oregon and do lots of mountain driving all over the West with our trailer, so we aren't necessarily intimidated.

One option we are considering is to leave Telluride on CO 145 over Lizard Head Pass on to Delores. From there it is an easy drive to Durango. In Durango, as an 'alternative' to driving US 550 we are looking into taking the narrow guage train to Silverton and back and focus on the views.

One reason (for us) to consider the CO 145 route is to camp and fish on the West Delores River and visit Mesa Verde enroute to Durango. Your interests may differ.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:22 PM   #27
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Cptfish....double check with the telluride parks as they haven't allowed RV's over a certain length for years. Taking a 27' trailer through the park would be a real challenge. There are several FS campgrounds near by on 145.
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:22 PM   #28
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Coming into Durango from the west...there is a deceptively l o n g stretch of downhill that will require some low gear/slow speed cruising, or you can ignore it like I did the first time and wait on the roadside for your brakes to cool...8#)
Being from Silverton, I CAN tell you that the train affords a LOT of photo ops, but the trip from Ouray to Silverton is not too shabby...heading south on 550 puts you on the outside of the road, and while the road is as wide as many highways, the bar ditch on your right can be intimidating without a guardrail...
"Hi" to Ken in ABQ...
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