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Old 06-27-2007, 06:58 AM   #1
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US 550 Durango to Montrose

I am thinking about heading out towards Durango and up to Montrose, Colorado tomorrow. A friend said something to me about US 550 being a road he would not want to take with a 31' trailer.
Is it any big deal with a Duramax/Allison?
Any suggestions on RV Parks or campgrounds in the area?

Thanks-
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:33 AM   #2
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The Section of road south of Silverton to Ouray has a lot of hairpin turns and switchbacks, with sections also quite narrow and steep with few places to pull over. It is a beautiful drive. But you might rethink pulling that long of a trailer over it.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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I know that road very well (lived there for 20 years until last year) they run tractor trailers over it, so if you are careful you should be ok with your powerful truck. Something to consider is not so much climbing, but decending - I'm not sure how much the duramax holds you back. Its beautiful but very steep ups and downs. If you want to go a much easier route, I would go over Lizard Head pass - much easier and very nice too - not too much out of the way.

As far as campgrounds - my favorite in Durango is United campground - its right at the edge of town. Alpen Rose is very popular because of the clean restrooms, but to me its just a big field and not very interesting. On the other side I've stayed in the KOA in Delta - not bad.

When are you coming up - I'll be there the week of 7/10

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Old 06-27-2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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No Problema, Dave

Hi Dave,
As Ken J says, it's a beautiful drive.
Logging and ore trucks have used it for years.
The switchbacks moderate the speed of all traffic, so you will usually be travelling no slower than the rest.
The Allison transmission handles the downhill grades beautilly if you use the tow/haul mode and leave it alone. It's smarter than you and me anyway.
Have a memorable trip.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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HI Ken & Ken!
We are looking at leaving maybe as soon as Thursday sometime and being there by this weekend....although I am tempted by Monument Valley with the Full Moon rise being Friday night going there first.
I absolutely love the Allison tranny on the Duramax....it is definitely smarter than me.
Shall I wave as I go through Albuquerque?
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Yes 1/2 way between the Sedillo and Zuzax exits on 40 look south and wave - we are about 1 mile off the freeway. Wave to the south at Ken L as you approach the Tramway exit.


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Old 06-27-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
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Don't Just Wave...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
HI Ken & Ken!
We are looking at leaving maybe as soon as Thursday sometime and being there by this weekend....although I am tempted by Monument Valley with the Full Moon rise being Friday night going there first.
I absolutely love the Allison tranny on the Duramax....it is definitely smarter than me.
Shall I wave as I go through Albuquerque?
Enjoy the full hook-ups at Airstream Haven if you wish.
I should be around Thursday and Friday. We have a class on Friday evening and a social commitment Saturday afternoon. Contact me on my cell phone 505-250-7756.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
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I have a home in Durango so I'll throw in my 2. Monument Valley is spectacular. If you have not seen it, it's worth the side trip and I am sure the full moon would make for some nice pics.

If you do that, then 145 from Cortez to Montrose is an easier and quicker route and very pretty drive as Ken J said.

From Durango to Silverton there are two passes, Coal Bank and Molas, but they are not too bad. There are pull outs to take a breather, pics and let traffic pass.

From Silverton to Ouray is over Red mountain with some switch backs, but also some cliff hanging stretches that are somewhat scary because there are no guard rails. But going North you will be on the inside lane so you're not on the edge. But as said earlier, the semi trucks drive it. Just take it slow and easy. Life is and adventure.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:33 PM   #9
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"Somewhat scary" for me translated to coming to a complete full stop in the center of my lane (no traffic at dawn) on the first no-guard-rail section and asking my car aloud if it was happy with me that morning....

A definite 'do not miss' travel sensation, but easy go on the caffeine that day or the high pucker factor is likely to cause an implosion, or at least needing a 2x4 to pry you loose from wheel & seat once you get into town...
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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This would be my 5th time to Monument Valley...but first time at full moon.
I just looked at National and Local Weather Forecast, Radar, Map and Report .....sheeesh....talk about HOT....Page and Moab are HOT.
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:05 PM   #11
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i have towed a 19 foot bambi from durango to montrose with a toyota tundra. road is narrow and there was limited guard railing on the "over the mountain" side of the road , if my memory servs me right. there were 18 wheelers on the road. it is a beautiful drive and well worth the white knuckles in spots. i am also a duramax owner now, and have no fear of over working that vehicle. it handles my 25 footer just fine.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:38 AM   #12
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About to leave Monument Valley for Montrose.
Thanks for all the suggestions and well wishes.
So far, a great trip.
Special kudos to Debbie, the service tech at Webb Chevrolet in Farmington, NM.
The Duramax threw a code about Cuba, NM while climbing a steep area at about 65 MPH, and the "service engine soon" light appeared. My fault, I had the cruise on, and when it downshifted, and sucked for air at 7000 ft, it did not find eonugh to maintain speed, and so an air intake code.
Debbie, at Webb Chevy, directed me by cell phone into the dealership at 4:45 on Friday, cleared the code, checked everything else with the computer, and cleared me to continue to Monument Valley, NO CHARGE. The folks at Webb Chevy seem to be GREAT FOLKS!
Time to load up and be on the way....
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:07 PM   #13
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Webb has a really great diesel mechanic.....
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:06 PM   #14
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Well....we changed plans, and headed for Cortez instead....figured we could to Hovenweep, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Silverton etc from here and save pulling the trailer over the passes twice before heading to Cloudcroft for a family reunion next weekend.
Sundance RV Park seems pretty nice.
They are having a potluck for the 4th with fireworks right across the street at the City Park. Free WiFi, Cable, etc....
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