Planning for a long route. Need help

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Reinigm

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Joined
May 12, 2021
Posts
437
Location
Westminster, CA
Remember the good old days when you used to just be able to hit the road and camp anywhere at the drop of a hat? :)
 

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jackiemac

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Feb 22, 2016
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Location
Scotland
One thing about booking things in advance is that if you find somewhere you really love and want to stay longer you can't, and the reverse is also true. If weather poor then If no further bookings, you can up and go to where it suits.

If you are unwell you might be in a situation of having to change numerous bookings.

Everyone has their own style. We like to wing it. Others like the comfort of a fixed schedule. Each to their own. 😁
 

garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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4,321
Location
Southern California
Agree on the weather. Lots of mountains in Nevada. Here's a pix of some snow on mountains we saw heading east on Hwy 50. While we only encountered snow on the highway once, the elevation was probably around 9,000 ft. IIRC, there are 3 similar passes between Carson City and Baker Nevada. This one was shot just as we passed through Austin NV. Some snow on the highway but still manageable. Pix was taken May 12, 22


Hwy 50 Austin NV May 12, 22 .jpeg
 

Flkeyseyes

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Joined
Nov 30, 2022
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4
Location
Florida
That being said. The Shoshone forest does offer both! Around the Cody, Wyoming area. IF you are wanting to stay in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, NP, etc. Make a reservation! If you need any Wyoming ideas, let me know, that's our back door.
Thanks.
Our original plan include Yellowstone and Teton however looks like both parks are still closed by late March/ early April
We've been in Yellowstone in Summer ( Mammoth) and Winter (old faithful resort) but always while on vacations in Jackson
Never in an Rv.
Still Wy is one of my fav states so even if the parks are closed we plan to spend a few days in the area

I would look for your recommendation in Shoshone forest
Any other advise highly appreciated
Thanks
 

Flkeyseyes

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Joined
Nov 30, 2022
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4
Location
Florida
All of the mountains in those western states that you mention are likely to have a huge amount of snow on the ground in March. And you'll want to carefully check weather before venturing into the mountains, since it can change very quickly and sometimes be very mean indeed, even forcing you to spend a night somewhere (gas station? Side of the road?) that you don't expect, even though there can also be some wonderful weather there.

There's always the potential for avalanches (yes, even on the Interstates), and other causes for road closures, such as in Glenwood Canyon (western part of I-70 in the Rockies), but there's also some gorgeous scenery.

So when your route is better defined you will want to start checking weather at least several days before you get there, just to note trends and the changes in the forecast (a 7-day forecast of clear could overnight turn into 6 inches+ of snow). And the "chain law" is also something you'll want to know about -- basically when snow is even possible you'll need good snow tires and/or chains, by law, as well as by good sense.

You'll also want to be aware that on weekends some of the routes to ski areas (often major through routes) can have major traffic jams.

Now that I've cautioned you, you can usually make it through if you're willing to wait for a day or so should the bad stuff be there. If it's not, you'll have a beautiful drive.

We intent to leave Florida around March 10
After many stops on the way to the West I plan to arrive around Early April
Which I'm aware there will still be snowy with even a possibility of a storm
I would be ready like you said to stop for a night or two if necessary ..
Would you recommend me to get a set of tire chains ..
I'm not planning to drive under those conditions but just in case ..
My exp with tire chains wasn't pleasant.. I use it before in a vehicle while we went in glenwood and was a traumatic experience🤯 to install . So I don't want to even think on an Rv
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
Posts
9,992
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Would you recommend me to get a set of tire chains ..
If you can find a time to get through when there is no snow on the roads in the high country, you can get by without them, but just be sure you're not in a bad situation without a set.

You might check out snow socks as an alternative -- they're approved as a substitute in Colorado and some other state, and they're easier to install): Snow socks - Wikipedia

I'm told that there are also places where you can rent a set of chains.

And you should check COtrip Traveler Information for road conditions in Colorado, which also helps you find major construction, avalanches, etc, that affect the roads, as well as the weather affecting the roads. Many other states have similar sites.
 

Matt_C

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Mar 4, 2019
Posts
851
Location
SE - Mich
As I may have mentioned before, I once had a name tag that said "Navigator" under my name. While this was years ago some good habits are worth keeping and keeping up. When we plan an excursion, even the long (10 week) version, I want to know what I am getting into. So, I get out the maps (charts) and books and start. The big help is an old copy of Delorme Street Atlas (2015). It is old and the detail sections are now worthless, but it can give you a real good idea of where you should start looking for fuel and planning you EOD (End Of Day) if it is not a destination.
What is absolutely missing with ALL the online planners is the ability to revise the plan while enroute. I can even put a GPS into SA so it is real time. When I can do this again, I will buy into it. Yes, we have a big new RV-GPS, but that is for the driver. It also has a lot smaller screen than does my laptop and it does not have any of the abilities that my SA one the laptop have. The nearest that I have found is Google Maps, now if I could get that to listen to the GPS puck, that would be slick. But all of the Google stuff has the same "Online" issue. Yes, you can preload the cartography in preparation for being out of cell coverage (that is much more likely with 5G), but if you change plans or don't get it all, you can still end up driving off the edge of the earth.
I plan to keep trying and when I come up with a really good answer, I will be sure to let everyone know.
Matt
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
6,721
Location
SW Louisiana
My personal approach to trip planning and navigation is to use google maps, and google street view for the advance planning, this lets me drop down and see what the road looks like with street view, how wide the shoulders are, how the road looks overall, with an eye on how old the imagery is, as some are now very outdated (over 10 years old). Google satellite and street view lets me plan out potential gas station stops, campground entrances, etc. For day of driving I use my Garmin Dezl 770, but choose when to ignore it, as it is prone to use truck bypasses around small towns, etc. when I might want prefer going through the center of town as long as it is safe for larger vehicles.
 

tanglemoose

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Joined
May 14, 2013
Posts
620
Thanks.
Our original plan include Yellowstone and Teton however looks like both parks are still closed by late March/ early April
We've been in Yellowstone in Summer ( Mammoth) and Winter (old faithful resort) but always while on vacations in Jackson
Never in an Rv.
Still Wy is one of my fav states so even if the parks are closed we plan to spend a few days in the area

I would look for your recommendation in Shoshone forest
Any other advise highly appreciated
Thanks
If you want hookups you only have two choices, Rex Hale and Wapiti. Both are a ways from Yellowstone, but nice campgrounds. The Shoshone on the highway to Yellowstone has lots of first come first serve campgrounds. Some open like July 1st... when are you going.
 

jackiemac

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Feb 22, 2016
Posts
7,932
Location
Scotland
If I were you I'd do early May and June. That way you'd be in the Tetons and Yellowstone in time to see the wildlife come out. Hopefully less snow and easier driving. Make sure you're booked for Memorial day a week or so in advance.

Alternatively mid August for 2 months.
 

tanglemoose

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Posts
620
We intent to leave Florida around March 10
After many stops on the way to the West I plan to arrive around Early April
Which I'm aware there will still be snowy with even a possibility of a storm
I would be ready like you said to stop for a night or two if necessary ..
Would you recommend me to get a set of tire chains ..
I'm not planning to drive under those conditions but just in case ..
My exp with tire chains wasn't pleasant.. I use it before in a vehicle while we went in glenwood and was a traumatic experience🤯 to install . So I don't want to even think on an Rv
The weather apps are so accurate now and each state has a road conditions site. We live in snow country, until we head south ;) and I just watch the weather, cameras, etc. If there is snow we just sit and wait it out.. wind I. Wyoming is as bad as snow..
 

Western Slope

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Joined
Nov 21, 2022
Posts
518
Location
81643, Colorado
We live not far from the Colorado and Utah border in Northwestern Colorado. There's only a couple of good routes between our two states being through Dinosaur, Colorado or Green River, Utah. The same goes for our northern border in Western Colorado with Wyoming. Only a couple of good routes being through Baggs, Wyoming or Walden, Colorado. Going up through Maybell, Colorado I don't recommend in Spring. The Maybell Sinclair station is the only little store and fuel stop around that region where these three states share a border.

If you do a Google Map search for a route from Gateway, Colorado to Moab, Utah it will show a 58 mile route, only. Not good. Both towns have resort(s) and spas in the Colorado Plateau canyons, but they are much further apart by driving than just 58 miles. The route shown is a winding, steep, narrow with cliffs, single lane dirt, 4x4 high mountain, mud, heavy deep snow and unmaintained road that is used by snowmobiles and/or Jeeps the majority of the year. Be certain to look at satellite photos before getting into trouble.

Here's our tire chained up Ram Power Wagon 4x4 with 35 inch winter rated 3PMSF truck tires, front and rear lockers engaged, front sway bar disconnected, and in 4 Low. We got stuck a lot and had to dig it out multiple times just trying to turn it around on the Gateway to Moab road on February 24, 2020. It required backing up for two to three miles to find a spot within the sagebrush big enough to turnaround. The road had deep drainage ditches on both sides of which were difficult to avoid.

image_1582596166043.jpeg
 
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