Travel on I70 through Colorado Mountains.

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JAVHD

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Posts
1
Can you please tell the difficulty of traveling through the mountains with a gas powered Class A pulling a vehicle.
Thanks,
JAVHD
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
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Mar 3, 2005
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5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
JAVHD,

It ranges from easy to nearly impossible. Without knowing what kind of rig you have (GVWR, motor, type of vehicle you're towing) and which mountains you are talking about, it's pretty hard to give you an answer.  I drive a 38 1/2' class A (20,000 GVWR) with a Ford 460 gas engine and pull a Dodge Stealth with a curb weight of 3800. Most mountains don't give me much trouble but a trip this spring thru Tonto National Forest with some 6 to 6 1/2% grades was a strain on both the engine and the brakes. It's not a trip would make again in the MH (Especially trailing a toad), but others with their gazillion hp. diesels may have no problems ;D

If you provide some details, I'm sure others can advise you better and even suggest certain routes to avoid altogether and times of year to avoid others.
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
In 2003 I pulled a 30 foot Fleetwood travel trailer all over the Rockies with a Dodge Ram 2500 gasser.  It was not easy but not impossible.  I had numerous occasions of overheating.  In most cases I could find a spot to pull over and wait for the engine to cool.  A few times, maybe 3 or 4 over a ten week period, I could find no shoulder and had to climb to the top.  I downshifted, getting the rpms up, and went as slow as I could but still keep momentum going, and prayed all the way to the top.

If I had it to do over again, I would still do it.  But there was risk involved.  the big difference to back east is not the steepness, but the length of the inclines.  I have since added a transmission cooler, but have given the van and trailer to my son and upgraded to an MH.
 

Bob Zambenini

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Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
270
Location
Orange County California
I had a 34 ft 1991 Fleetwood, which weighed 12000 pounds and pulled a 3000 pound  Honda. I crossed I-70 a few times and never had a problem. I 70 is a well engineered highway.

The first time going east I was very apprehensive and just got behind a guy with a pickup and an old trailer. I said if he can make it surly I can so I just hung behind him and let him set the pace.

Bob
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,584
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
You need to be concerned about braking on the downgrades as well as pulling the long upgrades.  Watch for overheating the engine on the way up (watch the gauge) and use lower gears to help slow on the way down to assist the brakes.  Stopping along the road to allow cooling is wise, especially downhill where you don't have a gauge to tell you what is happening to the brakes.

With caution, you should manage it OK. Just how careful you need to be depends on the details of your weight, power train, etc. that Karl asked about.
 
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