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Old 07-16-2018, 10:28 AM   #1
Zebra
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Texas to Colorado to Wyoming

We are planning on taking I25 from Texas into Colorado (Trinidad, Raton, Colorado Springs) and up past Loveland. Then 287 Fort Collins to I80 through South Wyoming to Utah.

2015 Ram 2500 5.7 GAS (not diesel) pulling Keystone 30RLDS TT. I had a hard time towing in Texas Hill country. Lost 10-20 mph on the hills. Have only been traveling since January of this year on pretty flat areas. Never even been out west before.

I want to be safe, smart and capable. Before I thought RV drivers do this ALL the time! Currently Iím just petrified. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Gas engine...heavy trailer ...concerned driver.

Please donít tell me to get a new truck 😊
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:45 AM   #2
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When we lived in Denver (70's) before the Eisenhower Tunnel was completed, we towed a 20' travel trailer over Loveland and Berthoud and Rabbit Ears Passes regularly. It was always a challenge, seldom crowded, filled with 10MPH switchbacks and 1000' drop-offs. The roads are better now, the vehicles are better now, and the scenery, well, most of it is the same as back then, once you get away from the crowded metropolitan areas.

Plan on some 25MPH, second gear climbs in the far right lane and expect that some 18 wheelers will likely pass you. Watch your transmission and engine temperatures on the uphill and use your engine/transmission to help maintain a slow decent on the downhill side. Don't use your brakes any more than necessary and just relax, accept and acknowledge the slow climbs, stay on top of managing your engine RPM to keep it in the power band and enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:05 AM   #3
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Well, if the hill country gave you trouble, wait for the Rockies. I'm assuming you're coming from FL (St. Petersburg) and you've made the trip to TX before.

Other than the hill country, TX is non eventful. If you're going thru Las Cruces on 25 there are some hills around there. It's been a long time since I used 25 going there but there is quite a long, tall grade coming in on hwy. 70 as you cross the Organ mountains; I think the same holds true coming in on I25; someone will probably expound.

Raton Pass used to be much worse than it is today but is worse than most hill country roads grade wise. It is a divided 4 lane and very wide.

Other than that you've picked a route that is pretty tame with not much scenery - pretty forgettable really. You are going to be traveling through some areas that have some awesome things to see and do. It's a shame to just drive thru it and stay on the freeway. Royal Gorge, Garden of the Gods, Pike's Peak just flipped in my mind. Also, at Ft. Collins you could cut off and go to Walden (moose capital of the U.S.??). Beautiful drive following a river I can't remember the name of. At Walden you can cut back NW and get back to I80. It IS slow, windy and somewhat hilly - and 2 lane, but beats the heck out of the big highways.

The 5.7 is going to labor on some of the grades. I would double check your truck and trailer brakes; you will have a box weighing right at 10,000 lbs. trying to shove you down those mountains....or pull you over the edge

Having pulled about the same load with about the same truck I will tell you that you need LT tires on the truck; air bags in the springs and a GOOD anti sway/WDH setup. Use tow/haul along with gear selection going downhill.

What kind of brake controller do you have? Make sure it is set properly and you know how to use it. Take is slow and take your time - enjoy what there is to see. Without a larger truck I'm not sure you will be able to "enjoy" what's out there because depending on the circumstances that big of a trailer behind that truck CAN become a handful. Just be careful.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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We got new LT tires. Brakes checked 3000 miles ago...trailer brakes are new (purchased new unit 9/17). My trailer brakes are “built in” to the truck. This sounds dumb but the squeeze to brake kind. Our sway bars are good and I figure if we can get to the campgrounds off I25 we can unhook and drive without the tow to see the beauty.

May check out moose country. Normally I drive 4 hrs/300 miles. I’m thinking 300 miles through Colorado May take me longer than I anticipated! Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:53 PM   #5
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I went with a couple of friends up through NM, Pagosa, RMNP, and into southern Wyoming (in 2014). We took a 34" Prowler that weighed near 10000lbs. The TV was a 2003 Ram 2500 with the Cummins. I remember Wolf Creek Pass being the most difficult on the truck. I had it in the floor and we slowly went up it at around 30 MPH. I think coming down the pass was less comfortable than going up. I don't remember I25 or Raton Pass being as bad.

I'm taking my family up I25 next week, coming from Texas. Eventually, we will stop at Moraine Park (RMNP).
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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That helps! Thank you!
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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So, are you wanting to just get too Utah, or sightsee along the way to Utah?
I suppose you could avoid Raton Pass and other pulls by going north to Nebraska, then turning west. But you may as well just jump in with both feet.
If you have your built in truck brake controller set right, you shouldn't be squeezing the dashboard brake thing except in near emergencies.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:45 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Zebra;297202
Normally I drive 4 hrs/300 miles. Iím thinking 300 miles through Colorado May take me longer than I anticipated! Thanks so much for your help![/QUOTE]

If you average 50 mph towing a rv you're making good time & that ciphers to 6 hours, but you'll be in the mountains so in my guesstamation that's 7 to 8 hours to make 300 miles.
Just drive safe, use the tow/haul mode on your truck, if equipped, those that are in a big rush can go around & go enjoy the experience.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead View Post
So, are you wanting to just get too Utah, or sightsee along the way to Utah?
I suppose you could avoid Raton Pass and other pulls by going north to Nebraska, then turning west. But you may as well just jump in with both feet.
If you have your built in truck brake controller set right, you shouldn't be squeezing the dashboard brake thing except in near emergencies.
I really do want to see Colorado. Iíll make sure our brakes are set right while we are on flat land in Texas. I watched a video of someone going through Raton Pass. Seemed like a gradual incline throughout. Iím guessing itís a bigger grade than Iím seeing. I suppose if my weight in my camper is good I just need some courage and downshift. Watch my temps and donít push the truck.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebra View Post
We got new LT tires. Brakes checked 3000 miles ago...trailer brakes are new (purchased new unit 9/17). My trailer brakes are ďbuilt inĒ to the truck. This sounds dumb but the squeeze to brake kind. Our sway bars are good and I figure if we can get to the campgrounds off I25 we can unhook and drive without the tow to see the beauty.

May check out moose country. Normally I drive 4 hrs/300 miles. Iím thinking 300 miles through Colorado May take me longer than I anticipated! Thanks so much for your help!

Here's a little link about Walden and North Park if you decide you want to go.

http://www.cpr.org/news/story/visit-...-moose-country
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