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  1. #1

    Default Winter Mtn. Travel, MI - ID - OR

    We are contemplating a trip from Michigan to Bonners Ferry, Idaho. We would be traveling the week of Dec 28th through new years.
    I have winter driving experience in pickups and cars in Michigan, not with a 35' motorhome in the mountains. Some folks around here have commented on the dangers of trying to travel through the mountains like that during this time of year. Are these valid concerns? Should we not do the trip? How should we plan ahead for this?
    Please comment!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not That Bad

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You have several things working in your favor: First and foremost, you have an 'extra' day where you can sit out any really bad weather that you may encounter. Second, you have some experience with winter driving. And third, it's nearly all Interstate from wherever you're starting in Michigan to Bonners Ferry. Dec. 28th to Jan 1st inclusive is 5 days, and the drive to Bonners Ferry is doable in 4 comfortably long days of driving, each covering about 500 miles or a bit more, so don't be afraid to just get off the highway for a while if conditions get to be too much for you, and let the road crews do their usual professional job. Although driving an RV is not the same as driving your typical family sedan, the basic skills (slow down, take everything a good bit easier than normal) translate directly to the larger vehicle, but perhaps your biggest bit of knowledge is that you have limits - don't exceed them. Finally, driving on the Interstates is hardly ever 'mountain driving' in the normal sense. The Interstates are built to design criteria which limit the grades and radii of curvature, so that you will never be careening down a steep road with lots of switchbacks. Relax and enjoy the drive.


  3. #3

    Default RV stops????

    Not having ever done an RV trip like this, let alone in the winter, are there places to stop where we can plug in, empty tanks, fill tanks(water and fuel)? How do you plan for this? Does doing this trip in the winter affect this?
    Do truck stops have places to dump and refill an RV?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Truckstops / Travel Plazas

    Quote Originally Posted by kameembrniclqu View Post
    Do truck stops have places to dump and refill an RV?
    Truck stops do not have anywhere for you to plug in, but many have dump stations and places to fill water and (of course) fuel. You may like to get hold of a copy of the RVers Friend, which lists all truckstops across US and Canada, and what facilities are available where.


  5. #5

    Default Two points

    Hello k,

    While Montana certainly lives up to its namesake mountains, the lion's share of I-90 across MT is relatively low in elevation. You'll cross 3 high passes: Bozeman, Homestake, and Lookout (at the ID border). Those passes are around 5,500', 6,700', and 4,600', respectively. The total travel distance at higher elevation is fairly short, being perhaps 8-10 miles per pass.

    I wonder about how "winterized" your motorhome is? Are you certain the freshwater, gray water, and black water tanks can even be used in winter? My exceptionally brief experience in a motorhome during a Vermont winter was dismal. Despite keeping the inside furnace running all the time (when parked), she froze up solid and none of the plumbing was usable. Ditto while under way, as the heater could not possibly keep up with the combination of near zero temps and the 60 mph "breeze" formed by driving the vehicle.

    Good luck and have a safe RoadTrip.


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