Hey there fellow travellers! It had been such an exciting road trip last January 2014 to California for my family and I that we are toying with the idea of having another go at it. Last year was a heck of a winter for nearly all of us in North America and it was certainly a challenge to say the least to drive through the snowy/icy North and Mid USA but we made it through (with extreme caution) and it was definitely worth the challenge!
We visited Tombstone Arizona, Tucson Arizona, San Diego CA, camped in Joshua Tree, Big Sur, Santa Cruz CA, Sedona AZ, Flagstaff AZ and visited the Grand Canyon. We went to zoo's and Disney Land, we hiked, we biked. We swam and ate. We made friends and strengthened many more friendships. What an incredible time and memory we created and were blessed with for our family!
This year some things have changed. Pulling our trailer with the Toyota Tundra was a dream in the sense that we knew it would haul the trailer without any issues. However the drive with 2 young kids and my wife packed in to the truck, not to mention all of the side trips we took proved to have many down sides. We now have a 2014 Toyota Sienna. One main reason we bought this van compared to most others was simply because it can haul up to 3,500 lbs. Our trailer is 2,900 lbs and I feel that we can limit the weight in it to easily below 3,500 lbs as we always pull it dry.
My question is to anyone willing to tackle it is a two part (for now) question.
a- Should I be concerned about hauling this distance with this van pulling this trailer? Last year we put on 7,767 miles round trip but did a lot more side trips than we would do this time. We hope to keep the mileage down to 6,000-6,500. I'm looking on other sites and sources but its a little difficult to get a very good answer on this and to get any good idea of what kind of mileage I will be getting. I really just need bit of a ballpark idea to make sure we know what kind of costs we're getting into for fuel as we will have not done any hauls with the van until shortly before we leave. I'm really hoping the comfort of taking the van also comes with some fuel savings over the Tundra.
b- I know this is probably a silly question but here goes. One possible route would take us through Denver Colorado. My wife and kids have never seen the rockies and its a tempting option. But I've pretty much been of the frame of mind that going through mountains in January, when i could just as simply go around them, might be a bit fool-hardy.
Any and all advice is truly appreciated!