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  1. Default Driving through the mountains

    My husband and I will be moving to California from the East Coast and we'll be driving a 15-foot Budget truck. I've started to freak out about the Rockies in that truck. Has anybody done this before? Any tips or routes that would be best for us?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default big places

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With starting and ending points as broad as "the east coast" and "California" its not really going to be possible to provide any specifics for routes.

    However, I've driven over the heart of the Colorado Rockies in a similar sized truck, pulling a trailer and it really wasn't a problem at all. Interstates are built with limited grades and curves, so if you are sticking to the Interstates you really shouldn't have any problems, no matter which route you take.

  3. Default

    We're headed to San Diego from the Great Lakes region. I'm sorry I was wasn't more specific!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default well then

    Depending upon where in the "Great Lakes Region" you're going, you'll have 3 basic routes across the west, I-80, I-70, or I-40. I-70 would be the most mountainous, but arguably the most scenic. I-40 would follow much of the path of old route 66, and I-80 would probably be the least mountanous of the options.

  5. #5

    Default No problem

    I wholeheartedly agree with MM--the mountains are no problem.

    My experience and personal likes and dislikes lead me to avoid highly urbanized areas when I can. My own planning would have me looking at what large cities a particular route goes through and unconcerned about mountains, particularly when driving an unwieldy vehicle loaded with personal posessions, as urban area traffic poses more of a hazard than interstates through the mountains.

    That said, a summertime trip along I-40 could present some issues with overheating, as there are some fairly serious grades even in the desert areas, and going all the way down through California's Central Valley and through the LA Basin on I-5 from the Bay area, where presumably you'd venture south off of I-80, doesn't thrill me much.

    So that leaves I-70, where the only sizable cities you'll see (depending on where you'd get on I-70) are Denver and Las Vegas (Vegas is of course not on I-70, but is down I-15 a ways from where I-70 ends at I-15 in southwest Utah). MM is correct as to the mountainous nature of I-70 in Colorado, but let's be specific about it: There are two rather long grades leaving Denver, another at Loveland Pass, where the Eisenhower Tunnel pierces the mountains near the top of the pass, and then Vail Pass around 20 miles past the tunnel. And that's it. The highway winds through and between ranges of wonderful mountains, but it goes up and down but a few times, and the uphill grades are all or almost all 3 lanes uphill, allowing for fairly safe slow vehicle climbs, while the downhill sections aren't dangerously steep and have broad curves, allowing a safe descent.

    I-70 in Colorado is a great ride which I'd embrace, not avoid. Especially after a day, day and a half of corn and wheat fields.


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