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Old 08-01-2016, 12:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pfflyer View Post
We were there late June this year and there was still snow on Pikes Peak. You need to make reservations for the Cog RR at least in June you do. We did all the things you mentioned plus 7 falls and all are kid friendly. The private RV park we stayed in and all the ones we went by in CS really pack them in. So close with slide outs and awnings there are less than 1' between. Matter of fact we didn't need our awning because our neighbors was almost touching our rig and they took over the only picnic table we saw. Pikes Peak campground was closed because of issues with homeless people when we were there but I think they were close to getting it under control. We drove through Mueller State Park and it looked nice and fairly close to all the attractions at CS (maybe 30 minutes). We thought Cripple Creek sounded like a quaint old mining town but was mostly Casinos. If you never been I highly recommend it. If we go back we will stay in a State Park or research the private ones better.
Thank you!

For the moment, I'm looking at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Good space, and full hookups at each site. According to the reservation system, there are still a number of sites available too. If we were only staying a night or two Mueller would be a possibility, but for 5 nights, we will want/need full hookups. From what I can see, the private parks in the area generally get terrible reviews while the state parks fare much better.

I will likely call all our target attractions and ask about the need to pre-purchase or reserve spots as we get closer to departure time. I'm hoping things will be pretty quiet in November.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:49 AM   #12
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Cheyenne Mountain State park is beautiful. Very spacious and a great view.

I second the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it is really a great zoo. They have a Giraffe feeding station that my wife emptied my wallet on.

As to driving in snow - Don't fret it too much, I understand that it may seem scary, but it really isn't.

First, you don't know for sure that you'll have to deal with it. Don't pick a crazy route to avoid something that may not even be there. If it does snow, unless it is a crazy storm, the roads will get cleared shortly after. Worst case, you pull over, have a meal and wait it out.

Second, if it does, just remember no sudden movements, make everything slow and gentle. Get in the right lane and keep lots of space to those in front of you. Never hit the brakes hard unless you have no other choice. If you have anti-lock brakes, they'll take care of you, you'll want to adjust your trailer brakes down (less braking) to avoid them locking up. If for some reason you end up on ice, just remember that the little strip of gravel on the edge of the shoulder will give you much more traction than the iced over roadway. Not saying that you should drive on it, but if the ice is slippery enough that you can't really stop, steer to the edge (as long as it is clear), get wheels on the gravel and try stopping again.

Again, slow and easy, no sudden movements and you'll be good to go.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cdash View Post
Cheyenne Mountain State park is beautiful. Very spacious and a great view.

I second the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it is really a great zoo. They have a Giraffe feeding station that my wife emptied my wallet on.

As to driving in snow - Don't fret it too much, I understand that it may seem scary, but it really isn't.

First, you don't know for sure that you'll have to deal with it. Don't pick a crazy route to avoid something that may not even be there. If it does snow, unless it is a crazy storm, the roads will get cleared shortly after. Worst case, you pull over, have a meal and wait it out.

Second, if it does, just remember no sudden movements, make everything slow and gentle. Get in the right lane and keep lots of space to those in front of you. Never hit the brakes hard unless you have no other choice. If you have anti-lock brakes, they'll take care of you, you'll want to adjust your trailer brakes down (less braking) to avoid them locking up. If for some reason you end up on ice, just remember that the little strip of gravel on the edge of the shoulder will give you much more traction than the iced over roadway. Not saying that you should drive on it, but if the ice is slippery enough that you can't really stop, steer to the edge (as long as it is clear), get wheels on the gravel and try stopping again.

Again, slow and easy, no sudden movements and you'll be good to go.
Thanks for the tips!!

If we change the route to avoid Raton Pass, it isn't much of an inconvenience. Just a matter of making a corner instead of cutting it off. Any time or distance added would be well worth it to insure a clean and safe trip.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:51 AM   #14
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Add Manitou Springs to your itinerary if you like cool, small towns. It is between Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, so you'll already be really close.

+1 on the snow topic. A normal winter in this area means we get snow by Halloween in the city.

I'd also add that temps get down to the low 20's in November. You may have some freeze related issues with your trailer. Something to be aware of for sure..
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:58 AM   #15
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It will be pretty miserable in Nov, early Nov avg temps are 50 / 24. Also the campground store closes Oct 16, so no showers etc may have water freezing issues. Pikes peak may also be closed due to weather. Many other tourist areas may also be closed. Be careful and watch road conditions, snow in the high plains can get bad also, with blowing and drifting. Be careful and bring your heavy coat !
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:15 AM   #16
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So, next to driving on snow and ice, freezing issues with the trailer was next on my list of big concerns. My trailer has NO provisions for freezing winter travel; no heated/enclosed underbelly, no heated tanks. So if it gets to where I need to winterize, I plan to do so with air (I will be hauling a generator and a small pancake compressor along, and this is my winterizing SOP anyway).

I'm not too worried about CG shower facilities being closed. We've never used them. We use the trailer exclusively for all those functions. But if the trailer freezing becomes an issue, then so does using it for bathroom functions...

What else can I do? Could I run the furnace while in transit? Should I add heat tape or a heated hose to my packing list?

I'm starting to wonder if this is really the time we want to be doing this. Our travel window can't be moved, but our location is not yet set in stone. We could go somewhere that snow and freezing temps are not a concern and maybe do Colorado next year when we can maybe go in September or early October...
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:37 AM   #17
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Personally, I wouldn't take the risk unless I was prepared to switch to 'dry camping' mode and winterize at a moments notice. Not the best way to enjoy Colorado.

Running your furnace won't do much of anything for your tanks. I think there are some products out there that you can 'wrap' your tanks with that generates heat? Not sure if you have an outside shower, but that would almost certainly freeze up and break.

If 'dry camping' isn't an option for whatever reason, I'd wait and do Colorado in the spring. I'm still in my overly cautious phase though... I don't even take delivery of my new TT until Thursday.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:10 AM   #18
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Ditto what bansai posted.
It'll freeze.
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Camper_bob View Post
We could go somewhere that snow and freezing temps are not a concern and maybe do Colorado next year when we can maybe go in September or early October...
Sept or early Oct would be great times to see the trees. Cheyenne Mtn or Mueller are awesome state parks! We loved the Cheyenne Mtn Zoo. Garden of the Gods is a must. The Cog Railway is fun for adults but a 2 year old probably wouldn't like it for long.
November might be OK during the day but it might not - the average low is in the 20's so it'll be cold at night.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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Update:

Thanks for all the information and help!!

We ended up pushing our trip up two weeks to try to stay in as warm a weather situation as we could get. We just got home Tuesday after a week away. Two days driving each way, and five nights in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Weather was absolutely stunning. Views were absolutely stunning. The park was terrific. Even though the park was relatively full, the spaces are spread out enough you don't feel "stacked". You could tell they were gearing down for the "off" season, but the things we needed were still available.

We ended up driving to Pike's Peak summit because the Cog RR didn't have the specific times we needed. Totally spectacular, and I highly recommend the hot, fresh donuts. We saw Garden of the Gods, and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. We drank from each of the Manitou Springs, and shopped and ate in downtown Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. We went to the "North Pole" and Cave of the Winds (though we didn't actually enter either of those). Our 2YO was a total trooper through the whole thing, even though he was relatively sick the entire trip. He rode in the truck well, he toured the attractions with us, he did great overall, especially for a toddler. Our poor old wonder mutt even had a good time, even though he spent his time in the camper while we were out gallivanting around, he had fun the rest of the days while we were in camp with him. He's too old to chase cotton-tails, but he sure tried. I built him a platform for the rear floorboard in the truck so he could lay on something flat, and that turned out to make all the difference for him. He was totally comfortable on his orthopedic bed for the entire trip.

We had an absolutely fantastic time. We almost didn't come back. If not for some time-sensitive work I had to be in the office for, we might still be there. In fact, we got a work laptop so that we can work remotely when we need to, and that even worked better than expected. Unfortunately, I wasn't set up to complete everything I needed to do remotely. DW wants to move there permanently. Though I think that might change after the first winter! LOL!

No chance of freezing temps, so no worries about driving through Raton Pass either way. In fact, the pass was about the same as driving along IH-10 West of San Antonio as you transition into the Hill Country and then the plains. For a gas motor, the engine brake worked pretty well. Granted, a diesel would have been better, but we made it just fine. Fuel economy was terrible driving into a head wind the whole way up, but coming back, we had a nice tail-wind and that made all the difference for a nice relaxing ride home (albeit a long one).

All of our equipment worked as intended and as designed, so absolutely no problems with truck or trailer. DW began the trip thinking it would convince her we needed a MH, but she admitted to me that what we have is just fine. And now that we've done it, she's ready to do more. Next year around the same time, we're going to try for Grand Canyon!

Bottom line, I'm SUPER glad we took the chance and went ahead with our trip. I really couldn't have asked for a better outcome for our first major, multi-travel-day road trip with the TT.
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