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Old 02-01-2016, 08:54 PM   #1
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Grand Cayon, Zion, Bryce advice needed

Hi
My family and I are planning our 2nd trip out west this summer. We took a northern route last summer and now we want to see The Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and end up in the Arches.

We will be towing our 23 foot Jayco x213 with a 2015 Expedition. We are hoping some of you have done this before and can offer some insight about the routes in the areas.


We will be leaving the Grand Canyon (Trailer Village) on 64 into 89 North into Utah. We will take 89 into 9, which runs into Zion National Park. We understand there is a tunnel there with a height limitation, but that with a permit, the park rangers will take you through. Anyone do this? Depending on the feasibility of this will dictate whether we stay in the park or outside.

Next we will go back out 9 to 89 North into Bryce Canyon. We plan to stay at Ruby’s RV and Campground. Once we leave Bryce, we plan to take 89 North to 70 East to 29 South into the Arches and stay at Dead Horse Point State Park in Moab.

So, my question is about the conditions and grade to the roads (Routes 9, 89, 29) when towing the trailer. Or suggestions on how to do this better or differently? Also, any advice as to what is a “must see” or a “must stay” while in these areas.


I know its a lot of questions but we want to do it well

Thanks in advance
Tom B
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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Without knowing what you have under the hood of the Exp it is hard to tell but I think you should be fine...
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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We did the 5 National Parks in Utah last May (coming from Chicagoland area). A great trip!!! Tunnel did not end up being a big deal. We got in line and paid a fee ($10 or $15 maybe)...within a short period of time they stopped traffic on the other end and took us (with many other people), down the middle of the tunnel to the other side. Worked out fine. (Just check the time...I think they will only do that during certain hours of the day.) We stayed at Watchman in Zion. Very convenient to walk to town. We also stayed at Ruby's which worked out well. Very close to Bryce. We pulled a 21 foot Rockwood with an Acadia through those roads and all went well. (We no longer own either one...went bigger.) Have a great trip...we would love to do it again sometime!
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #4
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Its the 365 horsepower eco-boost from the f150, with 420 lb-ft of torque twin-turbo V-6. Peak torque at 2500 rpms. 373 gears
9200 pound towing capacity
gross weight of the camper 5500#.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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Angels Landing and The Narrows (in Zion) are must see, providing the water levels aren't too high for The Narrows. There's also a pretty secluded slot canyon called Willis Creek near Tropic, UT that's worth going to. Not many people know about it.

Cedar Breaks was also spectacular. It's near Cedar City, UT. The Taylor Creek Trail in Kolob Canyon (between Zion and Cedar City) has a really nice hike to a giant alcove carved into the sandstone. And I really mean giant. I had to use panorama to get the entire thing.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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We did that trip last summer. Fantastic

At the Grand Canyon we stayed at the Ten-X campground, which is a few miles from the entrance. Amazing, and cheap. As I recall, 10 bucks a night. No hookups, but we have a generator. Much better than staying in the park, packed like sardines, and paying Xanterra big bucks.

Ten-X is also big rig friendly, some of the largest pull throughs I have ever seen anywhere.

You will have no trouble with the Tunnel at Zion. We were too long, 32 foot travel trailer, so stayed just outside the park on the east side. That worked out well.

Google Ten-X, great place.

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Old 02-02-2016, 08:20 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks everyone! We will look into your suggestions. Sounds like it will be an amazing trip. Appreciate all your experiences! Our concerns were steep grades and descents. Assuming this was not an issue?? Thanks again, Tom B
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:10 AM   #8
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Steep grades

The only steep grade I recall, and it really wasn't that steep, was between the canyon floor in Zion and the entrance to the tunnel. The problem for my trailer was not the grade, but the switchbacks. Not recommended for a trailer my size (with my tow vehicle I am over 50 feet). If push came to shove, I could have done it.

In any event, if your trailer is 23 feet, should be no problem at all. So do not sweat that 10 minute drive up or down.

Cheers.

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Old 02-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
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This is a must have for RV traveler.
Maps of Covered Areas in the Mountain Directory


I asked the same questions for the same trip. This book is spot on we just got back from a trip all over So-Cal and we crossed many of the passes in this book. The descriptions and grades were as posted on the road.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
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I would take 12 across to Hanksville, it's one of the top 10 scenic drives in the USA. I have taken this a number of times, on motorcycle pulling a pop up and with our Truck and TT. Capital reef is well worth the time also. Interstate is just plain boring. At Hanksville you take 24 North to I70 then a short hop to 191 and down to Arches and Moab. Bryce is amazing, Zion while interesting is my least favorite park in Utah..
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