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Old 03-09-2018, 11:20 AM   #1
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suggestions for our big trip

Don't want to make a lengthy post, but will see.
Planning on leaving Wisconsin to head west in June. Returning ? Will be towing a 2011 Jayco 28BHS with a 2005 F150. Places we hope to visit ( in no particular order) Beartooth Hy. Yellowstone, Glacier, Tetons and maybe Bryce Cannyon, Zion, Colorado. Whew, tired already! Looking for best route info. places to stay, parking TT while site seeing, roads to avoid while towing, etc,etc. As we never ventured out this far or for a long time I am hoping to get some insight from the great people before me that have done it. Besides my wife and I will be bringing 2 teenage boys and 2 small dogs ....( to help push and pull up hills)
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:35 AM   #2
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When you're in Utah, I would recommend staying at Ruby's resort/RV park which is just outside of Bryce Canyon NP. Additionally you can take day trips to Zion NP and the north rim of the Grand Canyon NP. (The not so touristy side). We spent a week at Ruby's and had a great experience. They have all the amenities you need including full hook ups, restaurant and gift shop. Across the road is an old west town where you cant go horseback riding, rent ATV's and much more. For a remote resort, it has everything you need

https://www.rubysinn.com/
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #3
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When you're in Utah, I would recommend staying at Ruby's resort/RV park which is just outside of Bryce Canyon NP. Additionally you can take day trips to Zion NP and the north rim of the Grand Canyon NP. (The not so touristy side). We spent a week at Ruby's and had a great experience. They have all the amenities you need including full hook ups, restaurant and gift shop. Across the road is an old west town where you cant go horseback riding, rent ATV's and much more. For a remote resort, it has everything you need

https://www.rubysinn.com/
Thanks Nukeneck. I forgot to mention this will be a on the fly vacation. No reservations no commitments to arrive on a schedule to avoid missing things and getting stressed. LOL
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:47 PM   #4
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The problem with on the fly and the big tourist spots is things are booked up. Within an hour drive of each of the sites things will get booked up ahead of time. What you will be left with can be some pretty bad campgrounds. Unless you get lucky and are at the desk when someone cancels. The smaller the rig the more chance you have of getting in to places. Also, if you will consider 'camping' (boondocking) in national forest areas then you get a lot of options.

Don't know how you like to visit places. For Zion, Bryce and the North RIm you could stay someplace kinda central to all three and then take day trips to see the sights.

FWIW, I would suggest booking a spot at Yellowstone. It really does take 2 or 3 days to see all of it and staying in the park or just outside the park is the best way to do it.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:52 PM   #5
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Consider having your TT's wheel bearings re-packed and brakes checked/adjusted prior to your departure. Check TT tires for age, and/or wear.

.... otherwise enjoy your trip

Bob
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:11 PM   #6
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The problem with on the fly and the big tourist spots is things are booked up. Within an hour drive of each of the sites things will get booked up ahead of time. What you will be left with can be some pretty bad campgrounds. Unless you get lucky and are at the desk when someone cancels. The smaller the rig the more chance you have of getting in to places. Also, if you will consider 'camping' (boondocking) in national forest areas then you get a lot of options.

Don't know how you like to visit places. For Zion, Bryce and the North RIm you could stay someplace kinda central to all three and then take day trips to see the sights.

FWIW, I would suggest booking a spot at Yellowstone. It really does take 2 or 3 days to see all of it and staying in the park or just outside the park is the best way to do it.
The Kanab, UT area is a good place to locate centrally to explore these areas. Zion National park is about 30-45 minutes away and Bryce/North Rim Grand Canyon are each within about 90 minutes. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is about 7 miles north of Kanab as well - another interesting place to visit. You'll have much better luck getting around in both Bryce and Zion without the camper in tow. There are a few private RV parks in the Kanab area but I would recommend picking your dates and booking as early as possible.

I would also suggest if you do opt to spend some time there take half a day and tour the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary which is 5 miles north of Kanab right off US-89. We make at least one or two trips to this area each season, primarily to volunteer at Best Friends, and it really is a great place to spend some time.

With a little bit of advance planning you should have a great trip..
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:13 PM   #7
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Planning times. It depends on how you want to see these places. Do you want to just look around a bit, see a few key sites and leave or do you want to really see them?

For example. Zion consists of a road that runs through where you see some of the stuff (1hr?), drive up to the hotel and see a bit more (2hr), take the tram up to a few of the more notable spots (3hr), hike some of the trails (1-3 days). Bryce can be 30min or 4hr (or more) following the same reasoning. Same with North Rim of Grand Canyon. And, yes, you can just drive through Yellowstone and not really stop much, but, it will still be a few hours just for that.

Advice (keeping in mind I have been to some of these places more than once).
Yellowstone. Minimum, Old Faithful and walk around the other geysers, Mammoth Hot Springs, the falls on Yellowstone River (Artists Point). These will take at least a day to see all of them. There are literally hundreds of smaller 'hot springs' that are worth seeing if you have the time. If you are into the wildlife then that might be satisfied just by driving through the park, but you might want to spend more time at that as well. This is a HUGE park.
Zion. I am not a hiker so my visits are usually limted to going up in the tram to see a couple of the sites. Takes a few hours.
Bryce. Having lived in the southwest for most of my life this one is just kinda interesting to me so I only spent ah hour or two here.
North RIm of Grand Canyon. If you have not seen it before and want to, then plan on hiking a couple of the rim trails. The view from the North RIm hotel is very limited so you see only one branch off the canyon. If you hike out you will get to see the full breadth, similar to the sight you get from the South RIm without hiking (the South RIm is a busy place, but, has better views and trams to take you to many sights along the rim). The "ultimate" for some is to hike down into the canyon. The holy grail for canyon hikers is the North-South-North hike in a 24hr period (not unless you are in REALLY good shape).

If you have a lot of time then add in Moab, Canyonlands and Arches NP's. Canyonlands really needs to be driven in an off road vehicle or hiked to see it. Arches you can see without much walking. From Bryce to Moab you can also stop by Natural Bridges NM where you can actually hike out over the bridges.

I noticed your truck. You might allow some time when driving. Some of the roads our here in the mountains can tax your engine, especially in summer. Watch the engine temps. When on the highways keep the speeds down to spare your tires and use the gears to keep control of your speed.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:23 PM   #8
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The problem with on the fly and the big tourist spots is things are booked up. Within an hour drive of each of the sites things will get booked up ahead of time. What you will be left with can be some pretty bad campgrounds. Unless you get lucky and are at the desk when someone cancels. The smaller the rig the more chance you have of getting in to places. Also, if you will consider 'camping' (boondocking) in national forest areas then you get a lot of options.
Agreed. We are staying in West Fork, CO this a few days this summer and I couldn't believe how many places were already full when I started calling for reservations in February.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:27 PM   #9
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One last bit of advice for towing out here.

Wind. We consider 30mph a nice breeze. At 40 it is getting a little windy. 50 and it bothers us. 60 and up we try and stay home You will get high winds from Montana all the way down into AZ and UT. The open plains are particularly bad.

Know how your trailer will react to wind, especially the gusty stuff like you get when a tractor trailer passes you from the opposite direction on a 2 lane road with a 65mph speed limit (or higher). You might consider that you need to stop for the night when the winds kick up.

Thunderstorms. One of the apps I keep open on my phone is the weather radar with a surface wind speed overlay. As I drive I keep it updated so I know when I might have to take a different route or even stop for a few hours to let a thunderstorm move through the area.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:21 AM   #10
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I would like to thank all for their time in responding to this. boondocking was mentioned, however even though I would do this I haven't found much in the national parks. Is it even an option?
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dennis b View Post
Don't want to make a lengthy post, but will see.
Planning on leaving Wisconsin to head west in June. Returning ? Will be towing a 2011 Jayco 28BHS with a 2005 F150. Places we hope to visit ( in no particular order) Beartooth Hy. Yellowstone, Glacier, Tetons and maybe Bryce Cannyon, Zion, Colorado. Whew, tired already! Looking for best route info. places to stay, parking TT while site seeing, roads to avoid while towing, etc,etc. As we never ventured out this far or for a long time I am hoping to get some insight from the great people before me that have done it. Besides my wife and I will be bringing 2 teenage boys and 2 small dogs ....( to help push and pull up hills)
Others are more qualified to talk about Utah, but here are some of my thoughts based on our experiences at Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Colorado.

You MUST drive the Beartooth Highway. IMO to say its incredible is a gross understatement. But you don't want to tow the 28BHS. There is considerable changes in elevation and lots of hairpin turns etc.

We spent two nights in Cody, WY at the Ponderosa Campground. Take a day and drive from Cody to Red Lodge, MT then follow the Beartooth till you reach the Chief Joseph Highway, which will take you back to just north of Cody. While not quite as spectacular as the Beartooth, Chief Joseph is a great ride as well.

While in Cody, don't miss the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I think there are five separate museums all for one admission. It's really cool. There's also a rodeo every night in the summer in Cody. Even if you're not a fan, it was a lot of fun.

While visiting Yellowstone, we spent four nights at the Rustic Wagon Campground in West Yellowstone, MT. It's a small campground on the west edge of town, but less than five minutes from the West Entrance to Yellowstone. The park is very well kept and you could eat off the floor in the shower house. I've read reviews that complain about the proprietors being rude, etc. The woman who took our reservation is a foreigner and could come off as abrupt to some, but the man that checked us in was very friendly and helpful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

FYI...I had no trouble getting a reservation at the campgrounds in Cody or West Yellowstone with a couple weeks notice.

As others have said, plan on spending a few days in Yellowstone. There is so much to see. As you're driving through the park, if you see a dirt road, take it. Even if there is not a sign pointing to something down the road, go anyway. There is a lot of cool stuff that's not on the main roads.

It's not boondocking in the true sense of the word but iff you're OK camping with no services, there are a number of National Forest Service campgrounds in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. These campgrounds are much smaller than the NP campgrounds. Most of them have no services other than vault toilets, picnic tables and a water hydrant to fill your tanks. They are first-come first-serve. You will read that all these campgrounds fill up by noon but we were there in August, and would have had no problem getting a site in the middle of the afternoon at any of them we saw. If/when we go back to Yellowstone, we're going to stay at least a couple days at the NFS Campground just north of Mammoth Hot Springs. That area really spoke to me.

In case I haven't put you to sleep with my verbosity, here are a couple (few) thoughts on Colorado.

Most of our travels have been to the central and northern Colorado. One of my sons live in Denver and I used to have business there, so we've spent a fair amount of time in the Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park area. There is a lot of information about both as well as southwest Colorado, which is very popular and may fit your plans if you end up in Utah.

But if you're wanting to get off the beaten path, check out the Roosevelt National Forest in north central Colorado and the Medicine Bow National Forest west of Laramie, WY. Both area are quite rural, but are just beautiful places to go and enjoy nature.

It sounds like you have a great trip in the works. Hope you have a great time. I'll be looking forward to reading your trip report with lots of photos.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:27 PM   #12
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Ruby's looks like a heck of a great place. It's already on the list when we hit the road in a couple of years!
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Old 03-31-2018, 03:34 PM   #13
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If your going to be traveling between mid June and Mid August anywhere near "tourist" areas you will want reservations. Most of these parks, especially the better ones will be 100% booked. We've work in Colorado, South Dakota, Utah and this has been the situation all over. Flaming Gorge is another beautiful area, when you head south from Yellowstone towards Colorado..

Good Luck
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Old 03-31-2018, 04:35 PM   #14
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With a rig of your size no
It won’t fit
Plus there is in Glacier and Yellowstone early am fill times. Just as someone leaves
National forest campgrounds are good enroute. Some will fit your rig.
I think you have to plan and reserve. We reserved Grand Canyon for a May visit inJan and got the last site
And we have a small trailer 2/3 your length
Barely fit at Mather
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:25 PM   #15
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Roads. There are some US highways in CO I would not tow a rig your size. One is US550 from Ouray to Durango and another is US34 through Rocky Mtn NP. Some may disagree, but, sharp drops with no guardrail and a largish trailer do not mix, IMHO. Yeah, I know semi drivers do it all the time. I don't.

I have driven my rig through some places I'd rather never go again due to lack of planning. I check all my routes ahead of time using things like Google maps/earth/street view and GPS programs.

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