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Old 06-05-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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6500 mile trip from MD to California and back

We leave on the 24th from MD. My brother graduates from Sgt. Major Academy in El Paso next week and we are meeting up with him at the Grand Canyon. We plan on stopping at G.C., Hoover Dam, we have sites reserved at Sequoia, San Fransisco, and Yellowstone, and Mt.Rushmore on the way back. We left time for running up the coast to Oregon and across to Wyoming.

We are taking everything out we won't need to lessen the weight. I will carry a spare diesel container incase we venture off the beaten path. Our 5th wheel has a factory generator and we will carry 1/4 tank of fresh water. I plan on checking the tires every 250 miles or less. (Wife will want to stop anyway)



Anyone have any suggestions for sightseeing or preparing for the journey?


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Old 06-05-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
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Diesel is pretty available everywhere in the West
We did some of your route. If you get off the interstate you will find mountain grades of 6-12 percent
Not sure how much freshwater your 1/4 tank holds
We didn't carry any. Water is readily available in all your parks However if you dry camp on BLM land there never is water but it's free or darn cheap. And there is lots of it
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:51 PM   #3
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Wow 12 percent is steep grade
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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If you have time, Bryce canyon, Zion and many other parks in Utah are well worth the time. How long are you going to be traveling, lots of driving on your route. Lots in hot weather also. I bet you will be closer to 8,000 miles by the time you get home.
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:25 PM   #5
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Unless your trailer overloads your vehicle, why worry about shedding a few pounds? For every trip, we travel with full water tanks (~80+ gal in the trailer and 14 gal in the truck bed), tools we've never needed (knock on wood), and lots of misc. stuff. The added (or subtracted) weight makes a negligible change in fuel economy; your speed and driving habits make the biggest change.

Probably doesn't apply to many, but.... When the DW and I lived in MI and traveled west, we tried to keep on MI time. That meant we arrived early at campgrounds and left early, too. It's also easier when you head back east if you haven't set your 'biological clocks' to west coast time.

Safety Tip: Keep your tires inflated to the maximum shown on the sidewall. They run cooler that way and you'll already have lots of heat to deal with this summer.
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:51 PM   #6
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6500 mile trip from MD to California and back

My brothers a planner so he came up with the mileage. He's also the in the Army and as they say, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

We are usually loaded to the GVWR, I figure if we can take some stuff out it will also help to not play RV Tetris when setting up and packing up since we will stay for 1-3 nights at any given location. I carry weight more tools then I will ever probably use as well, but you never know.


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Old 06-05-2016, 04:59 PM   #7
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We did a long trip like that when I was about 14 or 15. I hated it at the time, but now I can't wait to do it again. Make the trip as leisurely as you can. We sometimes drove from sunup to sundown for a couple days in a row and it was MISERABLE. Take your time and enjoy yourself as much as you can.

Staying off the interstates will help keep your speeds down (better mileage) and you will get to experience much more of the beauty of this country. I70 can take you straight out west... but you only see trucks and billboards the whole way! Take 66 or other secondary roads. Stop in towns. Eat at a local diner instead of a national chain. I'm not sure how far you plan to drive in a single day, but I would encourage you to set a cap and not exceed it if possible.

Above all else, ENJOY YOURSELF! If you are exhausted or cranky, it will be a miserable trip and you won't enjoy the beautiful places along the way!
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #8
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I could do 16 hrs a day driving, but we like to find the odd ball attraction. We have seen the largest ball of twine, largest office chair, etc....we plan on getting rt.66 when we can.


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Old 06-05-2016, 10:14 PM   #9
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Most Passes are 6-7% max, Vail In CO is 7% & Wolf Creek 6%. The route you are taking may take you over Cabbage Pass on I84 AKA Emigrant Hill or Dead Mans pass. East bound is 2000 ft assent in 6 miles of twisting road. Just remember you can go down too slow lots of times, too fast just once. Your on vacation take your time and enjoy it.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edd505 View Post
Most Passes are 6-7% max, Vail In CO is 7% & Wolf Creek 6%. The route you are taking may take you over Cabbage Pass on I84 AKA Emigrant Hill or Dead Mans pass. East bound is 2000 ft assent in 6 miles of twisting road. Just remember you can go down too slow lots of times, too fast just once. Your on vacation take your time and enjoy it.
This is a beautiful old-growth forest area. Emigrant Springs State Heritage area is near the top and includes an Oregon State campground. Coming back westbound from a trip to the southwest earlier this year we crossed early morning just at the sun was rising and happened across a herd of about 2 dozen elk grazing in a big meadow right by the highway. Well worth taking your time and enjoying the scenery.....
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