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Old 01-30-2024, 01:30 PM   #1
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Travel I70 Denver to Grandjuction

I am working on a Wisconsin to West Coast trip. Concerned about the elevation and grades on I70 between Denver and Grand Junction. Looking for feedback from others that have driven this with a large 5th wheel.

Plan is to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Then travel to Arches. Tow vehicle is a F350 diesel SRW. 5th Wheel is a Pinnacle 32RLTS.

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 01-30-2024, 01:48 PM   #2
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We have done that drive a few times. Yes the grades are long, but with that combo I wouldn't believe you'd have problems. It's usually the traffic that is more stressful for me!
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Old 01-30-2024, 03:27 PM   #3
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As ARoamer said

truck and trailer no problem. You will have a few substantial hills to climb. Just west of Denver, then another substantial getting up to the tunnels and then again at Vail Pass. the tunnels and Vail are probably 7-8 miles long

Level of frustration will depend on who and how many others will be on the road. If you can don't do it on a Friday afternoon, Saturday or Sunday before early afternoon.

the farther west you get the less traffic will be. Your worst will be between Denver and Frisco and then Vail. Once past Vail usually smooth sailing to GJ and from GJ to Moab open road.
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:59 PM   #4
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The you tube channel "the fast lane truck" does tow tests up the grade to the Eisenhower tunnel. Worth a watch if you want to see how it is.
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Old 01-30-2024, 05:04 PM   #5
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Denver to Grand Junction is 244 miles. Attached is the elevation and grades on that route from Trip Wizard. The Eisenhower Tunnel is 60 miles west of Denver at 11,158 ft.
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File Type: pdf Denver to Grand Junction.pdf (655.9 KB, 21 views)
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:00 PM   #6
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My small V6 pulled my 19.5 foot trailer with no overheats. But I did watch the downhills! Make sure your trailer brakes are properly set and working. Traffic can be heavy and weather can be changeable but scenery is great.
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Old 01-31-2024, 07:08 AM   #7
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We have been driving that route every year to and from Glenwood Springs for 12 years. You should have no trouble other than accidents, potholes and traffic. Like previously mentioned, there are some long grades but all doable.
Not sure if they'll do it this year but anytime there is a flood warning issued, they automatically close the Glenwood Canyon portion from Dotsero to Glenwood (from the Grizzly Creek fire a few years back). The detour is terrible through Steamboat.

The portion from Glenwood to Grand Junction is easy. Flat and wide open. A few turns in De Beque Canyon but nothing to get excited about.

Enjoy the trip.
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Old 01-31-2024, 10:20 AM   #8
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Your 6.7L PSD won't even blink pulling those grades. Use the exhaust brake on the downside.
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Old 02-01-2024, 07:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for everyone's response. I feel comfortable with the travel now. I have booked the trip.

That section of I70 is a bit daunting for a typical mid-west camper. As I read through the grades and elevations. Was worried. Camp CA, thanks for the graphs from Trip Wizard. They illustrate the concern.

With everyone's feedback and the great YouTube videos referenced by Shokyle1. No longer concerned about the trip.

Thanks
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Old 05-23-2024, 12:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bill3kirk View Post
We have been driving that route every year to and from Glenwood Springs for 12 years. You should have no trouble other than accidents, potholes and traffic. Like previously mentioned, there are some long grades but all doable.
Not sure if they'll do it this year but anytime there is a flood warning issued, they automatically close the Glenwood Canyon portion from Dotsero to Glenwood (from the Grizzly Creek fire a few years back). The detour is terrible through Steamboat.

The portion from Glenwood to Grand Junction is easy. Flat and wide open. A few turns in De Beque Canyon but nothing to get excited about.

Enjoy the trip.
Downloading COTRIP.ORG should help with road closures. Honestly, it is closed more now due to traffic accidents. Once you are past Rifle the traffic to Grand Junction is pretty good. I would also check on RV spots months prior to travel as it seems most have wait lists on the Western Slope.
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Old 05-24-2024, 07:05 PM   #11
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live2ridesledes, thanks for the Colorado Road app reference. Good road condition information and several live cameras.

Will be crossing through the I70 Denver to Grand Junction later this week.

Very helpful.
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Old 05-24-2024, 08:06 PM   #12
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live2ridesledes, thanks for the Colorado Road app reference. Good road condition information and several live cameras.

Will be crossing through the I70 Denver to Grand Junction later this week.

Very helpful.
Awesome!!! Enjoy your trip. We are in New Castle you will drive by on I-70.
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Old 05-25-2024, 10:53 AM   #13
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While my comment is not regarding I70, it may be helpful for some to know that a common and perhaps more scenic route to Grand Junction from Pueblo (I-25) is US-50 and US-50 is closed at the Blue Mesa Reservoir because there is a bridge there that needs a critical structural repair and the time to repair this will be an extended period of time (months or more perhaps). At this time, you cannot travel to Grand Junction via US-50 starting from I-25 (Pueblo).

Again, this doesn't affect I70 but is good to know for many as I suspect US-50 is (has been) a common route for many RV'rs to many West Slope RV destinations and beyond. ~CA
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Old 05-25-2024, 02:25 PM   #14
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While my comment is not regarding I70, it may be helpful for some to know that a common and perhaps more scenic route to Grand Junction from Pueblo (I-25) is US-50 and US-50 is closed at the Blue Mesa Reservoir because there is a bridge there that needs a critical structural repair and the time to repair this will be an extended period of time (months or more perhaps). At this time, you cannot travel to Grand Junction via US-50 starting from I-25 (Pueblo).

Again, this doesn't affect I70 but is good to know for many as I suspect US-50 is (has been) a common route for many RV'rs to many West Slope RV destinations and beyond. ~CA
Oh yes!! Good advise!!!
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Old 06-02-2024, 08:08 AM   #15
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Thanks for everyone's input. Did the drive from Denver to Grand Junction. No problems. Set the cruise control at the appropriate speed and let the truck do all the work.

Impressed with how well the truck did. Engine breaking and down shifting to manage the hills. Did not need to use the brakes much at all. Driving a 2021 Ford F350 diesel. Towing 2021 Pinnacle. I suspect a newer Dodge or Chevy would do equally well.

The views through this section of highway are incredible.
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