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Old 12-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Driving from San Diego to Denver next Thanksgiving

Greeting, I will be driving out to Denver Co from San Diego Ca next year with our 32BHDS to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. I will be taking my three sons 11, 8, 5 (at time of trip). My wife and 3yo daughter will be flying out and meeting us there. Yes, you counted correctly, that is 4 kids (we finally bought a TV to put in our bedroom ).

Question 1: What routes have you traveled? I am looking for advise on what routes would be good to take. I plan on taking 2-3 days to get out there.
Question 2: Have you stayed anywhere in between? I am looking for any advise on places to Boondock in route.
Thank you in advance for questions and comments.

BTW, Great Forum to be a part of!
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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First, plan on three days, especially with three young children with you. From where I live in Tempe, I went to Castle Rock, CO almost 20 years ago years ago and it took me 18 hours with only one or two quick pit stops and I was "transporting donkey" (driving faster than I should have been driving).

You are going to run into steep grades and possible snow no matter which way you go. I would suggest taking I-15 north to I-40, then east to I-25, then north to Denver.

Frankly, with three kids in tow (and possibly your trailer?), you may be better off flying with your wife and daughter unless lodgings are an issue.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:17 PM   #3
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I'd take the trailer in a heartbeat!

This summer the four of us: Myself, DW, 4 yo daughter, and 9month old daughter (at the time) flew from New England to Albuquerque. We then rented a sedan and drove to Philmont Scout Ranch.

I am not exaggerating.... between the anxiety of flying with two young kids, the heat, and the elevation change (sea level to 7,500 ft) my wife ended up as a citizen of Santa Fe for the night while she was hospitalized.

I'll try to NEVER fly with kids ever again, and I'd rather haul the 32BHDS anyday.
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
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Awesome trip through there. Did it this summer with no trailer and took just less than 2 days. Followed hwy 15 to the 70. Some serious elevations and there was snow in August. Roads were nice and twisty and made for an interesting trip that's for sure. I wasn't camping but I stayed at a small hotel in Richfield, Utah I think. There was a Flyin J truck stop off the hwy if you wanted to boondock there I suppose you could lol.
good luck!
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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If you are unfamiliar with mountain driving with your camper behind you, I'd suggest avoiding Vail Pass and the Eisenhower tunnel (I-70 in Colorado) that time of year. Your gasser will have lost a third of its power at 11k elevation, so expect to run slower if you choose that route. More importantly, you want to use your gears to assist your brakes. Stay off the brake pedal as much as possible.

There are more scenic routes. We take the bypass around Santa Fe and hook up with US 285 North, but should you have mechanical trouble, it's always easier to find help on the Interstates.

Take your time so the kids have a good memory of the trip to take into adulthood.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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3 Days would be pushing it.. Going the other way I did Denver to Grand Junction the next day to Mesquite NV then to Niland CA. Going through Vegas is a major pia.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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15N-70E-25N. That's the only way I have ever gone. It's 1060 miles door-to-door to my brother's house just north of Denver. We've done it straight through and have split it into two days. It's about 19 hours of driving either way(averaging 55mph). If we split it, we'll stay at the KOA in Cedar City, Utah. It's just south of the 15/70 junction, which is almost exactly half-way for us.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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Seems everyone is gung ho on I-70. It is the shortest route by a couple hours. For me, it would be all about the weather.

http://www.luckymountainhome.com/nei...nhower_tunnel/

Here's Raton.

http://cotrip.org/m/cameraDtl.xhtml?id=26&rd=31
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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I chased a blizzard down I70 on my way to CO several years ago. The state does an amazing job keeping that highway clear. If Eisenhower gets closed, then you're hosed, so yes, the weather can't be ignored.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:25 AM   #10
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The problem with taking a northern approach is that it's so far out of the way if you are forced to head south due to weather. Or you can park and wait it out. And in November at high elevations, weather is pretty much a certainty. That's why the ski slopes are there!
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