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Old 06-09-2016, 05:24 AM   #1
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West to Colorado - any advice

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We are looking to visit friends in a few weeks in Colorado. We will be leaving rom Indianapolis, taking I-70 West to rt 160 into Durango.

Any advice for a first time travel trailer traveler this far west on I-70?

My plan would be to stay at Walmart or KOA campgrounds along the way. I am trying to properly plan to maximize time visiting and minimize time on the road. My wife wont drive the truck when the trailer is hitched so its up to me to go 21 hours there and back.

I appreciate any feedback or advice in advance.
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Old 06-09-2016, 07:12 AM   #2
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We are planning the same but from Ga 20-24hours each way. We will be in a class C though. We joined Good Sam club and they have a trip planning feature. You say where you want to go and it gives you a couple routes. pick a route and then you can add layers like places of interest, Flying J Gas stations (discounts with membership) and private, public, Good Sam camping grounds along your route. It wont segregate KOA campgrounds but does include them or Walmarts I don't think but there are other trip planning programs out there. KOA may have one as well if you are a KOA member.


Hope you have a good trip.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:22 AM   #3
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KOA has an app. You can just enter...Kansas.. and get all the KOA's in the state.
Walmart has an ONP app.. ( overnight parking) . Not all Walmarts allow it and its handy to segregate out those that wont.

Kansas is big.. and not very many rest areas. I don't know if it would be useful for a relatively short trip as yours but we found the book Next Exit useful. Gave services at each interstate exit.
I think there is something similar on line where you could just print off what is off i 70.
Its been a couple of years since we were on i 70. We took rests by simply pulling off on ranch roads.

St Louis is a bumpy ride but over pretty quick.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtiedeken View Post
All-

We are looking to visit friends in a few weeks in Colorado. We will be leaving rom Indianapolis, taking I-70 West to rt 160 into Durango.

Any advice for a first time travel trailer traveler this far west on I-70?

My plan would be to stay at Walmart or KOA campgrounds along the way. I am trying to properly plan to maximize time visiting and minimize time on the road. My wife wont drive the truck when the trailer is hitched so its up to me to go 21 hours there and back.

I appreciate any feedback or advice in advance.
the Durango KOA is one of the best in the system, in fact, in 2012 they were the KOA campground of the year. The owners are great, place is clean and they offer breakfast and home made pizza in the evenings. Pies are to die for. Plus, it's very close to town, the Durango Train and other attractions. Only pass you will cross is Wolf Creek Pass with is 4 lanes and no issues. I have pulled many a TT over it and also pulled a pop up with my Harley several times. Roads are good, but I would by pass Denver paying the toll, to connect I 70 to I 25 south.
Have a great trip !
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:47 AM   #5
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One thing to keep in mind is the weather. There are chances for tornados and high winds especially through Kansas. There is a decent KOA in Salina KS just off the I 70. You may also run into very high humidity which could make Walmart parking miserable for sleeping. When driving through the Midwest during July, we ended up getting a campground so we could have a/c.

As far as CO 160, it is a nice drive, slower driving but scenic. When we drove from Durango there were forest fires going on so the road was closed for quite sometime but opened up the day we left.

Where are you staying in Durango? We stayed at Lightner Creek Campground. We had a creek side site which was nice.It is more a country campground so it is outside from all the town festivities.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:50 AM   #6
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Try to avoid going through Denver during peak commuter hours. 6:30am-9am and afternoons seem worse 3ish-7ish. Expect an 30min-1hour total from end to end, depending on traffic.

Try to avoid I-70 Denver to Eisenhower Tunnel Westbound Friday afternoon/evening, eastbound Sunday afternoon evening.

The wife (being a flatlander from Florida) used to get twisty head and slow down all the traffic around her. Be mindful of your driving style. Take breaks to enjoy the rockies by adding an hour or two in the high country.

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Old 06-09-2016, 11:00 AM   #7
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Thank you for your responses. We are actually staying at Mesa Verde RV Resort in Mancos CO. We have friends there. I-70 to 160W into Mancos. I will look into the trip planner from Good Sam, I am a member but was unaware of this feature.

Also I will look into the apps mentioned. I do travel with 2 Honda 2000 generators for AC usage in Walmarts if necessary.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtiedeken View Post
All-

We are looking to visit friends in a few weeks in Colorado. We will be leaving rom Indianapolis, taking I-70 West to rt 160 into Durango.

Any advice for a first time travel trailer traveler this far west on I-70?

My plan would be to stay at Walmart or KOA campgrounds along the way. I am trying to properly plan to maximize time visiting and minimize time on the road. My wife wont drive the truck when the trailer is hitched so its up to me to go 21 hours there and back.

I appreciate any feedback or advice in advance.
Have you looked at a map? US 160 does not intersect with I-70.

My advice would be to get off 1-70 at Limon, CO. Take US 24 (good road) to Colorado Springs, then south on I-25 to US 160. There is a KOA in Limon. Nothing fancy, but the restrooms are clean, the people are nice and they have good pizza and will deliver it to your camper.

You could also get off I-70 at Oakley, KS and cut down through Sharron Springs and visit Mount Sunflower, the highest point (Elevation 4,039 feet) in the state of Kansas. But I wouldn't recommend it as Mount Sunflower is not too impressive and this could get to be a tedious drive.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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Have you looked at a map? US 160 does not intersect with I-70.

My advice would be to get off 1-70 at Limon, CO. Take US 24 (good road) to Colorado Springs, then south on I-25 to US 160. There is a KOA in Limon. Nothing fancy, but the restrooms are clean, the people are nice and they have good pizza and will deliver it to your camper.

You could also get off I-70 at Oakley, KS and cut down through Sharron Springs and visit Mount Sunflower, the highest point (Elevation 4,039 feet) in the state of Kansas. But I wouldn't recommend it as Mount Sunflower is not too impressive and this could get to be a tedious drive.
I used this in an 18 wheeler pretty regularly driving 11 western. This would be the best route, all good road, and the shortest. Another + is no Denver but Colorado Springs gets just as bad during rush hour.

Edit: After thought you'll love Mesa Verde. I stayed and extra day when someone else recommended it as a must see. I live near the Gila Cliff Dwellings, this is far better.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:23 PM   #10
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From my phone I cannot see if your tt and TV are listed in your signature.

We did a simular trip two years ago. Absolutely make sure to check your tire pressure every day. Low tt pressure can make for a white knuckle driving.

Plan for an average speed of 50 to 55 mph, figuring in gas and food breaks. I have not driven I70 in for a long time. But in areas out west fuel stops can be every 150 miles apart, and cell phones might only work near towns. However lately it seams that the cell companies are lining the interstates with towers.

If you are trying to make time, staying in Walmart parking lots are great. Don't expect it to be quiet or dark.
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