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Old 01-06-2021, 09:02 PM   #1
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First Big Trip Help

Hi, we are headed on our first long trip with our 2019 Thor Chateau 32W and looking for some route sugestions. We start from home in Alabama and are headed to Zion, Bryce, Arches parks. We plan to take I40 across on the way there and I70 for the return trip. Going in September/October time frame.

Is there any info that someone can give of where not to go and or a better route. Have not had the F450 V10 in the mountains and will be flat towing a Jeep Wrangler.

Just looking at some options that others have done to make this an enjoyable trip. If you visited a place that was great let us know.

Thanks.

Gary
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:50 PM   #2
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There are a couple of places in Texas that were inspiration for characters in the movie Cars. One is in Shamrock and one in Adrian. When you get to Amarillo, don't fall for the Big Texan Steak House. It is a tourist trap with over priced and poorly cooked steaks. On the east side, TxDOT has a real nice welcome center/rest stop. Amarillo has a nice campground on the west side of town, cant remember the name. I guess the Cadillac Ranch is worth the 5 minutes it takes to stop and snap a picture, it is free after all. Amarillo has a museum dedicated to the helium industry. There is also the quarter horse museum and a Native American museum. It is hot and dusty there, but may be worth a day.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:02 AM   #3
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Donít worry about driving in the mountains. Your rig will do just fine even towing the Wrangler. Speed limits out there are 80mph and while you might not choose to go that fast your truck will do you proud. There are a few passes that might slow you down to 45 or so for a few minutes in the truck lane but donít let it bother you. Iíve been over the Rockies a number of times in a 33ft gas class A and I have no complaints. Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:40 AM   #4
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Sounds like a good trip! My wife & I are planning to go out West to Glacier NP, Grand Tetons & Yellowstone NP & hit a few other places in our 2020 Thor 28A. We had it for 7 months & been on 4 hour trips but planning the big one in July. Hopefully some of the Covid restrictions will will be gone by then. Stay safe!
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:47 AM   #5
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This is the type info I was hoping for. The wife has this trip planned down to each mile and at what time we will stop. She has a little of my Sergeant Major in her I recon. We have camped many years now starting with tents and pulling trailers. We have had the Chateau for a year now and only out 2k miles on her in the southeast. Really looking forward to the trip.

Thanks for the info.

SGM Retired
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:55 AM   #6
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Joust outside the West entrance to Yellowstone in the town of West Yellowstone is a great r v campground called Grizzly R V Campground. It is about a 5 minute drive the the entrance into Yellowstone. You need to make reservations as early as possible. It is a large campground that is well kept. You can walk into town from the campground to shop or eat a meal. I have stayed there the last two summers in our motor home. Enjoy your trip.

Paul
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:20 AM   #7
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Joust outside the West entrance to Yellowstone in the town of West Yellowstone is a great r v campground called Grizzly R V Campground. It is about a 5 minute drive the the entrance into Yellowstone. You need to make reservations as early as possible. It is a large campground that is well kept. You can walk into town from the campground to shop or eat a meal. I have stayed there the last two summers in our motor home. Enjoy your trip.

Paul

Agreed, and also make it a point to hit Jackson Hole Wyoming, roughly 1.5 hours south of the Yellowstone NP South exit. It's a fantastic little Old West town well worth a visit-lots of touristy shops in walking distance; also an RV park in town a bit pricey but includes cable TV!
Gary
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:09 AM   #8
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"Just looking at some options that others have done to make this an enjoyable trip. If you visited a place that was great let us know."


We did this trip to Utah last fall and spent over a month at the Mighty Five! Canyonlands NP just north of Arches is worth a look-see and has plenty of places to boondock and close enough to Arches for day trips there and Moab. Capitol Reef NP is very cool too and if you can get in one of the most beautiful NP campgrounds among the Fruita orchards we have ever parked our rig! Bryce is busy although we were able to stay in the park (get there early morning) campgrounds or at Ruby's CG just outside the park. Zion was crazy busy, we stayed at a private CG just east of the park (and the mile long tunnel) glad we did as everything else on the west side of Zion was booked. You will have a problem getting through that tunnel with your bigger rig, but you did say you were pulling a Wrangler which is the way to visit Zion ( you will need to make shuttle reservations to go into the canyon!

We always travel US Highways versus Interstates (we do not rush anywhere & rarely make reservations) so cannot help you on routes. Hope this helps with your plans and safe travels.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:52 PM   #9
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Enjoy your trip. I like RV trip wizard and Campground reviews to scout out places to stay.
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
There are a couple of places in Texas that were inspiration for characters in the movie Cars. One is in Shamrock and one in Adrian. When you get to Amarillo, don't fall for the Big Texan Steak House. It is a tourist trap with over priced and poorly cooked steaks. On the east side, TxDOT has a real nice welcome center/rest stop. Amarillo has a nice campground on the west side of town, cant remember the name. I guess the Cadillac Ranch is worth the 5 minutes it takes to stop and snap a picture, it is free after all. Amarillo has a museum dedicated to the helium industry. There is also the quarter horse museum and a Native American museum. It is hot and dusty there, but may be worth a day.
We had a great time at the Big Texan and the steaks were very good. Yes its a tourist trap but I was a tourist. Fun place and good food

Jerry
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Old 01-08-2021, 01:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
Hi, we are headed on our first long trip with our 2019 Thor Chateau 32W and looking for some route sugestions. We start from home in Alabama and are headed to Zion, Bryce, Arches parks. We plan to take I40 across on the way there and I70 for the return trip. Going in September/October time frame.

Is there any info that someone can give of where not to go and or a better route. Have not had the F450 V10 in the mountains and will be flat towing a Jeep Wrangler.


Thanks.

Gary
Be sure to take the route through the tunnel (Bryce / Zion). It costs $15 to run the RV through the tunnel (oversize vehicle charge or something) but it is well worth it. They close it down to one way traffic and you run down the middle.

Depending on your interests there are several things to do in Moab (Arches). Skydive MOAB is a great experience. You could take Hwy 128 out of Moab to catch up with Hwy 70. Great Dinosaur museum in Fruita, CO.

Take your time in the mtns going down. Use tow haul and tap the breaks early to downshift. Don't let the zoomers rush you....

We've been through there many times. If you stay anywhere near Idaho Springs you might want to take in Mt Evans. Highest paved road in North America. I could go on and on...
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:46 PM   #12
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We had a great time at the Big Texan and the steaks were very good. Yes its a tourist trap but I was a tourist. Fun place and good food

Jerry


We did as well. And I still wear the straw cowboy hat I bought there 4 years ago when Iím fishing!
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:59 AM   #13
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Some great ideas for a super trip! We had a trip planned to the Utah 5 last summer, which we had to cancel. Not sure when or if we'll do that trip. Your reports and pics will be appreciated!
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:15 PM   #14
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Gary,


Do your research for fuel stops along I-70, particularly through Colorado. Back in mid 2018, the wife and I returned that way from Utah and headed back to Oklahoma. There weren't many places that looked easy to get into for our Ford F450 and 38 1/2-foot fifth wheel. The one place I thought would be good turned out to not be when multiple vehicles were in the fuel pumps and parking areas. I had to back out from the fuel pump back to the street to get out. That said, your rig is probably much shorter than my 55-foot combination.


As for sights to see, there is SO MUCH to see in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. We just spent 3 weeks out there (non-rv traveling) and was in all of Utah's Big Five parks and the Grand Canyon. With your time frame, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon may be closed due to weather. While we were out there this year, one could get to the North Rim but all the "facilities" were closed except the gift shop on certain days. (Port-a-potties were available.)


If you are into RV's, Jack Sizemore's RV dealership in Amarillo, Texas has an RV museum that is kind of neat. I think the previous mention of an RV park west of Amarillo (and near the Cadillac Ranch) is Oasis RV Park. Also, if you like natural beauty, check out Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is South of Amarillo and east of the city of Canyon.


Not meant to brag on my photos or website, but at the link in my signature are over 48,000 photos taken mostly in western states. Pictures of the parks and the RV museum are there.


And, if you are planning on seeing Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, there is a neat little RV park in Kanab, UT called Hitch-n-Post RV park. There are others, but I don't know much about them. We worked at Hitch-n-Post for nine months in the 2017-2018 time frame. Kanab is 75 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 75 miles from Bryce Canyon, roughly 40 miles from Zion National Park, and 75 miles from Page, Arizona and Lake Powell.

EDIT: On your way west on I-40, Arizona also has the Petrified Forest National Park, which includes the petrified forest and the Painted Desert. The north part of the park is primarily the Painted Desert and the south part is the Petrified Forest.

Terry
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:49 PM   #15
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As has been said, you could spend a couple months touring northern AZ and southern UT and never see it all. Our favorite spot is Kodachrome Basin SP, UT.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:14 PM   #16
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ALL, this is some great info. Thanks so much, wife is still napping out the ao so who knows where we will end up.
Gary S
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:01 AM   #17
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There is also a very nice historical site of the Navajo Nation in the north-eastern part of Arizona. It is Canyon De Chelly (pronounced De Shay). It is a very nice day trip.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:56 AM   #18
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You said that you'll take I-70 on your way back. I assume that means you'll be going through Colorado. Downshift or use your "Tow/Haul" mode while coming down out of the mountains; it's a 7 or 8% grade for several miles and is really hard on brakes. There is no good way to get avoid Denver, but avoid rush hour traffic at all costs. I-70 going East through Denver isn't as bad as I-25 anywhere going North and South along the front range.
Once you get East of Denver, I'd suggest taking highway 36 through Eastern Colorado and Kansas instead of I-70. It's a two lane road in Colorado and most of Kansas, but it get very little traffic and the scenery is a little better than I-70. Plus the hiway runs due east where I-70 dips south and then back north so you will probably same some miles. Once you're in Eastern Kansas the road by-passes all of the towns and turns into a limited access 4 lane road. It goes into Missouri just south of St. Joe and continues east through Hannibal so you miss Kansas City and St. Louis plus all the heavy MO I-70 traffic. Hiway 36 meets up with I-70 again at Indianapolis.





















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Old 01-15-2021, 03:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
Hi, we are headed on our first long trip with our 2019 Thor Chateau 32W and looking for some route sugestions. We start from home in Alabama and are headed to Zion, Bryce, Arches parks. We plan to take I40 across on the way there and I70 for the return trip. Going in September/October time frame.

Is there any info that someone can give of where not to go and or a better route. Have not had the F450 V10 in the mountains and will be flat towing a Jeep Wrangler.

Just looking at some options that others have done to make this an enjoyable trip. If you visited a place that was great let us know.

Thanks.

Gary
Take US Highways, NOT the Interstate Highways; you will enjoy the trip MUCH more.
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:11 PM   #20
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Not to be a smart a##, but with the F450 with the V10 while going west don't take routes where there's not many gas stations, that motor is VERY thirsty. Pulling your toad you might get 8 mpg if your right foots not too heavy.
We grew up in the Texas panhandle & the Big Texan is advertised all across the country, it's definitely worth a stop whether you eat or not.
There are 2 nice rv parks on the west side of Amarillo, one is the Oasis very nice with lots of concrete/asphalt mostly pull thrus, very few small shade trees so could be very hot in mid summer. The other is Ft Amarillo that's much smaller with some pull thrus for short term guest with mature shade trees & a very nice gift shop.
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