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Southwind1999

Colorado Mountain Driving

Question

We are considering travel between I-25 @ Walsenberg, CO to Durango, CO using Hwy 160.  We are traveling in a 41 diesel coach towing a Suburban.  I assume I may have to unhook the Suburban thru the mountain passes but am wondering if anyone has taken this route in a similar sized RV.  Thank you for your help!

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We have driven this route several times in our 32' gas coach, not towing anything.  You will cross two passes, La Vita pass which is a gradual incline/decline, then Wolf Creek Pass which is much steeper on both sides.  Please, don't let the passes bother you, just gear down and engage any supplemental breaking system you have on the down grades.  The idea is to reach an equilibrium where you use your brakes very little, if at all.

   I don't believe you will need to disconnect your towd, but you may get other advice from other people who tow.

Be sure to stop in at the "Great Sand Dunes National Park" on the way,  and if you have time in Durango, take the narrow gauge train to Silverton.  

Chris G.

F3508s

Westminster, CO

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I have traveled the route that you mentioned many times over the years, in tractor trailers as well as motorhomes. Beautiful ride. You will not have to unhook your tow behind, assuming you have an exhaust brake or engine brake and have an auxiliary braking system on your suburban. If you feel safer unhooking your suburban that is your call. There is a wide spot at the bottom of Wolf Creek where truckers remove their chains. Should be able to rehook your toad there. The trip across the San Luis Valley is pleasant and there are some nice RV parks in the South Fork area in case you are running late and don't want to do Wolf Creek until you have more time to enjoy the experience. There is a stopping point at the top of the pass, where you can walk across to the informational displays. The climb over La Veta Pass west of Walsenberg is a hard pull, but the descent into the San Luis Valley is long but gentle. I always observe the truck speed limits on Wolf Creek pass.

The San Luis Valley is the largest alpine valley in the world and worth some time if you have it. 

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Did this trip last year on 160 going to Creede and learned real fast you will have to down shift on the La Vita pass to keep from overheating . Beautiful scenery but a long climb if overheating . Had to stop twice before reaching the summit . Bogged down when following a trailer that had slowed down . 160 is a beautiful  smooth highway and after La Vita is great ,

Michael

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Been there done that. Several times in my current coach with no problems!  Keep your RPM's up by downshifting going up, you'll run cooler and going down I run 4th gear with exhaust brake on and flashers on!

Carl

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