Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RV trip over the Rockies?

Hi Jamie,

We are planning a RV vacation, heading from WI to OR in late July, and are looking at Highway 20 as a route. We can take 7 or 8 days so time is not significant. I am wondering about a couple of things; campgrounds on this route, road conditions, and severity of the climb thru the Rockies (vs using an interstate highway).

I would like to think we could do 300 miles a day but if the road doesn't allow the RV to keep an average speed of 45 miles per hour, we may be on the road too long. We have a 24 ft class C motorhome pulling a 2003 Chevy Tracker. The motorhome has a large V8 but it is not a diesel and if the mountain section of this route is a lot of very steep and curvy road, it would take much more time to cover even 100 miles in that part of the trip.
Any advice you have would be appreciated.

Thank you



Hello Rick --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help (though questions about horsepower are a little way outside my area of expertise...)

The route I follow in Road Trip USA along US-20 is not especially steep or curvy, not compared to some roads across the Rockies; US20 is a main route thru Yellowstone National Park, and it's used by hundreds of RVs every day. You can double-check with park rangers about any limits or restrictions, but I think you should be fine -- and it's a gorgeous place (but popular, so make your overnight arrangements, even for campgrounds, as soon as you can).

The drive down the other side, into Idaho, is pretty calm, too -- following along the Henry's Fork of the Snake River -- gorgeous country, and great fishing. Since you have lots of time, a nice alternative route heads south from Yellowstone into the Grand Tetons park, then heads west on US26 into Idaho Falls.

And if you are heading all the way west to the Pacific, the ride over the Cascades is pretty (and is lined by nice US Forest Service campgrounds), but in some ways I prefer the more level and even more scenic route north along the Columbia River, thru the gorgeous Columbia Gorge (along the I-84 Interstate, but still a very pretty drive).

Hope this helps -- and hope you have a great trip!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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