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RE: 2022 campgrounds

Here in northern Colorado so far everything has been full, there's been no changes that are noticeable. Went up the Poudre Canyon recently, all of the first come/first served CG were full. And the State Forest State Park Ranger Lakes CG was completely full. Checked to see if some of the other State Park CGs nearby had any openings and there's absolutely nothing. However, with diesel now at $5.50+ here, will be interesting to see if that changes.
Thom02099 07/05/22 08:32pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Note to Newbies with Children

Don't sit around a morning fire in your underwear while chain smoking cigarettes and guzzling coffee. Straight from Nomadland ;)
Thom02099 07/04/22 09:16am RV Lifestyle
RE: Best route

Good suggestions for you. Something to be aware of, there is a massive construction project going on for I-25 between the Berthoud exit (CO 56/Exit 250) and north of the Loveland exit (US 34/Exit 257) with narrowing lanes, lane shifts and huge periodic backups in both directions. This is all north of Denver. Was just in Denver yesterday, all of the construction projects from downtown north to Berthoud are all completed so no problems there. A suggestion to miss Denver and the construction would be to stay on US 287 up to Limon CO where you can take CO 71 north all the way into Nebraska (stays as 71 except NE 71) where you can get on I-80 and take that west to I-25 in Cheyenne. Very easy drive, CO 71 is a good roadway but no fuel stops between Limon and Brush CO.
Thom02099 07/04/22 09:07am Roads and Routes
RE: Kansas City to Estes Park

An option to consider would be to take I-29 NORTH to St. Joseph and take US 36 all the way across Kansas. It's a good 2 lane road, small towns every 30-40 miles apart for pit stops/fuel/food or just to rest. Flat in the eastern part of the state, more rolling hills as you get further west. A couple of nice state parks in the western portion at Lovewell Lake SP or Prairie Dog SP. Both offer various hookup options if needed. At St Francis KS, there's 2 options. Stay on US 36 to CO 71 and north to Brush, or take KS 27 north to Haigler NE where you can pick up US 34 and take that all the way in to Brush, Fort Morgan, Greeley and Loveland on the way to Estes Park. Personally I prefer the 2nd option to go up to US 34, I've done that several times both directions.
Thom02099 06/30/22 08:02pm Roads and Routes
RE: Durango, Silverton & Telluride Area

Well, thanks in advance for any input. We are heading to the area of Durango late July for a few weeks and looking at places and things, a lot. A lot of places to camp. Last time I asked here was a few years ago and someone told be about Four Mile State Park near Niagara Falls, perfect place. So this time, near Durango. will stay for about a week near there and take in the sites, maybe move on to Silverton or Telluride area. Any great ideas of camp spots, roads to avoid will be helpful and greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jeff & Karen That area of Colorado has a lot to offer in the way of campgrounds. However, without reservations you may be hard pressed to find a place to camp. There's state parks in the area but all Colorado State Parks are reservation only; H E R E - CPW is a link to the reservations page. There's Navajo and Ridgway State Parks in that general area, it's possible you might be able to find a cancellation that could work for you. USFS campgrounds are available at recreation.gov. Again you might be able to find a cancellation that could work for you, but they are all very popular and get reserved usually 6 months ago when the window opened for reservations. And campgroundreviews.com can point you toward some of the commercial campgrounds in the areas you're interested in, may be able to find something in one of the private campgrounds in the area.
Thom02099 06/30/22 07:51pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Credit Cards For Fuel Discounts

American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back on grocery purchases and 3% cash back on fuel.
Thom02099 06/26/22 08:07pm General RVing Issues
RE: Empty parks with no open sites.

Regarding Colorado specifically, here's a different example. CO State Parks are all reservation only. There no longer is walk up/first come first served sites. A favourite place of mine is the State Forest State Park, with 3 different campgrounds available. Most of the time, all 3 of them are full, there's rarely any empty sites. That said, there's "overflow" camping at the Moose Vistor's Center in Gould. Folks that are waiting to see if something opens up in one of the 3 campgrounds. Problem is, since it's reservation only, you have to either go on line or call the reservation number. But there's no cell phone service there. Closest place for cell phone service is in Walden, 26 miles away. I don't know first hand if the Visitor's Center staff will allow folks to use a landline phone there at the center to call for a reservation. There is no cell service there. There is one entry station for 2 of the campgrounds that is staffed, but with limited hours. The 3rd campground has an entry station but for the past 3 years it has not been staffed at all. The staffed entry station will tell folks that they have to make a reservation either on line or by phone call. So there's a Catch-22 here. I heard that conversation with someone ahead of me during a check in at one of the campgrounds. A possible solution to this would be to go back to allowing some walk ins, after the passage of the check in time for the next day. Not perfect, but a solution. My experience, however, at least with the Colorado State Parks is that there are rarely no show or empty sites. That cannot be said for Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds and USFS campgrounds. I frequently see empty sites at both, particularly USFS where they still use the cards attached to a post at the campsite. Lots of reservations and no shows with some popular USFS campgrounds. One solution there is that all sites are first come/first served. No reservations at all. This is true for several campgrounds in the Poudre Canyon, as well as campgrounds in Wyoming between Centennial and Saratoga. To my knowledge, in that area, there's only one that allows reservations, all the others are first come.
Thom02099 06/23/22 09:48pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Yellowstone closed

H E R E - Yellowstone Reopening is more information about Yellowstone reopening on 06/22/22. Scroll down to the FAQ section on information about the ALPS license plate entry system. Note that if you are staying in the park, you are under the exceptions, but will need to provide proof of reservation.
Thom02099 06/19/22 08:35am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: One Day Entry Fee Increase - RMNP

In addition to the fee increase and the continuation of timed entry, the shuttles are also coming back. Will also be starting the weekend of May 27th and run into October. Free shuttles, easy to get to Bear Lake area from a variety of starting points. Read the press release in the Estes Park News this week. Even the Hiker Shuttle is subject to the timed entry fee. Correct. This was released after my original post. Also, it looks like the shuttle will be running direct from the EP Visitor's Center to Bear Lake as an express, with no stops at the campgrounds or other hiking trailheads. I'll need to check further on this as I was counting on the shuttles from Glacier Basin to Bear Lake area.
Thom02099 05/08/22 06:32pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: One Day Entry Fee Increase - RMNP

In addition to the fee increase and the continuation of timed entry, the shuttles are also coming back. Will also be starting the weekend of May 27th and run into October. Free shuttles, easy to get to Bear Lake area from a variety of starting points.
Thom02099 05/03/22 07:28pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
One Day Entry Fee Increase - RMNP

For 2022, just before Memorial Day Weekend on May 27, the one day entry fee for Rocky Mountain National Park goes from $25 to $30. The 7 day entry fee and the annual fee don't increase. In 2023 the camping fee will also increase, from $30 to $35 for the summer season. Timed entry reservations are in place again this season. S O U R C E - 9News Denver
Thom02099 04/27/22 08:57pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Norcold Fridge Question

Thank you, Jerry, I'll give that a shot too. I'll run the stove for a bit. Caveman - I am not sure the gas is lighting, I don't hear anything, I plan to try it again (maybe today or tomorrow... when it warms up a little) and I'll see if I can see/hear it. As for the battery, it was original (4-5 years old) and was not holding a good charge. Good suggestion from Caveman. At elevation, I usually have to open the back of the fridge and as suggested, move the little cover that exposes the pilot light. If you've turned on your stove and gotten it to light, you could also try to manually light the pilot light for the fridge. I'm presuming you're not at elevation over 5000 feet? I'm right at 5000 feet and my Norcold lights fine, but at 9000 feet I have to manually light it.
Thom02099 04/26/22 05:48pm Travel Trailers
RE: La Veta Pass (Colorado) with old and heavy RV?

Thanks again for the recommendations…one last question for all. Of the two routes from Alamosa to Colorado Springs…La Veta Pass or Poncha Pass…which would you feel is less dangerous, easier on the nerves and our old slow heavy RV…all things considered (passing lanes, grade, road conditions, curves, elevation, etc)? H E R E - Poncha Pass is a link to driving over Poncha Pass (a few minutes into the video) and H E R E - La Veta Pass is a link to driving over La Veta Pass. Personally I think the views are better going northbound over Poncha Pass than eastbound over La Veta Pass but that's just me.;)
Thom02099 04/24/22 09:13pm Roads and Routes
RE: La Veta Pass (Colorado) with old and heavy RV?

Or, from Alamosa you could take CO 17 to US 285 to Poncha Springs and then US 50 to I-25. One pass south of Poncha Springs but not bad at all. Listed as 3% on CDOT. Probably easier on your nerves, and RV, that way. https://www.uncovercolorado.com/activities/poncha-pass/ ^^^ This. Alamosa and the San Luis Valley is around 7500ish feet. CO 17 is a long straight very gradual climb up to Poncha Pass at the upper end of the Valley. Poncha Pass tops out ~9000 feet give or take a few. There's a decline down to Poncha Springs that's 3 lanes, mostly climb lane for folks going south. Once in Poncha Springs, take US 50 east thru Salida and follow the Arkansas River down to Canon City. Lots of twisties but keep your speed down you should be fine. IIRC there are pull offs along the route in case traffic backs up behind you. Once you get thru Canon City, watch for the CO 115 cut off at Penrose to Colorado Springs, which skirts along the foothills and is a good drive. CO 115 intersects with I-25 NB to Denver.
Thom02099 04/24/22 08:21am Roads and Routes
RE: Flying J / RV Lanes

You mentioned in your post that you will be visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Just a heads up, there are no Flying J stations in the northern Colorado area that I'm aware of. Closest will be a Flying J and a Pilot in Cheyenne, WY near the I-25/I-80 interchange, or in the Denver/Aurora area off I-70. There's Johnson's Corners Truck Stop in Loveland, south of I-25/US 34 interchange that is set up for RVs. There's also a Sam's Club on US 34 (Eisenhower Blvd), that's fairly easy to get in/out of. In Estes Park, if I need fuel I always use the Conoco station at the Country Market at Mary's Lake Rd and Moraine Ave. Easy in/out, but it can be a busy intersection. There's also a Shell station and a Safeway Fuel station on US 34 (Big Thompson Ave) as you're coming in to the business section of Estes Park on the north side of the street -- easy in/out for either. Both are next to each other by the Safeway and the intersection with US 36. Expect resort type prices in Estes Park.
Thom02099 04/06/22 05:53pm Roads and Routes
RE: Memphis to Springfield, MO

An option to consider would be taking US 65 south out of Springfield thru Branson and on to I-40 at Conway, AR. Then I-40 east to Brinkley, AR where you could take US 49 south to the Helena crossing of the Mississippi River, then take US 61 north to Southhaven area. Have used that route in the past to avoid the Memphis mess and to get on to I-22 down to Alabama. Don't recall anything that would cause concern, maybe a little traffic around Branson but nothing compared to Memphis-West Memphis. I've also been further west, at Joplin and then south on I-49 thru NWAR area to I-40 at Alma, AR, then east on I-40 to Brinkley. Just some alternate routes.
Thom02099 03/26/22 01:43pm Roads and Routes
RE: Route from Ft Worth to Estes Park

US 287 from Texas to Limon has absolutely no hills of any kind. As stated, flat and boring. At Limon, CO you do not want to stay on US 287. It piggybacks I-70 in to Denver. There is a better way. In Limon, take CO 71 north to Brush, where you get on I-76 west to Wiggins and then split off on US 34 through Greeley, Loveland, and on in to Estes Park. Going through Greeley and Loveland is far less stressful than dealing with the traffic and construction in the Denver Metro area. CO 71 is a good state highway, albeit still a rather boring drive. It's about 75 miles of mostly straight roadway but it keeps you away from the parking lot that is also known as I-25 north of Denver. ;) There's also a lot of construction on I-25 from about Mead all the way up to the Loveland exits, and the I-25/US 34 interchange is a mess due to the construction. Easier to deal with coming in from Greeley rather than the ramp back ups from the exit.
Thom02099 02/11/22 08:11am Roads and Routes
RE: Driving from North Jersey to Denver and back

Presuming that you just want to get out and get back, I'd go with option 2 with a modification. At Indianapolis I would take I-74 to I-72 across Illinois to Hannibal MO where it meets US 36. Take US 36 (four lanes) all across Missouri and into Kansas at Hannibal. While it's a 2 lane road through Kansas, you can make good time. It's a good road, small towns about 30-40 miles apart for fuel/food/break stops. A lot less truck traffic than what you'll have on either I-70 or I-80. Just outside of Denver at Byers, it joins back with I-70 into Denver.
Thom02099 01/25/22 07:28am Roads and Routes
RE: T or C, NM to Bisbee, AZ via I-10 and Hwy 80

T H I S - Low Clearances might help. Says for AZ 80 in Douglas, bridge height of 12ft 10 inches at MP 366. If you're over, could probably find a means to get around that particular spot. ETA: That looks to be near the intersection of Pan American Ave S (US 191) and "G" Street (historic US 80) but I sure don't see any overpasses of any kind in that area.
Thom02099 01/17/22 06:48am Roads and Routes
RE: Route 160 in Colorado

There's a selection of videos you can watch on YouTube that will give you an idea about travelling up and over Wolf Creek Pass, including the CW McCall song about it...long before the improvements were made to both sides. September is a great time to be in that area of Colorado, was down there a few years back in late September and the colours were so vibrant. It's really not a difficult crossing any more. Even with the potential for snow in September, CDOT does a great job in keeping it open if it does snow, and that early in the season will likely melt off quickly. There's also N La Veta Pass west of Walsenburg, somewhat gradual climb for a bit then a gradual drop down into the San Luis Valley. The vistas of the mountains are breathtaking as you come down off La Veta; Blanca Peak, Mt. Lindsey and Slide Mountain all visible to the north of the highway, in stark contrast to the agricultural fields throughout the valley. If you get a chance, a side trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park would be something you won't see anywhere else -- sand dunes butting up against 14000 ft mountains. Worth a stop.
Thom02099 01/07/22 06:26pm Roads and Routes
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