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Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Sydney, Australia
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27 posts
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Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Hi!

We're driving to west yellowstone from lake tahoe CA in an RV in late January/ early February.

What are the road conditions like coming in and out of west yellowstone?

Also, any recommendations on cabin style accomodation ($100-150 a night) and yellowstone winter tours?

Thanks in advance!

Marcellus, New York
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11. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

As I mentioned, we went in to Yellowstone on snowmobiles back when a guide wasn't required - as others have stated, it is now a requirement that you are accompanied by a guide. The snowmobiles were fun, but I have to admit to being more comfortable in the snowcoach, especially with young kids. We had bison pass by within a few feet of the vehicle - we also had them pass within touching distance when we were on the sled - and I greatly preferred having a sheet of metal between me and them! We also had a coyote pass within probably 10 feet of the van, and I really doubt he would have come that close had we been on snowmobiles (just my guess).

As far as companies, we used See Yellowstone, but there are many other companies that do tours by snowcoach. Check out the reviews - personally I'd book things separately unless there was a huge cost benefit to doing a package, or if I didn't have time to book things individually. I like the ability to pick and choose accommodations and such. I think See Yellowstone is associated with Three Bears Motel and probably does snowmobile tours as well, so they might be who you are considering. Just check them out thoroughly! There are a fair number of places to stay in West Yellowstone, and some are much nicer than others (we've stayed in a half dozen or more over the years).

Sydney, Australia
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27 posts
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12. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Thanks GracieNYC and Deb, I understand the post about only guided snowmobiles now.

I think we'll try out both, I really hope we have wildlife encounters like yours!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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13. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

I-80 is an interstate freeway,so no sharp curves. It also climbs up to high elevation and gets heavy snows every year. Every schoolchild in America knows the story of the Donner party!

Yes, if it's snowy you will probably need chains. There may be 'chain checks' along snowy highways where you must stop and install them or turn around. Will your RV rental company allow chains?

Sydney, Australia
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14. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Hi Half-brit, after reading about the donner party we might stay off the I-80. Do you have any experience driving the I-15 from SLC to las vegas/LA?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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15. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Only in late spring and summer, when it's fine. I do recall a rather high pass somewhere north of Cedar City I think. You can look on the Utah Dept of Transportation's website for real-time webcams. All states have these, although sometimes it takes some perseverance to figure out how to find the webcams!

http://udottraffic.utah.gov/

Any major freeway such as an interstate will be perfectly fine as far as curves. Large trucks thunder along them at high speeds. In mountainous areas there will be some curves but all speed limits and advisories are well marked.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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16. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

I'm assuming you might be renting the RV from CruiseAmerica. If not, from some similar company. I'm quoting from CruiseAmerica's website - cruiseamerica.com/rent/…RAG_Eng.pdf

"TIPS FOR COLD WEATHER CAMPING

The water heater and furnace should be on at all times. A minimum of 15-amp power (external shore line) connection is required to operate the RV furnace for extended periods, plus a sufficient supply of propane. Do not let the motorhome sit for more than 12 hours. Idle the engine or drive the motorhome a short distance at least every 12 hours until normal operating temperature is reached. In freezing conditions, the propane gas can vaporize and cause the L.P. system to freeze. Following the above steps will help minimize this possibility.

NOTE: SNOW CHAINS ARE NOT PERMITTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

WARNING: The renter assumes ALL responsibility for ANY damages due to freezing temperatures."

Capitalization was from their website (I don't shout). So the idea that you can park the RV somewhere and leave it isn't possible. You have to run the engine to keep things from freezing or you will face a whopping damage bill.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 01:51
USA
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9,465 posts
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17. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Very valuable info, SusieLou. Hope the OP reads it before leaving. I hope they have a good trip across that route in an RV this time of year. Whew! Have a safe trip and let us know how it went, sylvia.

Sydney, Australia
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27 posts
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18. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

Thanks SusieLou, we're leaving yellowstone for warmer months and visiting AZ, CA and NV

19. Re: Winter RV driving (+accommodation and tours)

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