We've loved our 07. Never any chassis issues, but a few Monaco "house" issues, which they fixed (mostly) before they went out of business. Have had pretty good follow-up with Navistar on parts even though they've ceased building under the Safari name. (And it's not Navistar anymore, either. Can't speak to the new company.)
Best of luck to you. Creede is on pre-evac notice, mainly because of limited access in and out, as of 11 AM mountain time this morning. Total acreage for the complex is now >70,000 acres. Please pray for an early monsoon.
Apologies for all the updates, but here is a good alternative for avoiding Wolf Creek Pass: just east of downtown Pagosa Springs turn south on US 84 to Chama, NM (45 miles), then head NE on 17 over Cumbres Pass to Antonito, CO, about another 45 miles. At that point you can go north on US 285 back up to Hwy 160 in Alamosa. Cumbres Pass is a good highway. Just did it in a motor coach after taking the train from Chama.
The Papoose Fire has been incorporated into the West Fork Fire Complex, so when you go to inciweb, that's where you will find updates. No updates as of a few minutes ago, including on the San Juan National Forest site. The Pine River Times in Bayfield, CO has been doing a good job, either on their website or if you "like" them on Facebook. Another red flag warning day today, which makes 4 in a row. Heading to Silverton today, where our favorite Jeep road, Stony Pass, is closed because of the Papoose Fire... Stay safe, everyone!
They're calling the fire "unprecedented," which I guess they call every fire, but in this case, thousands of acres of standing dead spruce, killed by beetles, are fueling it like nothing before. Just saw a report that earlier reports of the impending destruction of South Fork may have been a misquote, but honestly, how anything can survive the onslaught of those flames is beyond me.
As of this morning, June 21, the town of South Fork is under mandatory evacuation and, in addition to the Hwy 160 closure at Wolf Creek Pass, Hwy 149 is now closed from South Fork to Creede. Additional evacuations include all of Hwy 149 from South Fork to Wagon Wheel Gap, which we left after a week's stay just yesterday morning. Please keep the folks in the area and the responders in your prayers. A new fire, The Papoose Fire, has burned 1600 acres NW of Creede near the Rio Grande Reservoir. Am thinking that Creede is okay, as the West Fork Complex fire is moving more easterly at 1 mph. (It is 6 miles from South Fork, to which it is headed.)
So, you all need to know that the West Fork Fire Complex is causing all kinds of trouble in the area. We got over Wolf Creek Pass a couple of hours before it was closed indefinitely. The fire is growing exponentially. From our house, about 50 miles west, the smoke plumes are huge. All of the area from the summit of the pass down to South Fork is under a mandatory evac notice. The area around Wagon Wheel Gap, 13 miles west on Hwy 149 from South Fork, is only 6 miles from the mandatory evac area. The fire has moved over the Divide into the Rio Grande NF. Creede is about 10 miles further north and west of this area, although the access to the area is affected. There's a new fire just north of Creede that is pluming and visible from our house in Durango. I do not know the exact location of this one, as it hasn't yet hit the media updates. Creede is probably FINE, but you need to know how dicey the situation is all over this part of the state and, sadly, the rest of the state. Prayers for Colorado would be good. Thanks.
Agree with Polly Sue, both roads are fine. Try to visit the Creede Repertory Theatre while there, lots of fun. Mountain View RV park is a great rv park in area, and worth it to pay a little more and face Rio Grande river. Clear Creek falls is a must see, and not too far from Creede.
The Creede Rep Theatre is great! We went Friday night and saw "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum." Tons of laughs. The falls are great, too, and if you have time, drive over to Lake City and have dinner at Bruno's French Restaurant in the Alpine Moose Lodge!! The lodge is right out of the fifties, but the restaurants (a bistro and the more formal dining room) are out of this world and you'd never expect such good food and ambience in such a remote place! Reservations for the formal dining room a must. I think they are open Wednesday-Sunday.
Just fine. We are in the area as I write. Both are major highways used by large trucks and have speed limits of 60. No passing lanes on 149, but there is not a lot of traffic and it's mostly level from hwy 160 to Creede. La Veta Pass is not too high, although its a long steady climb from Walsenburg.
In winter, we store 45 miles south and 2000' lower so we can get it out if we want. It's a locked storage facility with the owner living on the property. The other six months, when we aren't using it, it's on a concrete pad in our driveway. We have 10 wooded acres and no one can see the coach except us! We keep jacks down to minimize weight on the tires. Winterize before we take it to the storage place in November, unless it has gotten cold earlier in the fall. Sun handles what snow falls in NW NM, i.e., not too much! For the critters, we place blocks of poison on top of the tires and under the kitchen. Clean it out before we let the kitty cat back on board!
We boondock every summer in the National Forest campgrounds of Colorado in a 38' DP. The roads are dusty, but good. Check the NF websites for the various states and you should find good descriptions of the areas. There is quite a bit of dispersed camping here that is suitable for most RVs. We kept our length under 40' for that reason. It's not been a problem for us, although you need to power wash your radiators more often! And forget about being all spiffy on the outside!
All of us have been in tight spots, by mistake, or by having circumstances occur that we did or could not anticipate. We once had to unhook in a fueling station -- because the otherwise open way around the facility was temporarily blocked. No big deal. We know how to unhook and back up. Another time, we didn't see the very fine print on a map and started up a road that had a load length limit. Our bad, but we fixed it and no one else even saw us in our predicament. You learn from these mistakes. A campground, generally, is private property, and the owners or their agents have every right to make certain requests of their customers. They've seen it all, believe me, and their job isn't to intuit what a great driver you are, it is to protect their property and that of their clients.
Glad you had the skill to do it safely --- this time. Next time, it would show good judgment to take into consideration how others in the campground must have felt witnessing what could have turned into a really bad day for a lot of folks. Is it worth it? Sometimes discretion is definitely smarter than valor. JMHO.
PS/ You shouldn't wear out your brakes. In fact, if you gear down and use an exhaust/engine brake, you should not use your brakes much at all. Just make sure that at the top of the hill, you are going the speed at which you want to descend (remember there are lots of turns) and set your exhaust brake. You should only have to use your brakes occasionally to bring the coach back to the desired speed if it picks up. Don't worry about slowing other people down. You do not want to overheat your brakes! The speed limit on Hwy 160 on Wolf Creek pass is 35 and for heavy trucks, it's even lower.
It is fine. (It's our backyard...) US 160 is a major east-west highway. There are two passes between Walsenburg and Durango plus a couple of good-sized hill climbs. In every case, there is a climbing lane. (Be forewarned that the downhill traffic is allowed to use the uphill's passing lane where there is visibility -- they will have a broken line on their side, so make sure you can see if you need to pass and don't cruise in the passing lane.) The longest uphill is only about 8 miles long in its steepest section. If we are roaming around here, we don't connect our toad, but that's just us. You should be fine towing.