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Towing over Beartooth Hwy


MarkC
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Last January I posted about towing an Oliver over the Beartooth.  Got good responses…thanks.  However, my navigator thinks we shouldn’t try it.  Too tight corners…to long of a rig. Neither of us have been over the pass. But, I’m not hesitant to try.  We are picking up an Elite II in September.  My TV is a 2020 Ford F-350 crew cab long bed diesel.  She is adamant about our rig being too long…maybe someone can convince her otherwise.  I’m wondering if anyone has a similar TV and been over it.  Or, have seen semi tractor trailers on it.  Thanks!

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Chances are that if your "navigator" ain't happy then no body will be happy no matter what you do.😉

There are a number of videos on YouTube (go to YouTube and do a search for Beartooth Highway) that can give you an idea of what the road is like.  However, re-read the first sentence.

My suggestion would be to drive over it (and back) with only the Ford.  Depending on which way you are going, there are a number of places at each end to camp and/or leave the Ollie for the day.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I live in SW Montana and have been over the Beartooth Highway countless times. I have an F150 Super Crew and would not do it, period. Back when we had a T@b we crossed a couple of times with a Tundra TV (much shorter wheel base) and even that was pushing the envelope IMHO. During the summer months this road, as remote and extreme as it is can be very busy with a constant stream of traffic both directions including but not limited to lots of motorcycles. Aside from the fact there are very tight hairpin turns on the switchbacks and a lot of them at that, this road is extremely steep especially on the decent into Montana from the Wyoming side. This is a road that does not allow for mistakes. 

As for camping the Rock Creek area on the Montana side after cruising through Red Lodge all require RSVP's but there are some crude boon docking sites in the area if you know where to look. Back on the Wyoming side and between YNP and the ascent up to the passes there are several nice campgrounds albeit not very large ones that are all first come first serve. Mosquitos even at 9000 ft elevation and above are absolutely relentless up there so be forewarned and they are up at the crack of dawn, first light. Pray for wind. My preferred route is approaching from YNP and the west, then descend back into Montana. The Rock Creek campgrounds are nice but you'll need to RSVP way ahead of schedule they fill up constantly all summer. The drive in from the Montana side assuming you go through Roscoe is a gorgeous drive but again its very winding with lots of ups and downs and whoop-di-doos. This road is skinny with NO shoulder once you are passed Roscoe and the final leg to Red Lodge. There is another route from Billings/Laurel to Red Lodge but its boring as hell compared to the route south of Columbus.

In all the years of crossing/driving over the highway and I cannot recall once seeing anyone towing a travel trailer even with modest size ones like the Oliver. I tend to er on the side of caution. One thing goes wrong on a route like this and you'll be into some very big trouble quickly taking others with you. Hopefully this helps.

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Legacy Elite II #70

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We towed our Elite II with a 2019 Duramax diesel 6.5 ft bed over the Beartooth pass in Sept. of 2019 without issue. I wont lie, I experienced some anxiety in anticipation of the trip and my blood pressure may have been elevated a tad as we motored on, but it was worth it. We set the pace we were comfortable with, pulled over to enjoy the scenery and to let others pass at several of numerous overlooks. I must admit that having an engine brake makes mountain travel much easier. We were not the longest rig on the pass. I would suggest to be on the pass earlier in the day to avoid the masses.

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I went over the Beartooth pass with a vehicle (no TT) and it was amazing. With the constant traffic (bumper to bumper sometimes) I wouldn't think to try it with a trailer in tow, partly because I would want to stop to take in the views and parking isn't always easy to find at the view stops. We also had weather come up fast on us -- it was exciting enough without a trailer in tow. And drop dead gorgeous. 

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Oliver Elite II Twin   Tow Vehicle: Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

 

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We've driven the Million Dollar Highway over Red Mountain Pass on Hwy 550 between Silverton and Ouray. Most of the Youtube videos label it the most dangerous road in America. Personally, I didn't find it to be any big deal. This was after several locals in Durango warned me not to try pulling the Outlaw Oliver over it. We've driven the Moki Dugway several times both up and down with no problems as well as the Shafer trail in Canyonlands NP. Maybe it's just me, but roads like that don't particularly scare me. But I've never gone over the edge on one either. Tali, OTOH was petrified. She's emotional like that...

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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We have also driven the Million dollar highway. It's not as dangerous as some say, but it sure isn't for beginners. I wasn't crazy about the idea, at first, but it was ok.  Steep dropoffs, hairpins, changing radius curves, etc.  And, some very big trucks on a very narrow road, with some construction zones, too,, on our trip.. Good equipment,  good weather, and some skills are essential imo. The views were amazing. 

We haven't driven Beartooth, so I'm following this, and I appreciate the comments of those who have driven it. Not sure how the two compare. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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54 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

We have also driven the Million dollar highway. It's not as dangerous as some say, but it sure isn't for beginners. I wasn't crazy about the idea, at first, but it was ok.  Steep dropoffs, hairpins, changing radius curves, etc.  And, some very big trucks on a very narrow road, with some construction zones, too,, on our trip.. Good equipment,  good weather, and some skills are essential imo. The views were amazing. 

We haven't driven Beartooth, so I'm following this, and I appreciate the comments of those who have driven it. Not sure how the two compare. 

Did this last July, Ouray to Silverton, first time coming home in my L2.  I had just done some seriously exposed 4x4 trails so was probably a bit desensitized, but wasn't difficult. Just pay attention and don't let the exposure transfix you.  Like the trail leader said as we went over Imogene and Black Bear passes...when is the last time you just drove off the road for no reason. 😉  

Better than when they created it...

1.jpeg

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2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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2 hours ago, Ralph Mawyer said:

Did this last July, Ouray to Silverton, first time coming home in my L2.  I had just done some seriously exposed 4x4 trails so was probably a bit desensitized.


I’ve got the same image with my wife and I in our 2013 Land Cruiser!   We’re in the red one on the left side of the photo.  Also drove the Million Dollar Highway with the E II.  Wouldn’t have been too bad except when a diesel pusher took up some of my lane while going around a corner.   Thought he was going to force us into a rock overhang.  

9F0C0AFC-59D3-4308-B124-FFCFA05D168D.jpeg

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2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 200

2018 Twin Bed Elite II #351

 

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14 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

We haven't driven Beartooth, so I'm following this, and I appreciate the comments of those who have driven it. Not sure how the two compare. 

Done both and the Beartooth is easier.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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