Monday, March 21, 2011

Road Trip Day 3: I-90 East

Day 3 of our 2010 Road Trip in our GMC Yukon XL Denali and Keystone Premier 31BHPR travel trailer had us traveling from Spokane, WA to Bozeman, MT, and according to Google Maps, covering a total distance of 645 km (400 miles) with an estimated 6 hours of driving. To tell the truth, this leg of the trip was the one that I was most concerned about because we were passing through the Rockies and over the Continental Divide with an elevation of 6393 feet. I've driven this route several times already in a passenger vehicle but never while pulling a trailer. I didn't know how the Denali would handle pulling the Keystone's 7600 lb GVWR for extended climbs.

Our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali has a 6.2L engine with 380 HP @ 5500 rpm and 417 lb-ft torque @ 4400 rpm. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with full-time AWD and it's never had any problems keeping up with traffic when pulling a travel trailer. I'm happy to say that it was no different in the high mountain passes. Near the top, the engine was working hard for sure, but I was quite impressed with its ability to climb the steep grades and maintain a safe speed. All of my concerns rapidly disappeared, like the accumulating miles behind us. I also have to say that the ProPride hitch also played a large role in my relaxation and peace of mind because despite the trailer's 35' length, the entire setup handled as steady and solid as a locomotive through all the winding mountain roads.

The picture below shows us stopped for lunch at a rest area east of Superior, MT.



Our afternoon fuel stop was in Deer Lodge, MT. Although we were only passing through eastbound, on our return back we planned to stay a night at a local campground. Little did we know that it would end up being much longer than that!



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