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Old 07-14-2021, 06:35 AM   #1
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Getting around in Black Hill and Badlands

Hello All, we will be meeting up with 3 other couples next month to explore this area. We are in a 2015 24' Itasca Viva that does not have any slides or leveling jacks and will not be towing a vehicle. Two other couples have larger rigs and will be towing jeeps. We have a 10'1" ht and 7'6" width and I see on the maps that there are a couple tunnels we cannot clear but there are easy ways to bypass.
My question is, how difficult is it to get around in the area with a rig our size? Are there routes I should avoid?
Our chassis is a Ram promaster with a v6 and and haven't had any issue with hills/mountains here on the east coast.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:51 AM   #2
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your absolute best bet is to leave the RV at the campground and either ride in your friend's jeep or rent a suitable vehicle in Rapid City for the duration.

the Needles Highway is a definite no-no in your RV but it's also a definite MUSR EXPERIENCE. also Iron Mountain Rd (US16A).

https://www.blackhillsvacations.com/.../scenic-drives

https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...tain-road.html

https://blackhillstouristinfo.com/drives.htm
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rk911 View Post
your absolute best bet is to leave the RV at the campground and either ride in your friend's jeep or rent a suitable vehicle in Rapid City for the duration.

the Needles Highway is a definite no-no in your RV but it's also a definite MUSR EXPERIENCE. also Iron Mountain Rd (US16A).
I agree with rk911. Both of those drives are worth of the inconvenience of finding another vehicle to drive in.
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:19 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies. One of the couples is driving an Airstream Interstate 19 that is 6'7" wide and 9'7" high and 19' long. Do you think it would be a no-go or difficult for them as well? (I ask since that would be our likely source for a ride other than renting a vehicle)
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:01 PM   #5
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https://www.blackhillsvacations.com/..._Hills_Map.pdf

Here is a map of the area that has tunnel widths and heights. While it looks like it would fit, the question would be how comfortable is the driver through these areas. Depending on the time of day, it can be crowded. I had some white knuckle moments on Needles highway with just a minivan.
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Old 07-21-2021, 05:05 PM   #6
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Just returned from the Black Hills. I certainly not take the Airstream thru the tunnels. Width and LENGTH may well be an issue in the longer narrow tunnels!
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:40 AM   #7
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Last time we were there in 2018 our toad was a little Honda Fit, had a blast! Drove all those tunnels and enjoyed the views. Last day we went through one more time and a TOUR BUS passed us while I was pulled off taking photos. Well I saw a problem coming, jumped in the car and we followed that bus. He was driving far too fast for the road, curves and all. Ahhh, I'll have to dig out the photos! Around a curve we saw him trying to line up for the next set of tunnels - screeech, glass shattered, lots of it and I was out taking photos as he slowly backed out. It was an A class Prevost, tag axle of all things, full of tourists and it now had one side of those beautiful dark glass windows missing and some really nervous looking tourists inside. After the driver and assistant swept up enough glass we passed through, have no clue how he turned around or got out of that mess.

Sometimes it is not about what is Possible but what is WISE.
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