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Old 01-01-2010, 12:47 AM   #1
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Tire chains on an Airstream

In Oregon, when chains are required, they are also for the trailer. It reads as follows:

Light duty vehicles must use chains on one tire on each side of the primary drive axle. When towing, chains must also be on one tire on each side of one axle of a trailer that is equipped with a brake. Traction tires may be used in place of chains when the vehicle is not towing or being towed.

Just curious what others deal with in snow conditions. Any body have similar requirements? Can you put chairs on an AS? Is there a particular kind of chair to use? Do you need to adjust the brake controller?

It puts me in an odd situation since my TV is a 2001 F350 FWD 7.3 diesel. So I never need chains, but now will have to put them on the AS. Actually, it is a little unclear as to whether I will have to put chains on the rear axle of the TV.

Also if you do tow in significant snow/ice conditions, what is the experience like. Wife and I are going to CA soon, and the Siskayou Pass on I-5 can be pretty challenging. Thanks, Hal
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:55 AM   #2
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hi hal

there are many threads on what 2 do or not do, when towing in snow or ice...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ice-47188.html

the marathons are NOT snow tires so yes chains (cable or link) can be fitted and my help.


just because u have a 350 4x4 doesn't mean traction is guaranteed, just ask michelle...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...one-27195.html

siskayou pass is a challenge when DRY.

and while i've towed in snow, i would not intentionally head toward snow while towing.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:47 AM   #3
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Tire chains?

Hi, I had a 4X4 Jeep CJ-5 with oversized snow tires and I was required to carry chains and install them as needed. No chains, no entry. As for the Airstream situation; I have been through lots of ice and snow without chains, but I still want to have and use them. My thoughts were to have chains for the drive wheels on my tow vehicle 4X2 and put cables or something similar on the front tires of my trailer. [dual axle] I read an article in Trailer Life stating that the chains on a dual axle trailer should be on the rear wheels. Then I was reading my Airstream owner's manual it it states, chains not needed on trailer wheels. Once on ice, I noticed my trailer tires slipping when I used my brakes so I had my wife turn down my brake controller so both vehicles would stop without slippage. [tow vehicle has ABS] I took I-5 along the coast and was caught in snow and ice. I never expected to see snow and the ocean at the same time. I had no chains so I just drove very carefully. I will carry and use chains on my next winter trip.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:13 AM   #4
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Snow/ice chains

The towing speed must be severly reduced if and when you use tire chains on an Airstrea trailer.

Since the axles are "torsion type" then the condition of them becomes very critical should chains be installed on the wheels. The clearance between the tire and the wheel well, reduces when the rubber rods give out.

The clearance between the top of the tires and the wheel well, must be great enough, so that when the trailer is in motion, the chains do not hit the wheel wells.

Should the chains be loose, or the towing speed is high enough, centrifical forces will cause the chain to rise above the tire tread, causing wheel well damage very quickly.

Andy
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Twice I have seen my trailer on the Wrong side of the truck. Not a fun time. Once in 1/4 in. of snow on an off ramp off Route 95 and once going into Alaska on the Top of the World highway.

You do not have enough weight back there to make chains effective. The slightest braking on snow or ice on that trailer will most likely lock the wheels. Also remember the axles on a Travel Trailer are just short of the center of mass thus having min. effect against the centrifugal force applied to the trailer while going around a curve. Chains will have no effect against this force.

As mentioned above, a broken or loose chain will tear the wheel well out of the trailer in minuets.

This is not a gut reaction or the result of some information from a hysterical network newscast. I have driven recover vehicles, plowed snow and generally driven in snow just for the fun of it for over 50 years and I would not tow a travel trailer with chains on it other than to bring them out of the ditch and back to the shop.

Wait for a clear day.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
...Wait for a clear day.
If you care about your Airstream (or Harley), and if your roads are as heavily salted as they are here in Ohio, you wait for at least two heavy Spring rains before putting them on the road. Otherwise, it's pretty much like running all that aluminum through the Gulf of Mexico.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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the Siskayou Pass on I-5 can be pretty challenging.
Siskiyou can be downright nasty. Many times, we've cut off at Grant's Pass and gone down 199 to the coast then cut back over to I-5 a little north of Ukiah on highway 20. I-5 from Portland to Redding can be a dangerous road in snow and ice.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #8
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I'm surprised Oregon requires chains at certain times on a TV. The "chain law" in Colorado specifies snow tires with sufficient tread are ok, at least on a 4wd. As for a trailer, if I needed chains, I'd stay where I was. Like 2air, I've towed in snow and ice, but didn't have much choice and got out of that area quickly. I now have M&S tires on the trailer as they overall where the best tires for the job.

Gene
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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On I-5, it's the possibility of ice, rather than snow that is scary. I had Bess slip out underneath me northbound through Eugene years ago where we went from rain to black ice. I can remember the feeling of helplessness to this day.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the info. Some good stuff here. I've been driving in the mountain snow for a very long time, but never towed anything. It never seemed like a good idea, but I keep seeing pictures posted here of Airstreams in the snow. I wonder if studded tires would work. Anyway, like most of you, I will avoid it at all costs.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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I checked the Colorado "chain law" which doesn't require chains on 4WD vehicles, but snow tires with good tread. Nothing is said about towed vehicles. Chains on non-4WD vehicles (the tractors for big trucks) only require them on the drive wheels not the trailer.

Oregon law—didn't check that one.

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