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Old 11-01-2015, 09:58 PM   #15
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Generally I don't drive anywhere that requires being chained up, but my feeling on this is that it will probably have snowed and the roads will be cleared by the time we get there. I am just wondering what extra considerations there will be for having a trailer.

Though I don't think it's super helpful to say 'don't do it if you don't already know how' because everybody has to do it for the first time sometime. Though obviously I will use my judgement for conditions at the time, and if we have to lose out on the site we reserved and paid for already, we will.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:02 PM   #16
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I would never tow our AS in the snow. That said, I wouldn't cancel your trip either. There are plenty of RV parks in the Sierra foothills within a short drive to Yosemite. Stay below 2,000 ft. and take day trips to the park. If you get a really freak storm you can always stay in the foothills and go wine tasting at the numerous wineries.

^
X2


Have traveled many white knuckle 4wd Winter miles from WNY to the Adirondacks.....WITHOUT the AS, not fun at all.


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Old 11-01-2015, 10:12 PM   #17
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Hi Stefrobrts, fellow Northwesterner😄. We're heading to Death Valley via 395 on the east side of the Sierra, also looking at snow forecasts. We'll defer to Mother Nature and either sit tight or take an alt route if need be.

Definitely recommend checking with Caltrans for road condition updates. DOT.ca.gov.

Safe and happy travels!

Cheers,

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Old 11-01-2015, 10:50 PM   #18
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Towing in the snow with AWD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
Generally I don't drive anywhere that requires being chained up, but my feeling on this is that it will probably have snowed and the roads will be cleared by the time we get there. I am just wondering what extra considerations there will be for having a trailer.

Though I don't think it's super helpful to say 'don't do it if you don't already know how' because everybody has to do it for the first time sometime. Though obviously I will use my judgement for conditions at the time, and if we have to lose out on the site we reserved and paid for already, we will.

Check CA DOT, but usually "chain laws in effect" means if you have 2wd you need to put the chains on, 4wd and AWD are ok.
My favorite tires for snow are Blizzaks, but that was on AWD cars.
Horror story ...
I grew up in Colorado and drove my new 69 GTX 2wd to my weekend volunteer ski patrol job no matter how bad the weather or roads, never used chains and never had a problem. I also never saw many vehicles off the road in the snow.
Fast forward to present day and the advent of AWD.
One Christmas we drove from the LA area back to Colorado. Due to a late start we got to St George around sunset and it was starting to snow. My traveling companion wanted to stay in a hotel so we did.
The next morning there was 2 feet of snow on the ground and still snowing. I had one of those Subarus with real 4wd that you could adjust the ride height on, so we put it up in the air, locked in the 4wd and headed for home at a max safe speed of 35 mph.
We probably counted 30 SUV AWD things of one make or another upside down, in the median, stuck on top of the guard rail, off in the trees, buried in snow etc, before we got to Colorado.
So that is why I said, if you don't already know how to drive in the snow, this is not the best time to learn, especially with a trailer.
It's not that it can't be done, but again, why?
(no need to answer)
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:25 PM   #19
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Live in Denver and head to AZ twice a year. Christmas/New Years and Spring Break ( mid April). In 20 years I have never missed a trip. While I have not kept track of the last 40 or so round trips snow has been heavy at times and really bad on a few occasions. I only tow with 4D or AWD with newer Michelins TV and Trailer. I go slow and careful. Usually pick out a newer big rig from one of the larger companies (most experienced drivers) and trail as far back as I can while still seeing tail lights and how the trailer is tracking. It is not a pleasant drive and as others have suggested, if you can, plan otherwise.


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Old 11-02-2015, 12:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
Generally I don't drive anywhere that requires being chained up, but my feeling on this is that it will probably have snowed and the roads will be cleared by the time we get there. I am just wondering what extra considerations there will be for having a trailer.

Though I don't think it's super helpful to say 'don't do it if you don't already know how' because everybody has to do it for the first time sometime. Though obviously I will use my judgement for conditions at the time, and if we have to lose out on the site we reserved and paid for already, we will.
If your site is reserved in Yosemite NP you can probably cancel the reservation a day or two in advance, and get a refund for all but your reservation fee. Thinking that the roads will be cleared might be true but it might not be. For one thing, in a lot of mountain areas the snow plows don't run at night. The state DOT and a weather service app should be of some help.

I've lived in snow country all my life and have yet to pull a trailer in the snow. We hope there will never be a "first time" and we plan our shoulder-season routes specifically to avoid high elevations and known weather systems. However, we have pretty beefy studded snow tires, so we could probably manage it better than most. The thing about chains is that by the time you think you need them, you can already be in squirrelly driving conditions.

If we were to encounter snow with the AS, we would probably pull off the road in the nearest town and hang out till the weather improved.

Stay safe, eh?
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:18 AM   #21
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I certainly don't intend to be driving on any serious snow. I think we might just cancel our reservations and make it a more spontaneous trip to wherever snow isn't, maybe without the trailer. Just too many unknowns this time of year, if we end up on the wrong side of the pass with the trailer.
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:23 AM   #22
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Good thinking! But I like the idea of the lower-elevation RV park close to the wine-tastings.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:01 AM   #23
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I think you'll be fine. It just isn't that cold yet so hopefully snow levels stay above pass levels. I was very surprised how full Yosemite Valley campgrounds and lodging venues were this time of year, but that was quite a few years ago.

Quite a few responses in this thread mention studded tires or snow tires. In Oregon you must use chains on both tow vehicle and trailer (if trailer equipped with braking axles) when a chain requirement is in place. You are OK with these traction devices when you aren't towing. Towing, you have to have chains.

Oregon's chain law is summarized here:

https://tripcheck.com/Pages/minimum-...quirements.asp

I didn't see a similarly clear document for Washington. The Washington document I did find is for commercial vehicles and seems to require carrying a spare set of chains for the tow vehicle. Washington's commercial vehicle chain policy is summarized here:
http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/docs/cvd/chain_reqs.pdf

Have a great trip! November is a great time in central California.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:23 AM   #24
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Hi, I have many more miles towing on snow and ice than I planned for, but kept going. I had my Lincoln Navigator with two wheel drive, "P" tires, and no chains. I'm going to say it's mostly driver ability [and a little stupidity] The only thing that I did different was to turn down my brake controller. I did not touch anything else and I also use an Equal-I-zer hitch. I hit snow in Northern California and into Oregon. I also hit snow and ice in Wyoming and South Dakota. We had the time of our lives. Most all of this is in my thread "Bob, Lee, and Dusty's random trips."


I now have an F-150 with four wheel drive and electronic locking differential; Went all the way across this country and back and didn't need either.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:50 AM   #25
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. . .
Just too many unknowns this time of year, if we end up on the wrong side of the pass with the trailer.


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Old 11-02-2015, 07:02 AM   #26
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As has been pointed out several times - don't even consider going. Four wheel drive Flex is not what one who has lived in the NY snow belt would consider a snow worthy vehicle, however, that said - no one should drive an Airstream in the snow on purpose.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:40 AM   #27
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I consider myself to be a pretty good, experienced snow driver. I wouldn't risk the airstream on snow and ice. Chains - yikes!! Maximum speed is 20 to 30 mph and 30 is pushing it. Have you ever seen a chain cut loose? They can do more damage than you can imagine. Take an alternate route or wait for decent weather.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:44 AM   #28
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Although you may think these responses are maybe too negative or harsh, they are offered out of concern for the safety of you, yours, and your rig. The first two responses seem to capture it best. Just as importantly, there is no joy in white-knuckle towing. Your vacation should be a time to relax and enjoy. Having pulled my 20ft FC through a bad November 2010 Oregon blizzard where you couldn't make out the roadbed, I can tell you there is no joy involved. To make matters worse, you will be climbing some steep hills getting to Yosemite. But safe travels. jon
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