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Old 02-10-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
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Winter towing tips

I am wondering what information is out there concerning winter driving, other than taking a course in commercial truck driving. Though I have towed a lot in the summer, little in winter. Next week I will tow it over Lookout Pass on I90 which is intermittently closed and often chains are required for towing units.

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
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I can't point you toward a web site, but Lookout Pass is one where you might want chains on the trailer too because of the winding descent, particularly on the Idaho side. Those are sub-50 mph turns, and you will want to ensure that the brakes are there to hold the trailer back.

Maybe someone else has experience with using chains on trailer tires.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:10 PM   #3
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I'm bumping this as I would also like to hear from the "experts".

Last week I PM'd a member who has has significant winter towing experience - I was heading back to the mid-west and wanted all the info I could get.

I did get a helpful reply, but would also like to get various experiences and opinions from others who tow in the cold/snow/ice areas of the country.

Dave
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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I'm kind of a newbie to towing in general, but I've driven in ice/snow for 12 long winters and have towed several times in the snow/ice -- kind of necessary when you live in 6-months-o-winter-land.

The first thing I'd say is please cover that front window. Here in Wyo they use rocks/gravel on the roads instead of salt. Better for the critters, bad for vintage Corning glass.

I just keep it in 4WD on snowpack or ice, go a conservative speed and avoid any sudden movements that could start you sliding. Don't brake hard in general, don't brake in a turn, don't turn too sharply. If it should ever start sliding, steer into the skid and let off the gas. On a steep pass, don't be afraid to power up it and creep down, letting your engine slow you. Drive like Granny.

This all seems pretty rudimentary, so I'm not sure if any of that helps. Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:27 AM   #5
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I have towed extensively in the winter for the last 30 years in some ways I feel I have more control on ice with the Airstream on than I do with the vehicle alone.

I don't think chains on the tires of the Airstream would be a good idea, there would not be space in the wheel well and it would shake the trailer pretty badly. If conditions get bad you can let the trailer tires down to 30 PSI which gives them some extra traction when it is cold but that would only be in pretty extreme conditions.

To quote the the guy in the Movie the "Long Long Trailer" the brake control is your best friend. In bad conditions I will keep one hand on it all the time if the tow vehicle starts to slide at all putting just the trailer brakes on slows it slightly but keeps everything inline.

If you have friction sway controls undo them in snow or ice conditions. If you have a dual cam or Equalizer you may want to reduce the torsion bar pressure a little to take some of the friction out of it. This is a fine line as you are reducing the weight on your tires for steering but too much sway control can give you sinking feeling when you steer but everything keeps going straight.

If it is snowing hard I pick a transport that is going a speed I am comfortable with and follow in his tracks at a safe distance. Flat beds loaded with steel are best.

If you get salt on it rinse it off as soon as possible, underneath, in the door jams, If you tow in some rain after the salt it rinses things quite well.

Have a good trip.

Andy
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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I towed a 25' Caravanner over the Santiam Pass in Oregon many times on roads I probably should not have been on. I had a 4 X 4 ppickup with studded tires and 4 studded tires on the trailer and never had a problem. Used the trailer brakes a lot and had them adjusted to apply quickly in case of a panic situation. Trailer was always straight behind. When the studs wore out, I used cable chains on the rear trailer axel. They can be adjusted a little tighter than regular chains and don't flop around as much. Never damaged the trailer. Take it easy, follow the advice of other posters and you'll be fine. Darol
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
I'm kind of a newbie to towing in general, but I've driven in ice/snow for 12 long winters and have towed several times in the snow/ice -- kind of necessary when you live in 6-months-o-winter-land.

The first thing I'd say is please cover that front window. Here in Wyo they use rocks/gravel on the roads instead of salt. Better for the critters, bad for vintage Corning glass.

I just keep it in 4WD on snowpack or ice, go a conservative speed and avoid any sudden movements that could start you sliding. Don't brake hard in general, don't brake in a turn, don't turn too sharply. If it should ever start sliding, steer into the skid and let off the gas. On a steep pass, don't be afraid to power up it and creep down, letting your engine slow you. Drive like Granny.

This all seems pretty rudimentary, so I'm not sure if any of that helps. Good luck!

hello I am planing to tow an Airstream from vancouver to Whistler on December . This is a 25' with a suburban and it is nor 4wd. What do you recommend ? can you help me on this.
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