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Old 11-03-2015, 05:37 PM   #1
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2006 22' Interstate
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AI Performance in Snow

We just purchased an older AI and plan on an extended trip this winter and spring through the southwest US and California. We will begin our trip in January departing from Maine, so it's entirely possible we will encounter some snow along the way. Our tires are new, all season, non studded tires. Since we are new to this mode of travel, my question is how well does this vehicle perform in snow. We will make every effort to avoid it, and we have experience driving in snow, but are not experienced driving the AI in snow.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:46 PM   #2
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I would look at other thread ,towing in snow with all wheel drive , most of us agree ( not recommended) first the corrosion that will take place on your trailer visible aluminum corrosion,and hidden frame ,underbelly , and anything under the belly pan including it, the #1 problem with towing in snow,ice,poor traction,leads to a safety concern for your vehicle and others. It's best to not tow in snow or poor road conditions.

Don
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:53 PM   #3
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A lot depends on the tires you have. If yours are new that helps. Some say Michelins give better traction, but I made a trip to Minnesota in February a few years ago on the original Continentals and did OK. I left home from Maryland right after a blizzard swept across Pennsylvania and Ohio. The roads to Minnesota were cleared but the rest areas were full of snow 6-12 inches deep. The Interstate handled that snow OK because the rest areas were flat. Just keep in mind that you Interstate is a 5 ton truck and you should do ok if you are used to driving in snow. Starting on hills and stopping take extra care on a heavy vehicle. The dual rear wheels seem to help.


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Old 11-03-2015, 05:54 PM   #4
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Stay on major highways as you head south and pay attention to weather advisories before you leave and while you are in cold country.

Don't drive while it is snowing or on snow covered roads, is my suggestion. Your Interstate is heavy and less maneuverable than a car, and there are other drivers to worry about.

Just don't do it, don't risk yourselves and your new-to-you rig. Its just not worth it.

That said....don't let cold and snow prevent you from heading south. Watch for a break in the weather, stay on the major highways and drive hard to get to warmer climes, when you can relax a bit, dewinterize, etc.

You can run into snow and ice in the south, and the same cautions apply, tho even more so as the southern states are just not as prepared for nor handle the precip as well.

Have a great time!


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Old 11-03-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scamp View Post
I would look at other thread ,towing in snow with all wheel drive , most of us agree ( not recommended) first the corrosion that will take place on your trailer visible aluminum corrosion,and hidden frame ,underbelly , and anything under the belly pan including it, the #1 problem with towing in snow,ice,poor traction,leads to a safety concern for your vehicle and others. It's best to not tow in snow or poor road conditions.



Don

Sorry scamp we are not talking about towing a trailer in snow. This is the motorhome area and we are talking about an Airstream Interstate Sprinter van.


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Old 11-03-2015, 05:58 PM   #6
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We got caught in an unexpected snow storm in the Rockies last year and the AI performed flawlessly. Many vehicles, including big rigs were spun out and unable to get going and we slogged on for 40ish miles without once losing traction. We just fell in line with a bunch of cars and trucks traveling at a reasonable speed and made it through. I attribute the AI's snow performance to the all weather tires as well as the dual rear wheels.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:09 PM   #7
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The OP has an older unit, like mine, and we don't have dual wheels.

My husband drove it in snow when necessary, but Doug-the-driver could drive anything, anywhere.

I just wouldn't. Why risk it.

But, that's just me.


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Old 11-03-2015, 06:11 PM   #8
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We are planning to leave from Western Mass in mid January and face many of the issues you will encounter. Based on 5 years of heading south in January, we plan to be flexible by plus or minus 5 days on our departure time. We will be hauling a 26' Overlander, so we must be more conservative than you.

We plan ahead for stops to wait for weather to pass. We vastly prefer heading south on I-81 and are perfectly happy to stay in Blacksburg, Va at the Marriott Courtyard with it's pool and spa. It's a great spot to wait out a storm. BTW, Blacks burg and Christiansburg are the high point of that trip south on 81. Temps drop fast as storms move in. Christiansburg has a very affordable hotel within walking distance of a really good Japanese restaurant.

I agree with all the posts on this thread and the other current thread on driving in snow -- why chance it? We hit some black ice on the way home last year in a very shady spot on I-80 in Pennsylvania and it was pure panic mode as we fish-taled. I was lucky that the ice was limited and was able to get it under control. I don't even want to think about the potential outcomes.

Why not take your time? If you can't de-stress, what's the purpose?
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:15 PM   #9
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One other thing....our 06's have very low-slung front bumpers.

We got stuck in snow in a campground in Missouri early in our travels and it took 3 days to get ourselves out. .

AAA would not come out down there because the roads were too bad.


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Old 11-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #10
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Duel wheels work against you in snow, a single wheel will have more traction in snow also the instate is not like a 5 ton truck. As for snow and ice covered roads you best stay put until it is cleared., be careful..
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:11 PM   #11
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Agree that dual rear wheels won't help in deep snow. Driving in snow is more a question of technique than wheels and tires anyway. When I said an Interstate was a 5 ton truck I didn't mean a 5 ton capacity. I meant GVW. Mine weighs just over 10,000 lbs when loaded for travel. That is 5 tons in my book - and a Sprinter 3500 is definitely a truck.


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Old 11-04-2015, 11:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Agree that dual rear wheels won't help in deep snow. Driving in snow is more a question of technique than wheels and tires anyway. When I said an Interstate was a 5 ton truck I didn't mean a 5 ton capacity. I meant GVW. Mine weighs just over 10,000 lbs when loaded for travel. That is 5 tons in my book - and a Sprinter 3500 is definitely a truck.


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Sir my dodge pickup weighs 8800 lbs empty, my kenworth empty with 4 axles weighs 27650 lbs , loaded without the trailer is 55500 lbs, with the three axle trailer loaded it is 100,000 lbs, now this is a truck and we do know a bit about runnin on snow and ice loaded and empty...
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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Suggest you carry chains or cables and practice installation before you leave. The Interstate is very LOW to the ground and is a challenge to install unless you are prepared, the same holds true for flat tires. The bottle jack requires blocks and a small person to place it correctly in the rear.
Slow and easy will get you where you want to go and think about spending some time in a motel if it's a big storm. I find the Interstate handles very well and my main concern is black ice, so we start after daylight and warmer temperatures and don't travel after dark except in a city.
Have fun in your new home away from home. AEW
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:01 PM   #14
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We traveled with 2015 AI from MA to Cali last December. We encountered snow in Wyoming . Highway closed for 2 hours for road clearing and salting.
I found AI handle fair in snow ( with 7 passengers) although i wish the AI had 4 wheel drive option.
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