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Old 10-23-2015, 11:34 PM   #15
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Do not pump with ABS!


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Old 10-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
One word to keep firmly in the front of your mind when driving on ice or snow— downshift! Even if you have an automatic transmission, you should downshift to slow down, and only apply the brakes to stop after you have worked your way down to 1st gear. Considering how even a quarter-inch of snow shuts down the New Orleans metro area, I'm sure glad I learned to drive in Oklahoma where snow is an annual occurrence, even if it doesn't last long there.
I wouldn't do this towing an Airstream. Braking with one set of wheels on the tow vehicle only will allow the unbraked trailer to keep moving forward jackknifing the rig.
As our Canadian friends have said, the best thing to do in black ice conditions is nothing--no sudden movements which would induce a spin.
If you have to brake, trailer brakes only would be the best as it will keep the rig in a straight line but it will take forever to slow using trailer brakes.
The best thing to do in black ice is get off the road.
Next best is to drive slow enough not to outrace your brakes which in black ice conditions is very slowly towing a trailer. Savy semi truck drivers are driving 10 to 15 mph in extreme winter conditions.
Since I once stayed and Holiday Inn Express and am an expert you should pump your brakes even with anti lock brakes, reason: unbraked front wheels have greater steering force. You need to pump the brakes and steer at the same time keeping the vehicle in the direction you want to go. Anti lock brakes want to keep your vehicle moving in a straight line, not good if you need to turn.

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Old 10-24-2015, 10:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by handn View Post
I wouldn't do this towing an Airstream. Braking with one set of wheels on the tow vehicle only will allow the unbraked trailer to keep moving forward jackknifing the rig.
I don't believe I said anything about braking with only one set of brakes by using the parking brake or braking with only the tow vehicle's brakes and not the trailer's brakes. All I said was that if you must stop on slippery pavement, downshift to slow down before applying the brakes. Please don't put my foot in my mouth for me; I can do that just fine on my own!
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:05 PM   #18
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Speaking from experience, even just letting off the gas can be deadly, let alone down shifting. Engine compression can put enough of a braking effect on the driving wheels to cause loss of traction. I once did a triple axel on the 401 just by letting off the gas. The car ahead of me flashed brake lights. By the grace of God I hit nobody and found a soft landing in a snow drift. It took us an hour to dig out. Always carry a shovel in winter. At night you can see black ice. The reflections of the tail lights ahead all of a sudden become too clear on the road. The road starts to look like a mirror. Be aware and ready. Bridges are notorious for black ice. Just coast and steer. You'll be back in charge on the other side. Shifting into neutral or pushing in the clutch makes more sense than shifting to a lower gear.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:58 PM   #19
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Thought I would join in. I don't have a trailer yet, but am always interested in these AS discussions, especially when the topic includes snow, ice, or mountainous driving. I once had the misfortune of loosing control with just a loaded 6x12 dual axle U-Haul trailer pulled by my 1/2 ton truck. I came up to a spot on I-10 just west of I-75 where I could see that it was raining up ahead. The other thing I noticed was that the ruts in the outside lane had puddled. I let off the accelerator too late. The combination of doing that and hitting the puddle caused the trailer to push ahead and the truck to plane. Needless to say it was quite an experience to slide from the outside westbound lane, across the median, and come to a stop in the middle of the eastbound lane; somewhere around 100+ yards. No steering, no friction, no nothing. Jackknife the trailer and go along for the ride. I guess we could refer to it as Florida's black ice. I'm looking forward to learning more about trailer braking control, engine braking, etc. I'm really careful now with towing. I can imagine what it would have done to my boat or an AS under those circumstances. I no longer tow over 65, and usually about 60, when conditions are good. I was lucky and don't want to relive that experience. Having a trailer attached really cuts down on one's options when trying to dodge a mishap/mistake. Of course, I got to FSU to unload my son's stuff and he was amazed I had done such a poor job packing. I pointed out plants in/on/under the trailer's wheel wells and tongue, and dent in the side of the truck, and suggested he learn to drive better than his father.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by nrgtrakr View Post
Both of our vehicles have antilock brakes. I learned to drive before antilock brakes in the Colorado mountains. Curious about how antilock brakes work on ice and snow, I checked - they lock up tight because there is no resistance to activate the antilock.
When I need braking on ice or snow, I'll continue to pump my brakes thank you.

It is good to try your particular vehicle's brakes and handling on ice in a safe location. My antilock brakes absolutely operate on ice as designed. 2014 Jeep GC Overland Diesel in Durango, CO.

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Old 10-29-2015, 07:42 PM   #21
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A couple of years ago we flew into Portland, OR, arriving after dark. It was lightly raining and just above freezing. We headed east in the rental car, keeping under the speed limit. Several vehicles passed me (nothing new there). On a clear stretch a car flew past me, hit some wet black ice, and started doing all sorts of interesting maneuvers on the highway. I eased over onto the shoulder, eased off of the gas, and gently applied the brakes. By the time I was stopped I could no longer see the other car, although I know he also got safely stopped. I suspect that he may have had to do some cleaning.

I have no intention of finding out how our MH handles ice. I keep a careful eye on the weather, and a forecast of icing conditions WILL change our travel plans.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #22
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There's some great advice here. Just to add our 2c to it:

The best solution is to avoid driving in ice and snow if possible, notably when towing a trailer. It's better to hole up for a while in a snug location (like the Flying J) than to risk it.

Also, in snow country, there really is no such thing as "all weather tires." You might get by carrying a set of chains (assuming you're OK with putting them on in the snow,) but the trouble is, this isn't an instantaneous solution. 4WD on, for sure.

The northerners and mountain drivers all know this but maybe for a few native southerners.....

Black ice is typically invisible, but if you see slush on the road, there's a good chance it's a skating rink underneath. Slow way down, and put on your flashers if you can't pull off the road.

It's import to turn into a skid if one happens, but you can overdo it and turn too much too fast, potentially leading to what is colloquially known as "doughnut-ing". Just focus on the direction you want to go, release the gas pedal gently, and no foot-braking or downshifting during a bad skid. And this can all take split-second decision-making with poor visibility and in traffic.

We're planning on spending a month in and around Death Valley this winter, driving down from BC, and the Bambi is currently hibernating in storage in sunny southern St. George, Utah. We figured we have enough to plan on with such a long drive in winter, with just the truck.

In winter we travel with sand bags in the back end, a shovel, and a blanket.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:33 PM   #23
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Just watch temperature , after a cold spell, 30 to 24 degrees not good, low 20 and teens on down good running, no brakes, no down shift, let off throttle real easy, if you were watching you don't get caught in it.....
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:10 PM   #24
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My two cents worth, slip the trans into neutral or push the clutch in. Allows the tires to freewheel.

Have encountered black ice twice. On my way to work, temp about 35-40ºF, light rain going over a bridge. The car was in third gear not accelerating hard, revs went up.

The other time was Dec.13, 1999(not a Friday!) riding my Harley to work. Heard on the radio to the north of me that there was black ice. Didn't concern me too much. Stopped for the traffic lights to change then continued on my way. Strange, vague sensation in the handle bars for a second, then it happened again. Realized that I was on black ice! If I went down the car driver, would slam his brakes on and slide into me. Nearer to work, saw a deep hoar frost. Needless to say, the bike was parked for winter.

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Old 10-31-2015, 09:12 PM   #25
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I would not shift into neutral. Keeping a steady speed is best if there are no obstacles to avoid. No sudden changes in direction or speed is best. IMHO
Antilock brakes release when the wheels stop rotating then reapply when they rotate. Thus the reason for the chattering sound.
No matter what type of brakes you have they don't do any good when you are sliding sideways.

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Old 11-10-2015, 07:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
Curious, those who recommend pumping with abs--do you pump harder or faster or differently than standard brakes
I pump the brakes just the same as in the older pre-anti-lock brakes.

Those of you who have diesel exhaust brakes - Turn them off while traveling in the ice and snow.

I keep a 2005 econobox car (non-anti-lock) around to drive back and forth to work, it can be sacrificed to the salt and possible wrecks vs. daily driving our truck. The car is cheaper to replace than the truck.

If I ever get caught towing in bad weather (ex. towing to Florida in the winter) my plan would be to disengage the exhaust brake and tow/haul mode and have a hand ready on the trailer brake controller to pump the brakes as necessary trying to keep the rig in a straight line. I hope to never find out.......
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:23 PM   #27
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Imagine you are driving on the slipperiest surface imaginable. You don't want to make any sudden moves of any kind, braking steering or accelerating. Try to gently coast past the bad area and gradually slow down.

If possible keep off the roads until weather and driving conditions improve.

After the sun comes out icy patches can linger under bridges and overpasses.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:24 PM   #28
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As soon as I wake up, I thank my stars I was smart enough to stay off the roads. Then I pull the covers back over my head and go back to sleep.

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