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Old 09-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Studded snow tires, what a great idea! Sure beats struggling with chains.
Check the legality of studded tires...

Me? I would wait it out in the comfort of my AS somewhere.


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Old 09-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #16
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I just remembered.

I was driving through Wyoming, from Denver to the Badlands, with no trailer, when the snow started to build up. I stopped at a motel with a bar, and cafe. The desk clerk commended me for being one of the smart ones. They said that drivers were always driving off the road due to white out conditions. Supposedly the flat lands get windy, and the snow blows and snow drifts occur.

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Old 09-24-2013, 11:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
WOW....just thought about ABS. The trailer brakes are powered when the brakes lights are activated. The trailer brakes could lock up, because they are not in the ABS loop.
Hi, this is exactly why I said to turn your brake controller down.

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Old 09-25-2013, 12:33 AM   #18
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We've towed our (winterized) Bambi in winter weather, from BC to southern Utah and separately to Death Valley, CA; but thankfully avoided actually driving in snow storms. We don't have special tires on it, but we take the sorts of precautions most people take daily in snow country.

We have beefy snow tires on the truck (4WD), as well as weight (usually sand bags) plus a shovel in the back of the truck. We check weather forecasts religiously, with weather maps and weather cams if available. We plan our route to avoid the higher passes and longer stretches away from settlements. For us that means taking I-84, vs. I-15 and I-90 through Montana; even though it's somewhat longer. We would do a north-south route in Nevada in summer, but not in winter as the distances between towns are so far. Plan extra time so that if you need to slow down or park for hours, you don't miss a reservation or your people-visits. We don't drive at night.

We wear or at least have handy the clothes we would need for the outdoor weather (like snow boots) not the indoor truck temperature in case of a quick exit or a break-down far from anywhere.

I agree that if you need tire chains, this isn't the sort of weather to be driving in. Assuming the Interstates are even open.

A real problem is black ice-- you can't see it till it nails you. Sometimes fog as well, notably around SLC. Ground blizzard is a real problem in Wyoming-- it can be sunny overhead but a white-out at eye-level. Hence all those snow fences. I guess they help some.

We tend to keep our speeds at or under 60 mph, regardless.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:30 AM   #19
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Re: "The trailer brakes could lock up, because they are not in the ABS loop."

Since the older model Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller we have has accelerometers and is proportional, wouldn't the trailer brakes be very lightly applied on ice and snow, with the trailer brake voltage proportional to the deceleration forces?

I have driven short distances (50-100 miles) on packed snow, and had to make emergency stops; and our Bambi brakes didn't seem to lock up. I even have summer highway tread tires on our Airstream.

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Old 09-25-2013, 04:58 AM   #20
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Hi Phoenix

My head exploded trying to understand the Prodigy. AND I HAVE ONE. ha ha
But....." lightly applying brakes" not how I was instructed to use ABS brakes. I was told to " STAND " on them and DON"T pump them ( during an emergency situation ) I think I was told pumping ABS actually turns off ABS and defaults to regular brakes Please correct me if I am wrong.

Hey Buddy, don't confuse me, I am not as smart as you look....ha ha
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:59 AM   #21
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In our near accident, we were driving in blizzard, white-out conditions near Monument Hill, between Colorado Springs and Denver. When we left the Springs headed north, we were driving about 35 mph, and the traffic was heavy since it was the evening rush hour.

As we topped Monument Hill, I noticed that the last of cars that had passed us were disappearing into the blowing snow and darkness ahead; and there was only one track in the snow where everyone was driving, even though our side of the divided highway was three-lanes wide with a big shoulder. In actuality, we could barely see the roadway at all, and we were just driving in two black tracks on a field of white and trying to stay between the reflectors (which we could barely see) that marked the left and right sides of the road.

I thought it was odd that all of the traffic had disappeared, and there were absolutely no cars passing or ahead of us. Then, a quick glance in the mirrors showed a string of lights all the way back to the Springs! The snow was so bad that everyone that wanted to go faster than 35 mph had already passed us, and the rest of the pack decided to stay behind the fool with the Airstream. I think they figured that evidently I could see ahead (which I couldn't); and if we managed to stay on the road, it was safer to just stay behind us. Besides, they'd get a little warning of ice ahead when they saw our lights spinning off into the trees.

Anyway, a pickup truck decided to make a run for it and tried passing us on the right. I was a little irritated that he was coming up on the right side, but I figured he was doing that because there were two lanes (the right lane and the shoulder) on the right, and only one on the left.

THEN, a sedan came barrelling up the entrance ramp directly into the side of the pickup. When the lady in the sedan saw the long line of lights behind us, she decided to pass the whole pack before she got stuck behind us, too.

So now, we are three abreast, our Tundra and Bambi somewhere in the middle of the road, I'm guessing in the number two lane, the pickup that's trying to pass us on the right, and the dumb lady in the sedan trying to pass both of us before the on-ramp ends.

As the on-ramp merged onto the main road, this lady pulled across the front of the pickup AND us; and right after she passed us, she lost control and started skidding sideways across our bow at 35 mph, headed for the median. The pickup was gaining and was a few feet ahead of us, enough so I could see his brake lights as he went spinning off the shoulder into the ditch. And, the lady slid past us sideways and whacked into the median barrier.

That's when I got to test the anti-lock brakes on our Tundra, our Prodigy brake controller and the Michelin XPS Rib summer highway tread tires on packed snow over ice.

I stomped on the brakes and our whole rig slowed slightly. The Tundra tires did not lock up, but we weren't stopping very fast. However, we slowed enough to avoid hitting the lady broadside. (By the way, I know it was a lady, because I got a good look at her face through her side window, as she slipped across our bow sideways, less than a car length ahead of us on the way toward the median.)

As soon as she cleared the front of our Tundra, I let off the brakes; because I was afraid that our Bambi brakes would lock, and the trailer would come around the side of us causing us to spin out. As it turned out, the Bambi stayed behind us in a straight line, and I was able to maintain steering control the whole time. It was luck and timing that prevented us from plowing into the lady, but we didn't skid or lose control. In fact, other than being a really close call, this near accident was mostly a non-event, at least for us.

I thought about stopping to make sure that the lady and the pickup driver were OK, but when we looked in the rear view mirrors, all we could see were headlights spinning around and spreading out all over the highway. So, I figured there really wasn't anything we could do; so we continued on into the blowing snow and darkness, now driving alone, as no cars made it past all the excitement.

I suppose the people farther back may have thought that we caused this pile up; but those up front who actually saw what happened, knew that we were just observers and along for the ride.

Anyway, we never intentionally drive in these conditions. However, the weather can change really fast near, or in, the mountains; and I now know if there's no place to stop, our rig can handle a little snow and ice, if it isn't too deep. It will just be slow going with lots of fools on the road.

By the way, for those wondering, our 2008 Tundra CrewMax has two-wheel-drive; and we have Michelin LTX M/S2 light truck tires on it. Also, we do NOT have a load distribution/anti-sway hitch.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:27 AM   #22
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Phoenix, all I can say is, "Yikes." I'm glad you made it unscathed!
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:42 AM   #23
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That's quite a story. Glad you made it through. We are on the East coast and the "Rolling jelly bean" isn't allowed out in the snow.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:42 AM   #24
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It is indeed a story, Phoenix, glad it turned out well for you, hoping everyone else turned out OK after all was said and done.... Thanks for mentioning your truck tires, LTX M/S2 - just bought a set for my GMC Yukon Denali. Hope they work as well for me as they have for you. Were the Michelin XPS Rib summer highway tread tires on your AS? I know new tires are in the near future for mine as well
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Studded snow tires, what a great idea! Sure beats struggling with chains.
Keep an eye on the legal restrictions though. Amusing to read that they are illegal in Hawaii.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:38 PM   #26
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One more thing to be aware of is that it you are in an area that uses MagChloride or any other nasty salts on the road, these are AWFUL on aluminum - whether it is clearcoated or not. The best remedy is to wash your trailer immediately after driving on treated roads.

If clearcoated, the chemicals get in every little breach of the surface and start corroding the aluminum (filaform-like). It is difficult to be sure you got all the nasty-stuff off washing it...until it's to late, after the corrosion sets in.

If bare polished aluminum, the chemicals etch your polished surface and the only way to clean it up is re-polishing. A fresh coat of wax helps a little, but it still doesn't help to make you excited to go out in the snow. (don't ask me how I know...)

Snow camping is fun...but be safe and know what you are getting into!

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Old 04-04-2015, 05:34 PM   #27
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:48 PM   #28
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Another very dead thread rises from the ashes.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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