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Old 10-20-2008, 10:45 AM   #15
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Basically, what you need to do is to make it from Crawford down to Hotchkiss, maybe to Delta, right?

Two options: One, go really slow until you're onto clear road. Two, wait until the storm has cleared, and do the same as One.

The real trick, I think, would be to find a way out of the valley towards warm country on lower-altitude roads. That's where your area isn't the greatest. You could go up to Junction and do a major end-around, I guess, but the straightest shot, sort of straighter south from Delta, just goes up and over snowier areas.

We're more or less in the same spot. To go southwest, we have to go over some high country, and it's not a pleasing option. But the best in this regard is to make it to Taos and then head south by following as straight as possible a route. Alas, that also lands us right onto I25/I40, an option we prefer to avoid if at all possible, too.


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Old 10-20-2008, 11:21 AM   #16
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Thats the good thing about Cedaredge, Just point it down hill to Delta...
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:24 AM   #17
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I went from Denver to Steamboat last year in what were kinda scary conditions last December. I have chains for all 4 TV tires and also all 4 AS tires, but was fortunate and never had to use them. The key is to use good judgment, be VERY aware of your surroundings and SLOW WAY DOWN. I also will use pull offs on secondary roads to allow faster traffic by me.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the comments and ideas.

Thanks Lynn. The worst for us is to make it to Crawford on the county roads. The escape route from there is to Delta, Grand Junction and then across Utah on I-70 to I-15 south. We're not planning on a February trip, but November and "Spring", a sometimes fleeting thing here, are the problem months (along with just about all of them). I can't imagine going over the mountains to Taos with a trailer in winter from Angel Fire and recall one road south is a narrow FS road. I would think the escape route is NE toward Cimarron and I-25.

But I digress. I'm still confused. I don't have a Ford, so I don't get ABS braking for the trailer. How to avoid locking the brakes without screwing up the ABS braking in the truck? Operating the brake controller manually seems too dangerous except for emergencies—it's mounted so low that I couldn't easily control the steering wheel at a time when careful control is very necessary. The truck has all the antiskid and stability controls, although when in 4WD, one is disengaged. I wonder how that affects things since they operate through the ABS system.

Lumatic asked some good questions: "I wonder if manually applying the trailer brakes would help to bring it in line if it starts to wander. Another good question is does the general rule of steering into a skid (with a rear drive vehicle) apply when towing?"

My understanding is if the trailer fishtails for any reason—maybe a blown tire, slick road, or high winds—applying the trailer brakes manually would straighten it out. So maybe that works in snow too, but reaching the the controller is an issue. Steering into a skid is to reduce fishtailing and with a trailer the dynamic may be very different—for example, if the rear wheels of the TV break to the left, wouldn't the trailer go to the right?

The worst place to be is going uphill and not making it to the top. It's bad enough backing down a slippery hill with just the truck (around here, no guardrails, the ditch really close to the road because there are no shoulders and sharp turns at the bottom), but with a trailer? It seems to me tires that cause no problems driving up such a hill without a trailer, may not have enough traction with 3.5 tons attached to the truck. And of course, backing is, well, backing.

Going downhill (forward) can be an issue, especially in traffic. Sometimes the road is so slick, the truck will slide when you are trying to stop or even when going very slow. I think that would be a time to use (very gently) the brake controller manually. Going downhill is always the most dangerous situation to me, especially with sharp curves.

Taking the Equalizer bars off is a possibility (if there's a place to pull over). It seems counterintuitive—I would think the antisway function would prevent or dampen fishtailing, though once it starts, the antisway bars could make the back end of the truck break away.

My general rule about chains is: if I need them, I'm staying where I am. I have had 4WD for so long and always with good M&S tires that I never get stuck or go off the road. Of course, towing is different and I want to have thought this out before I find myself on a snowy road.

The thought of controlling a skid with those tons behind me with a pivot point so small makes me a bit nervous. I see ranchers towing horse and cattle trailers all year and they probably grew up doing it, so they have a lot of practice. The only practice I'll get is when it snows and I'm trying to get home.

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
My general rule about chains is: if I need them, I'm staying where I am
Words of wisdom: we've poked our nose into the "winter wonderland" more
times than I like to remember. If you have to travel in that stuff, have full
fuel & propane, food & libations for when you finally get it & pull over.
We stay at the KOA in Flagstaff, & help land trailers & mo/ho when the storms
force everyone off I-40: you've never seen so many relieved people in your
life.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:51 PM   #20
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Hey Gene maybe when it snows we could head to the Wal Mart parking lot for some test skids to see how it all handles... We might even attract a crowd... Two Airstreams sliding around the lot......
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:56 PM   #21
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Jason, we might end up crashing into each other and taking out a few light poles. How do we explain that to our insurance companies? If we charge admission, we might make a lot—demolition derbies always attract a lot of customers. At least your wife could treat our injuries.

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Old 10-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #22
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Yeah to office is just up the road... I could bring the tractor along to take out the lamp post first... Better yet we could race..... with fuel stop at the safeway next door...
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:25 PM   #23
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We might even attract a crowd... Two Airstreams sliding around the lot.....
Post that on U Tube. I think you know what music to use.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:05 PM   #24
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Looking for snow chains for the Airstream that are not too bulky. I have three axles, six tires. How many chains do I need and which wheels should they go on. Trying to avoid snow but I need to be prepared if the signs go up for mandatory snow chains.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #25
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Well up here in the big old CAN that is what we use the 4X4 for.

Amen to that, got lots of snow around Pink Mountain (look that up on your map!) coming home this spring with 9000 lb in tow, not the EB. Put in 4wd and left it there.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:03 AM   #26
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I'd forgotten this 4 year old thread I started.

We ran into snow on I-70 the next year. We had outrun the snow in the mountains during a spring storm. We made it east of Denver, past Limon, whre it was not supposed to snow until later the next day. The next morning we had 2+ inches and I figured it was wet snow, only around 30 or 32, and the snow would be worn off the interstate. We knew the storm would last for a while get worse in Kansas if we waited, so we left sure that I-70 would have all the snow melted.

It wasn't. The road was snow covered with wet, slippery snow. Sometimes the left lane was better, sometimes the right. Traffic kept weaving from lane to lane to avoid the worst parts—and the snow was only a couple of inches. There was a wicked crosswind from the north and from time to time we had to pass some very slow truck. We saw big trucks pulled over because they couldn't make a small rise.

I didn't disconnect the bars nor did I turn down the brake controller. I did put the truck in 4WD. There was no sway, no skidding, no sliding. I did what I always do in snow—no sudden changes of any kind, slower on curves or, in this case, when changing lanes too and moving with traffic which was going 30 to 40 mph.

After about 20 miles the snow turned to sleet and a few bare spots appeared, more and more as we drove east. After another 20 miles, it was all rain. It rained for 2 day across Kansas and Mo. Heavy, blinding rain. Traffic was fast and so were we. Nothing happened to us, but the driving was intense.

I only learned to do what I am used to doing and things worked out fine. It snowed in Ontario, but the roads were clear by the time we got there after some work was done in JC.

I still haven't had to test the roads near out house in snow, but have been away and called or e-mailed neighbors to find out whether the roads are clear.

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:01 AM   #27
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Thanks, Gene.

That's good advice. Will also try to watch the forecast and time our crossing accordingly.

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