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Old 09-30-2004, 03:29 PM   #1
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Winter Towing - NJ to Florida

I am looking for advice regarding winter towing to Florida. I plan to travel to Key West from NJ on or about December 27. It's my first year with the Airstream and I'm concerned about traveling if we happen to have a lot of snow at that time.
I am considering taking the trailer to North Carolina in October since my daughter lives outside of Raleigh. The idea is that we could pick up the trailer there when we go to Florida and have less chance of having to tow in bad weather.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions regarding this trip?
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Old 09-30-2004, 03:39 PM   #2
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Advice -

....this is what I would do....first snowflake hits the windshield - pull over ASAP - even if it's a motel - camp out (in a motel room, if necessary) until the weather clears and the streets/highways are dry.

In the long run, one or two days won't matter - no matter how much money you throw at it - a damaged AS will never be the same again.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:19 PM   #3
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I did that trip last January. I was fortunate to get warm temperatures and no snow. But on the way back, I wasn't so lucky.

Even if the snow is just flurries, you have to be cautious about the snow-melting chemicals they spread on the road. They will do a number on your Airstream -- the steel on it is not rustproofed like your car. After seeing the damage done to my trailer from just ONE DAY towing on snowy highways, I will never again tow if there's even a chance of snow. My tongue and steel propane tanks rusted almost instantly, the entry step rusted, the door lock's coating peeled off, etc. I spent a lot of time with the sandblaster and paint fixing it all.

And of course, towing in wet/slippery/snowy conditions is a bad choice regardless.

I think the idea of staging the Airstream in NC is an excellent one. That way you aren't tempted to risk a dangerous tow if there's a 3-day snowstorm in the northeast right when you want to leave.
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH
....this is what I would do....first snowflake hits the windshield - pull over ASAP - even if it's a motel - camp out (in a motel room, if necessary) until the weather clears and the streets/highways are dry.

In the long run, one or two days won't matter - no matter how much money you throw at it - a damaged AS will never be the same again.
I agree, there is nothing quite like the puckery feeling of having your AS trying to pass you on the highway. There is much less chance of snow or ice in the Southeast where you want to stage you coach, and even if it does, it is gone in a day or two.
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:05 PM   #5
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I towed down to Florida from Cleveland, Ohio area last January 24th in a snow storm so bad I could not go over 50 MPH from 10 miles South of Lake Erie through about 1/3 of West Virginia. The rig handled super, though, no complaints.

I agree with rluhr on the rust generated by such a trip. My new shocks look like they are 5 years old now. I gave her a good bath when I got down here, lord it was a mess. Taking the trailer to NC ahead of time is a superb idea. I did not have that choice, in fact I posponed my trip for a month thinking better weather would arrive, and it never did. Weather was bad in Ohio for a month after I left.
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:25 PM   #6
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There is nothing like escaping Snow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlake
I am looking for advice regarding winter towing to Florida.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions regarding this trip?
We did the same trip as Pick but in reverse last February. Headed right into a terrible snow storm from West Virginia on up to Southern Ontario. We are more than accustom to snowy road conditions - and if you take it slow and consistent with a good towing set up and excellent brakes you should have no troubles.

Most accidents in the snow are caused by exccessive speed and not leaving enough room between you and the guy infront as well as inexperienced drivers. I also think too many people worry about what the other guy is thinking - you drive the speed you think is SAFE for you and nevermind about the otherguy. Driving in snow in many ways is no different than driving in torrential rainfall (which we had the pleasure of doing so from Louisiana all the way to West Virginia - too) As a Canuck - give me snow over rain any day -

Icey roads are taboo no matter where you are from - so 87MH's advice on getting a motel would be more than prudent. Oh, also forgot to mention the driving was done by both Hubby and I - and in our 4 wheel drive Kia this is when a 4 wheel drive tow vehicle comes in real handy - you don't need power you need friction/traction to get you through snow. The biggest problem we had was the wiring harness rusting before we even picked up the trailer - we think it was faulty and shorted out to due the overload of salt on the way down.

We had no problems with rust on our Vintage baby - if you pick up salt and slush on the way up (south to north) and you are in freezing weather make sure your rig stays outside until you can give it a wash with hot water and shamoi dry tootsuit. On the reverse once you get to your desitnation a thorough rinse and dry will do the trick.

You can also take some preventive measures and apply a coating of white grease to those pesky metal areas such as the A-frame and steps, bumpers etc.

Avoid salt trucks and snow plows if at all possilbe -but if you slow right down and give him a wide berth and you should be okay. Speed and fresh salt would probably be like driving through a hail storm.

Don't let a bit of snow scare you off - only you will be your best judge on your own driving skills. Lots of people pull trailers in the snow - Transports, and all those snowmobiler fanatics - they can't just pop em in the trunk

Good luck - and have fun - but be safe - drive slow and leave yourself lots of room.

PS. We were thinking of heading to Key West this Winter from Ontario but not sure if Florida will be ready for vistors??? anyone have any insight???
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Old 10-02-2004, 06:24 AM   #7
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hey tlake

unless you have had plenty of experience towing something heavy in the snow, take your trailer south ahead of time.

here is my rig ready to go to melburne when we got a little dusting in october!

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Old 10-02-2004, 06:29 AM   #8
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however,

things get much better once you get there!

(this shot was taken the following spring)

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Old 10-02-2004, 06:30 AM   #9
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GT6921, things seem to be recovering fast in the Northern areas of Florida, not sure how things are going down South, but Key West should be in good shape.

JohnHD, coming to Melborne this year??
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Old 10-02-2004, 06:33 AM   #10
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JohnHD, coming to Melborne this year??

pick,

i wish i could, my schedule cannot allow it.

unless, the power company sends me down there on a little "vacation"!

john
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Old 10-02-2004, 04:24 PM   #11
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Florida

John:

Where is the resort where the picture was taken? We're thinking about a trip to Florida in late October or early November. I'm a Florida native - and I still have property there - but we're thinking of spending our time in the Airstream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
however,

things get much better once you get there!

(this shot was taken the following spring)

john

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Old 10-02-2004, 06:00 PM   #12
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It looks like Port O' Call to me. We have made the trip for the last 4 years and have not run into any problems. We never leave until after the new year and come back usually in March. I'm on the coast just below the VA line and we don't get a lot of snow.
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Old 10-03-2004, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Where is the resort where the picture was taken?
that WAS port o call in melbourne, sadly it no longer exists.

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Old 10-03-2004, 04:35 PM   #14
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winter towing

i too will be towing this winter. leaving san diego to dallas december 15th. taking the southern route I-8, I-10, I-20 into dallas.

anyone do this run during this time frame? i will leave dallas about 3 jan and head back west.

input, advice, do's and don'ts? i will be pulling with a dodge 2500 diesel so my truck is fine.

thanks
david h
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