What a trip - you guys win my prize for iron man traveling. How did your water pipes and holding tanks fare? Was the heat in the living area sufficient to keep the low stuff from freezing?
I don't use the water system if the temps are going to be below 25 degrees for more than a few hours. I put 4-5 one gallon water bottles in the shower pan and manually pour water from them to wash dishes, etc. You can get along on about a gallon and half a day that way and hit the showers at the RV camps.
I can't wait to here the "rest of the stories"
Just like driving an air hockey puck with 6,500# in tow that wants to go in another direction... no, actually the Sovereign
was very well behaved. I never visually detected it sliding sideways, but the steering effort seemed to indicate that it was doing it a little. It's unnerving to be in the slow lane in a left turning part of the highway and the highway is inclined to the left--you feel yourself being dragged left, even if it's just imagination.
I think everyone should take note of one thing in particular. If you have chains on your rear wheels, you're really driving a vehicle chain that has reasonable traction at only one point--the middle. So the drive wheels are trying to push and the front wheels are thinking they can go sideways. Separately from that, the trailer is pulling the tail around in whatever direction the ice ruts and gravity dictate. I also think that one set of chains in this circumstance are more dangerous than no chains. I went into 4x4 mode a lot, which may or may not have helped the steering.
Going up Vail Pass was terrible. The fast lane had two wheel tracks with no ice, so vehicles in that lane were zipping up the hill. The slow lane had negligible ice, but once you put the chains on, you're limited to 30 mph and if you're luck is all bad, the torque-incline-weight-speed combination puts you right at a transmission shift point, so you're on a bucking bronco until you decide to put it in 2nd gear and take the whole damn hill that way. I really don't know if 4x4 without chains would have been better. I've done Eisenhower and Vail 6-7 times before in the snow w/o chains with the Caravel
and Overlander and never had a problem. But this time chains were "required," per the flashing lights.
One cool thing (is this a pun?) is that some of the Utah weigh stations leave their scales on when the staion is closed, and the weight is shown outside on a large digital display. From front to back I was 3,900, 4,600, 5,500 lbs. Thank you Price, UT, weigh station!