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Old 09-02-2004, 08:09 AM   #1
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Tire chains for AS

I'm new to towing, so this is probably a stupid question . We're planning a trip from Oregon to Kansas and back for 30 days from late Sept to late Oct. We'll be crossing over the Rockies twice, staying at Grand Tetons NP and Canyonlands NP. I want to be prepared for the worst weather, so am purcasing chains for my Avalanche. Is there a need for tire chains for the AS in snow and ice? I haven't seen any posts regarding this, so it appears no one has used tire chains on their trailer.

Jim
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Old 09-02-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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Tire chains are for drive wheels. If it ices up and you're towing, pull over and stop, turn on the heater and wait it out. If you go down a hill you might find your CCD passing you.

John
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Old 09-02-2004, 11:12 AM   #3
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Many years ago I drove a semi truck for a trailer repair shop in Indianapolis in the winter. That winter we kept an inch or more of snow cover on for more than 100 days. They put chains on my tractor, and I would pick up and deliver trailers that didn't have chains on them. Whenever I would try to stop, the trailer would swing out and sweep 3 lanes beside me. After a few days I took the chains off. It is better to slide in a straight line, you only hit one thing at a time.

If you only have one set of chains and must use them, put them on the rear axle of the trailer. Chains on the tow vehicle and not the trailer is definitely unsafe. If you want to see how it will handle, disconnect the rear brakes on your car and try some panic stops in a wet parking lot.

John has the best advice, stop and wait it out. If it's too slick to pull the trailer comfortably, you won't enjoy trying to stop it at all.

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Old 09-02-2004, 02:56 PM   #4
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jordandvm

Tire chains on Airstream trailer tires is very risky.

As the wheel turns, the diameter of the chains increases, to the point that they will eith hit the wheel well or the outriggers.

Taboo in either case.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2004, 06:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
jordandvm

Tire chains on Airstream trailer tires is very risky.

As the wheel turns, the diameter of the chains increases, to the point that they will eith hit the wheel well or the outriggers.

Taboo in either case.

Andy
Not only that, think road salt and its effect on aluminum. If for some reason you feel that you absolutely, positively have to tow your trailer in that kind of weather, you may want to look into studded snow tires for the trailer. Still not a good thing, but better than chains flailing around making hash of your wheelwell areas. If you opt for that, don't go over about 45 mph with those tires, as they will cause a lot of vibration. Not as much as chains, but still a good bit.
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Old 09-02-2004, 09:36 PM   #6
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Well folks, there's no reason to stay home just because of bad weather. I have personally towed Airstreams (17' Caravel, 20' Argosy, 25' Caravanner) over the Santiam Pass in Oregon for more than 10 winters on snowmobiling adventures. Two sleds on a deck on the pickup and the trailer behind. First few years, used studded tires on the trailer, but eventually gave that up for regular snow tires. With the trailer brakes adjusted properly and the sway control tightened up, there was never a problem of the trailer "passing" me. In fact, it handled as well or better than the pickup alone. Oregon does not use salt on the roads, but the red volcanic gravel they spread does make for an interesting color mix on aluminum. Used a full-width plastic gravel guard on the front of the trailer. I'd suggest getting a pair of snug-fitting cable chains just for emergency. Use them on the back trailer axel. Even lowering the tire pressure on the trailer tires would help, especially since you won't be driving as fast on slick roads and heat won't be a factor. Enjoy Colorado in the fall and ignore the "grandmas" dire warnings! (Keep the insurance paid up!)
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Old 09-03-2004, 09:07 AM   #7
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WOW! The responses run the gamut! I like the idea of pulling over to wait it out, but still puts me in packed snow with maybe some pass to negotiate, depending on where I hit the snow. I like the idea of snow tires on the AS. Don't know how it would tow on dry highway at regular speed limits with Snow Tires? I think I will invest in a set of snug fitting cable chains for rear axles for emergency situations. I will at least feel more secure if I do hit a major snow storm.
Thanks for all your input!
Jim
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Old 09-03-2004, 04:46 PM   #8
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Thumbs up tire chains

Jim, I just happened to be reading my owners' manul today and it said definitely DO NOT put snow chains on your trailer tires. I tow a 1995, 28 footer and I would just pull over, get a good book and wait out the storm. It is not worth it to take a chance with these wonderful RVs we have.


Plus, anything that Andy of Inland RV would say is at the top of my list of things to remember. He has been in this business much longer than most of us and he has nothing to lose in advising us. Some may argue with him, but not me. It took me twenty years to be able to live my dream and I am doing all I can not to destroy that dream just because of a foolish decision. Where ever I'm going will be there when I get there. This gal is in no hurry.

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Old 09-04-2004, 02:58 AM   #9
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Cool eye opener~

TNSUE,
OUCH~!!
lmao...
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Old 09-04-2004, 10:27 AM   #10
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I suppose we all have to adapt to where we live. If we in the Northwest stopped by the side of the road whenever the weather wasn't perfect, we never get anywhere. On the other hand, I don't like snakes, bugs, and sticky weather so I avoid the South. Check out the '72 Airstream brochure for some great snow photos and an owner's manual from the mid '70s for cold weather travel tips. I don't abuse my trailers or vehicles (I drive a 40 year old Pontiac that's nearly perfect) but I don't treat them as monuments either. Two quotes: "Live more, Do more, See more", and "If you can get there with your tow vehicle, you can get there with an Airstream."
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Old 09-04-2004, 10:18 PM   #11
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Agree

I agree with "Live more, see more, do more". That is what I am doing. And if you can get there with your tow vehicle, you can get there with your Airstream. " Plan on that hqppening too.

I also do not care for snakes, bugs and muggy weather, but they can not cause me to slip off the highway and go over a cliff. So when I am in your part of the country, and the weather is nothing I am familar with or comfortable with, I will park and wait it out.

I want to arrive there with Mariposa directly behind my Burb. Not passing me on one side or the other.

We all have our comfort level and know when we reach it. Snowy and slippery highways is way past my comfort level.

I was just stating that I felt it was not a wise decision to use snow tires on my Airstream.
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:26 AM   #12
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Smile Wondering

tnsue...
Quote:
I was just stating that I felt it was not a wise decision to use snow tires on my Airstream.


You meant tire "chains" right?

I suppose it's quite possible to use snow tires on an A/S and be-able to drive safely(although I've never heard of anyone doing it).
I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has and, what kind of handling experiences they had with that kind of setup for winter driving..

ciao
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Old 09-07-2004, 10:57 AM   #13
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Correction

Yes, thank you for the correction.

I was typing that answer on my lap top at a friends house with a party going on and did not have my mind fully on what I was saying.

"tire chains" is what I intended to say.

Must not be able to multi-task wll. lol

TNSue
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Old 09-07-2004, 12:26 PM   #14
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You "cannot" take your trailer, any place that your tow vehicle can!!

I attempted to do a post about that on Sunday, and good ol AOL kicked me off, therefore it was lost. My fault.

I will try again later today, to tell you why there are "exceptions."

Airstream learned that back in 1970, and deleted all references to it, back then.

That published statement was taken to task by an Airstream owner, who taught all of us, "that it ain't so."

Andy
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