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Old 10-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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Danny Bell's Avatar
1966 28' Ambassador
Colville , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 64
Trailer towing during winter

Hi all,
I have some questions about pulling a trailer on winter roads. I will be pulling our trailer back home this winter (1st time) over two passes. Of course, I will watch the weather and try to hit the best weather possible. It is about (on dry roads) a 2-1/2 hour pull to get home. My truck has (4) studded tires and is fwd.

1) Has anyone ever used a set of chains on your trailers ? Would (2 or 4) studded tires on the trailer axels be the best way to go ?

2) Should I be applying brakes to the trailer "only" manually ? Should brake adjustment be on the "light" side to illiminate any "brake bump" ?

3) If I have too, I can throw a set of chains on my truck. I really don't care how long it takes me to get home, I just want to be safe.

I've live in snow country and have driven in snow country for 40 years but never pulled our AS on slick roads. Any experienced advice is welcome.
Thanks guys,

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Old 10-10-2014, 11:19 AM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Fairbanks , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 262
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We live in Fairbanks and have made a couple trips to the southwest leaving in late Feb to early March and also pulled north in Oct so have dealt with snow a fair amount. Best advice I can give is just slow down to suit the roads and don't be afraid to kick it into 4x4. We don't do anything different in brake or hitch adjustment and don't see a need to based on how it pulls. We have made the trip once with a 28' toyhauler that weighed around 8k and a couple times with the 25' EB. Used a conventional Drawtite with no sway control a couple times and once with our current Andersen. I do like the Andersen much better, slippery roads or not.

We also use winter rated tires and carry chains for the Dodge but not the trailer. I haven't pulled in deep snow and wouldn't attempt it, worse was probably around 4 to 6 inches.

"When you find yourself in a hole - quit digging!"

2012 1/2 Eddie Bauer, Dodge 3500 SWB 4x4 6.7L Cummins 6 spd manual
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,522
I haven't garnered the courage to pull mine on slick roads. I would think accelerating up hill, braking down hill, and curves would be dicey icy. I can imagine going down a slick grade would cause the trailer to start pushing my Super Duty one way or the other.

Airstreams don't like salted roads. Their corrosion protection is not as good as our tow vehicles.

And you have to winterize before approaching freezing temps.

So far, we have just stayed home during the long winter months.

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Old 10-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #4
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,133
We'd suggest making your truck as ready as you can for ice and snow. But if you think you need chains, it's time to get off the road.

We have also found that with a little map work, we can locate perfectly good two-lane highways where the passes are much lower than on the Interstate.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:24 PM   #5
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Some people take their Airstream to ski areas in the Colorado mountains.

But not me!

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Old 10-12-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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IMHO, that's why it has you can take it South in the winter, and North in the summer.

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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I like my AS nice.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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2002 31' Classic
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Monroe , Iowa
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I have pulled 4 and 6 place snowmobile trailers in snowy and icy conditions for many years.

I set my brake control so that the trailer brakes come on before the TV brakes do. Otherwise your trailer will try to pass you at the most in opportune times, especially going downhill.

Make gentle slow stops, trying to let the trailer stop the TV.

Accelerate slowly also. All wheel or four wheel drive is almost a must.

Drive slower than you normally would, watching the traffic all around you. Be careful to steer straight ahead, no weaving or jerking the wheel.

If you do start to skid, do not over steer. Touch the brakes to activate trailer brakes slightly. Keep your rig straight.

Going down slick mountain passes is really dicey. Go slow, use trailer brakes lightly to keep everything in a straight line.

Try to stay in at least one dry track.
Good luck.

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