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Old 12-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #1
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Bozeman to Las Vegas Jan 2008

I need to drive from Montana to NV next week. I-80 over the Rockies to Butte,MT and down I-15 to LVegas. Any suggestions on what I need to be aware of? Do I need to chain/cable? 4 wheel drive fulltime? Any stretches I should be aware of? I've never done winter weather before.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:15 PM   #2
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Driving the interstates is smart in winter weather, since these roadways are kept cleared and de-iced on a full time basis. Do carry chains in winter, it's not only practical, but its the law in some Western states. Look at your tire sidewalls and see if you have M+S rated tires. A new designation that is replacing M+S is a snowflake inside a triangle that designates a snow rated tire. Have gloves, a tarp and flashlight in case you need to install them yourself. Be sure you have chain tensioners in addition to the chains and secure the loose links at the ends with them.

If weather conditions require chains on 4 WD vehicles with snow tires, consider stopping for the few hours it takes for the storm to pass and the road to be cleared.

Consider driving in daylight hours only. Icy patches are more visible in daylight.

Reduce speed dramatically if the road surface is covered in snow. It's your best safety margin.

Have a great trip.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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You should be fine once you get past Pocatello, ID. It generally is a pretty wet snow down there. Utah salts their roads so if you drive in any weather there you would be wise to give your AS a bath when you get where you are going.

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Old 12-27-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
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From the national safety council:
Quote:
Here's what you'll want to have on hand, especially in an emergency:

Snow shovel.
Scraper with a brush on one end.
Tow chain or strap.
Tire chains.
Flashlight (with extra batteries).
Abrasive material (cat litter, sand, salt, or traction mats).
Jumper cables.
Warning device (flares or reflective triangles).
Brightly colored cloth to signal for help.
Empty coffee or similar type can containing candles, matches (in a water tight containter) or a lighter, high-energy food (chocolate or dried fruit, for example).
Sleeping bags or blankets, ski caps, and mittens.
First-aid supplies.
Compass.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
Driving the interstates is smart in winter weather, since these roadways are kept cleared and de-iced on a full time basis. Do carry chains in winter, it's not only practical, but its the law in some Western states. Look at your tire sidewalls and see if you have M+S rated tires. A new designation that is replacing M+S is a snowflake inside a triangle that designates a snow rated tire. Have gloves, a tarp and flashlight in case you need to install them yourself. Be sure you have chain tensioners in addition to the chains and secure the loose links at the ends with them.

If weather conditions require chains on 4 WD vehicles with snow tires, consider stopping for the few hours it takes for the storm to pass and the road to be cleared.

Consider driving in daylight hours only. Icy patches are more visible in daylight.

Reduce speed dramatically if the road surface is covered in snow. It's your best safety margin.

Have a great trip.

Thank you for the helpful advice!
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
You should be fine once you get past Pocatello, ID. It generally is a pretty wet snow down there. Utah salts their roads so if you drive in any weather there you would be wise to give your AS a bath when you get where you are going.

CJ
Thanks.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
From the national safety council:
Yep, I do have all those things
Thanks
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
Driving the interstates is smart in winter weather, since these roadways are kept cleared and de-iced on a full time basis. Do carry chains in winter, it's not only practical, but its the law in some Western states. Look at your tire sidewalls and see if you have M+S rated tires. A new designation that is replacing M+S is a snowflake inside a triangle that designates a snow rated tire. Have gloves, a tarp and flashlight in case you need to install them yourself. Be sure you have chain tensioners in addition to the chains and secure the loose links at the ends with them.

If weather conditions require chains on 4 WD vehicles with snow tires, consider stopping for the few hours it takes for the storm to pass and the road to be cleared.

Consider driving in daylight hours only. Icy patches are more visible in daylight.

Reduce speed dramatically if the road surface is covered in snow. It's your best safety margin.

Have a great trip.

So I don't need to chain the trailer tires right?
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
So I don't need to chain the trailer tires right?
Here is my .02 on this. I believe that you should have chains for your AS just incase you might need them. I reccomend cable chains, smoother ride for the AS. The reason behind this is, when you brake, it will likely slide to one side or the other without some sort of traction device. This is a jack knife. I am a truck driver and the main reason we chain our trailer tires is for stopping and going around corners.

You could put studded tires on it, thats another idea. I wouldn't spend the money on that, however.

Get them from Les Schwab. If you don't use them take 'em back at the end of the season and get your money back.

CJ
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
Here is my .02 on this. I believe that you should have chains for your AS just incase you might need them. I reccomend cable chains, smoother ride for the AS. The reason behind this is, when you brake, it will likely slide to one side or the other without some sort of traction device. This is a jack knife. I am a truck driver and the main reason we chain our trailer tires is for stopping and going around corners.

You could put studded tires on it, thats another idea. I wouldn't spend the money on that, however.

Get them from Les Schwab. If you don't use them take 'em back at the end of the season and get your money back.

CJ
Thanks CJ. I use an equalizing hitch which holds the sway pretty good on normal road, but I'll use the cables just to be on the safe side.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:33 PM   #11
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If you have one of these type friction sway devices, remove it on any slippery road.

All of the other types of sway hitches should be fine. Disclaimer - Always read the information that comes with the hitch...
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:29 PM   #12
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The primary purpose of tire chains is traction for the driven axle. On cars, rear axle only for rear drive cars, front axle only for front wheel drive cars.

C Johnson is in a position to know the benefits of chaining up commercial trailers, and has plenty of experience driving this way. Sounds like he does this for his living.

After re-reading your original post and your comments about no experience with driving on snowy/icy roads, the most important thing you should do if you encounter these conditions, is to park your rig until the storm passes and the roads are cleared. Twelve hours would be typical. Build this possible delay time, along with driving slower time, into your plan for when you must arrive in vegas. In all probability, you'll get there early, but then, it not so bad a place to kill a little time.

Again, have a great trip.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:34 PM   #13
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We were told that WA state and some other Western States require chains on trailers any time they are required on the TV. I have not gone on to any of the State websites to check yet but intend to do so, sometime soon.
Safe travels

Barry
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:37 PM   #14
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Hey - a couple weeks back I went from Atlanta to Steamboat - took Rabbit Ears Pass on packed snow and some snow falling - go slow, let your transmission help control your speed as opposed to brakes all the way. i have chains for all trailer tires and all truck tires - it would be a VERY good idea to test fit your chains before you leave. Good luck and safe travels. J-
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