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Old 09-21-2010, 11:31 AM   #1
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Bend , Oregon
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Trailer chains in snow and ice?

I'm sure this has been discussed in the past but it is a new problem for me.
During winter weather does a trailer need tire chains along with the TV?

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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1965 22' Safari
Salt Lake City , Utah
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Never seen them on an Airstream, or any other trailer.
Not sure if chains would fit under the wheel wells.
The big-rig 18-wheelers never put them on the trailer.

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Never seen a semi,even Ice Road Truckers trailers with chains,don`t believe I need them. Dave
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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many threads on this...

few PRECISE answers...

regs vary by state,

caution is always a good approach ...

i have towed the stream IN/through snow

but never intentionally starting IN/through snow...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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I have seen the use of various nylon like chain equivelents recommended for severe emergency use only. Obviously the use of chains on the trailer will reduce the possibility of it passing you when you stop.

I have carried chains when I worked for a transport company delivering trailers, chains being required in parts of the west. I have never used them.
Any situation requiring chains when towing should be a case of getting to the next safe stopping point and waiting it out.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 09-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that chains help traction, but don't really help braking that much.

Here is why:

When using chains for traction, the wheel is being forced to turn by the engine. The cross links of the chain will rotate because the tire is. So you will have traction whenever one of the cross chains is in contact with the ground.

When braking, the tire will stop rotating (lock up) as soon as the force of the brake friction overcomes the force of the road-tire-chain friction. (Unless you have ABS trailer brakes). With a slick road that happens quickly. As soon as the tire stops rotating, so do the chains. It is likely the chains will be in a position to not contribute much to the braking.


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Old 09-21-2010, 04:29 PM   #7
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You are correct about the rules vary from state to state. We live in WA ST and chains are not required on the trailer but in Oregon chains are required on all vehicles that have their own braking system. So when we go down to Palm Springs this Winter we need chains for both the TV and the Argosy when passing thru Oregon. Strange rules.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
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I talked to a guy who had studded snow tires on his Airstream.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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good posting how ever if you get to the point where chains are needed pull your rig over realy rv's and ice and snow dont work well togreather. and yes yes simi trailers at times do use chains and I used them every winter in North CA, OR and WA in 80s and I had better breaking when I needed breaks. it is safer in rigs would not do it on rv trailers , I would park it ..............
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:51 AM   #10
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I carry the cross cable system for the trailer tires.

Chains on the truck -- cables on both axles for the trailer. The cables practically guarantee contact with the snow/ice since they are a cross X pattern.

As mentioned above -- states vary in their requirements.
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:14 AM   #11
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Eagle River , Alaska
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I was in Northern California last winter for a snow storm on I80 closed at Truckee. CALTRANS stopped me and required chains on the 4x4 tow vehicle AND on the 22 foot Safari.

This for 1-2 inches of Sierra Cement lightly falling snow.
He noticed the Alaska plates and asked "know how to drive that thing in snow?" "Yep, everyday 7 months per year!"

He told me an unplowed back route (old Highway 40).
Slow and sure right over Donner Pass.

I suppose a lot is just experience and safety driving in winter conditions.

Be safe, chain up.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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You have internet access. Go to each State you are traveling through and check their DMV for that State's requirements. Then you know for sure.

If you do not have chains on when required and are in an accident, you take the financial hit on damages to your rig and anything you hit, as the insurance company will likely not cover you for driving illegally. More importantly, you also have yours, your passengers and your fellow travelers safety in your hands. Are you willing to put anyone at risk because you don't want to chain up if it is required either due to road restrictions or weather issues? Seems like an easy decision to make, even if is not mandated by the State.

If you don't want to chain up when it is required the easy solution is to pull over, sit the storm out in your trailer, and go when the chain requirement is lifted.

Merry Christmas
Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:26 AM   #13
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Stone Mountain , Georgia
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I towed my trailer into the WY mtns and the SD Black Hills for hunting camps in winter. Used chains on trailer at slow speeds for braking effect, towed with chained 4x4. Wouldn't like to do it going very fast, or very far, but it kept the trailer from passing me on downhills. I would think that cables in x pattern would work better than chains, but either way there is a high stress level on driver especially near dropoffs.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #14
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1990 29' Excella
St Louis , Missouri
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I just bought chains for the trailer and my truck, in preparation for winter travel this year. I don't intend to use them (I hate flopping around on the ground in the snow, chaining up), but they're good to have on hand just in case. I went with super heavy duty chains for the trunk and lighter X-pattern chains (not cables) for the trailer., I think...good deal, quick service.

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