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Old 11-29-2005, 05:35 PM   #1
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Winter travel?

I have the Trotter winterized and stored. In Jan. or Feb we will be heading to the Florida Keys for vacation. Usually we tent camp to enjoy the sun and weather but now that my trailer is roadworthy 7000 miles this summer I am thinking about using it. My route is basically all interstate so the roads are good and my tow vehicle is a 2500 Dodge Ram. Is this a crazy idea? My big concerns are towing in the snow if it storms and road salt effects on the trailer. Anybody out there do road trips from north to south in the winter. If so how do you do it?
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air
I have the Trotter winterized and stored. In Jan. or Feb we will be heading to the Florida Keys for vacation. Usually we tent camp to enjoy the sun and weather but now that my trailer is roadworthy 7000 miles this summer I am thinking about using it. My route is basically all interstate so the roads are good and my tow vehicle is a 2500 Dodge Ram. Is this a crazy idea? My big concerns are towing in the snow if it storms and road salt effects on the trailer. Anybody out there do road trips from north to south in the winter. If so how do you do it?
When you get to Florida, find a car wash, and thoroughly wash your trailer, especially underneath. Even if the road is dry all the way down, there will still be dry road salt on the pavement, and it could corrode the aluminum.
Also, the WBCCI Florida State rally is in Sarasota the 3rd week in February. If you belong to the club, maybe you can time your visit so you can attend. If you don't belong, it would be a great time to join.
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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"Rumor has it" that he can get the underside of his trailer washed free of charge (like I did), at this quaint little campground off RT. 27 near Clermont... Torchlight Campground, site 11.
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:52 PM   #4
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63air----so what is the worse thing that could happen should the weather get nasty? you would have to park somewhere and enjoy your cozy little house on wheels until the road crews cleared the road .---Pieman
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
63air----so what is the worse thing that could happen should the weather get nasty? you would have to park somewhere and enjoy your cozy little house on wheels until the road crews cleared the road .---Pieman
You know, I saw that blizzard on the news and thought if a guy was towing his stream it might be almost fun to get caught. But then again, Im sorta weird
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger
"Rumor has it" that he can get the underside of his trailer washed free of charge (like I did), at this quaint little campground off RT. 27 near Clermont... Torchlight Campground, site 11.
Okay, I'll bite.... what makes this place 'quaint', and where can I find information on it? It's not even listed int he phone book! And..... how did you get the underside washed for free? That sounds like a story I would love to hear!

Elizabethi n Iowa
(With relatives in Clermont)
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:02 PM   #7
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Sorry, Elizabeth, it was an obscure reference to an little misadventure I had in Florida after following some great travel advice from Terry (overlander63).

http://tinyurl.com/9qaw8

Post #1


In reality, the travel advice was excellent, the park was nice, and the learning experience was priceless.

http://tinyurl.com/cvvqh

I found Torchlight in the AAA camp book. Friendly people, and reasonable rates.
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:04 AM   #8
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I pulled my Airstream through a hellish storm one January night in 2004, all the way through Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. I could barely make 50 mph. The Airstream towed like a dream. It looked like crap, when I got to Florida, but survived OK.

If you decide to come down here, I can provide CP or I know of a few campgrounds right off I75, that are nice stops on the way down to the Keys.
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:38 AM   #9
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63Air, you will need to be very aware that the bridges freeze quicker than the rest of the highway. Two winters ago we travelled on I95 south in South Carolina and Georgia, the day after a snowstorm. On the bridges there was invisible ice, although the rest of the highway was clear. I crossed the bridges at walking speed, and I could still feel the truck wandering, while an 18 wheeler went past me at about 70 mph. On the first bridge a tow vehicle and Argosy travel trailer lost control just ahead of us, and were wrecked and on their side, and on the second bridge a fifth wheel travel trailer was wrecked and on its side. It was a frightening experience.
Nick.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:16 AM   #10
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We have traveled from Ontario to Florida in February. Most of the time the roads are nice and clear and dry - but if you run in to bad roads - pull off until the road conditions are better (if you can).

We got stuck in a snow storm along the stretch going through the New York mountains (hills for you westerners) - It was not fun - but there was no where to pull over for the longest stretch so I just had to keep a steady wheel and not make any sudden moves. We are seasoned snow drivers - but you have to almost tripple your response time when towing a light weigh trailer behind you.

that is the difference with the transports they are much heavier so tracktion will be a bit better.

The worst is the "black ice" as we call it - tarmack and ice being see through = black ice. Speed is the killer here - but in some situations there is absolutely nothing you can do.

A thorough wash after your trip will be fine - the corrosion will not happen over night But if left on if there are week areas in your skin - then the salt will attach those first.

I read somewhere on this forum that there is a spray on coating that you can use and at the end of the trip just peel it off - something worth looking into - but if you have a good clear coat on your trailer with a good wax protector then you should be all right. The step, A frame and bumper (if steel) will be hit first on the vintage units to make sure they get a really good cleaning.

Good luck and be safe.
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:28 PM   #11
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We took our Tradewind on its maiden voyage from Wisconsin to the Keys in January. Left Milwaukee at 4:00 AM with 12" of snow on the ground. The snow stopped falling and the rain began in central Indiana. The sun appeared when we crossed the Florida border. Had a marvelous time in the Keys and other Florida stops. Winterized the Tradewind on the way back north. Fortunately our children had plowed out the drive so we could back the Tradewind into position.
Now with the motor home we camp all winter. In two weeks my son and I will be taking a trip to the Football Hall Of Fame in Canton, OH. This New Years eve we will celebrate in a yet to be chosen campground somewhere in Wisconsin. With any kind of luck the snow will be low enough to not be cleaning the bottom of Chummy as we drive.
So go for the trip to the Keys, be sensible, take your time and enjoy.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:01 AM   #12
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Winter Travel

Made several trips out of Minnesota in winter, however, one in particular was horrible. It was 12 below zero when I left our yard deep in the woods. The snow was so deep along the drive that I decided it was best to hook the toad up at a McDonalds truck stop 5 miles from home. Wife drove the car. Diesel fuel jelled half mile from home. Summer blend. (STUPID). Idled a few minutes and it ran again. Drove another half mile. Jelled again. Jelled 9 times to the truck stop. Bought anti jell and put it in. Hooked up toad. Wife got in. NO HEAT. VERY COLD!! Wife not happy!! Stopped in Iowa and bought blue tarp and tied it accross front of motorhome. Ah, heat. Wife comes out of cocoon she has wrapped herself into. Can still see her breath. Air ride freezes up. Stop in Iowa for fuel and pull fuse so air compressor goes off. Managed to kill heater motor as well. Wife in cocoon again. Wife wants to stop at campground in Illinois. Full of snow and boy scouts on winter survival campout. Finally get to Springfield, Il. Wife sets off alarms cooking and swears it is the furnace and won't sleep with furnace on. COLD NIGHT!! Trip goes well after that.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:42 AM   #13
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Jim-
Love your story. We drive with the gen set running and an electric space heater positioned several inches from my wife's feet. I have considered using the heat strip in the AC but it is so anemic I doubt it would help much. For defrost I use an a portable 12 volt heater with fan positioned on the window and sometimes will turn it around to face me so I can defrost as well.
I have taken the heater fan assembly apart and lubricated well plus replaced the heater vent lines to make certain there are no leaks. I also discovered that the vent for the passenger side was assembled wrong and recycled the hot air back to the exchanger instead of out into the coach. That was an easy fix and well worth the time.
I also have a block heater installed and keep it running most of the time so the oil never gets cold in the winter time. We will use Chummy 2 out of four week ends during the winter.
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