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Old 10-15-2018, 07:23 AM   #1
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Dexter , Michigan
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Winter towing

Hey group
We are considering a fall trip in Winnipeg.
Does anyone have experience in winter towing?
Our concerns are with snow, salt, ice, on the road more so than in camp.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Rusty
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:23 AM   #2
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Port Dover , ON Canada
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1. Winterize the plumbing system.
2. Slow down if the roads are slippery.
3. If the roads are slippery (heavy rain or snow and ice), after you have slowed down (point 2.) back off the anti-sway bars if your rig is so equipped, eg. Eaz-lift. (I am not sure how users of Equalizer, Hensley, Blue Ox etc. where anti-sway is part of the weight distribution setup accomplish this.) This is extremely important to make sure your trailer doesn't force your TV into an understeer situation.
4. Keep the furnace running in the trailer when travelling. You will use quite a bit of propane, but the trailer will be comfortable for sleeping when you arrive at your stop.
5. I use auxiliary propane heat from a Dickinson Newport Marine fireplace, but I make sure to use the furnace enough to keep the plumbing safe if I haven't winterized the trailer.
6. Have a way to keep you house batteries charged up at night to run the furnace if not on shore power. (I use '0' gauge booster cables from my TV with a remote start. I can put 40 amps into the batteries much more quickly than with a generator.)
7. You can get your rig washed at a Blue Beacon truck wash to remove salt and road grime.
8. Use 'wag bags' for solid human waste disposal rather than putting anything into the black or grey tanks.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyB View Post
Hey group
We are considering a fall trip in Winnipeg.
Does anyone have experience in winter towing?
Our concerns are with snow, salt, ice, on the road more so than in camp.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Rusty
Stay home , when there is snow and ice on the road...salt will eat up the aluminum.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:47 AM   #4
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We live 20 miles north of Winnipeg. You will have a hard time finding any place to camp now. Most trailer parks have closed for the season. We have had 10 degrees of frost, and all campgrounds have drained their water lines. Looks like nice weather for the next week or so, but there is snow on the ground outside my house. Our trailer has been in storage for 2 weeks. There are lots of hotel rooms in Winnipeg, and that would be my choice at this time of the year. JMHO Chris!
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:39 PM   #5
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Even without snow and ice, your tires lose some of their grip when temps are low. (Snow tires aren't just like boots for the snow, they are also softer for the cold!)
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:54 PM   #6
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Hi

If you are trying to heat the trailer ( not sure what you have since it's not on your profile ... hint .... hint ... hint ... ) you likely will use more that a little propane. Running out while you are in motion is not a lot of fun ( fridge ...). I'd factor tank refills into your travel plans.

The only practical way to do this is to dry camp. No water in the trailer, none of the plumbing in use. That way the 10F (or less) temperatures aren't going to nuke you right off the bat. It also eliminates the need for dump stations (which are closed ...) or water hookups (which are shut off ...).

We now get to the basic question - why bring the trailer?

Assuming there is a good reason, salt is very much your enemy. You can wash the obvious stuff off. The bigger issue is the stuff that gets back in someplace. That is very hard to wash off. Once it gets going, you have a rust issue where you really can't see or get at it. About the only answer is to wash down several times a week and hope that's good enough.

One of the neat things about Airstreams is the way the rubber in the suspension works. That's great at normal temperatures. Get really cold and you have a bit more shake rattle and roll. Run down a road in the winter and it likely is a bit rougher than normal. The combo means that you need to be more careful about things coming loose / staying tied down in your vehicle. Again - part of this assumes a trailer ...

Lots of fun !

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Old 10-16-2018, 09:18 PM   #7
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winter towing

I was wondering this to. But, in my case I would leave Cleveland, OH in January for Florida. And retuning in February or March. But, it would could still be freezing in Cleveland.

The salt is the real issue for me. Also the brine some city’s use.

I was warned about the truck washes. They use acid in the wash process.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:03 AM   #8
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Don’t do it. Or your trailer will match your name...
brick
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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I was wondering this to. But, in my case I would leave Cleveland, OH in January for Florida. And retuning in February or March. But, it would could still be freezing in Cleveland.

The salt is the real issue for me. Also the brine some city’s use.

I was warned about the truck washes. They use acid in the wash process.
Hi

On a practical basis:

When you pull the trailer down to Florida, it will be winterized. Once you get past a "safe" point, you will de-winterize it. Before you head back, it will have to be winterized again. Two months later when it is camping time, you will de-winterize it yet again.

If this all involves anti-freeze and compressed air, that's a lot of work to winterize. If it takes two days to flush lines, that's a bit of work as well.

Travel wise, you can go a lot further / faster flying than towing a trailer. Even driving, you can cover more miles if you are not towing. There will be days added to travel time if you pull the trailer. (We tow for about 4 hours a day. If we were driving it would be 10 hours).

Once you get to Florida, it's February. Where will you be staying? How much will that cost? .... hmmm.... all booked up here .... all booked up there .... costs how much over at that place ... YIKES !!!

Lots to think through.

Bob
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigventure View Post
...
I was warned about the truck washes. They use acid in the wash process.
Blue Beacon, which I have used, does not use acid wash except at the driver’s request. They also have an anti salt undercarriage treatment.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:34 AM   #11
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Hi
If it takes two days to flush lines, that's a bit of work as well.

Huh? Two days to flush the lines?
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:40 AM   #12
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Huh? Two days to flush the lines?
Hi

Yup, that's what the full drain fresh water tank / blowout process can take on a big trailer .....

Bob
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:50 AM   #13
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Hi

Yup, that's what the full drain fresh water tank / blowout process can take on a big trailer .....

Bob
I'm in the "huh" camp too. Last week, about 1.5 to 2 hours to blow out lines ,bypass water heater and filter, and install antifreeze. On a 30 classic. Spring drain flush and make ready, takes maybe 2 hours.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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I'm in the "huh" camp too. Last week, about 1.5 to 2 hours to blow out lines ,bypass water heater and filter, and install antifreeze. On a 30 classic. Spring drain flush and make ready, takes maybe 2 hours.
Hi

Pop open the drain on the fresh water and it's still dripping 18 hours later. Blow out the lines and you get them completely dry. Come back after they have settled for an hour and you get water once again. Let it settle for another couple hours, blow out for 15 to 30 minutes and they are totally dry. Settle again and you get water .... keep up the step and repeat ....

Bob
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:58 PM   #15
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That’s a lot of blowing uncle bob
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:09 PM   #16
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That’s a lot of blowing uncle bob
Hi

Not the first time the description "blow hard" has floated around

Keep in mind that my target is a "no antifreeze" solution. The idea is to get that last little bit out of the system. If you are chugging down the road and want to use the system a bit further down the road, my assumption is you would have the same objective.

Bob
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:42 PM   #17
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We don’t drink our water from the tank or the campgrounds.
1). I don’t trust the sanitation of the tank.
2). I don’t trust the campground water as well.

We buy water (generally in gallon jugs) and take it with us.

So probably not as fussy as uncleBob. Although when I flush the anti-freeze do our best to get it out of the system. Just not probably going to get every single molecule out of the system
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:49 PM   #18
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Lots of responses about heat in the trailer, freezing lines, etc, but I interpreted the question to be about towing on what may be slippery roads.

I have towed box trailers through the Rockies (Vancouver to Calgary) in the snow and ice. I used an AWD SUV, not a pickup. We just really slow down. Whatever you think is the right space to leave, increase it. If someone jumps into it, fine, let them go. We also adjust our expectations for how much distance we will cover per day. And we make sure we don't get caught up in having to be somewhere on a specific date. If we need to take an extra day through the mountains, so be it.

I expected to see our Trailer Stability Control (TSC) light come on through Roger's Pass on snow covered roads. It never did. I played with it in a parking lot, and got the traction control to come on, but never the TSC. I was doing this at relatively low speeds.

We will go through Rogers Pass (Vancouver to Calgary) in a month towing a loaded vehicle trailer. Same approach as above. I am looking for chains for the tow vehicle (a truck), as it won't be AWD.

Many years ago I drove a 4wd tow truck. We had relatively more business when the roads were slippery, so lots of winter towing. Same rules, slow down and leave space. We used 4WD there even on pavement, if it was slippery. And we chained up before we needed to, not after.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:10 AM   #19
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Slippery Roads!

One old truck driver trick from “back in the day” if you want ensure that the trailer stays behind you is to disable the brake on one wheel of the trailer. The rest can lock up but the one freewheeling will keep traction authority and keep it straight. Keep in mind that this is not quite legal. I also would not do this on a single axle trailer but with two or three axles one wheel disabled is not going to make a whole lot of difference. Some may disagree!!! Just throwin’ it out there!!! Motor On!!!
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:34 AM   #20
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We did and won’t.

Several years we left Michigan in a motorhome in January when “the roads were good”. We will NEVER DO IT AGAIN. We drove on maybe 20 miles of roads where they had used both salt and sand. The unit was never the same. Washed it when we got there including laying under it to spray and wipe. Obviously couldn’t get it totally off and for the life of the unit areas of rust and corrosion continued to appear. I know others do but we won’t.
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