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Towing in the snow

CR_CRUISER
Explorer
Explorer
I have to tow my 27'fifth wheel about 80 miles tomorrow. It's calling for 6-8" of snow today and tomorrow. Any tips or tricks?
I have a GMC Sierra 4X4 with good winter tires. I do have cable chains.
Thanks in advance.
26 REPLIES 26

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
CR CRUISER wrote:
I have to tow my 27'fifth wheel about 80 miles tomorrow. It's calling for 6-8" of snow today and tomorrow. Any tips or tricks?
I have a GMC Sierra 4X4 with good winter tires. I do have cable chains.
Thanks in advance.


I think the OP’s needs either have or haven’t been met, but the comments are getting nasty (and some are just absurd).

CR CRUISER, you’re welcome to ask me to reopen your thread if you want to discuss it further.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
JRscooby wrote:
ssthrd wrote:


I have to say that Western Canada could learn a thing or two about snow and ice control from you 'Mericans. Nevada, Idaho, and Montana crews were right on it. Got to the Alberta border and it was like night and day. It was like 2 tracks of ice for the last 1,000 miles or so. Took 3½ days from Coutts to Terrace.

Not many idiots and only a couple of white knuckle moments in the mountains, so not so bad.

Just had ta get home, ya know!!


In the hours of trying to miss the idiots I have often wondered if much of the money spent clearing roads would not be better spent educating people about how to prepare/stay home until roads clear. What makes you think you are so important that you must get to work? Push that paper next week.
I can remember the state transportation dept would dump piles of cinders along the side of hiways. Steeper the hill, piles closer together. Every car was expected to carry chains, bucket, and shovel. Can't get up the hill? Spread cinders. And if in town, the car in front of you was stuck, you got out and helped push them.


Well, shoot. Lol
I can answer the question to your years of wonderment.
What you’re saying makes zero sense. And that’s why snowplow money doesn’t get spent on educating people to stay home…..hahaha.
Thanks for the laugh.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

ssthrd
Explorer
Explorer
No disrespect to engineers. This was a one time only occurrence with this one particular person.
2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2013 Palomino Maverick 2902
2018 GMC 3500HD, 4x4, 6.5' box, SRW, Denali, Duramax, Andersen
DeeBee, JayBee, and Jed the Black Lab

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll)

ssthrd
Explorer
Explorer
I agree, although it seems like the older I get, the more I see the difference between educated and intelligent. Not to generalize, but wow! I had a disagreement with a Civil engineer awhile back when he stressed that the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle was shorter than one of the sides. On a battered wall, he argued that the difference in elevation was not the vertical distance, but the distance along the slope from bottom of wall to the top. And the top elevation was critical. The Pythagorean theorem is pretty basic, but I digress.......

I agree that education could make a difference, but a rigid budget over a life doesn't make sense. I realize that trying to budget for snow/ice control is a **** shoot, but that's what contingencies are for. It would be great if one could always have something in the pot for unforeseen events. A cap could be established and protected so that the money doesn't disappear to pay for something else if it is not used.

In the not too distant past, in anticipation of snow, brine was used in my area on the roads before an anticipated storm if it was not too cold to be effective. Wasn't always needed but was there when it was and gave the boys a good head start when the plows came out. Nowadays, proactive is not part of the program, because it's not a pay item in the contract. And naturally the owner has to look after his dollars while the contractor can't do work for free.

I'm out. Not sure where all that came from. I just have to vent now and then. Lol
2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2013 Palomino Maverick 2902
2018 GMC 3500HD, 4x4, 6.5' box, SRW, Denali, Duramax, Andersen
DeeBee, JayBee, and Jed the Black Lab

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll)

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
ssthrd wrote:


I have to say that Western Canada could learn a thing or two about snow and ice control from you 'Mericans. Nevada, Idaho, and Montana crews were right on it. Got to the Alberta border and it was like night and day. It was like 2 tracks of ice for the last 1,000 miles or so. Took 3½ days from Coutts to Terrace.

Not many idiots and only a couple of white knuckle moments in the mountains, so not so bad.

Just had ta get home, ya know!!


In the hours of trying to miss the idiots I have often wondered if much of the money spent clearing roads would not be better spent educating people about how to prepare/stay home until roads clear. What makes you think you are so important that you must get to work? Push that paper next week.
I can remember the state transportation dept would dump piles of cinders along the side of hiways. Steeper the hill, piles closer together. Every car was expected to carry chains, bucket, and shovel. Can't get up the hill? Spread cinders. And if in town, the car in front of you was stuck, you got out and helped push them.

ssthrd
Explorer
Explorer
Longest for me was pulling our 30' TT from Wells, Nevada to Terrace, BC on our way home from Vegas. I was trying to get ahead of a huge storm which I knew was coming, but didn't make it past Wells. Had to hole up in a truck stop in Twin Falls, Idaho for a couple of days to wait out the worst of the storm, then north on I15 to Coutts, Alberta, then to Edmonton, Alberta, and to home in Terrace, BC. About 1500 miles I think.

I have to say that Western Canada could learn a thing or two about snow and ice control from you 'Mericans. Nevada, Idaho, and Montana crews were right on it. Got to the Alberta border and it was like night and day. It was like 2 tracks of ice for the last 1,000 miles or so. Took 3½ days from Coutts to Terrace.

Not many idiots and only a couple of white knuckle moments in the mountains, so not so bad.

Just had ta get home, ya know!!
2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2013 Palomino Maverick 2902
2018 GMC 3500HD, 4x4, 6.5' box, SRW, Denali, Duramax, Andersen
DeeBee, JayBee, and Jed the Black Lab

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll)

rhagfo
Explorer
Explorer
OP still hasn’t posted back if they went, or how it went.
Longest tow in snow for myself was two horse trailer from Butte, MT to just east of Spokane, WA back in about 1998. Done with an F250 4x4, no issues even coming down Lookout pass.
Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

"Visit and Enjoy Oregon State Parks"

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Old driver told me a trick over half century ago, that a lot of disaster happens when it is cold, dark, and the pavement has been wet all day.
KEEP A WINDOW OPEN to hear tires splash! That sound starting to change is first indication black ice is forming.

RickLight
Explorer III
Explorer III
Regardless of OP, I say thanks for the pointers.

We're experienced towing and live well north, but rarely tow in significant snow. I hope I remember it all when the time comes.
Rick,

2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
PullRite Superglide

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
His last login was yesterday morning.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
I'm going to SWAG, we will not ever find out what happened, ie did he pull the trailer, or not! He has 241 posts since he joined in 2006. Other than less than one post a day, I can't see when his last log in was to know if he has even looked logged in.

Would be kind of nice to know how he did or did not fair.

A LOT of good suggestions by folks too.

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II
SpeakEasy wrote:
As to the idea of using the shoulder - if you know the road and can trust that it really is only a couple inches lower than the road surface, then yes, use it.

However - I have gotten stuck once because the surface of unplowed snow on the shoulder was equal in height to the road surface, concealing the fact that the shoulder was 6" or more lower than the road surface. YIKES!

-Speak
+1

I pulled onto the shoulder as to change drivers at 3am. Looked innocent enough. Slid gently down about 12 feet. Took close to 45 minutes to get back up on the road. Luckily a trucker stopped to help. At least at the end I was wide awake and continued driving the last four hours. Would have needed a tow truck or some recovery gear if I was towing.

SpeakEasy
Explorer
Explorer
As to the idea of using the shoulder - if you know the road and can trust that it really is only a couple inches lower than the road surface, then yes, use it.

However - I have gotten stuck once because the surface of unplowed snow on the shoulder was equal in height to the road surface, concealing the fact that the shoulder was 6" or more lower than the road surface. YIKES!

-Speak
It's just Mrs. SpeakEasy and me now (empty-nesters). But we can choose from among 7 grandchildren to drag along with us!



2014 F-150 Super Crew Short Bed 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Flagstaff Micro Lite 23LB

PA12DRVR
Explorer
Explorer
Having just (10 minutes ago) completed a 95 mile trip to Los Anchorage with boat (not RV) in tow, I'd second what everyone has said and would emphasize:
- Slow is your friend, but if there's a part of the road that is straight, level, and consistent conditions, don't go 35 in a 65 mph zone....right or wrong, other drivers anticipate something below the speed limit, not 50% or less.
- Back off on the gain on the trailer.
- Plan on stopping at every light you hit. If you don't have to stop, less harm caused by a slow passage on green than a panic out-of-control slide on yellow or red.
- I don't believe in cable chains. Never had much success with them and would recommend (as above) diamond / V-Bar / Pewag chain chains if you'll be routinely driving on packed snow, ice, deep snow etc. That being said, make sure any chains are properly tensioned so that you don't get chain lash slapping your tow vehicle or trailer.
- If the lanes in the road are packed snow (or ice), don't hesitate to use the shoulder for stopping. The difference in drag of even a couple inches of fresh snow vs. black ice is noticeable.
- Watch out for the idjits driving other vehicles.
CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN

4x4ord
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