Snow Belt in UP of MI, driving on snow packed roads? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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Snow Belt in UP of MI, driving on snow packed roads?

Okay I am in the UP of MI and will be parking Escape 17B without cover 1st year until I figure out where to put up a car port for all seasons but winter. I won't be able to use my camper in the winter if I park in my drive. Too steep of a hill to get out or to get back in. I planned on using the escape for a couple of months in the winter (be a snow bird). My neighbor has told me I can park on their property for the winter they have a spot on a flat road I can use that has sand/gravel used for traction occasionally.
I will have a big hill to get up on a county rd that is snow packed but sand and gravel applied for traction. All our roads up here are snow packed all winter until you get to a US highway. The road I am on is a private road, gravel and we pay a private snow plower, no sand/gravel used for traction. Any thoughts from others in snow country about towing on snow packed roads???? up/down steep hills???? no other way out its the only road. I don't want to be gone for more that a couple of months.
Escape on order for next year. Tow vehicle is a 2010 Rav4 6 cylinder.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:38 AM   #2
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Check with you're local towing laws as it pertains to winter driving. Out here in Oregon there are times when chains are required. In the case of towing a trailer with brakes that would mean chains on both the tow vehicle and the trailer.
If you have an anti sway bar that needs to be disconnected to drive on slick roads.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:13 PM   #3
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Chains would give you considerably better traction in the situation you described. But,
1 - they area real pain to put on.
2 - they may not work on your tow vehicle.
3 - if conditions are really bad and you need chains on your trailer, make
absolutely sure you have adequate clearance.


I've seen lots of damage done to vehicles by tire chains hitting fenders on vehicles and can only imagine how badly a fiberglass trailer would be damaged if a chain was loose. As Byron said, here in the Western states chains can be "required" if conditions are bad, meaning you can not go down the road without them. If conditions are really bad there may be a requirement to have chains on the trailer (all axles) at times. Personally, I carry chains for the rear wheels of my 4X4 and that's all. If I'm forced to stay off the road (hasn't happened yet) I can stay in the trailer. Have a safe trip.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Chains would give you considerably better traction in the situation you described. But,
1 - they area real pain to put on.
2 - they may not work on your tow vehicle.
3 - if conditions are really bad and you need chains on your trailer, make
absolutely sure you have adequate clearance.


I've seen lots of damage done to vehicles by tire chains hitting fenders on vehicles and can only imagine how badly a fiberglass trailer would be damaged if a chain was loose. As Byron said, here in the Western states chains can be "required" if conditions are bad, meaning you can not go down the road without them. If conditions are really bad there may be a requirement to have chains on the trailer (all axles) at times. Personally, I carry chains for the rear wheels of my 4X4 and that's all. If I'm forced to stay off the road (hasn't happened yet) I can stay in the trailer. Have a safe trip.
It really doesn't matter what Washington, or Oregon towing laws are. It doesn't matter what you or I do. What matters is the winter towing laws for states the going through in the winter.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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Our approach to snow is to not drive when it snows or the roads are snow covered. Living in NH, the main roads are generally cleared with the local side roads snow covered. Last year was extraordinary with continuous snow.

Our solution is to leave before the first 'stick to the ground' snow. If we happen to be in an area that gets surprise snow, it's happened early in the Dakotas and South Carolina, we just stay put until the snow stops and the roads are cleared.

Real snow birds head to Florida before the snow hits the ground in the north.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrthwds View Post
Okay I am in the UP of MI and will be parking Escape 17B without cover 1st year until I figure out where to put up a car port for all seasons but winter. I won't be able to use my camper in the winter if I park in my drive. Too steep of a hill to get out or to get back in. I planned on using the escape for a couple of months in the winter (be a snow bird). My neighbor has told me I can park on their property for the winter they have a spot on a flat road I can use that has sand/gravel used for traction occasionally.
I will have a big hill to get up on a county rd that is snow packed but sand and gravel applied for traction. All our roads up here are snow packed all winter until you get to a US highway. The road I am on is a private road, gravel and we pay a private snow plower, no sand/gravel used for traction. Any thoughts from others in snow country about towing on snow packed roads???? up/down steep hills???? no other way out its the only road. I don't want to be gone for more that a couple of months.
Escape on order for next year. Tow vehicle is a 2010 Rav4 6 cylinder.
Make sure your Rav4 has the tow pkg. Carl
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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How about hiring someone with a big truck to get your trailer to the paved roads?
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:00 PM   #8
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I have a similar issue in the winter. I talked to the guy who plows the roads for our township ,gave him the day we were leaving , a $20 bill and a case of Leines beer Problem solved
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:20 PM   #9
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Linda---perhaps, in light of the road conditions in your area, you might be better served to store your Escape in a place closer to the hwy....since you mention that those roads are usually snow-free.

Alternately, maybe going south for the whole winter?
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:50 PM   #10
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You don't seem to be getting your question answered. So I'll give it a shot. I drive between Oregon and CA almost every winter. I driven on packed snow and ice towing my trailer.

First off when it's getting close to time for you to leave check the weather and road conditions for the route you want to take.
Try to time the leaving for the best conditions.
If you must drive on packed snow and ice it's about the same as driving without the trailer on snow and ice but magnified several times. Avoid braking if possible. No hard braking or quick turns or rapid acceleration. If you have an anti-sway device remove it until you get on dry pavement.

You have white knuckles, so if you feel fatigued stop and rest a bit. Your hands are going to get tired. Easy does it, that means drive slowly.

Look for alternative routes.

Remember you're traveling for fun, don't get in a hurry.

As I've said before know and follow the winter towing laws, each state is different. The biggest reason for following the laws is when somebody comes around the too fast and hits you the liability won't be on your shoulders.

Good luck.
You didn't say where you're headed.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:08 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the good suggestions and feedback. My Rav4 does have the tow package. I don't really want to use chains. I will have a WDH from Escape.
I did think of asking the guy that plows our road to pull the trailer out and take it to town which would be past all the big hills and only 2.3 miles. Funny how you don't think of these things until you get a trailer. I live in a very pretty hilly area. If I get the snow off the trailer roof occasionally, every time there is a foot or two will it be okay storing outside. I'm still looking for inside storage near the HWY.
I know snowbirds fly away when it starts to snow but I don't want to leave in oct/nov and not return until may. Yes, we have snow for 6 months. I would like to go for a couple of months and come back when the snow is gone. I would need to dry camp on the way and would try to time it for when there are no storms. No snow or ice on the major roads. Where would I camp on the way south? Lots of things to plan. Anybody who has done this and suggestions please let me know.
How far south do I have to go before it warms up above freezing? Where do you spend the winter in the south?
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:47 AM   #12
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Towing in Winter months

I have towed RV trailers (larger about 4000 lbs. ones with dual axle) etc. never used chains on the trailer or tow vehicle which is an Econoline E350. I go slow, listen to weather reports, stay in my RV or motel until I think it is safe. I back off the trailer brakes as much as possible and don't use equalizers. I go as far south as possible before heading east or west. I have hit wet, slippery snow conditions well south of Atlanta and it can be worse there. I pack the van & trailer properly - all possible weight removed from trailer and in truck.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:03 AM   #13
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Linda, You also need to be aware of elevation. For me heading south means going over mountain passes. If I go south 300 miles I run into a much greater possibility of snow.


If you tell us what your destination is we could offer more help
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #14
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I'm confused, you talk about upper Michigan but you live in Wisconsin?
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