Any Tips for Towing in the Snow - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-19-2019, 05:41 PM   #1
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Any Tips for Towing in the Snow

So it looks like our Thanksgiving trip might include a bit of driving in the snow. I'm fairly new to towing and am just wondering if any of you have tow in the winter can provide me with some pointers.

I have trailer brakes and a 2018 4WD Toyota Tacoma that we will be towing a 2016 Casita with.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:54 PM   #2
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I tow in the snow all the time. I use winter tires on the truck, and use care when driving, especially when slippery. On real wet slippery snow I usually wait.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:01 PM   #3
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I tow in the snow all the time. I use winter tires on the truck, and use care when driving, especially when slippery. On real wet slippery snow I usually wait.
Anything special you do with the trailer?

I have the stock tires on there still, don't think I have enough time or funds at the moment to get new tires. Living in Utah we can get wet or dry snow and it can change within a couple of miles. Right now it looks like they are predicting about 6 inches in a couple of days over Thanksgiving. Of course we are a bit over a week out so the forecast could change several times before then.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:58 PM   #4
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In your case, avoid it if at all possible. Just because someone else does it "all the time", it doesn't mean you should. Especially with old stock street tires, and little experience.

Setting your trailer brakes will be tricky. The trailer will easily spin you out without brakes and will be all over the place if it skids, which it will very easily. In some places, if you chain up the tow vehicle, you must also chain up the trailer. Imagine yourself trying to stop, on a curve, with almost no traction, and a trailer flailing around behind you.

Spend an extra day and wait for the roads to dry out, or at least, for them to get salted.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:35 PM   #5
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In your case, avoid it if at all possible. Just because someone else does it "all the time", it doesn't mean you should. Especially with old stock street tires, and little experience.

Setting your trailer brakes will be tricky. The trailer will easily spin you out without brakes and will be all over the place if it skids, which it will very easily. In some places, if you chain up the tow vehicle, you must also chain up the trailer. Imagine yourself trying to stop, on a curve, with almost no traction, and a trailer flailing around behind you.

Spend an extra day and wait for the roads to dry out, or at least, for them to get salted.
Thanks for the advice. If it appears to bad our trip just may have to get cancelled and eat the cost of the campground. Luckily the state is used to bad weather and especially around the holidays will be on top of things.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:07 PM   #6
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In your case, avoid it if at all possible. Just because someone else does it "all the time", it doesn't mean you should. Especially with old stock street tires, and little experience.
I know you don't think so, but I do have an idea what I am talking about, along with a horde of experience. Sorry you feel it was bad info I gave to the OP, but it does work well for me, year after year.

Was towing in the snow we were receiving today.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:11 PM   #7
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We get snow here, once in a while. I have a 4X4 and it wears snow tires. When it snows, I stay home, if at all possible. If you're not on the road, you're less likely to be involved in an accident with some other driver who just got his license and owns a car with bald summer tires.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:11 PM   #8
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Anything special you do with the trailer?

I have the stock tires on there still, don't think I have enough time or funds at the moment to get new tires. Living in Utah we can get wet or dry snow and it can change within a couple of miles. Right now it looks like they are predicting about 6 inches in a couple of days over Thanksgiving. Of course we are a bit over a week out so the forecast could change several times before then.
There is nothing I do with respect to the trailer regarding towing in the snow, just the tow vehicle. For the most part, I would not consider towing in the snow without the proper tires.

I have used snow tires in Utah the last couple winters, and in a couple circumstances was certainly glad to have them. Heading north starting from before Salt Lake City it started raining, then turned to hard blowing snow shortly after that. Still made it all the way to Idaho City to overnight at the Walmart there.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:13 PM   #9
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We get snow here, once in a while. I have a 4X4 and it wears snow tires. When it snows, I stay home, if at all possible. If you're not on the road, you're less likely to be involved in an accident with some other driver who just got his license and owns a car with bald summer tires.
With my truck, the winter tires give me a horde more traction on bare pavement that is down near freezing or cooler, especially when starting out when towing.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:40 PM   #10
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As a news photographer, whenever Vancouver faced "WHITE HELL" I'd get sent out to cover the accidents and trouble spots, driving my company Neon with snow tires. My job was to photograph cars in the ditch and wrapped around power poles. I managed to get there and back.
After work, I parked it and stayed home ( I'd already been to the grocery and beer store on company time ).
Best advice is "Shelter in place".
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:21 PM   #11
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Because you have brakes on your trailer if you are going to travel in snow you should have chains for the trailer tires as well as the tow vehicle.
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:42 PM   #12
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winter towing

[QUOTE= I'm fairly new to towing and am just wondering if any of you have tow in the winter can provide me with some pointers.


Slow down, never use cruise control, and wash the ice melt off the frame.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I know you don't think so, but I do have an idea what I am talking about, along with a horde of experience. Sorry you feel it was bad info I gave to the OP, but it does work well for me, year after year.

Was towing in the snow we were receiving today.
Perhaps you should re-read my post. I never said you did not know what you are doing. There is no hidden meaning in what I write. I said that you doing it "all the time", is not good advice for him. In fact, that is not advice at all. Be more specific with pointers about "how" you do it. That is what he asked for. Everyone knows we have to be careful, but there is more to it in the snow, as you know.

With limited experience and the wrong tires, it sounds like we agree that he should wait.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:38 AM   #14
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Because you have brakes on your trailer if you are going to travel in snow you should have chains for the trailer tires as well as the tow vehicle.
I agree. Even though it is a lot of extra cold and wet work. And then you'll have to turn the controller way down because of the limited traction. And with chains, keep the speed very low, like 25 max.

I never use chains with just the truck, but I have chained up while towing. Chained the truck and the trailer, that is.

It's much more fun to be sitting in the trailer parked when it's snowing.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #15
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... I do have an idea what I am talking about, along with a horde of experience. ....
I think this hits the nail on the head.... experience.

I noted the guy from Alberta is OK with towing in the snow. The guy from Nevada not so much. So the comfort factor, or lack of it, likely comes from experience driving in snow.

I grew up in upstate New York and learned how to drive in snow. Then when I moved south I was amazed at how bad the drivers were when we had a rare southern snow. But of course they were just inexperienced.

Personally I would avoid towing in snow since I have no experience with it, and if I had to gain experience towing in snow then I would try to do it a little at a time.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:43 AM   #16
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Because you have brakes on your trailer if you are going to travel in snow you should have chains for the trailer tires as well as the tow vehicle.
The use of chains is needed in some cases. I never calculated the number of kilometres I have towed in snow and ice, but it has been well over 100,000.

I used chains on tractor units towing large trailers as needed in hilly or mountainous snow/ice conditions, but never on a trailer. I know they have been needed on trailers, but I did try to avoid these conditions with big units.

I have used chains on a pickup to tow trailers a few times, but never on a highway, mostly just to get the trailer out of deep snow storage.

Around town and on the highway I have never used chains while towing, it would not be a good road condition as I would impede traffic due to my speed. Around here there are quite a few work trailers towed around during the winter, it is a necessity, and none use chains on either the truck or trailer.

I know there are some roads that during slick road conditions make it the law to use chains but I have never hit that with a pickup and trailer myself, and would do my best to avoid it if at all possible. I know a few people who hit those conditions and waited a day or two and the need for chains was lifted, and on they went.

I guess having lived my life where we get winter driving conditions for many, many months of the year and having needed to tow hordes for work alone my entire life, I have just got used to dealing with the conditions.

I will be towing around town today and we got a bunch of snow yesterday.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:58 AM   #17
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When we went South in the winter ( Wisconsin to Florida) it was inevitable that it would snow the day we were leaving or on the way down or on the way back home
If we wanted to avoid towing in the snow , we had two choices , stay home or go South in the Summer
We didn’t have snow tires or chains on our vehicle or our trailer , we just reset our trailer brakes , slowed down and made sure the window washer tank was full
Last trip coming home we were driving in 12” of snow when we hit the Wisconsin border .
Most of the country has figured out that a 1/2” of snow is not a reason to stay home , shut everything down and go into panic mode.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:07 AM   #18
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I believe the “guy in Nevada” lives near Reno, which has a real winter and mountains, too. For that matter, so does my corner of AZ. Not Alberta cold and wind, of course (for which I am thankful).

Mountains make a big difference in what you can get away with (and what equipment is required by law). So do high winds and blowing snow, which disproportionately affect a high profile travel trailer.

I wouldn’t say never, but you have to know the limits of your equipment and experience (revised downward significantly when towing), as well as the conditions on the roads you’ll be traveling. It’s a lot riskier when heading out on unfamiliar roads. I myself would not be comfortable descending an icy or snow-packed mountain grade with a travel trailer.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:32 AM   #19
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We didn’t have snow tires or chains on our vehicle or our trailer , we just reset our trailer brakes , slowed down and made sure the window washer tank was full
.

Steve,

Would you mind explaining "we just reset our trailer brakes" I assume you are referring to electric brakes. Just wondering how since we are expecting to leave the northeast and travel to Fla. beginning of Feb, and its possible we may encounter snow as well.


Thanks,

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Old 11-20-2019, 10:33 AM   #20
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I appreciate all of the responses. I do have significant experience driving regularly in snow having spent my entire life in Idaho and Northern Utah. I just don’t have the experience of towing in snow. The tires I have on the TV are all season and have 13,000 miles on them.

Luckily we are not headed to the mountains we are heading to the Needles district of canyonlands on roads that I have travelled many times, just never with a trailer.

I am curious about how you determine what adjustments should be made to the trailer brakes for towing the n snowy conditions?

I think it is going to come down to if I feel comfortable or not. If I have any trepidation I think it might turn into a tent trip. We plan to spend most of the time on rather lengthy hikes but would still be nice to have a comfy trailer to come back to as opposed to a tent.
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