Crossing the U.S. in winter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2015, 02:30 PM   #1
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Crossing the U.S. in winter

Hi All,
Does anyone have experience towing a small trailer across the country in winter? I have a 13' Burro and I'm thinking of going from Massachusetts to Southern CA to visit family for Thanksgiving. I would probably take one of the southern routes but I'm worried about crossing the Rockies. Any advice?

Wendy
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
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Each Febrary/March, we pack up the trailer and head south. I have driven that trip on packed snow, loose snow and ice covered roads. The only advise I can give you is "slow and deliberate, no quick moves". Crossing the Rockies, I would take the southern most interstate highway that makes sense to you! When I lived in Colorado, I found that you can expect anything in November. Good Luck!
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:39 PM   #3
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First, unless you have about a month to travel, don't.... That's a 6500 miles round trip via the southern routes, with at least 6 long days driving each way.


I have driven the northern routes in winter and that's an absolute DON'T DO IT. snow, wind and bad weather is the order of the day across the Rockies and the plains in winter.


I have driven the southern routes in winter as well, via Dallas and Phoenix, and that may avoid the worst of the bad weather, but it does occur in the form of rain, rain, and more rain.


Even at this late date, airfares are still apt to be less than gas and travel expenses.


I just looked and Alaska Airlines can get you from Boston to Los Angles for $400 round trip. Check on the "Low Fare Calendar" on their on-line booking page.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thanks Dennis and Bob for the advice. If I go I do plan to stay for several weeks, no deadline. But I want to drive and take the trailer, that would be part of the fun. Except getting stuck in the snow wouldn't definitely reduce the fun factor so I might wait until spring. Better safe than sorry!
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:10 PM   #5
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Slick roads are a good reason to have Brakes on the camper. Brakes on the camper give you some level of control in keeping the camper behind the tow vehicle.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:57 PM   #6
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Slick roads are a good reason to have Brakes on the camper. Brakes on the camper give you some level of control in keeping the camper behind the tow vehicle.
After crossing the Ozarks on ice, I had a guy with a large stickie fifth wheel tell me just the opposite! He said that you should disable the brakes on slippery roads. Ther was no way that I could convince him otherwise, I just hope that I never meet him on the road.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:57 PM   #7
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Crossing the U.S. in winter

With plenty of time, I think this is a reasonable trip. Now 89, my mother has made several wintertime trips from MD to AZ driving a small motorhome. She usually follows the I-10 route, more or less, with a detour down to the Big Bend area and a stopover for birdwatching in southeastern AZ. The Sonoran Desert is gorgeous in the winter. Gilbert Ray Campground near Tucson and Lost Dutchman State Park near Phoenix are great places to spend a couple of days. We'll be spending Thanksgiving at Lost Dutchman.

I'd want to make sure my schedule allows for extra days along the way to do some sightseeing and/or hunker down for a day or three while a storm blows through. Remember that days are shorter, and adjust your daily mileage so you don't have to drive past sunset. Your biggest challenge will be getting out of the Northeast between storms and into warmer climes.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:14 PM   #8
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We journeyed from Wisconsin to Seattle in Feb of 14. We checked the weather first and chose I 80 instead of 90 to dodge a storm. Pavement was bare and dry til it got wet about 30 miles outside Seattle.

The driving makes for long days since its pretty cold and breezy over the plains and outdoor activities aren't much fun. But after 3 days we had a delightful six weeks on the West coast. We came home in April via a southern route with no trouble.

On the other hand Winters vary, it could have been worse. I would not want to tow far on snow.

John
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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I have done the north to South - BC to Arizona and Calf. The biggest thing is while getting out of colder areas is you need to watch the highway reports and be willing to change plans accordingly or just park it and wait out a storm & the roads are clear again. I have been caught out in a snow storm a couple of times towing and its not fun.

Unless it is a real mild winter and you know the roads through the rockies are clear and are going to stay that way I personally would just head south and go across and avoid the rockies all together.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dennis mn View Post
After crossing the Ozarks on ice, I had a guy with a large stickie fifth wheel tell me just the opposite! He said that you should disable the brakes on slippery roads. Ther was no way that I could convince him otherwise, I just hope that I never meet him on the road.
I suspect he didn't have the brake controller properly calibrated so the trailer wheels were locking up prematurely. So, in his experience, he would be correct, even when he was wrong.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:29 PM   #11
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I suspect he didn't have the brake controller properly calibrated so the trailer wheels were locking up prematurely. So, in his experience, he would be correct, even when he was wrong.
You are most likely correct! I reduced the calibration on mine to limit the braking to a minimum. I also have a Prododgy controller that is most excellent in bad conditions.

The one thing that I can guarantee is that driving on ice while pulling a trailer is one of the most unpleasant driving experiences that you can encounter.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:29 PM   #12
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...I would not want to tow far on snow.
I wouldn't even hitch up on snow. Or ice. But I'm from AZ, so what do I know!
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:33 PM   #13
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HA... AZ is not exempt from iced roads. I skied and ice skated all the way from the Grand Canyon South rim to Flagstaff one November.
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:34 PM   #14
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I have done the north to South - BC to Arizona and Calf. The biggest thing is while getting out of colder areas is you need to watch the highway reports and be willing to change plans accordingly or just park it and wait out a storm & the roads are clear again. I have been caught out in a snow storm a couple of times towing and its not fun.

Unless it is a real mild winter and you know the roads through the rockies are clear and are going to stay that way I personally would just head south and go across and avoid the rockies all together.
Excellent advise. After my first trip south, when I didn't know that Missouri interstates were not salted when ice covered, I wait until the traffic has broken through the slick stuff.
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