Towing in bad weather? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Glenn Baglo;352521]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Another factor is the weight of the tow vehicle. Obviously the heavier, the better, as it will handle the added weight of the trailer better. I would feel better using a pickup in poor conditions, rather than a Subaru.

Better yet, put the Subaru in the pickup bed for extra traction.
yup that's been my experience with pickups. LOL More than a few pick up owners I know will attest that its a very humbling experience to have to abandon their picks ups (of all sizes & makes) on a unplowed mountain pass in the wee hours of the morning and be rescued by a little Subaru Outback in order to get to a ski race on time and thats without chains on the Outback.

The Outbacks curb weigh is about the same as a Toyota Tacoma - in recent years they have actually gone back & forth as to which one out weighs the other & often only differ in curb weight by about a 150lbs depending on the Outback model. The 2013 Outback 3.6 actually outweighs the 2013 regular cab Tacoma's curb weight by 300lbs. Suspect the more equally distribution of weight is what give the Outback the edge in the snow.

Have pulled a trailer twice the weight of the OP's with an Outback through snow storms in both the Cascade's and Siskiyou Passes and never had the trailer do so much as a small wiggle. The car is very capable of towing the trailer very solidly.

The state/type of the tires on the OP's car & trailer would give me a much bigger concern than the weight of the car and its ability to control the trailer due to the cars weight.

Hoping they have a safe trip.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #30
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Sorry I just did a quick look back and see the OP is not using an Outback to tow but it looks like it may be a 2012 Forester? A quick look at the specs reveals the same as above applies regarding vehicle weights. The 2012 Forester may actually have a bit of an edge, all be it 50lbs more than the curb weight of a Toyota Tacoma base model.

I agree with others though that the fact that Subaru requires brakes on trailers over 1000lbs and the OP apparently doesnt have trailer brakes is not a good thing in any driving conditions. Although it has been noted the OP hasn't weighed their trailer so there is a slight chance it doesn't weigh more than a 1000lbs. If it was mine I would weigh the trailer sooner rather than later to be safe.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #31
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If the trailer is over 1000 it isn't much over as I carry practically nothing in terms of extras, but I don't want to debate that again. I can take the hills in question at 55-60 in the summer with no problems. The trailer was made without brakes for smaller cars than mine to tow. It's not as if it were modified to remove brakes. Tires have less than 5000 miles on them (tow) and trailer tires will get checked tomorrow. (They could be due for replacing.)

Right now the forecast is for sunny and dry all week so I'm not going to worry; if that changes I'll detour to 101. I did plug the heater in to try to dry out the interior (in case I want to use it or change my mind about taking it.) It isn't very wet so I'm wondering how much was due to residual moisture vaporizing and then condensing again; kind of raining inside. If I can dry it out and then use duct tape to seal off where water might be getting in I might leave it here.

I did check the owner's manual and learned I'm not supposed to use chains at all. It does say something called "Spring chains" may work. I'm not sure what those are and googling hasn't helped, but I'll ask at Les Schwab when I go check the tires on the trailer. (Tow had a tire repaired last week so it's good.) Since chain requirements are usually to use them if towing (when they are required) I wouldn't be able to tow if chains are required unless I find some. (But don't plan to, anyway.)

And I did find out that chains on the trailer are only required if the trailer has brakes.

I'm really more concerned with the logistics- if I did hit a patch of unexpected ice (or slick pavement due to heavy rain as has happened to me on 101) how would I expect the trailer to affect handling? I know braking takes longer with the trailer in tow. What happens if the Anti-lock braking system kicks in ? What about a skid? (I would guess fish-tailing might be worse.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #32
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Per ABS and snow/ice:

This guy's not towing, but it's still a pretty educational dashcam video on the subject:

How To Avoid Death When ABS Becomes Useless. - YouTube

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Old 12-30-2012, 04:30 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Per ABS and snow/ice:

This guy's not towing, but it's still a pretty educational dashcam video on the subject:

How To Avoid Death When ABS Becomes Useless. - YouTube

Francesca
What saves that guy is that he gets behind someone driving slow enough for the adverse road conditions, with chains on, and has to stop speeding.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #34
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he was wearing shorts! Don't think he planned on it snowing....

See that all the time in CO even in the winter. But it's been known to snow here in the summer, then we are all caught off guard. In MT it was always a shock for our guest when it would snow in July, one year we had about 4 inches, guest in shorts and flip flops with puzzeled looks on their faces..





Bobbie, The best advice I can give about driving, towing in bad weather is to slow down! I have driven thousands of miles through bad weather. Mostly because I have choosen to live where bad weather hits. People get in to big of a hurry to get somewhere and that is when things can go really wrong! And a lil FYI, it isn't as important to be able to tow up a grade, it's more important to be able to control and stop coming down the other side!


As for the chains, I don't know that I would run with them on for long periods, but will tell you. If you get into a storm, they could come in handy just to get you to the next safe place to get off the road. Have a great trip, Enjoy!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #35
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I don't drive fast to start with so that's easy.

I'm hoping the Les Schwab people have an answer to chains that are okay on a Forester. The manual says not to use "chains" as there is not room for them in the wheel well. I'd like to at least carry something useful in an emergency. Though, knock on wood, in 30 years of going back and forth to California in December and January, I've never had to put them on. But lots of times it says carry chains, and I've always had them on board (four vehicles worth of unused chains!)
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:37 PM   #36
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:43 PM   #37
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Bobbie... I THINK Les Schwab is one of those places if you buy tire chains and don't use them... you can return them for full price. Keep the receipt! Be sure to ask. I just heard the weather report for PDX. Dry through Wednesday night, then rain... and it's going to be down in the 20s at night which means slippery streets until above freezing. Keep and on the weather south. Safe, safe travels and please, please let us know how it goes!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Bobbie... I THINK Les Schwab is one of those places if you buy tire chains and don't use them... you can return them for full price. Keep the receipt! Be sure to ask. I just heard the weather report for PDX. Dry through Wednesday night, then rain... and it's going to be down in the 20s at night which means slippery streets until above freezing. Keep and on the weather south. Safe, safe travels and please, please let us know how it goes!
That's the tricky part- leaving in the morning after the pavement thaws and stopping (or leaving the mountains) before it freezes again. Mornings tend to be when the ice is worst. I'd also like to do all the mountain driving in daylight, which is in short supply these days.

Good to know, hope that's true about Les Schwab, though I still need them to carry around in winter even if I never use them. I did return one set of chains (don't remember to which store) when I traded up to another car- that was a good deal.

I gave up drying the trailer but figured out the only thing really wet is the memory foam topper and the sheet that was on it, so I think if I decide to leave the trailer here I'll just bring that in to dry, and use duct tape to close off where I think the leaking must be. Still considering my options.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I did check the owner's manual and learned I'm not supposed to use chains at all. It does say something called "Spring chains" may work. I'm not sure what those are and googling hasn't helped, but I'll ask at Les Schwab when I go check the tires on the trailer.
Bobby I believe what Subaru calls Spring Chains are what Les Schwab will call Cable chains with spring rollers - they have a very low profile so your car should have room for them.

There are issues with only putting chains on 2 wheels of an all wheel drive that you should be aware of. My understanding is if you go more than 15 mph and allow either of the two unchained wheels to spin faster than the chained ones you can damage the all wheel drive system. Dont ask me how that works or why - just what I have been told. Been told that its better to chain up all 4 tires on an all wheel drive - but to be honest despite having driven my Subaru many many miles in lots of snow on many a winter week-ends it only really needed to be chained up once for a very short steep road that doesnt appear on any road maps
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:34 PM   #40
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Bobby I believe what Subaru calls Spring Chains are what Les Schwab will call Cable chains with spring rollers - they have a very low profile so your car should have room for them.

There are issues with only putting chains on 2 wheels of an all wheel drive that you should be aware of. My understanding is if you go more than 15 mph and allow either of the two unchained wheels to spin faster than the chained ones you can damage the all wheel drive system. Dont ask me how that works or why - just what I have been told. Been told that its better to chain up all 4 tires on an all wheel drive - but to be honest despite having driven my Subaru many many miles in lots of snow on many a winter week-ends it only really needed to be chained up once for a very short steep road that doesnt appear on any road maps
Subaru says just to use "chains" on the front wheels. (So says the manual.) They do say to go slowly with the chains.

I was thinking they must mean cable chains. That's what I had for the old Subie though I never used them, either.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:53 AM   #41
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Francesca,
this is a good example of your egg watched by all system. Not only good for stolen but could also pull double duty. Members along Bobbie's driving route could offer to help out in case they have trouble on the road. It might have some other good uses too.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:26 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I have rarely hit snow or rain as long as I am flexible about when I leave (which I am.) On 101 I always hit rain so unless it is snowing I'd choose 5.

Chains, hmm, I'd better look for what I did with the Subaru chains just in case. I hope they aren't in Fresno.

Good advice on checking tongue weight and putting some of the load in the trailer.

I probably could block where the water was getting in but since it got in I can't leave the trailer sitting until late spring or it will be full of mold. It can dry out in my garage. It's going to be a royal pain when I arrive as 1) I didn't intend on bringing the trailer back so I only have immediate room for one car in the garage and 2) the Thule box will no longer fit into the garage ON the car, and 3) someone tried to jimmy the indoor lock on my garage so now it won't open (have to leave the garage and enter the house from the street until I fix it. So I'll unload the dogs on the street (take them inside, that is) and then back the trailer in and unhitch it, and the remove the Thule box, and finally go park at my neighbor's (three car garage, both kids now gone.) Hoping this won't be at 11 o'clock at night.
We set the tongue to 170 lbs on ours to meet 8% for Car, have snow tires on the car they are great! Waited a little long this year and it snowed prior to parking trailer in storage, but just a little. We planned on some winter camping, then decided it was better to stick to summer for now. The door hinges have to be removed and reinstalled so the door fits proper that is one of my winter projects. Our trip was uneventful hope yours goes as well.
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