Towing 13' in snow - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-22-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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Towing 13' in snow

Hello,

I recently bought a 13' Scamp to use as a "ski cabin" for the winter. Having never towed anything before, I was wondering whether folks, carried chains for the trailer. I know for cars, chains go on the driving axle. Didn't know if chains were necessary to create extra traction.

Thanks,
Becca
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BeccaC View Post
Hello,

I recently bought a 13' Scamp to use as a "ski cabin" for the winter. Having never towed anything before, I was wondering whether folks, carried chains for the trailer. I know for cars, chains go on the driving axle. Didn't know if chains were necessary to create extra traction.

Thanks,
Becca
Becca.....
No chains on trailers. Not as far as i ever seen except for maybe some logging trails in the back woods. I drove semi's for the better part of thirty years and will say that trailers and snow are a bad combination that improves with experience. Being you never towed before please be extra careful and slow down a lot. You will find when in snow and you apply the brakes a little too hard that the trailer will start to swing around and one of the ways to stop it is to take your foot off the brake to get it back to tracking behind the tow vehicle...... find yourself a large parking lot and wait for it to snow and then practice there to see how it will react. slushy snow is not too bad but a hard packed frozen snow ( no spray coming off the rear of truck tires when they pass you)is not safe and probably better to pull off and wait for the salt trucks.......... experience is the best teacher and it's hard to tell all here in a short paragraph.
Joe
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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Like Joe said, no chains. I'm used to pull a trailer with snowmobiles on it.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaC View Post
Hello,

I recently bought a 13' Scamp to use as a "ski cabin" for the winter. Having never towed anything before, I was wondering whether folks, carried chains for the trailer. I know for cars, chains go on the driving axle. Didn't know if chains were necessary to create extra traction.

Thanks,
Becca
The question is does the trailer have brakes. If so then, down here in Oregon chains would be required on the trailer when chains are required on the tow. At least that's my understanding of the law.
Without brakes on the trailer chains on the trailer make no sense.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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If there is snow under your trailer tires, you have gone too far north! Turn around!
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:06 AM   #6
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Another thing to consider is how much room do you have between the tire and the fiberglass....I have about 1-1/2" of clearance in the frontmost part of my tire. Wouldn't take much to chew up the fiberglass.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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Another note is that snow often means road salt. These trailers are not made with a super robust frame to begin with (they are made to be light and economical), so you don't have a lot of "extra" material to lose to rust. Also, there are likely areas where it is easy for the salt to get in and collect (crevices, tubing).

Just something to think about in your maintenance and preparation.

For myself, I lived (and drove) most of my life in snow country, and I feel pretty good about driving in snow, yet a trailer.... no thank you! (I have done it; but would not plan it on purpose.) If you are planning to tow up once in fall and down in spring, then I think I would just watch for a good weather window and avoid the snow. If it's for weekends.... I'd be tempted to get a van or similar and not tow a trailer.

Raya
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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When we pulled our 13' Scamp home from Backus, MN we hit a snow storm in Rochester all the way back to Decorah, IA. Then last April, moving back from Montana we got to pull a 12' Uhaul moving trailer from Dickinson to Bismark, ND in a snow storm on our way back to Iowa. People in ditches, iodiots passing you, power lines going down, white outs. My children give me enough gray hair.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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I started a big argument on this very subject a few years ago. My trailer has brakes so I always chain the trailer when chains are required on my vehicle. If I should happen to stop unexpectedly I don't want my trailer to try to pass me.
If your trailer has brakes you need to chain it when you have to chain the TV.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raya L. View Post
Another note is that snow often means road salt.
Raya
I see Becca is in Washington state. Don't know about Washington, but in Oregon we DON'T salt our roads. It's an environmental issue and you may know, Oregonians are tree huggers.

However, if I either lived on the coast (salt air) OR thought I'd be pulling a trailer on salted roads, I'd keep in mind the message Raya is conveying... frame maintenance and then paint the entire frame with POR15.

YMMV
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:19 AM   #11
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If there is snow under your trailer tires, you have gone too far north! Turn around!
there is s(no)w hope for me then...
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:41 AM   #12
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Bazinga!
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #13
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Exclamation West Coast Trailer Chain Laws

Tire Chain Laws By State

Washington State Law:
Use of tire chains or other traction devices.
Quote:
(1) Vehicles under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
When traffic control signs are posted by the department of transportation it will be unlawful for any vehicle to enter the controlled area without having mounted on its drive tires the traction device specified by the sign, which must also meet the requirements of WAC 204-24-040.
Washington State does not seem to have any requirements for Non-Commercial Trailers under 10,000 pounds.

Oregon State Law
Minimum Chains Required
Quote:
(3) A vehicle or trailer towed by a light or medium duty vehicle described in sections (1) or (2) of this rule shall have chains on one tire on each side of one axle if the tow item is equipped with a brake.
California State Law
Chain Requirements
Quote:
NOTES
RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
• All vehicles, including four wheel drive vehicles, that
are towing trailers must have chains on one drive axle.
Trailers with brakes must have chains on one axle.
• Front wheel drive vehicles must have chains on
front (drive) axle.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:52 PM   #14
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I stand corrected.... being from the east coast i never seen or heard of trailers with brakes having to have chains installed when posted by a sign.Assuming is not good..... Learn something new everyday. Thanks for the Update.
Joe
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