Winter towing? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Winter towing?

Hello driving and towing experts,

I bought my 4 season travel trailer and RAM in part to take it skiing. The thought was I would drive it to the ski lifts the night before, and get up for first tracks in the morning, then drive back home that afternoon. So one night, two at the most.

I havenít done this yet because Iíve been nervous about potentially getting caught in bad weather. Note I would NEVER intentionally drive up in snow or a storm or bad weather. This was more for a good weather window or late winter/early spring skiing, when the roads were clear of free snow/no new snow for days. I would bring chains for the vehicle and trailer since they might be required under state law IF we were to get a storm, but I would not go up if such a storm were anywhere in the forecast. So Iíd expect to tow just using the stock tires on both the truck and the trailer (my trailer has E rated trailer tires), no snow tires.

What do you think? What advice would you give me? If I drive cautiously and slowly is this something I can do? I have now driven about 5000 miles of towing over the last two years, and feel comfortable with what Iím doing, but Iím obviously no expert.


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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 08:28 AM
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Ice and compacted snow can be a huge issue on mountain grades even in relatively nice weather, it is not just the stormy weather that can bite you in the azz! Ice that is right at the freezing/thawing temperature can be deadly, and there is nothing in the world as exciting as sliding down a steep hill backward with a trailer dragging you!!!!!
An old cowboy saying........experience is what you get right after you need it the most!!! Chain up BEFORE you NEED them!
Be sure to have some real good winter tires on the Ram, not just something that it came with. Do your research for what is the ďbestĒ.

How much ďwinter driving experienceĒ do you have overall? if not much, I would re-think the whole idea.

Above all......have fun, and good luck.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 09:57 AM
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I donít think going up will be as much issue as coming down!
Big difference in towing weight upwards. 4 x High will pretty much get you up there without issue.

Coming down though. Different story. You have weight pushing you from behind. Careful with the exhaust brake. Iíve had mine break loose without towing coming down off the mountain. Almost streaked my underwear!

Unless the roads were clear, I personally would probably not do it, but depends on what kind of maintenance DOT does on the road.
I donít have and have never used chains so cannot offer any advise in that dept.
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 10:33 AM
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I used to pull my 5 place enclosed snowmobile trailer up every weekend to the high country, regardless of the forecasted weather. Plan on staying the night, with extra fuel, food and water. Bring chains and know how to put them on and/or run dedicated snow tires. Keep your trailer brakes adjusted and working and run good tires on there as well.
Iíve been caught in a couple really good storms that closed roads and thatís what kept us from getting home. Listen to the weather and dot road conditions so you know if you need to stay put and ride it out. In my case we always brought extra fuel for the sleds so when you get stuck for the night, you have the best snow for the next mornings ride!
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 10:41 AM
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Trailer brakes first if the road is slick.
Cold temps could freeze water supply lines and holding tanks.
Without hookups at the ski area, 12 volt heating wont last through the night.
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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I have driven a lot in winter weather, I grew up in Idaho and Michigan. I run snow tires on my daily driver both for cold rain/ice and day trips to the mountains for skiing, snowshoeing, etc. I could get snow tires for the truck, I guess, but most of the driving is for towing in the summer so that seems like overkill.

The roads are well plowed but if itís been a long cold snap there can be packed snow on the last 2-4 miles of roadway even if it hasnít snowed in while. In that case the state DOT doesnít require snows or chains. However if snow tires become required for passenger vehicles then towing and any vehicle > 10,000 GVW must have chains and then Iíd be looking at 2 (or 4?) chains on the truck and at least 2 on the trailer (itís dual axle). Iíd buy and bring those to be kosher with the law and safe but would never go up in the mountains if the forecast looked dicey.

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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 12:41 PM
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Trailer brakes first if the road is slick.
Cold temps could freeze water supply lines and holding tanks.
Without hookups at the ski area, 12 volt heating wont last through the night.
I would just drive the truck (no trailer), leave early And have fun! If you get a little thaw on top of icy roads compare it to driving on oil or grease and now hook up a trailer behind you, I see bad things happening. Now the trailer, unless itís completely drained or winterized I see broken water line issues and busted holding tanks, if youíre able to keep the trailer and truck out of the ditches. Most ski areas Iíve been to donít cater to trailer type rvís. Parking, narrow roads, vehicles everywhere, piles of snow, etc. Way too many open cans of worms. IMO leave the trailer home and enjoy.

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 12:54 PM
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Hey 3500newtome, looks like we have the same brand TT. Ours is an Outdoors RV 280RKS Timber Ridge and I would never think of attempting to take it skiing. Iíve driven thousands of miles in snow and black ice in Wyo., Utah, Colo, etc. and the best place for our trailer in those types of conditions is parked. I would only do it if itís an absolute necessity! Again my opinion. Have a great time skiing!

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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 01:29 PM
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IMO, If its bad enough to need chains , leave the trailer at home. Chains will get you far enough to where you are really f%$#ed!
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
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IMO, If its bad enough to need chains , leave the trailer at home. Chains will get you far enough to where you are really f%$#ed!


The chains are to get you back out of when you put-er in the ditch.
Or when it snows 4 feet overnight and for some unknown reason you have to leave. My motto is if it snows 4 feet of fresh then you have to call in sick and enjoy the day!
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post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3500newtome View Post
I have driven a lot in winter weather, I grew up in Idaho and Michigan. I run snow tires on my daily driver both for cold rain/ice and day trips to the mountains for skiing, snowshoeing, etc. I could get snow tires for the truck, I guess, but most of the driving is for towing in the summer so that seems like overkill.
Some AT tires qualify as snow tires. Look for the 3 peak mountain snow flake rating. General ATR, BFG AT and Goodyear Kevlar are some that I know of and have experience with. They are pretty quiet and do well in snow and light mud. Real gooey mud requires a MT though.

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post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 05:20 PM
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im a very cautious person when it comes to snow/ice/sleet regardless of what kind of vehicle im driving, if i were in your position and i were questioning the trip/weather i would cancel it. i also have plenty of snow driving experience growing up in the North East

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