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Discussion Starter #1
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 haven’t done this yet because I’ve 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 I’d 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 I’m doing, but I’m obviously no expert.
 

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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 “best”.

How much “winter driving experience” 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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I don’t 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. I’ve 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 don’t have and have never used chains so cannot offer any advise in that dept.
 

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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.
I’ve been caught in a couple really good storms that closed roads and that’s 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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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 it’s been a long cold snap there can be packed snow on the last 2-4 miles of roadway even if it hasn’t snowed in while. In that case the state DOT doesn’t 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 I’d be looking at 2 (or 4?) chains on the truck and at least 2 on the trailer (it’s dual axle). I’d 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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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 it’s completely drained or winterized I see broken water line issues and busted holding tanks, if you’re able to keep the trailer and truck out of the ditches. Most ski areas I’ve been to don’t cater to trailer type rv’s. Parking, narrow roads, vehicles everywhere, piles of snow, etc. Way too many open cans of worms. IMO leave the trailer home and enjoy. :blues:
 

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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. I’ve 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 it’s an absolute necessity! Again my opinion. Have a great time skiing!
 

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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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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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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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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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Putting judgement aside and basic survival kit, its nothing crazy. Winter front, good tires, bottle of antigel, some shovels (spade and grain shovel), throw some ballast in the box and take it easy.
 

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Putting judgement aside and basic survival kit, its nothing crazy. Winter front, good tires, bottle of antigel, some shovels (spade and grain shovel), throw some ballast in the box and take it easy.
And here I thought that all trailering, commercial traffic included, came to a complete standstill while there's snow on the ground.
 

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And here I thought that all trailering, commercial traffic included, came to a complete standstill while there's snow on the ground.
Towing to a ski resort....likely a lot steeper grades than normal roads, likely a lot more dumbazzes out in bad/snowy weather than on normal roads, roads to ski area are likely a lot narrower than normal roads. Roads to ski area likely have less plowing than normal roads. I see all kinds of issues that one normally would not have to contend with just driving on a normal highway.
I DO have a couple million miles towing the big ones, Rocky Mountain doubles, “B” trains, etc all over the Dakota’s, Montana, Wyoming, and a couple Canadian Provinces. But, tow an RV to a ski resort.......not unless it is just off the freeway!!!!
 

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Yeah, I drove up to a ski resort two weeks ago, steep enough in places that I didn't think it'd stay in 2nd gear. And turns tight enough that a normal 25-foot gooseneck would cut over the white line of the opposing lane.
No snow, though, but I understand they got four feet the other day.

And the one critical thing I overlooked, but you brought up, is the dumbazzes. That would be my number one reason not to try. But at 2 AM it may be doable.
 
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Yeah, I drove up to a ski resort two weeks ago, steep enough in places that I didn't think it'd stay in 2nd gear. And turns tight enough that a normal 25-foot gooseneck would cut over the white line of the opposing lane.
No snow, though, but I understand they got four feet the other day.

And the one critical thing I overlooked, but you brought up, is the dumbazzes. That would be my number one reason not to try. But at 2 AM it may be doable.
And places like ski resorts naturally have an overload of them!!!!!!! Just the way it is!!!
 

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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.
Hmmmmm. That all depends on his trailer.
 
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Hmmmmm. That all depends on his trailer.
Our trailer is a so called 4 season rig. I’ve used the 12v tank heaters on it dry camping, and after about 10 hrs the batteries were at 11.4 volts, no freeze ups in the morning, fired up the gen cause the furnace takes a chunk out of the Batteries too. They wouldn’t have lasted much longer.
 

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If you did not grow up driving and towing in the snow and ice, don't start now, with and trailer. Save the trailer for the beach, and no frozen pipes either. Like said down hill is the worst. I once had my 16 footer pass me going slight down hill on a straight away 4 times in 15 seconds and never touched the brakes, 1/4 mile from dry pavement. A $200 motel is a hell of a lot cheaper than a 20 ft, $20,000, trailer with frozen pipes and new tires broken into 20 pieces after going over a 20 foot bank at 20 mph in 20" of pillow powder. By the way entirely possible even with 4x4, chains and snow tires, and being good and experienced at what you are doing, especially when some other fool is sideways in the road around the turn.
 
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