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Old 06-26-2015, 02:08 PM   #1
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Towing in November

Will be passing through the Rockies in early November from Moab UT to Denver. It has been mentioned elsewhere that I should carry chains for both the TV and the trailer in case of snow. For those who live in the mts, do you actually do that? I have no problem waiting out an early storm for a few days if need be, as such I wouldn't think I'd need them. Right or wrong?
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Will be passing through the Rockies in early November from Moab UT to Denver. It has been mentioned elsewhere that I should carry chains for both the TV and the trailer in case of snow. For those who live in the mts, do you actually do that? I have no problem waiting out an early storm for a few days if need be, as such I wouldn't think I'd need them. Right or wrong?
I grew up and learned to drive in the Rocky Mountains. Most people didn't own a set of chains. When it got really dicey, folks used to switch to studded snow tires, but nowadays those are illegal in many places because people remove the chains when they are not needed, but they don't remove their studded snow tires. The transportation departments say they "chew up the road".

If you can wait out any early storms as you say, I wouldn't bother getting chains. Besides, the route from Moab to Denver is basically interstate, and those roads are very well plowed and maintained.
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:28 PM   #3
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Will be passing through the Rockies in early November from Moab UT to Denver. ...
Early November puts the odds in your favor that there will not be a snowstorm. It is one of our drier months.

But that said, keep an ear on the weather radio and stick with your plan of waiting out a storm. Yes, chains will work for you, but the cars on each side of you might be driving on bald tires. (Still legal after our wimpy state legislature failed to pass a no-drive-over-the-pass-with-bald-tires law this year.) Put a couple of idiots in front of you and the whole road may be blocked for hours.

Another small point - the worst time/day to drive west to east on I-70 into Denver is Sunday afternoon.

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Old 06-26-2015, 03:33 PM   #4
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Thanks folks
No chains it'll be.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:52 AM   #5
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Thanks folks
No chains it'll be.

I have the opposite opinion. Chains don't cost much and should you need them .... you need them. I have been in many snow / mountain pass conditions where the troopers were stopping cars when all you needed was to get 10 - 15 miles down there road where it was clear. No chains ... no go.

That said you have a trailer and can pull over to wait for better conditions. I was very envious driving down from Alaska in late April and passed 4 or 5 trailers pulled off the road waiting for the plow truck to come by. Me? I wasn't towing and the best option was to plow threw 6 - 8 inches of heavy slush and keep on going for about 50 miles to get off the pass and to a lower elevation. Had chains with me but didn't need them with no troopers, good tires, a Jeep Cherokee w/4wd and very light traffic. Those guys all snug in their trailers looked pretty good.


My advice is to get the chains. What is $50 if you need them - cheap insurance and they don't take up much room.


Don't think I'd chain up the trailer though. More experienced towers should chime in. I'd be interested in hearing others advice.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:29 PM   #6
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I don't think that's an 'opposite opinion' Tom. Nothing wrong with picking up a set of chains. I just don't think he'll need them. I also agree with you about chaining up the tow only.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:41 PM   #7
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If you've never used chains, I don't think when they're really needed and while towing a trailer is the best time to learn about them. I have a motorhome for which I would legally be required to carry chains - and use them under designated conditions - in British Columbia. The only reason I would buy them (I have not yet) would be to be legal; I would leave them in the box and park to wait out conditions which require their use. It seems like a poor use of a couple hundred dollars and a hundred pounds of payload.

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Don't think I'd chain up the trailer though.
Traditional chains are almost entirely for drive traction, so I can see only putting them on drive tires. On the other hand, if the trailer brakes lock up the trailer wheels, control of the trailer is lost. Chains are required on at least some axles of commercial trailers by some state regulations.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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Requirements Differ by State

A Google search clarifies this matter. If I'm going through Oregon in the winter and chains are required, you must put them on one axle of your trailer. Parts of California will have a similar requirement (i.e. Donner Pass).

See Oregon state website:

Oregon Secretary of State Archives Division

Having driven on snow here in Washington state all my life, if I see chains required I'm pulling over and putting them on my trailer. I've done donuts with my 4WD truck on black ice and I'll take any advantage I can get.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:26 PM   #9
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We used to use chains that looked like cable as opposed to chain when we pulled the planer on the natural pond ice rinks. Worked pretty well. I gave away about three new sets of chains for narrower tires than I'll probably ever own again. I have one set left. They're for the tractor and weigh about 200 lbs for the set. Takes a man and a boy to put them on, as they used to say.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:52 PM   #10
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What parameters determine that it is wintertime? Is is dates on the calendar, or snow on the ground?
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