Driving on ice and snow - bad idea? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > General Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-05-2018, 06:24 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 17b - 2017 model
Posts: 334
Driving on ice and snow - bad idea?

How many of you tow your trailers when ice and snow are on the roads? Any tips on driving safely in these conditions, or is it something that would be best avoided?

Itís snowing here in the mountains, and itís rather tempting to bring the trailer up to a ski area for the weekend.
__________________

paulk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Trailer: 17b - 2017 model
Posts: 334
One thing that occurred to me was that if the brakes on the tow vehicle were better than the brakes on the trailer, which is probably a good assumption, then the trailer would want to jackknife during a stop if the trailer wasn't directly behind the vehicle, like during a turn. I was thinking it might be good to increase the trailer brakes up to their maximum when driving in snow. Ideally, if the trailer brakes were stronger than the tow vehicle brakes, it would tend to straighten the two together in a straight line rather than jackknifing them together.

I don't think it's realistic to get the trailer brake stronger than the tow vehicle's, but I was thinking the stronger they could be the better.
__________________

paulk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2018, 06:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: None, sold my 2014 5.0TA
Posts: 7,118
I avoid it. Heading east on 70 in CO I pulled over and spent the night in Grand Junction to avoid it snowing in the Mts. I also take the southern most route heading west en route to AZ in the winter.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2018, 06:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
TZBrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenton, Michigan
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21, 2014 Northern Lite slide in, 2014 2500 Duramax
Posts: 165
Not something to do knowingly

I have been caught out and had to though, but if it was glaze ice set in place wherever you are.

I now carry a set of tire chains fit for the trailer, as well as for all 4 wheels on the truck. Just in case I "have" to move.
TZBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North of Danbury, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21C
Posts: 3,033
Yes we have towed our trailer when there was snow on the road or when it was actively snowing or when it was snowing and 7blowing or when there was a chance of snow.
The only time we ever got stuck was on the mountain in Amicalola SP in Georgia . ( They didn't have a snow plow )
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 15,071
I do it all the time, and have no issue with it in the least. If I wanted to tow to a ski hill I certainly would, unless conditions were really bad.

I think it is a bad idea to increase the trailer brakes higher than they should be, as you do not want them locking up, this will cause skidding more than if they were allowed to roll.

The trailer will follow nicely behind the tow vehicle including braking. The only time I have ever have any concern is going fast on tight turns, where the trailer will tend to want to swing wide if it is slippery.

The biggest concern on snow or ice is when changing from the direction your momentum is taking you, just as accelerating, braking or turning. If you keep going straight, unless it is absolutely glare ice, you will just keep going straight until you do something to change this steady pace.

But, just as I posted in the trailer pickup thread, one needs to be comfortable with towing under these conditions, or at least work at practising, otherwise they should avoid it if at all possible.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
ďMost folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.Ē ó Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 04:21 AM   #7
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Central, Pennsylvania
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 23,785
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
One thing that occurred to me was that if the brakes on the tow vehicle were better than the brakes on the trailer, which is probably a good assumption, then the trailer would want to jackknife during a stop if the trailer wasn't directly behind the vehicle, like during a turn. I was thinking it might be good to increase the trailer brakes up to their maximum when driving in snow. Ideally, if the trailer brakes were stronger than the tow vehicle brakes, it would tend to straighten the two together in a straight line rather than jackknifing them together.

I don't think it's realistic to get the trailer brake stronger than the tow vehicle's, but I was thinking the stronger they could be the better.
This is a habit used often in semi trailers, the truck driver wants to use the trailer brakes before using his own, less wear and tear on the tractor and more on the trailer which often is owned by someone else. In addition as mentioned, a stronger pull from the rear would keep things in line.
__________________
Jim
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals....
Goethe
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 07:56 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 15,071
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
This is a habit used often in semi trailers, the truck driver wants to use the trailer brakes before using his own, less wear and tear on the tractor and more on the trailer which often is owned by someone else. In addition as mentioned, a stronger pull from the rear would keep things in line.
Truckers used to do this when using there tractor to tow contract trailers to save their truck brakes. It put excessive wear on the trailer brakes and tires as they often locked up. Locking any trailer brake on snowy or icy roads is not a good idea at all, as it loses the directional stability rolling tires possess.

Keeping the trailer tires rolling along, even while braking, is a good thing. Locking them up not so much. If the trailer had chains then harder braking would not cause a skid. If I was in a position where trailer chains were required, I would likely not bother travelling then unless absolutely necessary.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
ďMost folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.Ē ó Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 08:46 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
PGDriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 1,734
Driving in snow and ice conditions are 2 different things. I had no problems dragging my trailer through snow, truck in 4 HI when I lived in Northern BC. Snow driving the trailer I found was pretty much a dead weight when dragging through snow.
Ice driving is entirely different as anyone whoís driven/played around on a frozen lake knows, you have pretty much zero control hard braking or turning, I wonít tow if itís on ice.


Cheers
Doug
__________________
Cheers
Doug
PGDriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 09:09 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North of Danbury, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21C
Posts: 3,033
Two things to learn when driving in snow
1) If going up hill never completely let off on the gas , if you slow down / stop you may end up backing down the hill.
2) Stop signs are only for when someone else is comming
Slow down just a little , look both ways and then if it's clear just keep on going right through the intersection.
If you stop at a stop sign there's a good chance you will get rear ended or the guy behind you will have to stop and end up stuck .
Prepare to get a lecture on learning to drive in snow.
Driving in snow is a skill that really isn't that hard to comprehend
You don't want to get stuck so you just have to KEEP MOVING .
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 11:38 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 6,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Ice driving is entirely different as anyone who’s driven/played around on a frozen lake knows, you have pretty much zero control hard braking or turning,

Cheers
Doug
I used to race a sports car on a frozen lake. That's when I learned that the snow plowed to clear the ice wasn't a large mound of soft fluffy stuff.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 11:39 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21C, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 4,542
Since I live in a part of the country that gets 150" - 200" of snow per winter, I have had many years of experience. On top of that, while in college I had a vacation job of plowing a private lake with a jeep so the owners could skate (i.e., no chains allowed).

Steve gave some good suggestions, but I'd add one - even with all my experience, I wouldn't tow a trailer in snow or ice unless I had to. And, if I did, I would not increase the braking on the trailer - there is too much of a chance of the trailer wheels locking, causing it to skid. I've towed brakeless trailers on both ice & snow without problems, but they were always far lighter than even my Escape 17.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 12:07 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Smithers, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape 21, July 2018 delivery
Posts: 273
As I mentioned in the winter delivery thread, the problem is that the tug will almost certainly have tires with better grip than the trailer, and the tug brakes will nowadays likely be enhanced by an ABS system. This, combined with the electronic brake controller for the trailer will pretty much guarantee that the trailer wheels will lock up on slippery roads before the tug wheels do, leading to a potentially dangerous jackknife. On level ground, this problem is controllable by avoiding the need, ever, to brake hard. Easier said than done given other drivers sharing the road, but as others have pointed out, doable.

On steep hills with curves, like most ski hill access, a whole different game. You no longer get to decide when and how hard you have to brake, the hill and turns decide for you. I might be able to tow a heavy trailer up our local hill here in Smithers, but there is no way I would try to descend without chains on the trailer.
AllanEdie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 02:38 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
PGDriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 1,734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I used to race a sports car on a frozen lake. That's when I learned that the snow plowed to clear the ice wasn't a large mound of soft fluffy stuff.

Ron


I know exactly what your saying, its even worse on a modified dirt bike


Cheers
Doug
__________________
Cheers
Doug
PGDriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 09:11 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
TZBrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenton, Michigan
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21, 2014 Northern Lite slide in, 2014 2500 Duramax
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
I know exactly what your saying, its even worse on a modified dirt bike
Cheers
Doug
I used to ice race also, tractionized tires at the start and studded near the end.
Met the snow piles and straw bales a few times learned a lot about traction on snow vs ice, fun times
TZBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2018, 11:53 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Trailer: 2015 17A - Ready for more Maiden Voyages ....
Posts: 878
Driving in snow shouldn't drive a stake of fear into your heart ..... the question should be asked ..."What kind of snow?" The Eskimos have 200 words for snow ( ok ... ok I made that number up) but there really are many types of snow. I grew up in Washington State (West side) and there the snow has a very high water content ... so when it packs down, its still white like snow but has the traction equivalency of ice. ... slightly better than sheet or even black ice but not much. It usually falls when the temperature is only slightly above 32 degrees F or down to about 30F. Snow that has fallen much below that in temperature tends to be 'dry snow' and has the traction equivalency of say a light gravel on the roadway and compared to 'wet snow' is very forgiving regarding turning and stopping. Still a lot of caution should be added in regards to speed, following distance and (for the conditions) high speed turns.

Snow that falls in the lower 20's - particulary in the Rockies can add another driving point of interest. This is powder snow and usually has a reasonable amount of traction ... its squeaky and crunchy to walk on. Of course slow your speed and try to avoid sharp braking and turns. The new condition here can have a VERY interesting additional quality. As the road gets plowed (hurray) the side blade of the plow can also plow the shoulder. In powder snow conditions, that plowed shoulder can become level with the rest of the roadway .... well .... that is OK until the plow has enough surplus snow to fill the roadside drainage ditch and make it level with the rest of the road surface. Puff off or swerve here and you'll be looking up at the road when you very shortly stop.

Winter travel requires a lot more concentration and caution but does not have to be an ordeal ... especially with proper preparation. Something often overlooked is - bring extra blankets or better yet sleeping bags in case you become stuck for a while in cold temperatures.

One year while driving down from Alaska, late April, I found myself on a mountain pass ... somewhat steep down slope. Off to the side in generous pullouts were vehicles pulling trailers and it looked like they were camped until the snow plow could come by and clear the road ... I was sooo jealous... the yellow interior trailer lights looked inviting . I was driving at the time through a slush and snow mix deeper than the undercarriage of my Jeep Cherokee (not towing) ... I found that if I kept my speed up to 40 - 45 my momentum would keep me from being throughn about by the tire ruts from the previous vehicles. All was well, sorta until an 18 wheeler going the other direction swerved partially into my lane ... almost instantly it swerved back but I was hit by a 'wake' of snow and slush from his tires and became unable to see out my windshield. At the same time I felt a huge concussion of air hit my face and I readied myself for the impact of a lapful of snow and water. It didn't ... my windshield held but I wasn't able to see for a few seconds til my wipers could clear a small area to see ... felt like it took forever. When it cleared a bit, I found I was still in my lane and slowing. Shortly, an apparition appeared ... no it wasn't the face of Mary or Jesus ... it was a parking lot and I pulled in and waited until my heart rate slowed to below 300. I got out of my car and it was covered by 6 - 12 " of dirty road slush. I'm lucky to be alive!

Even luckier because the parking lot I pulled into belonged to the "Toad River Lodge.". There I got a hot meal and was able to get a room for the night. Sometimes everything works out just right! Besides, I'm too old to die young.

I'm sure lots of you BC guys will know the lodge I'm talking about. Its a favorite stop of mine whenever I'm traveling either north or south. I recommend stopping there. Even if you are not fighting the weather ... very beautiful location and friendly people!

Tom

www.toadriverlodge.com
(I have no relationship with these folks ... wish I did)
__________________
Consciousness: That confusing time between naps
StarvingHyena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 12:32 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Devil Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Steveston B.C., British Columbia
Trailer: 2012- 17'B.... 2016 Tacoma SR5 TRD
Posts: 504
Been there in the summer . Nice place to hang your hat.
__________________
I've almost been everywhere man.
Almost been everywhere.....
Devil Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 01:06 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
Posts: 16,130
Drove the two-lane highway between Cache Creek and Kamloops in a blizzard, in the company Dodge Neon.
Found myself being tailed by a semi, and he obviously wanted to pass, but I couldn't tell where the shoulder became ditch. The snow was hypnotic, illuminated by the headlights of the semi, which were probably two feet above the roof of the Neon. I couldn't pull over and only occasionally spotted the centre line.
As a news photographer, I've had to drive in all sorts of conditions to get to the story, but, I've never felt more helpless or afraid for my life.
Now that I have a choice, if there is a threat, I'll just stay put.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 03:23 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,136
I found just on a driveway with a little incline that four-wheel drive makes a big difference. We could get the four-wheel up through a lot of snow. Need a running start though and not driving slowly. We could clear the snow and put sand, and still, the non-four-wheel might not make it.

On the road, not too much problem driving on snow around town. Ice is entirely impossible. If you are going on highways though, that changes it for the worse. I would avoid driving with any such forecasts in the first place, if at all possible.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 03:29 PM   #20
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,791
IMHO, good tires makes as much of a difference as 4x4. my Tacoma 4x4 has BFG All-Terrain KO2 tires, fairly new. I almost never have to put it in 4H as its really sure footed. my friend has a tundra 4x4, also TRD Off Road, but he has highway tires, and even in 4x4 he's slipping and sliding all over on loose stuff.
__________________

John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×