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Old 08-30-2017, 01:16 PM   #1
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early winter driving question

I am new to 5th wheel driving. So far all our driving has been in the spring to fall travel. The better side does not like winter driving very much, although she loves winter. On pulling the 5th wheel, is it a good idea to put chains on the trailer as well as the truck when needing to? Not wanting to go where need to, but mother nature has ways of putting you in the situation. Thanks for ideas. Also, both axles or just one? and which one?
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:25 PM   #2
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If the weather is bad enough you think you need chains... you better not attempt going anywhere.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:26 PM   #3
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I wouldn't put chains on a trailer, there's no point as there are no drive axles.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:28 PM   #4
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Im new to 5th wheels too but I wouldnt have even thought about chains on my older TT let alone my 5er. If the weather is that bad where Im thinking about needing chains on my TV abd 5er, Im not towing anywhere. PERIOD.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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I echo the others- if I need chains, I don't want to be towing.

But, in a worst case scenario- tractor trailers chain their trailer wheels, so I would too.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
I echo the others- if I need chains, I don't want to be towing.

But, in a worst case scenario- tractor trailers chain their trailer wheels, so I would too.
To add to what Doug said...
Many states have laws regarding semi/trailer use of chains.
Most say something like this...
"Commercial vehicles towing trailers must have chains on the drive tires.
Trailers with brakes must be chained on one axle.
On any semi-trailer only one set of chains is required.

Not all state laws are the same.
I've never seen anything referring to non-commercial vehicles such as R/V's.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:31 PM   #7
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No way I would put chains on the trailer tires, especially the one that come with the trailer. If expected weather were that bad I would sit it out in a campground.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:53 PM   #8
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Park it!
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
To add to what Doug said...
Many states have laws regarding semi/trailer use of chains.
Most say something like this...
"Commercial vehicles towing trailers must have chains on the drive tires.
Trailers with brakes must be chained on one axle.
On any semi-trailer only one set of chains is required.

Not all state laws are the same.
I've never seen anything referring to non-commercial vehicles such as R/V's.
Never thought of that. The trailer brakes would need something to grab with or the trailer will just swing right around and jackknife. Makes a lot of sense.

Having said that ... Park it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:22 PM   #10
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If chains are required then I will park it
I have moved in winter storms in wisconsin towing a small 12 ft enclosed trailer and it isn't fun
Even with manual control of the brakes we had issues
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:38 PM   #11
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Never thought of that. The trailer brakes would need something to grab with or the trailer will just swing right around and jackknife. Makes a lot of sense.

Having said that ... Park it.
I would park also. However,there is no difference in braking action on a 53 foot long big rig trailer with chains on wheels (all big rig trailers have brakes on all 8 wheels) and a RV trailer with chains on the wheels,except for maybe the big rig trailer will be heavier giving it more bite than the RV. Braking action is dependent on the road condition and speed for all vehicles.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I see the idea is to stay put. I live in OREGON and the weather is very unpredictable daily. Making travel difficult in winter. Guess car and motel is best to go visit family.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:14 PM   #13
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I only read about 8 posts. I am from the very northern parts of MN and ND. Frequently travel mountains in winter and the great white north. In flat lands and mountains alike during winter conditions. I have an Ice House (That means it is a large fishing shack meant to drive on the lakes [fishing holes inside] and survive cold weather. Of the posts I read I disagree with all of them.

I do not recommend chains but X pattern cables. If you have (and you do in a 5ver that is made in the past 8 years) you have electronic brakes. The cables definitely help with sway and traction in slick conditions.

Once you learn to use them you can stop a slide/spin from the main vehicle & visa - versa.

To the Naysayers come up and meet me in a parking lot in International Falls MN or North of Minot ND 18 miles from Canada, I'll teach you. If you said you would stay parked then your not from the Great White North. Been using chains & cables on farm trailers since I was 14.

Definitely ads stability and tow control.
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:53 PM   #14
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As the saying goes, discretion is the better part of valour. If you are at a point of needing, chains or cables to move, why even consider being on the road with a 5er? If for any other reason, the TT is not made for those severe of conditions. The warnings will be out to stay off the roads. We have seen countless pictures of truckers overturned, jackknifed, in ditches, multi vehicle accident, because they felt they had to keep a schedule. These are professional drivers.

Tony, most of what you speak is slow moving vehicles. The offer to take lessons should go unheeded. We are much more concerned about safety than risk taking.
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:25 PM   #15
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We are much more concerned about safety than risk taking.
I travel the speed in my 7000 LB trailer that is warranted for conditions. Unless it is a white out you will find most northerners know how to travel in snow/ice.

You presume towing a corn or bean head is an SMV. You presume incorrectly unless it is being towed by the Combine or Tractor.

I frequently to those apparatus with my truck at 40-60mph in the snow.

Please do not assume you have any clue what chains/cables will do on a TT or other such until you have done so. God bless
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:30 PM   #16
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by grandpamuck View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I see the idea is to stay put. I live in OREGON and the weather is very unpredictable daily. Making travel difficult in winter. Guess car and motel is best to go visit family.
And depending upon where you are going I know the ice can be horrible. I have family in Portland and the Dalles area and eastern Washington
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:35 PM   #18
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why even consider being on the road with a 5er? If for any other reason, the TT is not made for those severe of conditions. .
One other thing MY TT is rated to -30 degrees (sits flat to the ice on a a lake or CG on the frame again you assumed something. Ice houses and trailer made for the great whit north can easily maintain temperatures in sub zero weather if you know the prep. I spend my winters until late January in the upper Midwest where temps can be -30 to 60 outside. I to date 8/31/17 have not been through the initial 2 propane tanks for the main heater, stove etc My wheels raise off the ground. I run a small 1500 watt 110 V heater inside and can use my outdoor water post with an inline heater and run my full hookup plumbing.

Only in extreme cold of below zero have I ever needed to turn on the units furnace. Although I do that 1 time a day in cold for 30 minutes to keep her maintenance up.

Again you assumed a ton here.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:38 PM   #19
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Do not use chains on the trailer tires. If you must, go with cables instead. You will have less vibration through the axles into the interior. Braking will be different because the trailer tires will tend to lock up easier. Bear in mind that such devices are only used on hard pack snow that is covered with loose snow. They do not help if you are running on ice, black ice or deep snow. If you are running into ice, pull a little onto the shoulder (if you have one) to allow for the rougher pavement to supply traction... usually just to the right of the rumble strips. It is always a wiser move not to run in deep snow, white outs, ice storms and such unless you have had skid control training.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:06 PM   #20
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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...oUYbSNe2EmtqpA

For California, if you tow a trailer and you are driving in chain conditions, you must have chains on at least one axle of your trailer. This is of course if you have trailers with brakes, which 99.9% of RV trailers have.

Plainly put if driving in California. If you don't have chains in chain conditions, you get to turn around.
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