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Old 11-29-2016, 02:53 PM   #1
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We will be leaving Winnipeg MB Canada just after Christmas pulling a 30' Flagstaff (26FKWS) and heading straight South through Grand Folks ND to Lincoln NB. I am sure we will encounter some snow and ice. I haven't finalized the route yet but are looking at taking I-80 from Lincoln across to near Denver then 25 South to Albuquerque and finally from Hollbrook thru to Mesa. Even though I am from Canada and drive on snow and ice a lot, I have only once pulled a travel trailer on potentially snow and ice covered roads and don't recall there being any icy roads. I have a 3/4 Dodge Ram Cummins with 4-wheel drive and the 6-speed automatic transmission. 2 questions (1) Which is the best winter towing route from Lincoln NB to Mesa and (2) If you have to travel in 4-wheel drive on snow or icy roads how fast can you travel in 4-wheel drive pulling a trailer?
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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Don't have a 4 wheel drive, but if I where to need it we would just wait it out until they get the interstates plowed. Were going to Mesa also, sounds like your route sounds good to me.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:25 PM   #3
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I don't plan on being a hero but Im thinking if we get caught up in some weather on the road and I have to drive to the next town in 4-wheel drive towing, what would be maximum speed?
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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If you have your owners manual, the information you are asking about should be there. I didn't see mention of the year of your truck, so without that information, it is hard to help. My dually in 4x4 has a top speed of 55mph I believe, but it has been 2 years since I read the manual.

Being from Maine and an experienced tower there, if you find yourself towing on icy roads, be very careful on the trailer brake settings, if you end up locking the brakes on the trailer, you will quickly find yourself losing control with the trailer pulling you into a ditch.

As one other poster mentioned, be safe and get off the roads. Wait for the highway crews to do their thing and go out only when the roads are wet or dry, but not icy. Always side on extreme caution.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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Winter towing

My Ram is a 2008 but only has about 50,000 miles on it. The manual doesn't necessarily refer to a towing situation when pulling a trailer in 4-wheel drive as far as speed goes. I have an older model Prodigy brake controller that works reasonably intelligently on most road conditions. Being an experienced winter driver I generally try some really low speed breaking actions to get a feel for slipperiness.


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Originally Posted by alsdas88 View Post
If you have your owners manual, the information you are asking about should be there. I didn't see mention of the year of your truck, so without that information, it is hard to help. My dually in 4x4 has a top speed of 55mph I believe, but it has been 2 years since I read the manual.

Being from Maine and an experienced tower there, if you find yourself towing on icy roads, be very careful on the trailer brake settings, if you end up locking the brakes on the trailer, you will quickly find yourself losing control with the trailer pulling you into a ditch.

As one other poster mentioned, be safe and get off the roads. Wait for the highway crews to do their thing and go out only when the roads are wet or dry, but not icy. Always side on extreme caution.
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Old 11-29-2016, 04:02 PM   #6
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IF I had to tow on snow or ice covered roads I would invest in a two sets of chains, one for the truck and one for the trailer.

Depending on the road conditions 35-55 MPH IF the road is open.

Google maps route I would take to stay away from the Denver, CO. area.

From Winnipeg, MB, Canada
to Arizona

29 h (2,887 km)
via I-29 S and I-25 S
This route crosses a country border.

Winnipeg, MB
Canada

Take Lord Selkirk Hwy/MB-75 S to I-29 S in Pembina, United States
1 h 23 min (110 km)


Head north toward Main St/Rte 52 N

30 m

Turn left onto Main St/Rte 52 S
Continue to follow Rte 52 S
Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days

2.2 km

Continue onto St Mary's Rd

2.5 km

Continue straight to stay on St Mary's Rd

2.7 km

Continue straight to stay on St Mary's Rd

5.4 km

Turn right onto Trans-Canada Hwy/MB-100 (signs for Trans-Canada Highway/Perimeter Highway)

3.5 km

Use the right lane to take the Pembina Highway/MB-75 S ramp to Emerson

350 m

Continue onto Lord Selkirk Hwy/MB-75 S

93.6 km

Continue onto I-29 S/US-81 S

Entering the United States of America (North Dakota)

17 m

Follow I-29 S to SD-50 W in Brule Township. Take exit 26 from I-29 S
6 h 4 min (714 km)


Get on I-80 W in Doniphan from NE-15 S, US-20 W, US-81 S and US-30 W
3 h 32 min (321 km)


Follow I-80 W to NE-44 S/2nd Ave in Kearney. Take exit 272 from I-80 W
34 min (66.2 km)


Get on I-25 S in Trinidad from US-183 S, KS-383 S, US-83 S, US-40 W, ... and US-350 W
7 h 17 min (725 km)


Follow I-25 S and I-40 W to AZ-77 S/Navajo Blvd in Holbrook. Take exit 286 from I-40 W
6 h 39 min (773 km)


Take AZ-377 S, AZ-260 W and Forest Service Rd 512/Young Hwy to Nf-416 in Gila County
2 h 58 min (178 km)

Arizona

These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rthomaslyons View Post
We will be leaving Winnipeg MB Canada just after Christmas pulling a 30' Flagstaff (26FKWS) and heading straight South through Grand Folks ND to Lincoln NB. I am sure we will encounter some snow and ice. I haven't finalized the route yet but are looking at taking I-80 from Lincoln across to near Denver then 25 South to Albuquerque and finally from Hollbrook thru to Mesa. Even though I am from Canada and drive on snow and ice a lot, I have only once pulled a travel trailer on potentially snow and ice covered roads and don't recall there being any icy roads. I have a 3/4 Dodge Ram Cummins with 4-wheel drive and the 6-speed automatic transmission. 2 questions (1) Which is the best winter towing route from Lincoln NB to Mesa and (2) If you have to travel in 4-wheel drive on snow or icy roads how fast can you travel in 4-wheel drive pulling a trailer?
Have driven this route many times...from Winnipeg...in fact my brother is driving it today. If I were you I would forget about I-80 and Denver. From Lincoln keep going South on 135 through Salina and keep going till you get to Hwy 54, which goes SW till it ties into I-40 in Tucumcari, NM, then continue on I-40 through Albuquerque and carry on with the rest of your route.
You can get bad weather anywhere along the route, but this way you greatly improve your odds by avoiding Denver and the altitude, especially pulling a trailer. Some people will do it if they have a park model down there and are travelling in a car or SUV and not towing.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:21 AM   #8
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I used to drive a car 60,000 miles a year in the Northeast, covering a 5 state territory. My rule was simple: as soon as I see anyone else sliding a bit, I get off the road and wait it out. I have confidence in my own skills, but there are just too many other drivers who do not have a clue how to handle a skid.

Even if you are confident that you can handle the trailer, what about an emergency maneuver when some fool comes spinning down the road aimed at YOU?
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:42 AM   #9
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I have driven from Kansas City to Grand Forks many times and never went through Lincoln. Why would you not stay on I-29? The interstates will have the clearest roads with the widest shoulders for winter driving there's no better option.
Safest wintertime route .... stay on I-29 to Kansas City. Then pick up I-35 and follow to Oklahoma City where you get on I-40.
Then go west and south to Mesa which ever way you decide. I did it last year and just stayed on 40 to Flagstaff then south on I-17.

To avoid KC you could go get on I-80 through Lincoln then pick up US 81 west of Lincoln and go south to Salina, KS where you pick up I-135 which you follow south to I-35 in Wichita.

BTW.... It's about 2000 miles from Grand Forks to Mesa if you use my suggested route and almost the exact same distance if you head over from Lincoln, NB to I-25 then south.

This time of year you can run into snow/ice anywhere along either route until you drop down into the valley near Phoenix. Good Luck and safe travels.

Oh and as to your question? Mr Bluepill has given you some very good advice.
I got caught in an ice storm coming home from Florida last year and spent a night in a Walmart parking lot. Best to park it and be safe.
My rig is almost the same as yours and I wouldn't go over 40MPH on snow/ice. And a lot less if conditions dictated.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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Many sections of I25 get closed in winter storms in Wyoming and southern Colorado/northern New Mexico. I would follow a more easterly route without mountains if possible.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rthomaslyons View Post
I don't plan on being a hero but Im thinking if we get caught up in some weather on the road and I have to drive to the next town in 4-wheel drive towing, what would be maximum speed?
I know being from Canada you are weather aware, but let me gently remind you!

Don't forget about the winter WIND....We just came back from a 5000 plus mile round trip from Florida to Colorado, back through Texas. Never encountered snow or ice, but the wind at our side was our enemy and the cattle trucks. Not much else bothered us.

God bless your trip, be safe and have a great time.

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Old 12-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #12
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Have driven this route many times...from Winnipeg...in fact my brother is driving it today. If I were you I would forget about I-80 and Denver. From Lincoln keep going South on 135 through Salina and keep going till you get to Hwy 54, which goes SW till it ties into I-40 in Tucumcari, NM, then continue on I-40 through Albuquerque and carry on with the rest of your route.
You can get bad weather anywhere along the route, but this way you greatly improve your odds by avoiding Denver and the altitude, especially pulling a trailer. Some people will do it if they have a park model down there and are travelling in a car or SUV and not towing.
^^^^That is the route I would take.^^^^^
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:56 AM   #13
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^^^^That is the route I would take.^^^^^
I hope when you get to Lincoln you don't spend too much time looking for 135, because it starts in Salina, KS. and ends in Wichita.

As for US 54 ?.... it is a shorter route for sure, but be very speed aware when passing through the 20 or so cities/towns along the way, from Wichita to Tucumcari... they love the snowbirds who help pay for the cost of their police cars and radar guns.

One nice part of the US 54 route is the air museum at Liberal, if you have the time.

Also while you are slowed down passing through Greensburg, KS you will still see lots of signs of the 2007 tornado. And it's the home of the worlds largest hand dug well and a very large meteorite. Again, if you have time, it's worth a look.

I used to survey roads for KDOT so I have traveled 54 many times. Not a bad route in the summertime if you have the time. I would not do it in the winter, especially towing my RV. But of course it's OMHO.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:28 AM   #14
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I hope when you get to Lincoln you don't spend too much time looking for 135, because it starts in Salina, KS. and ends in Wichita.

As for US 54 ?.... it is a shorter route for sure, but be very speed aware when passing through the 20 or so cities/towns along the way, from Wichita to Tucumcari... they love the snowbirds who help pay for the cost of their police cars and radar guns.

One nice part of the US 54 route is the air museum at Liberal, if you have the time.

Also while you are slowed down passing through Greensburg, KS you will still see lots of signs of the 2007 tornado. And it's the home of the worlds largest hand dug well and a very large meteorite. Again, if you have time, it's worth a look.

I used to survey roads for KDOT so I have traveled 54 many times. Not a bad route in the summertime if you have the time. I would not do it in the winter, especially towing my RV. But of course it's OMHO.
So what route would you suggest?
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:38 AM   #15
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So what route would you suggest?
Post #9, this thread.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:03 AM   #16
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i too live in Winnipeg and have done that trip many times pulling my 37 ft 5th
and WFD route is the same as I use . South on I-29 to Sioux falls east on 90 to south on 81 all the way down to Wichita than SW on 54 too Tucumcari than west on I-80. As to driving on icy roads park your rig and wait for the sanding trucks to do their job. i once had to spend 2 days waiting and when we got onto the road many RV in the ditch. What a way to ruin your trip just for a couple of days
note 1-80 from Omaha to 81 is rougher than hell . Will shake your fillings out

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Old 12-01-2016, 12:35 PM   #17
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As a suggestion, check the Weather Network for the 10 day forecasts prior to leaving to see what weather systems may be developing along your route. You may want to leave earlier or later? Also watch out for black ice! We have travelled to Phx a number of time along I15 and one time there was black ice for a stretch of road in Idaho - 4x4 was great on that. We had some SUV's pass us but not too far down the road we saw them again in the ditch - wheels pointing to the stars. A couple of times there were several inches of snow on the road so again 4x4. Just a note about I40 - Flagstaff - Pacific weather systems sometimes dump over a foot of snow there and I40 is shut down for a while. One more thing to consider - your vehicles may get a salt bath somewhere along the way.


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Old 12-01-2016, 01:07 PM   #18
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I too from Wpg but destination is El Centro, Ca. and go my route many times. I generally travel as far south as I can before crossing the mountains. Mountain elevations are lower and weather is generally warmer. Generally go straight south to Oklahoma City, then take I40 west to Albequerque, south on I25 to Las Cruces, then west on I10 to your destination. The route you are taking could take you in to bad weather in the mountains. My theory was to get as far south as i could to avoid snow when crossing the mountains. Usually if I hit bad weather it will only be rain. It may be a little farther but i feel much safer. You are a snowbird, you have lots of time anyways.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:04 PM   #19
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Have driven this route many times...from Winnipeg...in fact my brother is driving it today. If I were you I would forget about I-80 and Denver. From Lincoln keep going South on 135 through Salina and keep going till you get to Hwy 54, which goes SW till it ties into I-40 in Tucumcari, NM, then continue on I-40 through Albuquerque and carry on with the rest of your route.
You can get bad weather anywhere along the route, but this way you greatly improve your odds by avoiding Denver and the altitude, especially pulling a trailer. Some people will do it if they have a park model down there and are travelling in a car or SUV and not towing.
I have done this route as well and it is one I would also recommend. From Albuquerque I went south to Las Cruces and then west to Tucson and further west to Yuma! Nice highway and relatively flat! Safe travels.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:20 PM   #20
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Except that the original poster is going to Mesa so although the suggestion to take I-25 South of Albuquerque is great for folks going to Yuma or on to California....it really doesn't make much sense for folks headed to Mesa or Phoenix area.
I-25 south of Alb. is a very nice route...scenic...you can usually relax with regards to weather...there is a National Refuge there that has a huge Sandhill Crane population that migrate there for winter that is quite the thing to see.
Original poster would need to pause in Alb. and see what lies ahead on I-40 headed towards Flagstaff or watch the trucks headed east on I-40 and see if they are covered in snow., then decide from there if you making a go for it or not.
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