RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-26-2020, 11:20 AM   #61
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 440
I used to drive in the snow a lot living and working in CO, WY, and WA. We did field work outside in every month. Sometimes we towed 4 ATVs on a trailer. I never liked towing a trailer in the snow.

I like to fish early and late in the year and end up towing a boat over passes in snow. Never liked that either.

Towing a travel trailer is even worse because they are heavy in comparison. Now that I am older, I have a lot more patience to wait for snow to melt. I carry chains but don't like using them much. The California HP has very strict rules for using chains when towing even if you have 4wd. Best to avoid towing in snow whenever possible.
ppine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 06:26 PM   #62
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 26
We had the same trip. We were in Moab at The Portal RV resort until Thursday 19th then got booted when I told them we need to extend a couple days due to snow storm back home in Elizabeth Co. They said sorry, had to extend by Tuesday due to virus. We took off and stopped in Palisade, Co for that night (day of the storm at Home) We left Friday morning for trip over the hill stopped in Eagle at Noon to check weather and accidents and then proceeded. We hit more wet roads, some ice packed west Vail and then fog on the down hill side where accident detoured us a few miles. Made it home safe but would not have wanted to do in the day of the storm. We were in a 38' Class A pulling Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Plan B was to park the RV and drive Jeep home but roads were ok for when we make the Trek.


Be Safe.
gdcoyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 07:24 PM   #63
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 27
I have family in Wyoming, Nebraska and near Woodland Park, CO. Passed through there many of times over the years. Weve stayed at that Wal-mart and that park in Golden. I know those roads in that area can be treacherous and the weather can change in a heart beat.
Weve had a few hair raising RV experiences on the road over the years. Its a real learning curve! Just glad youre ok and no one was hurt!
Mistye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 08:40 PM   #64
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7
I've towed in a couple sticky (or rather, slicky) situations in the Sierra Nevada passes like the one you described. I'll advise on what I did (unfortunately I did not have chains at the time).

*4WD on
*Disconnect sway control
*turn down trailer brakes to zero (did not want them to lock up on me)
*Did not slow down in the uphill if at all possible.
*Manually controlled my speed downhill using the manual gear selector
*drove very slow.

I survived, but I needed a few stiff drinks after.
dartmouth01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 08:48 PM   #65
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Denver
Posts: 11
Send a message via MSN to Denver Dan
Thank you to DavidJ for your well-written original post. I live a few miles from the canyon you came down and, yeah, it can be a real learning experience in bad weather.

I have the decided advantage of being retired and therefore able to avoid fixed itineraries. When spring rolls around and my thoughts turn to getting back on the road and I start making reservations in campgrounds south and west of here, I always resign myself to the fact that the trip might not happen if the weather decides not to cooperate. I don't like losing my deposits, but I would be even less happy if I lost my rig - or my life, or the life of some innocent motorist - because I felt the need to press onward.

Being prepared and experienced are a good start, but prepared and experienced people get into situations over their heads too. I hope that those who might otherwise put themselves at risk in order to stay on schedule will take heed. Respect Mother Nature because she has absolutely no respect for you.

And returning to the original post, I'll say that if were stacked up behind you when you were doing 10-20 mph down the hill, you would have had my full respect for maintaining (or doing your best to maintain) the control of your vehicle. Safety trumps convenience every time.
__________________
Dan
2017 Coachmen Prism 2250LE
2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Denver Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 09:15 PM   #66
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by dartmouth01 View Post
I've towed in a couple sticky (or rather, slicky) situations in the Sierra Nevada passes like the one you described. I'll advise on what I did (unfortunately I did not have chains at the time).

*4WD on
*Disconnect sway control
*turn down trailer brakes to zero (did not want them to lock up on me)
*Did not slow down in the uphill if at all possible.
*Manually controlled my speed downhill using the manual gear selector
*drove very slow.

I survived, but I needed a few stiff drinks after.
Just don't gear down too low. You want your ABS to be controlling the slippage of your tires...not the engine.


You left out...USE CHAINS!!!!!


If you are traveling in these areas during November through May, you are required to carry chains.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 10:29 PM   #67
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 448
For 43 years, I have lived near the downhill end of Mt. Vernon Canyon, the I-70 grade that the OP towed down. I have driven it at all times of the year, in every imaginable weather condition. There are 3 downhill lanes and numerous curves, as well as a wide shoulder and runaway truck ramp.

For those who have advised not using a low gear,.there are multiple warnings at the top of the hill for truckers to use low gear. Last April, a semi driver carrying a load of lumber didn't heed those warnings and caused a 29-car/truck collision, fire, and 4 deaths on I-70 near its intersections with US 6 and US 40. He lost his brakes trying to slow down on the Mt. Vernon grade, but passed up using the runaway truck ramp. He was recorded on several dash cams and drivers he passed estimated his speed at 80 mph. He is now charged with 40 counts of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, negligent collision, excessive speed, and careless driving.

The only more dangerous I-70 downgrade in Colorado is the Straight Creek section from Eisenhower Tunnel to Siverthorne. The percent grade is the same as Mt. Vernon, but it starts at 11,000', not 7500', and is twice as long. But both have been killers of drivers in vehicles towing trailers who ride their brakes instead of using low gears.
__________________

"Retirement is the best job I ever had!"
2016 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8244WS 5th Wheel; 2015 Ram 2500 4x4 CC-SB 6.7L CTD
Sold: 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
fanrgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 10:30 PM   #68
Senior Member
 
Major Oz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
Totally agree. With ABS, you use steady pressure on the brakes. Having the vehicle in low gear negates the effectiveness of ABS.
Never heard that.

WHY is it so ? (did you mean "low" or just low-er ? )
__________________
2014 King Ranch Ecoboost Screw, 3.73.....2019 Palamino 27RLSS (customized)
Retired AF Mustang.....Picker always looking to jam.
Major Oz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 12:36 AM   #69
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Oz View Post
Never heard that.

WHY is it so ? (did you mean "low" or just low-er ? )
If the compression of the engine in the the lower gear is so much that it starts multiple wheels(especially in 4wd) to skid, you will be out of control in no time. ABS will keep that from happening.



When going down a hill in snowy or icy conditions, 4WD does nothing for you. ABS does.


https://www.lesschwab.com/article/wi...e-in-snow.html
Quote:
The way to drive downhill on packed snow depends on whether you have ABS. If so, start at the top of the hill as slowly as possible. Leave your auto in normal drive gear and use light, steady pressure on the brake pedal to stay at a safe speed. This allows your antilock braking system to maintain traction by making sure all four tires slow at the same rate when you apply the brakes. (Learn more here.) If you don’t have ABS, proceed slowly and lightly pump your brakes on the way down.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 05:22 AM   #70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Sarasota florida
Posts: 145
Trailer brakes

If you have electric brakes. Using the trailer brakes in manual or emergency mode on the brake controller was a good thought. Particularly on straight runs. The controller takes a while to ramp up to useful braking voltage. Keeps the tail from wagging the dog. I wonder if hydraulic surge brakes even work when the tv has no resistance. Somebody here might know. Big rigs have air brakes. Wonder if big rvs do. Interesting problem to be thought about and planned for if not able to be avoided avoided.
Papadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 05:38 AM   #71
Senior Member
 
JWood422's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: At home
Posts: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Me too. The older I get the longer it takes for the bumps and bruises to heal.

And the hangovers hurt more than they used to.
JWood422 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 07:39 AM   #72
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Denison, Texas
Posts: 99
I don't understand about not gearing down. Last spring I followed a snowplow [until it turned off] over a pass on I76 in Utah. I used the gear selector on my Nissan NV 2500 and upped the boost on the trailer brakes, but rarely had to touch my brakes. And the downside wasn't plowed.
mharrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 08:51 AM   #73
Senior Member
 
Villagerjjm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 623
Good grief! What a story! So glad you made it safely, which shows that you do have great skill in towing. Shake it off and learn.
I do have a question for all those seasoned haulers out there:

Which would be better while towing a 5th wheel or Travel trailer in those conditions; Chains or Cables?
Villagerjjm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 09:18 AM   #74
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoenig24 View Post
Glad you made it down safely. Nowhere in your post do I read where you MANUALLY applied the trailer brakes (GENTLY) to keep "the tail from wagging the dog". A gentle, manual application of trailer brakes can help to keep the trailer BEHIND the tow vehicle thus negating the trailer's greater weight. You don't "ride" the trailer brakes. Short, quick manual applications should be all that's needed to stay in control.
Hmm. Have you ever done that? Pulled on the trailer brake on a slippery surface - even short quick pulls? That maneuver can backfire, causing the trailer to slide up beside the truck.
Wishart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 09:45 AM   #75
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mharrel View Post
I don't understand about not gearing down. Last spring I followed a snowplow [until it turned off] over a pass on I76 in Utah. I used the gear selector on my Nissan NV 2500 and upped the boost on the trailer brakes, but rarely had to touch my brakes. And the downside wasn't plowed.
I hope I can explain this in a way that makes sense...

The first thing they teach you about winter driving when getting your CDL is that you disable your engine brake on slick surfaces because you don't want to use compression braking/engine compression to slow down. That puts you in a slide that is very difficult to recover from.

Using high RPM compression braking you are using your drivetrain to provide rolling resistance to the drive tires. If this resistance from the drivetrain overpowers the friction with the road surface the drive tires change speed and slip. Applying (or releasing or pumping) the manual brakes to a slipping tire won't do you much good after it has already lost traction, you need to increase the rolling speed of the tire to match the road surface to regain traction. The problem is, if you are already up there in your RPM's (because you were using high RPM compression to hold you back in the first place) you now have to add throttle to increase the rolling speed of the slipping tires and remove that rolling resistance which is preventing your drive tires from grabbing traction. This is hard to manage when you are panicking. And even if you do pull it off and keep control you are now traveling faster than you wanted to be, compounding the problem.

Using a higher gear/lower RPM and gentle braking to maintain speed is much safer. The lower RPM's decreases the drivetrain resistance so you are less likely to have drive tires slipping from that resistance. And using manual braking to slow gives you the benefits of your ABS system releasing the braking forces from any slipping wheels allowing them to roll freely to regain traction, which they can't do if engine braking is holding them back. If you don't have ABS (or it doesn't work or whatever) just letting off the brakes briefly will let the drive tires roll freely and regain traction, allowing you to then apply gentle braking pressure again. Doing this you will have brief moments where the vehicle will pick up speed from the gravity forces pulling it down the hill, but you will quickly be right back on the brakes.

This is easier to get a feel for in a semi because we don't tend to spin out in a circle and into the ditch in the blink of an eye the way 4-wheelers do. Running doubles back and forth over the Utah mountain passes all winter long I've had the pleasure (or displeasure ) of learning just what it feels like to have your drive tires sliding from too much engine braking.

In a nutshell, you want low RPM's so that your drive tires are rolling freely and you are using the brakes as needed.
J Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 09:51 AM   #76
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 14
You drove right through my old fire district. I am glad you made it through okay. Many others have not been so lucky.
The runaway truck ramp was designed for semis and probably damaged both your trailer and TV. If not initially then on extraction.
Near the bottom of the canyon is what the locals call Dead Man's Curve just before the Red Rocks exit. I went on a call there once and found my old boss there standing next to his car where a Cat D150 had rolled off a flatbed on top of it. He had minor cuts and his passenger was okay but the car's engine compartment was smashed flat.
I know you didn't know it, but taking the Genesee exit on the top of the hill would have taken you to old highway 40 with a much more gradual downgrade to Golden with a much lower speed limit.
Craig
denfireguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 09:52 AM   #77
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 6,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Villagerjjm View Post
Good grief! What a story! So glad you made it safely, which shows that you do have great skill in towing. Shake it off and learn.
I do have a question for all those seasoned haulers out there:

Which would be better while towing a 5th wheel or Travel trailer in those conditions; Chains or Cables?
Answer is neither! You shouldn't be RVing in those conditions. But if you have to use traction devices in an emergency, cables are easier to put on and also store smaller.
I would only buy chains if I planned to do a lot of driving in deep snow. I used to use aggressive HD chains on a 4WD to get into the back country w/o a trailer.
When we RV we keep a close watch on several weather sources and have rarely been caught in a situation like the OP. And when we are travelling in bad weather, we always overnight in a park where we can stay an extra day or two until weather passes. The benefits of being retired.
I once drove a car with cables through northern Utah most of Idaho to get to a relatives house for Xmas. Now that was a miserable trip never to be repeated. Lesson learned.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 11:40 AM   #78
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: California
Posts: 7,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by mharrel View Post
I don't understand about not gearing down. Last spring I followed a snowplow [until it turned off] over a pass on I76 in Utah. I used the gear selector on my Nissan NV 2500 and upped the boost on the trailer brakes, but rarely had to touch my brakes. And the downside wasn't plowed.
Exact opposite of what you should have done.
babock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 01:19 PM   #79
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
Evergreen

I stopped in Evergreen last August while in the area. I know the very warning sign you referenced. Being from the south, I remember thinking how much Id love to see that area in the snow. Now maybe not so much!

Thanks for sharing your story.
rcknrbn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2020, 01:34 PM   #80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,835
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcknrbn View Post
I stopped in Evergreen last August while in the area. I know the very warning sign you referenced. Being from the south, I remember thinking how much Id love to see that area in the snow. Now maybe not so much!

Thanks for sharing your story.
The area is beautiful in the snow. Just wait until the roads have been plowed and a few days of sun have followed the last snowstorm.

Like my late wife used to say, "snow is beautiful as long as it is where it belongs, NOT on the road".
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
camper, mount, snow

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 Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.