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Old 09-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Snow or winter tires for RVs

I'm wondering what experience folks have had with winter travelling. I plan on driving my '87 Falcon from Portland OR to Vancouver BC to Newfoundland CA, then down to New York, NY and Washington, DC. Then I don't know where.

I like cold weather, I like to way the world looks with snow and ice makeup, and I'd like to stop and stay a few days where there are trails to hike. I'll have an extra 5 gallon can of propane on the back rack with a Honda generator and 6 extra gallons of fuel. I won't let them run down much.

Two questions. First, will the propane freeze in very cold weather and refuse to vaporize. It used to in the first canisters we tried to use on mountains, until the manufacturers added other gases which didn't freeze so easily.

Second, I've always had 4-wheel drive, ever since I was 21 and had a WWII Jeep, which was really 2 wheel drive. Now I'll be in a heavy rear wheel drive vehicle.

Anyone have any experience with tires under this condition? I'm thinking of the General Altimax Arctic without studs and two pair of very good chains. Ease of getting them on and off is a factor, as I've found the easier it is to do the more willing I am to put them on in marginal conditions.

I was tempted to go with studs, but the reviews say it does better without them. I don't know.

Any experience folks have had would be appreciated

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Old 09-11-2012, 07:07 AM   #2
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,172
I have never used chains but look at my post 5/8/12 in Class A section about EZ tire chains from NTCC. Supposedly easy to get on and off.

2003 Dolphin LX 6355 w/ W22 chassis; 8.1L gasser & Allison 1000
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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I try not to drive on snow... Now this is not as "Amazing" as it sounds,, Trus (Shortened) story.. Drove right into a major blizzard in '06 in Utah, When it got bad I found parking, (Rest stop) spent the night, had dinner, had breakfast, Watched the news about all the cars in the ditches, Got back to the MH and hit the road again, by that time the state's snow crews had cleared the roads and all I had was clear dry (Mostly, some damp) pavement till I got to Salt Lake City and a specific parking lot I was headed to.. THEN I had snow to drive through, at about 2 mph for about 4x the length of my rig on very flat pavement, In short, no problems.

That's the way to do it.

Now as to the question about Propane.. First there are two gases sold as propane and one other thing you need to know about.

Butane is not much good when the temps drop, It will not vaporise properly, Butane is sometimes sold as Propane in the south.

PROPANE has a vapor temp of around -40 (I do not know the exact temp but it's close to -40) your choice of C or F at -40.you may notice some loss of pressure as you approach that point...

Oil, if it gets into the regulator, can raise havoc and more so at low temps.

Oh, just to be sure I did a search on the boiling point of propane:
The boiling point of propane is -42.09 o C. (Roughly -41 F)
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Location: Kingston, Wa. USA
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Years ago when I was a volunteer fireman, we had a propane guy give a demonstration at a fire drill. As I remembor he said boiling point was -45F. He also showed how to freeze a 5gal tank. He used a big burner and when it quite burning (tank was covered with frost) he screwed the valve out and poured liquid propane into a styrofrom cup and passed it around. I don't remember the outside temp at that time but was propably 50 Deg. So heavy use can freeze a tank without being below O F.
For what you plan on doing I probably would just use a good tracton tread and use chains when necessary.

'01 3500 Ram QC HO 6sp. BD Exhaust Brake
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rvs, tires

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