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Old 12-29-2007, 08:06 AM   #1
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Newbie question....We bought our first fifth wheel three months ago. It's 38' long and its heavy. I have only towed it once (dry conditions)to the mountains. Although there were no problems, it was a bit stressfull towing such a large trailer for the first time.
Now we would like to take it for our ski vacation.We are in san jose CA. and we are traveling to a resort near yosemite. Is it safe? Should we just get a hotel?
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:06 AM   #2
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Newbie question....We bought our first fifth wheel three months ago. It's 38' long and its heavy. I have only towed it once (dry conditions)to the mountains. Although there were no problems, it was a bit stressfull towing such a large trailer for the first time.
Now we would like to take it for our ski vacation.We are in san jose CA. and we are traveling to a resort near yosemite. Is it safe? Should we just get a hotel?
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
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IMHO, if you are not comfortable yet under dry conditions, you should not tackle snowy/icy conditions.

Once a heavy rig starts to slide/skid, there's not much you can do, but go along for the ride.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:29 AM   #4
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Get a hotel. If you get stressed driving your rig in nice weather then in bad weather it would be that much more not to enjoy your trip. I used to do it often years ago and now I wouldn't even think of it. I was constantly checking the weather, wondering about this and that. It took too much away from enjoying the trip and being with my family. My wife felt unconfortable too so it reflected on everyone. She would tell me my testosterone level was outta whack. With unsettled weather at the moment I would opt for a hotel where I can throw the bags on the floor and go have fun. But then again, it would take away from the challenge of man against nature... I hate slapping iron!
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:33 AM   #5
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I've been towing a RV trailer for over 35 years and am comfortable towing in most any terrain. I avoid icy mountainous roads as if were the plague; the dynamics of a 17,000# trailer sliding behind a pickup truck is not an experience I want to encounter.

I've been caught on icy mountainous roads a couple times and it's really a nerve wracking experience. My advice is to avoid it if possible.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
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Rick, I used to tow a 27ft 5th in the snow and you talk about stress! If you don't feel comfortable towing your rig in nice weather then I would recommend you not to tow in bad weather but, then again can you live with yourself if you didn't try it? When I used to do it it occupied alot of my time and effort with watching the weather, checking the roads, looking out the window, etc. My wife would tell me "it must be a testosterone thing". I don't know when you plan on taking your trip but currently the weather is a bit unsettled and anything can happen. If it were me I would opt for the hotel, go throw my bags on the floor on arrival and enjoy myself. Then again, if man against nature calls...good luck. HTH
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:40 AM   #7
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Ooooops, sorry about the double reply. Iv'e got snow on my sat dish and I didn't know the first tx went through.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:55 AM   #8
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It's unanimous! I will leave the 5er at home. I dont want to end up in a tangled wreck on the side of a mountain.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:43 AM   #9
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Good decision. I f you are not yet comfortable on dry ground, then you will probably jsut end up hating the trip in the snow. Better to be safe than sorry. How do you like the new trialer? I have been looking at that model. We love the 2 slides in the bunk room for extra room for the kids, but think it may to soon to upgrade again.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
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It sounds like your 2500 is not enough truck for your trailer. It has the power but not enough weight and rubber on the road. If you ever decide to tow in the snow be sure to get a good set of chains for the trailer. It's important to keep the trailer behind you going down hill. I chain up both when it gets rough and I don't wait for them to tell me that I have to.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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I got your truck mixed up with another post. Your dully may be a little light for what your trailer sounds like but not as far off as I was thinking.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:44 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Trailer trash Rick:
... Now we would like to take it for our ski vacation. We are in san jose CA. and we are traveling to a resort near yosemite. Is it safe? Should we just get a hotel? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you are going to tow on snow/icy roads in is absolutely necessary to have chains/cables for the trailer tires. When you have to hit or tap the brakes, the electric brakes will quickly lock up the trailer tires, and if chained or cabled, will drag on the slick surface helping to slow the tow vehicle and keep the trailer where it belongs (hence the terminology "drag chains").

Check out the "big rigs" that travel in slick weather conditions to verify the reason and how it works.

I know... no one wants to buy and carry chains for a travel trailer (ours is winterized and in storage all winter long), but if your travels cause you to frequent this type of weather conditions, it is better to be safe than sorry.

I think your decision to "hotel it" on this trip is a wise and safe one.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:07 PM   #13
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Just an FYI since you are in Ca.

When traveling where chain control may be required a four wheel drive vehicle must carry chains. Four wheel drive vehicles with &gt; 6/32" tread depth on M&S rated tires do not have to install the chains unless there is an "R3" restriction.

However, if you are a four wheel drive vehicle towing a trailer, you lose your exemption and must install chains on the drive axle(s) of the tow vehicle and the trailer.

Hope that clarifies another issue regarding towing in chain control.

It was probably a wise decision to leave the 5th wheel behind on this trip.

Also, I highly recommend an exhaust brake be installed on your truck. A pac brake or Jacobs would work just fine. I am not familiar with other brands so I won't comment on those.

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Old 01-09-2008, 10:08 AM   #14
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I'm all for exhaust brakes but don't advise them on slick roads. They can get you in a lot of trouble. Just ask a truck driver about using a Jake brake on slick roads.
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