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Old 01-26-2009, 06:42 PM   #1
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I'm looking at taking a camping trip in Northern Michigan in a couple weeks. I'll be towing my 24ft TT with my 1/2 ton Suburban. What I'm looking for here though is anything I should be looking out for when towing on slick, snowy roads? Should I adjust the brake controller any different? Any Tips? I've lived here in Michigan my whole life so I'm well aware of how to drive on slick surfaces, but I've never towed in the winter.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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If you don't alresdy have them get a set of chains (cable is good enough)for the TT as well as a set for the TV and don't be bashfull about using them. The TT chains is for braking and keeping it behind you.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:46 AM   #3
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I'll have to double check this, but I don't think chains are legal in the Lower Penninsula of Michigan. But I can see how they would make a big differance on the TT.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:50 AM   #4
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Chains (or cables) on the trailer are commonly known as "drag chains" and are critical in order to keep the trailer behind the truck. Personally, having lived in central Ohio for 22 years, if conditions were bad and I couldn't use drag chains or some other traction aids on the trailer, I'd seriously consider parking it.

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Old 01-27-2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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Actually cables are better on a trailer because they don't need as much clearance.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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So does anyone know if cables are typically legal to use? Also where I can find them cause chains and cables are not readily available in my area. I've never seen a set of cables on a trailer down here, but most of the trailers you see in the winter are more utility and enclosed trailers used by land scaping and construction companies. Not many RV's this time of year.

I should clarify that I don't plan on going in a blizzard, but I'm sure at one point or another I will come across some slick roads, probably primarily secondary roads. Without chains I take it jacknifing becomes a problem? Or as long as I take it easy should I be ok? Will running a lower trailer brake setting help avoid the trailer from sliding? I have a Tekonsha Prodogy brake controller BTW.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by RedGuy:
Will running a lower trailer brake setting help avoid the trailer from sliding?
This would result in the trailer pushing the tow vehicle into a jack-knife. The idea of the drag chains (or cables) is to allow you to go heavier on the trailer braking to "drag" (hence the name) the trailer into line behind the tow vehicle in slick conditions. If the trailer isn't braked sufficiently, it will try to pivot on the hitch and skid around the tow vehicle - the classic jack-knife situation.

On the other hand, without the drag chains, heavier trailer braking could promote trailer wheel lockup in slick conditions, and a sliding tire generates less braking force than a rolling tire - hence, a jack-knife as the trailer is generating less braking force than the tow vehicle.

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
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Here's what Was.State says about towing an RV & using chains. You might check your state's requirements.
"What are the chain requirements on non-commercial vehicles towing a trailer such as an RV, horse trailer, etc.?
When a vehicle is towing a trailer and the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer exceeds 10,000 pounds, the commercial vehicle requirements apply. Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/commercialvehicle/chain_req.htm for more information."
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:14 PM   #9
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I believe in Oregon, when chains are required, a vehicle running in 4x4 with traction rated tires are exempt.

The exemption doesn't apply to vehicles rated over 10k, or vehicles that are towing.

Vehicles towing are supposed to have a minimum of one chain on a drive axle on each side of the tow vehicle, and one chain on each side of the trailer. They recommend the trailer chains go on the rearmost axle equipped with brakes.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #10
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Looks like Chains are basically not legal in Michigan for all practical purposes unless there's substantial snow on the road. And in that case I just wouldn't go. Any other tips other than chains? Things to be careful off etc.?

Quote:
MCL 257.710 of the Michigan Vehicle Code covers the use of tire chains, and states that a person may "use a tire chain of reasonable proportion upon a vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other condition tending to cause a vehicle to skid." If used, the chain must not come in contact with the surface of the roadway.
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