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Old 10-13-2021, 11:19 PM   #1
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Colorado snow chain law - truck pulling fifth wheel

I’m going to be pulling my fifth wheel trailer through some Colorado mountain areas this month (October) and am trying to determine exactly what I need to carry to comply with Colorado’s chain law. My fifth wheel is 35’, tandem axel w/electric brakes on all 4 wheels, and has a GVWR of 16,000 lbs. I am pulling it with a Chevrolet 3500HD, SRW, 4x4, Diesel PU with a GVWR OF 12,100 lbs. How many sets of chains am I required to carry to comply with the law? How many for truck and how many for trailer?
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:35 PM   #2
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I dont know about colorado laws and regs, but I do know that regardless of the laws you’ll appreciate having at least one of your trailer axles chained up if you end up driving in enough snow to justify chains.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:41 PM   #3
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One set for truck rear tires
One set for trailer rear tires

That will cover most any states chain laws
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
One set for truck rear tires
One set for trailer rear tires

That will cover most any states chain laws
Yup...
Chains work quite well, and I'll carry them to be compliant with regs over the passes...
But.
If some government boffin says you have to use them because the weather is *That* bad, do you really want to put them on to continue?

Personally, I shut down before the pass, and wait the weather out.
Sitting in a parking spot, reading a book/watching TV, is much better than slogging through 6"+ snow on the road at 20mph with zero visibility.
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:05 AM   #5
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Most states seem pretty reasonable about chain requirements but in Ca they put control on for a dusting because there are so many poor drivers that dont understand snow. Lots of wrecks including big rigs.

So in the Sierras its often just a compliance thing to throw on chains because conditions aren't that bad. But also here you’d have to chain up your drives and every trailer axle with brakes. And then you’d get to crawl over the summit in bumper to bumper traffic.

Last time I was faced with this in an RV it was the middle of a holiday weekend after Donner summit had been shut down for three days, so I went around - South out of Salt Lake, through Vegas and Barstow, and up 99. Just not worth the trouble and delays.
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:10 AM   #6
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Year 2021 not published just yet ,But here is year 2020.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:40 PM   #7
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Don't know if you ever towed in the snow. I did once - I was heck bent on getting out of the cold. Going up a hill I was spinning and fishtailing, glad I made it at 25 mph. Lucky there was not a lot of traffic. So the key here is I did it once. I do not plan on ever doing it again as I watch the weather a lot better.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:22 AM   #8
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I'm in the park it till the weather improves camp.
I'm thinking about heading to my daughter's in Alabama this winter from Minnesota. I'll be planning the trip around the weather.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:13 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the information. I also have no plans to tow in the snow and would park and wait it out. I just needed to know what I needed to have in my possession to be compliant.
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:48 AM   #10
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I see someone already posted the link. You can look up the DOT laws for each state. Typically in your configuration it would be both drive wheels and one trailer braking axle.

For the most part I do not advocate intentionally heading out if you need chains either. Well at least not on main roads, I often need them to get out of my driveway.

I do keep full sets in both trucks and with the trailer, I live in the PNW (snowy part).

I know you just want to be compliant, but I would make sure they fit properly and you know how to put them on as well as practice. You never know when you might suddenly need them to get to a safe spot. This is a bad time to learning they are not "right" or you can not get them on.

I make sure to cut my chains to fit my trucks. Last year I had a different set of drive tires on my HDT then I had last year. We got our first snow 2 nights ago (gone now) and yesterday I was out throwing chains on both axles to make sure they still fit.

Last year I had to throw chains on the HDT as I headed over a pass on my way to work. It was only calling for rain, but turned to snow......

Back when I had a cargo trailer that was used a lot, 1-2 times/year I would have to throw chains, typically for short duration on back roads.
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperminer View Post
Thank you all for the information. I also have no plans to tow in the snow and would park and wait it out. I just needed to know what I needed to have in my possession to be compliant.
Just to satisfy the various states that require that You have traction devices on board I carry a full set of "Tire Socks".. They are recognized in most states and they meet the "carry with' laws..

Disclosure.. Our coach does not have enough clearance between the outboard air bags and the tires to allow any traction devices [ie chains/cables or even the tire socks] to be used..
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:42 PM   #12
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Lived in Alaska. Never saw a 'Chains Required' sign.
It's nice to be treated as an adult.
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:20 PM   #13
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Lived in Alaska. Never saw a 'Chains Required' sign.
It's nice to be treated as an adult.
No maybe not, but not the volume of traffic. That and many forget over how to drive in snow over the summer!
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
One set for truck rear tires
One set for trailer rear tires

That will cover most any states chain laws
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirtate View Post
Yup...
Chains work quite well, and I'll carry them to be compliant with regs over the passes...
But.
If some government boffin says you have to use them because the weather is *That* bad, do you really want to put them on to continue?

Personally, I shut down before the pass, and wait the weather out.
Sitting in a parking spot, reading a book/watching TV, is much better than slogging through 6"+ snow on the road at 20mph with zero visibility.
Well in most of the western states you need to carry chains as stated by Old Biscuit even if not snowing certain months of the year.
I have tow on snow covered roads, first time just happened, second time was by choice. The TV was 4x4 didn’t need to chain up, stayed at about 45, no issues.
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