Jump to content

Towing In Snow


Nomorework

Recommended Posts

This is my first winter with a van and we plan to have a couple of weekends away, just wondering what it's like if we get a decent fall of snow.

 

Towcar is a Tiguan (4wd) so not bothered about the car getting stuck, got us through some serious snow last winter.

 

Just wondering how much more difficult progress would be with the weight of the van on the back (79% match so not overly heavy) and the van wheels getting 'dragged' through the snow.

 

Any experience, any advice you can give?

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

only done it once - got caught in Spain around Haro on the way back to Bilbao port - not an experience i want to repeat. i would say, if it snows before you leave home, don't go & if it snows when on site, leave the van there until it clears. don't reckon snow and caravans mix very well !!! no doubt there will be someone who will say its no problem and they have towed miles in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have travelled quite a lot in the snow and just adjust my driving to suit much as you would with a solo car.

 

Never had any problems actually towing but have had problems trying to use the mover to put the van back in at home, wheels just spin on the hard packed snow.

 

Also has some problems siting the van in deep snow as it has a tendency to slide but take your time and all should be well.

 

And if you do get stuck you have a nice warm refuge with supplies right behind you.

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

no doubt there will be someone who will say its no problem and they have towed miles in it.
Well I've certainly towed many miles in the snow, but I would never say it is not a problem. It is, and you have to be extra vigilant.

Providing you take care and drive well within your limits, allowing even more distance to stop than normally needed when towing. Be aware too that if the road is covered in either slush or ice the caravan can slide sideways slightly, particularly on a steep camber, so take extra care when negotiating narrow stretches of road, or gateways. Gentle acceleration and braking, combined with smooth steering is the key. Fresh snow is somewhat more predictable, but can lure you into a false sense of security. Also be aware that there may be potholes you cannot see, into which the caravan wheels (being wider than the car's) can drop.

Another consideration, particularly if you do not have a 4x4, is that you may not always be able to site your caravan exactly where you want on a snow covered pitch, and it may have to be parked where you can get it before the driving wheels of the towcar loose grip. I would recommend also that you try to park where the towcar can stay on a hard surface (site road?) to make re-coupling and recovery easier at the end of your stay.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not so sure. I got caught out in an unexpected snow fall some years ago in November going to Bath. Traffic was stopped at the bottom of a steep hill, as cars were having dificulty getting up the other side. We were going very slowly and managed to stop near the top of the hill. After a few minutes I got out to see what was happening. Suddenly the outfit started to slide down the hill. I got back in and applied the foot brake and the car stopped but the caravan started to jack-knife. With the help of other motorists we got the van onto the verge and had to leave it there!! We had a terrible trip into Bath in the car. A few hours later when the freak weather had cleared. we made our way back to the caravan and got to the site. I try and keep clear with the van if snow is forecast.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I keep a plastic bin at home full of road salt (purchased from builders yard)

 

If the driveway is ice covered I salt it and the pavement across the house front.(legal to do so)

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was stuck on ice and used mats to get going but considered putting on the movers, engaging gear (automatic) and using the movers to push the car.

 

The theory being the movers would nuetralise the caravan drag on the car and the car would move slowly forward (as long as no accelerator was used.)

 

Once clear of the ice the movers would be disengaged of course!

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure on ATC, but remember to switch off ABS in snow/ice (if you have it).

 

ABS, anti-lock braking system, is designed to let the wheels spin slightly under braking if they start to slip. On dry roads this is great, as it reduces the chances of locking up and can cause you to brake much more effectively.

 

ABS on ice or snow is quite dangerous, as you often rely on slight lock up to help brake in the snow/ice. If you keep it on and you hit the brakes the wheels will probably keep turning. .. Saw it happen with a large Merc last time it was a white out and the poor driver looked quite confused as he slowly rolled into the back of a stationary car.

Tim
Developer | Caravan Talk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice would be especially on the "posh style of 4x4" available now is get a good set of tyres fitted for winter not the low profile speedster type they put on as standard. :D

 

The car was well tested on snow last year, snow was deep enough to reach the underside of the car but we still made progress ok.

 

Some useful advice here though, still think I'm brave (or silly?) enough to give it a go to get home. Suppose it depends on a lot of variables, depth of snow, type of road (flat, hilly etc), current weather conditions etc. At least I now know what issues might arise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure on ATC, but remember to switch off ABS in snow/ice (if you have it).

 

ABS, anti-lock braking system, is designed to let the wheels spin slightly under braking if they start to slip. On dry roads this is great, as it reduces the chances of locking up and can cause you to brake much more effectively.

 

ABS on ice or snow is quite dangerous, as you often rely on slight lock up to help brake in the snow/ice. If you keep it on and you hit the brakes the wheels will probably keep turning. .. Saw it happen with a large Merc last time it was a white out and the poor driver looked quite confused as he slowly rolled into the back of a stationary car.

 

In the event that all wheels lock up on ice the ABS becomes ineffective. On fresh snow it is true that a wedge of snow can build up under a locked wheel and that may assist in stopping. But it is better to keep the front wheels turning to provide steering abilty when on ice.

 

All the signs of nature indicate a very bad winter ahead.

I have two sets of unused snow chains to suit mainly 4 x 4 size tyres. PM for details if interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've towed in snow a couple of times and wouldn't recommend it. On both occasions it was coming home from rallies on special permission sites where staying on wasn't an option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about waiting in long que in ice conditions and look in mirror to see caravan not in line with car and slowly going towards kerb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not even take my car anywhere near snow whether towing or not. Anyone with a BMW will understand this. Last year I took my grandchildren to their street dance concert that their club was putting on and I was crawling along. The first roundabout I came to I twirled around it. No I will leave the thing at home. It is very grippy in the dry though but just needs some chunky winter tyres for foul weather. Thats not really going to happen as I bought some ordinary tyres for it this week and two cost me £236.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i havent towed in any snow yet, but just incase will get a set of snow socks for the van tyres, already have a set for the car and snow chains, also have a set of snow chains for the work van which come in real handy, i have also just purchased some spray on tyre chain to test if it works. even if not towing i would sugest geting some chains even if you have winter tyres also get some snow chains for your shoes to help aid walking on snow and ice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only time I have towed in snow was when I got caught in a snowstorm on Fenwick Moor returning from Ayr one New Year.

 

I had a Xantia at the time and the front tyres were not in their first flush of youth. I managed to keep going where other (solo) cars were being abandonded. I was also getting strange looks from Traffic cars going in the opposite direction who obviously were anticipating having to dig me out later :lol: .

It wasn't a pleasant experience, but it's not the end of the world if you do get caught in snow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok I give up,my wee brain is frazzled trying to work out what ATC stands for :lol:

 

Sorry to be so cryptic.

 

ATC is the anti snake device that Alko introduced some years ago and that many manufacturers are fitting as standard on their 2012 models. It works by sensing sideways movement in the caravan and applying one or the other brakes to correct the wag. My query was whether this automatic control may help control erroneous movement due to snow. ..or even make things worse!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought snow chains were illegal for use in this country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...