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Old 02-01-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

I just found out my rear ARB Air Locker on my 2x4 van is not as good as 4x4 in a foot of snow with an ice base. I just spent a half hour digging myself out of the snow after getting myself stuck. Then ten minutes later I got stuck again and spent over an hour digging myself out that time. I also found out my rear Aluminess bumper is pretty sturdy when I side-swiped a concrete wall while driving out of the rut I had made. And I got to use my shovel. It no longer looks new.

The locker worked great in the sand in the deserts of Nevada. It just doesn't work as good in the snow of Wyoming. Guess I should have got the 4x4 conversion instead.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I just found out my rear ARB Air Locker on my 2x4 van is not as good as 4x4 in a foot of snow with an ice base. I just spent a half hour digging myself out of the snow after getting myself stuck. Then ten minutes later I got stuck again and spent over an hour digging myself out that time. I also found out my rear Aluminess bumper is pretty sturdy when I side-swiped a concrete wall while driving out of the rut I had made. And I got to use my shovel. It no longer looks new.

The locker worked great in the sand in the deserts of Nevada. It just doesn't work as good in the snow of Wyoming. Guess I should have got the 4x4 conversion instead.
...and then I am done spending money on my Sportsmobile.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:42 PM   #3
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Missing Vegas yet ?
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I just found out my rear ARB Air Locker on my 2x4 van is not as good as 4x4 in a foot of snow with an ice base. I just spent a half hour digging myself out of the snow after getting myself stuck. Then ten minutes later I got stuck again and spent over an hour digging myself out that time. I also found out my rear Aluminess bumper is pretty sturdy when I side-swiped a concrete wall while driving out of the rut I had made. And I got to use my shovel. It no longer looks new.

The locker worked great in the sand in the deserts of Nevada. It just doesn't work as good in the snow of Wyoming. Guess I should have got the 4x4 conversion instead.
...and then I am done spending money on my Sportsmobile.


Lockers in snow can cause your rig to move sideways, as each wheel moves at the same speed, but one wheel will typically have different traction than the other. For snow, I prefer limited slip differentials.

Have you already talked to U Joint since you got back home after your digging exercise?


Herb

P.S. Has the move to Wyoming eliminated your vertigo?
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Some thoughts, you may already have considered:

With an ice base that's solid enough that you're not breaking it, I'd reach for some chains. Even with 4x4.

I'd also run open diff until I was spinning, with the hope that there would be less digging down all the way to the ice. That said, with an 6-10klbs vehicle, you'll be on the bottom most of the time.

What are you comparing it to that worked better in those conditions? If it's a lighter vehicle, they may manage to drive on some of the snow and get more traction that way.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Mac, I just got some MaxTrax. Could have help you get out easily.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

Bronco: Yep, I slipped sideways when I started spinning. That took me into a deeper pile of snow.

MadScience: I have nothing to compare it to since this was my first run through some fairly deep snow. I have an AWD Honda that I just bought that seems to take the snow very well. It must have been the weight of the vehicle and me spinning down to the ice. Of course it didn't help that I had a faulty assumption that I could go anywhere with my big hunkin' wheels and locker. That assumption is now out of my mind forever. Good lesson. Glad I wasn't out in the boonies somewhere. It happened in town.

Jeffrey: I will definitely look into the MaxTrax. I found some roof shingles next to a guy's house and tried to use those for traction. It didn't work.
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4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

In the mean time, at least for icy spots, carry some large bags of kitty litter and spread them on the patches of ice if you get stuck again. Also, before you get MaxTrax or some similar product, keep some long strips of carpet in your rig. Poor man's traction aid.


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Old 02-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

I've used the carpet sample squares successfully too (2WD Toyota pickup in snow country back in the day). An alternative to kitty litter that I found - if you can get it: I needed both some weight in the back of my truck (not that you need this!) and something for traction. I found that long bags of "grit" were sold at a local farm store for this purpose. The "grit" was broken up granite, and was sharper and more tractiony than kitty litter (it stayed in the bags unless you needed to sprinkle some for traction). Also heavier for the size than kitty litter (not that you need that....)
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
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Re: Locker Not Good Enough in Snow

great recommendation on the Maxtrax.

one of the single best things to carry is a set of 4 trax.

snow,sand,mud, they are super and easy to use
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