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Old 10-03-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 82
towing trailer in winter w Sprinter 4x4

I'll be traveling Berkeley -> Colorado around New Years with my family, relocating for a sabbatical. I'd be interested in opinions about how bad of an idea it would be to tow a small u-haul (honestly, mainly cause it's cheaper than having some stuff moved and maybe a bit easier logistically).

Question is whether it's a bad idea either given my setup which is heavy already or because towing in winter is sketchy, which is sounds to me like it could be the case.

I've never towed a trailer at all, but assume I can figure it out the mechanics of if doing so competently as long as there's not special rocket science to it. Concern is about the risk of catastrophe like jackknifing or whatever.

FWIW, I have a 2017 Sprinter 4x4 SMB w tow package, Van Compass suspension, KO2s. Last time I checked wet weight was ~8400 lbs.

Thoughts welcome!

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Old 10-03-2019, 01:07 PM   #2
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I tow all winter long. Bring chains, chain up when it gets slick. Definitely chain up the trailer too, especially if it's a larger one with surge brakes.

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Old 10-03-2019, 01:41 PM   #3
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Also, consider your schedule. If you MUST move on a certain date, I would worry and prep a bit more. If you have some flexibility, you can likely find a day or two that will have good weather and the snow will be a non-issue.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:14 PM   #4
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I agree with what's been said, a small UHaul trailer should not be a problem. Your rig won't even know it's back there.

I'll emphasize that you need to carry an inexpensive pair of chains for the trailer as well, in case your plans happen to land you traveling during a storm.

On one trip, CalTrans turned me, my 4x4 truck, and my 1500lb boat and trailer away from Donner Summit during a heavy snow because I did not have at least one trailer wheel chained up. I had never heard of that before. I guess the chained up trailer tires act as a rudder, to keep the trailer from 'coming around' (jack knife) while the towing vehicle is slowing, on the ice.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:43 PM   #5
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Location: Berkeley, CA
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thanks, this is great to know!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:24 AM   #6
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Location: Golden, CO
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You should have chains in case you need them. We tow snowmobile trailers all winter through the nastiest of snow storms. Only need chains on steep unplowed roads. In the winter the ko2 tires work like a champ.

Doubt you'll need chains on the uhaul trailer. They may say the same. Ask them when you rent it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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Based on experience, you’d be a lot better off avoiding steep passes (I-70)! I-80 would be flatter, though likely windier.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:57 PM   #8
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You can pick up chains at Les Schwab and return them in the spring if you donít use them. Thatís what we did for towing a boat over the Blues in Jan. Worked out nicely.

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