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  1. #1
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    Camping in Snow in Utah... Landing Gear/Steps

    Hello,

    We are heading back to Utah for a bit in our 399TH. It is expected to rain and also snow. We will be boon-docking 2 nights (one on each end of our trip), but in an RV Park the remainder. We are very well insulated and even have duel-pane windows with ceramic film (ceramic film made a big difference in the Klamath when it was 15 degrees F, but that was with no snow or rain) and are even traveling with a 3rd, full 7-gallon propane tank. I have driven rigs through sleet, snow, freezing rain; that's not the problem though... we have never "over-nighted" or stayed in snow or freezing rain in the RV.

    Do the landing gear/pads/steps freeze to the ground if there is rain water or some standing water and it freezes. Or, if it just snows, thaws, freezes again, etc? How do you get unstuck?

    Any suggestions? Or, is this just a really dumb question... lol

    Any advice would be very appreciated.
    Last edited by grandseahawk; 02-19-2021 at 06:18 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor livinthelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandseahawk View Post
    Hello,

    We are heading back to Utah for a bit in our 399TH. It is expected to rain and also snow. We will be boon-docking 2 nights (one on each end of our trip), but in an RV Park the remainder. We are very well insulated and even have duel-pane windows with ceramic film (ceramic film made a big difference in the Klamath when it was 15 degrees F, but that was with no snow or rain) and are even traveling with a 3rd, full 7-gallon propane tank. I have driven rigs through sleet, snow, freezing rain; that's not the problem though... we have never "over-nighted" or stayed in snow or freezing rain in the RV.

    Do the landing gear/pads/steps freeze to the ground if there is rain water or some standing water and it freezes. Or, if it just snows, thaws, freezes again, etc? How do you get unstuck?

    Any suggestions? Or, is this just a really dumb question... lol

    Any advice would be very appreciated.
    Not a dumb question. Wish I could help. Only time we've camped in the snow, we were already in our site when the snow came, and it melted before we left.
    Here's the morning it snowed (deer tracks by our steps).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    My husband just pointed out he has a heat gun. I guess that's funny.
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  3. #3
    Site Team D2Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandseahawk View Post
    Do the landing gear/pads/steps freeze to the ground if there is rain water or some standing water and it freezes. Or, if it just snows, thaws, freezes again, etc? How do you get unstuck?
    A most excellent question and one that many do not think about. Our first year of ski camping at Tiger Run near Breckinridge, CO the RV park had a winter camping tips paper they included in the check in material. One of the tips they has was to put down sacrificial material between the landing pads and the concrete. Not understanding the need asked the same question.

    They told me that the steel landing pads will freeze the concrete, when you bring your landing gear up it will tear up the concrete. Ok, got it. Many year of ski camping I have seen some stuff. The freeze/thaw/freeze cycle gets to be fun. Many do not remove snow, this results in ice developing. The ice can make a dam holding more water on the camp site, creating a little ice lake. Hoses, electrical cords, landing pads, skirts, sewer hose slinkys can get imbedded in this ice.

    I always put plastic pads under my landing gear when I set down for the winter.

    I have seen blow torches, heat guns, and hair dryers used to try and melt the ice enough to get things loose. Many don't think about using an axe to chop the ice, works best, just be careful. Depending on local laws ice melt salt works well applied a day or two before departure.

    Steps are easy, just keep a broom next to the door. Before you step out in the morning sweep the snow off before you mash it down. I had a neighbor suggest putting salt on the steps, I told him I didn't think that was a good idea, while the steps themselves are aluminum, the braces on the side are cheap steel and will rust quickly. A couple of years I had rug like step covers, they worked pretty good but in the thaw/freeze cycle they would get ice build up in the material. I would remove them, put them in a bay overnight where they could thaw and dry.

    We have 3 9 gallon tanks, one sits empty in the garage while traveling in the summer and is brought out for rotation in the winter. Boondocking, the furnace pulls a pretty good load so having good battery capacity is a must. We then run the generator about 2 hours while making breakfast and dinner to charge the batteries up. Our bays stay about 20 degrees cooler than cabin temperature, so don't set the thermostat too low at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by grandseahawk View Post
    I have driven rigs through sleet, snow, freezing rain;
    Another piece of unwanted advice. Even though you are experienced, 5th wheels don't act right on ice. After a couple of near misses and minor fails I have adopted the policy of not pulling my 5th wheel when chains are required or there are high winds and snow packed roads. It is much safer for us to grab the nearest crappy RV park camp site and sit in our trailer for a day or two until the roads are clear than risk losing everything we own on bad roads.

    Where in Utah are you headed? We are in Park City RV park till the 8th of March.
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    Sacrificial wooden squares of plywood with rock salt.
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    I will never, ever pull a fifth wheel in snow again. The pucker factor is way to high.
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