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TOPIC: Winter Towing

Winter Towing 06 Oct 2017 22:27 #1

  • Glasply1
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Going to be towing my 288 in late October from Nashville to Tacoma. I don't anticipate bad weather, but are there precautions I should take on the fluid side given I'll be going over at least two mountain passes. For example, I assume I should drain the water and holding tanks, but what about other system. Motor has closed cooling system with coolant so assume not a problem, but are there things to focus on?

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 02:13 #2

  • 88fourwinns
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Even if you have closed cooling you still have to drain anything that has raw water in it like the heat exchanger and hoses feeding the raw water side & impeller. A full system will have a/f in the manifolds but the risers still have raw water in them and must be drained. If it's a half system then the manifolds must be drained too. Don't forget any additional coolers like p/s coolers or fuel coolers..
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 03:05 #3

  • kwb
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given you will be coming out of fresh water and an unforseen stop in the cold could go bad in a hurry - take care to drain raw water more than normal.

For sake of weight - drain the freshwater tank and holding tank.
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 11:21 #4

  • yachtman
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Winterize everything. If you lose a tire or have some kind of problem in a cold area you will be messed up. ( murpys law.)

Also im assuming you plan to go through montana? They have already taken a couple big hits of snow. The continental divide around dillon and butte is always freaking cold and snowy just prepare. It may not be on the road yet but they have had an extra early snowy and cold fall.

You should fully winterize the engine and water systems and water drain systems ( shower)

We have already been having freezes in the night here in spokane wa.
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1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge twin 454's

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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 13:34 #5

  • Aircraftbuilder
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I would reiterate what has already been recommended........ drain everything possible for preventative and weight savings purposes. Water is 8.34 lbs/gal, so depending on your onboard capacity, this could be significant Regardless of temperature, it will be easier on your tow vehicle and you'll be glad you did if you have stop suddenly. As far as the closed cooling system, you've just completed a long (very awesome) trip....... probably wouldn't hurt to flush the cooling system anyway and recharge with fresh once you get back home. Those passes can get very cold at night much less if a crazy front moves through during your travels. I know in Colorado it can be 70 one day and a blizzard the next and back to 70 the following day! Heck, we have gotten some surprise monster snows in PA in October.

Good luck and I really enjoyed following along on your travels! Would love to know what you guys are planning for an encore :cheer:
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 14:02 #6

  • Fiftybucks
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I have towed from Virginia to utah.. my advice, this time of year, go on 70 to 15 then north to 84 to Tacoma..Avoid 80 thru Wyoming Although 70 in Colorado can be bad at times it is nothing like horrible Rock Springs Wyoming. I got caught in the worst snow on 80 thru Wyoming on Nov 1 with a 2452 one ton 4WD. Call ahead for any road issues and have a plan that allows for extra stay-over. If forbid you get into snow, slow down flasher slow, really, If there is snow on some of these steep grades, just get off the highway and wait at the truck stop. Only tap your brakes. WATCH OUT FOR frozen Bridge decks.

Also... put some rv antifreeze in the Bath floor, both sinks, and take the base plug out the base of the head and give it a pump. Run the pumps for a second. Undo the fresh water pickup at the pump, upper and lower. On the other side of the engine, make sure to undo water hose to the Power Steering cooler. Lower your outdrive all the way, and let the water drain out then raise to trailer position., Open the thru hull shutoff, and leave a reminder tag on your steering wheel. Water heater drained?
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 14:14 #7

  • dmcb
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You have received good advise. Heed it.
Expect snow in the high elevations. You likely won't be disappointed.
Surge brakes are not the best in snow. If your tow vehicle starts to slide your brakes will not be applied.
If you have electric brakes, try to use them by hand if it is really slippery. Chains may be mandatory in snow conditions in the mountains.
Use extreme caution in snow conditions. It is easy to lose control of a heavy trailer. Wait out the weather if you can.
Doug
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 14:54 #8

  • Don77
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Just my 2c!
But I would take the southern route to South Calif. then North on I 5!
No further north cross country than I 40! Az can get icy and dangerous!
A few years back wife and I had to stop over night to wait out a snow storm only to have to stop again in Flagstaff because of a big accident that closed I40! No snow just icy!
I would take I 10! Like I said just my 2c!
We have already had some early snow in the mountains here in Calif. Has not lasted long but you can never tell!
Once in Calif and Oregon you will have on passes over 5000ft!
Good luck and drive safe!
Let me know if I can give you any info on getting through S Calif?
Don
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 19:05 #9

  • aknurse
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My motto is if you're prepared nothing will go wrong. The reverse is true as well. Winterizing is simple. I do it every year to keep -30 F from damaging my boat. Here is what I do:
1. Drain hot water heater. I have shut off valves and a bypass hose between the intake and output hoses to isolate the WH.
2. Run all of the fresh water out of your tank. Dump 4 gal. RV anti-freeze into fresh water tank and run it through all plumbing until its flowing nice and pink out of each faucet.
3. If you have a wash down pump, remove the suction side hose and run RV ant-freeze through it as well.
4. Black water tank. Drain of course and run Rv anti-freeze through pump if applicable. Regardless of whether there's a pump or not pump some antifreeze through head.
5. Antifreeze shower sump and run pump (assuming your boat has this).
6. Run 5 gallons of the proper RV antifreeze through your raw water side. Make sure you use the stuff rated for engines and plumbing as it doesn't contain alcohol like the more common stuff sold at Walmart.
My "winterization" takes me 2-3 hours tops, costs less than $100, and is proven protection.
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Winter Towing 07 Oct 2017 20:06 #10

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Make sure also to take a grease gun and use it if needed. A infra red temp gun reader is great for long trips to check the hubs and tires for overly high temps. It might be a good idea to take tools to work on all parts of the trailer also some way to fill tires with air.and Maybe a set or two of wheel bearings and seals. Maybe some brake fluid also. A Jack that is suitable to changing a trailer tire. Emergency road flares and cones.
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1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge twin 454's

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hull#23

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop hull#24
Twin chevy 350's
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Winter Towing 08 Oct 2017 19:16 #11

  • Glasply1
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Thank you to all you guys writing back. Super helpful advice here! I concluded to pay someone to ship the boat because my access to a 1 ton tow vehicle fell through and the logistics of getting a trailer just got to be too complicated. Although I've towed a lot of boats a lot of miles, never one this big and the realization I'd be taller and wider than a semi had me second guessing also.

Found a guy through u-ship. Don't want to jinx it so will update upon arrival! In meantime, I will get after all the boat related prep advice here. Thanks again.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA
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