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Old 02-08-2022, 08:04 PM   #21
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I like our chains "OnSpot" brand. Flip a switch and they deploy automatically. YEE HAW. Not sure how they'll work in non snow/ice conditions.
I have a lot of experience with the on-spots. All of our trucks at work have them and I use them every winter.

They are decent in snow and light ice up to a couple inches. Like 4" or so max. They rely on the spinning of the tires to work so they only help if your moving, the will do nothing to help you get unstuck.

Anything deeper than that and we put real traditional chains on the outside rear duals. Real chains are amazing and can get you through crazy deep snow. They are a huge PITA to install and remove, can wear on the tires if used a lot, and speeds are limited to like 15mph. They must go on before your in the ditch too, your not getting them on after the fact either.

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Old 02-08-2022, 08:22 PM   #22
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I have a lot of experience with the on-spots. All of our trucks at work have them and I use them every winter.

They are decent in snow and light ice up to a couple inches. Like 4" or so max. They rely on the spinning of the tires to work so they only help if your moving, the will do nothing to help you get unstuck.

Anything deeper than that and we put real traditional chains on the outside rear duals. Real chains are amazing and can get you through crazy deep snow. They are a huge PITA to install and remove, can wear on the tires if used a lot, and speeds are limited to like 15mph. They must go on before your in the ditch too, your not getting them on after the fact either.
Makes me wonder if you shouldn’t put chains on when you arrive if you don’t plan to go back on the road for awhile and may be in a soft spot.. if you drive right it then great pack the chains away for another day. But if you do sink then the chains are on and ready to help
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:08 PM   #23
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Does anyone have any specific recommendation for chains that would work as well as possible in the widest variety of circumstances (snow, ice, & mud). Something suitable for both on and off-road use, or off-road use only? (if it's snowing on asphalt to the point I'm even thinking about chains, I'm not driving any further than it takes to find a place to park).

I've been looking at chains based on the responses in this thread and there are so many options I have no clue what would be best.
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Old 02-08-2022, 10:20 PM   #24
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._2?smid=&psc=1


Wanna try these. $150 I think if they come back in stock
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Old 02-08-2022, 10:24 PM   #25
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In the past I have purchased 3 vehicles that came with an unused set of chains in a bag.
The first one was a beater '71 Chevy impala - We put the chains on before we went off-road at the off-road park. Never got stuck. Definitely exceeded safe tire chain wheel speed.
The second vehicle was my '58 Chevy Thomas bus. It was a Mine Rescue truck and had a bunch of storage boxes, and one had a unused set of dual chains for the rear wheels. In the 16 years I owned that Bus I never even moved that bag. I was just careful where I drove that bus.
The third vehicle was a 1964 Ford F100 4WD Snow plow from new truck. Unused chains with a 1964 shipping tag on the bag. I don't think that old F100 ever got stuck, it was a beast!
So my experience with chains? Buy a set, you will never use them.
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Old 02-09-2022, 12:36 AM   #26
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LOL. That's the way it usually goes. Gotta have 'em to keep from needing 'em.

BTW - what it sounds like you did to that Impala was just plain wrong
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:11 PM   #27
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Biggest issue I see with boondocking friends, regardless of vehicle, is weather coming in while parked. They even were really careful to park on hard ground facing the right direction, but the road out is now REALLY soft, or has a tree across it.

A few bags of lava rock do WONDERS for getting farm trucks and pivot irrigators out of mud, they should do the same for a bus. Any rock will add traction to mud, but lava rock is LIGHT enough to carry with you. Leave it in the bag to fill ruts, spread it out to get traction over slime or slush.

Don't mess with anything less than V bar chains if you want to use them in mud or snow.

Harbor freight winches get great reviews. Spend the extra for synthetic line, especially if receiver mounted. The weight savings is worth it.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:27 PM   #28
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More great advice. I and I'm sure countless others will no doubt benefit from this thread.

I appreciate everything 'stuck' related, not just getting out of 'stuck'.

Thanks so much, everyone! Keep it comin'
QUESTION: What does 'v-bar' refer to?
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:25 PM   #29
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I've gotten a short bus un-stuck using a shovel, boards, and some lovely ladies jumping up and down on the back bumper.
It was pretty stuck, too.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:28 PM   #30
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I've gotten a short bus un-stuck using a shovel, boards, and some lovely ladies jumping up and down on the back bumper.
It was pretty stuck, too.
Were the lovely ladies locally sourced, or do keep them on board at all times in case of emergency?


I've only got one, and last I heard that's my limit (right, baby?)
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:31 PM   #31
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I would thinks some bus size traction boards might be a good idea for soft ground. Maybe even parking on the boards so the bus doesn't sink while your camping.

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Old 02-12-2022, 06:38 PM   #32
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Were the lovely ladies locally sourced, or do keep them on board at all times in case of emergency?


I've only got one, and last I heard that's my limit (right, baby?)
They're essential kit around here!
the more the better
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:48 PM   #33
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.
[edited for brevity]
.
I am thinking about changing to the 12,000 lb badlands...I would like to find about four pieces of wwII landing mat each piece about 20' long to hang on the outside of the bus... two pieces on each side...
.
a)
I think 12k winch at a minimum.
In the olden days, MileMarker made an 18k electric-hydraulic.
Stouter tow-trucks use a 24vdc version for faster spooling.
.
b)
Perforated Steel Plank ('PSP') (landing-mat).
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Old 02-12-2022, 09:34 PM   #34
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Winching is dangerous.
Be sure to hang a "sandbag" thing or at least a rug/sleeping bag/jacket over ~centerpoint of cable etc to slow the whip when the cable breaks.
Keep people out of the way!
Use gloves.
Maintain everything.
Watch your batteries and wiring
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Old 02-12-2022, 09:45 PM   #35
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PSP great, not to much $
Now some is aluminum, much more $

I saw a nice MANN rig with 4 pieces as bumpers (2 front 2 rear)
Be sure to cut to width of bus ;>)
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Old 02-12-2022, 09:49 PM   #36
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PSP great, not to much $
Now some is aluminum, much more $

I saw a nice MANN rig with 4 pieces as bumpers (2 front 2 rear)
Be sure to cut to width of bus ;>)

I really like that idea.
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Old 02-12-2022, 11:24 PM   #37
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Future planning here.

I don't have much experience extracting vehicles from stuck situations. And certainly not vehicles the size of a bus. Trucks in sand - sure - but nothing 'axle-deep' that didn't also involve another vehicle and a tow rope.

Being as boondocking is our goal, in hopefully diverse locations, I'm afraid one day avoidance of obviously bad situations may not be enough.

I'd hope to start a discussion of any & all potential options... winches, traction mats, shovels, and all the stuff I don't know about. What's possible & practical? What's not. What have you done that's worked? What has failed?

Love to hear from anyone & everyone with anything even tangentially related to this subject.

Jacks and a shovel can go a long ways towards getting unstuck or fixing flats. (jack it up and fill in the hole with rocks, works for a variety of situations - high center and/or wheels dug in or spinning - or air up a flat.) stay away from clay soil if there is even the slightest moisture involved, don't stop moving in sand, avoid hills if the dirt is not really hard - if the wheels start spinning they can dig a hole deep enough to stop forward motion very quickly when going up hill and just because you made it down the hill ok on the way in doesn't mean that you are going to make it back up that hill on the way back out so it pays to check out the soil/dirt before going down if you are going to have to come back out the same way, jacks don't work so good on a steep hill.


Placing an aired up spare tire in front of a buried tire/wheel and routing the the tow strap/rope/chain up and over the top of the spare can raise and pull the vehicle forward at the same time as the force is applied by the winch or tow vehicle. The spare rotates slowly as the strap goes over the top of the spare and the force of the strap goes up and forward as the spare rotates. Spare tires can also be buried to create an anchor for your winch to pull against. There are some good videos on Youtube of both of these.

I you are depending on a winch you really need to know how to use it before you need it and keep it in good condition. They can be very dangerous. I've known or seen people killed by winches, jacks, and tow chains.

Snatch blocks can be used to change the directions of the pulling force on a winch or tow vehicle or you can use a snatch block to multiply force, you have to know how to attach it correctly (usually to the vehicle being moved) there is a right way and a wrong way.


Stay off of hills if the ground is wet or icy - it is very easy to just start sliding down hill even if you are psrked
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Old 02-12-2022, 11:55 PM   #38
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Here's a Marine trick for when you're stuck with a non 4x4 and non posi rear end...... i.e. if one wheel spinning makes the other just sit there....
If one side is in the slick stuff and just spinning.....

Apply a bit of pressure to the brake as you apply throttle to turn the wheel. The object being to keep the spinning wheel from spinning and apply some torque to the non spinning wheel. Apply more brake until the spinning wheel stops and the other side should have torque.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 02-13-2022, 11:46 AM   #39
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Check out this guy's videos on you tube.

https://m.youtube.com/c/RonPratt

He works for a heavy towing and recovery/ heavy truck repair/ trailer repair company owned by his parents
Most of his videos are of him using several million dollars worth of trucks with several million dollars worth of equipment to recover vehicles, load the pieces with a rotator onto roll backs and a tractor trailer and haul them away, while he explains everything he is doing and the dangers of not doing it the right way, he also does recoveries in remote areas where his fancy trucks wont fit or the customer wants it extracted now and doesnt want to wait for him to drive a dozer in.
For some reason, in his area, people like to rent full size moving vans and drive them down hiking trails in the state forests.
On those jobs he uses a little ATV with a cute little winch and a whole bunch of pulleys and snatch blocks and a lot of rope to pull the truck, which weighs at least ten times as much as the ATV , out. and they had to chain the ATV to a tree.
He explained mechanical advantage.
Thats when you run a rope from your winch to a pulley and back to the winch and back to your pulley. It increases the pulling capacity of your winch.
If you have enough rope and pulleys you can pull the bus out by hand. Would probably take all day to rig it, though.
He also moves farm equipment and factory machines and explains how to rig them for lifting and secure for transport.
And bonus, in his state tow trucks are considered emergency vehicles when responding to an accident that is blocking a road or has people trapped in the vehicles. You get to see a tow truck with red, blue and yellow lights and sirens responding to a call.
And he trains with the fire department so he does extracations.
Very religious man, won't show accidents where people got hurt or died.
Has the contract to tow the local school buses so you get to see what he hooks to.
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Old 02-13-2022, 07:49 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Future planning here.

I don't have much experience extracting vehicles from stuck situations. And certainly not vehicles the size of a bus. Trucks in sand - sure - but nothing 'axle-deep' that didn't also involve another vehicle and a tow rope.

Being as boondocking is our goal, in hopefully diverse locations, I'm afraid one day avoidance of obviously bad situations may not be enough.

I'd hope to start a discussion of any & all potential options... winches, traction mats, shovels, and all the stuff I don't know about. What's possible & practical? What's not. What have you done that's worked? What has failed?

Love to hear from anyone & everyone with anything even tangentially related to this subject.
I have heard the don't go there mantra. We live there. Our 40 acres are way off the beaten path in the desert. Our soil is flat and sand. When it rains it's time to get stuck. Some times it looks very safe to drive on, maybe even dry looking, but then turns out to be soft or wet clay u der the surface.

We chose to go with a toad. Our little jeep liberty and four sections of 30' recovery strap are invaluable to us. If you plan to boondock where you might get stuck, a second vehicle and recovery straps are right up on top with the best options.


No road? Make it a pretty big winch with a long cable or strap. At least 150'. Make it so the winch can be on the front or back. Better make a couple of heavy deadman anchors, bring a shovel and some snatch blocks.

The other real drawback of not having a toad is that if you do get stuck in the middle of nowhere and your cell phone doesn't have a signal, it may be a long walk to help.

When we are out and about and we think we might want to explore somewhere a little sketchy, we take the jeep first.
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