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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Basic Safety Tips for Towing in Winter

Photo by sshepard via iStock

Towing in winter can be a daunting task. The wet or icy and snowy roads add an element of difficulty that requires concentration and skill.

However, with a few tips and cautious driving, you should have no issues towing in winter.

This article discusses exactly what those tips are!

Table of Contents 

Tires Can Drastically Change Your Towing Abilities in Winter

Winter Tire on snow covered road.

Photo by alexandrumagurean via iStock

Regardless of what truck or car you drive, your tires are the only point of contact with the ground. So, even a heavy-duty truck capable of towing thousands of pounds will struggle in bad conditions if the tires are worn out or aren’t meant for snow. In this instance, we suggest using a snow tire that drastically increases grip in such conditions.

In fact, it makes so much difference that a two-wheel-drive car with snow tires can find grip more easily than a four-wheel-drive car without snow tires. That’s not to mention the reduction in stopping distance achieved with a good set of snow tires. 

BF Goodrich all-terrain


If you’re planning to head off-road and drive through a few snowy mountain passes, you may be better off going for all-terrain tires that perform well on snow. Some of the best out there are the BF Goodrich all-terrains. For an off-road tire, they work great when towing in winter. 

Evenly Distribute Braking Between the Vehicle and Trailer When Towing in Winter

Truck towing trailer in the snow

Photo by benedek via iStock

When towing in winter, you must make sure that you evenly distribute the braking power between your trailer and vehicle (if you have a brake controller that allows you to do so, anyway). This ensures that your vehicle remains as stable as possible during braking.

Having a brake controller that signals the trailer to brake harder than it should might lead to fishtailing. On the other hand, if your trailer doesn’t use its brakes enough, your tow vehicle will have issues finding grip when braking. This also wears out the brakes of your vehicle more quickly. 

Don’t Use Cruise Control

Cruise control and volume buttons on modern car steering wheel

Photo by eugenesergeev via iStock

Towing in winter requires smooth inputs that avoid wheel spin or lock up during braking. Using cruise control can lead to your truck or car shifting down a gear too aggressively, which may be unsettling to the vehicle and trailer on snowy roads.

Your best bet when towing in winter is to take full control of the inputs and be as smooth as possible to stay within the grip levels of the tires. This is true for steering, throttle, and brake inputs. 

Maintain Your Momentum, and Don’t Stop on Hills

Snowy Switch backs

Photo by Jan-Otto via iStock

One of the biggest causes of accidents during snowy or icy conditions are vehicles that have stopped on a hill and cannot take off again due to wheelspin. Granted, there are instances when you cannot avoid stopping, and, in that case, your best bet is to just be smooth when taking off. 

However, if you see a big incline approaching, gather up some speed and carry that momentum through the incline. This makes driving up the incline far easier and minimizes traction issues as well. 

Have a Good Quality Recovery Kit in Case You Need it 

Tackle Tuff Ready-Made Recovery Kit

Mishaps happen to everyone – especially when towing in winter – and you never know when you might find yourself in a difficult situation. It is worth carrying a recovery kit to ensure you can recover your vehicle and trailer.

Our kit of choice comes from Tackle Tuff and includes all the items you will need to perform a recovery safely. These include: 

  • A pair of 60,000 Lbs (30 Ton) breaking strength capacity snatch blocks
  • A pair of shackles with 60,000 Lbs breaking strength capacity 
  • A 30’ X 3” recovery/tow strap 
  • An 8’ X 3” tree-saver strap, 
  • Kevlar Reinforced Gloves 
  • A tactical carry bag that doubles as a line dampener.


Keep in mind that snatch blocks and shackles made by Tackle Tuff are constructed with forged carbon steel and are rigorously tested to ensure ruggedness in any off-road vehicle rescue. This makes them more than capable of recovery efforts involving a vehicle and trailer.

Tackle Tuff recovery strap

Additionally, Tackle Tuff straps are made from 100% nylon and feature reinforced eyelets for added strength and load capacity. Again, these are features you want in a recovery kit that will be used for a vehicle and trailer combination.

This kit comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind, too, so you can throw it in the back of your vehicle, use it when you need it, and do so knowing that the quality of the components is backed for life. Nice! 

Final Thoughts

camper on the road in winter

Photo by Animaflora via iStock 

Towing in winter comes with a whole set of challenges – slippery roads, increased likelihood of an accident, and closed roads, to name a few.

However, by having the proper winter driving tools and knowledge, it should be something you can tackle with relative ease and with peace of mind. 

If you have any further questions regarding towing in winter or anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page.

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