Traction pads/boards?

Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by Groomporter, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. Groomporter

    Groomporter Well-Known Member

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  2. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't it be better to put both of them on the front tires, or both of them on the rear tires? I do have a 4X4 truck with heavy duty off-road tires. But I don't go in rough country like you do. For me, the 4X4 feature is only to get me out of a situation. Unless it is easy terrain like light mud or snow. What you show in the video looks like fun. But I would never take my truck in such terrain.
     
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  3. Groomporter

    Groomporter Well-Known Member

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    I have no intention to go off-road if I can avoid it -even if I did have 4WD. But I've ended up in a situation where someone with 4WD had to tow my trailer through a mud patch because my E350 van couldn't without getting stuck. So I've been tempted to get something like these just in case.

    As for the video, I assume they put them under the tires that were slipping the most in the snow.

    The Snow Joe ones look more compact for storage, but wonder how they compare traction-wise
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    What about snow chains? May be easier and less to carry. I figure if you had lego blicks you could use them also. Depending on how much mud, 4 wd isnt too much help eaither. Hard to prep for every senerio.
     
  5. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    I carry traction boards very similar to the ones in the video. Very common around here. I’ve used mine once. Got me out of the snow. No damage. Even if they don’t lasts more than a few uses I’ve gotten my monies worth .
     
  6. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    I used to drive truck on mud roads for living. It was 2wd. Chains got me out every time. Traction boards are only good for a short distance. A good set of agressive off road tires would help.
    If you go off road preperation is everything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
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  7. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Well-Known Member

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    Chains and or a winch.
     
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  8. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Lynx Levelers! [:D]
     
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  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Rolling around in the mud to put chains on sounds like fun...lol
     
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  10. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Beats getting stuck! Lol. The new chains are a bit easier to put on.
     
  11. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I spent 25+ winters in a RWD work vehicle wearing chains. Hope to never have to use another set.
     
  12. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    That is why I own a 4wd tow vehicle. Planned for it from the start when I saw a 2wd truck unable to move on wet grass after a heavy rain. Made a believer of my BIL it was him stuck.
    He now has a 150 FX4.
     
  13. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Had that happen to me once. My 4wd is broken on my SUV so was using 2wd. Couldn't believe just adding the weight of the camper I was at a standstill on wet grass. Unhooked I was able to move just fine. Thankfully the campground I was at had a tractor to pull the camper to the gravel road for me. Apparently they had to pull a number of people out that day. The maintenance guy thanked me for not destroying his ground attempting it. He had his work cut out for him that day. Luckily 90% of campgrounds I go to have gravel. So it's mostly a non issue for me.
     
  14. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Snow chains for mud? I had no idea. I need to get stuck more!

    Maxtrax style boards are seen often in CA (primarily to look cool strapped to the exterior of your 4x4 next to your Hi-Lift and Rotopax) but I think they are used for soft sand here. Of course those guys also have the nimble 4x4s and not--don't be offended--big ol' 2WD vans!
     
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  15. Scotgrob

    Scotgrob New Member

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    In a pinch, try dropping the tire pressure to about 12 psi - it allows the tires to float more. I've been buried up to my axles, used that trick, then walked right out of the mess I was in. Then, once you're out of the mud, fill your tires back up. It might take 20 min. to fill the tires with an air compressor, but it's better than sitting for a couple of hours, waiting for a tow. In my case, I've got a co2 tank, so it only takes a few seconds per tire. As for the pads, they're called sand pads, the millitary's used them for years.
     
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  16. SlinginIron

    SlinginIron Active Member

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    The maxtrax and treds traction boards are pretty good. As seen in the video, it doesn’t take much tire spinning to melt the plastic. Off-roading, you would usually want to carry at least two or preferably four. If you check YouTube for traction board or sand ladder comparisons you will see a number of videos comparing different types. The snow Joe non rigid sand ladder types really don’t work very well for added traction and I’ve seen them get tangled around an axle. There is a reason the price goes from $25 with a sand ladder to $300 for a pair of traction boards. Old rule of thumb is as previously mentioned drop tire pressure, run 2wd when until you get stuck, then run 4WD till you get stuck, then have proper recovery gear (boards, winch, kinetic straps, etc). Good luck!
     
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  17. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Even in my Malibu, I keep a pair of inexpensive traction boards. Yes they consume space. Mine came in a stowage bag and I attach that to the top of my roof top carrier bag in transit. They are effectively the same thing you show in the video. They work fantastically for sand, and all sorts of mud. Mind you they do not work 100% of the time. There are just too many situations off road where no matter the traction aiding device, you just are NOT going to get traction.

    The video you linked, that 4Runner would have been equipped with electronic locking differentials, so the diagnoal would have worked, but would not have been my choice. It worked, just not ideal.

    The points he made were great. Not an end all be all solution, but a good addtion to your self recovery kit.

    #1. These things are made with semi slippery plastic, which when wet, is, well, slippery, traction is MUCH better than snow, ice, mud, and sand, but NOT perfect. Nothing is perfect.
    #2. These things will hold an F350 with a heavy camper, fully loaded, they will bow, but I have never heard of them breaking under that much load. I wouldn't trust them with a duece and a half though...
    #3. If you are THAT concerned with self recovery there is more to your recovery kit you will need. Such as.

    Shovel. Honestly I would look for a long handle collapsible GI style folding shovel. Something that packs down small but can be used to move rocks, sand, snow, whatever from around your tires.
    Come along, or farm jack A.K.A. Hi Lift Jack.
    recovery strap. A.K.A. keeper strap.
    Tree saver strap.
    Snatch blocks, and D rings with enough rating to safely handle the load.
    Logging chain, same as above.
    Tool bag to hold it in.
    Heavy blanket to protect from potentially whipping broken cables.
    Leather work gloves. Especially when around or below freezing and wet, steel cable, and the bits and pieces of recovery gear can tear up your hands.

    To use the traction boards, make sure you have one under each drive wheel. If your van for example is rear wheel drive, and you put the board under one rear wheel, unless you have a locking differential on that van and I seriously doubt you do, ALL the power will be shifted to the wheel that is moving faster, the one with no traction, and you go nowhere.

    The boards I got are these... I also got the earlier version that does not have the farm jack support block in the middle, but my truck is 4x4 so I use one at each wheel... And I am probably doing overkill.

    https://amzn.to/2YwhvjY
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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