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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping that after posting this I can be a little better prepared for my next towing coming up next week. I researched the Promaster for months before deciding to purchase my new 2021 2500 159" so that I could use it for my move from RI to Vermont and all the back and forth trips I need to take over the next few months but my recent experience was awful and I am very worried that the problem could be worse next time.

So I bought a 6x12 enclosed trailer, with brakes and filled it up with stuff and also filled my PM up with stuff and made my first trip up to Vermont. After much back and forth on this forum I decided to go with Blizzak tires on my PM so that I could be as safe as possible on these trips when there is snow and ice. The drive up was great and there were no issues whatsoever! My new home in VT is almost 2000 feet up gravel driveway with a slight incline. I was able to get up there to the house without feeling any sort of slipping or sliding and get my trailer unloaded/park my van. The driveway was like a sheet of snow and ice all the way up but it was freshly sanded by the property management company that morning.

The next morning it snowed and the the company we hire to take care of the driveway plowed it at 5am. We woke up and decided to make our first trip to town in the slushy mess to get some coffee and test the tires without the cargo trailer attached and it drove wonderfully. Unfortunately when we got back to the house we decided to hook the cargo trailer back up (both the van and trailer were empty at this point) so we could prepare to leave first thing the following morning and that is where the fun began.

When backing up to the cargo trailer we were able to get it hooked up but once trying to drive the tires on the PM started spinning and not moving the vehicle or trailer forward. After an hour and getting the trailer partially out of the mess the van and trailer both started sliding down the driveway and I couldn't accelerate forward. We used some firewood to prop up behind the cargo trailer wheels so it wouldn't roll down the driveway, detached the trailer and still couldn't drive forward. The PM was spinning, sliding left and right and we were stuck pretty bad. I turned off the ESC and drove forward, then back and forward and back until I got out of the hole I was digging and then had to use about 100 feet of ratchet straps between the PM and cargo trailer to get it back to the top of the driveway.

I want to prevent this from happening again and need some advice. I was under the impression that with these tires my PM would drive just as good as a vehicle with 4WD but it did not. I am worries that it will be like this every time it snows up there but it could have been really awful, wet conditions that caused it. For safety sake I need to be better prepared next time. If this were to happen halfway up the driveway while I am towing a cargo trailer and its full then I would be screwed. Nobody would be able to get around me to help pull me out. Any advice is appreciated!
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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94 Posts
I've experienced the same issue, it seems my sister's mini van does better on snow packed inclines. I have not weighed the front end of my 159 but I feel like it's very light on the front end and this is possibly contributing to lack of traction. To over come the traction issues I've experienced, I purchased tire chains and Autosocks. I recently used the Autosocks to drive up a snowpacked road and they worked awesome - super easy to put on and take off.
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #3
I've experienced the same issue, it seems my sister's mini van does better on snow packed inclines. I have not weighed the front end of my 159 but I feel like it's very light on the front end and this is possibly contributing to lack of traction. To over come the traction issues I've experienced, I purchased tire chains and Autosocks. I recently used the Autosocks to drive up a snowpacked road and they worked awesome - super easy to put on and take off.
This is the first I have ever heard about Autosocks! Do you think they would be better/easier than chains? Do you get them for all 4 wheels or only the front?
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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Autosocks are much easier to install than chains. They have worked great for me on snow. I've never tried them on mud or sand but believe chains would work better in these situations. Autosocks are lightweight and don't take up too much space. I recommend installing on the drive wheels only (front tires).
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you! I just got 2 of them on Amazon and they will be here on Wednesday, just in time for my next trip up. Now I need to find a rope puller than handles unlimited length of rope for my cargo trailer if I get stuck and need to detach and winch it.
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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What do you mean a rope puller?

Post your experience and pics using the autosocks, i'm very curious how they perform for others.
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #7
A rope puller vs a ratchet. It allows you to feed in an unlimited length of rope and use it like a come along. I don't like the ones that coil them up on a reel because you eventually run out of space and it also jams up all the time. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Maasdam-PowR-Pull-Capacitty-Puller/dp/B000PWJTC8 (but of course they are sold out)
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #9
I would expect that a rope puller would simply stretch the rope,if the van is really stuck.

Maybe it is time for some studded Hakkapeliita tires?
Its for pulling the cargo trailer toward the van if I have to remove it and get it out of a ditch like last week 😂 If I get the van stuck I can just drive in reverse down the driveway and then go back up in reverse. I just don't want to detach my cargo trailer and have it go running down the mountain. I did look at those tires but can't buy them as I just got my Blizzaks less than 2 weeks ago.
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #11
Rope puller, pretty cool device - never seen one like that.
I have tried them all. I would rather not lose a finger with a ratchet puller. Its also awful trying to unstick one of them when you are working outside and its freezing.
 

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I've posted about this issue on here before, and unfortunately outside of adding a load distributing hitch system you're probably not going to find a great solution.

With FWD weight added to the rear is going to cause traction loss in the front, basically a teeter totter. When that weight is far behind the rear wheels like tongue weight the result
is even more noticeable.
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #13
I've posted about this issue on here before, and unfortunately outside of adding a load distributing hitch system you're probably not going to find a great solution.

With FWD weight added to the rear is going to cause traction loss in the front, basically a teeter totter. When that weight is far behind the rear wheels like tongue weight the result
is even more noticeable.
I only need to do two or three more trips. I need to move my goats and llama and then I am selling the cargo trailer and using professional movers to get all the big stuff. Hopefully the autosock will help me make it the next few trips!
 

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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In my experience I have been very pleased with the promaster in snow and ice (CT and MA mostly). BUT it is not the vehicle I would ever want to tow with on snow and ice. FWD vehicles get the drive wheels unloaded by the trailer tongue weight (or loads behind the rear wheels).

FWD vehicles are poor choices for towing and nothing about the promaster suspends the laws of physics. In general it is not a great vehicle for towing, but is sufficient in good weather. I bought mine and installed a hitch, but only anticipating possibly flat towing my subaru behind it (which doesn't result in any extra tongue weight as the subaru weight rides on its own suspension).

Tire chains might be your only option for towing in poor traction conditions.
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #15
In my experience I have been very pleased with the promaster in snow and ice (CT and MA mostly). BUT it is not the vehicle I would ever want to tow with on snow and ice. FWD vehicles get the drive wheels unloaded by the trailer tongue weight (or loads behind the rear wheels).

FWD vehicles are poor choices for towing and nothing about the promaster suspends the laws of physics. In general it is not a great vehicle for towing, but is sufficient in good weather. I bought mine and installed a hitch, but only anticipating possibly flat towing my subaru behind it (which doesn't result in any extra tongue weight as the subaru weight rides on its own suspension).

Tire chains might be your only option for towing in poor traction conditions.
It's not something I plan on doing often and would never tow during an active storm with snow on the road. Unfortunately with the gravel driveway it just won't melt. I feel like the van towed beautifully from RI to VT with both a full trailer and van.
 

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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It's not something I plan on doing often and would never tow during an active storm with snow on the road. Unfortunately with the gravel driveway it just won't melt. I feel like the van towed beautifully from RI to VT with both a full trailer and van.
Good to know, I haven't towed with mine yet. I like that the capability is there, just in case I need it. I don't have anything else to tow with,so in a pinch it would have to do.
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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Tire chains might be a good option. Normally, they are not recommended on FWD vehicles,for good measure. If you throw a chain you can take out your universal joint boot (or worse). But there is no replacement for good tire chains. I had a 1970 K10 chevy 4wd pickup and when i went ice fishing in ND, sometimes the several miles of prairie trail would require chains. Chains on all 4 tires was like a half-track. Just do NOT drive over walking speed.
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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431 Posts
I am hoping that after posting this I can be a little better prepared for my next towing coming up next week. I researched the Promaster for months before deciding to purchase my new 2021 2500 159" so that I could use it for my move from RI to Vermont and all the back and forth trips I need to take over the next few months but my recent experience was awful and I am very worried that the problem could be worse next time.

So I bought a 6x12 enclosed trailer, with brakes and filled it up with stuff and also filled my PM up with stuff and made my first trip up to Vermont. After much back and forth on this forum I decided to go with Blizzak tires on my PM so that I could be as safe as possible on these trips when there is snow and ice. The drive up was great and there were no issues whatsoever! My new home in VT is almost 2000 feet up gravel driveway with a slight incline. I was able to get up there to the house without feeling any sort of slipping or sliding and get my trailer unloaded/park my van. The driveway was like a sheet of snow and ice all the way up but it was freshly sanded by the property management company that morning.

The next morning it snowed and the the company we hire to take care of the driveway plowed it at 5am. We woke up and decided to make our first trip to town in the slushy mess to get some coffee and test the tires without the cargo trailer attached and it drove wonderfully. Unfortunately when we got back to the house we decided to hook the cargo trailer back up (both the van and trailer were empty at this point) so we could prepare to leave first thing the following morning and that is where the fun began.

When backing up to the cargo trailer we were able to get it hooked up but once trying to drive the tires on the PM started spinning and not moving the vehicle or trailer forward. After an hour and getting the trailer partially out of the mess the van and trailer both started sliding down the driveway and I couldn't accelerate forward. We used some firewood to prop up behind the cargo trailer wheels so it wouldn't roll down the driveway, detached the trailer and still couldn't drive forward. The PM was spinning, sliding left and right and we were stuck pretty bad. I turned off the ESC and drove forward, then back and forward and back until I got out of the hole I was digging and then had to use about 100 feet of ratchet straps between the PM and cargo trailer to get it back to the top of the driveway.

I want to prevent this from happening again and need some advice. I was under the impression that with these tires my PM would drive just as good as a vehicle with 4WD but it did not. I am worries that it will be like this every time it snows up there but it could have been really awful, wet conditions that caused it. For safety sake I need to be better prepared next time. If this were to happen halfway up the driveway while I am towing a cargo trailer and its full then I would be screwed. Nobody would be able to get around me to help pull me out. Any advice is appreciated!
Driving a fwd cargo van on snow/ice is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Let alone a loaded 6x12 trailer. Life is too short, you have the rest of your life. Just wait until the road is cleared.
 

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I just can't imagine trying to tow my cargo trailer in snow with a FWD van. I did it once with my RWD van and barely made it up a very snowy driveway. Ever since then the trailer stays parked in winter weather! Some laws of physics are just too difficult for me to want to work around them.
 

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Good to know, I haven't towed with mine yet. I like that the capability is there, just in case I need it. I don't have anything else to tow with,so in a pinch it would have to do.
I tow a 7x12 enclosed trailer with my Promaster all the time, and they're surprisingly capable (Up to a point). I'd say the only two limitations are the traction on less than ideal surfaces being discussed here and performance at highway speeds when heavily loaded (Over 4000lbs).
 
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