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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.
Thanks AO Custom. I too just ordered a set from Amazon.ca, they will be here tonight! For those interested, the model for our wheel size is the AutoSock HP 697.

Link to amazon is AutoSock 697 Size-697 Tire Chain Alternative, Snow Chains - Amazon Canada
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #22
Thank you all very much for the advice. I will make my upcoming trip next week the last one with the trailer carrying cargo and then I will sell it. I didn't choose to move in Winter but it sort of just happened. I could probably pay someone to move my goats or I could do it in my Promaster with some tarps down. Next week I will try to Autosock if I get stuck and see how it goes! The only snow on the entire journey each way will be the 2000 foot driveway and other than that it will be all cleared highway.
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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94 Posts
@ShaunB - curious to hear your feedback too. Like I mentioned, they have their limitations. Probably not good for sand and mud. They are a fabric so are not recommended to be used on dry or gravel roads at high speeds.

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this company, just curious how they perform for others. Colorado DOT has approved Autosocks as an approved traction device when they require chains on passenger vehicles - kinda cool.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas
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Its probably worth carrying bag of sand and spreading it in front of the front tires on the packed snow. Even a few feet of sanded snow can be enough to get you started.
Good (real) chains make a very large difference if you get to the point where you really need them.

Gary
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #25
I am going to have our property management company heavily sand the morning of our drive up next Friday morning just to prepare. I will keep you all posted about the Autosock but I will only use them if I have any sort of issue. I also purchased the rope puller I mentioned and some actual tire chains from Amazon which will be my final resort if I do get stuck. I got these KONIG XG-12 PRO 245 Snow chains, set of 2
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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502 Posts
If I was in your situation I would install the tire chains before I need them, at the bottom of the driveway. Momentum is your friend. Once you lose traction and come to a stop, possibly digging in, it is much harder to get moving again especially on an upward slope.

Edit for clarity
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #27
If I was you I would consider installing the traction devices before you need them, at the bottom of the driveway. Momentum is your friend. Once you lose traction and come to a stop, possibly digging in, it is much harder to get moving again especially on an upward slope.
It sounds like you are saying "better safe than sorry"! You are right. I will try out the socks at the bottom of the driveway and see how it goes!
 

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Thank you for sharing this unfortunate incident. I live in Quebec, my house is up a non paved steep hill, and although well plowed, it is nothing you can do when the temperature is around melting point and the whole thing becomes slushy. However when very cold, compacted snow with some spread sand from the plowing company makes the climb possible. A couple of times last year I got stuck on heavy snow, but I was able to get out after the plow truck came. I'm now on Nokian All weather tires, and they seem to handle well in most conditions excepting my road under soft snow.
I carry chains just in case, I got these from Amazon because of the way they install, it seems easy, and after watching a video of the risks of standard chains when they break: Anti Snow Chains of Car,Suptempo Winter 6Pcs Outdoor Emergency Anti Slip Snow Tyre Chains TPU Car Tire Chain Belt Upgraded TPU Snow Chain for SUV/ATV/UTV Winter Universal Tir (Tire Width 165-285mm/6.5-11.2''): Amazon.ca: Automotive

There is video that shows the risk of broken chains, from a couple stuck in the snow, I recommend watching, it's also entertaining: Around minute 17 their problems start:
 

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2021 Promaster 2500 Cargo 159WB High Roof - Gas
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Discussion Starter #29
There is video that shows the risk of broken chains, from a couple stuck in the snow, I recommend watching, it's also entertaining: Around minute 17 their problems start:
That is nuts! I certainly would never try driving my van through anywhere near that amount of snow.
 

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It was interesting how much they plowed up in front of them. Reminded me of driving as a teenager growing up in Pittsburgh PA! I had to carry chains in my old VW to help me get home some nights after work.
 

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Maybe in the future when folks bring up topics like "I want to chase Jeeps off Road with my PM!" We should just reference them directly to that video. ;-) Glad that guy was young and in good shape to do that.
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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I have driven LOTS in deep snow, having lived in North Dakota for years. But never in my PM.

One thing to keep in mind that you can pack the snow down in the wheel tracks (after repeated snows and driving on the same tracks), but remember that if you slide off the packed wheel tracks, you will be lower and get high centered very quickly.

A shovel is your friend. Dig BEFORE you get stuck, it is far easier.

Put tire chains on on a clear road, or at least before you get stuck. Nothing worse that getting stuck and having to jack up a tire to install the chains.

Once you have the tire chains on, make sure that they are well tensioned, or you can throw them off. Also avoid spinning the wheels with the chains on. Slow and steady, rely on the traction supplied by the chains.

Sand or kitty litter can help on ice, especially if you have a short, icy hill to climb.
 

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The PM handles worse in the snow than my last van (a RWD 98 ford econoline). If you have a heavy load in the rear of the van and especially on a hitch that will transfer weight to the rear, non drive wheels of the vehicle. Im certain that video of the PM going up the snowy hill next to the transit was shot with an empty PM. Most converted PMs have near equal weighting on front and rear axles which would obliviate any advantage the FWD would offer. All this means more reason for running the best snow tires you can buy, and carrying chains and traction mats, IMO.

If you want the ultimate traction for "digging out" get a 4x4 sprinter with a lift.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas
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Our 136WB conversion with everything onboard, full tanks, two people has 55% weight on the front axle...

With good tires, I think it does quite well on the snow -- and we have plenty of that here :)

Weight Summary

Item​
Total
Weight (lb)​
Front Axle
Weight (lb)​
Rear Axle
Weight(lb)​
Empty Weight​
473030131717Empty Van
Conversion Weight​
1034 (1)154880Conversion parts(beds, tanks, galley, paneling, …
Empty Weight After Conversion​
576431672597Weight of converted van without payload
Payload​
971546425Payload (people, water, groceries, propane, junk)
Total Trip Weight​
6734 lbs3713 lbs3022 lbs
 

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I know everybody here wants to help but it just may be that you are asking for something beyond what the PM can do. Too steep, too heavy, too much snow, too much ice, too soft surface.
 

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Thanks for giving us an experience. I wonder if studded snow tires might be another consideration.
Could your blizzard be studded.
 
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