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Salt, sand, and another storm

As I type, the news is on. They showed one lady getting a bag of sand for her trunk. A great idea, but I urge anyone getting a bag of salt and/or sand to also get a closable plastic tub to put it in. Salt and/or sand will absorb moisture, releasing it slowly, making your trunk a humidity chamber (a salt chamber if you got a salt mix) and slowly lead to rot in the truck and all it’s many connected cavities.

Just a friendly tip.

Drive safely everyone.

Yep, sounds like everyone is falling all over one another to deal with the storm.

Kitty litter is probably a better choice, especially if you have a cat, or even floor dry. Around here they sell sand in a tube which is just sand and no salt in it. But its heavy. Salt though in the trunk can quickly cause rust as I found out in my youth.

Good luck to everybody down there.

@mountainbike, good tip. I had never thought of that, though I also don’t tend to load up the car with salt or sand.

Was this a weight thing or to have for helping getting unstuck? Or both? I used to use sand for weight in the back of a pickup, but that’s about it. For getting unstuck these days, I actually carry a couple of pieces of concrete reinforcing mesh in the back of the car.

It actually originated as road debris. Yes, I was driving down my road and a couple of sheets of mesh were laying in the middle of it. I’m talking about the small diamond hole screen-type, not the big-hole stuff. I stopped and threw them in the car - not only to clear the road for myself and the neighbors, but its also free useful stuff. I threw them in the rafters of the garage and promptly forgot about them. Then the next winter during some particularly nasty wintry weather I was equipping the wife’s car with some get unstuck supplies and it struck me how great that stuff would be. So I quartered a sheet, folded each quarter in half to make it 2 ply, secured the edges - and holy cow it works amazingly well. The only downside is that you could end up someplace where you can’t stop and retrieve them easily (lest you are stuck again). But that hasn’t happened yet. I love free stuff. I’ve since heard that people also like to use strips of carpeting. I’ve never tried that.

That’ll work. Just tie a rope to them and tie the rope to your door handle. Then retrieve them when you can stop. I’ve used a plank for mud and gunney sacks work too. I think they sell traction mats too just for that but I can’t remember the last time I was stuck enough to need something like that.

Just curious - how much weight do you guys carry in your trunk (RWD only, of course) I carry a couple hundred pounds in the trunk of my crown Vic, and that seems to be about right. Other opinions?

Two 20 lb bags non-scoopable cat litter, a small coal scoop shovel, water proof mitts. And, in case of being stuck, whether in gridlock traffic or otherwise, a blanket, bottle of water, car charger for cell phone, ice scraper/snow brush – and ALWAYS wearing snow boots if there is a chance I have to get out and wade through snow.

" Just tie a rope to them and tie the rope to your door handle"

I should have thought of that!

I think back in the old days, I maybe had 100# in the trunk.

Just for kicks though this is what I have in the car in the winter: My duffle with various meds, cough drops, tire guage, band aids, tooth brush and paste, shaver, umbrella, nook, charging cables for phone etc., batteries, flash lights, matches, dental flossers, extra glasses, ear planes for flying, and can’t remember what all else without looking, but it is my go bag and with me all the time. Then I have my snow boots, snowmobile suit, ski mask, snowmobile gloves, and a more worn hooded jacket. Then in the trunk I’ve got my tool box, paper towels, entrenching tool, rope, first aid kit, bungee cords, oil, power steering fluid, serpentine belt, spare wiper blades, and maybe some other stuff. Always carry a couple check books for different accounts, plus quarters for the car wash or meter, CDs, oh and a 12 pack of coke. Just seems like stuff I might need.

Ahhhh. You know it too. As the owner of a plethora of 4wd,Awd and rwd vehicles over the years, it’s an absolute no brainer. But, no need to say " rwd only" . Any car that has any motivation to the rear wheels benefits greatly. Even, my wife’s Awd RAV benefits greatly, and 4 wd trucks especially with their poor weight balance. 150 to 200 lbs is an excellent choice and what I use in the RAV IN EXTREME ICE. 300 lbs for our 4Runner.
If you have fwd, empty the trunk and place it on the floor in front of the passenger seat…

Cig, for most it’s an emergency traction aid, for some vehicles it’s also for weight. In my old pickups, I used concrete patio blocks secured into a wooden box such that they would not only stay over the real axle, but also (more importantly) so that they could not become concrete projectiles in an accident. Securing them was always very important to me.

Kitty litter works great too, but I’d still recommend it be in a plastic tub with a snap on lid. Although in the case of kitty litter it probably works as a dessicant also.

Thank fully my good friend, you never got into an accident. We would have never been blessed by your wisdom and thought provoking comments we all so enjoy now. This is just my thought and forgive me for questioning your well intended efforts to secure cement blocks. But how could any wooden box secure cement blocks in an accident without attachment points that would rival the actual bed construction itself ? I know many who have done it but the physics escapes me. There were some designs in a car mag I saw many years ago…but, they were adament that sand be used either loose or in easily breakable bags that fully disperse on impact. I always thought, mistakenly so perhaps, that anything you put into a pickup bed would ultimately be a projectile including the box that held the cement blocks and the decision was, do you deflect it from the cab and allow it to possible hit a bystander, use only weight, like water and sand (kitty litter) that could easily disperse…or, drive very, very, very slowly. I really like kitty litter and sand and even snow when it’s not frozen solid.

Simple. I constructed a frame of 2x4s using two longitudinal beams that ran from the bed’s front panel to the tailgate and two 2x4s transversely mounted and secured to the longitudinal beams. Under that was a plywood “floor” of the box, secured to the framing with decking screws. The patio blocks were 1-1/2" thick, the same thickness as the frame. The “box” center was dimensioned to fit my chosen number of patio blocks. A plywood “lid” was screwed on to the top of the box, and the entire unit was secured to the truck’s floor.

Between the longitudinal beams being up against the bed’s front panel, the entire unit being the length of the bed, the entire unit being secured to the bed, and the blocks being secured in the box, nothing was going anywhere.

An additional advantage of this design was that I had had effectively a flat base to put things like sheetrock and plywood on when I desired. The flat box and th flat patio blocks were the perfect solution to keep the truck’s full function.

Kitty litter’s great for a trunk, but in a truck bed it needs to be in a plastic container. It’s highly hygroscopic, and once wetted and frozen can become as dangerous as loose blocks.

@bing I would be afraid of the coke exploding! As far as weight I had a rwd pickup with a track top (retractable solid tanneu cover basically), I would leave it open when it snowed, and maybe evens shovel more snow in for weight, close it so the snow would not blow out on the highway if needed, and it goes away by itself when not needed!

Sounds outstanding. I would not have had the patience but it really sounds like it was effective. have always used tube sand that was double wrapped. The sand was always dry when broken open with age and I have often used it as traction sand to help neighbors. When there is ice on the road, it’s nearly impossible to pull someone out of a ditch. I keep eight bags at the end of the garage and throw what ever I have to in the back of the two Awd/4wd cars we have. Added weight helps both the traction and handling of these cars too. Because I always store the tube sand near the cars and trucks, i just use it as I need it and called it a three minute workout throwing it in. I have never used concrete. Glad it worked for you.

Thanks. It really wasn’t that difficult to make. Some 2x4s, a sheet of plywood, a circle saw, a box of decking screws, and a power driver. Hardly took any time at all.

I also carried behind the seat Gatorade bottles of dry sand. And a small shovel.

You should be living in Maine with that kind of foul weather prep. Gurantee you won’t run into the ex. up here. ;=()

For those of you who burn firewood, you can always throw a load of it into the truck bed for winter traction. That’s what Tom or Ray said he used to do.

The problem with tube sand, cinder blocks, etc, is when winter is over, you have to find some place to store or dispose of them. When I had a Tacoma I got tired of throwing out tube sand after winter because i had no place to store it. I started using bags of gravel from Home Despot instead. After winter I would dump it in my parents’ gravel driveway to replace the gravel that got carried away in tire treads, etc.

I think the firewood violates a “no projectiles” recommendation.

If you put wood in the bed…you better have some type of bed liner. Wood holds water…and on just a painted bed it’ll cause the bed to rust out prematurely.

Wood is a projectile for “everyone” including bystanders. The problem with using some of these unsecured weights is, when carrying a load in an open PU bed, we often drive much slower. When we forget we have the bottom of the bed lined with cement blocks or wood, we maybe driving 75mph plus, 105mph for some(RG) and a crash could involve a lot innocent drivers who are sharing the road. Throwing stuff in implies it could get thrown back out.