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Old 01-03-2017, 11:48 PM   #231
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Fitz - many thanks, I'll certainly take you up on that kind offer!
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:13 PM   #232
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Tire Chains

This topic has come up twice for me recently. Once in this current thread: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...ins-18691.html and again when Dawghandler was here and we discussed the fact that the kind folks at Yosemite Valley have been known to turn vehicles away if chains are not on board.

For a Sprinter owner such as me, chains will be used on the roadways when Caltrans chain controls are in effect. From the Caltrans site:

Although Caltrans does not post signs with these designations nor use them to announce chain controls to the public, they are used internally within Caltrans and the CHP as a kind of shorthand to describe chain restrictions and may be included in traffic reports disseminated by various news outlets.
There are three primary categories of chain restrictions, as shown below:
R-1: Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on at least two drive wheels. Chains must be carried by vehicles using snow tires. All vehicles towing trailers must have chains on one drive axle. Trailers with brakes must have chains on at least one axle.
R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles under 6,500 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on all four wheels. Chains for one set of drive wheels must be carried by four wheel-drive vehicles using snow tires.
R-3: Chains are required on all vehicles without exception.
R-1 and R-2 are the most common conditions. A highway will often be closed before an R-3 condition is imposed. Some local areas may use variations of these designations. You must follow the directions on the signs posted for chain controls or any instructions given by Caltrans or CHP personnel at chain control check points, even if these are at variance with broadcast road condition reports or information contained herein.

Note the weight limits. Four wheel drive alone is not enough for built-out vehicles weighing as much as ours.

And from page 250 of the 2016 MB Sprinter Owners Manual:

- Mount snow chains only in pairs and only to the rear wheels.
- Vehicles with all-wheel drive: snow chains are not permitted on the front axle.
- Activate all-wheel drive before driving off with snow chains
- When driving with snow chains installed, do not exceed the maximum permissible speed of 30 mph

After reading the thread referenced above I picked up a set of SCC Super Z cable chains, sized for my BFG KO2 265-70R17's. ($99.95 plus tax)



I haven't test fit them yet but will do so and report back if there are any issues.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:42 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
Note the weight limits. Four wheel drive alone is not enough for vehicles weighing as much as ours.
I hadn't thought of this. A large appeal of the sprinter is the 4x4 - I drive to the snow a lot and assumed that would work to avoid chain control in most cases. It would significantly dim the appeal of a 4x4 for me if chains were required anyhow! I carry cables in my current AWD car, but have yet to need them.

Has anyone w a 4x4 Sprinter been stopped by Caltrans/CHP in winter conditions and made to put on chains? I would assume they'd let you slide by (so to speak). I have always driven through even without proper snow tires in my AWD vehicles.

I'm not finding a survey of gross vehicle weights on SMB Sprinter conversions - is there a rule of thumb or range on that discussed somewhere? I know yours is heavy Fitz.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:27 PM   #234
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According to MB's technical specifications, the curb weight of the Sprinter 2500 Cargo vans with the 4 cylinder engine varies from 5,038 to 5,864 lbs. The curb weight on my 144" Standard Roof 4x4 is listed as 5,335 lbs. (No driver weight but all liquids and 100% fuel.) It's easy to see how any sort of a build or load will put you over the Caltrans limits.

That said, I have driven through the chain control areas on I-80 heading up to Tahoe just like I always have with my smaller four wheel drive vehicles in the past. I did it without having any chains and thinking about it after the fact was one of the reasons I did my homework and now keep a set of cable chains in the van.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:10 PM   #235
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Tire Chains:

I'm thinking of getting these Thule chains (Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe). They have the easy on/off characteristic like the Super Z cables but are more durable.

https://www.amazon.com/Thule-Deluxe-.../dp/B002LF7H08
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:30 PM   #236
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Carport

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I have mentioned Flint's new home several times in this build thread, reference posts 31, 64, 127, 135 and 179 quoted above.

Pacific Metal Buildings finally called me this past week, and the installation is scheduled for the first week in January 2017. Looking back, it was February 2016 when I first contacted them as I was exploring options, I made my decision and placed the order in June 2016, then came dealing with the Designer and the Building Department until the permit was finally issued late in October 2016, all leading up to what looks like a four hour installation with an experienced three-man crew.

Assuming no rain on the day of installation, look for pictures and comments to follow in the next month or so!
The above is from Post 211.

Flint has a new home! The ordering process wasn't fast, but installation with an experienced three-man crew only took about 2 hours for this 12' wide x 21' long x 10' high metal carport. It was installed yesterday between our current CA winter rain storms, and the carport did a nice job of protecting Flint as the next storm blew in last night.

Laying out the base rail:



The finished carport:



Flint protected from the rain from the rear. Note the branch on the ground - it was windy last night!



Flint protected from the rain from the front:



The 12' width is the smallest available from this manufacturer. I would have liked to have made it a few feet longer, but this was the maximum length I could squeeze into the space available. The Thule crossbars on top of the van are 8'-10" high and I want to be able to raise the penthouse when under the cover, thus the 10' height at the gable ends. Total cost was just under $2k.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:46 PM   #237
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Nice. Always a good feeling to have your rig protected.


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Old 01-08-2017, 11:33 PM   #238
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I drove to Yosemite in our MB 4x4 Sprinter SMB over the Thanksgiving weekend. A friend gave me his chains so when they asked I could say yes. When we got to the entrance the Ranger said, "Do you have chains?" I said "Yep!" He then said, "Good, because all vehicles over 6,000 lbs are required to have them on so pull in to that parking lot so you can put them on. Well, the chains we brought didn't fit. They refused to let us in and turned us away because we had a vehicle over 6,000 lbs.

We now have chains that fit! We have these:
SCC Security Chain - Link Chain Non-CAM LT SUV/LT Snow Chains | 4WheelParts.com
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:48 PM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawghandler View Post
I drove to Yosemite in our MB 4x4 Sprinter SMB over the Thanksgiving weekend. A friend gave me his chains so when they asked I could say yes. When we got to the entrance the Ranger said, "Do you have chains?" I said "Yep!" He then said, "Good, because all vehicles over 6,000 lbs are required to have them on so pull in to that parking lot so you can put them on. Well, the chains we brought didn't fit. They refused to let us in and turned us away because we had a vehicle over 6,000 lbs.

We now have chains that fit! We have these:
SCC Security Chain - Link Chain Non-CAM LT SUV/LT Snow Chains | 4WheelParts.com
Maybe there's more Caltrans regulations, or maybe the Ranger was imposing their own 'rules', but a quick search came up with the following, which has no differentiation based upon vehicle weight, but does have this clause (Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas):

"Types of Chain Controls:
During the winter months, motorists may encounter traction chain controls in the mountain areas within California. When chain controls are established, signs will be posted along the road indicating the type of requirement. There are three requirements in California.
Requirement One (R1): Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.
Requirement Two (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
(NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)
Requirement Three (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions."

Caltrans Winter Driving Tips Chain Controls


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Old 01-09-2017, 11:18 PM   #240
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I don't think it was the Ranger "imposing their own rules" because ALL of them said it and gave me links to where it states that all vehicles over 6,000 lbs are REQUIRED to have chains on.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/chains.htm

Yosemite Road Conditions - Yosemite News - YosemiteNews.net (It's listed in the R-3 section)

When Do You Need Chains In Yosemite? | Sierra News Online

Fitz posted links to the same requirement in post 232.
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