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Old 02-10-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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Here in CA I've always carried a cheap set of cable chains in my pickup for the check points with no intent on ever installing them. I've never needed to chain up with 4x4. But on my SMB I want a good set of chains if I ever actually need to chain-up in the backcountry. I have a set of Pewag's that are in my bumper box. RUD's are another good choice.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:52 AM   #12
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I'm headed to Colorado today and have aset of cheap cable chains that I have no intention of EVER installing. I hate chains and will go out of my way to avoid them. Having said that, I do have 4wd and Duratracks, which work really well in snow. If chains are mandatory, I'll pull over and wait for the restriction to be lifted rather than laying in the salty slush as traffic whizzes by my feet while I install them. I realize that's not an option for everyone but I have nothing but time. Best of luck.

Edit: I just talked to the spring guy I'm visiting and he said it snowed six inches last night. He also said they have a "traction" law that says if you don't have chains and spin out, it's a $600 fine. It's unclearto me if they have to be installed to avoid a ticket.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:10 AM   #13
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Coming from Michigan, where studded tires are illegal and chain use is highly restricted, it was a bit of a surprise when I moved to Seattle and there were chain requirements. Some pretty major freeways on the west coast can require them, including I-90 over Snoqualmie pass in Washington, and I-80 over Donner Pass in California.

IIRC in California four-wheel-drive vehicles are required to *carry* chains, but not required to install them, except under level 3 restrictions...but usually the highway closes before they hit level 3.

If you have Les Schwab where you live, they'll sell you chains in the fall and take them back for a refund in the spring if you haven't used them.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:06 AM   #14
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tirechains.com

Buy only chains with cams.




Buy V-bar chains.

https://www.tirechain.com/Tire-Chains-V-BAR.htm

I just drove 13 hours back from MT (Big Sky) last week. ~100 miles on white ice. I drove my Bronco 4x4 with studded Goodyear Duratrac snow tires.

But before I converted my E350 to 4x4, it was very squirrely on the rear end. It would get stuck in 6 inches of snow. Going up hill the rear tires would slip and could not push the van straight, rather the rear tires pushed the van sideways. So I ran the cam chains from tirechain.com with great success. I highly recommend them.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:18 AM   #15
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I carry two sets when I am heading into the snow. One set of cables and one set of v-bar chains. I have 4WD and haven't had to use them yet but carry them just in case. These are the two I have:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002K...mob_b_pd_title

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000H...b_b_asin_image
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:24 PM   #16
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Schwab tires has tire chains/cables that you can purchase. Iff you have not used them, you can give them back. They will refund whatever you paid for the chains/cables. Just make sure whatever you buy will meet the requirements for each state you are traveling through.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:53 PM   #17
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Les Schwab has several types of chains. The Heavy Duty Quick fit diamond chains already mentioned are the best for lightweight use, like getting you past the checkpoint or over the highway pass. But they also have heavy duty big lug chains which are far better for serious snow and ice. But most people never need such heavy chains. I have both types, as I am a believer in chains. 4WD might get you up the hill if it isn't icy, but only chains will keep you from sliding downhill, or sideways into the ditch.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:55 PM   #18
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V-Bar chains are the best. Good call.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lchukar View Post
Les Schwab has several types of chains. The Heavy Duty Quick fit diamond chains already mentioned are the best for lightweight use, like getting you past the checkpoint or over the highway pass. But they also have heavy duty big lug chains which are far better for serious snow and ice. But most people never need such heavy chains. I have both types, as I am a believer in chains. 4WD might get you up the hill if it isn't icy, but only chains will keep you from sliding downhill, or sideways into the ditch.
Err... I should have mentioned that until they were stolen, I had a second set of wheels with studded snow tires on them for the Winter for both the Bronco and the E350 4x4.

I just replaced the ones for the Bronco and will eventually do so for the E350 4x4.

In 4x4 low with studded snow tires, the E350 has traction like a tractor...


But V-bar chains with 5 cams to tighten them like they could pop your tire will do very well indeed.

We have friends in Menan, ID (N. of Idaho Falls) whom we visit on these trips. E. ID is mostly flat but they leave a nice layer of snow/ice on the roads.

BTW it was -22F at the top of Lone Peak at Big Sky only -11 at the base. But cold enough to add black ice to the mix. The nice things about studded snow tires is that they are always on. Even on cold blue bird days when black ice is present.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:11 PM   #20
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I forgot to mention that if you are in a FWD van and need chains you should not be there.
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