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Old 11-28-2010, 10:04 PM   #1
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Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Hey all,

Couple of photos from some fall adventures in Oregon.

First, last weekend, a trip to the mouth of Tillamook Bay for some lunch, surf-watching and seagull inspection:





And Thanksgiving weekend, a trip wine-tasting with friends on Saturday, then an overnight near Mt. Hood at Trillium Lake. We watched a movie (in the van), spent the night in the van, and then did some snow-shoeing before heading home for birthday dinner.





This is where you would see Mt. Hood on a clear day:



We didn't chain up on the way up the hill. It was actively snowing, and traffic was light. I was concerned about traction with the wide mud terrain tires because I haven't driven the SMB in snow and ice before, but there were no problems. Didn't really hit ice, but they handled fine in the snow.

Today, I didn't know what to expect on the trip down the hill, so I went ahead and threw on the chains. I have the Les Schwab quick-fit diamond tire chains. I've run these on my cars for years with no problems. Not too difficult to put on, and very easy to take off. I was glad to have them on, because today it look this going down the hill:



Had a funny moment as we pulled out of the snowpark. I was out of the van for one last check and tighten on the chains, and a Volkswagen pulled past us to get on the highway. As I got back in, I noticed their right rear tire was flat. I pulled up beside them and told them. They weren't really excited about changing a tire in the snow or driving a donut down the hill. I offered to air them up. "You have a compressor on that thing?" "Well sure, and a fridge, and a furnace, and a stove, and..." We couldn't find any obvious punctures in the tire and no hissing, so in a few minutes they were on their way. Who knows, maybe some converts sometime soon...
Attached Thumbnails
Barview 1.JPG   Trillium Lake 2.JPG   Trillium Lake 4.JPG  
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Looks like a fun trip! Did I read it right, you chained up a 4WD on the highway??? I have been vacillating between 2WD and 4WD for our future Sportsmobile. If I have to chain up to go skiing in either case, that will make the decision easy.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Max speed of 25, but yes. When I say highway, I mean 2-lane road with passing lanes and 6% downgrade. Chains were required for all vehicles except under 10,000 with traction tires and not towing. It was borderline, but given the grades, traffic, wet ice/packed snow, and the big flat knobs on my MT tires, I was glad to have the extra stopping insurance.

If I was running studs or even winter tires, I wouldn't have worried about it. If I was in my Volvo XC, I wouldn't have worried about it. If I had driven the SMB in a lot of know, maybe I would have done something different. But I found out in my Volvo a couple of years ago that you can end up in the ditch very quickly even at 25mph, so I'm a bit more cautious now.

If I had a 2wd with the same tires, I would have done the same thing - no chains up, chains down. If I had a 2wd with studs, I wouldn't have chained up.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
Looks like a fun trip! Did I read it right, you chained up a 4WD on the highway??? I have been vacillating between 2WD and 4WD for our future Sportsmobile. If I have to chain up to go skiing in either case, that will make the decision easy.
I was in almost the exact same conditions this past week in my SMB and no chains for me. It handles great in snow. I was passing other cars stuck and in the ditch constantly and again no problems for the SMB. Ice however and it can be scary trying to stop 10,000 lbs! I am taking my SMB skiing every weekend this winter in worst conditions than pictured and I don't own chains yet. I will buy some soon however since it is required at times by law to chain up where we go.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:44 AM   #5
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Nice pics! They make me miss Oregon a bit for sure.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

I was probably being overly cautious. I didn't have chains on the front, but I had no steering or slipping issues in the front end. 10,000 pounds is a lot of weight to stop, but it also helps you stick you to the road. This will not be the last snow trip, so I'll report back with more info later.

At the risk of hijacking my own thread, are you guys familiar with tire siping? I am considering doing this to improve the winter performance of my Goodyear MT/R tires. Les Schwab is big on the pluses? Are they right, and what are the minuses?
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldercrest

At the risk of hijacking my own thread, are you guys familiar with tire siping? I am considering doing this to improve the winter performance of my Goodyear MT/R tires. Les Schwab is big on the pluses? Are they right, and what are the minuses?
Don't do it if you plan on going off road at all is what Les Schwab told me. It will make the tire chunk out and break off in bits or chunks where it has been siped. I talked about it in depth with them for my SMB and the Toyo open country MT's. Especially considering the weight of our vans.

edit; this was all theory as they had never siped a tire for such a heavy vehicle nor did they know what would happen in the rocks. Smaller vehicles it can chunk out so in theory the heavier vehicle will increase this possibility? That said I will probably sipe mine just so I get the traction in the snow and risk it chunking. Better to have traction in my opinion.

Do you like the Goodyears? Would you get them again?
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

I was in similar conditions over the holiday weekend and did not chain up. Just engaged 4x4 and drove cautiously.

This is the key reason I won't go with any of the MT tire choices out there and prefer an AT tire. The MT tires look more aggressive, but they don't perform as well in snow and ice as the AT. I drive in snow/ice 10x more often that I drive through mud/sand so can't justify anything but an AT.

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

I will definitely be going with AT tires next time. The MT's are from the previous owner. They look good and generally work fine. Just concerned about snow and ice. Rather than prematurely shell out $1500 for replacements, I'd rather wear them out, even if it means chaining up a couple of times a year.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #10
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Re: Trip Report: Oregon Fall Adventures

I have had many all terrain & mud tires siped on my vehicles. It makes a huge difference on the packed powder and ice. Granted, I have never had it done on such a heavy rig. I supposed chunking could be an issue but I doubt it would be that bad. The more biting edges the better, the majority of mud terrain tires suck in packed snow and ice due to lack of siping.
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