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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a couple of threads w/ the same question but no real answers. Can someone please help answer this question?

I have a '09 Rav4, Sport, 4WD, w/ Run Flat tires.

It'll be the first time I am driving up to S. Lake Tahoe in the winter and I'm wondering if there is a specific requirement for chains and/or cables given these are run flat tires. I've read it's ideal to have snow tires, but I don't drive often in the snow enough that I think there's a need to purchase. I also read I need to get 2 sets since I have 4WD. I've read cables are better than chains.

Can someone please help me determine what I might need to be safe on the road this winter?

Thanks so much in advanced.
 

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Most run flats aren't any good in snow including the RAV4 oem offering on the sap.

We keep some chains in the Rav since it's the law here when going to certain areas. But the Firestone Destination LE2s have been performing well and haven't needed them.

You may be able to get away with some auto socks.
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Discussion Starter #3
Most run flats aren't any good in snow including the RAV4 oem offering on the sap.

We keep some chains in the Rav since it's the law here when going to certain areas. But the Firestone Destination LE2s have been performing well and haven't needed them.

You may be able to get away with some auto socks.
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Thank you for your quick reply! I've heard that run flats are bad in the snow so definitely need to pick something up to be safe. Are the chains you have specific to the fact that they're run flat tires or would a general set of chains be good enough? Since all chains aren't created equal, is there a set you recommend?

It's the first time I'm hearing about auto socks - I'll look into that as well.
 

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We have cable-type "chains" but so far haven't had to use them. Traction-aid devices such as chains are sold based upon tire size. I haven't seen any so far that are specifically for run flats, but they may exist.
 

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Yeah I don't know of run flat specific chains either. I just got some for the size at wallyworld. Haven't used em yet so can't say anything about performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your replies.

I called the dealership and they recommend cables over chains & only one set (2 chains). I'm still a little hesitant since I've read two sets (4 chains) are better for 4WD & that chains are safer to cut through snow than cables.

Anyone have experience with this? Any advice is appreciated!
 

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Thanks for your replies.

I called the dealership and they recommend cables over chains & only one set (2 chains). I'm still a little hesitant since I've read two sets (4 chains) are better for 4WD & that chains are safer to cut through snow than cables.

Anyone have experience with this? Any advice is appreciated!
No, I don't have any experience with this, but just off the top of my head, I would think if you install either chains or cables, that you should use 4, not 2. Just seems more logical to me.
But remember, as a snowbird, the only snow I see is on TV in my condo in Florida!>:D
 

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If you have all season tires, (M+S, M/S, M&S, MS on a side of the tires) then you should be fine without chains, unless you're driving in snow storm. You need to carry chains or cables. Sometimes police check for that. Check with your book, but my version (I have 08 Rav4 4WD) says you can put chains only on front tires. Back ones has brake(?) cable close to the tires so chains could break it. You really don't want to lose brakes during winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you have all season tires, (M+S, M/S, M&S, MS on a side of the tires) then you should be fine without chains, unless you're driving in snow storm. You need to carry chains or cables. Sometimes police check for that. Check with your book, but my version (I have 08 Rav4 4WD) says you can put chains only on front tires. Back ones has brake(?) cable close to the tires so chains could break it. You really don't want to lose brakes during winter.
Thank you for your response.

I don't have all season tires. My manual also says chains on the front as well. Another dealership I called told me it's not recommended but it is safer to have chains (+ officers may check for that as you said) and on all four tires. So now, I'm debating between getting cables or chains.
 

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Get alpine sport chains. They are low clearance and will work fine for your RAV. Cables are TERRIBLE!!!! I have even had cables cut my tires before.
Here is an article I wrote many years ago about chains.
Bill in Tahoe: A guide to Tire Chains

Yes four chains will be best, but really over kill. Just run them in the front. However be VERY CAREFUL about using the BRAKES!! Very easy for the rear to lose traction and spin out. Or going around corners and oversteering (when the rear end comes around: "drifiting"). The RAV has a very good VDC which will automatic correct, and pull you out of a drift. The traditional way to combat a drift is: If the drift is brake induced take your foot off the brake. If the drift is caused while in a corner (in a FWD car) hit the gas.

The reason that the manual calls for chains on the front is this. On a 4wd one would typically put chains on the rear. In our RAV we have an automatic 4wd system that engages the rear wheels when needed. Running chains increases the effective diameter of your tires. If the car sense that one set of tires is greater in diameter than 3% it will not engage 4wd. This is a safety feature to protect the drivetran. Installing chains essentially disables the 4wd. A FWD vehicle with chains however is much better than a 4wd with bad tires.

Have fun in South Lake. Don't lose your shirt in the casinos.
 

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I have had my 11 Sport SAP with the oem run flat tires and havent had a problem driving in snow, even here in MA where we had so much snow last winter my Rav handled perfectly in the snow, never had the need to use chains or cables.
 
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