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So the RAV is off for its first visit to the mountains this weekend (we're off skiing in Mammoth) and there's snow forecast for Friday. To keep CHP happy, I'll be needing snow chains.

Now according the the SCC website, the chains I've got for my old Freelander should fit the 18" wheels / tires on my V6 Sport. But I've just been down to the garage and tried and there is no way they are going on (and that was in perfect conditions).

So has anyone had any experience with getting chains that fit? Has there been any clearance issues between the inside rim and suspension or brake parts? It looks like there's enough room for Class-S chains.
 

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What's the deal with snow chains on that side of the country? Is it that they don't plow the roads when it snows?
 
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I believe that CHP requires that you *carry* chains. They normally close the road before it gets bad enough for a 4X4 vehicle to actually need chains. And you're better not driving in such conditions either. I'd take the chains you have, they don't have to fit.
 
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Jeff said:
What's the deal with snow chains on that side of the country? Is it that they don't plow the roads when it snows?
Yes they plow the roads out west, we just get our snow in feet, not inches. Here in Oregon we have gotten 500-600 inches in the mountains and California has probably gotten more :shock:
 
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There's basically three levels of chain control in mountain areas. Level one means you need to have snow tires or put on chains. Level two means yoiu need 4 wheel drive and snow tires or chains. Level three means all vehicles must put chains on, but as kc456 suggested, the roads are usually closed before level 3 is declared. All vehicles are required to carry chains in control areas, regardless of whether they are required to put them on.

Mammoth has had a record year for snow fall and a significant amount of that has been in the last 6 weeks.

Figured out the problem with my exisiting chains. SCC's printed size guides had the correct information - their website was telling porkies.
 
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In Oregon the only time a 4 wheel drive vehicle has to put on chains is during a partial road closer. Under other "chains required" conditions, 4 wheel drive vehicles are exempt :D
 

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yup chains are required in the vehicle. friend got pulled over. 50 just to mess with him gave him a ticket for no chains and low tread on the tires. i guess its his job but there was also harrasement that came with it. oh well.
 

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hey... i just realized that the stock tires (yokohama) that come with my RAV4 Limited is M+S rating... from the link in my previous post.. M+S is count as Snow tire... so all you need is carry the chain with you.. but you don't have to install it to pass the inspection point
 
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hooolala said:
hey... i just realized that the stock tires (yokohama) that come with my RAV4 Limited is M+S rating... from the link in my previous post.. M+S is count as Snow tire... so all you need is carry the chain with you.. but you don't have to install it to pass the inspection point
Where did you see this?. Was it here?:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/vctires.htm

which says in section 27459:

" The snow-tread tires shall be of a type and design manufactured for use on snow as a replacement for tire chains or tire traction devices, shall be in good condition, and shall bear the marking of M-S, M/S, or other marking indicating that the tire was manufactured for use on snow, or, in the case of tires purchased before January 1, 1987, shall either bear the markings or, in the opinion of the inspecting officer, comply with the tread pattern requirements of Section 558."

If this is true why don't the signs say "4 wheel drive with M+S tires OK"?

-calkiwi
 

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calkiwi said:
hooolala said:
hey... i just realized that the stock tires (yokohama) that come with my RAV4 Limited is M+S rating... from the link in my previous post.. M+S is count as Snow tire... so all you need is carry the chain with you.. but you don't have to install it to pass the inspection point
Where did you see this?. Was it here?:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/vctires.htm

which says in section 27459:

" The snow-tread tires shall be of a type and design manufactured for use on snow as a replacement for tire chains or tire traction devices, shall be in good condition, and shall bear the marking of M-S, M/S, or other marking indicating that the tire was manufactured for use on snow, or, in the case of tires purchased before January 1, 1987, shall either bear the markings or, in the opinion of the inspecting officer, comply with the tread pattern requirements of Section 558."

If this is true why don't the signs say "4 wheel drive with M+S tires OK"?

-calkiwi
discription of snow tire
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/trucks/trucksize/chains.htm#allweather

R1 and R2 information
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/trucks/trucksize/chains.htm#r1r2

when i check my tires today.. i found out the Yokohama tires that comes with my Limite has M+S marking on the side wall..
 
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Discussion Starter #12
In Oregon for a tire to be considered a snow tire it has to have that little Triangle with Snow Flake emblem on the sidewall :D
 

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Disclaimer: This post is meant not as a breakdown of snow chain/tire regulations and applications, but as explanation of the tire ratings. I have never used snow chains except on my tractor, but I have been using snow tires for years.

The term "snow tire" gets thrown around a lot and generally misused in the interest of marketing. In terms of winter weather capability, there are three types of tires- summer tires, all-season tires, and snow/winter tires. Our government along with the tire industry has created designations to help us tell the difference, but as many of you know, the performance that a tire is rated for is not necessarily the actual performance you experience with the tire. I have had "summer tires" that worked fine in the snow, and have also had "all-season tires" that sucked in rain, let alone snow.

First off, we start off with summer tires. They have no snow-related designation, and if they are used in snow they will usually cake up and lose all traction. The poor snow performance with these tires is usually a result of shallow tread depth, smooth tread blocks (minimal siping) and hard compounds. However, some "summer" tires are more prone to bad traction than others, because I have had "summer" tires that performed admirably in light snow.

Second, we have "all-season" tires. Many of these tires also carry the mud/snow rating (M/S, M+S, etc.) but that is really just meant to try and say "this all-season tire does slightly better in the snow than the other all-season tires". But for all intents and purposes, it means nothing in terms of actual snow performance. The term "all season" means "yeah it might get you home from work in light snow but don't expect to be plowing through snow banks". Although the category "all-season" sounds like a good idea for the average driver, it is the category that is most abused and distorted by marketing. At one end, you have the high-performance tires which are pretty much summer tires that tire companies market as having some bad-weather versatility thanks to some extra siping. At the other end, you have the off-road and mud/snow tires that the tire companies try to market as having road manners and are good for everyday use. In many cases, all-season tires are just summer tires with extra siping and slightly deeper tread. The snow-worthiness of this type of tire depends on the individual tire and the vehicle that it's being used on. Once again, I have had all-season Goodyear Eagles that sucked in the snow (and rain too), but I've also had the stock Rav4 Toyos which were actually pretty good in the snow for an all-season tire.

Lastly, you have the dedicated snow tires. These are the tires with the snowflake/triangle icon, and are usually meant specifically for winter use, although there are some all-terrain tires that are good for all-season use but provide decent enough traction in the snow to earn this designation. I have always used this type of tire exclusively for winter use, because all-season tires just don't cut it during the winter up here. Snow tires generally have softer compounds, more siping, and larger/chunkier tread blocks that are designed so they won't cake up with snow. The design of snow tires gives them the best traction in snow of any category of tire, but it's a double-edged sword. Thanks to their design, snow tires are more noisy, have a shorter tread life, and handle like mush. But that's why most people who use them (such as myself) only swap them on for the winter, and swap on summer tires for the warmer months.

My point is that even though your tires are mud/snow rated and might fulfill snow chain/tire regulations, they still might perform like crap in the snow. Conversely, you might have tires that would not fulfill snow chain/tire regulations but would perform quite well in the snow. I believe that a FWD car with snow tires could beat an AWD car with all-season tires any day. I had a FWD car that I used dedicated snow tires on, and that's why I use dedicated snow tires on my AWD Rav4.
 
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Thank you Jeff that was very informative. I think these Yokos handle really well in snow for an All Season Tire. Thankfully they perform well in rain too, since that is what we drive in 7-8 months of the year. When it comes time to replace them more than likely will go with a Toyo since that is what the local big tire folks "Les Schwab" carries :D
 

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Thanks, Jeff, that was an eye-opener. I always thought that snow tyres had harder compounds in the thread in order to let them cut into compressed snow. But I suppose I was wrong.
 
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