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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2007 RAV4 with front wheel drive. I live in SC, so that's usually fine.
However, during the winter I like to drive up to the mountains of NC for cross-country skiing (where I am right now), and my car is not really great for such environments... sometimes I get stuck in the snow.

Furthermore, I'm planning a road trip next week up to Maine and Montreal and back. (Yikes)

So, I'm wondering if it'd be a worthwhile for me to buy a set of snow tires. I'd obviously have to switch them out every time I come back to SC, but that's still way cheaper than buying another car w/ 4WD. I'm mostly wondering if there'd be significant benefit if I installed them.

Any thoughts? (Buying snow tires in SC should be interesting... I imagine no dealer has any experience with such matters, and I have no idea if I could even *get* the tires delivered in time for my trip...)
 

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I am an extreme believer in Winter Tires. I have a set of Blizzak DMV2s and I have yet to slip or slide once this winter. There's no comparison between them and all seasons. If your dealer can't get them in try Tirerack online.
 

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Pick up some tire chains as well. They're often a requirement in snowy mountainous areas. We've got some good all seasons that are M+S rated that have been getting up the mountains fine. But the law requires carrying chains and they're nice to have just in case.
 

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In snowy climates I'd take a 2WD vehicle with real winter tires on it over an AWD vehicle with all season tires on it every time.

No doubt about it.

.
 

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Winter/snow tires will help you stop better in the snow and give you better traction in the snow or ice. The rubber compound is also softer when temp is cold. When the temperature drops below 40 deg there's a big difference in grip between all season and winter/snow tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the replies! Turns out I can't get the tires delivered here in time for my road trip, so I'm postponing it indefinitely. (Not all that confident in my winter driving skills anyhow, the more I think about it...)
 

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I live in the North Carolina High Country at 3,800' elevation near the ski resorts. I ran Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice all year for 3 years on my 2013 RAV4 AWD (all year) in ice and deep snow. These are great ice tires. A bit noisy in the summer at highway speeds. I would highly recommend these tires, even if you live in the Low Country of South Carolina. They are directional, and worked very well in water too.

I ordered them from Tire Rack, although the dealers in Boone NC do stock them. They even called me back to remind me that you live in the south, and these are "snow tires". Yep, that's what I wanted.

If I had a second set of rims and cost was not a factor, I would run Nokian Studded Snow Tires (legal in some NC counties) for the winter months, then switch back to summer tires. I ran Nokians on my 2005 RAV4 AWD, and I could go anywhere on these. I even had to back up a solid ice covered hill once, no problems.
 
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