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  #1  
Old 12-26-2012, 04:12 PM
5335 5335 is offline
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Do all-season RFTs bode well with Lake Tahoe trip?

I am planning to visit Lake Tahoe this weekend, but I have a car with summer tires and another one with all season tires.

Obviously all season tires would be safer but are they safe enough to go on a Lake Tahoe trip? Do chains work well? Or should I just rent a 4WD SUV?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2012, 04:50 PM
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All seasons will be fine, but carry chains as they sometimes are required, though I doubt you'll need them if you're going Fri and returning Sun. You may need them over Echo Summit/Donner Pass or in less traveled areas. SLT and Stateline are very well plowed however. Take it easy as well, your car will handle a little differently but as long as you don't expect to be a performance driver you'll be fine. Absolutely don't take the car on summers.

Just got back from Tahoe last night in an E38 on all seasons and crappy wheels I found cheap on craigslist. Took a "short" drive around the lake only to discover 89 is closed between Emerald Bay and SLT and had to back track a ways and go all the way up to Truckee. Don't make my mistake, check road closures first.

If this is your first time driving in snow, find a parking lot that hasn't been plowed and goof around a bit to see how the car responds.

It's gorgeous up there right now!

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  #3  
Old 12-27-2012, 12:43 AM
bwind bwind is offline
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Do I put the chains only on the rear tires? Will the car be able to steer well without the chains in front?

Thanks much for all the tips and the pictures!
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:07 PM
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Chains always go on the DRIVE axle.
So yes, a BMW sedan would have them on the rear wheels. AWD/4WD also still goes on the rear axle. Run of the mill Accords and Camries would go on the front since they're FWD.

Chains wouldn't help you much with steering anyway, they're not in contact with the ground enough. They're just to help you keep forward traction enough to keep moving without unnecessarily spinning your wheels, which would cause you to spin out. It helps you avoid getting stuck on icy or slick patches as well, which would be dangerous to you and other drivers. Nothing is a guarantee, don't go driving onto deep unplowed areas expecting not to have any issues, but it does help you immensely.

You'll still be able to steer fine as long as you're not going too fast for conditions. Main thing is take it easy and don't plan to be in a hurry. Don't be the moron going 20, either, but you won't be taking sharp curves near the advisory speed limit.

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Last edited by E36 Phantom; 12-27-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2013, 01:29 AM
pkim1079 pkim1079 is offline
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Arent there chains that are more like socks now? I would just rent an suv or fly.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
Arent there chains that are more like socks now? I would just rent an suv or fly.
There are, but they're for emergency use only and are NOT CALTRANS APPROVED for chain control. That means if they require chains and all you have are the socks, you'll be turned away. Also, I've heard they rip up very quickly if you ever drive on pavement, and CalTrans frequently does chain control in areas of bare pavement.

An SUV still may be required to have chains, and 4WD is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than any other car when it comes to stopping. It only helps you keep going, and makes people overconfident (see sig). Having owned several Land Rovers I like 4WD a lot, but it certainly isn't needed in the least for Tahoe and you'll still need to carry chains for a tire size that you don't own, so they'll be useless in the future.

Closest airport is Reno, still a good drive from there and still may need chains.

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// 2001 BMW 740i M-Sport // 2002 Lexus LX470 //
// 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 // 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 //
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