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Old 08-24-2010, 10:41 AM
 
10,872 posts, read 41,184,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
With 10" of snow you will want to stay away from most car-based SUV's as they will tend to not have the clearance you will require. Subarus are fine vehicles, but in your situation most have the possibility to get stuck because their underbodies will ride up on the snow and their tires can't reach down to the ground beneath the snow. (snip).
I'd say this assessment is BS.

I'll take my Subaru Outback out anytime I could take my Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins diesel truck out, in snow conditions.

The reason is simple: the Subie sits on 15" wheels, and the Dodge is on 16" wheels. The difference in ground clearance is neglible, both have differentials, brakes, axles, and running gear that are about the same height off the ground. The heavy truck tends to sink into everything, while the lightweight Subie rides more on top of the snow while still achieving good traction.

I have "rescued" many folk driving SUV's and 4x4 Pick up trucks in my area who got stuck with their vehicle in a snowdrifted in road ... with my Subaru's.

Now, when I need to haul a load of stuff for the farm/ranch in snowy conditions, I'll use the truck because of those capabilities. But my first choice in adverse conditions ... if the Subie has enough room, I'll take it any day over the truck. We even use our 1995 Legacy wagon, which is on 14" rims, as our "lambulance" when we need to take a ewe into the vet's office, 30+ miles away ... in snowy/icy conditions.

Case in point: our rural mail carriers use Subie right hand drive wagons rather than pick-up trucks or SUV's based on trucks. If the Subie's aren't getting through the routes, the trucks aren't, either.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,020,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I'd say this assessment is BS.

I'll take my Subaru Outback out anytime I could take my Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins diesel truck out, in snow conditions.

The reason is simple: the Subie sits on 15" wheels, and the Dodge is on 16" wheels. The difference in ground clearance is neglible, both have differentials, brakes, axles, and running gear that are about the same height off the ground. The heavy truck tends to sink into everything, while the lightweight Subie rides more on top of the snow while still achieving good traction.
It is not negligible.

The fundamental difference being that the differential height for the Subaru is the same as its body height. Go too deep and all of the weight is supported by the body and you're going no where at that point. A truck on the another hand does not have that issue and has an easier time plowing the drivetrain and suspension components through the snow.

The heavy truck will naturally sink down more but thats all the better when the underlying surface is road.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,343,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Hauler View Post
It is not negligible.

The fundamental difference being that the differential height for the Subaru is the same as its body height. Go too deep and all of the weight is supported by the body and you're going no where at that point. A truck on the another hand does not have that issue and has an easier time plowing the drivetrain and suspension components through the snow.

The heavy truck will naturally sink down more but thats all the better when the underlying surface is road.
agreed the truck with the higher ride height will go farther I have a F-250 here it is in a canadian snow storm. also like other posters have said a truck with proper locking diffs and low range is better than a AWD subie in case you get stuck and will give it more umph to crawl up the steep hill when it is in 4x4 low.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Sunsprit, last winter we got about 10" of snow on the ground here in Metro Detroit. I drove through it in my 2004 F-150 4x4...but I passed a lot of Subarus that were stuck on top of the snow plow drifts at the end of the residential streets - these vehicles didn't have enough traction on their rear tires to overcome the friction caused by their underbodies rubbing on the packed snow drift.

Bottom line - ground clearance is about more than wheel diameter.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Oh yea. I live for snow and chaos. I currently have four 4wd vehicles that I only use off road or in inclement weather. I have probably owned 20 4x4 vehicles. I love the snow and ice and venture out to rescue stuck vehicles at every opportunity. I own every possible piece of recovery equipment one can own, including winches, straps, snatch blocks, etc. I even own a complete Hurst Jaws of Life kit.

The very best snow vehicle I have ever owned (including my Mercedes Unimog) is my K2500 Suburban 4x4. To understand why it is so effective, think about it as a 3/4ton Chevy 4x4 pickup (which it is) with 1500 pounds of ballast in the truck bed (the SUV body weight). It has great ground clearance and is heavy enough for stability in the deepest snow. Mine is a 1999 and might be worth $2500. and, since its a 454 that gets maybe 12mpg, there are plenty of these rigs seeking owners (they are not in much demand). It has low range 4wd and better than locking diffs, in snow, Positraction is much much better. I have two vehicles with selectable diff lockers and they are not nearly as effective in snow as Positraction. (I can explain this for anyone wondering about selectable lockers). Tires are BFG AT's. For a dedicated snow vehicle I'd go with BFG Mud Terrains. Or, you could put anything on there and fit chains. (I hate chains - they are for woosies).

Here it is:


Last edited by Wilson513; 08-24-2010 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:06 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,020,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Tires are BFG AT's. For a dedicated snow vehicle I'd go with BFG Mud Terrains. Or, you could put anything on there and fit chains. (I hate chains - they are for woosies).
Nice rig! How do you like those shoes in the snow? I have them on my truck but have not taken it through the snow on them. The problem with mud tires in the snow is that they are made with a harder compound and are not as good on packed surfaces.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Hauler View Post
Nice rig! How do you like those shoes in the snow? I have them on my truck but have not taken it through the snow on them. The problem with mud tires in the snow is that they are made with a harder compound and are not as good on packed surfaces.
The BFG At is a really great tire. You will enjoy them in the snow. I may have jumped the gun with the BFG Mud recommendation. I have them on my sons 91 Toyota 4x4 (not included in my vehicle count) and they do really well, but that rig is really really light and needs the bite a Mud tire provides. So, for these heavier vehicles you are probably right.

Look at what the K2500 beats out to get my recommendation:





For tires, the Jeep has BFG Krawlers 37" and Staun internal beadlocks. The Mog has Michelin XM47 high speed agri tries also with internal beadlocks.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley,az summer/east valley Az winter
2,034 posts, read 3,532,071 times
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best vehicle for snowy steep lane that hasn't had snow removed? I'd suggest an old farmall H with a loader~ not only will it run in 3 ft of snow but with the bucket you can remove the snow so you other vehicles can negotiate the road! Can be inexpensive and very usefull!
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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Wow, thanks for all the veteran advice. I've learned a lot. That's a pretty strong case for the K2500 Suburban, wilson1010. Given the steepness of the driveway grade, the recommendations for a low range, locking differential make good sense. There's a few 4 Runners for sale out there, one is listed with an electronically locking differential.

Not too many people have mentioned a Jeep Sport or Grand Cherokee. Someone told me that they are excellent in snow-something about the drive system. I see quite a few of these for sale around here.

LOL, jtur88! I'm actually in Frederick County, near Camp David. Maybe I can keep my front tooth?

Last edited by sketchy; 08-24-2010 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:03 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,020,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketchy View Post
Not too many people have mentioned a Jeep Sport or Grand Cherokee. Someone told me that they are excellent is snow-something about the drive system.
Their achilles heel is open differentials.
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