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Old 11-17-2007, 07:52 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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I have driven Colorado mountain roads frequently in winter for going on 40 years now. I can count the times that I have had to chain up on my hands--several of those when I was in a 2WD truck towing a HEAVY gooseneck trailer. I do admit that a fair amount of my winter mountain driving over the years was in 4WD's, but I have found that my front-wheel-drive sedan with traction control does nearly as well, unless the conditions are really horrible.

Truth is, if conditions are bad enough that you can't get over the road in a front-wheel-drive car with good snow tires without having to chain up, you probably shouldn't be going anyway. If your work or recreation demands regularly driving in the mountains during winter, then paying the additional ownership and fuel costs to drive and all-wheel-drive car or 4WD may make sense.

Yes, Hoosier does get a lot of snow. Also, the highways through South Park (Highway 9, in this case) are generally in pretty good shape in winter--UNLESS a the wind is blowing and it starts blizzarding. Then South Park can be miserable.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:23 PM
 
Location: The 719
8,234 posts, read 13,482,062 times
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I used chains when I was hauling medical equipment to Durango a couple of times. I mainly used them to get down off of Wolfcreek pass while hauling a 24' gooseneck trailer with a Ford F-350 Dually Crewcab. I got up the mountain fine. Coming down scared the beJayzus out of me when it was snowing hard and I HAD to make the trip.

I hated putting those chains on because it was always right at the moment when you needed them (while it was snowing cats and dogs) and you had to take them off directly after the road cleared up (which is about 98% of the time on Colorado Roads) if you want to go over 35 mph.

If you really feel that you need chains, put them in your trunk and also have some bungee cords to shore them up.

If it snows so hard that you need chains, what are you going to do if your car high-centers? Find a buddy with a Land Cruiser.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,588 posts, read 57,867,463 times
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Something else you might look into is a pair of Auto Socks. Probably a better product for a Focus than Insta-Chains, which seem designed specifically for trucks.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,867,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Something else you might look into is a pair of Auto Socks. Probably a better product for a Focus than Insta-Chains, which seem designed specifically for trucks.

Other ideas...

alternative "tire chains" - Google Search
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,867,493 times
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I just bought some for my snowblower from

Tire Chains by Tirechains.com
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,313 posts, read 4,950,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brill View Post
coflower

Once again, thanks for the info. I had no problem getting there or back. Does Hoosier pass get alot of snow? My only concern would be a snow covered road on the north side of Hoosier. I can handle driving in snow, but snow and hills concern me.

Other drivers were the only annoyance. I don't see why people get so mad when they get passed. One guy started flashing his brights at me. If someone wants to pass me I could care less.
I've never had any serious issues with the north side of Hoosier. I've driven up there in some pretty dicey weather but CDOT (I think CDOT since the pass contains two separate counties) takes pretty good care of that pass.

I will agree with the comment that if you are in that bad of weather that requires chains, it probably wouldn't be all that good an idea to be out unless you have no choice. Hoosier looks really scary but if you keep your speed down, even in the snowiest conditions it's not that bad.

Once you stretch your snow/ice driving legs around town, you will get more comfortable.

BTW, there is a very good driving school here in town (MasterDrive) that will teach you how to properly drive in bad weather. I've known the owner since I was in my teens and his organization is tops. They also work with police departments in the state to learn better driving skills as many officers find themselves in very scary car chases and such.

Don't let a bit of snow scare you. Speed is the main factor in how well "you" perform on the roads. The only time I have wished over the years that I had chains was during the blizzards last winter season. Other than that, tooling around in my Honda is just fine when I take my time and not worry about the other drivers.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:45 AM
 
3,555 posts, read 4,914,901 times
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Default Which tire chains

We currently live in TX but recently bought a home in Loveland. I don't foresee any problems in that drive. But, in late February I'll be driving (from TX) to Telluride, and then on to Steamboat Springs and then Loveland.


I don't currently own any snow chains and I'm pretty sure I'll encounter some passes where they're required, depending on the weather on my driving days. I'm a very experienced snow driver, I've lived in Michigan (the U P), upstate NY and Germany, but I'll still need chains as my car is front wheel drive.

Any recommendations on which type to purchase?

BTW, it's for an '03 Nissan Maxima.

Thanks in advance.

golfgod
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:55 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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If you can't get through in a front-wheel-drive car with good tires (snow tires preferably), then you probably shouldn't be going. This has been discussed on another thread--search for it.

Suffice it to say, I've driven Colorado mountain roads for nearly 40 years and can count the times I've had to chain up on my hands--none of those in that last 20 years. I primarily drive a front-wheel-drive car with traction control and it will do nearly as well as a 4WD I own on all but the very worst roads. Oh, a friend had a Maxima--had no problems driving in some hellacious winter road conditions--I was a passenger on one of those trips.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,867,493 times
Reputation: 16412
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgod View Post
W

Any recommendations on which type to purchase?

BTW, it's for an '03 Nissan Maxima.
Tire Chains by Tirechains.com

These guys make it easy. I bought chains for my snow blower through them.
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:36 PM
 
8,322 posts, read 22,481,894 times
Reputation: 8065
If you must have them with you for peace of mind ... decent quality radial cable chains are the way to go. They're quick on, quick off ... and can be easily adjusted to the right tension on the wheel.

But, as jazzlover says .... you shouldn't need them. I haven't put any on my vehicles for over 15 years now, ever since I changed over to AWD cars and 4x4 pick-ups with appropriate winter snow tires or all-season truck tires.

If conditions are so bad that chains are needed to stay on the road and in control, you shouldn't be on the road. Find a place to stay and wait it out.
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