cars and getting outside

12:28 a.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,916 reviewer rep
2,273 forum posts

i read a couple of pretty good articles at outsideonline about people using cars on their adventures.  one focused on the vehicles themselves, the other on the value of using dedicated snow tires.  i swap dedicated snow tires (michelin X Ice) on cheap steel rims on my prius every winter, and it has never failed to get me to a trailhead.  it's no offroad vehicle, but it holds a surprising amount of gear - especially with the passenger seats folded down. 

for the really bad weather, i prefer my wife's car, a ford explorer with selectable all-wheel drive.  great in the snow on radials, i'm sure it would be even better with dedicated snow tires - we don't see the need where we live. 

5:15 a.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
940 reviewer rep
783 forum posts

I switched from an FJ Cruiser to a Subaru Forester.  The FJ excelled off road and I never had a worry about taking it into national forests where the forest service roads were less than ideal or any 4x4 trails, sans the most severe because I had left it in its stock configuration.  The highway driving however was tiring because it is a box on wheels.  Any little sidewind or headwind affected it which made for a difficult drive especially in wide open roads of New Mexico.  The Forester was a big change for me.  I'll still take it into certain areas on forest service roads but I'm more careful at my planned routes.  The highway driving with the Forester is superb since I opted for the turbo XT version.  It has plenty in reserve especially for passing in the 60 to 80 mph range.  Lots of storage even with the seats up.  The symmetrical AWD which is on all Subarus works without issues.   

10:01 a.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
260 reviewer rep
207 forum posts

oops

10:02 a.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
260 reviewer rep
207 forum posts

I usually buy 10-12 year old cars and drive them until I move (my wife and I lived in 11 houses our first 22 years of marriage and have been in the same place the last 10 years) or until it just make no economical sense to keep them running well.  Nearly three years ago I bought myself a new car.  Something I haven't done since 1988.  It was a dealer loaner with 4K miles. $16K off the lot.  In the 21 months I've had it, I've put 64K additional miles on it or about 25K miles a year.  I take it everywhere.  One car for all purposes. A KIA Soul because its a compact with an incredible amount of cargo space for a compact --- 62 ft³.  It has yet to let me down.  Got stuck in the snow once.  February 2016.  But my son and I were able to get it on the plowed hard stand with about 1/2 hour of work.  Hope to get 15-20 years out of it.  We'll see.

10:46 a.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,173 reviewer rep
2,261 forum posts

It is pretty amazing where I've gotten my old 97 Honda Accord SE.  I carry a shovel, saw and rope to clear blow downs. But the only times I've been turned back were due to creek crossings or ruts that were too deep to traverse. (once had to drive backwards .5 miles on a winding single lane mountain forest road to find a turn around)

I've been flirting with buying something with more clearance but it's a little hard to justify given my success with a sedan.

12:16 p.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,205 reviewer rep
1,107 forum posts

We went fro 1.5 years without a car here in Norway -- used the local car coop to get cars when we needed them, both for around town and out of town, and commuting to waork and doing some daily shopping by bicycle. But our need to get out of town was enough that we were running up bills similar to car ownership, with the added hassles that we had to put time and energy into car pickup and drop off and clean/vacuum every time because of dog, Ralph (RIP). So we got a used Prius, and have put about 20,000 miles on it in three years, including a road trip to France a few summers ago. Three years ago at Easter time, my wife and I arrived at Gardermoen airport outside of Oslo after we led a student trip in Belize. A buddy of mine and his wife and kids had come over from Vermont and we were going direct from the airport to meet him in the Rondane mountains, but then we were going to loan the car to daughter #1 and boyfriend so they could do some springtime mountain biking, while daughter #2 would join us in Rondane. So daughters, boyfriend, dog, and car met us at the airport with two bikes on either side of the ski box on the roof, six pairs of skis in the box, our winter clothing, all their stuff etc. etc. Somehow we fit five people, a large dog, and all that gear in and on the Prius for the three hour drive to Rondane. I volunteered to run up the hill from the valley to get some exercise and give the poor Prius a break. But it doesn't seem to have suffered -- we still have it, and use it frequently for mountain trips. My wife doesn't trust it in snow, but I think it's a great car -- I can get on the order of 56 mpg on round trip to the mtns without a roof box. Nothing wrong with that, especially when gas cost $8+ a gallon.

5:11 p.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

Just returned from a 750 mile road trip to the desert in my Ford F-350 diesel.  The truck really eats up the mountain roads getting 21 mpg. Last night we camped above Bishop, CA at around 6,800 feet. I slept in the back of the truck with the 8 foot bed to get out of the wind. I love NellieBelle.

6:56 p.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
7 forum posts

I used to have a 1974 Ford Bronco when I  lived at Lake Tahoe for a few years and managed to get through some pretty bad snow drifts.

More recently I 've had a 1993 Jeep Cherokee and now a 2004 Jeep Laredo and both have had 4wd and been really reliable.

I think one thing that's overlooked when people are giving advice on preparing for a hike or backpack trip is the condition of their vehicle. I've often found myself many miles from the nearest paved road, cell signal or any other form of help. There's few things worse than getting back to your car after a long dayhike or several days backpacking and turning the key and nothing happens and facing the prospect of hiking 20 miles or more for help. Some problems can be avoided by carrying some tools , a good spare and jack ,tire inflater and  jumper cables . I also carry a small powerful charger that can jump start my car or recharge my cell phone. I also carry a bag behind the seat that has a stove,freeze dried food and other essentials in case I  find myself stranded overnight and sleeping in the back of my Jeep. But it all starts with properly maintaining my vehicle.

9:11 p.m. on March 18, 2017 (EDT)
107 reviewer rep
524 forum posts

I still miss my 2001 ford spotstrac it was the ideal vehicle for outdoor purposes 4 door comfortable very good pickup speed looked good very functional and hand a 4 foot bed for gear that also had a 12volt plug in the bed plus the back window let down. Good ground clearance. I got 214k out of it till a lady ran a red lite and T-boned me an they totaled it still looked show room new. To bad they quit making them now I have a F150 with a 60/40 seat. I hate bucket seats. And it came with one of those tuxcedo covers on the bed and that thing is super useful When carrying kayaks, gear or anything its also nice for car camping you just can't sit up in it. 

3:54 a.m. on March 19, 2017 (EDT)
260 reviewer rep
207 forum posts

We bought my wife an '06 Toyota 4Runner new.  Has about 250K miles on it now.  I'm rarely allowed to drive it.  When I bought my KIA Soul in 2014, I first offered to buy her a new car of her choice (any choice) if she'd let me have her 4Runner.  No dice.  She doesn't ever want to get rid of that 4Runner which may top my highest mileage vehicle, a 1978 Toyota HiLux pickup truck I sold in 2012.  That 34 year old truck (it was 21 years old when I got it in trade for a few bucks, a Winchester M70 rifle, and a box of .30-06 cartridges) had 434K miles on it when I sold it.  The new owner changed the oil in my driveway and drove it away.  Only thing I ever did to it was a top end/valve job.

7:01 a.m. on March 20, 2017 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts

I'm in Patrick's camp, that you can access most trailheads driving nothing special if you know how to drive off road.  A purpose intended vehicle may get you into even more remote venues, but the vehicle itself, no matter the design, will not make up for lack of skill or judgment.  Personally I've owned only ordinary 2wd rides, but they have gotten me to trailheads where everything else was 4wd.  Got some strange looks, but really it wasn't that remarkable.   And frankly I would not consider venturing to more challenging roads, as even 4wds may get stymied or stuck, and turn your adventure into a extrication challenge.  Not my idea how to spend a weekend.

Ed

1:31 p.m. on March 20, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER
1,310 reviewer rep
410 forum posts

I run Nokian Rotiivas on my Jeep Wrangler, they wear great in spring-fall and are just incredible in the snow. 

As far as accessing trailheads, I've probably reached more in my 2WD F350s than in my Jeep, like has been said it's more how you drive than what you drive. Most important is judgment, though. I have a winch but if I end up having to use it I'm turning around once I'm unstuck. Vehicle recovery is tiring, time-consuming, and dangerous work, and if nothing else I want to be as close to 100% physically at the beginning of a trek. Tired muscles and dehydration from winching and digging aren't a good way to start a hike or climb. 

9:27 p.m. on March 20, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,827 reviewer rep
1,444 forum posts

I used a Honda Accord for years and still do at times.  Our other vehicle is a 2011 Subaru Outback.  It makes the drive to remote trail heads easier (all wheel drive and higher clearance), so prefer that most of the time.  In winter I prefer the OB as well just for the additional safety features.  Only benefit of the Accord, besides getting about 3 mpg better gas mileage, is after a rainy (or sweaty) trip, the gear is in the trunk instead of sharing your airspace!

11:34 p.m. on March 20, 2017 (EDT)
202 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

Robert Allen said:

I used to have a 1974 Ford Bronco when I  lived at Lake Tahoe for a few years and managed to get through some pretty bad snow drifts.

More recently I 've had a 1993 Jeep Cherokee and now a 2004 Jeep Laredo and both have had 4wd and been really reliable.

I think one thing that's overlooked when people are giving advice on preparing for a hike or backpack trip is the condition of their vehicle. I've often found myself many miles from the nearest paved road, cell signal or any other form of help. There's few things worse than getting back to your car after a long dayhike or several days backpacking and turning the key and nothing happens and facing the prospect of hiking 20 miles or more for help. Some problems can be avoided by carrying some tools , a good spare and jack ,tire inflater and  jumper cables . I also carry a small powerful charger that can jump start my car or recharge my cell phone. I also carry a bag behind the seat that has a stove,freeze dried food and other essentials in case I  find myself stranded overnight and sleeping in the back of my Jeep. But it all starts with properly maintaining my vehicle.

 Great points about keeping emergency supplies in your car AND keeping your car well-maintained. I always keep food and water in my 4Runner and in my wife's car in case (God forbid) either one of us is trapped for a long period of time and cannot get out of the driver's seat. It's also nice to have if I get stuck here in Atlanta in a big traffic jam.

In my 2007 4Runner I keep:

a first aid kit

2 sets of snow chains

2 vehicle tow straps

several road flares

a very bright flashlight with a strobe feature

my trusty Glock 23

jumper cables

cell phone charger

a blanket and extra clothes

the list goes on and on, but you get the idea

I carry all of these things not just for me. I always try to stop and help anyone I see in need.

I am a BIG fan of overkill.  My 4Runner has a 4.7L V8, full-time 4WD, locking differential, 4WD LOW, hill decent control, etc, etc.

I am sooooo spoiled by the power and tourque of the V8!  It is great for driving in the mountains and passing slower traffic on steep grades like it's nothing! In deep snow, the 4WD is killer.

I am very meticulous about taking care of it.  I have never missed a scheduled oil change by more than 100 miles. What few, minor repairs it has needed, I have had done immediately and always at the Toyota dealership where I bought it brand new. I always work with the same service tech at the dealership. He is always honest. They don't nickel and dime me and I don't nickel and dime them. I spent a nice chunk of change on Weathertech Floorliners the same day I bought the 4Runner brand new in July, 2007. My carpet still looks brand new after 10 years!

At 10 years old and just under 200K miles, she still drives just like the day I bought her with 7 miles on the odometer. Here she is in my driveway last summer.


DSC_5652.jpg

 

11:39 p.m. on March 20, 2017 (EDT)
202 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

Bill Hudson said:

We bought my wife an '06 Toyota 4Runner new.  Has about 250K miles on it now.  I'm rarely allowed to drive it.  When I bought my KIA Soul in 2014, I first offered to buy her a new car of her choice (any choice) if she'd let me have her 4Runner.  No dice.  She doesn't ever want to get rid of that 4Runner which may top my highest mileage vehicle, a 1978 Toyota HiLux pickup truck I sold in 2012.  That 34 year old truck (it was 21 years old when I got it in trade for a few bucks, a Winchester M70 rifle, and a box of .30-06 cartridges) had 434K miles on it when I sold it.  The new owner changed the oil in my driveway and drove it away.  Only thing I ever did to it was a top end/valve job.

 I completely understand where your wife is coming from. I have a 2007 4Runner that I bought brand new.  Today, she has just under 200K miles and still drives like the day I bought her. No complaints at all. What an incredible suv!

TOYOTA=Swiss watch

9:40 a.m. on March 21, 2017 (EDT)
141 reviewer rep
81 forum posts

Lee, I must totally agree with your statement; "TOYOTA=Swiss watch"! Maybe even go so far as to say Swiss Army Knife.

In August I purchased my 7th 4Runner. It was going to be a daily driver to keep from racking up miles on my Jeep TJ Rubicon. Two months later my Jeep was sitting in the garage and not being used... SOLD!

My 4Runner  is a '97 with 213k on the clock. I am smitten with the 3rd generation body style and size. Super practical and plenty of room for gear. MPG is not so great though, good thing my commute is 13 miles or one gallon.
IMG_4943.jpg

IMG_4899.jpg


10:55 a.m. on March 21, 2017 (EDT)
202 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

joehop said:

Lee, I must totally agree with your statement; "TOYOTA=Swiss watch"! Maybe even go so far as to say Swiss Army Knife.

In August I purchased my 7th 4Runner. It was going to be a daily driver to keep from racking up miles on my Jeep TJ Rubicon. Two months later my Jeep was sitting in the garage and not being used... SOLD!

My 4Runner  is a '97 with 213k on the clock. I am smitten with the 3rd generation body style and size. Super practical and plenty of room for gear. MPG is not so great though, good thing my commute is 13 miles or one gallon.
IMG_4943.jpg

IMG_4899.jpg


 Yes Joe, a Swiss Army knife is also a very fitting term! Your 4Runner looks awesome!

12:55 p.m. on March 21, 2017 (EDT)
141 reviewer rep
81 forum posts

Thank you sir! I guess one day I'll replace it... with another!

5:39 p.m. on March 21, 2017 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
7 forum posts

I agree with previous remarks that knowing how to drive in difficult conditions is sometimes more important than what you're driving.  When I  lived at Lake Tahoe the locals would always be helping haul Toyotas and other 4wds out of snow filled ditches when people would come up from the valley thinking that their brand new  4X4 could go anywhere and do anything. They can't !  After having driven on heavily iced roads in rural Ohio and snow filled roads at Tahoe I have a great respect for nature when I go out and understand what my vehicle can and can not do. 

1:08 p.m. on March 23, 2017 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
4,241 reviewer rep
603 forum posts

My husband and I both have 2011 Subaru Outbacks, haha! Mine is white and his is burgundy/garnet. I had a GMC Acadia, but he convinced me to swap and I'm very happy with it.

11:00 a.m. on March 29, 2017 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

Last summer I drove up to Seattle to see my Dad in a 2005 Lexus. It has about 5 inches of ground clearance. I stopped at my favorite place in the Fremont NF to sleep in OR.  I drove a couple of miles off the highway on old logging roads but carefully and left the front driving wheels on the road when the car was parked.

My Dad used to like bring his old Mercedes 450 SL to the ranch in AZ for driving the family around when they came to visit. We used to drive hundreds of miles of dirt roads with that car and never had a problem.

8:20 p.m. on March 29, 2017 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
4,534 reviewer rep
6,031 forum posts

Lee Patterson said:


In my 2007 4Runner I keep:

a first aid kit

2 sets of snow chains

2 vehicle tow straps

several road flares

a very bright flashlight with a strobe feature

my trusty Glock 23

jumper cables

cell phone charger

a blanket and extra clothes

the list goes on and on, but you get the idea

I carry all of these things not just for me. I always try to stop and help anyone I see in need.

 

 Over the years, I have had a bit more than a dozen vehicles, all of which were used off road and/or in snow. My first vehicle was the family Ford tractor which was mostly off-road in the fields on our ranch (middle of the Sonora Desert), but occasionally in to town for  some maintenance. No drivers license, of course, just like all of my friends (all of us about 7-10 yo) Eventually we got tall enough to drive the family pickup. First real car was inheriting the family '47 Chevy when I got my driver's license after we had moved to California (in those days, you got Driver Training at age 14, followed by a Learner Permit at age 15 and eventually a real license at 15 and a half (an adult had to be with you until you were 16)

Next was a Ford Anglia (British car with an engine that was from a Formula Junior). Somewhere in there was a Mini Cooper S that I raced (a real mini, not the thing made by BMW these days - lots of fun in the Baja races on what passed for roads). One thing about Brit cars, though - you have to have an "Andy Capp" mentality to spend a lot of time and effort fixing things on Brit-made vehicles, including Jags, Rolls, and others. One time, the Mini needed a replacement head gasket. So I had Barb do the overhaul (much to the astonishment of her father). Another time in one of our rally races, I had to replace the disc brake pads at a check point.

Our VW Vanagon (pop-top) saw lots of excursions to the trailheads in the Sierra and in New England when we moved there (had to rig a block and tackle to haul it out of a creek when the ice collapsed while following a path that passed for a dirt road in summer). That was in the era of air-cooled engines. A major problem was that the "cooling" air was directed over the number 3 cylinder, with the result that they would fail pretty regularly at about 50,000 miles.

OTOH, our Porsche, which was also a flat engine ran beautifully for well over 100,000 miles from the time we picked it up at the factory in Stuttgart in Germany, until an idiot unskilled mechanic in Arkansas broke the fuel line, which prompted a fire, which destroyed the car. We did get paid in full for the car, though. Yes the Porsche spent time off-road during rallies and some time on snowy roads.

Some more vehicles in there, including an Acura which got T-boned about 6 months after we got it by a lady driver who said she didn't see the stop sign coming from a residential side street to cross a major 4-lane city street (luckily, a city police car was 2nd car behind me, so no problem getting the car fixed).

Our present vehicles are a 2003 Subaru Outback (160,000 mi) and a 2006 Toyota 4Runner (80,000 mi), each of which has a bit of time on unplowed snowy roads and icey roads as well as forestry roads (I am the Forestry Chair for our local Boy Scout Council, which requires a bit of mileage spent in surveys and other tasks in our giant sequoia forests to satisfy the State of California that we are maintaining a healthy forest - Sequoia Sempervirens).

Lee gave a partial list of the gear he carries in his vehicles. He didn't mention fire extinguishers. I have long carried fire extinguishers, and used them a half-dozen times - never on my own vehicle. Only on cars I came across along the highway or mostly somewhere a few miles from the closest paved road.

9:06 p.m. on March 29, 2017 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

I once rode over Route 20, the North Cascades Highway in February in a VW bug at night. It snowed a lot but we had good tires and we passed 2 cars going the other way in several hours.

11:59 a.m. on March 30, 2017 (EDT)
482 reviewer rep
324 forum posts

My wife and I live about 1700 km north of Whitehorse Yukon, so when we drive it's a major undertaking. We use to have a 1994 Ford two wheel drive truck with a straight 6 engine. With studded tires it could just barely handle the mountain passes and snow drifts.


Capture.png
Needless to say we would pack full Arctic survival gear as there are not many services along the northern length of the road.

We now drive a 2014 F250 4x4; what a difference. This is driving home on September 1st.
Capture3.pngOnly once did we ever make it home in one long 18 hour push. It normally takes two days in good weather, but sometimes the highway is closed due to high winds and snow for as long as a week. The new 4 wheel drive is great on the ice road while driving on the ocean.
Capture4.png
We like the enclosed box to keep skis and equipment high and dry.

 

10:28 a.m. on March 31, 2017 (EDT)
202 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

Bill S said:

Lee Patterson said:


In my 2007 4Runner I keep:

a first aid kit

2 sets of snow chains

2 vehicle tow straps

several road flares

a very bright flashlight with a strobe feature

my trusty Glock 23

jumper cables

cell phone charger

a blanket and extra clothes

the list goes on and on, but you get the idea

I carry all of these things not just for me. I always try to stop and help anyone I see in need.

 

 Over the years, I have had a bit more than a dozen vehicles, all of which were used off road and/or in snow. My first vehicle was the family Ford tractor which was mostly off-road in the fields on our ranch (middle of the Sonora Desert), but occasionally in to town for  some maintenance. No drivers license, of course, just like all of my friends (all of us about 7-10 yo) Eventually we got tall enough to drive the family pickup. First real car was inheriting the family '47 Chevy when I got my driver's license after we had moved to California (in those days, you got Driver Training at age 14, followed by a Learner Permit at age 15 and eventually a real license at 15 and a half (an adult had to be with you until you were 16)

Next was a Ford Anglia (British car with an engine that was from a Formula Junior). Somewhere in there was a Mini Cooper S that I raced (a real mini, not the thing made by BMW these days - lots of fun in the Baja races on what passed for roads). One thing about Brit cars, though - you have to have an "Andy Capp" mentality to spend a lot of time and effort fixing things on Brit-made vehicles, including Jags, Rolls, and others. One time, the Mini needed a replacement head gasket. So I had Barb do the overhaul (much to the astonishment of her father). Another time in one of our rally races, I had to replace the disc brake pads at a check point.

Our VW Vanagon (pop-top) saw lots of excursions to the trailheads in the Sierra and in New England when we moved there (had to rig a block and tackle to haul it out of a creek when the ice collapsed while following a path that passed for a dirt road in summer). That was in the era of air-cooled engines. A major problem was that the "cooling" air was directed over the number 3 cylinder, with the result that they would fail pretty regularly at about 50,000 miles.

OTOH, our Porsche, which was also a flat engine ran beautifully for well over 100,000 miles from the time we picked it up at the factory in Stuttgart in Germany, until an idiot unskilled mechanic in Arkansas broke the fuel line, which prompted a fire, which destroyed the car. We did get paid in full for the car, though. Yes the Porsche spent time off-road during rallies and some time on snowy roads.

Some more vehicles in there, including an Acura which got T-boned about 6 months after we got it by a lady driver who said she didn't see the stop sign coming from a residential side street to cross a major 4-lane city street (luckily, a city police car was 2nd car behind me, so no problem getting the car fixed).

Our present vehicles are a 2003 Subaru Outback (160,000 mi) and a 2006 Toyota 4Runner (80,000 mi), each of which has a bit of time on unplowed snowy roads and icey roads as well as forestry roads (I am the Forestry Chair for our local Boy Scout Council, which requires a bit of mileage spent in surveys and other tasks in our giant sequoia forests to satisfy the State of California that we are maintaining a healthy forest - Sequoia Sempervirens).

Lee gave a partial list of the gear he carries in his vehicles. He didn't mention fire extinguishers. I have long carried fire extinguishers, and used them a half-dozen times - never on my own vehicle. Only on cars I came across along the highway or mostly somewhere a few miles from the closest paved road.

 Bill, I was JUST thinking, I need to include fire extinguishers as a part of my emergency gear in my 4Runner! Thanks for mentioning that!

One thing I did not put on the list (that my wife and I both have in our cars) is a glass break hammer with a seat belt cutter on it.

12:28 p.m. on March 31, 2017 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
4,534 reviewer rep
6,031 forum posts

Lee, I didn't notice you omitted the glass break/belt cutter. I have that in the cars as well. Neverhad to use it, although driving in the Sierra on I-80 and US50 in  winter, I see an amazing number of 4WD vehicles in the ditch, often on their roofs. The joke among those of us who drive more conservatively during blizzards is that these 4WD's have "automatic breaking" - when the cars start sliding as they pass other vehicles at 70-80 mph and need to stop quickly is that the vehicle flips to the "high friction side"

12:26 a.m. on April 1, 2017 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts

If you want to see bad driving on snow, then drive the road heading up to the Big Bear City in So Cal after a fresh snow or during a cold snap.  Sometimes the tow operators preposition near certain crux move portions of the road.

Ed

8:18 p.m. on April 6, 2017 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
6,916 reviewer rep
2,273 forum posts

i thought they block drivers from some of the high mountain roads in CA unless they show up with tire chains - depending on conditions.  i know my brother packs chains in his Subaru when he heads to Tahoe, despite that it's AWD.  My limited experience with chains has been very good; on my first car, a dinky Toyota Tercel, i swapped winter tires and carried chains for the drive tires because my family had a winter house in Vermont up a dirt road that wasn't always well-plowed.  was always able to make it up and down in the winter; only time i could't get up was freezing rain that left the road like a hockey rink, had to wait for it to get sanded.  only time i got stuck with tire chains was during mud season in the spring, ruts were so deep the car bottomed out and had to get towed free.  

4:00 a.m. on April 7, 2017 (EDT)
125 reviewer rep
3,423 forum posts

Yes they require chains in So Cal, extending this requirement sometimes to include 4wd as well.  Most of the time ordinary vehicles with chains are plenty adequate.  Sometimes they only require you bring chains "in case" you need them.  Thus some drivers decide to risk it.  In the case of the Big Bear the main road up has a very curvy high section that is subject to night freeze overs and rock fall.  Folks like to blast through this section; the outcomes predictable.  I've seen many an overturned 4wd SUV along this stretch of pavement - all too often these result in fatalities, be it from a rollover, head on collision, or falling off the road down a very steep and deep canyon.  They might have the equipment but not the wisdom, regarding driving in slick conditions.

Ed 

1:42 p.m. on April 7, 2017 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

You are taking your life in your hands driving in California on wet leaves. I have been stopped by the CHP and turned around to go buy chains. Then I came back and put the chains on and drove 40 miles of wet pavement. That was around 40 years ago and I now avoid any place with urban drivers in California when there is snow on the roads.  The people with new 4wd are the worst. They like to drive over the speed limit in the snow. They are the first ones upside down in a ditch.

1:42 p.m. on April 7, 2017 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
3,976 forum posts

You are taking your life in your hands driving in California on wet leaves. I have been stopped by the CHP and turned around to go buy chains. Then I came back and put the chains on and drove 40 miles of wet pavement. That was around 40 years ago and I now avoid any place with urban drivers in California when there is snow on the roads.  The people with new 4wd are the worst. They like to drive over the speed limit in the snow. They are the first ones upside down in a ditch.

November 20, 2019
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Access for those with a disability Newer: A WEST MICHIGAN HIKER LOOKING FOR OTHERS TO HIKE WITH.
All forums: Older: best synthetic sleeping bag fill? Newer: Life expectancy of cuben fiber tarp?