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2WD v 4WD in snow

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This topic always makes me nervous as we travel up there to ski once a year. I've got five kids in the car and want to be safe but never need 4wd down here ever. I bought new michelin ltx m/s (which aren't technically snow tires but get good reviews in snow). I haven't had any issues yet as the weather has been fine anytime we've gone. I did buy some z-coils to put on the tires if needed. What should is Texans do for the one trip a year? Dedicated snow tires? 4Wd? Chains?
Rent an SUV with 4wd. Save the miles/wear on your personal vehicle.

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9 hours ago, Larry Sellers said:

This topic always makes me nervous as we travel up there to ski once a year. I've got five kids in the car and want to be safe but never need 4wd down here ever. I bought new michelin ltx m/s (which aren't technically snow tires but get good reviews in snow). I haven't had any issues yet as the weather has been fine anytime we've gone. I did buy some z-coils to put on the tires if needed. What should is Texans do for the one trip a year? Dedicated snow tires? 4Wd? Chains?

New Colorado law requires chains or "alternative traction device" when driving on I-70 in extreme winter conditions.

https://www.outtherecolorado.com/severe-winter-weather-calls-for-new-colorado-chain-laws/

Edited by CO Horn

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If OP wants to be a true baller, he'll get a Subaru or similar awd small SUV, snow tires and chains on all 4 corners (not those socks). With that setup you can go anywhere you want, until you get high-sided.

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23 minutes ago, XYZ said:

What the fuck is “alternative traction device”?

A tire sock as mentioned above

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9 hours ago, Jkwellborn said:


Without clicking the link, that’s from Sep 1 on, isn’t it?

Yes, I believe it’s 9/1-5/31

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Ive lived in shit climate my entire life and i don't recall anything ever having chains on the tires besides my dad's 35 year old snowblower.


Is that a thing for mountain driving? My terrain is the flattest in the country so

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Ive lived in shit climate my entire life and i don't recall anything ever having chains on the tires besides my dad's 35 year old snowblower.


Is that a thing for mountain driving? My terrain is the flattest in the country so
The traction laws have gone into use the past few years after several traffic jams caused on I 70 because of people not having the right equipment on their cars. 99 percent of the time you won't need them.

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Only time I've ever had to use chains was trying to get to Kirkwood from South Lake Tahoe during a storm that dropped 30+ inches. Hell we bought them at the Safeway. 

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4 years in Maine here.   The only time you need chains is going back country on unplowed roads or you are driving in extreme icy conditions (which you shouldn't be).

If you live in a snowy climate you need either a FWD or AWD car, and a set of snow tires.  Put them on in the late fall, take them off in the late spring. Your tire shop will do it for you for a small fee. It's really the tires that make all the difference. There are videos online of comparisons of a Forester in All Season vs. a sedan in snow tires and it's night and day.

And as everyone else mentioned:  It's all about the stopping, not the going.  If it's truly icy out, stay off the roads. 

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Live at 7500 feet in Durango, on top of a hill/mountain.

To OP - sell the RWD and buy a subaru before you leave Texas, they are cheaper in Texas.

Alt - get a Jeep Wrangler. Went everywhere with mine.

Wife has a 4wd Yukon which does fine with good tires.

If you buy a truck do not get some extended cab/bed nonesense. Buy a Tacoma or a Colorado.

I went from the Jeep to a Subaru Impreza with shit clearance and have not issue getting around town.

I have never used Chains/Cords and don't expect to. If conditions are that bad, I'm staying home.

Remember to downshift in snow and not brake, but more importantly just fucking go slow and watch the idiots from Texas/New Mexico try to pass you and fly off into the ditch.

Edited by MoJames

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34 minutes ago, MoJames said:

Live at 7500 feet in Durango, on top of a hill/mountain.

To OP - sell the RWD and buy a subaru before you leave Texas, they are cheaper in Texas.

Alt - get a Jeep Wrangler. Went everywhere with mine.

Wife has a 4wd Yukon which does fine with good tires.

If you buy a truck do not get some extended cab/bed nonesense. Buy a Tacoma or a Colorado.

I went from the Jeep to a Subaru Impreza with shit clearance and have not issue getting around town.

I have never used Chains/Cords and don't expect to. If conditions are that bad, I'm staying home.

Remember to downshift in snow and not brake, but more importantly just fucking go slow and watch the idiots from Texas/New Mexico try to pass you and fly off into the ditch.

Slightly OT, but I did not appreciate the amount of snow you guys got last year until we were down there at the end of September.  Did a little four wheeling and we must have seen ~60 slides around Telluride, Ouray and Silverton.  Engineer Pass was a trip with the debris everywhere.

 

As for the OP, your advice is good.  As long as you have AWD/4WD and good tires, you will likely never need chains.  If you do, you probably shouldn't be driving.

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9 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:
Slightly OT, but I did not appreciate the amount of snow you guys got last year until we were down there at the end of September.  Did a little four wheeling and we must have seen ~60 slides around Telluride, Ouray and Silverton.  Engineer Pass was a trip with the debris everywhere.
 
As for the OP, your advice is good.  As long as you have AWD/4WD and good tires, you will likely never need chains.  If you do, you probably shouldn't be driving.

Last year was a beating. Good for the slopes, but not for living where I do and not working from home.

That's a trampoline frame in front of my shed.763aea78fe05a6f06d8089020173f18d.jpg83d630577eadd99d6fb1abcbcef94712.jpgf1d420bc3c166e7a535b2dc5e7cb75f2.jpgbd41cae44fe49e1c988e940d5070ff66.jpg

 

Edited by MoJames

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If you were a Texan and only went up once or twice a year, would you bother with snow tires or just not go through any passes if the weather is bad? I think next suburban I’ll buy will be 4wd but my current one is rwd.

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14 minutes ago, Larry Sellers said:

If you were a Texan and only went up once or twice a year, would you bother with snow tires or just not go through any passes if the weather is bad? I think next suburban I’ll buy will be 4wd but my current one is rwd.

Just avoid the passes. Travelling from Texas to Colorado on Snow Tires would be a horrible idea.

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18 minutes ago, MoJames said:

Just avoid the passes. Travelling from Texas to Colorado on Snow Tires would be a horrible idea.

You're not going to make it to any ski resorts from Texas if you avoid all the passes.

 

That said, you're fine with 4WD and something like a Michelin LTX M/S2.  That's what we have on my wife's QX80 and they are great tires.  Best non-snow snow tire I've ever driven.

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17 minutes ago, MoJames said:

No passes to get to Purgatory.

True.  How is Purgatory?  I've never skied there.  I do like Durango, though.

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It's ok. Lots of shelves. It was really only meant to be a place for Fort Lewis and the Highschool to practice and blew up. I enjoy taking the 5 year old there because there is plenty of green on the mountain. It definately get's overwhelmed on Texas Spring break. Better skiing in the area is Wolfcreek (need 4wd) and Telluride if you have the desire to travel a bit further. Some of the crazies around here try to kill themselves in Silverton jumping out of helicopters.

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13 minutes ago, MoJames said:

It's ok. Lots of shelves. It was really only meant to be a place for Fort Lewis and the Highschool to practice and blew up. I enjoy taking the 5 year old there because there is plenty of green on the mountain. It definately get's overwhelmed on Texas Spring break. Better skiing in the area is Wolfcreek (need 4wd) and Telluride if you have the desire to travel a bit further. Some of the crazies around here try to kill themselves in Silverton jumping out of helicopters.

Yeah, I've thought about doing Silverton but it's too far out of the way for me, TBH, and I only have maybe 1 friend who is a good enough skier to be able to do it with me, at least until my youngest is a bit older.  He's skiing in the Competition Center at Winter Park this year so my days of being a better skier than him are probably over.  

Is Silverton (the town) even open in winter?  

Edited by Chewbacca

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23 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Yeah, I've thought about doing Silverton but it's too far out of the way for me, TBH, and I only have maybe 1 friend who is a good enough skier to be able to do it with me, at least until my youngest is a bit older.  He's skiing in the Competition Center at Winter Park this year so my days of being a better skier than him are probably over.  

Is Silverton (the town) even open in winter?  

Yup, was a guy that worked here in the hospital that made the drive 4 days a week, he's nuts. I hear stories from those who have lived here for decades about having to helicopter in supplies in the 80s due to crazy snow. You couldn't pay me to live up there in the winter, I'd go full on all work and no play.

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