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I've got a 4x4 Taco w/stock AT tires. Will the powers that be let me drive to Tahoe w/o chains?
I plan on getting chains when I upgrade to 285/75/16s. I figure it would be a huge waste to get chains for 30s that I soon will not be using.
If I do need chains, what should I look for? Ladder or diamond? What sort of tensioner? Brands? I did some searching here and on google, but have only scratched the surface of what I need to know.
Also, does Hi-Lifting a wheel one at a time have any practical advantages or should the chains be placed, rolled onto, tensioned and retensioned?
Links, personal experiences, pricing/source recommendations and witty banter are all welcome. :)
 

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I just went to Tahoe this past weekend. Just as OnTheTrail said... the CalTrans employee showed 4 fingers, I gave him a thumbs up & I never looked back. But I do carry chains, just in case.
 

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If you cannot show them a set of chains if they ask you,(i.e.-the numbskull at the checkpoint is having a bad day) they can stop you from continuing. You probably will not have to put them on so they don't even have to fit, you just have to carry them. First hand experience. It's a bullshit law. I have been waved on by CHP officers but stopped, hassled and turned around by Caltrans employees.
 

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Tacoma-dana 44
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There are 4 restrictions in snow areas (From CalTrans.com):

R1: Chains are required - snow tread tires allowed.

R2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels.

R3: Chains are required - all vehicles - no exceptions.

R1 and R2 are the most common conditions. The highway is usually closed before an R3 condition is imposed

I believe that commerical vehicles/semis are required to chain at R1.

Go here for more: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/wo.htm
 

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Going John Galt
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gearbox said:
I've got a 4x4 Taco w/stock AT tires. Will the powers that be let me drive to Tahoe w/o chains?
I plan on getting chains when I upgrade to 285/75/16s. I figure it would be a huge waste to get chains for 30s that I soon will not be using.
If I do need chains, what should I look for? Ladder or diamond? What sort of tensioner? Brands? I did some searching here and on google, but have only scratched the surface of what I need to know.
Also, does Hi-Lifting a wheel one at a time have any practical advantages or should the chains be placed, rolled onto, tensioned and retensioned?
Links, personal experiences, pricing/source recommendations and witty banter are all welcome. :)
I've never been stopped on 50, 80 or 88, even in a blizzard ;)
if things get squirrley just air down.
 

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Going John Galt
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gearbox said:
So the general consensus is to switch on 4hi, stay unlocked, air down my 30" AT cheapos, keep speed low, and smile nicely at the CalTrans folk?
Thanks :)
yup...and only air down if you need to.
 

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Can anyone shed some light on his original questions about chains? They are much more strict about chain usage around here. It's pretty common when headed to any of the good ski spots, from what I have been told. This is my first winter here, so I am curious about chains. The Alps are BIG and some of the roads are way sketchy. My house is a short par 3 from the base so chains are in my near future.

It seems diamond are the only type available around here. I used ladder style back in the day in WA and they blew.
 

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Tacoma-dana 44
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SEREvince said:
Can anyone shed some light on his original questions about chains? They are much more strict about chain usage around here. It's pretty common when headed to any of the good ski spots, from what I have been told. This is my first winter here, so I am curious about chains. The Alps are BIG and some of the roads are way sketchy. My house is a short par 3 from the base so chains are in my near future.

It seems diamond are the only type available around here. I used ladder style back in the day in WA and they blew.
His question was answered. You need to talk to people where you are about tire chain usage. If diamond type is the only choise, then I think that's your answer.
 

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Some chain resources for anyone interested.

I prefer V-Bar chains, or Ice biters as we call them. But check your UCA clearence if your running IFS.

Peerless chain is American made steel, and top quality. Can be found at Tractor supply, and Cabelas.

http://www.peerlesschain.com/

Another Vendor. Decent pricing, not sure if it's American or Chinese steel.

http://www.tirechain.com/TRUCK-SUV-CHAINS.HTM

Interesting Web site for chain usage.

http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/Chains.htm

One more thing for any new chain runner. Get them tight, and stop and check for tightness after going a short distance. Tie all loose ends, or you will pay in body damage.
 

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IF you are really worried about it, buy the chains. As long as you dont use them, they should take them back. just say that you got the wrong size. I know, i worked at kragens for a year. But like others have said, its rare that they will make 4wd chain up.
 

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Get some that fit your tires, and I can almost certainly say you will never have to use them on the major hwy's 50, 80, 88,89, 108 etc. Roads will close before they make 4x4 use chains.
I go to Kirkwood every weekend and when it's snowing I take my Mom's 4runner 4x4. Never had to show chains, let alone use them. Hell, I've been waived through with my 2wd lifted mini by caltrans. I have 31's and have had caltrans crawl under to confirm for themselves that I infact did not have a front axle...while I'm putting on my chains. Often I don't need chains in chain control areas due to good tires and smart driving, if I even start to slip, I chain up my truck.

Find the cheapest ones you can...you'll not need to use them anyway.
 

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I live on 50 half way between Sac and Tahoe. I've never had to put chains on a 4x4 up here. Like they said before, usually they close the road before they get to that stage. You should be fine. Just watch out for the other a-holes on the road. People think they can do freeway speed with 3 inches of snow on the ground if they have 4 wheel drive on there SUV. I scrape people off the road for a living on this stretch of highway. Almost every accident up here involves someone with a 4 wheel drive. The 2 wheel drive folks with chains can only go 25-30mph.
 

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Beware of running any chains on the 05-07 Tacoma if tires are 265/65/16 or similar size 17's. My 05 Taco only has 3/8 inch clearance between the sidewall and the upper control arm on the front tires and any chains that have link larger than 1/4 inch could cut the tire or bust the rubber grease fitting or the UCA in general. The pre 05 tacomas even with the bigger 31/10.5/15 tires could still run the 1 inch heavy duty chains. TRD/off roaders at toyota missed this. The FJ cruiser has the same problem. Search thread for chains.
 

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chains are for pre-runners put it in H4 and go pedal to the metal! j/k
but dont buy chains there for saturns!
peace
 
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