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Old 01-05-2013, 03:25 PM   #29
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Possible heads up re returnability of unused chains to Les Schwab:

I've always understood this to be true, but I just saw a post elsewhere in which a person said that she'd bought cable-types there, and they are NOT returnable, though regular chains are.

I don't know if this is true, but if that's a factor in anyone's decision it would be worth checking out before buying.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Wolfpack Fan View Post
We don't do any driving with our class A that requires chains in possession or installed, but I've been a fleet manager before and I'm familiar with buying, replacing, repairing and installing them. If you EVER think you'll need to put them on, don't skimp and buy the inexpensive one's from China. Glacier brand or the likes. Get Pewag chains. They're made in Germany and of very good quality steel. They will give much more peace of mind knowing they won't fall apart and wreck the wheel well and other areas around them if a link comes loose. Caltrans is notorious for having chain controls in effect well before they're actually needed. The pavement beats the heck out of the chains and cheap ones fall apart very quickly after running on wet asphalt or concrete.
Hi there Wolfpack Fan...I live in Reno also. I was going to suggest to this gentleman that he just park it and wait if I-80 is shut down. That's what I have done in the past. There's a Camping World in Rocklin where you can spend the night and on the Nevada side, there's Boomtown Casino in Verdi. I've been told that both California and Oregon require that you carry chains. I don't carry any but I've been thinking about it just in case I get asked to show them. No way that I'm going to drive my coach in the snow though.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:20 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca View Post
Possible heads up re returnability of unused chains to Les Schwab:

I've always understood this to be true, but I just saw a post elsewhere in which a person said that she'd bought cable-types there, and they are NOT returnable, though regular chains are.

I don't know if this is true, but if that's a factor in anyone's decision it would be worth checking out before buying.
We've also heard from others that their policy is that the chains have to be held and returned after April 1st. We've heard it from more than one person but have never purchased chains there personally so can't confirm.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:53 AM   #32
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I've been told that both California and Oregon require that you carry chains. I don't carry any but I've been thinking about it just in case I get asked to show them. No way that I'm going to drive my coach in the snow though.
According to the helpful Tire Chain website posted a bit farther up, it appears that for California, at least, you don't have to have chains unless there are "chains required" in force. Once that becomes the status, you must have chains (even if you don't put them on) or stop. I'm gonna go with the 'stop' option

But in some of the northern states you have to have chains with you during the winter even if the sky is clear, the roads are clear, it hasn't snowed in a month and isn't expect to snow for another month. That's all I was concerned about -- actually being legal while driving in good conditions.

Steve
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:55 AM   #33
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Since the OPs trip is all Cali Sierra Nevada, then what They do in Canada, Washington, Oregon or anywhere else is purely academic.
Actually what other states require does help because other travelers DO read the threads.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:54 AM   #34
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Yes, a lot of us read these threads. WA here.

So, here it is:

Buy a set of cable chains,

Never, yes never have to use them,

Make sure they are for the tire size that you have, just in case you out live never,

Park it and set up home, anyway it will either be a storm you do not want to drive in,

Or bright and sunny and a great looking day,

Yes a DP drives well in the snow but you do not want to learn when it lets go,

Above all else enjoy your time in the mountains.

Don't get caught in the mountains low on any fuel, water or full tanks that need dumping.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:27 PM   #35
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Does anyone know of a list of states that require you carry chains regardless of weather? Being a sunshine boy, I had foolishly assumed (until I saw this thread) that as long as we didn't try and travel when the roads call for "chains required" we'd be okay.

Our plan (weather permitting) is to drive I-80 from the SF Bay Area to Cheyenne, WY. I would prefer not to drive the extra 400 miles taking 5/58/40/25if I can avoid it (although I'm resigned to doing so if the weather is at all marginal).

Thanks!

Steve

This is one of the better summary sites that we've found for the "must carry" chain requirements by state. It's for truckers but as highway and state patrol officers that we've talked to in various states, a diesel pusher (GVWR of over 26,000 lbs.) should generally follow the commercial truck requirements if their state does not specify weight in their chain laws. Some states like Washington, will specify a blanket weight for all vehicles (10,000 GVWR) to comply with special chain requirements.

State Chain Law Rules and Regulations


Oregon actually requires ALL vehicles to carry chains in their designated "snow zones" when the signs are posted which is usually all winter long although they don't have specified dates. "Snow Zones" are clearly listed on their website.

I believe Colorado only has "chains must be carried regardless of road conditions" on a certain section of I-70.

Washington, of course, has already been discussed in this thread as one of the states where chains must be carried if the vehicle is over 10,000 lbs. GVWR.

Mr_D, Washington also requires an extra set of chains (two sets, one being a back up) to be carried on vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVWR. Is this something you do? We don't and I'm not sure if how strictly that would be enforced for motorhomes.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #36
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You know, it seems to me that the "which state" question would best be answered by saying "Any State that gets regular heavy snow in the winter", since nearly all of those may suddenly impose such a requirement due to weather conditions.

Per Washington State in particular:

From WASDOT

If you see this sign:

That means that ALL VEHICLES MUST HAVE CHAINS, and on most the chains must be actually installed. There's an exception for four wheel or all wheel drive vehicles with appropriate approved snow tires.
BUT
Even those are required to have at least one pair of chains aboard the vehicle.

Furthermore, quoting from the above link:

Quote:
Under extreme weather conditions, the Washington State Patrol can mandate that all vehicles chain up, including four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles. Drivers must then install chains on one set of drive tires.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #37
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But the issue is that states such as Washington and Oregon can cite you if you're not carrying chains onboard going over their designated mountain passes or certain roadways. It doesn't matter what the road conditions may be or whether traction devices are required or not.

As a WSP trooper once explained to us, let's say we were pulled over for speeding (or it could be any other traffic infraction) or were involved in a fender bender even though it wasn't our fault, the trooper could give us an infraction for not carrying chains on those designated roadways even though it was sunny and the road surface was completely dry (in WA it would be during the designated time period, November 1st through April 1st).

Other states may not have the requirements where you are required to carry chains with you whether they are needed or not.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:52 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
But the issue is that states such as Washington and Oregon can cite you if you're not carrying chains onboard going over their designated mountain passes or certain roadways. It doesn't matter what the road conditions may be or whether traction devices are required or not.

As a WSP trooper once explained to us, let's say we were pulled over for speeding (or it could be any other traffic infraction) or were involved in a fender bender even though it wasn't our fault, the trooper could give us an infraction for not carrying chains on those designated roadways even though it was sunny and the road surface was completely dry (in WA it would be during the designated time period, November 1st through April 1st).

Other states may not have the requirements where you are required to carry chains with you whether they are needed or not.
This is the only reason I carry chains on board. It's an issue of legality only. I carry the chains. I'll never use them.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #39
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Hi there Wolfpack Fan...I live in Reno also. I was going to suggest to this gentleman that he just park it and wait if I-80 is shut down. That's what I have done in the past. There's a Camping World in Rocklin where you can spend the night and on the Nevada side, there's Boomtown Casino in Verdi. I've been told that both California and Oregon require that you carry chains. I don't carry any but I've been thinking about it just in case I get asked to show them. No way that I'm going to drive my coach in the snow though.
Good call. I80 can be quite a mess going over Donner. We'll keep the motorhome on the side of the house till spring gets here. Then off of Frenchmans and Eagle Lake. I'll sure be happy when that finally happens. Heck I'll be happy when this inversion mess over us clears up. I was pretty surprized to hear on the news that the air quality index for Washoe Country was actually listed as "Unhealthy"
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