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Old 02-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #1
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Single snow chains on dually, or double?

I'm researching tire chains for my rig. I don't ever want to use them, but want to be ready if I'm caught and they are required. I notice that some chains seem to come for the outside wheels only, and some are designed for both dually wheels. My tire size i9s 225-70R 19.5. I'd appreciate any recommendations on what type of chain to buy and where. Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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I only used them on the outside wheels. To install the chains, carry some boards that will allow you to drive up on the inner tires enough that the outside tires are off the ground. This allows you to easily install the chains.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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You might check the state laws. Some states might require duals to be chained if chain law is in effect.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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If you have some serious pulling in deep snow or an inch or 2 of packed snow you need doubles and the best are what they call 3 rail. Thats a side chain in the middle as well as the sides. They are expensive and hard to install but will get you through if anything will. If you just need to be legal with fairly light snow or ice singles will get you by. Twice while pulling an empty semi trailer on packed snow the single kicked the snow out from under the tire and the inside dual would just spin on the snow. On my 4X4 PU I have 2 sets of singles. When I need to chain up when towing the trailer I put on the fronts too and a set on the trailer. That improves stearing and braking as well as going.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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TripCheck - Road Cams, Road & Weather Conditions in Oregon - ODOT

This is the website for Oregon DOT and has a link to Oregon law on chains and how to chain duals. A pretty good representation and since you live in California you might be heading over the Siskyous and this will apply.

Caltrans has a similar website.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:53 PM   #6
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Definitely go single. Believe me, those double chains are a bear to install especially on a motorhome with limited clearance. It's awful enough installing them on a truck even when you do have more room to work with.

Cliff's response is good but he's referring to his trucks. If the snow is so deep that you need traction from a set of double chains, you motorhome probably shouldn't even be attempting to use the roads. Those offset double chains are for maximum traction.

Even a set of steel chains on the outside dual are going to be moderately difficult to install. Using a ramp on the inside dual will help, however.

As has been discussed in other threads, most folks that drive motorhomes should just pull over and wait it out if chains are required. If you absolutely have to make it over a pass when the chains required signs are posted, I guess you have to do what you have to do.

I've installed chains on hundreds of buses and trucks through the years and I personally want to avoid it at my age. So I just pull over and wait it out. Some states do require you to carry chains on heavier vehicles whether you need them or not ...Oregon is a good example as they require vehicles 26,001 lbs. and over to carry them through their "snow zones" in the winter months. I do carry a set of cables for that purpose. They fit the tires but they've never been used but carry them to show an LEO I have them on board just in case. Cables are an approved substitute for chains in most states (with some exceptions).

Incidentally, we don't have enough clearance for steel chains on our motorhome so check that on your rig too. And remember, if you do use steel chains and you do not catch a broken link in time, you can do a lot of damage to your coach. Even with cables, they can do a lot of cosmetic damage if you allow a loose link or cross-member to flap around without attending to it.

-harry
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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You folks have humbled me into avoiding chains on my MH. I will patiently wait for clear passage.
I did chains a few times while growing up in MN. It was difficult (and damaging) enough on a car.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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Some states/areas require chains to be onboard and available during some months of the year. I carry chains but have no intension to use them. If weather is such that it's requuired to install to proceed, I will hole up and wait for the weather to clear.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Cork View Post
I only used them on the outside wheels. To install the chains, carry some boards that will allow you to drive up on the inner tires enough that the outside tires are off the ground. This allows you to easily install the chains.
If I were to use them, this is the way.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Why would drive the MH if the roads are that bad?? You should be parked for a few days.

Al, Michigan.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:39 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies! I don't intend to use the chains. However, CA road signs say you are required to carry chains at certain times of year. You don't always have a choice about whether to put them on or not. We have places requiring chains where you can't get off the road and park for a few days. I don't know if they will give you a ticket for ignoring the signs, but I'm sure they could. I like the idea of carrying some cables for the outside tires. There is very little clearance room between the tires and the body of my MH, so big, floppy chains wouldn't work out. And I watched some online videos about installing dually chains. They look like a real pain.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
Some states do require you to carry chains on heavier vehicles whether you need them or not ...Oregon is a good example as they require vehicles 26,001 lbs. and over to carry them through their "snow zones" in the winter months. I do carry a set of cables for that purpose. They fit the tires but they've never been used but carry them to show an LEO I have them on board just in case. Cables are an approved substitute for chains in most states (with some exceptions).
WA also except it starts at 10,000# GVWR and they have to fit the vehicle you're driving too.
I have driven our rig on packed snow and ice with dozens of vehicles in the ditch and even sliding off the road in front of us. Never needed chains and really had no trouble.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
...If weather is such that it's requuired to install to proceed, I will hole up and wait for the weather to clear...
Same here!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #14
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Folks, you just need to leave earlier in the fall.
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