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Old 12-15-2015, 01:18 AM   #1
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When should an RVer use tire chains??

Looks like I'm going to be heading south this year in some nasty weather. Utah is getting hit hard with heavy snow. I'm headed south to Pahrump Nevada. While the roads aren't horrible you wouldn't want to go 50mph over on I-15. This is clearly slow and concentrate weather. To make matters worse. There is only a short window of time when the weather will be ok enough to try and make it south of the Utah boarder before another storms slams the state later this week, into the weekend and early next. (About a day) So this is when you got to go, you got to go. Typically it is illegal to use chains in Utah unless highway banners indicate otherwise. Plus the state doesn't always post "chains/4x4 required" on electronic signage when conditions call for it. So if anyone here has had to use chains before. I'd like your feedback. Where is the fine?? When do you determine it is time to stop and put chains on???
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:33 AM   #2
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I used to drive Tractor Trailer Rigs for a living. The man I worked for always provided the chains. He left it up to me about if and when I would use the chains.

He said that in his opinion "You want to drive when you have to put chains on do what you like, but if they say "Chains Required" he would rather pay us for a motel or hotel room or we could sleep in the sleeper, therapy for the damage to the rig"
Rather than have to call my wife or my co-drivers wife and telling them that we are hurt or dead.

So my thought is unless you had have been south of the Utah Border yesterday, if it's snowing stay home one more day. Your wife's life and your life is worth far more than one or two days of vacation will ever be.
Botton Line, You need chains carry them with you but as far as I am concerned I got paid to drive with chains on my rig if needed, but I do not get paid to drive my RV, when the weather conditions are bad I have more time than lives.
Have a sfae trip, go when the weather is fair to good and enjoy your trip, RV's are for enjoyment
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:17 AM   #3
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The MAIN ISSUE you'll have using tire chains on a MH is that ther is NO clearance in the wheel well for the tire chains to slop around without taking out the side of the MH and or most of the inner wheel well. Semi's have a totally open rear wheel area so as to allow room for chains if needed. IMO you'd be taking a chance of tearing up the wheel wells, side of your MH anytime you use chains.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
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In the storm weather patterns I would NEVER cross to the east to go down the cold side. You will deal with more ice and much more snow distance wise. Either I5 or the coast route making the decision in southern Or with updated weather data. There seems to always be a weather window on I5 within a day and 4-5 hours drive your south of most heavy snow ice problems. I will not use the chains I carry, A couple $35 nights at a resort like heaven feathers is a cheap way out verses $$$$ in damage from chains. If you do go the chain route chain up when the signs are up.
I'll be leave for do it about the 10th of Jan.

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Old 12-15-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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In my case, I'll never use chains. I carry them because Oregon says I have to
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:31 AM   #6
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Since you live in Salt Lake City you know we have the best snow clearance in the West. If you're not in a hurray I would wait and watch the weather. The worst we have traveled in the winter from West Jordan going South has been the Filmore and Beaver areas. I-15 usually gets cleared pretty good. Just watch for black ice in the shaded areas. If we go this Winter it won't be until after Christmas. Like the Marine Trucker said, it's not worth it. If you go take your time, Beaver has a pretty good KOA that is usually open. Drive safe and forget the chains, just not worth it.
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:06 PM   #7
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I carry chains but have never used them and won't barring unforeseen circumstances. I almost used them once crossing the Syskiyous (I-5) in southern Oregon. We had overnighted along side the road with a bunch of trucks. Waited around the next morning and around noon I decided to go ahead and chain up since there was some commitment my wife had. I got out and was crawling in the snow around a tire when my wife comes out and tells me the trucker behind us told us to wait another few minutes - the scanner said chain requirements would be lifted soon. HE was right and boy did I thank that trucker - they are all GREAT in my opinion.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w6pea View Post
I used to drive Tractor Trailer Rigs for a living. The man I worked for always provided the chains. He left it up to me about if and when I would use the chains.

He said that in his opinion "You want to drive when you have to put chains on do what you like, but if they say "Chains Required" he would rather pay us for a motel or hotel room or we could sleep in the sleeper, therapy for the damage to the rig"
Rather than have to call my wife or my co-drivers wife and telling them that we are hurt or dead.

So my thought is unless you had have been south of the Utah Border yesterday, if it's snowing stay home one more day. Your wife's life and your life is worth far more than one or two days of vacation will ever be.
Botton Line, You need chains carry them with you but as far as I am concerned I got paid to drive with chains on my rig if needed, but I do not get paid to drive my RV, when the weather conditions are bad I have more time than lives.
Have a sfae trip, go when the weather is fair to good and enjoy your trip, RV's are for enjoyment
The OP will never receive better advice!
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #9
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Never drive when chains are needed - stay parked until the road clears!!
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:46 PM   #10
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If I absolutely need to be where I'm going (very rare) I chain up and go. Otherwise, find a nice place and spend the night.

If your towing a trailer, most states also require a set on the trailer.
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:11 AM   #11
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I have seen the front end of a motorhome slide sideways on a slippery surface. I will never drive when chains are necessary. I remember one time when I-5 was closed in California near the Oregon border sue to snow. We waited until the next day and they opened the highway. We took off and found the road totally clear! We were amazed.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:55 AM   #12
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The answer to the OP question is "NEVER"
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:32 AM   #13
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I say carry tire chains.
You will never know when you will need them to get to a safe location to wait out the weather.


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Old 12-19-2015, 11:41 AM   #14
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When I drove over-the-road, I would not use tire chains, if it was that bad, I waited, took a different route.........My dispatcher asked me one time if I had tire chains with me when I called him to inform him the load was going to be a bit late due to weather conditions........and I told him that what I was driving was a "Road Tractor" not a dirt tractor............tire chains are for dirt tractors and oil field trucks!
Sure I could of used chains, and tried to drive in those terrible conditions, and the his load might not of even made it at all to its destination! and the insurance company would of ended up buying the load..........
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