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HotDonnaTheBus 11-24-2018 11:01 AM

Snow?!
 
Hi there!
Driving a FORD E350 shortbus here in Montana... where the snow is already inches deep and salt/plowing isn't exactly a thing.
Anyone have any recommendations on how to survive such a thing? I am trying to avoid the constant hassle of snow tires/summer tires/snow tires/summer tires on and off dance (and cost). So, obviously a beefy all-terrain/all-season tire is a must, along with chains and a couple of sand bags. But is there anything that I'm missing or that I should know?

Thanks in advance!

Warmly,
Hot Donna the Bus

jazty 11-24-2018 11:31 AM

Honestly, if you're looking for the best winter driving experience in snow you need winter tires. All seasons are no comparison. Winter tires have a softer compound and a better tread pattern for winter. Get steel rims and mount winter tires on them. Then you can switch the tires over in a driveway. Takes about an hour.

jazty 11-24-2018 11:35 AM

I'd also like to add that just looking at tread pattern can be deceiving. Mud tires with huge lugs seem like they'd be good, but the rubber isn't suitable for the winter. I recall two years ago pulling a lifted jeep with mudders up the small hill in our driveway. Pulled it up the hill with our subaru legacy with good winter tires. The jeep was in 4x4 with the rear diff locked. Useless.

cadillackid 11-24-2018 06:32 PM

+1 on good winter tires.. in the past on my Jeep wranglers i had good luck with the good year wrangler series tires as a good mix of winter and summer driving.. after about 40-50k miles they will get noisy.. I also second the thought that mud tires are not good in the snow.. for one mud tires need a LOT of power as the yare designed to Bite and Throw mud, not simply grip and roll like a tighter pattern snow tire is.. in effect mud tires want to slip and spin, snow tires want to grip and not slip or spin. (thats what makes ice)..


-Christopher

Johnny Mullet 11-24-2018 06:58 PM

Snow tires make all the difference.

BlackJohn 11-24-2018 07:19 PM

Carry a snow shovel, not the plow type but one more for digging. You never know when you will get drifted in by whiteouts. A survival kit should be on your list too. And keep fuel topped up always,


John

EastCoastCB 11-25-2018 06:51 AM

Take that snow tire money and stay in Fl till the snow melts.

Tango 11-26-2018 10:48 AM

Mmmmm...go south.

jazty 11-26-2018 11:11 AM

Geez.. what's with all the snow hate? :) You know, some of us actually prefer a white winter. My only gripe with the weather right now is that there isn't enough snow! Bring it. That stuff is all sorts of fun. And pretty, too.

I was going to say, "You southerners are missing out", but if you truly don't care for the cold then of course you really aren't missing out. I'd be "missing out" by going down south, though.

That isn't to say I don't mind a break from it for a week or two come February. Maybe I'll see you southern folk in a couple months ��

Drew Bru 11-26-2018 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jazty (Post 299375)
Geez.. what's with all the snow hate? :) You know, some of us actually prefer a white winter. My only gripe with the weather right now is that there isn't enough snow! Bring it. That stuff is all sorts of fun. And pretty, too.

Everybody loves the first snowfall of the year. Come late February, though, that brown slushy crud piling up on the curbs starts wearing a little thin! We'll likely seek out some cooler weather, probably snow too, in our travels but we'll probably do the boot scootin boogie to warmer climates at some point.

cadillackid 11-26-2018 11:41 AM

snowfall is awesome except that it comes with COLD.. and my problem with cold is i have a very little body.. that has no insulation... and I live in a world where people in public places have much bigger bodies.. and they riun A/C year round... which makes me shiver INSIDE as well as outside.. i used to love snow and winter because i knew i could always go inside to warm up..coffee shops, stores, restaraunts, malls, libraries all used to turn the heating system up nice and warm when it was cold and snowy outside.. but once that went away and everyplace is cold inside and out. i have come to very much dislike winter and snow and cold...
-Christopher

Tango 11-26-2018 08:38 PM

Screw the cold!!!

somewhereinusa 11-27-2018 07:18 AM

I grew up and still live where it snows. Dad had a auto repair shop, if there was snow you spent much of the day being dripped on by salt water. Got out of the Navy and opened my own shop, same thing. Drove a semi cross country for 20 years, if I had to chain up same thing with out the warm building. I've been in some really scary places where there was snow.
I'm with Christopher on the warm thing. Why do I have to wear a jacket in stores and restaurants in the summer?

ermracing 11-27-2018 08:37 AM

Depending on how many miles you typically put on the rig during the year, consider just running snow tires all year 'round. Not studded of course. Our previous tow rig (for the rally car) was an E-350 extended chassis van we put about 5k on each year. We just left the snowies on it since we did a fair amount of dirt road traveling and had to park in fields which tended to get muddy.

Dave

cowlitzcoach 11-27-2018 12:53 PM

If the GVWR of your bus is over 10,000 lbs. the requirement is you have to install chains when traction devices are required. Snow tires are not enough if you are big enough.

As a consequence we used a good high mileage tire with very unaggressive tread pattern all year long.

We also found that on the mini-buses we couldn't run any sort of tire that had a tread pattern made of large traction blocks. The blocks tended to squirm while going down the road and would make the rear end of the bus feel like it was not very secure on the road.

If you are going to be doing a lot of mountain driving requiring you to put on and take off your chains a lot then you might want to consider investing in a set of OnSpot automatic tire chains. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/

cadillackid 11-27-2018 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach (Post 299510)
If the GVWR of your bus is over 10,000 lbs. the requirement is you have to install chains when traction devices are required. Snow tires are not enough if you are big enough.

As a consequence we used a good high mileage tire with very unaggressive tread pattern all year long.

We also found that on the mini-buses we couldn't run any sort of tire that had a tread pattern made of large traction blocks. The blocks tended to squirm while going down the road and would make the rear end of the bus feel like it was not very secure on the road.

If you are going to be doing a lot of mountain driving requiring you to put on and take off your chains a lot then you might want to consider investing in a set of OnSpot automatic tire chains. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/


is that something that happens in mainly western high elevation areas? ive never seen them require chains here in the midwest. even in a blizzard.. they just close all the roads and arrest you for reckless op if you drive

cowlitzcoach 11-28-2018 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadillackid (Post 299511)
is that something that happens in mainly western high elevation areas? ive never seen them require chains here in the midwest. even in a blizzard.. they just close all the roads and arrest you for reckless op if you drive

Most likely a thing only in the west. I know in MI it is against the law to use traction chains on the pavement.

Here is the OR state rules and regs. https://tripcheck.com/Pages/Chain-Law

The same rules and regs apply pretty much throughout the west. I know WA, CA, and ID rules and regs are pretty much identical.

I think three reasons come into play that are not a concern in the east and mid-west. First, we have a lot more gravity working against us. From my house traveling on US12 to Yakima you start from not very much above sea level to the top of White Pass that is 4000' and then you go back down to Yakima that has an elevation of about 1000'. 7000' of elevation change in a little more than 130 miles is a lot of up and down.

Second, most of the time when we get the white stuff the temp at ground level is usually right around 32*. Which means the first of the white stuff melts and then proceeds to freeze. When the white stuff stops falling it is all laid over a layer of ice.

And lastly, when the white stuff does start to fall none of the road crews around here are not really well equipped to remove the white stuff off of the roads. There is probably less snow removal equipment in all of the five SW WA state counties than there is in any small to medium sized community in OH or NJ--which is an area the size of NJ. If they don't get out before traffic gets on the road the white stuff gets packed onto the pavement and becomes compacted snow, which turns into ice, which becomes virtually impossible to remove until it all melts.

pbeggs 11-28-2018 08:54 AM

i run these year round. i'm in Maine they go well in the snow and are good on dry roads too. plus they are pretty cheap i have a 2010 ford E350 bus.

Milestar 22275037 Patagonia A/T Off-Road Radial Tire - 245/75R16 120S

gclarkv 12-01-2018 05:03 PM

Winter Tires
 
I can not speak highly enough about the Nokian Hakkapeliitta winter tire. After running all-seasons for several decades I put a set on my Honda Pilot last year and was absolutely blown away. When they say that the Nokians on snow are like all-seasons on rain, they aren't kidding.

Birdarchitect26 12-03-2018 07:51 AM

If snow is a problem, avoid it. Go South. We live full time in our RV, but we sure dont drive it around in the snow.


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