Snow chains - advice pls

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Lot lover, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    We are hoping to spend Feb and Mar at Tavira in Portugal. According to my Boy's Own atlas we have to cross the Pyrennees somewhere/somehow and, in case global warming is a myth, we have to carry snow chains.

    Never having needed them I know nothing about them so would welcome your advice on snow chains generally and also on the "best" non-toll route from the A20 north of Cahors. Our MH is an FWD Fiat Ducato with 16 inch wheels, can't remember tyre spec.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    If you cross at either end of the mountain range I doubt you will need snow chains

    We came though Spain (Bilbao/Torre del mar) last year in early March and whilst there was plenty of snow on the hills the main roads were clear.
     
  3. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    My comment "we have to carry snow chains" is not based solely on a perceived need but rather the risk that an officious gendarme will turn me back just because I don't have them.
     
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  4. bladerunner

    bladerunner Funster

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    If you are driving down through France you should be able to buy chains from a autoroute service station. The fiat wheels are pretty common.

    Having said that, the Pyrenees have some pretty long tunnels that will bypass the snow. Very much doubt you would need chains on the main routes.
     
  5. Imbiber

    Imbiber Funster Life Member

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    I bought our last pair from here < Snow Chains >; delivered from Germany in a matter of days.

    We have a Ducato FWD also on 16" wheels and ours are the Weissenfels Rex TR 17mm.
     
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  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You need specific chains for your tyre dimensions.....not just 16" chains.
    Too slack and tyre, and possibly wheel arch, damage will be possible.
    Too tight and you won't get them on the tyre.

    I have a pair of Thule chains, specifically for 265/60/18 tyres....they fit like a glove.
     
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  7. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    In 17 years of coach driving, most of the winters doing ski trips, I only ever put the chains on once and that was only because we had an early evening departure from resort and the snow ploughs had finished for the day.

    You'll find that even in bad weather the authorities keep the main roads clear and chains are only required if you decide to be, shall we say, a little adventurous. There will be signs saying if snow chains are required. Safest to go round the ends or use Somport Tunnel.

    But if you decide to purchase do make sure you get the right size for your tyres and get for both front and rear no matter what end your driving wheels are at.
     
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  8. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    On the France/Spain border, You'll be almost at sea level. Not much snow around ;)
     
  9. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    But as a mean buffer I do my best to avoid tolls so don't see too many 'A' service stations. I plan to buy the chains before departure so that if we encounter snow or officious officials there won't be a last minute panic trying to find them.

    Good point, IIRC Scott etc worked on that principle when holidaying in Antarctica.
     
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  10. Imbiber

    Imbiber Funster Life Member

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    These are our chains > Weissenfels < I think the chain is actually 17mm in diameter; the thicker the better. Our tyres are 225/75 R16
     
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  11. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Yep , this is the right thing to do! Carry them and don't listen to who ever tells not to. Being myself an old froggy, I usually tend to say , forget about the rule. Except that this one might just stop your travel. Gendarmes won't let you carry on with your travel. better be safe than sorry. If no snow.... good for you, but at least if any , you'll wave at all the ones who didn't want to bother and who will stay stuck on the edge
     
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  12. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    Hi LL
    When you need chains you need chains.
    Gendarmes apart. If you get caught in a dump even slight slopes become very very tricky without chains
    and bearing in mind you may have a queue of traffic behind cursing you. Buy easy fit chains
    and at least have a good look at them before starting out
    ideally have a practise putting one on.
    Its a world of difference fitting them when its wet with cars whizzing past and your fingers are frozen
    kev
     
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  13. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Mytyres do reasonably priced chains
     
  14. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    Had to have a bit of a chuckle - we had occasional training days when new drivers were trained how to fit snow chains. A coach wheel and tyre were brought into a nice warm training room and the trainee was given a bag of chains which had, of course, been stored overnight in the training room. I used to get on the instructors wick when I told them what they should do is take the trainees outside in their shirtsleeves to a coach parked on the wash, blindfold them and turn the wash on. Now fit the chains 'cos that's the more likely scenario!
     
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  15. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I have started a separate thread on snow chains/alloy wheels which might be of interest.
     
  16. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Yes you're right , snowy slopes being dangerous for your life are far more important than gendarmes! Things is people tend to forget about danger and seem to be far more concerned by fines and being stuck .....
     
  17. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    I don't worry about getting stuck - I just don't go there. And whilst I would never deliberately go into snowy conditions, I've got snow rated winter tyres which should help as long as it doesn't get silly.
     
  18. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    Terry
    Yer dead right mate
    I also laminated the instructions and have a copy in the storage box
    my memory being what it is.
    I watched a group trying to fit chains in the pouring rain and snow as the instructions they had disintegrated in their hands
    lol
     
  19. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    I also cut a small piece of camp mat that fits inside the box holding the chains
    Better to kneel on than a wet road at - something degrees
     
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