Snow chains are they required?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by John & Joan, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    Hi folks

    We are heading down to Spain in November this year and returning in April.

    Are there any places on the route down that I need to carry snow chains? Is it a legal requirement to carry them even if you don't intend to use them? I would just park up if the roads were bad.

    Proposed route via the west coast of France from Calais via Bordeaux, RN 10 which circumnavigates Bayonne, Biarritz, San Sebastian. then either Zaragoza to med Coast of Spain, or across the plain via Burgos, Madrid, Granada, Malaga.

    We don't want to go across the mountains so planned to hug the coasts and valleys.

    John
     
  2. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    From what I understand of it France Germany Italy Norway Sweden Switzerland are the main counties that have obligatory use of snow chains but as I understand it France only requires the use and carrying of snow chains if you are going into the areas where snow chains are needed and then signage will advise when to fit.

    Snow chains are something you should only fit when absolutely necessary and drive fairly slowly when fitted - remove as soon as the need is over otherwise you risk damage the tyres , wheels and vehicle. IMHO taking the route you intend there is no need to consider them. If you are worries still I would be inclined to contact the RAC or AA for a diffinitive answer.

    If you do decide to carry them just in case these folk hire them www.snowchains.co.uk and provided you do not use them the charges are very reasonable - please bear in mind chains like tyres come in specific sizes to suit tyres and wheel sizes so they do need to be specific to your vehicle and tyres - they are very easy and simple to fit and remove and you do not have to take the wheels off to do it - each wheel should not be more than a minute or so.
     
  3. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    Thanks for the answer.

    I had it in my mind that there were areas in France (Spain?) where it was obligatory to carry and if necessary fit chains. It is a bit late to get to a sign that says that chains must be fitted if you haven't got them to fit.

    Rental would be out of the question due to the length of the trip and I would probably need them again next year. The weight is no problem I have plenty of spare capacity. If I find I need to carry them I need chains that would fit a 185x14 twin rear wheel on a Mercedes Hymer S700.

    If conditions were so bad as to need chains to travell I would park up and enjoy my stay.

    John
     
  4. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    there are if you plan on going through the pyreneeze, snow tends to come later in the year on the route you are saying, I have known the A68 to Zaragoza be closed in jan/feb due to snowfall. It is always advised to carry chains if you are going anywhere near areas that expect snow. (last year everywhere needed them in France and accross parts of Spain - some places in spain hadnt seen snow for over 30years and got a couple of feet of it)
     
  5. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    One thing I would add to that on a personal level is I always have a set of chains on board - never had to use them but you never know do you
     
  6. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    A few years ago I thought I was being clever going to Spain via Andora so that I could fuel up on cheap diesel,it was November and I never gave it a thought about snow.
    Anyway..cutting a long story short,it cost me far more for the snow chains which I had to buy than I saved in fuel...whats more have never used them since.:Doh:
    You live and learn.
     
  7. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Thats a good link. When using snow chains do you just fit them to the back wheels or all round.

    I have double rear wheels, do both wheels either side need to be chained or just one wheel either side.

    When you say drive slowly to avoid damage to the tyre/wheel, what do you call slowly, 10 mph, 20mph. I guess it becoms obvious when your in snow.:RollEyes:

    Ive never had to use them before so this is all good info.

    Jim

    :Smile:
     
  8. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    It is NOT obligatory to carry chains in France BUT if you find a sign on your way which tells you to fit them a few meters ahead you will have to stop your travel as you'll get fined if you try to go further without them fitted. Is that clearer?

    If any other question ask away i'll try to answer my best


    Amicalement



    Frankie:Smile:
     
  9. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    Thanks Frankie. Just trying to cover any eventualities.

    John
     
  10. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    I am not an authority by any means but this is the information I have and work to - chains should only be fitted when there is real risk of loss of traction - as a normal course they would only be fitted to the driving wheels - on dual wheel vehicles it is normal to only fit to the outer wheels - speed should be kept low I would personally keep to about 10mph max . Chains are a get you out of the poo tool rather than anything to allow normal driving use of chains at speed will risk damage to the tyres - using them when not required ie no snow or ice is risking excess wear on the chains which in turn risks them breaking and and becoming a chain flail - If you plan to do a lot of driving on ice and snow then you should fit tyres suited to the fitment of studs .

    On 4 wheel drive vehicles chains can be fitted to both front and rear tyres but care on chain selection is essential to avoid fouling steering gear or ABS braking sensors.

    There are different types of chains / patterns and fitments depending on the vehicle and the use ie mud - ice - snow - tarmac - offroad etc

    Hope that helps
     
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