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Pathfinder 2WD snow chain kit contents for Tahoe? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Just remember its your ticket. Just throw one on the outside. Then if you get pulled over tell them you threw one. :-)
post #32 of 41
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Anyway, as someone with well rounded experience with vehicles, tires, chains, and checkpoints..  Phil's (and others') advice above is spot on.  You should probably just get some good snow tires on that 2WD Pathfinder.  You'll roll right past probably 99% of the chains or 4WD required check points.  And, your vehicle will do just as well as most AWD with regular all season tires.  Perhaps if you wanted to be absolutely 100% safe, get the really good tires but also keep a box of cable chains on board.  You will most likely never need them, but if you do you can likely pay someone to help you put them on there along the side of the road where the other people that got stopped are putting theirs on.


However, with a Pathfinder, I really doubt they'll stop you if you have good looking rubber under it..


Also, go to the junk yard, get an AWD badge off of a junker and put it on your tailgate.

post #33 of 41

I think knee pads will work better than a tarp (unless you have a waterproof bag to store the tarp after using it, or if you don't care about all the water in the trunk).  I personally do not use either.  In my experience, more often then not the ground will be really wet (snow isn't sticking yet), and you will be standing in little streams/puddles.  Also, I've never gotten used to putting chains on w/ gloves.  Having said that, if you do not use gloves hands will need to get cleaned (an old towel is a must for me).

post #34 of 41
I'll have to try the no gloves chaining up this winter while I'm driving a log truck. Right.
post #35 of 41
Try a small hatchback then.
post #36 of 41
Just make sure you put them on the drive axle.
post #37 of 41



See video



will cost a lot more than a typical chain/cable... but, super easy to install.

post #38 of 41
Originally Posted by tanscrazydaisy View Post



See video



will cost a lot more than a typical chain/cable... but, super easy to install.


wow, forget everything that has been said up to this point (no gloves, pliers, knee pads... :) ).

post #39 of 41

When you look at their price....  




you have to come to the determination is it's really worth it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           if you know you're going to use it enough... sure, might be worthwhile.


if you hope you never need to actually use it...look elsewhere, maybe a SCC chain.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

the europeans really try to improve on ergonomics of chains


can't remember if I mentioned it... www.spikes-spider.com

requires mounting a hub before hand....                                                                                                                                                                                                           

post #40 of 41

here's my tips and opinion if you see yourself having to throw on chains more than a few times.  Pardon the long read, i had some coffee.

1) Chains: spend the money for the fancier chainlink style chains from thule or elsewhere.   At a minimum get the ones that are self adjusting and self tightening and do not require you to move the car.  I got thule cs10 model which also has 1pull removal (this is useful, if you thought chaining up was bad, trying to unhook a chain which has spent the last hour in slush and salt and might be twisted or siezed up behind the tire).    Watch a video for the cs10 to see how that works.


The cheapo cable chains cost $40. Don't get these unless you are a 1time tourist.  


The no need to move the car, self-adjusting chains cost $100-$200 is worth it.  The super fancy ones that don't require to throw something behind the tire are $400+ and the upcharge at that point is marginal unless you are extremely mechanically inept.    You should also be aware chains will wear, especially since the tahoe roads are scraped and have thin cover.  Caltrans will close down the roads before it gets too thick.  So your $400 chains may not last and you maybe better off buying $200 chains twice.


Really because the roads are scraped at tahoe, the cheaper cablechains are actually more ideal as they are thinner and provide a smoother ride higher usage speed, and less car wear. The fancier heavier duty "chain link" chains are overkill requiring you to drive slower then the guys with all the cable chains guys zipping past.  But you cannot get all the easier install/uninstall  features with a cable design, and cable chains won't last.


2) Gloves: Do bring gloves.  Insulated or ski gloves may sound good, but will make the job impossible.  You really you should go for uninsulated gloves for finer motor control.   Mechanics style gloves or gardening/work gloves at the hardware store are the gloves to get.  Should be relatively cheap.  Get ones that fit well for high dexterity, and have solid palms/fingers (no vent holes).   If you want to waterproof your gloves go for it.  There is leather or cloth waterproofing stuff at REI; Or just let them get wet, and deal with wet hands for the 3minutes, or bring a couple pairs.  


3) Shoes: Bring shoes that are waterproof.  Columbia and other shoe brands make "trailrunner" sneakers that are waterproof.


4) Knees: kneepads if you want, especially if you are not a good stooper.  But if you got the fancy chains recommended in (1), and have practiced, you will be done faster then it takes to strap on the kneepads.   plastic Dropcloth/tarp as another option, but then you got to fold up a piece of plastic with mud and salt on it.  Maybe one of those rubber/foam gardening mats, only if you had it anyway.  1-2min of stooping per side is all I need to get the chains on.


5) Headlamp Flashlight is better than handheld flashlight (which can work if you have an assistant).


6) Multitool in case things go sideways and you need to work on your chains.  One trip, a poor soul couldn't get his chains undone (scc type keyhole fastener) , and I lent him my leatherman.  He still couldn't get things undone by the time i finished up, so he ended up having to buy it from me.  I just asked for how much I paid for it and did not gouge him even though he was in a bind (see (10)).


7) towel, or roll of shop towels for cleanup.  I assume you have all weather floor mats already.


8) brush/Ice scraper and winter temp washerfluid ($5 avail at any tahoe gas station/store).  This doesn't really have to do with chains,


9) For the paranoid: If you are afraid things will go really bad, bring a real car jack (hydraulic not the emergency one) and an air compressor pump (that connects to your car battery).   This will sort out any chain install issue in short order.


10) Cash.  In case things really go bad, cash to the chain monkeys or other people can get you out of trouble.  For your other question, the chain monkeys negotiate a group rate every season, so the price is same among all of them.  I think it was $40on/ $30 off last year if I remember the signs.   It is extremely expensive to hire someone to throw chains.  It would almost be cheaper to consider renting a car, borrowing someone's 4wd, or searching for a rideshare or bus. 


11) Box: Lastly, I'm a person of order, so a container to separate and organize your gear to have it ready and accessible (and stackable).  Nothing worse then needing to throw chains and having to dig around for the flashlight or the gloves.   I am a fan of these plastic containers from http://www.reallyusefulproducts.co.uk/usa/   that I found at Orchard.



As far as the discussion on getting around chain control, on one trip, i was in a rangerover on 50, and on the last steepest climb before the summit we slid out, despite having new tires and arguably a capable "real" 4wd system.   This was like 1AM with just a trace of new fine powder snow over frozen hard ice (melted refreeze), really slippery.  Two cars with cable chains also spun out, and then tried to just power up the hill and just kept spinning the tires and ended up breaking their chains.     (low range some fiddling with settings, and some shoveling out got us going)


So for those saying slap on a badge to get get around chain control; I'd say do whatever you want with your own life, but perhaps don't put others' lives at risk unless you want to take responsibility for it.  


Also, even if you happen to sneak past the controls, the people who are behind you and have been watching you fishtail repeatedly for the last 10miles are going to get pissed and snitch to chain control once THEY reach the checkpoint. and caltrans will chase you down and make you turn back.   Too many times someone crashes and causes the whole freeway to shutdown for hours, so it's not completely out of spite (but spite is still a big reason =))

Edited by raytseng - 10/4/13 at 1:19am
post #41 of 41

I keep a cheap PVC rain jacket & pant set from Harbor Freight with my cables, reaching around a filthy wet tire to connect cables or chains will make a mess of whatever you're wearing.  Also use blue nitrile rubber gloves, which are thin enough to feel what you're doing and keep your hands clean and slightly warmer than nothing at all when covered with slush.

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