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Old 02-09-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Newbie in snow

Hi there - New to this forum and the Interstate to sorry if this is a dopie set of issues.

Live in CA but going to central Oregon for ski week.

1) What tire chains do folks recommend? Just have them on rear outside or both rears?

2) Other than keeping tank heaters on for the week in the cold, and keeping it plugged in, what else should I do for the week in freezing weather? Worried about freezing pipes. It will just be sitting (we wont be living in it).

Thanks very much...
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:20 PM   #2
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You might want to try Diamond Tire Chains. A little expensive but well worth it when you need them. You used to be able to purchase them at Les Schwab Tires. The great thing about Les Schwab is that if you don't use them you can take them back for a full refund when you return. Use them on both sides of rear.
Don't know much about the Interstate so someone else will need to take that one.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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Curious about the answer here also. I hope to avoid ever needing chains while in my Interstate.....but.......don't recall ever seeing dual rear wheels with chains on all for tires......or for that matter any chains at all in real life. I have seen photos of chains on the outer tires only, but I do not know what the practice should be. Logically, I would be concerned that 2 sets of chains would tangle between the inner and outer tires of the Interstate's dual rear wheels.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by howie149 View Post
Hi there - New to this forum and the Interstate to sorry if this is a dopie set of issues.

Live in CA but going to central Oregon for ski week.

1) What tire chains do folks recommend? Just have them on rear outside or both rears?

2) Other than keeping tank heaters on for the week in the cold, and keeping it plugged in, what else should I do for the week in freezing weather? Worried about freezing pipes. It will just be sitting (we wont be living in it).

Thanks very much...
Welcome to the forum.

While I have put chains on the rear wheels in my boyhood days on the farm, I'm not at all sure how one would put chains on the inner wheel on duals.

As long as you keep the tank heaters on and keep the interior temperature above freezing, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:44 PM   #5
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Keep the snow off of the top of your AS ... as it melts and re-freezes, havoc is wreaked!
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:03 AM   #6
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Duals with good snow tires (not all season) should get you most places. If you have no experience with snow and ice, best to go elsewhere. Get experience with a smaller (and a lot less expensive) car and when you feel confident, take the Interstate. But the Interstate is a big heavy van and with duals should do much better than a lot of cars. Roads to ski areas are usually kept in pretty good shape, but a sudden storm can change that fast. Bring a shovel and some sand (if you can fit it somewhere) in case you get stuck.

Are you going somewhere with electricity or boondocking? If no electricity, you may need a generator plus extra propane for heat (if an Interstate uses propane). A week below freezing will use a fair amount of whatever heats the thing.

You may need extra water and the black and grey tanks probably won't last a week unless you can dump then after several days. We can stretch it as long as 5 days, but our trailer has bigger tanks.

Chains—it looks pretty difficult to put on chains on both tires when you have duals. Mounting on one tire is bad enough and my general rule is that if I need chains, I don't go there. Chains for large duals are very heavy and you'd have to make sure you can lift them and get the stretchers on.

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Old 02-10-2014, 12:35 AM   #7
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I have a set of Hankook I-pike's (dedicated winter tires) mounted on all six positions for the winter. Have not been in any deep snow with it but I have with my 2wd Yukon and it is unstoppable with Blizzaks (when I bought my winters for the AI the Blizzaks were out of stock so I had to try the Hankooks ... but I can't offer any real feedback on them as I have not driven it in bad conditions yet). I also have a pair of chains I bought for the outer duals but I've never needed them. I have these:
Olympia Sprints - 127, Tire Chain Dealer

Tank heaters will suck your coach batteries down in less than eight hours if the engine is not running so you will have to keep the rig plugged into shore power to use the heaters. In my experience though the propane will last a long time running the furnace and water heater so your propane should last you no problem. I set the furnace thermostat to 50 or 55 if it's really cold when I'm not in the rig. By switching the water heater to propane you can plug into most any 110v outlet with a plug adaptor to your 30amp cord since the tank heaters only draw ... if I recall correctly ... about 4 or 5 amps (of 110v that is ... add a zero if your doing battery math to try and calculate your amp hours of battery life). If you leave the water heater on electric mode and run the tank heaters you could potentially pop a breaker on any normal 110v outlet you pirate since demand will get up near 20amps running both the tank heaters and water heater.

The things I worry about when my rig is out in the cold are the outside shower, the black tank flush line and the remaining water in the dump valves and such. If you want to be super careful and yet still be able to use the plumbing you could pump RV antifreeze though the black tank flush valve and flush some thought the black and grey tank dump plumbing as well. If you really want to be careful you could even run some RV antifreeze through the shower valves and then flush the fresh water system back out with clean water so you can use it ... except leave it in the shower valve of course. You can pump the antifreeze into the black tank flush line using a submersible pump hooked to a garden hose and drop the pump in a small bucket of antifreeze.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #8
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The things I worry about when my rig is out in the cold are the outside shower, the black tank flush line and the remaining water in the dump valves and such. If you want to be super careful and yet still be able to use the plumbing you could pump RV antifreeze though the black tank flush valve and flush some thought the black and grey tank dump plumbing as well. If you really want to be careful you could even run some RV antifreeze through the shower valves and then flush the fresh water system back out with clean water so you can use it ... except leave it in the shower valve of course. You can pump the antifreeze into the black tank flush line using a submersible pump hooked to a garden hose and drop the pump in a small bucket of antifreeze.
For my Interstate, I bought two blowout fittings. One goes on the municipal water inlet when I blow the lines. The other (labeled with a black Sharpie marker to avoid getting them mixed up) goes on the black tank flush fitting to blow it out as well.

Also, when I blow the lines, I hook up the outdoor shower, and blow it out as well. I don't need to blow out the shower hose itself since it's removable to store indoors, but I can't blow out the shower connection on the Interstate without the shower hose connected to it.

And, to be safe, after I add antifreeze to the black tank, I unreel all of the discharge hose and lay it flat, open the valve on the end of the hose, and pump out just enough antifreeze to make sure the macerator pump is full of antifreeze and there's no water trapped in the discharge hose. Then I reel the hose back in.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:11 AM   #9
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I have not used chains on my Intrstate and would prefer not to. BUT if I had to buy chains I'd look into SECURITY CHAIN Z DESIGN. I have these chains on several pieces of equipment since I live in PA, snow county. These are not the standard settle link chains that we are all familiar with from days gone by. These are cable chains with "springs" wrapped around the steel cables and they go across your tires with a zig-zag format so when driving you always have steel cable in contact with the ground and tire. No bump-bump-bump with the older steel chains. The manufacture is www.scc-chain.com and has distributors all over.

As for dual wheel chains, these are not that difficult to put on. But of course you will be laying on the ground so bring along a drop cloth or blanket. You lay out the dual chain, drive over it and it pulls up and over and has an adjustable connection on the outside once you make the standard connection on the inside tire. If you buy them, plan to test run the installation on a nice dry day to get the proper "set" on the inside latch.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #10
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Just saw an add for these chains ... wow they make it look simple! Wonder what it's like in practice?
Thule Easy Fit CU-9 T418 Tire Chain for Sale Online - Vulcan Tire Sales
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:05 PM   #11
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This thread makes me so glad I live in a part of the country where they don't even know how to spell tyre chanes much less what they are and what they are used for.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:57 AM   #12
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This thread makes me so glad I live in a part of the country where they don't even know how to spell tyre chanes much less what they are and what they are used for.
When the "global warming/climate change" crowd get done, you'll need chains.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:04 AM   #13
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Just saw an add for these chains ... wow they make it look simple! Wonder what it's like in practice?
Thule Easy Fit CU-9 T418 Tire Chain for Sale Online - Vulcan Tire Sales
If I was in the market for chains, these look like my first choice. Sure beats the way they were in the "good ol' days".
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:05 AM   #14
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I live in a part of the country where they don't even know how to spell tyre chanes much less what they are and what they are used for.
That's what the folks in Atlanta thought up until a few weeks ago too!
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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Just saw an add for these chains ... wow they make it look simple! Wonder what it's like in practice?
Thule Easy Fit CU-9 T418 Tire Chain for Sale Online - Vulcan Tire Sales
Just took a close look at these chains as I need a set when traveling in western mountains this fall. But these Thule Easy Fit don't seem to be available for tires on our Sprinters. Oh well they are sure easy to install. I've had to install chains three times on other vehicles to get through snow covered mountain passes. If you don't have chains you can't get through the pass when chain-up rules are applied.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:05 PM   #16
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Chain terminology:

For HD dual wheel chains, you would require what is termed as "triple rail" chain assembly.

Each inner chain "rail" requires attachment as snug as possible and then the outside rail is cinched with the built-in camlocks or other slack eliminating device. (bungee type, etc)

This type of "Triple" chain can be mounted over the wheel/tire assembly after getting stuck and is the transport industry standard where winter conditions exist.

"Triple Rail Chains" for lighter vehicles would probably be by special order only. (most lighter duty vehicles do not have the clearance on the inside of the dual assembly for safely mounting this type of chain. contact your OEM for detail)

On this site we are talking "RV" and we should generally not encounter severe winter conditions except in emergency situations. "Triple Rail Chains" for Dual Assemblies for an RV would be overkill.

For RV winter equipment, cable chains are light and easy to store. They will not stand abuse and are not something you can repair easily on the road, so if you are going to encounter winter condition on a regualar basis, carry an extra set.

Dave
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:28 PM   #17
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When the "global warming/climate change" crowd get done, you'll need chains.
More like flotation gear and sails.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:58 PM   #18
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...

On this site we are talking "RV" and we should generally not encounter severe winter conditions except in emergency situations. "Triple Rail Chains" for Dual Assemblies for an RV would be overkill.

For RV winter equipment, cable chains are light and easy to store. They will not stand abuse and are not something you can repair easily on the road, so if you are going to encounter winter condition on a regualar basis, carry an extra set.

Dave
You are on the "Sprinter and B-Van Forum".

Our Airstream Interstates are Sprinter vans that are more than just the typical RVs. We use them for ski trips and often travel in winter conditions. I just got back from a week in Minnesota. Didn't stay in the van -- too cold at 19 below zero.

The trip was for family events and to haul back some furniture. These Sprinters are very versatile. I have a cargo floor I can lay over my fold down bed in the rear of van and then have a king sized bed area to haul cargo.

Chains are not allowed in Minnesota since they know how to keep the roads clear. But if you travel in the mountains when is snows you will need chains.

Agree a set of suitable chains will do. Don't think I need dual chains. Thule does sell other self tightening chains for vans and pickup trucks.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:28 PM   #19
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As I posted above, cable chains are really the only option for most RV's as they are light weight and easy to store. The trade off is longevity.

If you are not familiar with cable chain installation, this video will show you just how easy it is.

Dave

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...eZYqwlgUUE#t=2
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:40 PM   #20
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This thread makes me so glad I live in a part of the country where they don't even know how to spell tyre chanes much less what they are and what they are used for.
Hi, me too! But I have traveled to places where I should have had them. [tire chains] I have probably bought ten sets of tire chains and only used a few of them, a few times. I just bought another set because I plan on going to Oregon soon. Will I use these? Maybe.
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