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Posted: 11/20/2014 3:10:41 PM EDT
Will be driving from South Florida to Central Illinois and then Heading over to DC to visit family over the Christmas break.  The Winter weather has me a bit freaked out  Hopefully it settles down by then..

Any recommendations for prepping the family and Mini -Van for the trip.

Driving an 06 Toyota Sienna, just had it checked out everything looks good but I do need the valve covers replaced due to an oil leak, is this a big deal for winter driving or can I put it off till after the holidays.

Also, should I get snow chains?

Thanks GD!  

Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:11:52 PM EDT
[#1]
Pack blankets and survival food.

ETA:  DO NOT EAT YELLOW SNOW!!!
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:13:47 PM EDT
[#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Pack blankets and survival food.

ETA:  DO NOT EAT YELLOW SNOW!!!
View Quote



Yellow Snow,  in South Florida we call those frozen lemonade those are delicious, thanks for the heads up.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:16:05 PM EDT
[#3]
Keep your ass in the south this time of year. But if you do go north, buy chains and put them on several times to know how to do it
before laying in the snow to do it.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:17:17 PM EDT
[#4]
You need valve cover gaskets, not valve covers.  They can wait.

What condition are you tires?  Do you have emergency stuff like; blankets, water, food, shovel, flares, flashlight, cell phone, etc.

Have you ever driven in ice and snow?  

All just basic precautions for driving in the winter.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:20:01 PM EDT
[#5]


A big ass coconut must have hit OP in the head
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:24:57 PM EDT
[#6]
Make sure your windshield washer fluid is rated to at LEAST -20F, and do not use water in the reservoir.


Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:34:38 PM EDT
[#7]
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:35:14 PM EDT
[#8]
Central Illinois does not qualify as "north".  You probably won't even see snow.  Ditto for DC.  It snows there like twice a year.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:41:35 PM EDT
[#9]
That's not very far north. Yes, you should be prepared, in case you slide into a ditch or break down. No, you don't need snow chains.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:41:48 PM EDT
[#10]
Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and are at the very least mud and snow rated tires.  Summer tires in the winter mean you'll be the guy holding up traffic on the overpass because you can't get enough traction to go up a slight grade.

As far as tire chains go...  If you are going off the beaten path in very hilly terrain they might be useful.  If you are highway driving and not going any further that the suburbs you probably won't need them.

Driving tips:
Drive slower than you think you need to.  If there's lots of people on the road shoot for the average speed.  Don't try to match the speed of the 4x4 folks.  They'll be in the ditch soon enough.  Leave lots of room between you and the guy in front.  Remember, smooth driving gives you the traction that keeps you on the road.  Hopefully, you've skidded you car on a dirt road at some point in your life.  Getting the car back under control on snow is the same thing but you have far less friction to work with.  If it's snowing hard enough to accumulate on the road surface you should probably leave the driving to the locals and set out after the storm is over.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:43:36 PM EDT
[#11]
Plenty of warm gloves or "choppers", as well as good warm boots. A snow shovel is a must.
A candle and empty coffee can are good to have along with waterproof matches.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:44:14 PM EDT
[#12]
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:45:16 PM EDT
[#13]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Central Illinois does not qualify as "north".  You probably won't even see snow.  Ditto for DC.  It snows there like twice a year.
View Quote


This.  Unless you're planning a detour to the Rocky Mountains, you won't need chains.  If you're really paranoid, you can get yourself a good set of new tires or snow tires.  You're not driving through the "real" snow belt.



Take reasonable precautions - pack some extra blankets, water bottles, granola bars, boots, and gloves.



Realize that sometimes the best thing to do is push through the storm and keep driving, instead of stopping or pulling over.



If it starts to get nasty, plant yourself behind a big rig and just follow his tail lights.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:45:30 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Make sure your windshield washer fluid is rated to at LEAST -20F, and do not use water in the reservoir.
View Quote


And your antifreeze/coolant. Should be fine but if anyone's ever topped it off with water, it could be too weak.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:45:51 PM EDT
[#15]
I would just bring some extra oil and not worry about the valve cover leak.

When you car is cold verify your radiator is topped up on Toyota brand antifreeze.  It is strange looking stuff (pink in color).  Ironically many cars overheat in the winter (especially if you are stuck in a snow induced traffic jam).

Get some good windshield washer fluid (not cheap blue generic stuff)- buy some good RainX brand or anything that can take very cold temps.  You want to put this into your car before you go and make sure you use a lot of spray to make sure it mixes into your lines.  Cheap windshield washer fluid freezes in the North and when you need it (and with any weather you will need a lot of it- spray off the roads).

Bring a small pack shovel for the trunk.  Also bring a flashlight.

Make sure you check your tires over carefully.  Make sure they are inflated properly as cold temps can make you lose a bit of your PSI.  

Tire chains are not applicable for most uses- get a hotel and wait until the roads are treated.  If you need chains you probably should not be on the road.  Chains limit you to slow driving and the first time to learn how to use chains is not in a major snow event.

Consider getting a new pair of windshield wipers (winter blades are available in the north).  The new blades will make a difference.

Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:46:49 PM EDT
[#16]



You are not too far north.  If you have decent tires, you will be fine.  Just drive carefully

On the other hand, if you were driving here, you would need proper snow tires and a block heater.  Maybe even an oil pan heater
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:47:57 PM EDT
[#17]
You don't need snow chains (you're not driving through mountain passes), but if you have the money, a set of dedicated winter tires will have you driving better (and with more traction) than 95% of the natives. And I'm not kidding - that's the secret to driving like a boss up here, and most of the natives don't get it.

My favorite inexpensive ones are General Altimax Arctics (you're never going to use them again - no need for Blizzaks or Hakkapeliittas). If you can afford it, it will make your road trip 100% more pleasurable. Price them out at TireRack.com.

Also, be sure to put some new wipers on before the trip, and make sure that your windshield washer fluid will work well below 0. I'm a fan of the Rain-X stuff. Keep a spare bottle of it in the van - you'll be using the shit out of it.

Oh, and you'll want an ice scraper and snow brush for the windows in the morning (or when you've been at a restaurant for a while). You can get a combo unit for a little bit of nothing.

Other than that? Keep some warm blankets/sleeping bags in the back, make sure everybody has winter clothes, and make sure you've got some extra food and water handy. Nothing major - just some snacks and what not for the family, in case you find yourself stuck on the side of the highway for some odd reason (unlikely - but be prepared ).

Oh! And you'll want a small shovel, just in case you need to dig yourself out a bit. Some tow rope (and a place to attach it) isn't a bad idea either.

That should cover just about the worst of the possibilities. And none of it is likely, so relax.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:47:59 PM EDT
[#18]
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:54:32 PM EDT
[#19]
Watch the Survivor Man episode where he gets stranded in the snow with just his car on top of a pass.



Now forget all of that because that probably wont happen.






Link Posted: 11/20/2014 3:58:59 PM EDT
[#20]
Leave space.  Then... leave even MORE space.






Go slow.  You can drive over ice if you don't try to turn or brake on it.  Just line up at what speed you need and roll right over it.







First time you see one of these in a gas station, GET IT.

















You will also want to fill and keep on hand some windshield washer. You go through lots cleaning salt of the windshield.  Also note, if it gets REAL cold you can add a bottle Yellow HEET to your washer fluid (run it a bit to get it in the tubes). It's alcohol, and the same type that they use to keep the fluid from freezing.  It's easier to just get the -20 degree rated stuff though.

 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:03:07 PM EDT
[#21]
My advice is fly or take a train. If you insist on driving pack a winter survival kit. Put snow tires on the van sell them when you get home, drive slow, and dont slam on the brakes.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:07:45 PM EDT
[#22]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Central Illinois does not qualify as "north".  You probably won't even see snow.  Ditto for DC.  It snows there like twice a year.
View Quote


Maybe not "north", but we got about 70" of snow last year.  Most areas had snow on the ground more than 75% of the winter.



So far, this year doesn't appear to be much different.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:11:27 PM EDT
[#23]
Also forgot to mention a battery.  If your battery is getting old and weak, nothing will reveal the problem faster than trying to crank a cold car on a -5F morning.  If your battery is more than 3-4 years old, I would recommend replacing it.





People who live here can see their batteries getting old and weak over time.  Coming from a warmer climate, you won't.  It will be a surprise.

 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:18:13 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Also forgot to mention a battery.  If your battery is getting old and weak, nothing will reveal the problem faster than trying to crank a cold car on a -5F morning.  If your battery is more than 3-4 years old, I would recommend replacing it.

People who live here can see their batteries getting old and weak over time.  Coming from a warmer climate, you won't.  It will be a surprise.  
View Quote

Good advice. Forgot about that.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:20:05 PM EDT
[#25]
Keep a full tank of gas.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:21:13 PM EDT
[#26]
As a Miami native... tag for education.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:26:07 PM EDT
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and are at the very least mud and snow rated tires.  Summer tires in the winter mean you'll be the guy holding up traffic on the overpass because you can't get enough traction to go up a slight grade.

As far as tire chains go...  If you are going off the beaten path in very hilly terrain they might be useful.  If you are highway driving and not going any further that the suburbs you probably won't need them.

Driving tips:
Drive slower than you think you need to.  If there's lots of people on the road shoot for the average speed.  Don't try to match the speed of the 4x4 folks.  They'll be in the ditch soon enough.  Leave lots of room between you and the guy in front.  Remember, smooth driving gives you the traction that keeps you on the road.  Hopefully, you've skidded you car on a dirt road at some point in your life.  Getting the car back under control on snow is the same thing but you have far less friction to work with.  If it's snowing hard enough to accumulate on the road surface you should probably leave the driving to the locals and set out after the storm is over.
View Quote

Now why did you need to insult 4x4 drivers like that? I hate the retards who try to drive their cars in deep snow, then get stuck and block the road for everyone, but I don't lump them in with all car drivers.

I've been driving 4x4 in snow for over 25 years, and never put one in the ditch.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:39:12 PM EDT
[#28]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:





Now why did you need to insult 4x4 drivers like that? I hate the retards who try to drive their cars in deep snow, then get stuck and block the road for everyone, but I don't lump them in with all car drivers.



I've been driving 4x4 in snow for over 25 years, and never put one in the ditch.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and are at the very least mud and snow rated tires.  Summer tires in the winter mean you'll be the guy holding up traffic on the overpass because you can't get enough traction to go up a slight grade.



As far as tire chains go...  If you are going off the beaten path in very hilly terrain they might be useful.  If you are highway driving and not going any further that the suburbs you probably won't need them.



Driving tips:

Drive slower than you think you need to.  If there's lots of people on the road shoot for the average speed.  Don't try to match the speed of the 4x4 folks.  They'll be in the ditch soon enough.  Leave lots of room between you and the guy in front.  Remember, smooth driving gives you the traction that keeps you on the road.  Hopefully, you've skidded you car on a dirt road at some point in your life.  Getting the car back under control on snow is the same thing but you have far less friction to work with.  If it's snowing hard enough to accumulate on the road surface you should probably leave the driving to the locals and set out after the storm is over.


Now why did you need to insult 4x4 drivers like that? I hate the retards who try to drive their cars in deep snow, then get stuck and block the road for everyone, but I don't lump them in with all car drivers.



I've been driving 4x4 in snow for over 25 years, and never put one in the ditch.


Because it's cool to drive slow, smug, and with a chip on your shoulder about anything and everyone who likes what you don't like.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:45:57 PM EDT
[#29]
Minnesota Boy here, and no you don't need snow chains.... unless you are driving in snowy mountains with high/steep grades.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:49:57 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Pack blankets and survival food.

ETA:  DO NOT EAT YELLOW SNOW!!!
View Quote


This...
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 4:56:36 PM EDT
[#31]
Another note on winter tires:



I just snapped this picture of my driveway. I have a plow service that keeps it plowed, but I haven't bothered to salt it. See that really thin layer of hard packed snow? There's a tiny bit of ice here and there too, but not too much. This is what you'll be driving on, if the snow plows and salt trucks haven't had a chance to finish doing their thing yet, after (or during) a good snow. It takes a bit for salt to work it's magic (and longer still if the temps are single digits).

The Jeep Cherokee in that picture? My wife is in it, just about ready to back out. It's wearing Kelly Safari ATR All-Terrain tires, with about 75% of the tread left. She has to put it in 4WD to get out. You can sit and watch the rear tires slip and slide around.

The garage door next to it? My Miata is parked there, and is wearing dedicated winter tires. It's RWD. A freakin' Miata. It effortlessly gets out of there and the tires have a death grip on the pavement. Seriously, I can slam on the brakes while backing up at a good clip and it just...stops. No drama. It ain't my uber elite snow driving skillz, it's the damn tires. That's it.

Purpose built winter tires remain soft, pliable and sticky in temperatures below freezing (the benefits of this are extremely noticeable, even on bone dry roads). They have sipes in the tread blocks that expand under the weight of the vehicle, gripping snow and ice with more surface area.

You're going to be spending nearly all of your time on the highway. 90%+ of the time, you're going to be driving on treated roads - plowed and de-iced (either with salt, calcium chloride, or other chemical deicer). It'll be a bit like driving in the rain, most of the time.

Most of the time.

It's when it's not like that, that you really wish you had dedicated winter tires. On a road trip with that kind of distance, it's impossible to predict what you're going to run into. Part of your trip is likely going to take you through Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania on your way to DC, probably along the turnpike. If you find yourself driving when a good snow storm hits, you're going to be driving on an untreated surface for a bit. The plows can't be everywhere at once, and it takes time for salt (or whatever they're using) to melt the snow and ice. It's during those times that winter tires are a Godsend.

When you hit the really bad stuff during a nice squall that decided to kick up out of nowhere, most of the traffic around you will slow to 35mph or less, on a highway that's normally 65mph. They have to - they'll slide clean off the road if they don't. Fine and dandy. But you, with a fresh set of winter tires, will be merrily keeping up with the flow (head on a swivel), while they're absolutely white knuckling it. But not you. You'll be relaxed, with a heightened bit of caution. You'll witness fun things like a guy in front of you making a lane change and almost lose it, as his ass end swings out. You'll do the same thing like it's nothing. You'll watch somebody hit their brakes to avoid another idiot, and start to fishtail. You'll hit your brakes too, except that you'll simply slow down when you do - as if you were driving in a heavy rain during the spring time.

Even on bone dry pavement, in sub-freezing temps you will be able to stop faster, accelerate harder, and negotiate turns at a higher rate of speed than anyone else not similarly equipped, rubber-wise. It's not a license to drive like a dick (you'll pay dearly if you do), and it's not a panacea. What it gives you is an incredible safety margin, when compared to all season or all terrain tires. I can make emergency evasive maneuvers (there are other drivers on the road...) safely, when doing the exact same thing on inferior rubber would result in a loss of control.

If you can afford them for your van, I HIGHLY recommend it. You're going to be putting on over 1,000+ miles - might as well enjoy the trip, instead of white knuckling it half the time.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:02:45 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
new wipers and extra windshield washer fluid is some of the best advice so far.

If the weather gets bad don't be too proud to just pull off the highway and get a hotel room
View Quote



This is what I came here to say.


I've lived in snow practically my whole life and am not afraid to do this.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:13:35 PM EDT
[#33]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Another note on winter tires:



https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/107976995/Pics/Chardon/2014-11-20%2015.03.31.jpg



I just snapped this picture of my driveway. I have a plow service that keeps it plowed, but I haven't bothered to salt it. See that really thin layer of hard packed snow? There's a tiny bit of ice here and there too, but not too much. This is what you'll be driving on, if the snow plows and salt trucks haven't had a chance to finish doing their thing yet, after (or during) a good snow. It takes a bit for salt to work it's magic (and longer still if the temps are single digits).



The Jeep Cherokee in that picture? My wife is in it, just about ready to back out. It's wearing Kelly Safari ATR All-Terrain tires, with about 75% of the tread left. She has to put it in 4WD to get out. You can sit and watch the rear tires slip and slide around.



The garage door next to it? My Miata is parked there, and is wearing dedicated winter tires. It's RWD. A freakin' Miata. It effortlessly gets out of there and the tires have a death grip on the pavement. Seriously, I can slam on the brakes while backing up at a good clip and it just...stops. No drama. It ain't my uber elite snow driving skillz, it's the damn tires. That's it.



Purpose built winter tires remain soft, pliable and sticky in temperatures below freezing (the benefits of this are extremely noticeable, even on bone dry roads). They have sipes in the tread blocks that expand under the weight of the vehicle, gripping snow and ice with more surface area.



You're going to be spending nearly all of your time on the highway. 90%+ of the time, you're going to be driving on treated roads - plowed and de-iced (either with salt, calcium chloride, or other chemical deicer). It'll be a bit like driving in the rain, most of the time.



Most of the time.



It's when it's not like that, that you really wish you had dedicated winter tires. On a road trip with that kind of distance, it's impossible to predict what you're going to run into. Part of your trip is likely going to take you through Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania on your way to DC, probably along the turnpike. If you find yourself driving when a good snow storm hits, you're going to be driving on an untreated surface for a bit. The plows can't be everywhere at once, and it takes time for salt (or whatever they're using) to melt the snow and ice. It's during those times that winter tires are a Godsend.



When you hit the really bad stuff during a nice squall that decided to kick up out of nowhere, most of the traffic around you will slow to 35mph or less, on a highway that's normally 65mph. They have to - they'll slide clean off the road if they don't. Fine and dandy. But you, with a fresh set of winter tires, will be merrily keeping up with the flow (head on a swivel), while they're absolutely white knuckling it. But not you. You'll be relaxed, with a heightened bit of caution. You'll witness fun things like a guy in front of you making a lane change and almost lose it, as his ass end swings out. You'll do the same thing like it's nothing. You'll watch somebody hit their brakes to avoid another idiot, and start to fishtail. You'll hit your brakes too, except that you'll simply slow down when you do - as if you were driving in a heavy rain during the spring time.



Even on bone dry pavement, in sub-freezing temps you will be able to stop faster, accelerate harder, and negotiate turns at a higher rate of speed than anyone else not similarly equipped, rubber-wise. It's not a license to drive like a dick (you'll pay dearly if you do), and it's not a panacea. What it gives you is an incredible safety margin, when compared to all season or all terrain tires. I can make emergency evasive maneuvers (there are other drivers on the road...) safely, when doing the exact same thing on inferior rubber would result in a loss of control.



If you can afford them for your van, I HIGHLY recommend it. You're going to be putting on over 1,000+ miles - might as well enjoy the trip, instead of white knuckling it half the time.
View Quote


I wholly agree with this post.  Snow tires are awesome.



It might be hard for OP to justify the upgrade though, just for one trip.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:21:23 PM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
It might be hard for OP to justify the upgrade though, just for one trip.
 
View Quote

That's the trick. And he won't be able to sell them when he get back to south Florida because...who would buy them? If he lived in say...Atlanta, I might even suggest keeping them for cold weather driving, if nothing else (we all remember last year). Like I said, they're awesome in really cold temps on bone dry roads. I prefer to call them winter tires for that reason, because snow tires is a bit of a misnomer.

For a minivan, I'd imagine they'd cost him ~$75 each, and maybe another $15 each for mounting and balancing.

That's the tradeoff. It's a hard decision if you're only going to use them for one trip. But...it's a pretty long trip, and it's in the dead of winter. Who knows what he'll run into?

Decisions, decisions...
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:21:54 PM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

I wholly agree with this post.  Snow tires are awesome.

It might be hard for OP to justify the upgrade though, just for one trip.
 
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Another note on winter tires:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/107976995/Pics/Chardon/2014-11-20%2015.03.31.jpg

I just snapped this picture of my driveway. I have a plow service that keeps it plowed, but I haven't bothered to salt it. See that really thin layer of hard packed snow? There's a tiny bit of ice here and there too, but not too much. This is what you'll be driving on, if the snow plows and salt trucks haven't had a chance to finish doing their thing yet, after (or during) a good snow. It takes a bit for salt to work it's magic (and longer still if the temps are single digits).

The Jeep Cherokee in that picture? My wife is in it, just about ready to back out. It's wearing Kelly Safari ATR All-Terrain tires, with about 75% of the tread left. She has to put it in 4WD to get out. You can sit and watch the rear tires slip and slide around.

The garage door next to it? My Miata is parked there, and is wearing dedicated winter tires. It's RWD. A freakin' Miata. It effortlessly gets out of there and the tires have a death grip on the pavement. Seriously, I can slam on the brakes while backing up at a good clip and it just...stops. No drama. It ain't my uber elite snow driving skillz, it's the damn tires. That's it.

Purpose built winter tires remain soft, pliable and sticky in temperatures below freezing (the benefits of this are extremely noticeable, even on bone dry roads). They have sipes in the tread blocks that expand under the weight of the vehicle, gripping snow and ice with more surface area.

You're going to be spending nearly all of your time on the highway. 90%+ of the time, you're going to be driving on treated roads - plowed and de-iced (either with salt, calcium chloride, or other chemical deicer). It'll be a bit like driving in the rain, most of the time.

Most of the time.

It's when it's not like that, that you really wish you had dedicated winter tires. On a road trip with that kind of distance, it's impossible to predict what you're going to run into. Part of your trip is likely going to take you through Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania on your way to DC, probably along the turnpike. If you find yourself driving when a good snow storm hits, you're going to be driving on an untreated surface for a bit. The plows can't be everywhere at once, and it takes time for salt (or whatever they're using) to melt the snow and ice. It's during those times that winter tires are a Godsend.

When you hit the really bad stuff during a nice squall that decided to kick up out of nowhere, most of the traffic around you will slow to 35mph or less, on a highway that's normally 65mph. They have to - they'll slide clean off the road if they don't. Fine and dandy. But you, with a fresh set of winter tires, will be merrily keeping up with the flow (head on a swivel), while they're absolutely white knuckling it. But not you. You'll be relaxed, with a heightened bit of caution. You'll witness fun things like a guy in front of you making a lane change and almost lose it, as his ass end swings out. You'll do the same thing like it's nothing. You'll watch somebody hit their brakes to avoid another idiot, and start to fishtail. You'll hit your brakes too, except that you'll simply slow down when you do - as if you were driving in a heavy rain during the spring time.

Even on bone dry pavement, in sub-freezing temps you will be able to stop faster, accelerate harder, and negotiate turns at a higher rate of speed than anyone else not similarly equipped, rubber-wise. It's not a license to drive like a dick (you'll pay dearly if you do), and it's not a panacea. What it gives you is an incredible safety margin, when compared to all season or all terrain tires. I can make emergency evasive maneuvers (there are other drivers on the road...) safely, when doing the exact same thing on inferior rubber would result in a loss of control.

If you can afford them for your van, I HIGHLY recommend it. You're going to be putting on over 1,000+ miles - might as well enjoy the trip, instead of white knuckling it half the time.

I wholly agree with this post.  Snow tires are awesome.

It might be hard for OP to justify the upgrade though, just for one trip.
 

A couple hundred bucks now beats being stranded any day.  Especially as so,done who can't drive in the snow.  Snow tires are cheating!  Plus, he can sell them after the trip.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:23:07 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

That's the trick. And he won't be able to sell them when he get back to south Florida because...who would buy them? If he lived in say...Atlanta, I might even suggest keeping them for cold weather driving, if nothing else (we all remember last year). Like I said, they're awesome in really cold temps on bone dry roads. I prefer to call them winter tires for that reason, because snow tires is a bit of a misnomer.

For a minivan, I'd imagine they'd cost him ~$75 each, and maybe another $15 each for mounting and balancing.

That's the tradeoff. It's a hard decision if you're only going to use them for one trip. But...it's a pretty long trip, and it's in the dead of winter. Who knows what he'll run into?

Decisions, decisions...
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Quoted:
Quoted:
It might be hard for OP to justify the upgrade though, just for one trip.
 

That's the trick. And he won't be able to sell them when he get back to south Florida because...who would buy them? If he lived in say...Atlanta, I might even suggest keeping them for cold weather driving, if nothing else (we all remember last year). Like I said, they're awesome in really cold temps on bone dry roads. I prefer to call them winter tires for that reason, because snow tires is a bit of a misnomer.

For a minivan, I'd imagine they'd cost him ~$75 each, and maybe another $15 each for mounting and balancing.

That's the tradeoff. It's a hard decision if you're only going to use them for one trip. But...it's a pretty long trip, and it's in the dead of winter. Who knows what he'll run into?

Decisions, decisions...

Some snow bird will still buy them, or sell them cheap to cover shipping.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:28:19 PM EDT
[#37]
With decent tires you should be fine.  If the roads are really slippery do not use your cruise control.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:29:51 PM EDT
[#38]
Hat, gloves, poncho liner, gloves, old credit card for scraping ice, gloves, cell phone charger, gloves.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:30:18 PM EDT
[#39]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
A couple hundred bucks now beats being stranded any day.  Especially as so,done who can't drive in the snow.  Snow tires are cheating!  Plus, he can sell them after the trip.
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I honestly think he'll have a hard time doing that, which makes the decision a little trickier. He lives in south Florida. Nobody on his local Craigslist is going to want them, unless he lucks out and finds somebody who's on their way up north.

He could sell them to somebody in another state, but...shipping. Ugh.

Having done many a long distance road trip on all-seasons in the winter (it sucks ass), I'd personally go for it and just assume I'll be sitting on the tires for quite a while before I'm able to sell them. But then, not everybody has ~$500 of room in their budget for a one-off kind of purchase.

He can also just continue to run them and save some miles on his other tires, though their performance is kind of shitty when it's 90 degrees outside (and they wear a lot faster).
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:35:00 PM EDT
[#40]
Well said Subnet! Op, just buy some cheep steel rims put the snow tires on them. Since snow tires are softer and wear fast just
use them when you visit your family each year. You do visit each year right?
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 5:35:48 PM EDT
[#41]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

I honestly think he'll have a hard time doing that, which makes the decision a little trickier. He lives in south Florida. Nobody on his local Craigslist is going to want them, unless he lucks out and finds somebody who's on their way up north.

He could sell them to somebody in another state, but...shipping. Ugh.

Having done many a long distance road trip on all-seasons in the winter (it sucks ass), I'd personally go for it and just assume I'll be sitting on the tires for quite a while before I'm able to sell them. But then, not everybody has ~$500 of room in their budget for a one-off kind of purchase.

He can also just continue to run them and save some miles on his other tires, though their performance is kind of shitty when it's 90 degrees outside (and they wear a lot faster).
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
A couple hundred bucks now beats being stranded any day.  Especially as so,done who can't drive in the snow.  Snow tires are cheating!  Plus, he can sell them after the trip.

I honestly think he'll have a hard time doing that, which makes the decision a little trickier. He lives in south Florida. Nobody on his local Craigslist is going to want them, unless he lucks out and finds somebody who's on their way up north.

He could sell them to somebody in another state, but...shipping. Ugh.

Having done many a long distance road trip on all-seasons in the winter (it sucks ass), I'd personally go for it and just assume I'll be sitting on the tires for quite a while before I'm able to sell them. But then, not everybody has ~$500 of room in their budget for a one-off kind of purchase.

He can also just continue to run them and save some miles on his other tires, though their performance is kind of shitty when it's 90 degrees outside (and they wear a lot faster).

They basically fall apart at 90. Like me.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:04:05 PM EDT
[#42]
Just got home, as always GD Delivers!  thanks gents and ladies if applicable

Reading through the responses.  
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:12:31 PM EDT
[#43]
I'm in the same boat as OP. I will probably be driving to southern WI for Thanksgiving. Unlike OP, if I actually do this, I'll be driving an MR2, not a minivan. Snow tires aren't really a possibility for the reasons others have mentioned.

I was raised in SoCal and live in TN, so my snow driving experience is about what you'd imagine. I did tell my friends up there that if there's significant snow I probably won't make it.

Just how bad an idea is this?
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:18:46 PM EDT
[#44]
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:19:13 PM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Another note on winter tires:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/107976995/Pics/Chardon/2014-11-20%2015.03.31.jpg

I just snapped this picture of my driveway. I have a plow service that keeps it plowed, but I haven't bothered to salt it. See that really thin layer of hard packed snow? There's a tiny bit of ice here and there too, but not too much. This is what you'll be driving on, if the snow plows and salt trucks haven't had a chance to finish doing their thing yet, after (or during) a good snow. It takes a bit for salt to work it's magic (and longer still if the temps are single digits).

The Jeep Cherokee in that picture? My wife is in it, just about ready to back out. It's wearing Kelly Safari ATR All-Terrain tires, with about 75% of the tread left. She has to put it in 4WD to get out. You can sit and watch the rear tires slip and slide around.

The garage door next to it? My Miata is parked there, and is wearing dedicated winter tires. It's RWD. A freakin' Miata. It effortlessly gets out of there and the tires have a death grip on the pavement. Seriously, I can slam on the brakes while backing up at a good clip and it just...stops. No drama. It ain't my uber elite snow driving skillz, it's the damn tires. That's it.

Purpose built winter tires remain soft, pliable and sticky in temperatures below freezing (the benefits of this are extremely noticeable, even on bone dry roads). They have sipes in the tread blocks that expand under the weight of the vehicle, gripping snow and ice with more surface area.

You're going to be spending nearly all of your time on the highway. 90%+ of the time, you're going to be driving on treated roads - plowed and de-iced (either with salt, calcium chloride, or other chemical deicer). It'll be a bit like driving in the rain, most of the time.

Most of the time.

It's when it's not like that, that you really wish you had dedicated winter tires. On a road trip with that kind of distance, it's impossible to predict what you're going to run into. Part of your trip is likely going to take you through Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania on your way to DC, probably along the turnpike. If you find yourself driving when a good snow storm hits, you're going to be driving on an untreated surface for a bit. The plows can't be everywhere at once, and it takes time for salt (or whatever they're using) to melt the snow and ice. It's during those times that winter tires are a Godsend.

When you hit the really bad stuff during a nice squall that decided to kick up out of nowhere, most of the traffic around you will slow to 35mph or less, on a highway that's normally 65mph. They have to - they'll slide clean off the road if they don't. Fine and dandy. But you, with a fresh set of winter tires, will be merrily keeping up with the flow (head on a swivel), while they're absolutely white knuckling it. But not you. You'll be relaxed, with a heightened bit of caution. You'll witness fun things like a guy in front of you making a lane change and almost lose it, as his ass end swings out. You'll do the same thing like it's nothing. You'll watch somebody hit their brakes to avoid another idiot, and start to fishtail. You'll hit your brakes too, except that you'll simply slow down when you do - as if you were driving in a heavy rain during the spring time.

Even on bone dry pavement, in sub-freezing temps you will be able to stop faster, accelerate harder, and negotiate turns at a higher rate of speed than anyone else not similarly equipped, rubber-wise. It's not a license to drive like a dick (you'll pay dearly if you do), and it's not a panacea. What it gives you is an incredible safety margin, when compared to all season or all terrain tires. I can make emergency evasive maneuvers (there are other drivers on the road...) safely, when doing the exact same thing on inferior rubber would result in a loss of control.

If you can afford them for your van, I HIGHLY recommend it. You're going to be putting on over 1,000+ miles - might as well enjoy the trip, instead of white knuckling it half the time.
View Quote


Subnet thanks for the detailed advice. I may seriously consider springing for winter tires.  I may look around.  We will be gone for 2 weeks, so I am sure Ill be stopping off in all kinds of places

I notice visitng up north that you all forgot to flatten the land, it seems like every house or mall is either 10 feet up or below street level. Whats up with that?


Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:21:45 PM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'm in the same boat as OP. I will probably be driving to southern WI for Thanksgiving. Unlike OP, if I actually do this, I'll be driving an MR2, not a minivan. Snow tires aren't really a possibility for the reasons others have mentioned.

I was raised in SoCal and live in TN, so my snow driving experience is about what you'd imagine. I did tell my friends up there that if there's significant snow I probably won't make it.

Just how bad an idea is this?
View Quote

In an MR2? You're insane if you try to do this without winter tires. You'd better hope there is next to no snow accumulation on the roads, while you're driving.

The OP can honestly get away with a decent set of all-seasons for this trip, if the winter Gods smile upon him (and they likely will, statistically), but you? You're insane.

Does your MR2 at least have all seasons on it? If they're summer tires, you've got a death wish. Ask me how I know.

What make and model are they, out of morbid curiosity?
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:21:46 PM EDT
[#47]
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Quoted:



This is what I came here to say.


I've lived in snow practically my whole life and am not afraid to do this.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
new wipers and extra windshield washer fluid is some of the best advice so far.

If the weather gets bad don't be too proud to just pull off the highway and get a hotel room



This is what I came here to say.


I've lived in snow practically my whole life and am not afraid to do this.


Piccolo sound advice as always.

We get wicked thunderstorms, and never had an issue pulling over when its really bad.  Too many Hero's want to blast through bad weather.

Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:24:08 PM EDT
[#48]
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Quoted:


A big ass coconut must have hit OP in the head
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Damn right and my wife threw it.

I prefer to golf during Christmas break, not make snow angels.
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:29:05 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Subnet thanks for the detailed advice. I may seriously consider springing for winter tires.  I may look around.  We will be gone for 2 weeks, so I am sure Ill be stopping off in all kinds of places

I notice visitng up north that you all forgot to flatten the land, it seems like every house or mall is either 10 feet up or below street level. Whats up with that?


View Quote

You're welcome.

We try to work with the land, instead of against it.

(I'm sure this is bullshit, but I like how it sounds)
Link Posted: 11/20/2014 6:29:58 PM EDT
[#50]
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