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Old 12-05-2016, 06:05 PM
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They are both trendy 4x4s for old hippies, yuppies, environmentalists and liberals......all of which you will find in large numbers......where.....Colorado and New England. SUVs are Sport Utility Vehicles right? Get a work vehicle.....get a 4x4 truck of your favorite make and it will go in very deep snow with chains.

I live in the Lake Erie snow belt......not unusual for 140 inches in a winter. I concur on the snowmobile.
I can see that in Southern Ontario (Fort Erie), a 4x4 gasoline pickup (e.g., Tacoma) or SUV style (e.g., Forester) will perform good in the snow. If you are in Eastern Quebec and the Maritimes, where it goes up and down, and pulling a trailer, you want Diesel torque. And good as the RAMs etc. are, you can't sleep in them as a family, in a pinch. In a Grand Cherokee Diesel, you can.
Old 12-08-2016, 02:41 PM
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Well, what about in snow after an EMP??

Y'all - I am thinking I MIGHT be tempted to sell this. It does NOT "go fast" even on dry roads. I know what I was thinking when I bought this; I was an idiot. It's set up for rock crawling and will likely make short work of getting you through snow, as well. That said, don't expect to "make miles fast".

It's a '78 CJ7. Just turned over 7000 original miles. But for my new situation, the Rubicon and I are a lot more comfortable together and it can do (it's proved it) anything the '78 can EXCEPT survive an EMP... and well, there are some sneaky ways to maybe get it through even that. An older tough as nails pickup truck would serve me a whole lot better. So, while I'm thinking on selling "the Beast"... y'all have a good drool.

All the "goodies" listed on this thing came out to a page & half typewritten.





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Old 12-10-2016, 09:01 PM
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If you are only concerned with getting from point A to point B in deep snow while carrying a decent payload in SHTF with all other factors being irrelevant I would suggest a truck or UTV with a track system. A cross-over SUV would be toward the bottom of the list.
 
Old 12-12-2016, 11:16 PM
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Geography has something to do with it.

I once drove from Las Vegas to Calgary during a November storm. Around Pocatello, the snow was wet and heavy and cars were spinning out all over the place. By the time I got over the pass into Montana (late late at night) the snow was dry and blowing and road crews had stopped plowing all-together; drifts were three feet in places.

I was driving a new Dodge 4x4 with the Cummins engine and so-so winter tires. I just kept it in 4th or 5th (of 6 gears) and cruised along at 45-50mph for the most part, steering around the deeper of the drifts. By the time I got to Canada the place was in a deep freeze and the snow had blown (or been plowed) off the road, so it was top gear and highway speeds all the way home.

Last Friday night I drove from northern BC down to the Fraser Valley, conditions varied from -20 (celcius) and blowing whiteout to greasy snow-salt mixed with ice in a twisty mountain canyon, to sea-level heavy wet snow, hard-packed and right at zero-C (32F). I had an older dodge this time, also with the Cummins, and spent most of the time in 4th or 5th (of five gears), again at 50mph for the most part. And new studded Nokian radials (which make all the difference).

Other times I've driven over 12" to 18" of fresh alpine snow on the Jasper/Banff parkway, where you couldn't see any part of the road or ditch and pretty much have to aim for the centre of the non-wooded patch. Jeeps and Pickup trucks, leave with a full tank of fuel, keep it in 4-high, keep speeds around 50mph, and home you will find yourself a few hours later.

The common factor is that the roads had all been recently maintained. For a recently-maintained "bad" winter road, two solid axles and a locked-up transfer case (and good winter tires; I'm a big believer in studs except for wet roads and black ice) you'll be well-positioned to get yourself and whatever you can pack in your vehicle.

A road that's been accumulating snow all winter with no plowing? Forget it. I've tried some de-activated winter logging roads and they require snow machines. Any more than 12" of "old" snow (you can go a bit higher with dry, fluffy new snow) and you're going to hang up axle or bumper, and burn 10x the fuel, inflicting 10x the wear on your rig. Forget it.

Wife has a 2006 Rubicon with the long wheelbase, and it'll push snow that's higher than the bumper if you lock up both axles and put it in four-low. But you'd run out of fuel in about 30 miles (or overheat, or break something) if you tried to cover ground. Highway vehicles are not designed to travel on a deep spongy surface.

Unmaintained winter roads in the mountains? Sorry, snow-cat or snowmobile is the only way. On the plains? Wait for the wind to blow and drive around the worst of the drifts.

There's no one-vehicle solution. At least, not for real-world distances. As with airplanes, buy the hull that'll get your payload where you want to go 80% of the time. If you keep chasing the last one or two percent, you're wasting resources; rent or borrow what you need in a pinch.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cffwy View Post

Wife has a 2006 Rubicon with the long wheelbase, and it'll push snow that's higher than the bumper if you lock up both axles and put it in four-low. But you'd run out of fuel in about 30 miles (or overheat, or break something) if you tried to cover ground.
I agree with your ideas about driving on roads that are maintained, but the quoted part above shows that your technique was wrong driving over unmaintained roads. Pushing snow is a problem, as you stated, it can't be done. What you need to do is air down the tires and get on top of the snow.

I went out with a friend in his jeep rubicon last weekend, it has a 4" lift and 35" BFG mud terrains, we went all over the place with that thing. It did incredibly good in snow between 2 and 6 feet deep. Air down to get as much floatation out of the tires as possible with a good tread pattern that holds the snow in the tread and you won't have too much problem.
Old 12-13-2016, 09:54 AM
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Not sure what your cost range is, but for a measly $200K base price, you can get one of these... LOL

Old 12-13-2016, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cffwy View Post

A road that's been accumulating snow all winter with no plowing? Forget it. I've tried some de-activated winter logging roads and they require snow machines. Any more than 12" of "old" snow (you can go a bit higher with dry, fluffy new snow) and you're going to hang up axle or bumper, and burn 10x the fuel, inflicting 10x the wear on your rig. Forget it.

Wife has a 2006 Rubicon with the long wheelbase, and it'll push snow that's higher than the bumper if you lock up both axles and put it in four-low. But you'd run out of fuel in about 30 miles (or overheat, or break something) if you tried to cover ground. Highway vehicles are not designed to travel on a deep spongy surface.

Unmaintained winter roads in the mountains? Sorry, snow-cat or snowmobile is the only way. On the plains? Wait for the wind to blow and drive around the worst of the drifts.

There's no one-vehicle solution. At least, not for real-world distances. As with airplanes, buy the hull that'll get your payload where you want to go 80% of the time. If you keep chasing the last one or two percent, you're wasting resources; rent or borrow what you need in a pinch.
.....wwwwhhhhatttt?



Spring snow is the best! The snow has settled generally and most of the air has been forced out. This makes for some of the best conditions for traveling in a vehicle with rubber tires as long as they are large enough and the air pressure is low enough. In the picture above I am running over the top of about 4 feet of snow that is over a regularly maintained Forest Service road.

The only thing that generally stops me in these conditions are sections of road that are out-sloped too much vs the exposure on the downhill side. You can 'skate' or '3-wheel' across a lot of these sections once you get the technique down, but at some point you typically get to a point where if you where to fall off the road it could kill you. Sometimes you can rig up a winch trolley system for extra protection, but eventually you will find a section with no winch anchor points.

The toughest snow conditions to deal with are generally what we call 'sugar' snow. Sometimes it is covered by a crust, and once you fall through, the snow doesn't want to 'compress' and hold up the vehicle....no matter how low the tire pressure. It is almost like driving on little ice balls. Temperature and sun exposure can change things a lot. Sometimes you want to travel at night when the temps are lower and the crust thicker. Sometimes you want higher temps during the day that allow the snow to have a higher water content which compresses better.

In general, low air pressure in big tires is the magic solution. On my flat fender the magic doesn't really start to happen till about 4-3psi. The difference between 2 and 1psi can be flat out amazing.

The opposite issue is driving on ICE. This can be anything from 1" of snow frozen on wet saturated ground, to glaze ice on pavement, to driving on deep snow with a thick hard crust that offers little compression at all. You can cheat some of these situations, but the answer for ice is typically some kind of traction aid like studs, spikes, or chains. The downside is that those things don't always play nice with aired down tires for snow. There isn't as much crossover with that technology as I would like. It is one area that I would like to experiment more with.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:10 PM
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During my college years I worked at Snowbird ski resort which typically gets over 500" of snow annually. It was not uncommon to leave work and discover almost 3 feet of snow piled on top of my vehicle. At the time, I had a '96 Jeep Cherokee Sport (no lift, no lockers, just a limited slip rear differential, manual transmission, and a good off road tires) and I never got stuck once.

As others have stated, not all snow is the same and this was generally super light, fluffy stuff that's much easier to plow through, but I did pass a lot of 4WD pickups that were stuck or spun out in the ditch because they weren't smart enough to put some extra weight in the bed.

IMHO, what tires one is running is just as important as the vehicle. I'm a big fan of BFG All-terrains as a great all-round tire, but they're a little pricey for me at the moment. I currently live in the south where I don't encounter snow or ice very much, but I've had great luck with Kumho Road Venture AT51s on the few occasions I have encountered snow & ice. They're not quite as good as the BFGs, but very solid for $80/tire less than the BFGs.

BFG

Kumho
Old 12-16-2016, 04:36 PM
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Most people over estimate their ability to navigate deep snow measured in feet. Even with chains on all four corners it is tough going. It is hard to find the road. The skid plates peel off. The steering and trans linkages freeze up.

Never believe anyone that says "I can go anywhere." No you can't.
A snow machine pulling a sled would work or a tracked vehicle.
Old 12-16-2016, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
Most people over estimate their ability to navigate deep snow measured in feet. Even with chains on all four corners it is tough going. It is hard to find the road. The skid plates peel off. The steering and trans linkages freeze up.

Never believe anyone that says "I can go anywhere." No you can't.
A snow machine pulling a sled would work or a tracked vehicle.
Most people have no idea how to drive in super deep snow or prepare a vehicle properly to do it.

If you're using chains, you are generally doing it wrong. You are correct in that chains are really hard on the vehicle. Chains only work well in snow till the diffs start dragging. They can do wonders on ice, but they are not the solution for deep snow.



That is FEET of snow.

What typically stops a properly setup vehicle in the snow is fuel capacity. You can winch/rig/dig yourself through or around most situations, but eventually you cannot carry enough fuel (weight) to cover the distances you want to at the speed required. Most vehicles that travel in snow are not very efficient, be it a snowmobile or a snowcat. They all burn a lot of fuel per mile per pound of vehicle weight. The rubber tire version can cope with changing conditions a bit better in my opinion overall. In the right conditions they can traverse snow at higher speeds than most pure tracked vehicles of the same weight class. Looking forward, we are trying to figure out how to adjust tire pressure on the fly to help with this. In some situations you might need 1-2 psi, but as speed increases that becomes impractical. We typically need to adjust from 1-8psi for 0-50mph depending on conditions.
Old 12-16-2016, 07:27 PM
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Drove one like this years ago up on Conifer Mountain CO. Was awe inspiring in what it would do... nearly a point and shoot effect. Wish I had the money for similar.


Being a jeep guy though I'd probably go a little overboard like:




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Old 12-16-2016, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedlovesjeeps71 View Post
Drove one like this years ago up on Conifer Mountain CO. Was awe inspiring in what it would do... nearly a point and shoot effect. Wish I had the money for similar.

Being a jeep guy though I'd probably go a little overboard like:




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I'd love to do a direct comparison between the track conversions and say a 42x14 radial tire at 1-2 psi in the snow.....same day....same conditions....same vehicle even.

While I think the track conversions might have a slight edge in certain situations....I think the big low pressure tire might be better overall. The speed range and tread life would be better on the tire for sure. I also notice that the track conversions don't sidehill the best. The track setups don't like having continuous sideways pressure when trying to stake or 3-wheel across out-sloped sections.

I'd also love to be able to design and mold my own thread patterns! There are definitely certain tires and patterns that work better in certain snow conditions than others. We also can't get large flotation tires in the USA made in the same rubber compounds as the good small snow/winter tires. Some of that technology is REALLY interesting. It could allow a really neat crossover between the snow vs ice performance.

So many ideas, so little time.
Old 12-16-2016, 07:51 PM
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Or maybe it's time for a...

Hovercraft!!??


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Old 12-17-2016, 10:21 AM
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In snow country like MT and WY, the people that live there tend to have tires that are tall and narrow. Studded tires help a lot. Wide tires that work for sand are a disaster in deep snow. Know when to stop and turn around. Driving into deep snow until you get really stuck is bad news.
Old 12-17-2016, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ppine View Post
In snow country like MT and WY, the people that live there tend to have tires that are tall and narrow. Studded tires help a lot. Wide tires that work for sand are a disaster in deep snow. Know when to stop and turn around. Driving into deep snow until you get really stuck is bad news.
the tall skinny tires are good for mixed conditions or shallow snow where you can cut down to a firm surface, we're talking deep snow travel here.

look at the icelandic expedition vehicles or the toyota that was driven to the north pole.... they used massive air ballon tires, that are fat and wide...

when traveling in deep snow it's all about flotation just like in the sand but even more so....

all due respect man, but you don't know what your talking about here, big difference between trying to make into to town to grab some groceries than trying to actually back country travel across snow fields.

there's no speculation here, there's actually a right way and wrong way to do this stuff, pizza cutters (tall skinny tires) in deep back country snow is a good way to bury your axle.

picture of a truck at the north pole.
notice the large aired down tires.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:39 PM
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Next time I head for the North Pole I will be sure to try out a set. The same for three feet of snow.

For the rest of real world conditions, tall skinny is what works. People move to Wyo all the time from some warm climate like AZ or CA and they show up with wide tires. They are used to the desert. The first time it snows the wide tires provide flotation and they can't find the road surface. They end up in ditches and go through fences when everyone is not having any trouble at all.
Old 12-17-2016, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
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In snow country like MT and WY, the people that live there tend to have tires that are tall and narrow. Studded tires help a lot. Wide tires that work for sand are a disaster in deep snow. Know when to stop and turn around. Driving into deep snow until you get really stuck is bad news.
This area of the off-road sport has changed a lot in the few decades.

I grew up on the Idaho/Montana border and spent 30+ years running around the northwest with big wide tires in the snow. The pictures I posted above are actually in that area. I love going back up there to play in the snow with old 'wheeling friends.

The tall narrow tire thing is the old school way to do things. In the early 1990s we finally broke away from the rancher/farmer way with pickup trucks, chains, and the loud pedal. Most of the big tire in the snow stuff can be traced back to developments in Iceland. I believe they where the pioneers of using large rubber tires with low air pressures to traverse glacier country. I remember reading the 1st articles in the 'wheeling magazines. They also where big in the development of the ultra low gearing technology like stacking transfer cases together.

Studs can work well on ice. I would love to try some in a large flotation size tire. There are snow conditions where you can get an icy crust or just a few inches of wet snow that freezes over wet ground. We experimented with drilling tires for studs, but they wouldn't stay in that long. There is a lot that could be done with modern snow tire compounds and micro-siping.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
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Next time I head for the North Pole I will be sure to try out a set. The same for three feet of snow.

For the rest of real world conditions, tall skinny is what works. People move to Wyo all the time from some warm climate like AZ or CA and they show up with wide tires. They are used to the desert. The first time it snows the wide tires provide flotation and they can't find the road surface. They end up in ditches and go through fences when everyone is not having any trouble at all.
That is just being a bad driver, not the equipment's fault.

Driving on bad winter roads is an acquired skill. I see the same thing down here in Colorado. We have tons of transplants that come in from Texas and California that don't know jack about driving in the winter. Last winter this poor middle age woman got so scared she STOPPED in the middle of the road because her nerves where so fried. She thought the roads where so bad that she, and everyone else, was going to go in the ditch at any minute. She was crying and shaking she was so upset.

I believe in this thread we have moved onto driving 'over' roads that might be covered in feet of snow. Perhaps a situation where the snow plows have stopped running for an extended amount of time. This is possible with the right setup and skills in most snow conditions.
Old 12-17-2016, 01:59 PM
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I don't drive in the snow for fun or go 4 wheeling. I drive in it to get to work, which might be at the top of a mountain some where at 10,000 feet. There is no phone service and no help. My friends are not coming with pull straps and winches and more beer. Maybe that is why our approaches are so different, but I would never tell you "you don't know what you are talking about." You weren't there.

Farmers and ranchers are out in it every day. They tow 12,000 pound horse trailers and haul tons of feed in places most people would never go. They don't buy specialized equipment from a catalogue from a company in California. They use what works with locally available parts. They will figure out a way, unless there is no way and then we will walk or go horseback.
Old 12-17-2016, 02:11 PM
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Metcalf is right on with this.



Tires what hold snow like that are what you want.

Tires are way better than tracks. I have personally seen two similarly equipped FJ40'S wheeling the same snow, the same trail at the same time. One had mattracks, the other had 39.5 Iroks and the one with the Iroks totally out wheeled it. On top of that, they did another "shootout" later in the year with different conditions and the results were the same. The fella with the mattracks ended up selling them.

If you look at the Arctic trucks they don't have tracks. If you look at the trucks in Antarctica, they don't have tracks. There is a reason.

The problem with your argument ppine, is that if we are talking about driving over snow in a shtf event, there will be no plows and that means you will be four wheeling. There's no way around it.
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