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Snow chains for 37 tires in CA?

LJ_3M121318

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Going to Big Bear this weekend. Currently it's heavy snow but we're going Sunday when the weather expects to clear up. Currently Big Bear is under R2:

  • Requirement 2 (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
Now I've got a Rubicon so I'm good with the 4WD part. I have 37 x 13.50 x 18 Radar Renegade RT+ which are mud/snow tires but I've seen where they are checking specifically for M/S on the tire and mines doesn't say that, just the RT+ so I'm thinking they would say mines aren't officially M/S and instead require chains?

Problem is, I can't find chains to fit these tires. Called AutoZone, Napa, and OReilly and none carry sizes that fit.

Based on the above, am I not going to be able to take my Jeep and instead take our crossover (since those are generic tires and can easily get generic chains)?

I'm hoping by Sunday the weather clears up and Big Bear goes to R1:
  • Requirement 1 (R1): Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on at least two drive wheels. Chains must be carried by vehicles using snow tires.
Which means I could take the Jeep as long as I have some chains inside, so I'd obviously pick up some generic ones that wouldn't fit.

Advice?
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Good luck! I bet you could find what you need on the Internet but you’d have to expedite shipping. Doubt you could get them quickly enough. Only thing to do is keep trying to find what you need.

Maybe if you can find a set of cam-tightening ones like the ones in the pic below (my wife’s 4Runner) you can install them and just not tighten the cams. Then use cables to tighten them down.

I had the opposite problem- I couldn’t get the chains tight enough even with the cams so I had to use 550 cord that I happened to have in my trailer.

(We were at South Lake Tahoe and got like 5’ of snow; it was insane. My wife’s 4Runner with 2WD, chains and a limited slip rear diff was able to pull our trailer out and across the mountain pass. Talk about white-knuckling it.)

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Jeep Wrangler JL Snow chains for 37 tires in CA? 712DC533-C07C-4E54-A3AB-F4E4EC77EE82

Jeep Wrangler JL Snow chains for 37 tires in CA? 1C0C0377-83E1-46D8-91C3-533B1F4285D7
 

Zandcwhite

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Going to Big Bear this weekend. Currently it's heavy snow but we're going Sunday when the weather expects to clear up. Currently Big Bear is under R2:

  • Requirement 2 (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
Now I've got a Rubicon so I'm good with the 4WD part. I have 37 x 13.50 x 18 Radar Renegade RT+ which are mud/snow tires but I've seen where they are checking specifically for M/S on the tire and mines doesn't say that, just the RT+ so I'm thinking they would say mines aren't officially M/S and instead require chains?

Problem is, I can't find chains to fit these tires. Called AutoZone, Napa, and OReilly and none carry sizes that fit.

Based on the above, am I not going to be able to take my Jeep and instead take our crossover (since those are generic tires and can easily get generic chains)?

I'm hoping by Sunday the weather clears up and Big Bear goes to R1:
  • Requirement 1 (R1): Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on at least two drive wheels. Chains must be carried by vehicles using snow tires.
Which means I could take the Jeep as long as I have some chains inside, so I'd obviously pick up some generic ones that wouldn't fit.

Advice?
Are you sure there is no “MS”, “M-S” or “M/S” marked anywhere on your tires? If there isn’t, you don’t even meet the R1 requirements to not have to chain up.
 
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LJ_3M121318

LJ_3M121318

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Are you sure there is no “MS”, “M-S” or “M/S” marked anywhere on your tires? If there isn’t, you don’t even meet the R1 requirements to not have to chain up.
Actually, you're right, there is a M/S. It was written pretty small down there but I did just see it right now, so at least I'm good there now.
 

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LJ_3M121318

LJ_3M121318

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Last year I went they (cal trans) just wave you through when they see a jeep with off road tires without even checking for chains.
Yeah that's what I'm hoping/expecting. In fact, last time I went there in heavy snow was 20 years ago and was going with my buddy in his 2WD Toyota Tacoma. They waived us through and I asked my buddy how did he pull that off since this is a 2WD and then he showed me how he bought some TRD / 4WD stickers that he put on the truck so that's all that was need to fool those guys.

I just don't know after 20 years if they are still easy going with it, or if they are applying the letter of the law to a T.
 

Zandcwhite

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Actually, you're right, there is a M/S. It was written pretty small down there but I did just see it right now, so at least I'm good there now.
Which means you're good up to R2, they usually close the highway before imposing R3. If it is slick I'd suggest airing down to 18-20psi which is still safe for highway speeds in my experience.
 

AcesandEights

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Are you sure it's M+S and not the mountain/snowflake designation you need? Seems stupid to only require M+S.

LaClede probably makes what you need. Try a tire-specific store, like Les Schwab.
 

Zandcwhite

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Are you sure it's M+S and not the mountain/snowflake designation you need? Seems stupid to only require M+S.

LaClede probably makes what you need. Try a tire-specific store, like Les Schwab.
1 Snow-tread Tires: The California Vehicle Code, Section 558 defines a snow-tread tire as follows, "A 'Snow-tread tire' is a tire which has a relatively deep and aggressive tread pattern compared with conventional passenger tread pattern". Snow-tread tires can be identified by examining the sidewall of the tire where the letters MS, M/S, M+S or the words MUD AND SNOW have been stamped into the sidewall.
 

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Yeah that's what I'm hoping/expecting. In fact, last time I went there in heavy snow was 20 years ago and was going with my buddy in his 2WD Toyota Tacoma. They waived us through and I asked my buddy how did he pull that off since this is a 2WD and then he showed me how he bought some TRD / 4WD stickers that he put on the truck so that's all that was need to fool those guys.

I just don't know after 20 years if they are still easy going with it, or if they are applying the letter of the law to a T.
A gimmick like this works right up until it doesn’t work. Then you’re hosed. You’re also hosed if you cause a crash and/or need to be pulled out of a snowbank while a trooper or a Caltrans worker supervises. (A light-duty 2WD pickup with no chains and no weight in the back is right up there with Corvettes and Mustangs on the list of worst snow vehicles.) :like:

I appreciate the OP taking the time to think through this and take smart steps to prepare. He’s already ahead of 70% of the non-commercial travelers (and lots of the commercial travelers).

In California, “Snow Tires” include tires with the M-S, M+S, and M/S markings on the sidewall. They also have to have at least 3/16th tread depth.
 
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LJ_3M121318

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Are you sure it's M+S and not the mountain/snowflake designation you need? Seems stupid to only require M+S.

LaClede probably makes what you need. Try a tire-specific store, like Les Schwab.
I dunno but it says M+S

but will see if that store is around here
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The California vehicle code section referring to chains is CVC, Section 605 and Sections 27450 to 27503.

I run studded Grabbers on the Jeep in the winter, and studded Duratracs on the pickup. They‘re both fantastic, and similar to the set up used on Oregon State Police trucks. The Duratracs are a bit more aggressive, but both are closer to an all-position, all-terrain than a dedicated MT tire. I don’t have any experience with the OP’s tire, but the worst ice-traction tire I ever owned, bar none, was the Toyo MT. They’re great tires for many applications, but we couldn’t get our diesel F-350 up our icy, snow-covered driveway in 4-wheel drive. After four attempts I went to the store, swapped for all position tires, and drove up the driveway without any problem.
 

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Traction devices are very good until you start trying to push snow with the axles and bumpers and stiff hanging low. Trail riding the same thing and when it gets deeper you want flotation just like in sand, stay on top. Think Iceland offroaders don't know what they are doing, haha
Jeep Wrangler JL Snow chains for 37 tires in CA? iceland 4x4

want chains, this place does chains...
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