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Hi All,
I'm wondering what you carry to help with extracting yourself when stuck in mud (or snow). We have Michelin Defender Mud/Snow tires, but I'm more concerned about times we're on National Forest Roads or grass campsites and get dumped with rain or snow. We once got stuck in some greasy mud so slippery that the tow truck that came to get us was slipping around, too. Do chains work, and if so what kind do you prefer? We don't go into really poor roads, but we certainly camp in our share of BLM and other types of less-developed sites, and I can just see pulling into a dry space and being unable to get out after a few days or rain or snow.

So...suggestions?
Thanks!
 

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I carry a set of Thule XG-12 chains with me in case I get into deep snow. I guess they may work in mud too, but I've never got into that situation before. I also have a cheap set of foldable traction mats packed away in case I get stuck in sand (I do a fair amount of beach driving).
 

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Hi All,
I'm wondering what you carry to help with extracting yourself when stuck in mud (or snow). We have Michelin Defender Mud/Snow tires, but I'm more concerned about times we're on National Forest Roads or grass campsites and get dumped with rain or snow. We once got stuck in some greasy mud so slippery that the tow truck that came to get us was slipping around, too. Do chains work, and if so what kind do you prefer? We don't go into really poor roads, but we certainly camp in our share of BLM and other types of less-developed sites, and I can just see pulling into a dry space and being unable to get out after a few days or rain or snow.

So...suggestions?
Thanks!
we had the same problem, the Michelin defender M/S doesn’t work. Speaking with Michelin, they offer me a new tire the Crossclimate Agilis, C-Metric. Or I install the BF KO2 ??
 

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Mud and snow need 2. Different types of tires at opposite ends of the spectrum.
It boggles my mind that they market tires that claim to be good in both. As if mud and snow are similar.
It's probably terrible in both.
Honestly, considering the vehicle, there's not a whole lot you can do in an extreme situation, regardless of the tire. Your best bet is to run an actual snow tire in winter and an actual mud tire if you plan on being in a lot of wet sloppy situations the rest of the year. But they're not great on the highway.
There's definitely no tire that does it all.
They make plastic tracks that you can lay down for traction. Probably the cheapest and most convenient option.
 

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Chains may be your best option if you have standard sized tires. Real chains like these:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/V-BAR-HEAVY-DUTY-Truck-Tire-Snow-Chains-LT215-85R16-LT225-75R16-LT235-75R15-19/182928993265?hash=item2a976aebf1:g:d1MAAOSwdjdZ7-Wg I get a thrill every time I put chains on! If you have gone to 245’s all bets are off.
Some tires are good in both mud and snow. Those have lugs treads with openings between the lugs for mud and lots of sipes (the small cuts across the tread) for snow. Those that come to mind are Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Cooper WeatherMasters. These are a high cost and moderate cost tires respectively. For mud you need to run the tire just fast enough for inertia to clear some of the treads. For snow go slow and steady as front wheel drive is going to keep you moving BUT full-on acceleration leaves you with spinning front tires and no steering control! Shut off the ESC for either BTW.
 

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Maybe tires have advanced quite a bit in the last 2-3 yrs.
I've had some pretty expensive name brand tires on my last 2 trucks and the ones that claimed to be good in both mud and snow, were mediocre in both.
And that's an 18" wheel with a tire that's about 11" wide and ovef 32" diameter.
General grabbers, GY duratracs ("extreme" weather rating), Cooper AT3, and several more.
We have a lot of mud and snow here.
If I consider those tires mediocre with a 4wd truck with Trac control, the probably won't help a 2wd van with tiny wheels and tires.
My advice is to not take the van where it's beyond it's limits.
But if you must, sounds like the chains are a hit.
 

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Try to buy the narrowest tire you can fit up for winter. We had a complete extra set of wheels to fit the winters and not run them in the summer. Tall and narrow beats tread variations, all else being equal.
Good advice on beyond limits!
 

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It's definitely a good idea to have 2 sets of wheels with winter and summer tires. It's a bigger up front cost but saves so much work and cost over time.
I've been saying I'm going to do it for years.
Maybe if I don't say I'll do it with the van,......I'll actually do it.
 

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Hi,
We carry heavy duty tire chains with the Vbars in each link -- similar to the ones that RD provided the link to above.
My experience over the years is that while real snow tires are a good improvement over regular or M/S rated tires, heavy chains provide an amazing improvement over any kind of bare tire in the snow.
I'm not that familar with muddy conditions, but I'd think the heavy Vbar chains would help quite a bit.

I've also tried lighter cable chains and found them not to be anywhere near as effective as the heavy Vbar chains.

Putting the chains on in the mud is not going to be much fun, so putting the chains on ahead of the mud is always good.

Gary
 

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Absolutely, positively DO NOT wait until you are in the mud (or deep snow) to install the chains. And don't drive faster than about 25mph with them on.
 

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Every combination is a compromise.
M&S better than OEM but not as good as a dedicated tire in either
Mud is great in mud but big heavy expensive noisy and not great for anything else. I am driving a fwd boat not a 4wd mud bogger.
Dedicated snow great in snow but should be switched out when temps get above 40F, storeing tires remounting or $ for spare rims + storage
Traction boards work for short sections but would not want to use them for anything other than getting unstuck and moving on.
Vbar tire chains work better on ice and last longer than cross link chains and about equal on snow and both help in mud, heavy and need to be hauled around and installed once needed should not be driven above 25mph and not used on dry pavement< duh

My personal Minnesota compromise
Grabber Arctic LT for the winter, 1st light snow yesterday getting tires remounted tomorrow
Hercules Terra Trac ATII for the rest of the year.
A set of Vbar tire chains stowed in the back in case either tire doesnt quite cut the present conditions when needed, Thus far not needed hopefully never needed.
Snatch strap, Thus far not needed other than pulling a Transit Connect out of snow bank last winter and there is a difference between tow and snatch strap.
Cell phone and CC in case all else fails and I need a tow truck, See above for tire chain usage?
 

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I haven't used tire chains in year. Maybe something has changed, but steel chains on front wheel drive vehicles used to be really discouraged. Probably with the turning front wheels making the possibility of throwing a chain far higher than when placed on rear drive wheels. And it would probably take out your propeller shaft boots in the process. Like I said, maybe technology has changed, but the tire chains of today look remarkably like the ones I used to use.....
 

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Have used both vbar chains and the cable type and although not quite as 'grabby', I prefer the cable type if I can 'get away with it'. One reason is the ease of installing them but also the ability to drive faster since they secure onto the tire/wheel far better and have way less mass. Was driving along with a set on a 2WD pickup when I lived in WY years ago and before I knew it I was doing almost 50 mph with hardly any thumping and no slap, slap,slapping like the vbar type. Immediately slowed down of course but that made an impression and I haven't bought anything else since.

Normally don't need chains here in the SE US and being retired tend not to go out if it looks like snow, sleet or ice anymore - so not planning on getting any for the van, at least not unless I change my mind and decide to take a trip up into the mountains some winter.
 

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agree h1.....being north of u but getting about same amount of snow I mainly just keep eye on weather channel

biggest differance Va. Has much less ice storms than the Carolinas....chains not much difference making on wrong way tilted downhill road with ice.....just hope nothing downhill

Sent from my LG-H871 using Tapatalk
 

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I saw these at Walmart the other day and thought of this thread.
They are probably crap and you would probably lose half of them after one use,.... But for $10, they might be worth keeping in the vehicle, even if they only last long enough to get you out of one bad situation.
KIMG0655.JPG
 

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Make sure you put them on the front tires? On second thought, take the $10 and buy yourself some good beer and sit by the fireplace when it snows out - it will make your much better than those things ever will?
 

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They look like single use zip ties. If so one time use. I’d bet they might get you through a bit more snow or mid but the satisfaction will be less than KOV’s idea.
 

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Our first year we never needed the chains even in some pretty serious snow. Last year we spent a bunch of time in California snow and was deep and slick so we needed them a few times. (We also destroyed two sets spinning the tires so, although the expensive ones were better, I’d just get the cheap cable chains.)

More importantly, we carried two sets of Tow Truck in a Box (just google it) because I found them at Menards for $5 each. They were surprisingly effective and we needed them multiple times, snow mostly, but also including when my wife kept driving down what she thought was solidly frozen mud. (It was not.) having seen how useful it was, I would highly recommend carrying some sort of sand ladder or other traction board when out and about in the snow or muddy conditions.

59904


59905


(This is my first time posting a photo. Anyone know why they are sideways? Posted directly from my iPad.)
 
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