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Snow help in CA

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by fulanoderock, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Jan 3, 2019 at 10:22 AM
    #1
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    I'm a noob when it comes to snow and a 4x4 tundra, so help me out fellas! I'm in SoCal and the family wants to go to Big Bear or Mammoth for a weekend snow trip (first one ever). My Tundra is my first truck and first 4x4 vehicle. It has the 20'' Bridgestone Dueler tires. Will I need snow tires and or chains to get to through this trip? Do I use the 4x4 driving option? Any help is appreciated!
     
    Marty McFly and Tundra4Pinay like this.
  2. Jan 3, 2019 at 10:39 AM
    #2
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan Now you know something

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    Not familiar with those specific tires, but as long as they have good thread you should be fine. Depending on how icy it could get, I don't believe you will need chains either. Use 4HI as needed if you feel the ass of the truck slip sliding and wanting to fish tail on ya. Just remember that 4HI doesn't like turns at low speeds so disengage as needed.

    Snow Ops goes up to the mountains often and he might have better input as he knows the area.
     
  3. Jan 3, 2019 at 10:45 AM
    #3
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    The truck will do fine. Just be careful of some of the unplowed parking lots. I have a set of chains but have never used them. Sometimes they require them if it’s bad enough. But I’ve never been stopped in a 4x4.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2019 at 10:51 AM
    #4
    Tierhog

    Tierhog New Member

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    Ok.. Here's the deal.
    4wd will be extremely helpful in ice and snow. Please have some weight in the back as well. Chain controls on 4wd will shut the road down.. Guaranteed. CHP has been doing that for 25 years. You'll never need chains or be required to show them at a checkpoint as your 4wd. If... The road shuts down, you'll want some water, snacks, and maybe a football. Don't go up there on half a tank either. When your coming out of the snow into rain kick it out of 4H into 2wd. Use tow mode/drop gear instead of brakes on ice or snow decents unless your building too much speed. Black ice is prevalent so don't be in too big of a rush. 4L will not be needed. Weather looks good, you'll likely have great weather and easy driving.

    Just occurred to me I never told you when to kick in IN 4wd. Lol
    Once the scenery starts getting white and the roads get wet, you'll drive a few minutes higher. As you climb your ass end will slip a little.. You'll feel it in the wheel and accelerator. Feel free to put it in 4wd now.

    Clean truck and frame when home.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  5. Jan 3, 2019 at 10:52 AM
    #5
    Tierhog

    Tierhog New Member

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    One more thing.. Let the idiots pass you in their AWD cars.. You'll catch up to them when they wreck.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:04 AM
    #6
    seth419

    seth419 New Member

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    Do yourself a favor and skip Big Bear and head to Mammoth, it is a much better mountain. The time I went to Big Bear and it was snowing on the way up, Caltrans was making everyone carry chains even if you had 4x4 and snow tires. I grew up going to Tahoe and never had to have chains with 4x4. Mammoth is pretty much straight high desert highway driving all the way to the mountain. If there is snow on the road or I feel myself start slipping because its icy, I have it in 4x4 HI.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:06 AM
    #7
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    You ain’t wrong! I swear some people up there drive like it’s dry and hot. Yet the snow has melted during the day and frozen turning into black ice at night. Clueless.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:09 AM
    #8
    Tierhog

    Tierhog New Member

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    Wow Seth.. Thats a first. Retired LEO in the valley and had no clue anyone did anything at a ECP short of wave ya through. Gotta love California and their consistency. We had chain and 4wd restrictions on 80 to Reno but they shut the road down and removed restrictions on chains for 4wd once it opened. Maybe SoCal is different.
     
    fulanoderock [OP] likes this.
  9. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:10 AM
    #9
    saybng

    saybng New Member

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    We went to big bear from the backside, didnt need chains, and had the same tires at the time, used 4hi at all times, take your time and be safe and you'll be fine.
     
  10. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:11 AM
    #10
    15whtrd

    15whtrd I tried being reasonable, but I didn't like it.

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    True but a big difference in distance. Mammoth isn’t a day trip from my house. I go to Big Bear and im home for dinner if I like.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:43 AM
    #11
    TOYOTRD8

    TOYOTRD8 New Member

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    I live in Utah, we get a lot of snow here as well. I usually used 4H when the road is packed with Snow or slushy. When I get to the parking lot I usually change back to 2wd just so I can parked without feeling it tug and pull. You should be fine with all season tires as long as you used 4H. Have a safe trip!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    fulanoderock [OP] and Tierhog like this.
  12. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:53 AM
    #12
    fisherman951

    fisherman951 New Member

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    Like every one is saying if rear end starts slipping turn on 4x4. Take ur time and keep your patience it becomes a shit show sometimes lol. I came down from big bear on Christmas Day! We got a decent amount of snow in the morning and what a show it was. Chains where required for 2wd. The line to go up and to big bear was crazy. I figured a good 3 hours to get up there lol. Saw a couple cars sliding and Had to get pulled out of the ditches. I also saw an idiot that was driving with his head out the window and his wife as well as the front windshield was covered with snow. These idiots wouldn’t pull over they just kept going!
     
  13. Jan 3, 2019 at 11:58 AM
    #13
    sdde4n

    sdde4n New Member

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  14. Jan 3, 2019 at 12:06 PM
    #14
    sdde4n

    sdde4n New Member

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    http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/mtnhwys.htm

    OP, I dunno where you live or what you have planned, but if it helps, IMO, Mammoth is ten times the trip that BB is. Yes, the snow is ten times better, but holy hell that's a trek when the weather is nasty (possibly this weekend). If it's just kids playing in snow you're after, stay local.
     
  15. Jan 3, 2019 at 1:26 PM
    #15
    Marty McFly

    Marty McFly Sunnier’s super BFF!

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    Everyone pretty much nailed it. In CA you need either 4x4 or chain and if the conditions are bad then both. Especially going up to BB.

    Mammoth is awesome, and the drive is an easy climb as oppose to big bear where it’s winding and you can veer off a huge cliff side at any moment.

    Looking at the news it looks like it’s going to rain and snow this weekend, I’d expect CHP to be making everyone chaining up.

    In my old Tacoma I carried chains and never used it, I plan on getting a set for the tundra just in case but as of now, I have not driven up there while it was snowing.

    Also - the crowds going to big bear and Wrightwood are at a peak high right now, and traffic is a beeootttch. Mammoth isn’t as bad
     
  16. Jan 3, 2019 at 4:06 PM
    #16
    Shellboyz

    Shellboyz New Member

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    I usually buy chains at Autozone on the way up then return them on the way down. Sometimes they just check if you have chains so i may or may not have carried the wrong size chains........ BB or Mammoth I have never put chains on in all my years but i have had to show that i had some just in case.
     
    fulanoderock [OP] likes this.
  17. Jan 3, 2019 at 4:10 PM
    #17
    fisherman951

    fisherman951 New Member

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    They allow u to return them? Most places chains are final sale
     
    fulanoderock [OP] likes this.
  18. Jan 4, 2019 at 1:03 AM
    #18
    nicktorres81

    nicktorres81 New Member

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    Just came back from GVL (peak before BB) and had no problems with the snow. I was in 2WD most of the time. Had to use 4Hi to get out to crab flats, but never needed chains. Have fun.
     
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  19. Jan 4, 2019 at 4:19 AM
    #19
    OR18TRD

    OR18TRD Pândâ Crëw

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    Go slow and Have fun :thumbsup:
     
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  20. Jan 4, 2019 at 7:09 AM
    #20
    Shellboyz

    Shellboyz New Member

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    As long as it’s an Autozone...their policy gives you 90 days. Last year I returned them just before it ended. Just check the return policy first.
     
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  21. Jan 4, 2019 at 7:56 AM
    #21
    fisherman951

    fisherman951 New Member

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    By any chance did u notice if the lake is frozen or not?
     
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  22. Jan 4, 2019 at 1:36 PM
    #22
    nicktorres81

    nicktorres81 New Member

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    Lake was half frozen when we left. Not much biting. Dam lazy trout.77C3011C-5E5F-40F1-9F3F-962829193DE0.jpg
     
  23. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:43 AM
    #23
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    Awesome tips, thanks man!
     
  24. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:46 AM
    #24
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    How was Big Bear? We are still debating between Big Bear, Mammoth, or just going for the day to Angeles Crest area.
     
  25. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:47 AM
    #25
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    Haha nice. So you didn't need chains at all?
     
  26. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:48 AM
    #26
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the link! We live in Ventura County and just looking for a quick weekend getaway for the kids to experience the snow and go sledding. You think Mammoth is the better option?
     
  27. Jan 7, 2019 at 10:50 AM
    #27
    fulanoderock

    fulanoderock [OP] New Member

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    So you've gone to both areas during the snow season and have not needed chains? You recommend I buy some before the trip or will there be installers that will sell them to me on the way up there?
     
  28. Jan 7, 2019 at 11:03 AM
    #28
    Shellboyz

    Shellboyz New Member

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    idk much about you but if you are asking then I am guessing you haven't had much experience in driving in the snow. With that said. Go with your peace of mind knowing you have back up when trouble arises.

    So yes if I were you I would buy them before you go up and do not take the risk of hoping installers will be there. You will save yourself a lot of worry.

    If you buy them, buy them from Autozone. If you don't use them then you can return them but check the return policy first.
    I have done this but it could be different for you depending on your location?

    I have also read a great thread on here regarding driving in the snow. Link below.
    https://www.tundras.com/threads/10-tips-for-driving-in-the-snow.10107/
     
  29. Jan 7, 2019 at 11:12 AM
    #29
    Shellboyz

    Shellboyz New Member

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    I would also take some time in testing out your vehicle locally to get more familiarized with knowing what to do and when you need to do it.
    4x4 on our tundras gets a little tricky when you do not know how to engage ATRAC and/or when to turn off all the nannies in certain situations.

    There is also a great write up on this in this forum regarding this but can't find a link to the 3rd gens.
     
  30. Jan 7, 2019 at 11:29 AM
    #30
    fisherman951

    fisherman951 New Member

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    I didn’t but did use 4x4
     

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