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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm planning to take my new OB 2.5 2013 on a roadtrip to Death Valley. I will be passing through some mountain areas and want to make sure get the chains. My tires are Stock tires, I'm thinking I should get the cable chain from Amazon, should I get a pair or two?
 

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Just one pair on the front...if you need them.
I actually used a pair this winter and had gotten SCC SZ 143 for my
225-60-17 wheels.
 

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Hey guys, I'm planning to take my new OB 2.5 2013 on a roadtrip to Death Valley. I will be passing through some mountain areas and want to make sure get the chains. My tires are Stock tires, I'm thinking I should get the cable chain from Amazon, should I get a pair or two?
Thread offers many opinions:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/96-outback-unpaved/40956-when-use-snow-chains.html#post382202

If you cant justify snows tires, just get a pair of cables at WalMart. I can attest that they work and have damaged nothing, they have saved me and my OB a couple of times when the stock Contis stated to fail and slide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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I bought cable snow chains at NAPA - they have the best/lowest price! You can order them online and pick them up at your closest NAPA store. Front wheels only, as described above and elsewhere...!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I bought cable snow chains at NAPA - they have the best/lowest price! You can order them online and pick them up at your closest NAPA store. Front wheels only, as described above and elsewhere...!
thank you do you know which model and size should I use for my 2013 OB?
 

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Go on their (NAPA) website, put the size of the tire in (or year and model of your car) and insert cable snow chains in search box. Alternatively, call your closest NAPA store and they will look it up for your on their computer. It's like 30 or 40 bucks ... you have to buy rubber tensioners separately! No matter what you will do, you have to give them the size of your tires - go and look at your car's tires!
 

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Like past threads on this subject, Caltrans will close the road if R3 conditions exist.
(R3 means AWD/4WD must use chains)
If an Outback needs chains, turn around and wait for conditions to improve.
 

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Like past threads on this subject, Caltrans will close the road if R3 conditions exist.
(R3 means AWD/4WD must use chains)
If an Outback needs chains, turn around and wait for conditions to improve.
But that is rare, right? How many times those conditions existed on your I-80?
They had one on Rt 395 during Xmas near Bishop....
 

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R3 is rare, the more common R2 means Sierra roads turn into parking lots so you won't be going anywhere.
The last I80 R2 Sierra crossing took me a bladder busting 4 hours to drive 40 miles.
 

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R3 is rare, the more common R2 means Sierra roads turn into parking lots so you won't be going anywhere.
The last I80 R2 Sierra crossing took me a bladder busting 4 hours to drive 40 miles.
WOW - in which car that you have on your list?
 

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R3 is rare, the more common R2 means Sierra roads turn into parking lots so you won't be going anywhere.
The last I80 R2 Sierra crossing took me a bladder busting 4 hours to drive 40 miles.
+1. I've been doing the I80/HIWY50 runs into Tahoe for decades and have never seen an R3. I'm not saying they don't happen but if you happened to get in the middle of one you are in for the "ride" of your life. Chains don't work so well when you're stuck in the road.:rolleyes: I carry a set of old VW beetle chains when I go to satisfy the law but have never been asked to show proof.
 

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I have been around Death Valley a handful of times, and if you are on "main roads" around there, your chances of needing chains are VERY VERY small.

Buy ONE set of cable chains, hide them in the rear under the cargo floor - and forget about them - because you will not need them.
But have them just in case.


Such gorgeous country around there. I dont know what way you are going in and out of Death Valley - but on the 190 going to and from, you pass through Panamint Valley (adjacent to Death Valley) - and a very cool, quiet little resort - Panamint Springs Resort - totally away from everything. The little lodge has a very cool little bar with a lot of REALLY GOOD imported beers.
If you have some time to kill, you could take the road through Panamint Valley - its gorgeous and just empty (part of the charm). There is a tiny little ghost town in the middle called Ballarat. Like 3 buildings standing, and a small gift shop that, well, is something out of a horror movie. Weird old guy that runs it and claims one of the trucks there was owned by Manson - but I think its a lie. The Manson Family DID hide out in this valley though at one point.
Anyway - that reminds me of a forum appropriate pic from that dusty drive that day of my car. The pics you see are from January 10th 2010 actually. Not too much snow - just the top of some of the mountains around there that year.
PAnamint Valley is just a good side trip - but hope you enjoy the trip you have planned!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have been around Death Valley a handful of times, and if you are on "main roads" around there, your chances of needing chains are VERY VERY small.

Buy ONE set of cable chains, hide them in the rear under the cargo floor - and forget about them - because you will not need them.
But have them just in case.


Such gorgeous country around there. I dont know what way you are going in and out of Death Valley - but on the 190 going to and from, you pass through Panamint Valley (adjacent to Death Valley) - and a very cool, quiet little resort - Panamint Springs Resort - totally away from everything. The little lodge has a very cool little bar with a lot of REALLY GOOD imported beers.
If you have some time to kill, you could take the road through Panamint Valley - its gorgeous and just empty (part of the charm). There is a tiny little ghost town in the middle called Ballarat. Like 3 buildings standing, and a small gift shop that, well, is something out of a horror movie. Weird old guy that runs it and claims one of the trucks there was owned by Manson - but I think its a lie. The Manson Family DID hide out in this valley though at one point.
Anyway - that reminds me of a forum appropriate pic from that dusty drive that day of my car. The pics you see are from January 10th 2010 actually. Not too much snow - just the top of some of the mountains around there that year.
PAnamint Valley is just a good side trip - but hope you enjoy the trip you have planned!!
I think the main requirement for the chains are to pass the mountain passes going from Portland to DVNP.

Also I'll be backpacking Surprise Canyon to Panamint City :)

Is Subaru good enough for DVNP backcountry roads where the NPS recommends only trucks and Jeeps.
 

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I think the main requirement for the chains are to pass the mountain passes going from Portland to DVNP.

Also I'll be backpacking Surprise Canyon to Panamint City :)

Is Subaru good enough for DVNP backcountry roads where the NPS recommends only trucks and Jeeps.
aaahhhh - well, still, I would say VERY small chance for chains to be required on any of those major mountain passes - but again - I always carry them just in case.

I would take the "which roads" things just on a case by case basis. Ive certainly been on a couple really hairy back roads in Joshua Tree NP - and did fine - but....
 

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only time I have needed them has been with 2-3 feet dumped in short order and the roads are left ubber icy from the scrapers at mmt and lcc (snow country). Wally world had em for the 225/60/17 for right around $30. They are just cables and provide a little extra bite in times of need. Even they load in the wet sticky glop on top of ice. (yeah it happens despite what people might believe who haven't been in that situation). I would rather have good snows (with studs) when it gets that ugly
I would much rather have snows. Cant' imagine needing em' in Death Valley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
only time I have needed them has been with 2-3 feet dumped in short order and the roads are left ubber icy from the scrapers at mmt and lcc (snow country). Wally world had em for the 225/60/17 for right around $30. They are just cables and provide a little extra bite in times of need. Even they load in the wet sticky glop on top of ice. (yeah it happens despite what people might believe who haven't been in that situation). I would rather have good snows (with studs) when it gets that ugly
I would much rather have snows. Cant' imagine needing em' in Death Valley.
I have heard CHP making the vehicles turn around if they don't carry chains on I-5. Just ordered Z143 from Amazon for $74 a few dollars more than Walmart but I can't find any cheaper chain to buy locally.
 
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