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2017 Outback 3.6R Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are Bay Area residents who frequent South Lake Tahoe in the winter; on the order of 10-12 trips per season...a total of 20-25 days each year.

In years past, we have studiously avoided travel days that would put us in danger of chain conditions, being that we had vehicles that didn't marry well with snow/ice and chains. We managed to get along pretty well, but missed out on many prime opportunities to ski some great conditions due to fear of chain controls.

We just purchased a 2017 3.6 Touring for the express reason of using it on these treks. We're excited to have a very capable vehicle that will give us more flexibility in travel to/from the snow. We want to take advantage of those days were chain controls would be up on US-50 and are looking forward to this coming season.

I'm strongly considering the purchase of a set of snow tires (non-studded) and having them mounted for the season and then having them swapped back to our OEM tires in the Spring. I'm not concerned about the cost of doing this, and feel good about storing the winters in our garage until they are needed again. Currently thinking that the Michelin X-Ice XI3 is tire for us.

Are there any other Bay Area folk who take this course? I'd like to hear your feedback and experiences, pro's and con's.

thanks in advance
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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try it on what you got first. if you are good at using up all seasons,
they maybe all you need. (like never keeping them more then 2 years).
@subiesailor lives in the bay area and goes to tahoe,...and I think he does it on all seasons.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited Package 23
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Hi OP!

I'm doing something similar, but from LA to Mammoth. I skied 25 days last season. I've been doing a bunch of research and came to the same conclusion as you. I'm pretty sure AWD + winter tires is all you need, but we've been stopped by check points and asked if we have chains (even with winter tires). I bought some autosocks to keep in my car. My understanding is that there is a very low chance of ever using them.

I want to get the Michelin X-Ice XI3 too, but they don't make it in the size that I want (225/65R17). Only the Michelin X-Ice XI2 come in that size. I'm probably going to end up with Blizzak WS80. Keep us update with what you end up doing. Good luck!
 

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Just running all seasons to Tahoe never needed anything else. I put the BFG Advantage Sports which are kinda hybrid luggy all seasons. I was really impressed with them last snow season. They are wearing really well and didnt impact our highway mileage much. Far more durable for our towing and camping trips. BFG is using a little harder rubber compound than the softer all seasons like Michelin, Or the stock tires which my loaded towing camping trips just eat through too fast. This is my second set of BFGs first of the Advantage tire which I think is about a perfect as it gets without impacting ride or mileage.
 

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We have Dodge Ridge season passes this yr. 2hrs door to door vs 4+ hours to Tahoe, so we'll be making more trips this yr. but even on epic dumping weekends the all seasons were great on the Subaru. Just dont put the most worn tires on the rear dont ask but that was my only bad experience in Tahoe since going Subaru in 2001. Even then we could plow into the cabin in over a foot of snow
 

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'17 3.6R Outback Touring
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Hey there, we too bought a '17 Touring to drive to Tahoe in the winter and just did some unexpected treacherous snow driving near Dodge Ridge. After a surprise 3 inch Thundersnow we went uphill a bit then way down from Crabtree Trailhead, first tracks on most of that, and found xdrive and 7 mph on newish stock tires kept us securely on a very slick, steep forest service road. I had thrown a used pair of cable chains in the car just in case but did not have to break them out. (I believe the manual advises you to put those on the fronts.) I was extremely impressed and am pretty sure our old 4runner in 4wd with half used all season tires would have broken free and slid us into a ditch or worse.

As they say it's not the going, it's the stopping.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Touring
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for your replies guys.

I realize that navigating many snow conditions on the all-seasons is doable, but my greatest concern is getting past chain controls w/o donning the dreaded chains. TO my understanding, the only vehicles allowed to pass when chain control R2 is in effect are AWD + snow tires.

How do you guys manage this without snow tires?

thanks
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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When you store your tires for the summer, bag them in large garbage bags and store them in a cool location - like a basement, if you have one. Not bagging them and storing them in a hot garage will cause them to evaporate out the volatiles in the rubber compound at a highly accelerated rate, degrading their performance considerably.

The same goes for the storing of ANY tires.
 

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understood, but sadly the OEM Bridgestone DUELER H/P SPORT AS that came equipped on our vehicle does not posses the coveted M+S rating.
And they have really bad reviews in regards to snow. Look at the tread, not a single sipe on them.

If you're willing to take off and sell the OEM tires on Craigslist you could probably get by with something like an All Weather tire such as the Nokian WGR3 which is designed for folks in cooler climates (I would guess they'd burn to shreds in San Diego or Texas) who frequent the occasional snow run.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/gl...16190526/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

http://www.autos.ca/winter-driving/tire-review-nokian-wr-g3-weather-tire-year-long-test/

etc.

Then go grab yourself a pair of Peerless Cable chains regardless of what you buy. Search forum, titles only, for chains. There's a thread with about 15+ pages of discussion.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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understood, but sadly the OEM Bridgestone DUELER H/P SPORT AS that came equipped on our vehicle does not posses the coveted M+S rating.
Understood. The Michelin AS or LTX which is a popular replacement for the Duelers has the MS rating. I'm running the AS down in LA and perhaps you want to consider something like that instead of dedicated snow tires. The Michelin are rated quite high by Tire Track in the snow, short of dedicated snow tires.
 

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We are Bay Area residents who frequent South Lake Tahoe in the winter; on the order of 10-12 trips per season...a total of 20-25 days each year.

In years past, we have studiously avoided travel days that would put us in danger of chain conditions, being that we had vehicles that didn't marry well with snow/ice and chains. We managed to get along pretty well, but missed out on many prime opportunities to ski some great conditions due to fear of chain controls.

We just purchased a 2017 3.6 Touring for the express reason of using it on these treks. We're excited to have a very capable vehicle that will give us more flexibility in travel to/from the snow. We want to take advantage of those days were chain controls would be up on US-50 and are looking forward to this coming season.

I'm strongly considering the purchase of a set of snow tires (non-studded) and having them mounted for the season and then having them swapped back to our OEM tires in the Spring. I'm not concerned about the cost of doing this, and feel good about storing the winters in our garage until they are needed again. Currently thinking that the Michelin X-Ice XI3 is tire for us.

Are there any other Bay Area folk who take this course? I'd like to hear your feedback and experiences, pro's and con's.

thanks in advance
From what I've read, having dedicated winter tires improve handling in the snow. They may also be useful in the Bay Area where it may rain and is relatively cold in the winter. I also have a 2017 3.6R and plan to do the same as you. I've bought a set of used Subaru 17-inch wheels and plan to put winter tires on them and swap them in for the winter season. In the past, I used M+S tires in an older Outback and they were mostly fine, except for a few cases when I had to go up and down steep hills. So far, I have not been asked to put on chains. I'm told that once chains are required for all-wheel drives and 4x4's, the conditions are sufficiently bad that roads may be closed soon and you would be better off not driving.
 

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My whole life in CA doing Tahoe trips for epic weekends never once have I been told to chain up a 4x4 on good tread or a AWD on quality all seasons. I even drove out back to Sac down 80 in the Legacy only to discover a very surprised CHP officer blocking off west bound 80. I stopped to talk to him and offer cookies. He laughed asked where we came from then informed me 80 had been closed for 5 hrs. That explained no traffic and 6 inches of snow. LOL if you EVER need to chain up a Subaru on good all seasons No One and I mean Zero anyone will be on the road. I carry chains and used them
Once to climb up and out of a iced over driveway that wasnt even remotely close to walkable. Then took them off and plowed my way out of the housing area with snow up over the hood.
 

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If I lived in Michigan at my wifes dads house my Subaru would sport snows all winter for the horrible ice rink roads they get day after day. Tahoe is a cake walk in the Subaru on good all seasons. Last winter we stayed up in Truckee with three families. One had a Rav 4 awd on snows they spun and barely made it up the driveway I drove up without so much as a slip. He was standing there shocked I didnt even slip a tire let alone spin. Yes the Subarus are crazy impressive.

The stopping argument with snows? Yeah I never found having the ability to stop faster than everyone around you to be a good thing especially on 80, 89, 50 packed full of Suburbans driven as if physics precludes them. I've avoided several accidents by simply not being there when the 3ton 8 passenger Tobogans come skidding through ;-).
 

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If I had a pickup 4x4 snows would be a must, big heavy Suburban yup. But I havent ever felt my subarus needed them given they were far better than 98% of any other vehicles around me outside of local snow rigs.
 

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Your first Tahoe season with a subaru pack chains dont open them you wont use them. And chances are youll get chewed out when you stop at chain control after they give you the Subaru wave through just as I did the first time.
+1. I carry my Ram 4x4's chains in the Subaru strictly for inspection. Never been checked in twenty years with the truck and eight years in three different OB's. If they are calling for chains on 4wd with M&S's don't bother putting them on. The roads will be closed by the time you do. I still smile every time I get the "wave"
 
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