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Author Topic: Donner pass...snow...we sure pick them right...lol  (Read 5589 times)
John316
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MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




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« on: January 23, 2010, 10:10:57 PM »

We are setting out for Donner pass, tomorrow at 8am. It looks like we will have to chain up. We just talked with our buddy at the CHP, and he said that they want to see chains on BOTH tires of the duels. He said buses too Sad.

Plus, we need to have chains on the tag, but we are not a commercial vehicle, so we might not have to do that...We have cable chains, and regular heavy duty old chains. So we can do the tag and one outer drive. Problem is, we don't have chains for the duels Sad. We were going to get them...but...we were told we didn't need them Wink.

So here are my questions. Does anybody know of an actual CA exemption for us to not have to put chains on both tires of the duels? Where can we buy chains for the duels, in the northwest portion of Sacramento on Sunday? And any other tips?

Thanks.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
desi arnaz
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 10:16:37 PM »

take hi way 49 around the pass? a long way around.....are you in reno or auburn? as auburn has a place that makes chains,or at least they used to. but not on sunday. i say take the day and go to church in nevada city or grass valley then go on monday or after the pass is open in the afternoon. if you are in reno there are some places to get good meals cheap and great campgrounds at the old reno hilton.
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
Ray D
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 10:33:21 PM »

I think that road that Dezi & Lucy took on the movie with their new camper was on Hwy 49; real curvy and gets real lonley when snow hits, gets closed a lot too, but other than that it is one of the prettiest hwys out here.  The best road I can think of over the pass is I80, just because their is lots of snow equipment and plenty of people around to help if you get in trouble.  If you're snow shy, wait a day and see if the weather report changes, there is 90% chance of snow Sunday, but it gets less after that.  Here is a link to road conditions

http://www.safetravelusa.com/nv/

Here is a link to some cameras on 80, but as of now, most of the cameras are even snowed in or frozen over

http://www.magnifeye.com/

Ray D
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wildbob24
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 10:35:58 PM »

John,

Here is a link to California chain requirements:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/ChainRequire.pdf
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P8M4905A-1308, 8V71 w/V730
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John316
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2010, 10:52:19 PM »

Thanks, guys. I missed the "if possible" part. I doubt that it will be "possible."

Anyways, we are on a schedule. We have the wiggle room going over the pass, but we have to come back over on Tuesday. That one will be the tight one...lol.

So thanks for all the help. It is MUCHO appreciated!.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
Ray D
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2010, 11:05:01 PM »

Just watch the pass carefully, one hour it's snowing and the next you can get through with no chains.  They clean I80 very fast and have it down to an art, just be patient, and who knows, the sun might show up tomorrow.

Ray D
If you're on the Ca. side and need some help, give me a call.  I will post here if I see an opening for you.
530-237-6256
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desi arnaz
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 12:28:42 AM »

20 is a nice ride also takes you 20 miles from truckee. goes through nevada city which is nice.
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
Nellie Wilson
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2010, 04:27:42 AM »

John -

Been following your adventures and my heart goes out to you. Having been forced to drive those conditions for so long, I'd never willingly do it again... bad things happen real fast on ice (or just plain 'ol snow). If you have any alternative choice, take it.

Not to nag, but you sound in a rush? That's a real bad mind set for those conditions (don't ask how i know  Lips Sealed ).  It's not easy, but try to quiet your mind and take it slow. And, please, be extra careful.

God Speed.

Nellie
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Had to change a tire... Angry  got to put it on backward... Undecided  still trying to fix it on photoshop... Huh Roll Eyes Huh
buswarrior
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2010, 07:14:32 AM »

For the dial-up crowd, the California regulations in the downloadable pdf file provided by wildbob suggest:

For Buses/Recreational Vehicles:

Drive axle must be chained, and inside dual chained if possible.
Tag axles need no chains.

Chaining one wheel per side, either inner or outer dual, constitutes having chained the drive axle, however, the picture shows they want both chained, "if possible" doesn't mean your physical struggle, the test is whether they fit on there.

Trouble is, you can be sure every CHiP has seen a bus of some kind put a full set on, and will expect nothing less from us. They don't want to find us blocking the road later....

And the CHiP has final say with the catch-all that they may prohibit a vehicle which they think may have "difficulty" in the chain control area.

So, to put it to bed, a busnut would be well advised to have a full set of dual wheel chains or cables.

To store these, I keep two of those plastic Home Depot buckets for the purpose, one set of chains carefully lowered into each, so they come out untangled and ready to go. The buckets keep them neat, and easier to carry around than struggling with all those interconnected serpents.

To go all out, six of those good commercial black rubber bungee cords per install, properly sized to put a bit of tension on the loose bits of chain. Make an "X" on the outer side, centered on the hub, make a square on the inside, hooked to the same links across the tread on the inside as the ones on the outside. The 4 inside ones will be a bit shorter, the outside a bit longer

Spray paint the connecting ends a bright colour so you can more readily find them while slinging them on.

happy coaching!
buswarrior


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bevans6
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2010, 07:18:17 AM »

would one be best advised to look for chain chains or cable chains? 

Brian
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cody
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2010, 07:21:47 AM »

And john, if your going over the pass, don't forget the usual condiments, the steak sauce, pepper and if possible a salt substitute lol.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 07:37:31 AM »

Brian, as always, a compromise must be reached whether one chooses full chains or cables.

My opinion, no one needs to subscribe:

Cables fulfill the letter of the law, are smoother to run on, but won't give nearly the traction if you really need it. Cables won't store in as small a space, since the cable won't bend.

FWIW, Greyhound uses cables, a mass of rusty mess thrown into a baggage bay corner.

A snowbound busnut might be more likely to need their chains at home to maneuver for parking purposes than out on the highway? a slope of any kind in the yard at home with a layer of hard pack will put the bus into the gully and won't come out.

After you've seen/lived how ridiculously little it takes to get a coach stuck, you might be scarred for life!

For a busnut, the chains offer a smaller footprint in the coach, get you your pass to drive into the chain control area the rest of the season, since you have to have them even when it is sunny out, and if it is chain-up time, you know you're running with the best you can, even if it is bumpy, and most busnuts can choose to park until the chain orders come down, avoiding getting the nice epoxy coating marked up!

But, only my opinion, I am damaged goods.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Nellie Wilson
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 07:50:10 AM »

Chains? Cables? Steak sauce? All great advice!

Mine? Fuhgedaboudit! If it drops below 45o, turn south. If it's still cold? Huddle up, break out the hot toddies and wait for decent weather.

But like I've said before, I'm a wus.

Nellie Wilson Smiley
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Had to change a tire... Angry  got to put it on backward... Undecided  still trying to fix it on photoshop... Huh Roll Eyes Huh
ruthi
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2010, 08:36:52 AM »

John, please be safe, and dont get in a hurry. I know we travel with a schedule also, and it can be tough at times. We use to live in colorado, and had to leave out of there to go to our jobs. It could be quite scary at times in the winter. That is the main reason we moved south, athough we also were tired of the cold. We have been on ice a few times, not fun. We were outside of salina, Kansas  once, and there was a tour bus ahead of us from the deaf school in colo. springs. Well, all of a sudden they hit a patch of ice and the bus went sliding, and flipped. Stuff flew everywhere. Thanks God there was only a few small injuries. We also hit the ice and slid sideways for a while, but regained control. Since then, I am freaked out when we have to do stores in the snow prone areas. Anyhow, take care, Ruthi
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 08:39:11 AM »

I'm with Nellie.  If chains are required I will wait until they are not required.  I don't generally head out west on I80 past the first week of October.  At that time of year any snow should be under control before too long.

I had a bad enough experience last year with a mountain snow storm that I don't want to repeat it if I can help it.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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