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Old 12-04-2019, 04:21 PM   #21
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

Humble bragging? Maybe. Just an observation that 4x4 isn't necessary for most of us. Even those of us that drive in the mountains all year long.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:05 AM   #22
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

"..a narrower tire..." Hear, hear! Growing up in NH in the age of US muscle cars, I learned that lesson real quick. Give me a narrow SNOW tire and some weight in the back, and 2WD will work pretty darned well; on 4WD, even better. I was always searching for 80- or 78-series winter tires, drove rings around those who had 60- and 50-seres tires.

Of course, there were always those "southern" ski folks who seemed to think that if the car didn't move, they obviously needed to push down harder on the accelerator pedal....
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:23 PM   #23
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

You dig it out???

Just to warm it up and drive away. As long as there is less than 30" of snow on the ground you are generally good to go.

When we get dumped on I go out and drive it back and forth a few times to give myself a walkway around the van so im not in knee deep pow while loading gear and kids.



Given the frame rail height, overall height, weight and superb in the snow 4matic system, the van is perhapps the best winter vehicle I have owned (among 4x4 trucks, Audi's, Subaru's, Haldex 5 VW, BMW X drive). It has been unstoppable in every severe snow storm I have found myself in, and I have a couple times been the last vehicle on I-15, I 70 and I 80 during sever winter weather events. With the exception of its ponderous weight making it a difficult vehicle in icy roads, its a true winter trump card.

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Old 12-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #24
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

Indeed...and for what it's worth, my two cents. I live in NW Colo mountains and as a rep travel MT, WY, CO and have done for over 30 years. My other car is an Audi and I wouldn't pull out of the garage without true winter tires... so I admit, I've gone soft. But I frequently drive the Sprinter (2016 RWD) in all conditions and with 1) Weight in the back (I have 3 each side 70# tube sands ratchet strapped to each wheel well, and 2) Winter tires (not M/S), as long as it is basically a paved road, it just goes. Michelin Defender LTX Winter. A truck M/S tires is basically an All Season tire and there is no comparison to a winter compound tire - Any winter compound tire, as you all know. All you have to do is go to a Collegiate ski race and see that just about every team is running RWD sprinters with winter tires across the western USA every weekend, regardless of the weather. Cheers!
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

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Originally Posted by Steen275 View Post
Indeed...and for what it's worth, my two cents. I live in NW Colo mountains and as a rep travel MT, WY, CO and have done for over 30 years. My other car is an Audi and I wouldn't pull out of the garage without true winter tires... so I admit, I've gone soft. But I frequently drive the Sprinter (2016 RWD) in all conditions and with 1) Weight in the back (I have 3 each side 70# tube sands ratchet strapped to each wheel well, and 2) Winter tires (not M/S), as long as it is basically a paved road, it just goes. Michelin Defender LTX Winter. A truck M/S tires is basically an All Season tire and there is no comparison to a winter compound tire - Any winter compound tire, as you all know. All you have to do is go to a Collegiate ski race and see that just about every team is running RWD sprinters with winter tires across the western USA every weekend, regardless of the weather. Cheers!
That's a great territory to preside over! I'm doing the mirror image territory: SW Colorado/Denver/Utah. The Sprinter is so great for these long drives and the ability to stand up and stretch out once in a while.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:38 PM   #26
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

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Originally Posted by OffroadHamster View Post
You dig it out???

Just to warm it up and drive away. As long as there is less than 30" of snow on the ground you are generally good to go...
Drive with a pile of snow on your roof around here and you may get busted for not clearing it off. There have been enough people killed from snow/ice coming off the vehicle in front of them that it's now the law ("Jessica's Law") in NH.

Back on topic, I had my studded snow tires put on this morning and it's a night & day difference from the stock Vancos.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:49 PM   #27
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

For some reason, I love this thread. It gives such great info.

I don't have much experience driving in the snow and so avoided it to be safe. When trying to figure out which sprinter to get we had a great debate about whether 4WD was needed for the snow. I was torn because 4WD had a long lead time. I found a few threads that hinted that good snow tires and weight could win the day. We decided to get the RWD (dually) and risk it. We bought some Blizzak tires and sand and headed into the mountains. We have never slipped. I am a believer. :)

Our best example was being in a parking lot for sledding. After parking and getting out I noticed that we had just driven and parked on mostly ice. Other vehicles were sliding around while going by. We never slid. I noticed that we would have to back out, slight downhill, and leave going slight uphill. It was totally frozen in that area. We backed out and left without a slip. The combo of tires, weight, and traction control seemed to make everything great. I am curious where these factors won't be enough and would love to hear from someone in the forum what those conditions are.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:20 PM   #28
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

All a matter of having good SNOW-rated tires (and maybe studs, maybe not...) and being very patient and gentle with the throttle. In my experience, an automatic has an advantage, since a bit of "slip" (low torque applied to drive wheels) is easy to achieve.

Starting out uphill: Keep in mind, however, once your tires begin to spin you may as well pack it up and start over. Spinning tires rapidly create enough friction heat to turn any kind of snow into ice -- and then it's all over.

Carefully back up then try again, imagining an eggshell under your gas pedal foot. Start out going as fast as you safely can, then allow the vehicle to slow by gradually backing off on the accelerator pedal (just enough to still maintain momentum), and continue as long as the vehicle keeps moving. You may be going very slow at the top, but chances are you'll still be moving.

Again, once those tire start to spin, your chances of making it out are pretty slim, though spinning the tires and "digging your own trench" sometimes (but rarely) works. Better to stop, back up, and try again rather than create an ice track.

When those factors won't be enough? Glare (solid) ice. That's when studded tires can help, otherwise chains. Sometimes, going in reverse can work better, but it really depends on the tires and the vehicle.

Or forget it altogether and watch the snow fall.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

To be fair, 4x4 AND winter tires is unbeatable. I would prefer it. But the incentives on my 2016 RWD vs the 4X4 made for much better fiscal policy on the RWD unit. The intent of my comment was that RWD is not as bad as some folks believe. Many people have told me that RWD sprinter is absolutely worthless in snow. But when I asked how much weight they had in back, and if they had true winter tires, they could not answer in the affirmative. I would rather have 4x4, but I would still (and do on my Audi) run winter rubber.
To answer MJCMBK’s question, the limits are certainly there. I have done Teton Pass, 10% grade with Wyoming’s Level 1 Chain Law in place: Travel is restricted to vehicles equipped with tire chains, or to vehicles with adequate snow tires, or to all-wheel-drive vehicles. (Level 2 says All wheel drive or Chains. Period.) Hard to quantify how slick a road is in the real world, but snow packed, icy in spots as they say, and it just goes. Again, this is a paved road underneath, not a 4x4 jeep track in the woods. And I travel Rabbit Ears Pass regularly, 7% grade in same conditions. No issues. But in either situation, and at the iciest spot, I wouldn’t want to have to get started from a dead stop with RWD. That’s what the quick install cable chains are in the back for…
Comes down to driving with one eye way down the road and being prepared to time it right to “go around” those who have placed less importance on the winter tire line item in their auto maintenance budget.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: Snowmageddon can't stop Sprinters!

No doubt that a 4x4 sprinter beats the 2wd for traction, hands down. But to the point that others have made, there isn't anywhere I would go in good weather that I won't go in a snowstorm with my sprinter, completely due to having the right tires. When I bought mine in '17, the salesman told me that while there is about an $8K difference in msrp, the reality is that they aren't discounting he 4x4's, so it is really closer to a $14K delta. It just didn't make sense for my use.
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