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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to head to Tahoe but it has been intermittently chains-only lately, so I've been shopping.

As you all know, the stock tires on TRD wheels are 275/65-18. However, I'm about 40% tread and for my next set of rubber I'm leaning toward BFG KO2 LT285/65-18.

Every type of decent chain set I've looked at (leaning towards some v-bar) seems to have a different set/sizing for these two tire sizes, implying that I cannot buy one that will work for both.

Is that true? Or can I buy a chain set for 285/65-18 and get them to fit on my stock 275 michelins for the short term? It's been a while since I've installed chains but am pretty handy and mechanically inclined, which leads me to believe it can work...
 

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If you go to a larger tire you may have clearance issues with the chains. The manual states not to use chains anyhow, probably due to clearance issues, but some members here on TT have used chains without issues...hopefully they'll respond here soon with their experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I only plan to buy a set for the rear drive axle, which is adequate to meet the requirements and should have zero clearance issues.
 

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There are multiple types of chains on the market. Some made out of hardened alloys, some of various types of steal. For travling roads like 80 I would purchase a hardened alloy. As chains go they are very small links. Some have X-links and such causing more chain on the ground at all times. For hwy conditions this is what you want. Large heavy truck chains will give a very bumpy ride and on a long trip that will suck.

I have very heavy large simi truck ish chains for my 285-65-20. I hope I never have to put them on.

Chain controls in Calif. are R-1, R-2, R-3, there are modified versions of each. If you are in a 4x4 with M&S rated tires on all four, you do not have to put chains on in R-2 conditions. R-3 is 4x4 with chains. Now hwy 80 seems to make up their own versions of R-2, they are trying to slow down the Flat Landers who tend to get the road shut down. Do not become a statistic. You are required to carry chains in the mountains but at R-2 in a 4x4 you should not have to put them on. Again drive slow and cautions. I try to avoid Hwy 80 in the winter, to many Bay Area people with no knowledge or experience of driving in the snow. Leave lots of breaking room.

Oh and get the larger chain size. Trial fit them in your driveway, cut the inside chain to proper length. Then leave a few extra length on the outside of the tire to assist in initial hook up.(if buying larger tires leave one extra link on the inside and 4 on the out side) Move the truck and tighten the chains again. Buy chain bungees and extra hooks, keep some bailing wire and pliers available. Having the proper set up will eliminate body damage and keep you safe.
 

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Just my $0.02, but don't waste your money. I have lived in Tahoe for 20+ yrs and have literally never been asked to see chains in possession let alone have them on. After seeing what I have seen on hwy 80 if it ever came to requiring chains on a 4x4 with m+s tires stay alive and turn around. The road will always close before that requirement kicks in though.

You probably won't go this far but I have separate studded winter tire and wheel set-up. I actually drop down to 255/70/18s for the winter to increase contact pressure.

If you insist on buying chains size up to your ultimate size tire. If you had to run them on smaller tires simply throw in a small bolt cutter or chain tool (good idea to have one in your kit anyhow) to remove a link or two on the inside. That way you'll have the proper chain size for your new tires when you don't use them. Super fast and easy if you had to adjust them. You can always add a link back. Also, double or even triple up on the rubbers. Having twice the rubbers secures the chain nice and tight and is more reliable than over stretching a single one. I used to do snow removal and that keeps the chains in place on the plow through heavy use. Some guys will even use multiple heavy duty black rubber straps. Nothing worse than a sloppy chain set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks.

I just bought a single $85 pair for the rear as an insurance policy. Found a set that will fit both 275 and 285. Once I get them, I'll throw them on in the driveway and measure out the proper rubber bungee's I need to get it snug. I'll basically keep this in a kit with a snatch strap and come-along, and hope I never need any of it. I've been going to Tahoe all my life and as with all my past 4x4's, I'm sure that with BFG KO2's and 4wd, I'll never NEED them, its more of a way to get me by if they are required. Many of my trips involve a rental house, so it sucks to be turned away and lose a night of rent.
 

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Yeah, you can't ever be TOO prepared. Strap, real shovel, waterproof gear, and some snacks always always stay in the truck. You never know when a Danville soccer mom will force you off the road in here Mercedes GL.
 
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