Prep Prime as Ski car for Timberline lodge (week after week)

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by karthik1107, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. karthik1107

    karthik1107 Junior Member

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    I live in portland and in winters I go to Mt.Hood twice every week on my Prime for Skiing (Ski Bowl - greens and blue runs). Those of you in the area know, Ski bowl is at lower elevations compared to Timberline (Got Fusion pass for coming winter). Last weekend I went to Timberline in my CRV AWD (to pick up the ski passes) and realized how bad it can get (in October). I can't imagine going there all winter with my stock Prime. That said, I am thinking of putting together a winter kit that will give better traction to make it to Timberline - week after week - for real bad weather (nothing but snow and bitter cold). Those of you unfamiliar with the area - think of treacherous conditions, dump of snow, high elevation 6000ft. Something that even AWD crossovers struggle with.

    Question to the community:
    - Can we put together a winter kit for such treacherous conditions, that 4runners and trucks are better equipped for? (I was looking at Steel Wheels & TPMS Sensons from TireRack for $500 total, Michelin X ice 3 from Costco on sale now for $400. $90 Chains = Say $950 to $1000 for this Harsh weather Ski kit).
    - I will be doing 50 trips this ski season to Timberline; 50 X 120-130 Miles RT each time.
    - Prime will save a tonne on Gas with 25 Miles EV and its awesome re-gen coming down. (CRV I may avg 23 - 25 mpg in winters).
    - Is it worth putting together this kit or Should I just save the $1000, and gas up and drive 2012 CRV AWD (has brand new All Seasons). (Yes, I am worried about emissions too).

    Are there any of you that loves to push your 2wd to its limits on higher elevation winter road could you please share your experiences as well?
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have never taken my PRIME to a ski mountain, but have driven it plenty of times on snowy NE roads. The biggest problem with PRIME is it's low ground clearance. With any accumulation of unplowed snow exceeding 5 inches, the car just can not go any further. Unless you know for sure the roads you are heading to are plowed, I would not take PRIME up onto a snowy mountain.

    That being said, dedicated snow tires are must if you are planning to do any substantial driving on snowy roads. I would skip TPMS from TireRack. That's just unnecessary expense for so little gain. If you are worried about tire pressure, just buy external TPMS for winter. I bought Xice3 with alloy wheels without TPMS mounted from Discount Tire for total less than $500 after all the rebates and discount last year.
     
    #2 Salamander_King, Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  3. karthik1107

    karthik1107 Junior Member

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    Thanks much! Very helpful!. They start clearing it up from morning. But more often there is going to be a few inches fallen between snow plows. I think I am going to go with Winter Tires and carry chains as a back up and try the first few weekends.

    I also found the below thread to drive to Timberline.
     
  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If they plow the road well, it maybe a non-issue. Yeah, try it and let us know how it works. I have lived in snow belt all my life, but have never done much mountain driving in winter. In fact, I did not use any snow tires for mostly city drives until my kids got old enough to drive my car. We now live in more rural and further north where snow tires do help a lot. Still, never used tire chain. Good luck.
     
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  5. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Give my "Dedicated Snow Tire" thread a Serious read, there's a lot of valuable information for you.

    GET YOUR DEDICATED SNOW TIRES NOW !!! | PriusChat


    I've personally run the these Z-Chains, they work incredibly well when needed. Part number SZ329 is what you need for a 195/65-15 tire.
    www.amazon.com/Security-Chain-SZ331-Passenger-Traction/dp/B002KQI540/ref=pd_cp_263_3/132-5042177-1970363?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B000BRA6OC&pd_rd_r=416e717b-4cd9-4ad1-b71a-4a100ca9bd5e&pd_rd_w=B9sFu&pd_rd_wg=oZumK&pf_rd_p=0e5324e1-c848-4872-bbd5-5be6baedf80e&pf_rd_r=1CKY3DNC267N6CJFXP1Q&refRID=1CKY3DNC267N6CJFXP1Q&th=1



    Rob43
     
    #5 Rob43, Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  6. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    How well do they keep the parking lots plowed? Especially with 2wd, don't park where you have to back uphill to get out of the spot.

    Do try the chains on in your driveway. Be sure they fit the tires, be sure they clear all parts around the wheels, and practice putting them on in good light and dry conditions--nothing like you'll encounter when the chains are actually needed. I don't have the Prime owner's manual handy--what does that say about chains?

    One day years ago I was at A-Basin with a 2wd rental car. It was spring and by afternoon the lot was bottomless slush. A woman in her car was stuck in the lot. I called to a couple of guys, "Hey, let's push her out," and we got her unstuck. With her car on a solid spot I asked her to drive my car (I was still in ski boots) while we guys pushed my car out of its hole. Everyone got out OK.
     
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I'm looking at your scenario the same way I would about someone asking about towing a moderately heavy load 50 times/year with a vehicle not really meant for towing: use a vehicle meant for towing.

    You sound like a great customer for the upcoming RAV4PHEV.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
    #7 fotomoto, Oct 17, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  8. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Nah, I have a friend that lives in Seattle, he drives to Mt Hood almost as much as the OP does. His RWD 2003 BMW 330i has General Arctic 12 snow tires and he says he's never experienced any problems with traction. He's even stated that he occasionally see's AWD Subies stuck on the side of the road because they have crappy All Seasons.



    Rob43
     
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  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    It's not the traction problem I am worried about. PRIME has only 4.8-inch ground clearance. If snow is deeper than 5 inches, it just not going to work. Even in our low land, when we have an accumulation of 5 inches of snow that have not been plowed, My PRIME can not even get out of my driveway.
     
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  10. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Don't mention any of this to my Prius v, it goes through 12" of snow like a tank with it's Yoko IG52c's.


    Rob43
     
  11. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I want to see you do that with your PRIME. At any substantial driving speed, you would be risking a few thousand dollars worth of damage to your front end. Remember the headlight alone is $1200 apiece. ;)
     
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  12. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I ABSOLUTELY plan on it.


    Rob43
     
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Humm, strange. You advocate the use of snow tires to everyone who drives PRIME on snow which I thought was due from genuine concern for the safety. Yet, you are willing to let FWD PRIME with a mere 4.8-inch ground clearance to dive onto roadway covered with a foot of snow. :confused:
     
  14. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Its car....that's all it is.



    Rob43
     
  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Is it really? If I am driving PRIME out on the road in a mountain. And snowstorm dumps a foot of snow in front of me and no plow trucks around. I think my life is at stake.
     
  16. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    OK.


    Rob43
     
  17. Zed Ruhlen

    Zed Ruhlen Member

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    Last winter I drove my Prime from Hood River up to Teacup and Meadows multiple times in the snow. I have Michelin X-ice3 tires and it's pretty much unstoppable. They plow 26/35 so the total snow depth isn't much of an issue. But even when I have been in a lot all day it hasn't been an issue driving out. Get a set of traction tracks in case you actually get stuck. Your biggest issue will be getting around all of the stuck Subarus with All Season tires
     
  18. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    If the OP keeps their CRV, they can drive that on the worst days. I wouldn't hesitate to take my Prime to the mountains in the snow almost any day. The worst days I've experienced in Colorado have been traction or visibility issues, not depth of snow on the road. I can only think of one day since I've lived in snowy places where snow depth would have been a problem for the Prime. Chains would help, and it is definitely possible to drive in snow deeper than the ground clearance if it's fluffy enough.

    Slushy and muddy parking lots at ski areas could be more of a problem. Park near the entrance/exit if you're concerned.
     
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  19. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Another thing I thought of, you probably want to have a good winter emergency kit (in any car). For example here are some of the things I bring:
    • Things I keep in the car:
      • A folding avalanche shovel and/or folding E-tool shovel (in case you need to dig out snow to get unstuck)
      • Traction grit (not sure if it would help at all, but it can't hurt)
      • Hand warmers, a blanket, road flares, a headlamp, old ski gloves in case you need to put on chains
      • A tow strap and appropriate hardware to connect it to any tow points the car might have
      • Air compressor (you can try airing down to get unstuck, then you'll want to air up afterwards)
      • Maybe consider traction boards, but they are big and bulky
      • Portable jumpstarter
      • Tire chains (already mentioned above)
      • Folding saw, if you're in a place where a fallen tree branch could block the road
    • Things I bring in my ski bag or get on the way:
      • Some spare food and water
      • First aid kit
      • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) if you'll be in a remote place and out of cell phone service (lives in first aid kit)
      • Full tank of gas (you can run the heat for a long time if you get stuck and need to camp overnight)
     
  20. Zed Ruhlen

    Zed Ruhlen Member

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    A friend in Fairbanks just posted a picture to Facebook of her Prius in a foot of snow. Amazing what you can do with the right tires. AWD is over rated.
     
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