Tire chains for 2018 trailhawk - Jeep Compass Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Tire chains for 2018 trailhawk

Hey guys, this January I will climb to mount Hood, Oregon to go to a family meeting. Road to the cabin are treacherous and are poorly maintained, especially if it is snowing or recently snowed. At best, I would need to drive for 30-45 mins on compressed snow but if it snowed or snowing, it is not on common to have several feets of deep snow on the road.
So I am not worried much about ice, but more about getting stuck in deep snow. Family members will all come with various off-roaders but they all bring chains just in case. I normally do this trip with my 2006 grand Cherokee(which have chains), but this year I want to take the compass to there.

The issue is the manual suggests to not put on chains on TH. This is from the page 397 of the manual;

•For a 215/65R16 tire, use of a snow traction device with
a maximum projection of 7 mm beyond the tire profile is
recommended.

• No other tire sizes are recommended for use with a tire
chain or traction device.

So basically it is not recommended to put on chains on TH tires. Do you think it would be okay i I use low profile chains like the ones below (these are more like cables) and drive very slowly (below 15-20mph max)?

https://www.etrailer.com/Tire-Chains...leid=201864417

Ormaybe tire socks like Michelin Easy Grip.

Or worse, I can get something like this;

https://www.ebay.com/p/10-Pcs-Snow-T...ng/10004516453


Another option is to get studded snow tires, but I really dont want to drive those on dry pavement as they make hell of a noise and I need to drive around 250miles on road. Plus they dont make much of a difference on deep snow.

Last edited by Tripod; 10-24-2018 at 06:55 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 04:46 PM
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To really answer this we would need to know why Jeep doesn't want us running tire chains on the Trailhawk.

If they were worried only about clearance issues then I would think a low profile chain would be fine if you really check the clearance.

I worry there might be an issue with the drive system but I would think this would apply to all the Compass and not just the Trailhawk. It could be if there is an issue with the drive system that they just don't want people using chains at any speed on the street but crawling speeds might be ok.

I looked around a tiny bit on Jeep Renegade forums on this subject. Our Compass is so new we have yet to build up a decent database. Being our Compass is pretty much a Renegade with a different body shell and the Renegade has been around a lot longer it is my go to place to learn things not yet known with our Compass.

Some of the post there states that single speed pto system can be damaged by use of tire chains but it is ok on 2 speed units. A bit confusing as I thought all Renegades where single speed like ours and on their forms they are confused about that as well. There also might be an issue with the inside tires and the chains hitting the struts.


Most say a decent winter tire and good driving skills work just fine even in very bad conditions. So maybe swap out tires for some decent winter tires or even an AT tire with lots of siping to help grip any ice. Then I would invest in a recovery strap with no metal hooks or rings. Then see if you can meet up with another family member going to the cabin and travel together good safe practice any way. This way you can help pull each other out if needed. Also I would invest in a folding shovel and if you have a roof rack or rear hitch rack any place to store them some traction mats. A cold weather preparedness kit is also a good idea in case of a worse case scenario. With all this you should be able to handle almost anything.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chris Jacobs View Post
To really answer this we would need to know why Jeep doesn't want us running tire chains on the Trailhawk.

If they were worried only about clearance issues then I would think a low profile chain would be fine if you really check the clearance.

I worry there might be an issue with the drive system but I would think this would apply to all the Compass and not just the Trailhawk. It could be if there is an issue with the drive system that they just don't want people using chains at any speed on the street but crawling speeds might be ok.

I looked around a tiny bit on Jeep Renegade forums on this subject. Our Compass is so new we have yet to build up a decent database. Being our Compass is pretty much a Renegade with a different body shell and the Renegade has been around a lot longer it is my go to place to learn things not yet known with our Compass.

Some of the post there states that single speed pto system can be damaged by use of tire chains but it is ok on 2 speed units. A bit confusing as I thought all Renegades where single speed like ours and on their forms they are confused about that as well. There also might be an issue with the inside tires and the chains hitting the struts.


Most say a decent winter tire and good driving skills work just fine even in very bad conditions. So maybe swap out tires for some decent winter tires or even an AT tire with lots of siping to help grip any ice. Then I would invest in a recovery strap with no metal hooks or rings. Then see if you can meet up with another family member going to the cabin and travel together good safe practice any way. This way you can help pull each other out if needed. Also I would invest in a folding shovel and if you have a roof rack or rear hitch rack any place to store them some traction mats. A cold weather preparedness kit is also a good idea in case of a worse case scenario. With all this you should be able to handle almost anything.
I think the issue is clearance, because our manual states the info like this (sorry I didn't copy the entire thing first);

Tire Chains (Traction Devices)
Use of traction devices require sufficient tireto-
body clearance. Follow these recommendations
to guard against damage:

Traction device must be of proper size for
the tire, as recommended by the traction
device manufacturer.

Install on front tires only.

For a 215/65R16 tire, use of a snow traction
device with a maximum projection of
7 mm beyond the tire profile is recommended.

No other tire sizes are recommended for
use with a tire chain or traction device.

They seem to remove the warning about the PTO. And to be honest, like you, it also didnt make any sense to me. This morning I checked the front feel area and it is really tight. The suspension spring is maybe 2-3 inches above the tire and I think that is the issue. If the chain somehow gets caught up in that, it can damage the suspension strut. I will definitely bring a shovel and recovery equipment. We generally meet at Portland and travel together, so it will be like a small convoy of 4-5 cars. Lol I just dont want to be the family member who got stuck and had to be rescued. If si, I would need to listen to that story for the next 10 years, or until someone else gets stuck .
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 05:33 PM
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Uh oh...



You sparked my curiosity Tripod and got me to do some digging, and what I found out was rather interesting (to me).


We have a set of the Peerless "Auto-Trac" (automatic tensioning) listed in our wedding registry right now, something we want to acquire for future trips to visit family in Snoqualmie pass (WA) but probably won't have much use for in Minnesota. When I added them, I simply went and looked up what model # would fit our tires and gave it no more thought. I'm glad you got me to look a little closer.

I looked up that the smallest/tightest rating for tire chains is "S" class, for which a "minimum tread-face clearance" is required to be at least 1.46 inches (37 mm) and a minimum "side-wall clearance" of 0.59 inches (15 mm). That is to say, basically there needs to be about an inch and a half of open space between the tread of the tire and any part of the inside of the fender, and a little more than a half an inch between the sidewalls and any strut or hose or whatever on the inside of the tire.

OK so... do we have that? I promptly got out the scissors and cut myself a little piece of cardboard about 37mm long and 15mm wide, and out to the Jeep I went to do some exploring.

Most people are probably thinking the same first-thought as me, "that darn rear-tire and how its not positioned to be centered in the rear wheel well!" Let me point out first, the owners manual states in the Tire Chains section "Install on front tires only" in addition to the information Tripod quoted above. So technically speaking, Jeep throws the idea of putting tire chains on the back right out the window. I understand that in most cases chains would usually only be necessitated on the primary drive wheels but I also thought "if two chains are good, four must be better!" and had planned to have two sets to be able to do all four tires (I have two sets listed on our registry).

So already I am learning that I did not know enough about usage of tire chains to be buying (or asking other people to buy) a couple of sets for us. I looked and at least the sets I had picked out are "S class" so I didn't start out wildly off-base or anything, but now I must get to the bottom of it all...

Right, so, back to rear tires. Lets just say we choose to say "thanks but no thanks" to the manual's instruction of only installing chains on the front tires. How did my cardboard test pan out? Have a look for yourself:

Driver's Side rear tire:




As you can see, we don't quite make the clearance thanks to that stupid pinch point created by the tire not being centered in the wheel well. This is the only problem point I see for the rear tires.

I have the stock 225/55R18 continental tires. Generally speaking, a 225/55R18 is going to be approximately 27.7 inches tall and 8.9 inches wide. There is some variance from one manufacturer to another (just like with clothes/shoes), so actual measurements listed on tirerack for this specific tire are listed as 27.8 inches tall and 9.6 inches at the widest point (on a 7.5 inch wide rim).

The owner's manual says S class chains are ok if you are running a 215/65R16 tire, which generally speaking would be about 27.0 inches tall and 8.5 inches wide, give or take the slight variance from brand to brand.

This makes sense, just a little bit smaller tire and my cardboard test would pass, but who the heck wants to run SMALLER than stock tires on a Jeep? Pretty much nobody right? ..Other than a physics major who may pop in and point out that smaller diameter, lighter tires would technically slightly increase acceleration and handling performance, possibly MPGs too... but still, the principle of the matter, most of us just aren't going to do that. Its some kind of mental issue we have with size, eh?

Back to topic, everyone wants to know about the front now too right?

The front tire has plenty of room to clear the plastic fender liner all around, but, one place there might be an issue you might not immediately think of is clearance of the bottom of the strut spring:






I think in reality things would probably slide by here, but only if you have excellent-fitting chains or cables that do better than the minimum requirements for S-class chains. Just because the specification says 1.46 inches or whatever doesn't mean your particular set will actually be lifting that high off the face of the tread (hopefully). But when a tire is spinning the chain or cable would certainly be able to lift some amount and if its too much, or your chains become loose or break, they could really beat up the bottom of that spring perch....

Similarly in the back, good fitting chains or cables might not reach out and clobber that liner but ill-fitting ones sure could. As far as the insurance company is concerned, you have no leg to stand on if something goes awry and you get the snot beat out of your liners or spring perch, official instructions said you were supposed to be running a significantly smaller tire than stock AND not to put them on the back at all, so clean coverage for accidental damage here is probably non-existent, just some food for thought.

With all that in mind, those zip-tie based el-cheapo / one-time use / throw-away traction devices that Tripod linked to are starting to look really good. The zip-tie mechanism means they will fit as tightly as possible, no clearance issues, and they can't loosen. They can only break off, in which case being strips of plastic they don't weight enough to do any damage, they would probably just sling to the side of the road more or less harmlessly. What I don't know is whether something like that meets the requirements of local law enforcement for those regions in the mountains where tire chains can be legally required...

If anyone has some experience or knowledge in that area, I would like to know what would happen if we drove all the way from Minnesota to the mountains of WA, and suddenly say bad weather crops up and local highway patrol has elected to use their option of stopping and requiring all vehicles going through certain passes to have at least one set of tire chains... and all we have is a fistful of plastic zip-tie thingers to show them... are they going to let us through on that?

I think might need to pull one or both of those tire chain sets from our wedding registry...

I have seen first-hand some of the kind of damage that occurs when tire chains loosen and come flying off. Between that and the clearance issues I feel personally inclined to avoid using tire chains ever as much as possible, but I do want to be able to meet requirements to be allowed through a mountain pass in WA. If we drive all the frick way across Dakota and Montana just to get stopped because of bad weather cropping up and inability to safely fit and use chains when required, then our mighty Jeep has let us down in a big way.

This is a whole new level of deterrent for me on getting larger tires. Many of you know about my other thread where I agonized over whether I could or should get a little bit bigger tire when I replace these crappy stock tires. Right now clearance for chains in the front looks marginal, add even a half and inch to the sidewall height and the problem gets much worse

I do not want to have two sets of rims and tires just for mountain vacationing and daily driving at home. I don't want to run significantly smaller tires than what I have currently all the time just for one or two trips a year. Blarg!

Digging into this has really helped me a lot though so thanks again for sparking that, Tripod. I haven't posted on that other thread in a while but I have been looking some more at the two relevant sizes of Geolandar G015's and the Michelin Defender LTX's. Sh*t guys, I even have a spreadsheet:



A little embarrassed how much I over-analyze *everything* but hey, if it helps someone else at some point, then great. I realize its going to be a small set of 2nd gen Compass owners because I'm only ever looking at options for the 18 inch rims but whatever, I'll still throw it all out there, quite a few limited's floating around too.

Anyways those are the three tires I've been looking at and I want so badly to justify a "bigger" tire but I don't think its gonna happen. The stock size Geolandars in 225/55R18 are hands-down the best option for my needs. As you can see, actual measured height of the 225/55R18 Geolandars is actually a tenth of an inch SMALLER than my stock contis. It will about kill me to purposefully have something fitted that is even microscopically smaller than stock, from a mental standpoint, but every little bit will help when it comes to possibly having to make the decision to either put tire chains on my front wheels or turn around and drive 1000+ miles back home and cut our vacation short...

As long as I'm yacking about my spreadsheet lets note that the next size up Geolandars move from an SL to an XL rated tire and they become massively heavier. That was the main reason I was shying away from the 235/60/R18s, the weight/performance loss but now knowing that it would also destroy my clearance for possibly legally required snow chains... forget about it.

Another interesting thing I found regarding the Michelin Defender LTX; Although the smallest size they make for an 18 inch rim is 235/55R18, which would typically be about 28.2 inches tall, they actually run small and only measure at about 28.1 inches tall, ie only about 3 tenths of an inch taller than my contis (and a tenth wider) which means it turns out they would not really be a huge jump up. It would still hurt chain clearance, but not nearly like the 235/60 tire would. I'd have a much better chance of "getting away" with the Defenders if I was bound and determined to put something slightly bigger on.

Do you guys mind if I ramble just a little bit more? It really helps me, I come back and read what I wrote like some kind of weird public diary... Its at least partially relevant though I promise!

While I was out doing the cardboard test I had a thought about improving the clearance for chains. Much like with people who want to fit larger tires, there is some potential for wheel spacers to be of use in this area. Yes, I know, I've opened a whole new can of worms here and wheel spacers come with some major concerns but its all just hypothetical anyways. If a person had significant wheel spacers installed, say around an inch or 25ish mm, you would gain some distance from the bottom of the spring perch in the front, and you would also gain a little bit of distance from the plastic fender liner in the back. The rear fender "opens up" as you move towards the outside edge, its only on the inner-most part of the tread that the cardboard test fails...

You know where I am going with this... simply flop some 1 inch spacers on and the 1.5 or 2 inch lift kit and badda-bing-badda-boom, rear tire probably moved far enough away from the liner to meet S-class chain clearance requirements! Maybe even with one-size larger tire on!!!

I know what you are thinking, and, yes, I will do just about any mental gymnastic you can think of to try to justify to the future wife why we "need" to get a small lift kit and wheel spacers But I feel like I have a solid argument here. A lift and spacers would indeed help with the clearance for tire chains.

I'm straight outta luck on going to a 29 inch tire, though, until some aftermarket manufacture mercifully produces us some replacement struts that give us the same lift as the 1.5/2 inch spacers and move the springs up that distance. Man, that would help a lot, if such struts existed.

Ok, I'm finally done here. On behalf of everyone else, thanks a lot @Tripod for putting the quarter in me, but I'm happy with what I've figured out here today, helps me a lot for future planning. I guess I'll leave those chains on the registry for now, maybe we'll get them and then we'll have to get the spacers and lift so we can use them ...
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 07:23 PM
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arudlang, I wonder if Jeep is worried about drivetrain damage because a tire chain might get wrapped up in the front strut and suddenly stop a wheel at speed?

I have never been in a place that required tire chains do they want to see you just have them or want to actually see them on the vehicle? If they just want to know you have them toss them in even if you can't use them.

I'm not sure with the changes in tire tech and AWD/4WD tech these laws are up to date. I know we still have to work within them but it may be time to start educating our leares to make changes to these laws.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jacobs
I wonder if Jeep is worried about drivetrain damage because a tire chain might get wrapped up in the front strut and suddenly stop a wheel at speed?
It would certainly be devastating if chains lifted and grabbed onto that strut. Hopefully the chains would break first before anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jacobs
I have never been in a place that required tire chains do they want to see you just have them or want to actually see them on the vehicle? If they just want to know you have them toss them in even if you can't use them.
I don't have much experience in this area but the mrs is from Washington state and family lives in the mountains on the side of a ski slope in Snoqualmie, so I'm just going on what they have told us and what we saw signage-wise visiting them on summer trips. This page has some info I have found helpful: https://wsdot.com/winter/traction.htm

It seems they basically have 4 "levels" they can set depending on conditions, with the 1st level simply requiring MS/3PMSF tires, and the 4th level requiring tire chains no matter what. In-between are a range of exceptions for 4x4 vehicles and from what the family has said it comes down to the discretion of whatever officers are inspecting vehicles at the start of the pass. Most of the time just having a single set of chains on-hand should suffice for a 4x4 with decent tires.

They also have the option to close the pass entirely if conditions are bad enough, a winter trip is somewhat risky for us no matter what but I would want to be as equipped as I possibly could be for success. Having driven that mountain pass in the summer, I imagine its a sphincter-tightening experience even if you are only crawling along 30 MPH with tire chains, its a heck of a long ways down if you go over the rails...

Last edited by arudlang; 10-24-2018 at 07:53 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arudlang View Post
Uh oh...


I think in reality things would probably slide by here, but only if you have excellent-fitting chains or cables that do better than the minimum requirements for S-class chains. Just because the specification says 1.46 inches or whatever doesn't mean your particular set will actually be lifting that high off the face of the tread (hopefully). But when a tire is spinning the chain or cable would certainly be able to lift some amount and if its too much, or your chains become loose or break, they could really beat up the bottom of that spring perch....

Similarly in the back, good fitting chains or cables might not reach out and clobber that liner but ill-fitting ones sure could. As far as the insurance company is concerned, you have no leg to stand on if something goes awry and you get the snot beat out of your liners or spring perch, official instructions said you were supposed to be running a significantly smaller tire than stock AND not to put them on the back at all, so clean coverage for accidental damage here is probably non-existent, just some food for thought.

With all that in mind, those zip-tie based el-cheapo / one-time use / throw-away traction devices that Tripod linked to are starting to look really good. The zip-tie mechanism means they will fit as tightly as possible, no clearance issues, and they can't loosen. They can only break off, in which case being strips of plastic they don't weight enough to do any damage, they would probably just sling to the side of the road more or less harmlessly. What I don't know is whether something like that meets the requirements of local law enforcement for those regions in the mountains where tire chains can be legally required...

If anyone has some experience or knowledge in that area, I would like to know what would happen if we drove all the way from Minnesota to the mountains of WA, and suddenly say bad weather crops up and local highway patrol has elected to use their option of stopping and requiring all vehicles going through certain passes to have at least one set of tire chains... and all we have is a fistful of plastic zip-tie thingers to show them... are they going to let us through on that?

Yeah this morning I also realized that the suspension spring is a bit too close to the tire for me to feel comfortable. With these stuff, I always think what can be the worse possible way for it to fail. And with this, it can get caught up to the spring and it will either break the chain or it will damage the spring itself. A broken chan can also fall back on to the wheel and wrap around the axle, which will be a big lol moment because you wont be able to get it out without tools.

In terms of Washington rules for "zip-chains", as a resident I can tell you that it would be up to the highway patrol officers interpretation. Since these cars are 4wd or awd, officer will most likely not make a scene about it and let you go . Snoqualmie pass has several levels of traction requirement. It starts with chains for heavy trucks, goes with chains must be present inside the vehicle and end up with chains for every vehicle including 4wd and awd. For all the years I have been here and passed through the snoqualmie pass, There has only been 2 instances I remember that everyone had to chain up or go back. Both were extreme events (something like 10 feet of snow fell in 24hours) and the pass was eventfully closed. Snoqualmie pass is a dangerous pass in winter time because it has a lot of traffic, it is relatively steep and there is the risk of avalanches. Most of the pass closes due to avalanche risk. Here is their website for these levels;

https://wsdot.com/winter/traction.htm

On top of the zip tie chains, I also found the following, which look a bit better and would probably not destroy anything .

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._rd_i=15706671

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._rd_i=15706671

https://www.amazon.com/Zone-Tech-Car...chains+for+car

https://www.amazon.com/Michelin-9800...7ZCB7H2ACAWP1M


There is also these kind of "chains" that will definitely work with front wheels because they dont require clearance near the back of the wheel. However, at ~$400, they are not cheap.

https://www.etrailer.com/Tire-Chains...SABEgJsDvD_BwE


All in all I am surprised that they didnt think of chains while designing the car. All the passes here in washington and oregon can have mandatory chain up events. Even California passes can have those.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Also, I cannot stress this enough. Anyone who gets any type of traction device that you need to install on the road. Please practice installing it at least once on dry pavement before going to the road. They all look easy to install based on the manual. But when it comes to installing them on the road, during a snowstorm, things get way complicated. Its not as easy to put it on a tire that is covered by a frozen slurry of mud, salt while its snows, cars passing next to you and sliding and an officer yelling everyone to hurry up. You hand will go numb from the cold during installation, so it is better to have some sort of muscle memory of installing chains. They require considerable amount of pulling and pushing, it wont fit on a wheel like a sock, you need to force it and it needs to be very very tight. If it is not done properly, it can go off the wheel and wrap around the axle. So please make sure it is done properly. Ask someone if you are not sure, people wont kill you if you ask them for help.

It would also be great if you get gloves that cover your arms until the shoulders. You would literally need to hug the wheel to put on tire chains. Almost all tire chains have a part that you need to reach behind the wheel and connect. You will be covered in mud without gloves.
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Last edited by Tripod; 10-24-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-24-2018, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arudlang View Post

If anyone has some experience or knowledge in that area, I would like to know what would happen if we drove all the way from Minnesota to the mountains of WA, and suddenly say bad weather crops up and local highway patrol has elected to use their option of stopping and requiring all vehicles going through certain passes to have at least one set of tire chains... and all we have is a fistful of plastic zip-tie thingers to show them... are they going to let us through on that?

Okay I find a guide to what "alternative traction devices" are approved by washington state as chains. The link to it is this;

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/alternatives.htm

These are the devices;

http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/image...ion_device.pdf

Hope this helps
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-01-2018, 04:01 PM
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All I have to add to this lengthy (and eye opening) discussion is my personal experience...which likely won't help anyone in their analysis here. I was in Lake Tahoe during a pretty good snow storm and the snow accumulated to about 5-6 in. over night, and that was on top of the snowfall from the previous days prior to my trip. Anyways...a lot of snow! "Chains Required" restrictions were placed on most of the major roads in the area UNLESS you had 4 wheel drive AND snow tires. As I approached the Cal-Trans (agency placing the road restrictions) check-point, they simply took one look at my Trailhawk and waved me through.

I don't know if it was the Jeep badge, or the fact that it was a Trailhawk with slightly "knobbier" tires than other MP models, but they didn't even think twice about letting me through. I had bought chains right before the trip just in case, but I just went out and bought a set that fit my tire size and didn't do any of the research y'all are digging into (shame on me).

Long story short, I just switched into Snow mode on the SelecTerrain system and she handled like a champ! Other vehicles were slipping and sliding all over the place...not us! The road we were on this particular day was wide, but was mostly up and down hills most of the way (mountains...duh). No issues whatsoever. Just take it slow and enjoy the ride!

Again, sorry I have nothing to add about chains and specs, etc...just trying to give you guys a little peace of mind when traveling in the snow!
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-17-2019, 03:50 PM
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We bought our Compass Trailhawk a year ago today. As we now have a condo on Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state, I decided to check out chains. That's when I came to the conclusion that we have 17 inch rims. No chains allowed with that size....on a Jeep! Grrr.
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-17-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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We bought our Compass Trailhawk a year ago today. As we now have a condo on Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state, I decided to check out chains. That's when I came to the conclusion that we have 17 inch rims. No chains allowed with that size....on a Jeep! Grrr.
I decided to buy Autosocks. Never had to use them, but still, I keep them in the trunk just in case.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-20-2019, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotAl
we now have a condo on Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state
Thats where my wife's grandparents live! You might be neighbors! They are the folks with twin matching powder blue Subarus

They used to have a truck which they had a second set of studded rims and tires for but I don't know if they run studs on the cars now. Wouldn't help you much to have a set of studded tires sitting up in the pass probably, if you are trying to get to the condo and can't reach them...

You could get a second set of rims with the size specified by the book for chains and then put dedicated snow tires on them to switch to in the winter. Then you'd have ideal tires and the specified size for chains. Don't blame ya if thats too much hassle though. I refuse to maintain a second set of rims and tires, I'll just run the best tire I can find for my rim (which on the 18 inchers is probably the Yokahama Geolandar G015)

So long as the thin passenger-style cable chains fit snug you should be ok if you have to use them on the front tires. Not officially ok, but, more than likely it will be fine.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-20-2019, 01:22 PM
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Location: Two locations in NH: One near Concord, the other at the 45th.
Posts: 597
 
My Dad used to keep a set of old summer tires mounted with chains in the back of our wagon. The chains would be installed under ideal circumstances, probably in our garage on a sunny September afternoon. He ran snow tires in the winter and the extra set of tires gave him some weight back there to help a RWD vehicle in normal snow. If chains were required, it was no worse than changing two tires. I distinctly recall doing it on the way home from church one Easter Sunday with Grandma in the back seat while we did it!
Jasmine is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 08-23-2019, 05:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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Hey everybody just thought I would share something useful and not negative for a change ( don't expect it to last =P )

I've been eyeing tire chains on amazon ever since we got our Compass. I've watched the price fluctuate a lot, usually around $100 in the winter and dipping to the $60-$70 range in the summer.

A couple of times now I have been surprised at walmart's aggressive price whooping so I've been starting to cross-check there a little more often and had some big wins recently. Now, it was really tricky with the autotrac chains because for reasons unknown to me they list an entirely different part # for tire chains sold at walmart vs anywhere else. So if you look up the tire chains on amazon it will be some random number, but then if you use autotrac's website and look it up they will list both a walmart and a non-walmart number.

Its weird, annoying, confusing, I don't know if its truly the same set of chains or not, and it just adds to the headache of buying chains because even the tires listed on autotrac's website for this walmart part # was slightly different than the listed tire sizes on the chains I received (but the # was correct).

So, to save people some trouble you can now benefit slightly from what I learned with the application of two advil and a few of my dollars:

Walmart Peerless Autotrac Tire chains #0155510 fits the stock trailhawk wheels and tires pretty decent, and they are much much cheaper (at the time of this writing).

I paid only $39.31 a set. At that price I bought two sets.

I know we talked about how clearance is an issue and blah blah blah, but for me it came down to
1) I have to at least have them in the car to show the officials at snoqualmie pass if we run into really bad weather out there for a ski trip (probably won't have to put them on)
2) I would have desperately tried anything, including these chains, when I got stuck last winter (some of you might remember reading about that experience)
3) At $40 a set, I felt like I was getting a deal since I had been watching prices go between $60 and $100 on amazon for a couple years.

Anywho, enough typing. Who wants to see some photos?












Aaaaand now for more typing!

So on the peerless/autotrac website they DO list the 215/65R17 tire for these chains, walmart #0155510. Whats interesting is that the packaging does NOT show that size. Peeps with the 225/55R18 tires will be happy to know that size is listed on the packaging and on the website. Thats good, so basically these chains should fit both sets of my tires right now. Its kind of a moot point for me, I won't be running on my 18s once we get into late fall/early winter, but still good to know I could probably throw them on if I have a repeat incident like last year where I was totally stuck on my bald continentals.

It looks like these chains should/might work for one size up in tires as well, but I won't trust anything until I try it myself personally. I figured this would still be good info for lots of people who now have some mileage on their stock TH wheels and tires, and even the Limited trim guys to some extent. I hope not to need these but I already have needed them once and didn't have them last winter, so even if its just for 15 feet to get me unstuck it will be worth having them.

As a mini-review, I don't want to repeat stuff you can easily read on the regular reviews of these chains but they do seem really nice and they are super easy to put on. (Well, obviously its going to be easy in my garage working on a tire thats not even on the car, but still...) I was pleasantly surprised how much pulling force their ratcheting mechanisms put on the cable, that seemed sketchy to me sight un-seen but in person it seems like it should work well. Still, keep a pile of zip ties in your car just in case, zip ties are always handy. Some reviewers have had the ratchets break on them after an unknown amount of use in unknown conditions. That seems like a believable thing that could happen and that is what pushed me over the edge to buy two sets. You really only need one set but if one ratchet breaks well then you have some backup, is how I look at it. For $40 I was fine with that. For $100 I was not.

Anyways thats all I've got for now. Don't send me no thank-yous, I'll probably be back to typing angrily at someone in a few hours when I'm in that bad place between waking up and having coffee
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