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      10-28-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
Lucky1
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Road trip across climates with winter tires

I'm planning a potential road trip to either New Orleans or Miami leaving from Toronto, Canada to occurring sometime after Christmas. I was thinking of bringing the 1er but I have one concern (not including the lack of a spare tire and no RFTs of course . Concern is as follows: by the time we leave winter will be in full force and I will need to have my winter tires on to drive the first leg of the trip. The weather in either U.S. destination is much too warm for winter tires but for most trip itself it would be very unwise (dangerous) to drive my summer tires due to the winter weather.

Has anyone else ever had this dilemna? How would you deal with this situation? The options I can think of are:

1. Drive the winter tires the whole way there and back (how fast will I rip through these tires doing this?)

2. Bring the summer tires down and swap them out with the winter tires once the warm southern climate is reached (logistically not wise; takes up space and adds weight, increases fuel consumption)

3. Keep an extra set of summer or all season tires waiting for you at your destination (expensive; only works for the Florida destination as there is a family home I can stash them at, still have to drive all the way to the house with the winter tires on incurring too much warm weather wear)

4. Buy some all season type tires in Toronto that can do both winter and summer climate driving and use them the entire trip (expensive, now have two sets of tires to store at any given time, compromised performance in both climates)

5. Fly and rent a car (no Bimmer at destination and no road trip!!)

6. Drive my friend's Toyota Echo (no 1er but at least its a 5 spd, is good on gas and has a spare tire)

7. Defer the trip til the spring when I can drive with the summer tires on the whole trip



Anyone else have this challenge? Curious what the snowbirds or other road trippers do when you have the dedicated summer/winter tire thing going.

Last edited by Lucky1; 10-28-2012 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Thought of one other option (all season tires)
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      10-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat. Leaving Boston/Ithaca NY in January for a 5-month stay in Los Angeles . No room to bring along four extra tires. Do I get winters, and then re-buy summers? Gotta figure out how to pull this off on the cheap.
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      10-28-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fs454 View Post
I'm in the same boat. Leaving Boston/Ithaca NY in January for a 5-month stay in Los Angeles . No room to bring along four extra tires. Do I get winters, and then re-buy summers? Gotta figure out how to pull this off on the cheap.
Do you already have winters? If so since you are going to stay in LA for 5 months maybe it makes sense to buy some used all season tires or winter performance tires and just drive down on them and sell them when you return?
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      10-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Do you already have winters? If so since you are going to stay in LA for 5 months maybe it makes sense to buy some used all season tires or winter performance tires and just drive down on them and sell them when you return?
Nah, just got the car a few months ago and all I have is the stock 261M wheels/runflats that are currently on the car. I definitely am trying to go the used route.
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      10-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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If you were going to do a track day in warm weather on winter tires you might have a problem. Normal driving should be no issue. The traction will not be what summer tires would have but should be fine as long as you don't get too "spirited". Winter weather in the south is also not terribly warm. Maybe 50s for high and around freezing for lows. Winter tires are not a terrible idea even in the southern U. S..

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      10-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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I have my winters on now, Pirelli winters, and I will be leaving after Christmas for 3 months in the Palm Springs area. I intend to leave the winters on, and not worry about it.
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      10-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Spare tire isn't an issue. Buy yourself a continental tire pump/flat repair kit and you are covered. If you get a flat just pump, it up. I got a nail in my tire and just gave it a shot with the air pump (didn't use any slime as it was a slow leak) and it held fine till I got to the tire store. If you are in the middle of nowhere just go for the full sealant/slime option and it will fill the hole.
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      10-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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To the OP; if you decide on performance winters (Dunlop Wintersport 3Ds for example), you'll have a comfortable, safe trip both ways
and I wouldn't think you'd tear them up. If you go with dedicated (non-performance) snows you probably won't be thrilled with the
noise, handling, etc. once you're clear of the white stuff. Since our streets aren't covered with snow here for the entire winter season,
I'm a big fan of performance snows. It doesn't feel like you're rolling around in a truck for four months.
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      10-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD View Post
If you were going to do a track day in warm weather on winter tires you might have a problem. Normal driving should be no issue. The traction will not be what summer tires would have but should be fine as long as you don't get too "spirited". Winter weather in the south is also not terribly warm. Maybe 50s for high and around freezing for lows. Winter tires are not a terrible idea even in the southern U. S..

Jim
+1. I would just roll on winters and not think twice about it.
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      10-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
+1. I would just roll on winters and not think twice about it.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess I was under the impression that the tires would wear very fast in the warmer climates and I'd be buying new tires the following season as a result?
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      10-30-2012, 06:31 AM   #11
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Watch the forecast before you go. It there are no active storms for the ON, NY, PA area just go with the summers. You'll be on highways most of the time and they always get cleared first.

I would probably also take the more coastal route (81 from Syracuse) and avoid 77 through the mountains of WV. I just drove to Spatanburg SC (from Buffalo) this weekend and while 77 through WV was nice (scenic and no traffic) I could imagine they get a fair amour of snow. While the Philly to DC area shouldn't require snows.

It's the same gamble on the drive back. Worst case spend an extra day in Philly an drive slower through the lake effect flurries in WNY.
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      10-30-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamHere View Post
It's the same gamble on the drive back.
Not a "gamble" I'd want to take. It's not just snow, if he runs into temps below 40 on dry pavement the summer rubber compound
will be dangerous to be on grip-wise. Plus, the OP is gonna need snows anyway if he plans on getting anywhere in a Toronto winter.
Sweating out weather forecasts when you should be concentrating on good times is no way to spend a vacation.
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      10-30-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Not a "gamble" I'd want to take. It's not just snow, if he runs into temps below 40 on dry pavement the summer rubber compound
will be dangerous to be on grip-wise. Plus, the OP is gonna need snows anyway if he plans on getting anywhere in a Toronto winter.
Sweating out weather forecasts when you should be concentrating on good times is no way to spend a vacation.
Fair enough... I'm in Buffalo and I run performance all-seasons during late March to early December, and snows in the winter on my cars. So even my "summer" tires can handle the cold temps and can make it though a Thruway flurry without too much sweat.

So the gamble in my head is if I'm going to get hit with 6"+ surprise.
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      10-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
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+1. I would just roll on winters and not think twice about it.
+2 roll on the snows, this one trip will not ruin them.
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