chains,rentals and Yosemite

Sep 13th, 2011, 01:33 PM
  #1  
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chains,rentals and Yosemite

Hubbie and I will be in Yosemite October 10,11 and 12. We are planning on hiring a car in LA and making our way to Yosemite after spending time in Monterey. I have read about the "chain control areas" and the need for chains when conditions require. Are these areas in side the park and if we arrive at one without chains how easy is it to obtain chains at this point.
How expensive are they? Do rental companies allow them to be fitted to their cars.
I realise chances are that at that time snow probably won't be an issue but just need to know what to do in case it is.
As always, thanks.
suedownunder is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 01:46 PM
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I'd be astonished if you needed chains during that time. For example, the earliest that Tioga Pass Road has closed over the past 30 years is October 17. And usually it's much later. And Tioga Pass Road is at a much higher elevation than is the valley.

It's easy, but expensive, to buy chains in areas near Yosemite. However, rental car companies don't usually allow you to use chains on their cars.

I agree that it makes sense to be prepared - but I really don't think that you have anything to worry about.
Shanti is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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I agree with Shanti and if you have never driven with chains, you really shouldn't even consider doing so on a rental car even if they allow it .
emalloy is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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If you need chains in Yosemite Valley in Oct -- that would be the least of your problems

Almost 100% certain you wouldn't need snow chains. Don't worry about it.

(and if it is one of those times "when Hell freezes over" -don't even consider putting chains on a rental car. Among other things it would void your insurance.)
janisj is offline  
Sep 13th, 2011, 08:50 PM
  #5  
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Right then! I will not need chains in October.I guess I have to get over my "just in case" mentality".
Thanks for the replies.
suedownunder is offline  
Sep 14th, 2011, 12:30 AM
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There's nothing wrong with thinking about "just in case". While it's highly unlikely you will have snow during your trip....you have to think about the Donnor Party!

Utahtea
utahtea is offline  
Sep 14th, 2011, 02:46 AM
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That's just being mean

(And even that very worst case scenario . . The Donner Party was stuck a mile higher in altitude than Yosemite Valley. . .)
janisj is offline  
Sep 14th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Which reminds me , when we do travel to the mountains, even before snow/chains are likely to be needed, we always have a blanket and some food and water in the trunk of the car!
sf7307 is online now  
Sep 14th, 2011, 11:36 PM
  #9  
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I'm going to have to google Donner Party as I have no idea what you are referring to but it doesn't sound good!! Blankets???? I'll just bury myself in the clothing in my suitcase if need be or I can always cuddle my husband LOL !
suedownunder is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 07:06 AM
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Now look what you've started, utahtea. This thread may start veering into a new direction ;-)
Shanti is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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Sue, you should be more worries about the fact that we carry food
sf7307 is online now  
Sep 15th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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I miss spelled Donner. It's with an e not an o if you go searching. The Donner party were pioneers who got stuck in snow in the Sierra Mountains in Oct 1948 when they were coming to California in a wagon train.

Yes, it's worse, worse case scenario for sure!

utahtea is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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I am not sure of all the legal stuff, especially since your coming from overseas. But, I never take out the car rental insurance offered by the agency. I am pretty sure that my insurance would cover me if I had chains on my car or if I were on a dirt road. Some rental cars really frown on a dirt road and consider them off-roading. If you had to get chains there are probably two things that could happen. You could damage a tire/rim or you could do damage to the body of the car if the chain came off.
Maybe a 1 in 1000 chance that you will even need chains at that time of year and maybe 1 in 100 that the chains would cause damage if you did need them.

I did put chains on a rental in Sequoia NP one time. I also drove Titus Canyon in Death Valley in a rental(pretty sure I was being risky with that one).

I would certainly check with your insurance before you ever came about what and what you aren't covered on-whether you need chains or not.

Yosemite and Sequoia do sometimes allow 4 wheel drive or front wheel drives to not put the chains on, you would just have to have them with you.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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"I would certainly check with your insurance before you ever came about what and what you aren't covered on-whether you need chains or not.

Since 99+% of rental contracts forbid snow chains, it sort of doesn't matter if your own insurance would normally cover you. Since you'd be driving it in an unauthorized manner outside of the contracted terms, your ins. wouldn't need to accept the claim.
janisj is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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I just called my agent and he said I would definately be covered. My car insurance is with Guide One, btw.
Again, I certainly don't know what it would be out of the US, though. He said in a different country things can get tricky.

janis, I don't understand what you mean "my insurance wouldn't need to accept the claim"??????
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Your insurance company would not have to accept a claim for damages if you engaged in an activity that was forbidden by the rental contract. Your insurance probably has a clause that refuses coverage for intentional conduct--putting chains on a rental car, when it is forbidden by contract = intentional conduct. Remember insurance companies are in the business of making money for their shareholders, denying claims makes them money.
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Sep 15th, 2011, 05:21 PM
  #17  
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Well I'll just leave it up to my husband to work out the insurance aspect. I can understand where they are coming from but the implication is that thousands of tourists, and residents for that matter,who hire rentals can't travel to prime locations.
suedownunder is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 06:19 PM
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" . . . the implication is that thousands of tourists, and residents for that matter,who hire rentals can't travel to prime locations."

Not usually an issue between April and October - almost never between May and Sept. And only intermittently from Nov. to Mar. Even when there are really big winter storms -- chain controls may only last a day or two -- until the next storm.

Residents either own chains or rent them -- and putting chains on one's own car is not an issue w/ insurance. That only applies to Rental cars -and is a rule imposed by the car hire company.

Plus residents have the option - if there is a really huge storm, they can always wait til conditions improve. Visitors don't usually have that luxury. If they are in the area and the roads are closed or chains are required -they are out of luck.

But again -- this is all sort of academic since you should be absolutely fine in October (unless you aren't )
janisj is offline  
Sep 15th, 2011, 11:45 PM
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(unless you aren't )"

Ooooh wicked!!!!! LOL It's OK as I have decided to fall back on a good Aussie trait "She'll be right mate. No worries". There'll probably be a heat wave while we are there!
suedownunder is offline  
Sep 16th, 2011, 06:38 AM
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All this reminds me of a favorite bumper sticker, seen in West Hollywood several years ago. "Chains Required, Whips Optional"
Jeff801 is offline  

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