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College student in need of tire advice.......HELP PLEASE!

College student in need of tire advice.......HELP PLEASE!

Old Dec 30th, 2016, 01:55 PM
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College student in need of tire advice.......HELP PLEASE!

Hi, I am a freshman up at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia and have a serious dilemma. I am driving up for this next semester and I was Wondering how bad the winters are because i have all season tires and I was wondering if i am going to need to buy snow tires or if i'd be ok with my all season tires. I really don't want to buy them but if it is a necessary thing that i'll have to do then i'll go and buy the tires but if not i will just keep my all season tires. I am only wondering because i will drive through Georgia and both of the Carolinas as well as some of VA. I drive a Chevy Silverado 1500 LT that i inherited from my dad in August. I am a Florida girl to my core and have never been in the snow so that is why i am very unsure about this decision. The Highway that i am going to be taking is I-81. Please help because if i need the tires then i will want to get them before i start my drive up to school. Please help and thank you in advance.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 02:38 PM
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I live in metro DC area and no one here has snow tires that I know of. It only snows a couple times a year, to speak of, anyway.

I drive I81 in the winter at times to go skiing, there is certainly no problem on I81, it's a major highway and isn't going to have snow on it for long periods. Heck, I drive to the ski resorts on all weather tires, I wish there was more snow around this area, but there isn't much with global warming.

Salem is even farther south than I go. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. Sure, there may be a blizzard some day but you don't drive on those days, get off the roads as that is dangerous.

That's my opinion, anyway, but I don't live in the immediate area of Salem, see
http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate...tates/usva0659
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 03:15 PM
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Christina,
Thanks, It really has helped in my decision. I also spoke with a friend who lives there and he said the same thing. I just wanted to make sure and the way I drive i would not be on the road if there was a ton of snow because don't have much experience driving in the snow.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 04:05 PM
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We lived in Salem for 5 years and now live in Central Florida. At one time, Fancy Gap (en route) could be dicey, but that section as been greatly improved. Just drive carefully and be aware of icy places such as bridges. Salem will be fine.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 11:41 PM
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I live in New England and few people here get snow tires any more. All season tires have mostly replaced them except for people living in very rural areas with bad snow removal.

Anytime you have to make the drive, just be aware of weather forecast and allow enough time to delay your trip by a day or so if the weather is horrible. Once you get out of the more hilly area, winter storms sometimes bring ice instead of snow to those areas. Snow tires, unfortunately do very little for ice and its removal from roads is even more difficult.

Just be alert to weather, try to drive during warmer parts of the day on clear days, and don't tailgate or go too fast and you will be fine. Learning to drive in snow is a useful skill - just don't assume others around you are as careful as you should be.
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Old Dec 31st, 2016, 08:08 AM
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Technically speaking, true mud & snow tires are very specialized tires that should be used only on snow in winter months. When most people refer to snow tires they are actually referring all season tires that are fairly common to most cars. Your all season will be just fine under most conditions except really deep snow in the range of a foot or more. The other key regardless of tire type is the amount of tread on the tire. The more tread the better but at least a quarter inch or more.

You are probably good to go with what you have.
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Old Dec 31st, 2016, 06:22 PM
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That's all good advice. The only thing I wold add to it is to put 2 or 3 50lb. bags of sand over the rear axle and to carry a scoop shovel as well.
If you have a good amount of tread, you should be fine.
If you really have to get home to Florida, there are several trains (Silver Service and the Palmetto).
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Old Dec 31st, 2016, 10:28 PM
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Born in Salem, graduated from Roanoke College in the stone age. The climate link posted above reports an average of six inches of snow in each of December, January, and February. I-81 would be cleared quickly if there were snow in southwestern VA. However, once in awhile there can be deep snow in the area.

Roanoke College is a great choice, BTW.
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Old Jan 1st, 2017, 06:20 AM
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The bags of sand over the rear axle is an urban myth that has been disproved a dozen times but some folks continue to believe it. However, carrying a small shovel does have a little merit.
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Old Jan 1st, 2017, 06:44 AM
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It may be an Urban myth but having sand in the trunk and a shovel has gotten me back on the road more than once.
I have always lived in suburban and rural settings.
I remember having to dump milk when the bulk milk truck couldn't get to the farm for 11 days.
I have a bucket of sand beside the porch steps and I spread a handful on the steps and the path on the porch.
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Old Jan 1st, 2017, 08:36 AM
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I think the Urban myth part is that the weight of the sand bags give you better traction, which it's not enough weight to do, but the sand, shovel and some carpet samples placed under the tires can get you out of a snowbank.

Back in the day it was a teenager's right of passage in suburban MA to take the most beat up car down to an empty, parking lot and do donuts to learn how to drive in the snow. You learn real quick what happens when you try to steer out of a spin and what happens if you hit your breaks.

With no snow driving experience under your belt, stay off the roads until plows clear roads, or head to a very close empty parking lot
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Old Jan 1st, 2017, 01:29 PM
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Honestly, you are going to be on the interstate all the way. You will start climbing in elevation as you leave North Carolina into Virginia (Fancy Gap). You'll be in I-81 until the Salem exit. We more often had ice to contend with vs. snow - more freezing cold with the wind blowing through than the type of snow you'd see in the Northeast. The roads will be very well maintained.

Once you are on city streets, if there is snow, just keep in mind that turning and stopping will be more of an issue - leave plenty of room and take it easy.

Roanoke College is a very good choice. Oh, and June in the valley is heaven.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2017, 10:03 AM
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Thank you all very much! All of this advice is very helpful!
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