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  1. #1


    As you may have seen in my other post, we are planning a road trip in California in April. Thinking along the lines of Highway 1/101 south from San Francisco then back north up 395 and back to SFO airport via Lake Tahoe.

    We will be renting a car for this trip. Can anyone advise me about needing snow chains for the 395 part - is it likely we will need them in April? Does anyone know which companies allow them? Where do we get them from? Are snow tires/all weather tires an alternative?


  2. Default Probably OK without them

    I'm not an all-year expert on that route, but my gut feeling is you won't likely need chains on US395 in April. Bob

  3. #3

    Default I'm not an expert either

    Hwy 395 is mostly at low enough elevation so you probably won't need them there but no guarentees. Keep in mind you will have to travel over a mountain pass either on I-80 or Hwy 50 to get from Lake Tahoe to SF and it can snow in April.


  4. #4
    Alan Guest

    Default re snow chains

    Hi Ann

    I am also planning to drive 395 in mid April and would prefer to have snow chains but have not found a rental company that allows them.
    Therefore if you or anyone else can recommend a rental company in the San Francisco Airport area that allows snow chains it would be a great help to me

  5. #5



    Try Dollar. Virgin holidays use them for people driving to ski resorts in California and mention in their brochure about chains - I contacted Dollar, both via their UK and US web sites. I got two slightly different stories! One reply said they do not supply chains but you can buy them easily enough (so I suppose this means they do allow them) and the other said all Dollar cars are fitted with all-weather tyres so you don't need chains - from reading on here and elsewhere I get the impression that under some conditions your tyres are checked and if they are good enough you don't need chains. We are planning to wait and see what the weather's like - if there is snow around we will get chains, otherwise do without.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default There is little tolerance


    Once a "chain restriction" is imposed on California/Nevada roads -- there are very few exceptions to avoid using chains. About the only one I have ever seen was when the vehicle in question had studded snow tires. Any your rental is not going to be equipped with such tires (or tyres).

    It is very easy to purchase chains in the USA -- just about any auto parts store sells them.

    And, of course, the liklihood of a winter/spring snowstorm that would be sufficient enough to require the implementation of chain restrictions is pretty unlikely.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-10-2005 at 10:14 PM.

  7. Default Snowchains in April on 395

    I've got a feeling about THIS April -- BEST to HAVE snow chains WITH you in areas where there is a possibility you might need them. Mother Natures going to be kicking up her heels this spring. :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Yeah, you are probably right

    I have been watching that low pressure bulge moving eastward across the Pacific and I think there is a darn good chance for measurable snow on US-395 in the next couple of weeks.


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