driving in Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Dec 21, 2011.

  1.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Have you checked what the provincial highway guidelines for winter driving in Alberta are? BC requires snow tyres. Does Alberta?
     
  2.  
    gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    I'm not aware of any travel insurance policies that also do full car cover.

    Hopefully chondto can enlighten us
     
  3.  
    oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

    In looking into this question a few months back in preparation for a road trip involving BC and AB going into October I couldn't find anything specific, the opposite in fact i.e. apparent confirmation that they do not have any regulations such as BC (or, for that matter WA and OR south of the border) regarding the necessity to carry chains or at least fit M+S / All Weather, as opposed to All Season tires on the mountain passes into the interior.

    So for example http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/content/doctype34/production/winterdrivingtips.pdf has nothing about tires nor does http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/2018.htm wherein it has a section on ice and snow - nothing about tires.
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  4.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Then don't assume that "All our trucks are outfitted with tires that meet the provincial highway guidelines for winter driving in Alberta." means winter tyres. It means that they comply with all regulations. Apparently those regulations do not mandate winter tyres, so that quote does not mean the truck will have winter tyres. It may also mean that you cannot cross the border into BC, where winter tyres are required.
     
  5.  
    Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  6.  
    gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

  7.  
    snowtyres

    snowtyres Active Member Season Pass Gold

    Google is your friend………….

    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType34/Production/Information About Winter Tires.pdf

    THE LAW IN ALBERTA Currently, the province of Alberta does not make it mandatory for vehicles to be equipped with winter tires during the winter months. However, Alberta Transportation does recommend that driving in severe winter conditions that vehicles are equipped with four winter or all-weather tires for improved traction and control.

    http://www.albertawow.com/tourist_info.htm

    Tire Requirements In Alberta there are no provincial regulations requiring the use of either snow tires or chains. These tires are "needed when conditions warrant it." Generally, this implies the routes to ski resorts. While it is legal in Alberta to use snow road technology such as chains and studded tires, these are usually only needed for extreme driving conditions on highways. The Rubber Manufacturers Association follows a standard in making snow tires. Any tire marked, "Snow tires," "Mud and snow," or "M/S" meets the standard.


    In British Columbia provincial law states that vehicles in the mountains must be equipped with either snow tires or chains from November 1 – April 30.

    “This video (Montreal) is why winter tyres are a must have”

     
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  8.  
    blowfin

    blowfin Active Member

    Is getting a hire car company in Vancouver to fit snow tyres to a winter season rental any easier than it used to be? I remember asking for them once and the response I got seemed intended to make me feel like I was asking for a gold plated car.
     
  9.  
    Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    It's quoted in pounds so that would rule out EU residents..........................LOL
    P.S. I havn't checked either.
     
  10.  
    Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    Had a look now and looks good to go.
    From the Terms and conditions...............
    Eligible Persons
    a) Any person resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) at the time of purchase of this policy. You must hold a driver’s licence which entitles You to rent and drive the Rental Vehicle in the country where You are renting and driving the Rental Vehicle. You must also be: 1. aged between 21 and 85 years of age, and 2. eligible to rent and drive the Rental Vehicle. 3. be named on the Rental Vehicle Agreement (up to a maximum of 9 drivers).
    b) Any person who is a resident of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) (other than Cuba or Iran) at the time of purchase of this policy. You must hold a driver’s licence which entitles You to rent and drive the Rental Vehicle in the country where You are renting and driving the Rental Vehicle. You must also be: 1. aged between 21 and 85 years of age, and 2. eligible to rent and drive the Rental Vehicle, and 3. be named on the Rental Vehicle Agreement (up to a maximum of 9 drivers).

    Underwritten by Allianz Global Assistance Europe.
    80 Pounds or $136 Australian looks great for 12 months in USA & Canada.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
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  11.  
    Zimboo

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    65 days continuous cover on one single trip when purchasing the annual cover.
     
  12.  
    oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

    The AB tire regulation or lack thereof reminds one of how country roads used to not have designated speed limits, but that didn't mean one would never be pulled over for driving too fast.
     
  13.  
    gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Sounds quite promising

    Where's the teeny print
     
  14.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Well here is hoping my hire car comes minimum with M & S tires. Seems like it is a lottery draw trying to pre arrange.
     
  15.  
    gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    You will get M&S as a minimum.

    My last 2 rentals had these and they were fine
     
  16.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    yes same with us. We did pick up some chains also though as we had to travel through 6 passes, didn't want to rely just on 4WD and M+S tyres. Never have had to fit chains though.
     
  17.  
    oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

    Indeed. Last time in Nth America I had a Toyota Sequoia, AWD fitted with M+S tires standard fitting, going for that size to maximise the chances of getting such a configuration. The tire was marked M+S and looked like it had decent traction tread but I googled it and while it was a standard pickup truck tire in Nth America, the tire for reviews about how they handled snow returned an almost unanimous verdict that they were next to useless even on the flat, let alone on any slope.
     
  18.  
    Research101

    Research101 Active Member

    We used enterprise in Europe last year and only had the basic CDW, we paid with our Westpac card which added cover on the excess, we had a small dent on the bumper when we returned the van, they told us not to worry about it as minor damage, anyway 1 month later we get a bill on the C-card $2K, we were able to claim back all but $500 which was the excess on the credit card, so all was ok
    A lot of paperwork to and fro but it saved us $1500
     
  19.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    @Research101 ...Thanks for the feedback! Good result in the end!
     
  20.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    My Silverado's factory tire is a Goodyear Wrangler SR-A, which has the M+S designation. Traction has been fine in all situations it's seen in almost 60,000 km of year round driving. Drove back from Lake Louise last night in very low temperatures, the vehicle was stable and comfortable at normal highway speeds. I'm pretty sure full size trucks all get M+S as factory rubber. Chances are you won't even need to ask about winter tires because your truck's standard OEM tires will be M+S.
     
  21.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Thanks Sly. What sort of Silverado you got? I may end up with the Silverado. They say it will be a Dodge Ram 1500 or equivalent...Silverado..or Ford 150. They all look pretty tough
     
  22.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Mine is a 2014 Silverado 1500 crew cab LT. Superbly comfortable, roomy vehicle for road trips, winter or summer. Just went to LL and back, 1000 km round trip, encountered rainy/slushy roads going there and -20 snow on the way back. The tires are 60,000 km old now yet gave reliable traction in a wide range of temperatures. I had some reservations about performance in really cold weather, because M+S don't have the same compound as a true winter so they tend to become stiff and hard in the cold. The concern was unfounded as I had no issues at all. We had mornings in the -30s and the snow was so dry and grippy it made for awkward, noisy manouevring in the parking lot. The only place where I had a loss of traction was at the busiest intersection in Kelowna, all the cars lined up there waiting for lights to change have caused the snow to partly melt and then it re-freezes at night when traffic is light. And then a succession of vehicles before me locking up the brakes have polished it to skating rink quality ice.

    I optioned mine up with some goodies for the winter - heated seats, heated mirrors, heated steering wheel, remote engine start. If you have a choice of rental vehicle and one of them has remote start, take it. You'll love getting into a semi-warm vehicle in the morning and having hot air available for the defroster to finish off your scraper job on the windscreen.

    BTW I tracked my fuel consumption on the trip to LL, 11.9 L/100 km average, and that included 10 minutes of warm up each morning and afternoon because of the cold temps. Three people and a lot of gear on board. That's impressive for a normally aspirated 5.3L V8 in a 2400 kg body. The Dodge 5.7 Hemi will be a good bit more thirsty than that.
     
  23.  
    Chillybin

    Chillybin Active Member

    I struggled to find any insurance that would cover the excess where you didn't have full insurance cover in the first place. There will be so many people that believe they're covered and are not. The Cdw was on made mandatory in the last year or so. It's a shame it's such a grey area but I guess insurance companies need every advantage they have to make money off the negligent
     
  24.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Looks like a very nice rig. That's impressive fuel mileage as well. Width wise enough room to store the boards in rear seat of dual cab? Also what's the approximate cost of fuel in BC? I will cetainly be happy with any of these vehicles in this class. I only see us doing this when we pull into a town etc & we don't want the boards sitting in tray. Thanks for the info on the tires....feeling at ease that they should be fine.
     
  25.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Snowboards will fit across the rear seat, I haven't done it but the measurements say yes.

    If you're renting from a BC location, you should be able to insist on M+S tires at the least. Those (or winters) are required by law for virtually all highways in the province. Renting a vehicle that cannot legally use highways would place unreasonable limitations on the customer. With trucks it's a moot point because those almost all come with M+S right from the factory. The mainstream rental outfits all flip their vehicles sometime around 20-24 months old so the OEM rubber is likely to be still in place. Definitely worth checking the condition and designation of all four tires before committing to the vehicle.
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  26.  
    gortonator

    gortonator Active Member

    Amazingly after 15 years and zillion miles driving in BC, this 'winter tires' thing had totally eluded us until last week when Vancouver radio said cops were doing tire checks at start of Sea-to-Sky. In US as long as you have 4WD you are basically in compliance and don't need chains. Good tires help of course!!

    We have a less than one year old Jeep Cherokee Sport with all season tires factory fitted. With AWD/4WD they handled some evil crossings of Snoqualmie pass last year without a wobble. so we're confident, but now I need to check if these are M+S thingies. They better had be!! Will be heading over the 49th again soon :eek:
     
  27.  
    snowtyres

    snowtyres Active Member Season Pass Gold

  28.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Weird. NB and its cities get some of the biggest dumps of snow in Canada and they won't make good rubber mandatory.
     
  29.  
    gortonator

    gortonator Active Member

    We're safe to drive there - out tires have M+S on them :cool:
     
    :thumbs: sly_karma likes this.
  30.  
    snowtyres

    snowtyres Active Member Season Pass Gold

  31.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Everyone in the interior is pissing themselves laughing about Vancouver and its salt emergency. God help them when the big earthquake hits.
     
  32.  
    gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    how will salt fix that? LOL
     
  33.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Bought a 20 kg bag of ice melter mix a couple of days ago at the building supply where I get most of my materials. They had an almost full pallet on the shop floor, and a quick inventory search said they had another couple of pallets in stock. Thought crossed my mind to buy a pallet of it and have them forklift it right into my truck bed, make a quick and profitable trip to Vancouver...
     
  34.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    So we tested our Dodge Ram 1500 with M & S tyres on Sunday night. We had to drive for 200 kilometers in blizzard conditions from Calgary to Fernie in full darkness. Visibility was 20 meters if that. It was an experience. We made it ok....passed x2 vehicle's stacked into the side banks off the roads left for another day recovery, and got ours bogged in the side of the highway when a nature stop was required. M & S tyres are useless! I'm surprised they allowed to fit vehicles with these over here. Even with 4wd engaged these tyres wouldnt reverse out of the snow. It was flat & around 10 cm - 15 cm deep. Don't get me wrong with roads that are mostly cleared or compacted snow they are ok but as soon as the snow gets a little deeper they are very average. Do the job for most conditions but really in my opinion not much better than a standard road tyre. As long as you apply common sense the tyres will get you by...but certainly not a performance tyre. My view may be harsh but this is coming from someone that runs a AT road tyres back in Aus full time and is comparing M & S Tyres to these. Now that I know the M & S tyres capability I will be simply driving accordingly and not pulling off side of road into anything that remotely looks like 10cm or more! Thanks to the ace Canadians that pulled over happily pulling me out with some proper trucks set up for the conditions. Love the abundance of awesome pick up trucks out here. Eye candy everywhere!
     
  35.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    @Cham - what tires does your Ram have, and what pressure are they set at? Seems odd to get stuck in the conditions you describe. I'm working on a project at the moment that has a steep winding gravel drive with average slope 10%, corrugations on the hairpin corners, and a tricky mix of melt/freeze snow due to varying sun exposures. We have to chain up my RWD cargo van despite its studded winters, but 4WD vehicles with M+S just walk out of there with nary a slip or slide.

    Haha, when I had to buy a set of chains the other day for this project, I thought back about chains over the years and I do believe this is the very first time I've owned them (always went to the Aussie snow in other people's vehicles). Definitely the first time I've fitted chains since I started living in Canada in 1988.
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  36.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    We have never had an issue with M+S and 4WD in deeper snow, specially around the resorts and rest areas off the main highways. I think maybe they were a shit brand that have been fitted to your rental or wrong pressure.
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  37.  
    snowtyres

    snowtyres Active Member Season Pass Gold

    As you have detailed in you post Cham the M+S rating really doesn’t really mean much.
    M+S tells you nothing about whether a tyre is any good at handling cold ice and snow conditions as it is only a set of guidelines about tread pattern, it means absolutely nothing in safety terms.

    This road test video shows “see how little an “M+S” designation on a set of tires can actually mean”

    http://www.tfltruck.com/2016/02/raptor-rescue-2016-range-rover-sport-td6-video/
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  38.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    It's true, they're just a chunkier tread pattern. Apparently the Goodyears that Chev trucks get as factory rubber are a good deal better than what Dodge uses!
     
  39.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Sorry been offline enjoying this great country of yours! The tyres are Bridgestone Dueler H/L. You are probably right with the tyre pressure Crystal. I was shocked when I couldn't back it out of the snow. It was probably more like 20cm deep. Just wouldn't budge even after putting into L4WD. It's been fine since but you do need to watch the cornering when there is snow or appears to be icy. I am running the vehicle in what the Ram calls lock 4wd which I imagine is basically H4. It's a lovely vehicle to drive. Heaps of stick & very smooth.
     
  40.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Question I am driving from Nelson to Revelstoke tomorrow. There is some snow forecasted tonight & tomorrow. What are the roads like on this route. Are there many mountain passes? Cheers
     
  41.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    @sly_karma it would probably be a slow drive.....high avalanche and snowiest part of Canada. Check BC roads before you leave. Take lots of water, bug juice for the washers and and some food.
     
  42.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    We have a Ford Expedition...top of the range with all the bells and whistles...very nice and a monster, even the step plates are auto and come down when you open the door.

    You shouldn't have to drive your car in H4 as it should auto do it for you, I'm not a car expert though. Even our car slips on some corners with ice present. I have also noticed when +1 puts the foot down to pass it does do a fishy in the back end then all is good. Sly has mentioned tire pressure in the past so I always take note when we get a car...I always look at the tires and think...geez that looks low.
     
    :thumbs: Cham likes this.
  43.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Before you leave - check www.drivebc.ca for updated info on your route. There's nothing exceptionally high elevation on that route, but as Crystal says it's a high snowfall area, and not a heavily trafficked road either. Unlike the major BC highways, there are no four-lane sections and very few passing lanes. Local population is small so the roads haven't had much development since they were built in the 60s. The good news is the scenery is amazing and you have a lovely ferry ride across Upper Arrow Lake. If you want a break mid-journey, you should go into Nakusp as the highway skirts right around it. The old Leland Hotel down on the lakefront is an interesting piece of the past, very few of the old 19th century buildings survive in BC because they're all wood and most of them have burned down over the years.

    You'll probably want to push on and ski Revy the following day, but you could do a lot worse than a stay at Halcyon Hot Springs about 20 minutes north of Nakusp. Killer views of the lake, lovely natural hot water and an excellent restaurant. Worth the stop for lunch, but you'll need time to appreciate the food and views and then be kicking yourself for not staying the night and really relaxing.
     
  44.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Great, thanks for the info! I was aiming to hit a natural hot spring on the way through somewhere. We already have our accommodation booked in Revelstoke but is Halcyon Hot springs worth a stop just for a dip in the hot spring? We did ainsworth hot springs yesterday afternoon. We thought that one was real nice also. Cheers
     
  45.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Oh yes it's lovely. Just off the highway.
     
  46.  
    Cham

    Cham Dedicated Member

    Thanks! Will definitely do.
     
  47.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Not sure of their level of operations in winter though, some research would be prudent.
     
  48.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    One of the problems of a road trip in Canada in winter. Tourist traps go into hibernation.
     
  49.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I know they're open until Christmas, friends of ours go there every year mid December for their wedding anniversary.