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Chains on 2012 Tahoe

The 2012 Chevy Tahoe manual clearly states that tire-chains cannot be used if equipped with 275/55R20 tires/wheels due to “clearance problems.” This must a) refer to inside clearance when turning too short a radius turn, and b) further refer to brake-lines and/or struts. If this is the case, then why can’t one use a cable chain such as a “Peerless Super Z-6,” and drive slowly, avoid rough terrain, and heed the rear-mount only requirement? Am I missing something here?

Yes, you are missing something. No chains means No Chains!

There must be adequate clearance at full steer, full compression and full extension for all types of chains AND the growth of those devices as speeds increase. Manufacturers would prefer not to sell vehicles that can’t take chains but the public wants big wheels and tires that fill up the wheelhouse area 'cause they look cool. Big tires that fill up the space leave no room for chains.

The cable types may give more clearance but you are taking a chance when you use them on a truck with 20’s. You control the speed and rear-mounting but nothing else. You can’t control the bump you hit or even see it in deep snow.

What requirement are you trying to comply with? California mountain pass regulations?

MustangMan….thanks for your response……and I hear what you are saying….BUT my uses are two…and, in my view sufficiently limited so as to warrant having something like a light-weight cable chain pair in the trunk.

First situation, a) driving slow and locally in Montana when 4WD-High on good all-weather tires just isn’t quite enough to safely but slowly get 10 miles to town and back on a bad day or b) driving to or from Montana where a fairly short duration “chain-up” for 3-5 or 8 miles is really necessary (Monida Pass for example)…so in both cases, we are talking slow, paved, and well known territory but unplowed at the minute and thus additional traction is required or preferred. I’m not ever even considering going crazy, or off road, or unknown territory.

Wide or low profile tires are absolutely horrible in the snow. Sounds like you might e a candidate for a set of steel wheels and narrower tires for the winter months.

Your statement suggests that the vehicle is also sold with a smaller wheel and tire combination that would accept chains. Tirerack shows 265/70-17s. If you feel you’ll need chains for your purposes, perhaps you could get some winter tires on wheels of the smaller size and mount them on the vehicle in winter. Tirerack even has an option where they’ll deliver tires mounted on wheels and road-force balanced right to your house. You choose the wheels and tires.

Before spending the cash, you’ll want to double check with a dealer to be sure they’ll be interchangeable, and you’ll need to realize that your handling may be affected and go easy until you adjust to the difference, but it IS a way to enable the use of chains.

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Yeah that seems like the best solution. A set of smaller wheels with the winter tires mounted that chains can be used on all four.

The posters here all have great suggestions and I agree. Ditch the low profile 20’s during the snow season for a set of narrower winter tires.

As far as [quote=“Herndine, post:3, topic:96146”]
in my view sufficiently limited

They may be limited but… if it won’t fit without contact, no amount of careful driving will prevent that contact.

The people who designed the SUV say “No chains” so I’d suggest that they know more about that than you do, so you might want to pay attention. You can certainly TRY the cable chains but what do you think will happen if contact occurs?

Let’s just guess what might happen… you rip the tire apart because the cable hooks on the frame, you rip the cable chains apart and it wraps around the axle, the flailing cable destroys your front outer CV joint boot, the flailing cable rips the brake hoses and ABS wiring apart. These are pretty expensive and pretty bad outcomes.

I’d follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and not use chains of any type. You asked for our opinion, so that’s mine.

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Thanks so much for your up-front comments. If I had wanted a “boiler-plate” response, I would have asked for one. Much appreciated! BillH

Is there any functional improvement in handling or safety with these trendy new oversized rims?

Well yes, I think so, as long as you’re still in the parameters of the original design. A pickup or SUV with nice wide 20 inch tires will have a larger footprint on the pavement for better handling and braking and probably a stiffer sidewall.

But put those on snow and things change…

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If you don’t want peoples real opinions, don’t bother to ask the question.

With this low a profile tire, you will beat the begeezus out of that nice alloy rim if it stretches and loosens. Personally, I would get cheap steel higher profile rims with AT tires you could go in snow with.

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