I would like to find a
x km
Set radius for geolocation
around me
post-title You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres

You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres

You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres

You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ll be frank, we weren’t 100% sure that you do need winter tyres or that they were necessary for this trip.

If we’re completely honest, we secretly thought that winter tyres were a bit of a marketing ploy and that fine, if you live in Scandinavia, you probably need them but not for a road trip through the Alps – well looked after roads with lots of tourists on them. We know you need chains in some places and snow tyres are mandatory in others, but we could probably avoid those places… surely it’s not worth the added expense and inconvenience of having to store your regular tyres?

Oh. How. Wrong. We. Were.

We’ve kindly been given our winter rubber by Falken Tyres UK but we can tell you, we are not obliged in any way to write this blog and we’re doing it because we’re now both of the opinion that if you’re going to the Alps for a motorhome ski trip, you should invest in some winter tyres. Total converts.

You’ve probably never even heard of Falken Tyres but they’re well known in motor racing circles which is enough of an endorsement for us. Thank god, because we might have tried to get away with it until later in the trip.

There was a moment – about 900 miles into our journey from the UK when we first felt the benefit of our sexily titled ‘Falken EUROWINTER VAN01’s’. Driving into a Carrefour car park 1000m above sea level, negotiating some tight corners and massively fatigued. The point was, we didn’t notice anything was amiss until we jumped out of the van and both James and I immediately struggled to stay upright on the snow-dusted icy skidpan that was hiding the car park tarmac.

How did we just manoeuvre a 3.5 tonne beast of a ski motorhome into this place without instigating an international incident?

With winter tyres.

The next couple of hours were spent negotiating mountain passes, switch backs and cliff faced cuts on roughly ploughed roads in sometimes heavy snow and we didn’t break a sweat.

I can guarantee that had we not had the benefit of winter tyres, there would have been tears, meltdowns and second thoughts about the entire trip – no doubt. And we are both confident drivers. Anyone who tells you that this kind of driving doesn’t concern them in the slightest is a liar or stupid or, simply fails to understand the risks and physics of driving on snow and ice.

However, we both jollily chatted the whole way about how we’d have been completely screwed without Falken and had we had any signal, we’d have sent them a message telling them they’d saved our bacon.

If you’re interested in the detail, check out some of the Falken info here.

If you want the abridged version here it is:

  • You can pay a massive amount for a set of winter/snow tyres but you don’t have to. Ours are about £60 per tyre and all you have to pay on top is to have them switched onto your own rims and balanced (unless you buy a full new set). We had ours done at Buckingham Tyre and Exhaust Centre so if you’re in their area, give them a call – they know what they’re doing.
  • We don’t really know who decided that in Austria snow tyres are compulsory, and half a mile away in Italy they’re optional but we’ve come to the conclusion that this is all nonsense. If there’s a safer option available, we’re following the health and safety police advice. They’re not ruining anyone’s fun and they’ll make your drive infinitely more comfortable and safer for both you and other road users…
  • Winter tyres aren’t just better in snow. They’re better in colder conditions generally – your regular summer compounds will start to harden and provide less grip from 7oC down. Scary right?
  • It’s about braking and traction. Both of these are specifically designed to be improved in wet and snowy conditions with a winter tyre, giving you a better chance of maintaining control of your vehicle in the event of the doodoo hitting the fan.

You’re not an ice road trucker. You’re most likely a novice at best.

Just get snow tyres and accept it’s one of the many costs of freedom. Freedom to explore new mountains, freedom to follow the snow and live in a 14m2 luxury chalet on wheels.

Comments (5)

  1. Just thank you for sharing all you knowledge, it is my intention, to use our Motorhome Dethleffs esprit comfort for the first time, probably end of Feb/ March.

    Looking more at Austria
    Thank you again

  2. Fantastic read and very helpful. I was already swaying towards winter tyres , this read has cemented my need . I’ve also found a fantastic brand & Tyre that is tailor suited to my needs !! FALKEN Euro winter van 001 here I come . Thanks for your help guys 😃👍🏻

  3. Pingback: Our Zero BS Motorhome Ski Check List - WINTERIZED

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Winterized product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of experience based opinion and real-world testing.

Pin It on Pinterest