Ram Powerwagon vs Chevy Colorado vs Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs Suzuki Samurai for Snow?

jadmt

Well-known member
Would you say that the size is more of the problem or the weight?
kind of both. If you were in a wide open area where turning around was not a big deal then I would say weight was the biggest factor but on most trails just a combination. Again that is with 35's if I were able to run 40's or bigger I might feel differently. I wheeled my jeeps a lot in the snow and was pretty confident I would always get myself unstuck. I don't have that trust yet in the PW at least the way it sits.. Now on a slick highway pw all day long over the jeeps running exactly the same tires. I have 1000's of icy highway miles running Toyo R/T's in 35x12.5-17 on both and for sure the PW much more surefooted on the highway.
 

Andrew_S

Observer
If you're talking about deep snow as in you will not be getting down to the gravel road, you want flotation.
50"+ tires aired down to nothing on beadlocks. Weight is definitely a factor, the lighter the better.
Again I'm referring to bottomless snow that you are trying to drive across. Check out any purpose built snow wheeler, giant tires are the first thing on the list.

If you're talking about driving down some plowed bush roads that have just seen a 2'-3' dump and your just pushing through it, tire chains and weight is what you want.
As others have mentioned a lot of different variables, snow type, amount, grade of the road etc etc.
 

Chorky

Observer
I have done a lot of snow wheeling in jeep rubicons on 35's and have been flat out amazed. I would never take my power wagon on the same 35's where I went in the jeep. Running both with stock tires it would be the same I would try things in the jeep I would not dream about in the pw. If I were running 44" tires aired down that would be a different story. local facebook wheeling club went out this past weekend and a new PW slide off the road and got a bunch of damage.apparently on stock tires and had a tough time.
Oh man I saw that damage, what a shame. I feel bad for the owner - that damage on the cab is going to be expensive....


Another consideration here too is... what if you do get stuck. then what? In my big ol F350 - man that would be a royal pain to get it out of the ditch if it ever went in. But my TJ would be much simpler. Not that anyone want's to make a bet on the ease of getting out of a bad spot - but...it could be a factor for some.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
Oh man I saw that damage, what a shame. I feel bad for the owner - that damage on the cab is going to be expensive....


Another consideration here too is... what if you do get stuck. then what? In my big ol F350 - man that would be a royal pain to get it out of the ditch if it ever went in. But my TJ would be much simpler. Not that anyone want's to make a bet on the ease of getting out of a bad spot - but...it could be a factor for some.
Yup I would have been sick. A few years ago we came across an F350 from Oregon who had slid off the road. he had a big winch but he said he had been working for a while before we got there and was not making any head way. we ended up using 3 winch lines a jeep and two large trucks and finally got him out. this was up towards Union peak. I used to have some good photos but photobucket crashed many of my photos.
 

Jimmbobb

Active member
Another consideration here too is... what if you do get stuck. then what? In my big ol F350 - man that would be a royal pain to get it out of the ditch if it ever went in. But my TJ would be much simpler. Not that anyone want's to make a bet on the ease of getting out of a bad spot - but...it could be a factor for some.
Agree on this -- again speaking of on-road, but it carries over: I would often choose the Samurai over the Suburban because in a pinch I could probably get enough guys to just pick up the Samurai and put it down somewhere else. Or get pulled out by just about anything. And the narrow track gave me more options when a passage was tight.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Off-roading in deep snow.
The smallest lightest vehicle with the largest tires possible.
You really need a LOT of gearing options for different snow conditions.
Super deep gearing can really help in some snow conditions, going VERY slow with like 100-200:1 gearing at an idle can give the snow time to compress and the air to escape.
It helps to have power sometimes, hurts other times, but it's always fun.

Tim Hardy tells stories about stripping his red Suzuki Samurai down for snow runs.........19XXlbs with a wide 35" tires and pretty much no air pressure.
The story was he had to stop going out because nobody could come even close to going the same places he was in the Sierra Nevada area.
He was worried he was going to get stuck so far back in nobody could come and help him.

At some point you get lucky enough to have just the right snow conditions with a vehicle that is light enough to stay on top.
You aren't pushing too much with the axles, bumper, grill, etc.
Then it will be the side-hill/slope that stops you.
Snow 'wheeling is a bucket of fun.

The difference in performance with my flatty at 1psi vs 2psi can be crazy.

 

Smileyshaun

Observer
Deep snow the fatter the tire and the lower psi you can go the better it is , it is incredible with every psi dropped how much further you can go without digging in . Weight is huge to a buggy on 37 would go in snow so deep you can’t even imagine it compared to a full-size rig even on 42 that would just sink . A great way to think about it have 150 pound person and a 300 pound person go snowshoeing with the same set of snowshoes and see who has the easier time.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
At some point you get lucky enough to have just the right snow conditions with a vehicle that is light enough to stay on top.
The problem with snow is, the “right” condition may last a week or an hour. You may drive up the trail in the morning but not able to get back in the afternoon.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
You have to get crazy light/big tires to float.

For the snows we get weight helps, as does wheelbase. The state puts a 2' deep, 4-6' wide berm at the end of our road. My extended cab F-150 does a nice push/pull manuver getting thru it. You can feel the rear wheels push the fronts thru and then once clear the fronts pull the rears thru. My wife's Edge doesn't have enough wheelbase to do that and the ground clearance also doesn't help.

To counter that, my Ranger is much much easier to recover than my '150. If I am going to get one stuck I would prefer the Ranger... so that is the one I activily go looking for trouble with in the winter.

No matter which truck gets stuck on my place, it is a 2wd tractor that pulls them out. :ROFLMAO:
 

sargeek

Adventurer
The problem with snow is, the “right” condition may last a week or an hour. You may drive up the trail in the morning but not able to get back in the afternoon.
Nothing like driving up someplace in the morning when the snow is hard and frozen solid - it will support anything. By lunchtime, everything is breaking through the crust and getting stuck. I have left a vehicle overnight to come back first thing in the AM and drive it out as nothing happened.

Off-road in winter is all about low ground pressure - big tires, low air pressure: Look at the extreme stuff they do in the "Arctic Trucks" - they can outperform most tracked vehicles.

Vehicle-Imagery_0003_Gullfoss-to-Haifoss-Toyota-Hilux-AT35-12_0005_3D1A3566.jpg
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
The problem with snow is, the “right” condition may last a week or an hour. You may drive up the trail in the morning but not able to get back in the afternoon.
Sure, that is why you build the most capable vehicle you can and get lots of seat time for experience.
 

Smileyshaun

Observer
I would actually say the loose nut behind the steering wheel has more to do with a vehicles ability than the vehicle and add ons put on it .
 
Top