How much ground clearance do you really need?

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Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

Not exactly sure. That truck comes stock with 9.1" of ground clearance, but that's referring to the height of the axle which is fixed. It looks like the truck has about a 7" suspension lift on it. so the body has probably close to 20" or so.

For the record, not my truck. Just a pic I had.  
I'll take boilerplate ice over wet snow any day
riverc0il riverc0il
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by Harvey
If you are driving on paved roads that receive normal plowing, you don't "need" anything more than a FWD vehicle with snow tires.

I am a storm chaser and I've always gotten by just fine with low to the ground compact cars. If anything, my current Civic Hatch might have the least amount of clearance of any car that I have owned. If the snow is so deep that ground clearance is going to be an issue for a compact car, you probably shouldn't be driving even if you have a vehicle with large ground clearance as that means the plows can't keep up and even large clearance AWD drive vehicles will have issues with travelling safely.

If you routinely drive on roads that do not receive good plowing and you need to plow through a full night of snowfall without plowing, by all means get a big SUV or a truck.

Otherwise, ground clearance really shouldn't be a factor in most people's decisions. I've been a storm chaser for almost 20 years and I have never had a single issue (excepting when I first started storm chasing as a flat lander without snows, fixed that issue right quick).
MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by TheGreatAbyss
TheGreatAbyss wrote
MC2 - Is it a hatch or a Sedan?

Also do you think the WRX (not STI) would be too low?   I've always wanted one but at 4.9 inches of Ground Clearance I'm worried that might be too low for those crazy potholed ski resort parking lots.
Sedan. I know skiers who drive WRX's. If you've always wanted one, get one. You'll get to the mountains when you need to.
BRLKED BRLKED
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by TheGreatAbyss
I have a Mazda 3 hatch-back, front wheel drive, 35+ mpg. the key to winter driving in snow country Snow Tires! The only time I have had trouble is when I had to drive in 8+ inches, the front wheels kept loosing traction because the under-carriage pan made the car float. I don't have a box , everything goes in the back [seat down] sometimes 7 pairs of skis plus needed duffels and packs, plenty of room as long as you only need to transport yourself. I live in the DACKs and I do have a Tacoma as back-up. I also have a friend who drives a WRX full time but he doesn't live  up here but spends a lot of time at his camp in North River.
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In the mid 90s I bought a Ford Exploder, manual tranny, real 4wd with limited slip diff. Good ground clearance. About 4 years later I bought my wife a Suburu Forester. The Forster was better on snow packed roads, the only conditions the Exploder was better was in deep snow or busting through a snow bank left by the plows. Oh - I couldn’t wrap a chain on the rear of the Forrester and pull a stump like I could in 4WL in the Ferd, but I now hire a stump grinder for that.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
PeeTex PeeTex
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

I forgot to mention, lately I was thinking about a Land Rover, but within the past few weeks I have been considering the Jaguar F pace, when your looking at the last car you are likely to buy - you can consider pulling out all the stops.
Don't ski the trees, ski the spaces between the trees.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by Ethan Snow
Ethan Snow wrote
How far is that rear diff off the ground?
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

I drive a all wheel drive sedan. Put 30k miles per year driving around the park. You will never see more than 6 inches on most of the roads. Get 30 mpg so why not get awd. Once you are moving it's true you don't need awd. It does handle better and it's nice never getting stuck getting moving. Put a set of snows on it and you can plow through pretty deep stuff.
Ethan Snow Ethan Snow
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by Harvey
Harvey wrote
How far is that rear diff off the ground?
I think that's the 9.1" The rear diff will always be pretty low on a truck. But it's a solid axle, so it will always be the same distance from the bottom of the tires. They're not usually a problem.
I'll take boilerplate ice over wet snow any day
campgottagopee campgottagopee
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Re: How much ground clearance do you really need?

In reply to this post by TheGreatAbyss
You can have both.

Go drive the Subaru Forester and Crosstrek. Both of these cars are easy in and out, and with 8.7" provide nearly the same amount of ground clearance as the full-size SUV and PU markets do.

And yes, the WRX would be fine as it has close to 5" of ground clearance.
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