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Winter Tyres for Vans and Motorhomes

Van in Snow

 

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we’re going to look at what’s available to keep your light commercial vehicle and motorhome safe on the roads this winter.

With our partner Tyremen, we have found the top five winter tyres to review for small vans, larger vans and motorhomes.

So we will start with the Vredestein Snowtrac Rein which is used on small vans such as the Nemo or Blipper.

Vredestein Snowtrac Rein

So what’s it like? A great little tyre ideally suited to small light vans when weight is an issue.

It’s directional tread pattern is ideally suited to the quick clearance of snow, slush and water during the cold, damp months. The tread blocks allow superb bite into winter surfaces for excellent acceleration and keeps the tread free of snow.

Giving increased grip and handling it gives the assurance of summer tyres during the warmer days. Braking is improved over standard tyres further increasing the safety of the driver and cargo!

With a fuel rating of E, a wet grip of C and noise level at 70db, (explained here) it’s the perfect choice for winter.

The perfect all rounder.

We rate at 9/10

Next on our list is the Hankook RW06

Hankook RW06

 

 

The Hankook RW06 is a mid-range, affordable winter tyre, specifically designed for a multitude of light commercial vehicles.

A robust wide tread pattern gives maximum contact area with the road, vastly improving handling, traction and braking in snowy, icy and wet conditions.

Manufactured with multiple sipes in the tread blocks, safe winter driving is assured.

This tyre does not have studs within the tread pattern and relies solely on the rubber compound and tread design, which we feel, works very well.

Fuel rating is F – G, Wet Grip E and Noise 73db.

We rate 9/10

Next on our list, the Bridgestone W800

W800

 

To give this tyre it’s full name, the Bridgestone Blizzak W800, a formidable looking tyre with some great properties.

It comes in rim sizes 14″ to 16″ and is a non-directional tread pattern. Again, this is a tyre for the commercial market and has proved popular with drivers and fleet owners.

A zig-zag sipe pattern within the tread blocks ensures great grip on acceleration, assured braking and all round handling properties.

A durable and comfortable drive, helps maintain stability of the vehicle keeping driver and cargo safe.

However, it rates badly for fuel usage, which a lot of winter tyres do, but this is the worst ratings.

So, Fuel F to G, Wet Grip B to E (only one tyre rates E the rest are B or C) and Noise 72db to 74db.

Therefore, we rate 7/10

We are now going to look at multifunctional winter tyres for commercial vehicles and motorhomes.

The Vredestein Comtrac Winter

Comtrac Winter

 

Vredestein are huge in Europe, and given that winters there can be far worse then in the UK, winter tyres are very popular.

Surprisingly, a lot of people on the continent love to go away in their motorhomes during the winter. Ski resorts are very popular and winter tyres are a legal requirement, which is why we have these.

A solid directional tread pattern with zig-zag sipes gives superb grip in all winter conditions and clears snow, slush and water quickly and effectively.

Stopping distances are reduced compared to summer tyres and acceleration is assured and responsive.

With a rubber compound designed to perform in colder conditions, this is the perfect multi-vehicle tyre for both commercial and motorhome.

With Fuel ratings between E and F, Wet Grip of E and Noise at 71db it is probably one of the best available.

We rate 9/10

Last on our list is the Continental Vanco Winter 2

Vanco Winter 2

 

Continental are a very popular premium brand, as you may have noticed from all the TV adverts during football games, and why not, do you get what you pay for?

Well, yes and no. They make great tyres but are sometimes a little expensive.

However, as one of the original suppliers of winter van tyres, they have led the way and this is why.

A superb tread pattern with directional sipes gives an assured performance in colder conditions.

Grip is constant and the tyre moves slush, snow and water from the tread quickly to ensure traction and braking is effective.

It is a genuine winter tyre and its ratings are, Fuel E, Wet Grip C and Noise 73db.

Due to it’s cost, we rate 8/10

For more information on tyre ratings, click here.

For more information, or to check the suitability for your vehicle, take a look at our partner, Tyremen’s website here, or call 08456 807808

Have you used winter van tyres? Please leave a comment or ask a question below, we always respond!

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

BMW 1 Series, Do You Need Winter Tyres and Wheels?

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series. It’s been with us for a few years now, long enough to have a facelift! So with our partner Tyremen, let’s look at the winter wheel and tyre options for the baby of the BMW range.

So we will start with the older models and work our way up to the 2012 onwards facelift models.

We love the 1 series but we also understand how they can be a challenge to manoeuvre during the winter months! They are so problematic because for one, they are rear wheel drive, but also they are just so light. If you have owned one these during the last couple of winters and have not invested in some winter tyres then you really should. They make an unusable car 100% better and safer.

But which winter tyres should you fit to your 1 series?

We would personally suggest a 16″ wheel and tyre package. Tyremen offer steel wheels or a nice little alloy wheel that is fitted with a 205/55R16 winter tyre, prices start from a little over £700 a set. If you feel that steel wheels is the way to go, then sets start at £518 for a post 2012 model and £585 for earlier cars. Alloy wheels and steel wheels are both stock and ready to go for winter 2014/15.

Many 1 series owners opt for non-runflat tyre as many of the latest 1-Series no longer have these fitted as standard. A lot of 1 Series do not come with a spare wheel as standard so BMW provide a puncture repair kit which will get you home if your tyre becomes punctured. If your car is on run-flats then we can provide such a kit – Continental comfort kit.

If you want to go for winter runflat tyres then we can offer these and our partner Tyremen will stock Bridgestone, Continental, Hankook, Vredestein & Yokohama for the 2014/15 season.

Tyremen also offer alloy wheels in 17″ which can be customised with a number of tyre options, the full range of Continental, Vredestein & Yokohama and are available for 2014/15 in the runflat option.

Any of the winter wheel & tyre packages offer great convenience as there are no tyres to swap around each season and if you are keeping the vehicle for a few years then it will prove to be a cost effective way of setting up your car for winter driving.

If you are looking to just change the tyres then Tyremen have various offerings depending on your budget.

Starting with the small sizes, many of the base models use 195/55R16, in this size the Hankook W310 i-cept is looking like a great option. Hankook are a well respected manufacturer that make original equipment tyres for Audi, Ford & Mini. The Vredestein Snowtrac 3 is also a great product and consistently one of our best sellers.

In 16″ you may find that your vehicle is on 205/55R16 runflats, as above some Continental TS850 P winter are available and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme’s are a fantastic option and available. However we know of many 1 Series owners that have opted for the Vredestein Snowtrac 3 in a non-runflat and again order the repair kits and they work really well. Vredestein are a great winter tyre manufacturer and the Snowtrac 3 is a multi award winning product.

And finally what if your 1 Series came on 17″ as standard?, if it did it’s also likely that it came with runflats. The best option here if you don’t want to reduce the wheel size is go like for like. Continental make the TS810 S in 205/50R17 and in 225/45R17. You will need to check your tyre size on both the front and rear before purchasing as some use 205/50R17 on both axles while others have the larger size on the rear.

So 2012 has brought about the new 1-series F20, so what implications does this have to our advice above? Well actually very little. The F20 still use 16″ as standard on many of the vehicles with size 205/55R16. We are no longer seeing the 195/55 being used so Tyremen’s winter packages use a 205 in order to emulate the BMW winter packages. A new steel wheel has been produced which is specifically for the new 1 series and although the spec is slightly different there isn’t much in it. The alloys that are recommended for the older vehicles are still fine for the F20.

If you have bought a new vehicle and have a winter package from an older 1-series then it will still be fine to use. Even if your old winters are 195/55R16 I wouldn’t be too concerned about using these on an F20. The 195 tyre is less than 2% smaller than the 205 and well within the vehicles tolerance.

Versions on 17″ still have the 225/45R17 so nothing has changed here. The new sport versions fitted with 18″ use a rather unusual sized tyre on the rear so you should really consider a 17″ package for winter.

BMW 1 Series Wheel

New for the 2014/15 winter season Tyremen are rather excited to be able to offer genuine BMW alloy wheels for their winter wheel & tyre packages. These are perfect for winter, they are what we call ‘take off wheels’. Essentially we deal with a European BMW importer, who regularly upgrade their vehicles onto larger, flasher wheels. This leaves a surplus of smaller wheels which are as new, they have just done factory mileage. The wheels are 16″ and suitable for both old & new 1 series with the exception of 123d & 135i which have larger brakes and require a 17″ wheel. The wheels are genuine BMW, they are not supplied with caps but should take your originals.

These also have the benefit of having great residual value, if you come to move away from BMW then you would have no issues selling these on.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch, speak to the experts at Tyremen on 08456 807808.

Have you used winter tyres on the 1 series? Leave your experiences below to help others.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Winter Options for the BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series Snow

Welcome to the Winter Tyre Reviews vehicle specific winter tyre advice, and take a look at what must be the best selling rear wheel drive vehicle in the UK – the 3 Series BMW.

Being rear wheel drive the 3-series can pose a challenge during the winter months, in fact we receive many calls from customers across the UK that can’t even get out of their drive when there is snow on the ground. The good news is that winter tyres will make a massive difference to performance and totally transform these vehicles. Better still is that (most) 3 Series are on pretty standard tyre sizes and winter tyres and wheel set ups are available at sensible prices.

Lets start with the smallest sizes that they can come on: 205/60R16.

If you have this as standard fit then it could be on runflat or standard tyres; standard – our vote would have to be the Vredestein Snowtrac 3. Consistently top placed in European winter tyre tests. Especially when the tests look at traction in snow this tyre generally comes out top. If on runflat then availability can be difficult for these, however Goodyear & Dunlop both produce quality tyres that may be available if you get in early enough. Also the Continental TS830 topped many of the winter tyre tests and is available now at Tyremen.

This tyre size is also what many 3-series owners drop down onto during the winter when 17″ and 18″ are fitted as standard. The reason for this is that the narrowness of a 16″ wheel really helps improve traction during winter, also the tyre costs are much more sensible. Most 3 series can reduce to 16″ wheels, although there are some exceptions:

3 Series coupe 2006 onwards – has to be 17″ upwards

3 Series cabrio 2007 onwards – 17″ and above

Other 3-series (E92/E93) – 16″ are only suitable for 90-140kW versions

3 series wheel

If you want to check any of this data for your model, or are unsure which kW version you have, then you are welcome to try the Tyremen team who will be able to advise accordingly.

Assuming that you want to go down this route then 16″ wheel packages are available in steel or alloy. Steel wheels offer great value for money, whilst the alloys are more aesthetically pleasing. Wheel and tyre sets start at just over £600 and offer OE quality at discount prices.

Moving up to 17″ – generally BMW use 225/45R17 on both axles. On the very odd sports models they have a wider, and a very unusual size fitted to the rear. If this is the case then direct replacement could be tricky, We’d advise getting in touch with a tyre expert in order to check availability. However with regular 225/45’s you have a few options.  Topping most of the tyre tests in recent years was the Continental TS830 P, which is available as a regular winter tyre and winter runflat. When moving away from runflats then there is a host of quality winter tyres available. Our partner site, Tyremen’s most popular winter tyre in this size was the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme. There is very little review info out there in regard to this tyre but from personal experience they are fantastic. However availability of these in the UK can be really problematic as this tyre is very popular in mainland Europe. At this moment in time stocks are coming into the UK but will be limited. As a more cost effective option the Hankook W300 is well worth a look, it has a modern asymmetric pattern which is not overly aggressive and particularly suited to UK conditions.

This size is also what would be used if your 3-series came on 18″ wheels and you wanted to reduce wheel size for winter. Tyremen offer an Alutec alloy wheel which is great quality and perfect for winter use. Wheels are TUV approved for use on 3-Series and come with a 5 year guarantee on the paint finish.

18″ – Personally if your vehicle come on 18″ wheels then we would seriously consider either a 16″ or 17″ package. Failing that then you would probably need 225/40R18 for the front and 255/35R18 for the rear. In 2010 the Hankook W300 Icebear was very popular as a good quality tyre at sensible money. If these are unavailable then offerings by the premium manufacturers become silly money really and you would probably find smaller wheels and tyres for less money than split sized 18″ winter tyres.

Some new BMW’s do have 19″ wheel options, if you went for this then we’re sure that your 3-series looks lovely, but we wouldn’t expect it to go far in the winter! Tyres in the 19″ sizes are essentially impossible to source so wheels and tyres are going to be needed. However saying that we know the boys & girls at Tyremen love a good challenge so feel free to get in touch and see if they can source anything for you.

So now for the BMW newer 3 series, the F30, from 2012 onwards.

So the new 3 series, does any of the above advice change for these? Well yes and no!

In terms of wheels the spec is very similar, we can offer the same range of wheels that are suitable for the earlier models. The only difference is the tyre sizes used, BMW have opted for a higher profile tyre on the F30. They are now fitted with the following as standard:

205/60R16
225/50R17
225/45R18

Our partner Tyremen has set up new wheel & tyre packages for the F30 that have the correct tyre sizes and offer both standard and run-flat tyres depending on your need.

It appears that in terms of reducing wheel size the 316, 318 & 320 will take a 16″ wheel, whilst 325 versions and above will require a 17″ package. If your new 3 series has 18″ as standard then winter tyres are available in these sizes (even if 255/40 on the rear) and they could be swapped onto your existing wheels. If your vehicle has 19″ on then BMW have opted for a very unusual tyre size on the front and you will struggle to find a suitable winter tyre, you’ll need to look at a smaller package.

If you have a wheel and tyre package from an older model then really you would need the tyres changing before fitting to the new vehicle otherwise the speedo will become inaccurate. Our advice would always be where possible to sell your existing winter package along with any vehicle sale and start again on the new car.

If you need any further info don’t hesitate to ask the team at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808

Have you had winter tyres fitted to your 3 series? let us know how they performed and help other 3 series owners with your advice! Leave a comment on the blog page or ask a question, we’ll get back to you.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team