Just sharing my similar quest...
From the CHP-Frequently Asked Questions of the Highway Patrol
I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Do I have to carry / use chains? What do the "R" ratings which are associated with chain requirements mean?
"R" ratings on snowy roads indicate chain requirements for various conditions. Some vehicles may not be required to use chains under all conditions, but all
vehicles must carry chains. Most vehicles come equipped with snow tires. Look for M+S (mud and snow), All Season, or All Terrain, on the side of the tire.
chains required except for vehicles with snow tires (chains required for any vehicle pulling a trailer)
chains required except for 4-wheel drive with snow tires
chains required for all vehicles
In other discussions of this topic some have said, if it's so bad that the Touareg with snow tires can't handle it, you shouldn't be out in those conditions. But, what if you happen to be enroute when the storm hits, or are somewhere and need to get home or whatever? Waiting it out isn't necessarily always an option.
In SoCal, having two sets of tires for summer/winter is probably overkill for the occasional trip into the local mountains or up the east side of the Sierra, so I've looked for a compromise in the meantime for my 19" rims.
Tires: Nokain WR's 255/50R19. This is the best I could do in an "all season" tire that should be able to handle snow conditions as well as everyday SoCal highway driving.
Chains: The manual says you cannot use chains. But, one could find onself in a situation where the Highway Patrol is requiring them. So, I searched for cables/chains with the maximum clearance / lowest profile possible. Best I could find so far is Security Chain Company (SCC - www.scc-chain.com
) "Super Z6" series. These were designed for ultra low-clearance vehicles and SUV's and only require 0.25" clearance on the inside.
Amazon.com: Security Chain Super Z6, SZ435, Cable Chain for Pickups & SUVs: Automotive
Unfortunately, when I went to try out fitting these on my rig in the driveway (before venturing out into the wild), it sure looks like they are still going to rub the ABS and/or brake wear sensor wires coming down from the suspension A-arm.
So, what to do? Probably return them to Amazon. But, I'm thinking of trying to fabricate some sort of shield by wrapping a piece of sheet metal around the upper A-arm, enclosing the wiring inside of it. Why they couldn't have run those wires *inside* of the A-arm frame is beyond me.
The other alternative is to use traction devices that don't go around the inner sidewall of the tire:
Spikes Spiders For 255/50/19 Tires: Spikes-Spider
But at $500 a pair, let's get real!
BTW, IMHO if your're going to put on traction devices, you should put them on all four wheels. I've personally watched folks with chains on just the drive wheels (rear drive) sliding sideways down a hill as they desperately tried to steer the vehicle down a hill with the front wheels having absolutely no traction. The rule for the SAR team I volunteer for is that if you're going to chain-up, you either put them on all four wheels or not at all. And that's on 4x4 trucks.
Has anyone else had any luck finding chains/cables that allow sufficient clearance that you can actually use them on your Touareg? Seems like with the smaller tires, the traction device might even get closer to the A-arm, but if it's working for someone else, maybe a second set of wheels is the way to go - even here in CA.