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Author Topic: Alaskan road trip!  (Read 2413 times)
lvmci
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« on: November 27, 2012, 05:42:31 PM »

Hey all you Alaskan busnuts, my best friend wants to drive his girl friends civic from Vegas to Anchorage via Haines by ferry then Tok then to Anchorage, starting tommorrow, can two guys from LV get thru this storm? Any thoughts? Lvmci...
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 06:28:27 PM »

They have suitable identification for crossing the border?

The girlfriend realizes the mileage about to be put on her car?

A decent set of snow tires would be a bonus, but these sort of adventures usually preclude spending money like that.
As long as the tires are on the better side of half worn, that'll do. Any experience driving in snow? Sand doesn't count.

Nothing better than a road trip!!!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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lvmci
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 06:34:06 PM »

Hi Buswarrior, yes got snow tires on the car, I'm kinda worried about engine freezing, gonna stop in montana first nite, see if engine block heaters available there, none available in LV, ha! Lvmci...
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 06:45:25 PM »

LV, if they have never driven in snow, that is a concern. Folks from warm areas on snow are downright scary. Met way to many of them, when I have stopped to see if they are okay.

I would also make sure that they have starting fluid. I have no idea how cold it will get, but even around -15 could possibly have issues, with no block heater. I assume that they have already done so, but what about the battery. Should have a brand new, big as they can get in there, battery. That will help them some too. If it will be 0 and above, shouldn't have issues anyways. Only other thing would be chains. Not really needed, BUT they can really help if they get into deep snow, and if they are unfamiliar with driving in snow. Downside is, if you lose a chain, it can do a lot of damage.

I don't even know what snow is like right now on the route, or what the temps will be like....just some thoughts.

John
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 07:01:21 PM »

I doubt a Honda Civic will accept chains. If the weather is that bad, the low body clearance just means you go a bit further and get high centred under the belly. Park it and wait.

Good advice, a fresh battery is good.
Antifreeze a bit stronger than 50%, prove the protection to -35/-40 with the tester, and that's it.
Starting fluid isn't much good to a gasoline engine, they fire on their own or you got trouble.

Block heaters need a place to plug in, I wouldn't bother, the car will start on its own, unless it is completely shot, in which case, it won't get there anyway...

I might think about a fresh fuel filter, if the car hasn't had regular maintenance.

Same thing with a fresh set of wiper blades, and some fresh windshield anti-freeze too, drain out any of that summer bug soap cleaner, it has no freeze protection.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 08:27:44 PM »

If you have to drive with chains, you shouldnt be driving. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 08:45:33 PM »

When you leave Haines heading north toward Haines Jct. you are going to cross into BC for just a few miles, then enter the Yukon.  Ask at Canadian Customs what the road conditions are like on the pass ahead of you, because it is a REAL pass and the wind can blow like hell up there.  Watch the trucks coming south and see how much snow is packed on them, if any.  There is a truckstop cafe northbound before you enter no mans land, check in there too for the road conditions.  If a storm is blowing up there, take my advise and wait it out down in the valley.  No services till Haines Jct. and that is some real big country up there.  Highway dept. does take real good care of the road though, both sides of the border but it can blow shut in nothing flat in a bad storm.  Another route is stay on the ferry to Skagway, then go up over White Pass to Whitehorse, you will be on the Alaska Highway then a well traveled road.  About the same miles as the Haines Hwy.
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 01:36:56 AM »

I've been all thru that part of the world, my Dad lives in Tok. You are taking the ferry from Bellingham?  It's -35 in Tok right now.

None of this presents any problems for the locals, but you will want to assume the car will break down in the middle of nowhere and carry cold-weather survival gear and food.  Everything that can freeze, will.  Days are shorter there now, too.  Cars are commonly plugged in when not running.  Not sure how your batteries, oil, coolant, etc are gonna like being that cold (assuming you don't have a block heater).

I'd go in the summer Smiley. Then you can include a trip thru Dawson city, Yukon and take the top-of-the-world highway thru chicken into Tok and on to anchorage, etc.  That highway closes in the wintertime.
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 05:58:24 AM »

change oil to good synthetic, at least 5w30...or 0w30 if that is recommended ok weight for engine.
 Mainly, wait till after June 1st of next year.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 06:42:08 AM »

Thanks Guys, we're leaving today, twin falls tonite, I hope to get a block heater there, can't get one in LV, I have to be back to work in LV so there is a time deadline, back on the 5th, my friend is from Neb & lived in Chicago before LV, I'm  a Vegas boy, so I'll be really cold, I'll suggest Skagway, his grandfather was one of the founders of that town, I'll keep you guys posted, thanks for all the suggestions, tom, lvmci...
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 06:57:47 AM »

Check this video. I live in Quebec, Canada. I born in the snow. Have winter tire is not enough. Experience too.....

https://www.youtube.com/embed/oFkw5JFOmHk
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 07:42:50 AM »

Snow tires on the back?  Honda civic has front wheel drive!

tg
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 07:53:51 AM »

I drove truck for 21 years-carried chains but never hung them-they are still in their new boxes. Pure and simple-wait till around May to do this. Driving in severe winter weather isn't just a pain-it can be life threatening if you slide off the road in a white out and no one sees you go off the road. Tell her you'll do it in the spring. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 08:07:14 AM »

Tom have a safe trip! Gee, I still have all my arctic gear from the military that you could have borrowed. Be sure and down load the weatherbug App for your smart phone, radar, storm warning alerts and much more are available for free. Safe trip!
 
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 08:44:49 AM »

Check this video. I live in Quebec, Canada. I born in the snow. Have winter tire is not enough. Experience too.....

https://www.youtube.com/embed/oFkw5JFOmHk

I have to find a grocery store that delivers because I'm never leaving the house again. Shocked
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 08:47:02 AM »

Thanks so much, I gave all your advice to my friend, the third part of the trip thru Tok, Alaska, was the determening factor to cancel the trip. He's gonna ship the car from Seatle, we'll get it up there this week. Thanks You Guys for all your input, someday to Alaska under different circumstances, tom, lvmci...
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 08:53:48 AM »

I did the trip this time of year last year. I told myself I'd never do it again in the winter. My wife and I drove from Texas the whole way there. We stopped in Idaho and bought some new studded snow tires and was driving a four wheel drive van. The worst part of the trip for us was the blowing snow and white out conditions. We drove many many miles at 20mph with our hands out the windows slapping the wipers as they came within reach. We live in Alaska and are very familiar with winter driving, but that was living on the edge. We just flew out of Alaska yesterday down to Idaho, the temps in Anchorage are around 0 and you can expect -30 near the border. There has been no snow and doesn't look like there will be for a week or so. The roads in Alaska are good right now, not sure about Canada.
My best advice to you would be... carry survival gear, have a good set of tires mounted, test your antifreeze, make sure you have a good battery with a good cold cracking amp, and switching over to a good synthetic oil would be advised. It is very scary out there in the cold snow when you may not see anybody for awhile. BE CAREFUL and have a safe trip.
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 11:46:57 AM »

If you are going to put a new battery in it, wait until you are in the North.  A Southern battery is not a good idea.

Good Luck
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 05:34:23 PM »

thanks once again, we're going to bring car to Seattle, and ship it from there, ALL your advice was well appreciated, lvmci...
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2012, 06:19:35 PM »

LV, I know it sounds like a fun trip, but that is probably a wise choice. You won't regret that. Being stuck somewhere in a snowstorm is no fun.

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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2012, 06:46:33 PM »

John, who else can get you in more trouble then your friend? Relatives maybe, lvmci...
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2012, 07:23:26 PM »

well, rats.

A lovely outing in the snowy landscapes scuppered.

Forecast over the next few days for Whitehorse calls for flurries and temps -11 to -24 Fahrenheit.

Nicely cold enough that it will be dry.

More busnuts should give winter operations some consideration.

Everywhere is much quieter, fewer people, and you get to see things that few others get to see.

Your same good insulation that makes your coach cool works just as well in keeping your coach warm.

Nothing goes down the road with more stability in snow like a motor coach.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2012, 07:37:46 PM »

Sell the car and send her the money.
If it is not prepped prior to arrival,it ain't gonna start till spring if the temp drops.
add up the car's value+shipping+gas+expenses+return to LV.
Is it a new car?
my .02 worth 1/2 that.
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2012, 02:56:15 PM »

was wondering? sounded like a $3000 trip?  must be a great car or girl? Sell cars up there? Bob
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2012, 12:16:05 AM »

Talked to my dad today, he said it was 45 below in Tok.  Be happy you stayed put.
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2012, 03:06:27 AM »

this trip sounds like a sure way to thin out the gene pool
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2012, 05:41:36 AM »

Man, I know how you guys feel.  It got so cold here last week that I had to put on a long sleeved shirt.  I hate it when that happens.
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2012, 07:08:35 AM »

Yep, mighty cold in TOK.

Take a look:
 http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=63.3366667&lon=-142.9855556&site=all&smap=1&searchresult=Tok%2C%20AK%2C%20USA

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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2012, 04:07:28 PM »

Sounds like next weekend would be the time to go.  Getting all the way up to -13!  Grin

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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2012, 05:18:32 PM »

lots of vehicle components start acting funny, if at all when temps drop below -20,
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