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Old 04-01-2012, 11:34 AM
 
9 posts, read 41,525 times
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Hello everyone. My hubby has orders to go to Fairbanks and I have a few questions. We have to be there at the beginning of Nov. So to start with normally how cold is it there about that time? We were wanting to either drive the whole way or maybe take the ferry. But I haven't seen a ferry schedule past the beginning of Oct. Would it even be an option to do either? We also will have an 8 year and a 50 pound dog. I really don't wanna fly as I don't want to ship my dog lol. I do know we have to have a health certificate with in 30 days to get threw Canada for my dog. She is also chipped so that should help.
I hear there really isn't many gas station in Canada on the way and driving a V8 F150 worries me. Does anyone know if that has changed? Or if any of them would be open late Oct.? Should I winterize my truck before we get there? What would it take to winterize my truck? I bought all weather tires that handles dry,wet and snow but they aren't studded. Would that be good tires to keep?
To be completely honest we are from Florida (hints the username lol) and Fort Sill,OK is our first duty station. So any advice on the trip and what to expect would be really nice. Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
499 posts, read 1,803,727 times
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I've not been stationed in Alaska but know many that have. I have been stationed at FT Drum so I know a thing or two about long winters and snow.

You can take the ferry (assuming it runs that time of year). A friend of mine that drove to Alaska said he stopped at every gas station whether he needed to or not because he just didn't know when he would see the next one. Considering how many folks travel to and from Alaska, I suspect it'll be fine. I have heard some of the road network to Fairbanks is dirt.

I can't answer about winterizing. I have seen plenty of vehicles that are-- the extension card sticking out of the grill is hard to miss! I'm not sure there is a place in Latwon,OK that would really know what to do. As long as the vehicles are well maintained and Alaska won't be at its coldest yet, you can probably wait until you get there.

November-- yup, it'll already be cold. A lot colder than FL or OK!

I wouldn't think you'd need studded tires if the truck is 4WD but I'll let someone with more experience in Alaska provide input.

Best of luck on the PCS.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,023,167 times
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I lived in Fairbanks for 8 years and have traveled the Al-Can hwy 3 times. You don't need to worry about gas stations along the Al-Can there are plenty of them. You will enjoy the drive up the Al-can hwy, it a beautiful drive, plan on at least 3 days of driving. In October the snow starts flying, so if your going to drive expect some snow.
As far as getting your truck winterized for the Fairbanks winters, it is a must if you want to drive your truck. Get a block heater, an oil pan heater, and a battery blanket, if you choose to you can also get a pan heater for your transmission if it is an automatic. Be prepared for temps to fall below zero for extended amount of time, temps in Fairbanks can drop to -40 and stay there for a week. I'd suggest you get your truck winterized for the artic before you go, that is if you can find a shop that really knows what their doing, don't forget to get the grease changed in the differentals and wheel bearings, the grease needs to be an artic grade grease, again it needs to be able to withstand -40 conditions. FT. Wainwright is a pretty good size post and they will give you an orientation on the cold conditions you will experience in that area.
One big thing to remember, use your head when you go out in sub-zero conditions, don't get stupid it can cost you your life. Always carry cold weather survial equipment in your vehicle, if you break down it will save your life.
Living in Fairbanks I've seen allot of military personal come up to Fairbank unprepared and they paid the price, with cars that will not run and clothing that is best suited for Hawaii, just be smart and be prepared and you'll enjoy your experience in Alaska. Temps in Fairbanks can get as low as -60 in the winter, average is about -20, in the summer months the temps can get in the mid 90's. Good luck and enjoy it, you'll do fine.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,023,167 times
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I might add somthing elses, the Nothern Lights will blow you away, living there for 8 years and I never got tired of looking at them. Fairbanks also has the Winter Ice Festival, ice sculptors from all over the world go there. I hope your not one of those people that have a hard time adjusting to dark conditions, in the winter months the sun just breaks the horizon and that's about 10 AM and it sets at about 2PM. In the summer months there is no darkness, the sun just starts to set and you get about an hour of twilight,then the sun is on the rise, it's great if you enjoy outdoor activities.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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Thank you for the most helpful advise! I didn't think about the wheel bearing grease With my husband being a mechanic would it be best for him to winterize our truck? We were hoping to leave Oklahoma in the middle of Oct. and avoiding as mush snow and ice as we can lol and to be able to enjoy they wonderful view I keep hearing about.
As far as clothes I was going to wait till we got there to get winter clothes but try to get some in the lower 48 to make due till we can go shopping there. Any opinion on where to get good winter clothes?
As far as the sun or the lack there of I hope shouldn't be too much of a problem...dark curtains right? lol The Northern lights are breath taking on tv and pic so I can't wait to see them in person!
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,023,167 times
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You husband being a mechanic should be able to do the job, it's really not that difficult of a job. As far as clothing goes, I suggest going to Big Rays in Fairbanks, they have everything you'll need to stay warm in the outdoors and they have been a fixture in Fairbanks for many years, long before the chain stores arrived. They can equip you from the feet to the top of your head.
During the summer months we used black out curtains, which work great. When I first arrived in Fairbanks is was difficult to get used to the sun being up all the time, but one adjust and it becomes no problem. Some people can not adjust to the conditions in both winter and summer so they wind up leaving the area.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:48 AM
 
3 posts, read 11,712 times
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i plan on flying there when me and my wife pcs to wainwright.is it possible i can take my dog with me??we're in tx,how long does it take to get my vehicle shipped to alaska?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,023,167 times
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Yes, you can take your dog on the plane, as long as the dog has been seen by a Vet first, check with Alaska laws about bringing pets into the state. As far a having your vehicle shipped to Alaska, it all depends on who's shipping from your area to Alaska. I'd check around with trucking companies in your area and see if any of them have scheduled trips to Fairbanks, then see if they will haul your vehicle, it can be very expensive.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:30 PM
 
9 posts, read 41,525 times
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Well we were suppose to be there by now but orders were delayed for deployment. We should be there now in March 2014. I still can't wait! In a way I am glad it was put off, we will be able to adjust better going into spring and summer :-)
Should I still winterize my truck before we go at that time of year. The gas doesn't really worry me as much, as I totaled my F150 and got a SUV lol. But are more stations open that time of year? I also plan on buy a hand gun and rifle does anyone know if I will be able to travel threw Canada with them? Thank you for all the help and advice :-)
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,843 posts, read 3,668,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridagirl0808 View Post
Well we were suppose to be there by now but orders were delayed for deployment. We should be there now in March 2014. I still can't wait! In a way I am glad it was put off, we will be able to adjust better going into spring and summer :-)
Should I still winterize my truck before we go at that time of year. The gas doesn't really worry me as much, as I totaled my F150 and got a SUV lol. But are more stations open that time of year? I also plan on buy a hand gun and rifle does anyone know if I will be able to travel threw Canada with them? Thank you for all the help and advice :-)
You can travel through Canada with guns but there are very strict regulations for doing so. Look very hard at Canadian websites telling you how to do it because you do not want to get caught and dinged for transporting a gun improperly.

You have plenty of time to winterize your vehicle before now and then. I suggest you look on the Alaska forum as there's a thread all about driving the Al-Can in Winter. You'll want to make very sure you know your mileage and plan stops for gas in advance. Having extra fuel isn't a bad idea. Also make sure you have blankets, food, water, an emergency road kit, anything you'd need if you break down in a cold and snowy area.

It's a beautiful from what I hear, one I'll be making in the not so distant future, hell, maybe around the time you are. Just do plenty of research on making the trip and you'll be good.
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