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Old 09-28-2015, 05:54 PM
1 posts, read 1,236 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, I'm planning on attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks and I'm driving up there from San Diego. I have all weather tires and i'm driving up there in November. Is there anything I need to know before moving up there? Also I was wondering what kind of tires I need. I have a 2003 Chevy Avalanche that is a 4x4. I was also what kind of cloths you need for the winter (what I could ware while still looking nice like a pea coat? with layers? I'm not sure.) It's a long drive from here and half way up I don't want to realise I needed something and don't have it. Thank you for the help!
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:27 AM
Location: Deltana, AK
864 posts, read 1,854,833 times
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Sounds like it'll be an adventure. All weather tires should be fine if your vehicle is all-time 4wd. Good winter tires like Blizzaks give extra traction, but wear quickly so don't get them put on until Seattle or somewhere in Canada. You'll likely start to run into snow in mountain passes in southern BC, then more consistent snow in northern BC, by Fort Nelson almost certainly. Beyond there, you'll notice the daylight hours getting short, and since you're probably not used to driving dark, snowy, remote roads with lots of big wildlife, it's best to limit driving to daylight hours. Especially be sure to do the stretch through the mountains between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake in daylight. In November, you probably won't have problems with extreme cold, but be aware that things get more serious when it's below -20, and driving remote below -40 is not advisable. Keep an eye on the forecast. If it's snowing heavily, it's best to wait it out at a hotel.

Also look into the requirements for driving into Canada (passport, pet info, firearm restrictions, etc). For clothes, just be sure to have a warm hat, some thin gloves you can actually do things in, some thicker mittens, and insulated boots for getting around in the snow. Otherwise, just bring lots of what you already have - two layers of reasonably thick clothes should be fine as long as you have a warm sleeping bag or lots of blankets in the car for emergencies. Figure out what you'll wear day to day once you get to Fairbanks.

You'll need to get your car winterized at some point, which generally includes a block heater, battery heater, and often others, as well as fluids rated for use at -60 degrees. Since you're coming from California, you'll want to at least get the fluids changed before you hit Canada. It might be hard to find anyone who knows how to install the engine heaters, which can probably wait until Fairbanks, in November. Just be aware that your car may not start without them when it's below zero.

Lots of stuff... It's not a casual drive.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:52 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,718 posts, read 4,779,164 times
Reputation: 2333
In my opinion, The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner is the essential guide to the drive. Be sure and get a copy.
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