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Old 08-12-2019, 02:49 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 244
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
ALCAN in March?

I'll probably get orders to PCS around March from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The good:
- block heater, oil pan heater, battery warmers, etc,
- generator modified to work in extreme cold
- three sources of heat (electric, propane, engine auxiliary)
- all the clothing I need to survive arctic cinditions.
- 100-gallon fuel tank
- satellite messaging device
- all the tools to change a tire

The bad:
- my tires have no traction on ice
- unpredictable weather (possibility of lots of snow/ice)
- almost no services open along the highway
- if it's like Alaska, the snow is plowed onto the shoulders, leaving few places to pull over out of the roadway

So, is there any way I could safely tackle this? Even if all my heaters failed, I have warm enough clothing - I'm not worried about the cold. I'm worried about traction on ice, breakdowns, lack or services, etc.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
M1031A1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,398
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I'll probably get orders to PCS around March from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The good:
- block heater, oil pan heater, battery warmers, etc,
- generator modified to work in extreme cold
- three sources of heat (electric, propane, engine auxiliary)
- all the clothing I need to survive arctic cinditions.
- 100-gallon fuel tank
- satellite messaging device
- all the tools to change a tire

The bad:
- my tires have no traction on ice
- unpredictable weather (possibility of lots of snow/ice)
- almost no services open along the highway
- if it's like Alaska, the snow is plowed onto the shoulders, leaving few places to pull over out of the roadway

So, is there any way I could safely tackle this? Even if all my heaters failed, I have warm enough clothing - I'm not worried about the cold. I'm worried about traction on ice, breakdowns, lack or services, etc.
The only thing I can think of is to either buy a set of chains for the tires or a set of studded tires. Hope that helps.....

M
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:54 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,272
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
I'm pretty sure chains are mandatory in certain parts of Alaska, so that's what I would be buying.

You can also look up better tires for snow/ice. I know Continental makes a tire that is engineered for winter in 11R22.5.

But chains are the major item. Regular chains, I don't know if I'd be trying to use spot chains in this situation.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 2,265
Year: 1975
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
I'll probably get orders to PCS around March from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The good:
- block heater, oil pan heater, battery warmers, etc,
- generator modified to work in extreme cold
- three sources of heat (electric, propane, engine auxiliary)
- all the clothing I need to survive arctic cinditions.
- 100-gallon fuel tank
- satellite messaging device
- all the tools to change a tire

The bad:
- my tires have no traction on ice
- unpredictable weather (possibility of lots of snow/ice)
- almost no services open along the highway
- if it's like Alaska, the snow is plowed onto the shoulders, leaving few places to pull over out of the roadway

So, is there any way I could safely tackle this? Even if all my heaters failed, I have warm enough clothing - I'm not worried about the cold. I'm worried about traction on ice, breakdowns, lack or services, etc.
I never had trouble with snow tires on my dual wheeled one tons when I traveled that highway - best to pack a good set of heavy duty chains though - NOT the cable type
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:01 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 244
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
A quick google search showed tire chains for sale at a ballpark of $300/pair. How many and which tires? When should they be on versus off on the ALCAN? If I see dry pavement, take them off and hit an ice patch, it could potentially be a bad day.

Last winter, I lived on a hill and drove up and down a half-dozen times a day with never a problem using my truck and blizzak snow tires. When I drove the bus, it was a white knuckle ride and I almost slid off the road a couple times. I'm pretty good at driving on ice, but those bus tires are abysmal with ice. I'm assuming bus snow tires are extremely expensive (all-terrain tires look like $500-800 each tire).
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