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 > Your search for posts made by 'PA12DRVR' found 149 matches.

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RE: Summer fuel at minus 42

Back in the day, the boss says to me, wrap the tank, put in the battery heaters, and check the coolant before taking your trip. Coolant was easy to check: - 60, good. Battery heaters, easy enough, accessible through the cab, good. Wrap the tank? "I don't wanna, I have to crawl under the truck, I'll get dirty, it's cold waaa!" Shoulda, woulda, coulda: Would have been much easier to put the tank wrap/heater on in a relatively warm +10 on a packed snow yard, with a nice warm shop to retreat to every so often at Los Anchorage rather than building the Rube Goldberg tent over the truck and dealing with space heaters, additives, etc for the better part of a day when the fuel gelled at -35 just outside of Glenallen. Although my commercial truck / equipment days are long past (and they were minimal to begin with) for my diesel pickup, I'm pretty aggressive about getting winter blend as soon as available...even though it's nowhere near as critical as in times past.
PA12DRVR 01/14/20 09:17am Tow Vehicles
RE: Chevy 8.1 truck with low miles?

Grit posted a good find for someone in the market. Lot to be said for the old 8.1 gasser. May not compare to the new rigs in many ways but probably a good balance of remaining life, ability, entry cost, and opex. I'd be willing to guess that the old 8.1 has fewer computer chip/electronic parts to fail like happened on my 2009 2500HD with Duramax at about 120k....the iron is fine, but engine and tranny electronics all took a hike within about a 6-month period (8 - 12 different failures, one at -20 that convinced me to drop serious coin for a new rig).
PA12DRVR 01/09/20 05:06pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Winter sets in

"Wisdom, maybe!" I use a fireplace to supplement my home's heating system (as well as because the wife likes it). there are 3 options to secure firewood: 1) go out to the cabin (about 70 miles) cut wood (either fallen or to-be-felled, spruce & birch), buck it up, haul back to Los Anchorage....all done most "efficiently" in the winter; 2) pay $250 for a true cord of mixed spruce and birch piled somewhere in the yard by a wood supplier; or 3) pay $300 for a true cord delivered and stacked by the other wood supplier whilst I carefully point out the spot to stack while enjoying either a hot or cold beverage. Wisdom has pointed me to #3 for the past couple of years.....
PA12DRVR 01/09/20 03:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: BMW vs KTM vs Triumph vs Honda Adventure motorcycle

Can't speak from direct experience, but my BIL got the BMW a few years ago...rode the heck out of it without any problems that weren't driver caused (great bike, but it's not a 2-wheel ATV). Can't say for sure, but believe he put 25k miles on it in a 3 (?) year stretch. Made him feel young enough again (apparently) that he un-retired and took a consulting gig back on Wall Street, so the bike doesn't get used as much now.
PA12DRVR 01/09/20 09:58am Around the Campfire
RE: Winter sets in

"...your experience in those cold temperatures..." Having added 40 years since that trip, I simply wouldn't go out into the wilds again if there was even a hint that it would get colder than -20 or so. While going out in -15 (to pick a number) means be prudent and prepared for the unexpected further 20 degree drop, for me, I just won't go out if the forecast is "-15, with an Arctic Mass moving in over the weekend driving temperatures much lower" (made-up example of course). It ain't worth the risk anymore.
PA12DRVR 01/07/20 05:07pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Winter sets in

Re: Caribou hunt No animals taken on that hunt: - It was too cold for there to be much movement, so limited opportunities in any case; - For the few days that we were strategically staying put (vs. trying for fire up and fly back to Los Anchorage), the prime objective was to ensure the woodbox was full, that the woodstove was either freshly stoked or cleaned of ash and then fired up, and that the snowmelt buckets were full and placed on the woodstove. - After doing all that, given the time of year, we had about 3 maybe 4 at the most hours of daylight; the hunting involved heading out on snowshoes, so by the time one builds in a safety margin (to ensure return before dark) and when one travels carefully at -40 to nearly -60 (carefully = slowly), one doesn't cover much ground. The quonset hut was on the end of a narrow lake, with two small valleys on either side: We covered those valleys, but not much more over the 4-5 days we went out....simply saw no 'bou. ...and even though we degreased and graphited our firearms (using 70's technology), I suspect its debatable if they'd have fired properly even if we found something to shoot at. We did shoot quite a few ptarmigan nearby with the old exposed hammer(s) side-by-side shotgun that the guy kept at the hut.
PA12DRVR 01/07/20 10:19am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Winter sets in

On that caribou hunt, "back in the day" (of my long lost youth), two airplanes / 3 guys flew into a strip on the other side of the Alaska range and promptly landed on about a bazillion feet of fresh snow...had to swim out of the plane. At the time it was "only" about -10, but the most experienced guy said "Let's drain the oil, just in case". So, on the first day, the last 3 hours of daylight were spent compacting the space around the planes, draining the oil into buckets and carefully carrying it to the nearby quonset hut. Good thing: it dropped to -35, then to circa -50 and stayed there for about 5 days. The quonset hut had good wood stove...good thing because at -50, it had become a survival expedition. The 3 of us spent those few days tromping down a packed "strip" for an eventual departure. After a while, lo and behold, it warmed up to -25...which was noticeably warmer after -50+. The tall young buck (me in those days) promptly starts roping the frost off the metal wings and sweeping it off the fabric wings while the experienced folks heat the oil on the wood stove, carry it carefully out, and even more carefully put it in the engine...some preheating, then all hands work to pop each airplane loose from the snow and back to los Anchorage just in time to call off the CAP. Memorable event even after 40 years. While I've avoided outside work as much as possible since then (:) ), at anything below -20, things are done very slowly, very carefully, and with much forethought. At -50, a mistake (presuming one's "out of town") is probably deadly.
PA12DRVR 01/06/20 03:48pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Winter sets in

It's cooled off even in Los Anchorage area. The truck thermometer (FWIW) showed -11 at the house on Sunday a.m., -11 at Eagle River, and a cool -17 just north of Palmer. Back in the old days (when winter was "normal"), I always used to figure that down to -20 was to be expected and, while not pleasant, just deal with it. -25, -30, -40 (or Purkeypile mine on frosty winter caribou hunt, -58) is just no fun and to be avoided if at all possible. My hat is off to the folks (troopers, linemen, wrecker drivers, and others) that just keep on going, regardless of the temps.
PA12DRVR 01/06/20 09:41am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Thinking of replacing ASME propane tank

This is a stamped (U, V, UM, ....) ASME Tank? I'd suspect that unless you're seeing pitting that you would believe weakens the tank, it's probably fine. However, given what appears to be the difficulty and expense of replacing it, it might be worth looking around for a tank shop (an industrial tank fabrication shop, not Joe's Propane) with an "R" stamp: they will have a National Board / ASME approved testing program and will likely be able to hook up to the tank, pressure test it in place, and identify if it is suitable for continued use. Might have to pay a bit since most folks with an R stamp think of "tank" in the hundreds of gallons or hundreds/thousands of psi, but an R stamp shop should have a testing program that would indicate continued suitability for use.
PA12DRVR 01/03/20 03:08pm General RVing Issues
RE: F450 vs F350 SRW payload

"This may sound like heresy to some, but I don’t agree with the old saying of “You can never have too much truck”. Actually you can. I would rather haul my camper on an “overloaded” (wink, wink) F450 pickup than an F550 that is sprung to carry 2-3 times as much weight. Lightly loading a heavy truck like that is what ends up making a Link air ride system look good." I max out my F550 with either dirt or boulders about twice a year...and for about a month I carry enough sand / equipment on it to have a decent ride. Other than that, the ride will beat you to pieces. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably end up with the same setup, but would have to look long and hard at the 450 pickup model.
PA12DRVR 12/30/19 06:27pm Tow Vehicles
RE: F450 vs F350 SRW payload

"Otherwise as noted by many of that use our rigs commercial, or live in a jurisdiction that charges tonnage be a truck is used commercial or private like here in Washington state. Manufactures stickers be dammed! They mean nothing." ^^^ This. I had to jump through hoops both registering and insuring my F550 dump truck(a previous generation, so not germane to the 2020 discussion) when the primary use was going to be personal and not commercial.
PA12DRVR 12/30/19 10:01am Tow Vehicles
RE: Winter sets in

Y'all are making me miss wintertime up there. (Yes I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the wife said if we'd stayed any longer she would require a plow with a heated cab!). She took to plowing the drive with the quad quite well. Had the cleanest driveway in the 'hood! Well, you missed winter, it's now once again, non-winter (for the Los Anchorage area anyway)....Friday after Christmas, the truck thermometer showed -14 at the house. This morning, while it was freaking raining (!), showed 36....and of course, my plow truck (which is also the sanding truck) chooses yesterday to develop a glitch....oh well.
PA12DRVR 12/30/19 09:42am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Winter sets in

Valdez has a fairly unique combination of attributes for snowfall: - Consistently in the top 10 for total / total average snowfall (don't think it was ever #1) - """ """""""""""""""""" for measured rate of snowfall - """" """""" for "most months of the year" (my wording) with significant snowfall...June, July, and August are the only insignificant months. Winter of 2012/2013 saw a 20(?) year high of snowfall not only in Valdez but in many other measured areas in Southcentral AK. Of course, I started my snowplow business in the winter of 2013/2014. :( I have about 1/2 an acre of driveway and turn-around space that gets plowed with my F550 plow truck. Not a real problem but a bit of a pain-in-the-you know what when I have to fire up the plow rig more than once in any given 24 hour period...like the past 2 days. Now about those hardworking Alaskans on the street corners of Los Anchorage......
PA12DRVR 12/27/19 12:32pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Winter sets in

I'll have to get up to Healy to check out the new 3 Bears. A welcome addition, I'm sure. My BIL drove from Squarebanks to Los Anchorage for Christmas (leaving a couple days before) rather than fly when he saw the temp on his hangar door was -38....that's getting pretty close to the magical -40 that tends to be the cutoff for most activities. We've even had winter in Los Anchorage the past few days...3 days of below 20 temps and snow. Great for the sno-go, not so great for the guy that has to plow :(
PA12DRVR 12/26/19 09:58am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Denali NP-probable shutdown 2020 season-Updated 2/19/20

Crowe, That should be a good location....it won't be quite as "commercialized" as Brooks Falls and similar locations and you should have smaller groups (even factoring in the overnighters) to deal with for the bear watching and similar activities. FWIW, as you probably know already, coastal bear watching is a bit different than further inland: bears tend to be less concentrated, but so do the people. Hip boots are always a good thing as are telephoto lenses.
PA12DRVR 12/23/19 10:00am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Denali NP-probable shutdown 2020 season-Updated 2/19/20

For my $0.02, recognizing the lower level of infrastructure, accessibility, etc, I think the Lake Clark area is preferable to the McKinley / Denali area. If there is time in the trip, it would probably still be worthwhile to visit the Denali area, drive in as far as one can, arrange flightseeing from the area, etc. Camping (or some variant thereof) at Denali State Park can be pretty nice and for views of The Mountain, and the Mountains, there are pretty spectacular views available from the highway and from the road into Talkeetna.
PA12DRVR 12/22/19 10:39am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Single Rear Wheel vs Dually - Whats the Best for You

Good job boys, but we're only 3 pages into the hypothetical scenarios and rhetoric! I’m just commenting to help push it to page 5.... Me too...but between the 2 SRW 2500's and the 1 DRW 550 in "the fleet", I can do a bit of picking and choosing what is best on any given day. ...not sure this will make it to 8 pages....
PA12DRVR 12/15/19 01:27pm Tow Vehicles
RE: So many closed topics!

"Around the Campfire" used to be very open and freeform. Then some people complained that it was too open and freeform. Those were the days......
PA12DRVR 12/13/19 10:15am Tow Vehicles
RE: Renting an RV in Alaska

So.... I live here, so have no particular expertise on the RV infrastructure, but offer a few more thoughts; - the pictures posted by TrackRig (Denali Highway? Tok Cutoff? Nabesna?) are what Alaska is all about IMNSHO. Call me biased, but that's the best of Alaska, particularly if it ends with a 54" + rack on the back. - That being said, maybe those pictures aren't what attracts most RV'ers. - The "road system" in Alaska can be navigated by a smaller MH or smaller RV trailer with some cautions: The Taylor tends to get narrow and muddy in the spring / fall; The Edgerton can be soft in spots in the late spring; Denali can get snow earlier than the main roads (Parks Highway / Richardson Highway) that are on either side of it. - The main road system (Glenn Highway: Los Anchorage - Glennallen; Parks Highway: Wasilla - Fairbanks; Richardson Highway: Fairbanks-Delta-Glennallen-Valdez; Dalton Highway, the southern part) is suitable for RV / MH travel. There will be bumps in places and possible snow in late September, but I wouldn't skip RV'ng in Alaska because of fears about the main roads - The secondary roads: Edgerton, Denali, Taylor, etc have some issues but can be RV'd with some planning, inquiry, and pre-trip thinking. The big issue is that rental companies tend to restrict one from taking the rental rigs on these roads. Just like anywhere in the Western US, there are some roads that are "do-able" but may not make sense to take an RV on. Alaska has some of those types of roads - September (with the current climate, edging into October) is my absolute favorite time of year in Southcentral Alaska. A crisp fall day makes the snowcovered mountains pop out and the bugs (and most tourists :) ) are gone, it's hunting season and the less-crowded time to go fishing. If one RV's in a self-contained way, particularly if staying on the "main road" system, September is very RV'-able if you keep an eye on snow at the higher elevations.....but August would be some degree less "care-ridden" and would have much more to offer in the way of RV infrastructure if needed. - Having traveled to/from Los Anchorage from the L48 some 20+ times, while I won't admit that there is better scenery anywhere than Alaska, the Northern Mountain West in the US and the trip up through BC and the Yukon are all very scenic areas. Every time I pass through the Kluane / Destruction Bay area, most recently in 2018, I can't help but go "WoW".....
PA12DRVR 12/12/19 01:44pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Renting an RV in Alaska

...when it gets a bit later in the morning, I'm sure you'll have plenty of folks chiming in, but to get a couple thoughts out before I go to work: - Many of the tourist facilities (campgrounds, etc) up here close by mid-September; - Depending where you travel (i.e. Fairbanks and beyond or just in Southcentral AK), you'll likely see cooler temps and possibly snow/ice by late September, although winter is a fickle creature lately - Several roads in Alaska are on the "don't go here" list from the rental companies: I'd check carefully, but I believe that most rental places ban travel on the Edgerton Highway (road to McCarthy / Chitina), the Denali Highway (road between Paxson and Cantwell) and the Haul Road / Dalton Highway (to the North Slope). That's unfortunate because the Denali particularly (IMNSHO) is one of the most scenic drives in AK. I'm not sure about the "banned" status of Taylor Highway (road to Chicken / Eagle, both popular destinations), but I believe it runs the risk of being weather-impacted, although probably later than September.
PA12DRVR 12/12/19 10:20am RVing in Canada and Alaska
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