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RE: Thoughts on studded tires

Thanks for the input. We live in Los Anchorage and the dominant condition (for the past several years) is frequent snow followed by warm temps and melting. At best, we get polished ice at intersections; at worst, ice on all the roads. Having done both, for the Los Anchorage climate, I'd have to give the nod to studded tires over a siped tire and certainly over an all-season...were we in Squarebanks where it stays winter once it decides to be winter, siped or perhaps even an all-season would be better, but in my experience, they just don't work as well for our predominantly ice conditions. All that being said, my pick-em-up has Blizzaks on it and it does just fine...but the wife has a preference for studs: combining that preference with an arguably better fit for our climate, I'll look into studded options. Grit....on the sno-go fleet, the one I ride has studs. I haven't yet convinced the GK's or the wife that there's a pretty strong need to be heavy on the throttle to power through curves when driving a studded track. Had one rollover with the oldest grandkid driving, so they're now relegated to the studless machines.
PA12DRVR 12/06/19 04:21pm Tow Vehicles
Thoughts on studded tires

Any thoughts from the Northern tier folks on a preferred studded tire for a small SUV (Jeep Liberty or similar) Have to replace the winter tires on the wife's vehicle and, while I have my own experience/biases/preferences, would be interested in any feedback on others' preferred studded tire ....assuming there's anywhere left where such tires are allowed besides Los Anchorage.
PA12DRVR 12/06/19 09:51am Tow Vehicles
RE: Can my truck tow this?

Hitch up and go. You’ll know after a few tanks of fuel if it will tow it or not. You’ve already spent the money, go enjoy it. If you find you truck isn’t quite up to the task, get a bigger truck, no big deal. I would say that this largely captures it ^^^^^. If that doesn't capture it, then go (as slow as you can / want to) to the nearest CAT scale and get the truck/trailer combination weighed in an as-loaded for camping condition. Check the weights against the published GVWR/GCVWR/Tongue numbers (plus whatever other numbers might apply). If the weights are over, only the OP can decide how much over is acceptable or not. If I were starting from a blank sheet of paper, I like to be well within the numbers. Life doesn't always deliver a blank sheet of paper so I've done what LanceRKeys suggested and used the "numbers don't add up" combo to whatever degree I felt was safely in control for the drive. FWIW, I would look at LT tires and double check the hitch rating (as printed on your receive).....
PA12DRVR 12/03/19 02:35pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Adding air bags: can that increase payload capacity?

I've had setups where my truck / trailer (and not only RV's) was within the "numbers" (GVWR, GCVWR, axle ratings, etc) and the truck sagged so much that I simply didn't like it. Airbags, helper springs, etc would help level the setup, even if not affecting the numbers / rating ...hence airbags would have been a desirable feature. The basic question is whether one will be concerned about the numbers...if you're going to stay within them, then for this posting, a dually is probably the truck to get. If one is not going to be overly concerned about the numbers, probably a new-ish SRW truck could work. I always tend to want to stay in the numbers but in years past, based on CAT weighings, I've had one combo that was about 15% over the GCVWR, although within axle and GVWR, and strangely enough, in about 15,000 miles with that combo, it didn't blow up.
PA12DRVR 11/27/19 10:06am Tow Vehicles
RE: Do you have a bed liner?

Bought my first p/u in 1976. Ended up putting a poj slide in liner in that. Don't recommend that route...seems to be the worst of all worlds. I've since had both factory and aftermarket spray-in liners..and wouldn't have a p/u without one. I carry tools (in boxes or not), several totes of "goes with the truck gear" (tools, straps, tire chains in the winter, etc), a jack, infrequent lumber or similar goods, very infrequent loose materials (gravel, topsoil, etc), fairly frequent yard debris to haul to the dump, skis, snowshoes, hockey gear, sno-go materials, etc. I think the spray-in bedliner really helps preserve the bed. On my previous rig, after a solid 12 years of the above-use, I found 1-2 spots where I'd either worn through or gouged through the liner.
PA12DRVR 11/26/19 04:26pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Do you have a bed liner?

Bought my first p/u in 1976. Ended up putting a poj slide in liner in that. Don't recommend that route...seems to be the worst of all worlds. I've since had both factory and aftermarket spray-in liners..and wouldn't have a p/u without one. I carry tools (in boxes or not), several totes of "goes with the truck gear" (tools, straps, tire chains in the winter, etc), a jack, infrequent lumber or similar goods, very infrequent loose materials (gravel, topsoil, etc), fairly frequent yard debris to haul to the dump, skis, snowshoes, hockey gear, sno-go materials, etc. I think the spray-in bedliner really helps preserve the bed. On my previous rig, after a solid 12 years of the above-use, I found 1-2 spots where I'd either worn through or gouged through the liner.
PA12DRVR 11/26/19 04:15pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Your first post on the forum

Sometime back in 2003.....my how things have changed.
PA12DRVR 11/22/19 09:37am Around the Campfire
RE: Current crop of SUV'S

Isn't "SUV" just marketing lingo that has no real meaning good or bad? I owned an IH Carryall way back in the day; currently have a Toyota Sequoia and have had a Suburban, Wagoneer, Cherokee, Liberty, and Subaru something in between. Some could tow a lot (nothing compared to my F550...) some not so much, but all of them could be "sporty" depending on the meaning, and all had some utility...so they're all "Sport Utility Vehicles" in my book. The Sequoia's great for towing the sno-go's or the small ATV and it's great for running around town. The F550's great for towing the flatbed and for plowing snow; not so much for grocery getting. Each vehicle fills a mission slot and if it works, the maker can call it a Blkgovfizit for all I care.
PA12DRVR 11/19/19 03:27pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Selling my RV advice

I sold a 5th wheel through PPL, a 30' Travel Trailer through craigslist, and a smaller TT for a trade-in. All were paid off. - Other than dropping off the 5th wheel on a miserably hot and humid day, my entire experience with PPL was pleasant. Obviously, I can't state with certainty, but I might, might, have been able to pickup another $1,000 - $1,500 (on a circa $55 - $60k) sale if I'd gone the craigslist route. - When selling the TT on craigslist, I had several contacts who wanted to sell ME a travel trailer, a couple of contacts who offered a job or wanted a job, and....one or two contacts that referenced the model of my TT, a cougar...it took innumerable e-mails, phone calls, meetings etc to separate the real from the fake, although eventually I did get my asking price. - For me, any lost $$ in selling through PPL is infinitely preferable to the bovine leftovers that come with dealing with craigslist. A true private sale (like to one's neighbor or RV buddy) might be better than PPL, but I'd go with PPL over craigslist or any generic public sale method.
PA12DRVR 11/08/19 12:01pm General RVing Issues
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

"If the PIC does not know if they are properly trained and qualified to safely fly the airplane, IMO he/she should NOT take off." I think that's the appropriate summary right there. I fly a PA-12 all the time and my buddy's PA-18 a bit during the summer months. Those two a/c are about as close to the same and as straightforward as they come, but I still (after XX years) believe it's worth it to get an hour of instruction when transitioning to the -18.
PA12DRVR 11/08/19 09:29am Around the Campfire
RE: I take back all the good stuff I've said about Les Schwabs!

I was going to chime in that I always had outstanding service from Les Schwab when I lived in Spokane for 3 years.... ...until my incipient mortality stared me in the face and I realized that "it wasn't that long ago" was actually more than 20 years ago (1995 - 1998). :(
PA12DRVR 11/06/19 12:29pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

Makes me appreciate the ol' PA-12: - gear's always down :), - the AOA is very limited function (only when critical) and is built into the seat :) - gentle sashay when "stalling" (have to do a whip stall to get a break), ......and MCAS is well below where the ASI stops indicating.
PA12DRVR 11/04/19 09:36am Around the Campfire
RE: Neighborhood bear

As an almost-lifelong Alaskan, who's had some degree of firearm training and spent a fair amount of time in the bear (brownie and blackie) woods, I'd only offer a few points - First as noted in one of the cited articles, it's not how fast one deploys their firearm or spray, it's avoiding bruin in the first place. That can't be stressed enough, practiced enough, or written down in a brochure. It takes lots of time in the woods, time with the old-timers, learning not to walk through tall grass, etc. - Secondly, even as an unabashed believer in the firearm school, it's obvious that being able to competently deploy bearspray requires an exponentially-less degree of training / practice that the training / practice necessary to competently use a suitable firearm. <<<<< I think this may factor into the statistical difference on the efficiency of spray v. firearms. - Finally, sounding like the proverbial broken record, far too many people put their faith in big-ol hand cannons, paper numbers, and write-ups in the outdoor mags. As an illustration, my hunting guide friend(s) would far rather have a client with an old beat up 30-06 that they can and do shoot accurately than a client that has a new whiz-bang .36875 LoudenBoomer Magnum that they are either scared of or unable to shoot accurately. I believe there is an honest question (for some folks) whether the second-best choice for bear is firearm or spray. The best choice is always awareness and thoughtfulness. After that, it's always a personal choice. I chose my trusty H&H...many others would be better off with the spray. Oh, and BTW, there was a small brownie in the driveway two days ago (he was quickly passing through) and a momma blackie and two cubs a month ago, they were just strolling on by...:)
PA12DRVR 11/01/19 09:44am Around the Campfire
RE: Boeing 737 crashes..........why ?

I read on another forum that the training on the 737Max was "incomplete" (I can't recall a better word, but I'm trying to report rather than criticize) in that the training didn't address quite a few situations that faced a combination of: - being at some edge of the performance envelope (primarily, strangely enough, near MCAS) - Where the procedures for the 737 might not have been updated to reflect the unique computer / control interfaces in the 737Max -...and therefore the pilot was having to both deal with the aircraft envelope and was also essentially fighting the computer. This other forum has several members who are primarily retired major line ATP's, including one that pulled the plug because he was entitled and because his new routes were going to be on the 737Max <<<< the internet makes liars of us all but if that one is true, I find it interesting.
PA12DRVR 10/31/19 11:01am Around the Campfire
RE: Neighborhood bear

All these people afraid to go out in the woods without a gun because of black bears? Wow. Maybe they should stay home hiding under their beds. In grizzly country you may be be able to make an argument for a gun, but even then bear spray is more effective than a firearm. I spent my entire working career in black bear country and never felt one bit concerned. Saw plenty, never a fear. I have successfully shooed off every one by yelling and waving my arms. I have more concern over yellowjackets and poison oak. Black bears are big, but normally shy and will flee from people at the first chance. They are only a problem when their desire for food outweighs their normal fear of people. So just use the normal precautions and carry bear spray if you feel a need. A gun is unnecessary weight. I got smart and stopped carrying one while hiking years ago. There just is not a need in black bear country. With a few caveats, I've got to agree with most of the above. - I'm more concerned with bugs than with the bears if it is strictly blackie country - If it's mixed black and brown, I'm not worried about the blackies at all...they'll be running scared of their shadows - On general principles, I don't believe that spray is a better deterrent than a competently used proper firearm for a big brownie. Key being "competently" and "proper": The 600 atomic pistol that get's fired once a year isn't going to be competently used. A 9mm (unless one is exceptionally lucky) even if aimed and hitting where it should be won't stop a brownie that's decided she doesn't like you. In my personal case, I have my 10mm at the cabin for general use and for 2-legged varmint scare. Although I'm reasonably competent with it and would use it against bruin if need be, I don't use it as protection in known brownie country. If I am concerned about brownie, and being alert and aware and away from the salmon streams really reduces concern, I'll carry my short-ish 375.
PA12DRVR 10/31/19 10:52am Around the Campfire
RE: Gm 2500HD GAS VS DIESEL

I bought my diesel for one reason only, towing power. I don't care about the payback. As far I'm concerned it already paid me back in spades because I can now make a 1000 mile trip to Mesa, AZ and use the cruise control 75% of the time vs. none of the time with my 6.0L Vortec. It tows up the hills and brakes me down the hills 10 times better than the 6.0L Vortec ever did. ^^^ This. I don't do the RV thing very much anymore, but for the boat, the flatbed, the "will you bring your dump trailer and haul this away", and similar issues...within the same class, I always choose diesel. Having had a 6.0 vortec and now having a couple different diesel 3/4 ton vehicles, it's nice to see a response to the pedal other than a huge jump in RPM's.
PA12DRVR 10/28/19 02:04pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Alaska Marine Highway

Can still depart from Bellingham, even if the Prince Rupert stuff doesn't get sorted. In any case, if one takes the AMHS on the "Inside Passage", do not skimp on either your photography gear or your rain gear. The photo ops are incredible and not to be missed (even in the rain!)
PA12DRVR 10/28/19 09:01am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Neighborhood bear

Ditto on the "no food association".....one should keep their home as "scent free" as possible to keep bears away. Bird feeders are very high on the list of attractants to blackies, and probably the brown shade bears as well, but they just don't do as well with people as the blackies. Feeders are banned here on the Los Anchorage hillside from April-ish to November-ish (don't recall the exact dates) to avoid attracting bears during their active season. There have been tomes written on how to deal with bruin...but the best advice (as hinted at above) is to be alert, avoid them, and be ready to retreat as soon as bear shows up. Personal pet peeve of mine is over-reliance on the hand-cannons: a gentleman in Paulden AZ taught me, many years ago, that to achieve equal degrees of accuracy, one needed to practice 5 x as much with a handgun as with a long-gun. Volumes of ink have been spilled and billions of electrons spent debating the merits of the .500 whiz bang vs. the .600 atomic vs. the fuddy-duddy .44 mag....but it doesn't matter what you're shooting if you cant, under the stress of a 400# - 1,200# mean thing coming at you...hit what needs to be hit. Although I was / am a pretty fair pistolero, since I don't practice as much as I believe I should, when I'm in likely bear country, I either go unarmed (see above re awareness) or carry my short-ish .375.....and in neither case do I venture into or nearby the spawning salmon streams...why interfere when one knows it will lead to trouble?
PA12DRVR 10/27/19 08:39pm Around the Campfire
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

"Cool scenery at the bay there" "nothing to do in Whittier except have lunch at one of the couple local places" "Tunnel is cool" Those 3 items are all good enough reasons for me. Each to his own.:C Fo sho. JMO, on a 2 week tour, it wouldn't make the cut for me. Whittier's cool...but a thriving business is done at a couple of local shops selling "POW: Prisoner Of Whittier" t-shirts and hoodies. Not entirely in jest and mostly sells to the year-round local types.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:26pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

Since we will be in a truck and travel trailer we will leave the TT at the campground and take the truck out daily to activities. Since we are in a truck can we get to Independence Mine from Willow on our most updated itinerary that I posted? (The latest one is heading South first then North. Just as a caveat, I haven't driven the Hatcher Pass road since 2018....pretty sure they haven't really improved it though. That road is very doable in a truck>...ideally 4WD, but not needed. Hopefully, the truck is not a low-clearance cruiser: that will cause dings on fenders, rails, etc. My most recent trips over the road have been in a 4WD 2500 Chevy Silverado (2009 version) and a 4WD 2013 Toyota Sequoia. I didn't like driving on the Sequoia's soft suspension, but that was just my bias...it handled it fine. I did use 4WD on both vehicles, but that was more to avoid spraying rocks (both vehicles were unloaded / light) than for any real need. The Willow-Independence is the rough side....a rough gravel road. FWIW, Independence - Palmer (the dirt part) while still a gravel road is more like a county road or FM / RM road in the L48. Also FWIW, the first time I drove the road (in it's current incarnation) there were a few spots where I pulled off to the side to walk around the next curve or over the crest of the hill just to see what the road did. There were also a few spots where I wouldn't pull off due to the narrow width at those points. It will be dusty in any case; car will get muddy if it's raining, but the road won't turn into a "mud" road.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:22pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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