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Winter driving in flagstaff
#1
I'm doing my homework tonight on how to prepare for winter. I am from Texas mind you. I would like some advice on the tire situation. I read that flag gets significant snow beginning around December. That gives me a few months hopefully. I'm thinking that it would be best to get snow tires ; some questions :i will be spending more time in town, so should i look at winter tires? Or maybe swap for all terrain and get rid of my ht tires? If i go with snow tires would it be terribly unsafe to get them 2 at a time? I would get all 4 before it starts getting bad. Or maybe get some chains for now and save for a set in a few months.  If i got off road tires that were decent in snow i could just leave them on. But safety is important to me, if i wrecked i would be screwed.

. I'm going to try to van dwell. If i work at night i can sleep in the day when it's warmer and not worry about getting in trouble with parking, and be warm in a building at night when it's
coldest. Even buying a lot of propane i think it will be cheaper than trying to find a room.

I'm thinking about how to rearrange to maximize weight over the rear axle. Also about keeping my water from freezing. Maybe a foam box with a hand warmer tossed in our something. Or a small jug of boiled water. The lowest it seems to get is around zero F for the most part so i dunno how fast a 5gal would freeze on those nights uninsulated. I have ideas for insulating the walls and stuff, and there's a propane heater I'm gonna get. I still need solar &  bats too but that may have to wait.
1995 GMC Rally Wagon G3500 5.7 Extended Cab
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#2
Whatever you do, remember this: Here in the ripoff state of WA, tire dealers will sell you snow tires, and discard your regular tires, so you have to buy a new set in spring. They mainly do this with women. Presumably, they will do the same thing with your snow tires. DON'T LET THEM DO THIS! (unless your old tires are bad and you were planning on buying others when you change back). And don't ask them to store them for you. Make sure that you get whichever tires they are taking off put back in the van.

Also, have them point out the year on the tires. Some places will sell people (women, esp) old tires that have been sitting around for 5 or 6 years.

(I've learned a lot of new cons since I moved here!)
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#3
Tires marked M+S ( or M&S, M/S, MS) are all season tires that are approved for use in mud and light snow.  They can be left on all year around.

TRUE snow tires are marked with a graphic mountain and snowflake symbol, and are suitable for use in extreme winter conditions like blizzards.

The rubber compound used in snow tires is different than the rubber compound used in all season tires.  It's formulated to maximize traction in very cold conditions, AND SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ON THE VEHICLE WHEN REGULAR TEMPERATURES ARE HIGHER THAN 45 DEGREES.

Will you have someplace (like a storage unit) to keep the snow tires?  Cause trying to run snow tires in AZ in the summer would be a really bad idea, probably even a dangerous idea.

If you do have someplace to store snow tires, I would recommend that you get them mounted and balanced on junkyard rims.  You'll save money, long term.
Regards
John

Life is not about discovering yourself.  Life is about creating yourself!

Talk is cheap because of simple economics: The supply FAR exceeds the demand!
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#4
Any particular reason you've decided to winter in Flagstaff? I fear that, as a Texan, you're in for a rude awakening regarding winter - especially winter in the mountains. Unless you have a job that's holding you there (though if I remember from other posts you're mobile), I'd consider going to a lower elevation, at least.
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Van Lady (09-18-2017)
#5
I have seen feet of snow on the ground in Flag during the winter, also bitter cold temps. think single digits. highdesertranger
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BigT (11-30-2017), Van Lady (09-18-2017), frater secessus (09-14-2017)
#6
Yea i may have a job here, i will find out in a couple of days, that's why I am considering staying. I've looked up the historical weather data and seen the single digits. Yikes. I've considered finding a room. And yea I've also considered wintering in sedona, just that the van dwelling situation there is a bit more stark.
1995 GMC Rally Wagon G3500 5.7 Extended Cab
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#7
from what i'm reading around the net, flagstaff keeps their roads pretty well plowed in town. I have all season tires on my van. dunlop rover ht in the back and some cheaper ones in the front. I think i'm gonna stick with that for the time being. and maybe invest in some good snow chains. Drive really slow Smile after this winter I'm going to most likely look for some land in the desert to buy, so I will want off road tires, I may save for that instead and skip the winter tires. If I'm mainly going 15mph in town anyway and doing minimal driving as possible, it might not be a big issue. I have big chrome bumpers after all heheh. I've been studying winter triving techniques but Maybe once it starts snowing I'll find a lot and practice Smile
1995 GMC Rally Wagon G3500 5.7 Extended Cab
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#8
the trick is getting from where you parked to the plowed roads. highdesertranger
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unicutie (09-10-2017)
#9
heh i gotcha. well, what happens if you drive with chains on when it's not very snowy on the roads, or it's icy? like say there's a foot of snow in the parking lot but the roads are plowed.
1995 GMC Rally Wagon G3500 5.7 Extended Cab
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#10
I grew up driving in MN winter and we never had snow tires.  We always used all-season tires, and the only vehicle we every had any troubles with was my dad's pickup (2-wheel drive) going up the driveway with nothing loaded in back.  Other than that, we're good.

You didn't mention what kind of vehicle you're driving.  Is it front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive?  Makes a big difference.

My suggestion: Get some nice new all-season tires, and don't go out driving in blizzards.  Give the snow plows a couple hours to do their thing.  And DRIVE SLOW!  And DON'T TAILGATE!  Give people lots of space, way more than you think is reasonable.  Accelerate slowly.  Brake slowly.  Once you master those basics, you'll be fine.

Then, when you've got the basics down, go find a huge empty parking lot right after a fresh coating of snow, and push your van to its limits.  Try braking hard, see what happens.  Try turning too fast while in motion, see what happens.  Try accelerating when turning, see what happens.  You'll learn what your vehicle does in the snow and what its limits are.  It's a great education.
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Michael
rvtrek.org
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AdventurousAdriana (12-02-2017), unicutie (09-10-2017)


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