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Winter driving in flagstaff
remember with true tire chains your max speed is 25mph. also many locations don't want you using chains if there is no snow or ice on the roads leaving you with the never ending cycle of chain-uo, chain-off, chain-up, chain-off, etc, etc............. gets real old real fast. highdesertranger
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unicutie (09-10-2017)
yea i guess there's no perfect solutions, that is, not until i get my spaceship built.

Rvtrek thanks. Yea I have all season's on there, still pretty new with good tread, I got new tires less than 6 months ago. They both have some little sipes in the tread. My van is a one-ton long wheel base RWD van. I've read that LWB is a plus. I'm gonna move my heavier stuff more towards the back and grab a sand bag or two. Maybe I should scoop up some sand and rocks and stuff while it's still dry. Smile

I worried about monsoon season too, and getting stuck in the mud. But it was not nearly what I was thinking it was gonna be. All i did was, not get into mud Wink The one time I did get stuck, I unstuck myself with pine needles and chunks of bark and sticks.

All in all there haven't been all too many places I've been unable to go, except for extreme rocks and mud right after it rained. That said I would love to have a big monster truck 4x4 van with big mean tires Wink I'd go everywhere. Maybe throw on some pontoons while i'm being fantastical, say see-ya to all you land lubbers Wink Wink
1995 GMC Rally Wagon G3500 5.7 Extended Cab
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Staying in your van is gonna be tough...and chains are a pain. (See what I did there?)

BTW, Arizona approved the autosock:
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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unicutie (09-11-2017)
HDR: "the trick is getting from where you parked to the plowed roads."

He's right. I used to work w/railroad crews, and could take my Chev Suburban home. Eighteen inches of snow between my driveway and the plowed road WITH 4WD. The snow kept building up in front of the bumper! Another nuisance was trying to get around all the abandoned cars left in the road. Mother Nature has an interesting sense of humor.

Those 'socks' look interesting!
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unicutie (09-11-2017)
Another Minnesota winter driver: What RVtrek said.  

There are now a few all-terrain tires that meet the 'Severe Snow Service Rating':  I would look at one of these for all around driving.  I have Cooper Discoverer AT3s on my truck and go anywhere I want to (including out on unplowed lakes to ice fish) without problems and they aren't severe snow service rated.

As to cold weather: if you are not used to the cold you are going to freeze your a$$ off the first winter.  I would definitely have a Plan B.  It is very hard to sleep if you are cold.  

If I were going to sleep in a poorly heated van I would get the best winter sleeping bag I could, rated at least 10º lower than the lowest temperatures I expect.  Don't get down, down will soak up water vapor like a sponge and be worthless as insulation.  You will have lots of condensation from breathing.  Don't breathe into your sleeping bag, it will get wet.

Get a couple of hot water bottles for bedtime heat.  Filled with hot water, stuck in a sock, one down at your feet, one for your midriff or back; I use Nalgene 1 liter bottles.  Wear wool socks.  Wear a hat or a hoodie or get used to using the hood on the sleeping bag.  Wear mittens if it helps; I side sleep with my arm under my pillow so I do.  In real cold weather I make a small tent for my head out of a polypropylene throw; makes a small cozy room for my head and my breath warms it up.

Two liters of water should be enough for the day.  Since you are in town it will be easy to replenish; take them to work to fill at night.  Extra liters of water shouldn't freeze overnight unless it gets below -20º although the water could get slushy.
 -- Spiff

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trailsailor (09-12-2017), unicutie (09-11-2017)
As far as sleeping bags go, understand that the various ratings, 20, 0, -20, etc. are SURVIVAL ratings.

In a -20 bag, you are guaranteed you won't freeze to death.  Nobody said you'd be comfortable at that temperature.

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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BigT (11-30-2017), unicutie (09-11-2017)
Shop for sleeping bags that have EN comfort ratings. Those numbers are more trustworthy than the marketing numbers in the name of a sleeping bag. Here's a pic of an example. Find an EN comfort rating 10 degrees below your expected environment and you should be golden. 

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If it was me, I'd use studded tires (store the other 2 rear tires) -- permitted in Arizona from Oct. 1 to May 1

I'm from North Dakota and that's all I used in winter. 4x4's end up in the ditch as I drive right by. Over-confidence got the best of them.

Concrete interchanges and bridges can be unknowingly dicier and propensity for ice. I'm more concerned with ice/black ice than snow. You will get a road feel of the rear end wanting to break loose, that's the time to slow down. I remember Oct. 2016 driving with family in my cousin's Town Car (rear wheel drive) taking the scenic SE road outside of Flag, came upon heavy snowing and temperature was of concern (around freezing), going 55 I noticed the rear end was breaking loose, I slowed down to 35 mpg. Depends on how your vehicle manages; each is different.
Exclamation And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. — Abraham Lincoln
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Single digits isnt that bad. As long as you have a warm home or van to get into. past few years have been brutal in the NE. couple nights were -11 when I got out of work. wind chill is what makes it really bad.

I have a buddy who is a mechanic and big into vehicles...also a Northeast person. he told me to get all terrain tires for year round usage. Granted my BFG ko2s are noisy as all get out on pavement, I plow through half a foot of snow without breaking a sweat.
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Housing costs are outrageous in flag due to NAU mainly, there are some campgrounds that are less than a room but still way high. As others have said roads get plowed but the bank created on either side sometimes makes it almost impossible to get to the road without a lot of shoveling. The coldest I've been in years was a couple of years ago in flag fortunately I was just passing through. It would have to be a good paying job as finding a room for less than $600 a person is difficult especially with high utilities in winter. Maybe your work place has a place you could park with an electrical outlet?
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frater secessus (09-14-2017)

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