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Thread: Newbie vehicle prep

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie vehicle prep

    Hello all. I'm a newb in this forum and did a quick search, but didn't see much. I assume you guys already know this stuff so you wouldn't talk much about it. I'm heading that way from MD in late September to Fort Wainwright. Will I need tools and extra parts for the truck and oil/block/tranny heaters that time of year. The truck's new and I'll be coming in through Edmonton/BC/YT. Thanks for all the help.

  2. #2
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    You won't need heaters to get here during September, but you should always have tools on board. To get through the winter, you do want to have an engine block heater installed. In September, you might seen an occasional visit by jack frost on some nights, but it is still just Fall. Canada runs always suggest a good spare tire and a tire plug kit. A 12v air compressor goes with that package. And make sure you don't have anything on board that's going to cause problems at customs as you cross the border twice. A little common sense goes a long way.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I was beginning to think no one knew the answer. Never thought about needing more than one extra tire.
    Anyone else is welcome to pitch in.

  4. #4
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    Default Another thought

    If not included with your new vehicle warranty or insurance policy, you might want to have towing coverage added for the trip. Additionaly, you may want to begin your trip with a fresh oil change and carry an extra quart with ya. If your pickup is a diesel, I suggest an extra fuel filter and tools to change it in case you get a tank of dirty fuel along the way.

    What a great way to break in a new rig.

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Let me go into a bit more detail...

    This particular forum is a little off the beaten path, so a lot of folks may not have seen it to respond. Maybe I can help a little more as I've got a LOT of time on the highways in Alaska over the years.

    You shouldn't need more than 1 spare tire if you're not towing a trailer, but ensure it is a good one. With a new truck, this should not be an issue as the spare tire ought to be the same as the 4 on the ground. Just check to make sure it's serviceable and filled to pressure.

    On my couple hundred thousand miles of driving around Alaska, the most used item was my tire plug kit. I always kept 2 kits, one with those conical rubber plugs and the other with the rubberized ropes. Learn how to properly install those plugs on the side of the road and have that electric compressor to fill the tire back up and you'll be all set.

    Standard tool kit of West Virginia socket sets (Crescent wrenches), a real socket set, open/box end wrenches that match your truck, wheel lug nut wrench, a good jack, standard pliers, channel lock pliers, needle-nose pliers, screw drivers to include the specialty tips that match your truck, small hammer, small pry bar, and a pair of vice grip pliers. If I thought about it long enough, I'm sure I'd add more to the list as this is just off the top of me head.

    Then you'll want some electrical stuff to include wire splice crimps and crimp pliers, wire cutters, wire stripers (may all be in the same tool), extra fuses for every size your truck uses, a few feet of 18g wire, a small multi-meter, a voltage tester (needle point probe style), and some spare light bulbs that match your truck.

    As for other parts/supplies you'll want a roll of good quality 100-mph tape, good quality electrical tape, a bunch of plastic zip ties in various lengths, small coil of bailing wire, couple quarts of motor oil, quart of tranny fluid, small btls of brake fluid & power steering fluid, a gallon of pre-mixed coolant, one of those aluminum powder radiator stop leaks, a gallon of windshield washer, a spray bottle of windex, a couple rolls of paper towels, some shop rags, and a 5-gallon fuel can.

    Also, I'd add to your maintenance list that you do a thorough greasing of the suspension just prior to starting your trip. And if you don't have one, I would highly recommend installing a bug deflector on the hood, even if only a stick-on temporary model for the trip. A lot of folks who make the Canada run also put a wire mesh screen on the front of their grill for the trip. It will catch rocks & bugs before they hit your new truck and minimize the damage. Many of the ones I've seen are simple PVC pipe frames that attach to the vehicle frame under the bumper and have a fine wire mesh screen stretched over it and attached with zip ties or bailing wire. This setup is removed at the end of the trip and generally the screen is sacrificial along the way, so it will go in the trash.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  6. #6
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default A little more

    1. A credit card to charge gas. That way you get any exchange rate if there is one.

    2. I carried 4, 6-gallon cans of fuel.

    3. Superglue, wax-paper and some alcohol. If you get a rock chip, clean it with the alcohol, let it dry and put some Superglue on it, press it into the chip with the wax paper. It should keep the chip from spreading.

    4. A small cooler. Cheaper to buy some lunch meat, cheese, drinks and snacks for the road.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

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    Thanks all, for the help. I'll be in Fairbanks in late September. I look forward to the fun.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitched_Gibson View Post
    Thanks all, for the help. I'll be in Fairbanks in late September. I look forward to the fun.
    PM me before you come. I live in Fairbanks. We can meet when you get here.

    Perry
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I assume you are military and if you use USAA for your insurance then definately get the road side assistance. I had a dealer specific problem with my jeep and they towed it 65 miles into anchorage for service at no charge to me. I have used it three times in the last 8 months and have not seen any increase on my bill. I don't know if they still sell it but check advance auto parts if they still carry the ampro tool kit that has hollow sockets it is the best thing for a truck tool kit I have ever seen. It won't beat a high end kit in the garage but for the truck it is awesome! Instead of square drive ratchets it uses an external hex drive molded into the hollow socket and the ratchet slides over it. The kit comes in a molded case with a bit changer screwdriver and 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" sockets as well as some combo wrenches. I carry that kit on every outing even on my snowmachine trip 60 miles into the REX trail where it saved our bacon (again). Is your truck 4x4? if not you might as well sell it down there where you can get some $$ out of it cause up here it aint gonna get you out of a parking lot in the winter and you just about can't give them away. The last thing I have is take your time on the drive up! Northern BC is absolutly beautiful, and Sep with the fall colors wil be just an amazing trip. The road isn't as bad as it used to be just be careful they seem to randomly take up sections of blacktop with little warning! The road will probably still be fairly smooth but there is nothing like coming around a sweeping turn to find the road is gravel and the back of your truck decides it wants to lead for a while. The real last thing is to look at getting a manual drill (hand operated) too accompany the tire repair kit. I have had a hole that was too small for the reamer to really fit into but a quick shot with the drill and I was able to plug the hole and be off and running also some liquid soap and a spray bottle would be a good thing to have along in case you need to find the hole, a couple squirts and then look for the bubble. Oh and pick up the alaska milepost it is available on amazon and will make the trip much more enjoyable and will make planning it more fun! Good info like where the last gas for x amount of miles is, but it is funded by advertising and there is alot of tourist advertisments in it but then again on your travels you be a TOURIST so might as well act the part

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