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Thread: on 1-12-2009 I might be moving to Fairbanks, AK

  1. #1
    New member
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    Mar 2008
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Default on 1-12-2009 I might be moving to Fairbanks, AK

    I think that this is my last chance on 1-12-2009 to make a decision to move up to Alaska. I don't have very much left in my savings, but enough to make the move and rent a place around $700 or less. I have enough money to last me for about 3 months up there. I don't see a problem getting a job within that time, but I'm having problems getting a place to rent. When I contact places up in Alaska to rent they seem to stop emailing me when they find out that I'm in a different state. This makes me wonder how people move to another state to rent a place then.

    I was wondering where do you get that plug in thing for your car when the temp is in the negatives?

    I have a 2wd 1997 Nissan XE Truck and was wondering what should I have on the tires? stud tires or snow chains?

    Another thing is I'm confused about the gun permit. I was wondering if I bought a .22 rifle in my state and then take it to Alaska would I need a concealed weapons permit? I'm sure my concealed weapons permit is no good in Alaska anyways.

    What do you guys think I should do. This is pretty much my one in lifetime chance to make this move. I know I'm taking a chance, but that might be the thing to make my dream come true or it might break my dream and put me in a sucky situation.

  2. #2
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Eagle River (Home!)


    I've lived in Washington and Fairbanks I would go North to Alaska.

    To your questions, a place to rent for $700, that will be a challenge, maybe a roomate situation, or a small efficiency but good luck. Don't forget about utilities, it is brutal cold up there now.

    If I had a 2 wheel drive truck I would opt for studs and add some sand bags in the back.

    There is a process to carry a long gun through Canada, which is not worth it for a 22 unless you have one nice 22. You could also mail it to yourself, you just need to find an address to send it to that will be yours.

    After living in 5 different states and 3 different countries I think that a day in Alaska is better than the alternative (a day anywhere else).

  3. #3


    Middle of January move to Fbks could be tough, and you could see some pretty nasty conditions driving. But I'd say if its your dream, do it. 20 years from now you may wonder "what if I had gone?", or you'll have great stories about that first winter when you were broke, unemployed,and cold. There are great opportunities here, and alot of us started with nothing. Spring is a better time to come up IMO.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Mean streets of Fairview


    Put the block heater on your truck before you come up. Antifreeze to minus 50.

    You might need it in Canada. You don't want to do it outside when it is subzero. it will be subzero in Squarebanks in Jan.

    Any parts store has a variety of them. There are freeze plug types, tank heaters and silicone pads. IMHO the tank heater or freeze plug type are better.
    Live life and love it
    Love life and live it

  5. #5
    Member mntransplant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    S. Anchorage, AK

    Default Howdy from Fairbanks

    I first have to say despite possibly being stuck in a sucky situation, you should give it a try. There's no time like the present. I am not going to sugar coat it though.... it is a rough experience, but well worth it. This morning when i went to work i noticed that it had warmed up. I looked at the thermometer and it was a balmy -35. Yesterday it was a cool -59. Things just dont work when it gets that cold.
    Your vehicle, make sure it is in good running order. It is downright dangerous to drive a so-so vehicle. I have an oil pan heater, a battery heater, and a transmission heater; and my truck does ok. I dont know where your coming from but i did the winterizing myself with parts from auto parts store. Bring a tow strap or two, emergency cold weather gear, jumper cables etc, etc. As far as tires go make sure to get good soft tires. Studded tires do well as far as the winter times go. You must have them off your vehicle by may 1st i think it is. Vehicle safety is very big so dont take anything for granted.
    As far as your gun, consider leaving it at home for now. Once you get up here you can deal with that issue. Canada makes it a major pain in the but getting it through.
    Housing is very expensive here, as are utilities. Dont look for anything large. It is possible to find something in the $700 range but it is pretty rare. You probably need to find a roommate.
    Be aware; ALASKA DOES NOT PLAY NICE. That being said it can be the worst place to be at times, but it is REAL LIVING, and can also be the greatest place on earth.
    Feel free to PM me if you have anymore questions.
    P.S. Bring some women with you if you would, In fairbanks you dont lose your woman, you just lose your turn.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    Your right about your conceled weapons permit being worthless in Alaska!!


    If you can lgally own a gun, you can carry conceled all over the state, no permits needed.

    Send yourself the .22 from yourself to yourself via USPS.

    And, let me first to say;

    Welcome to last Free State in the union!!!

  7. #7
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Pole, Alaska


    ...and another howdy welcome from the Interior!

    I say make the move, leave your gun and anything that's replaceable and do it.
    Are you wanting to keep your gun for sentimental reasons? Send it instead. You can post something at any of the post offices that say 'General Delivery' and then you can go and pick up your gun once you arrive in Alaska.
    It was hard for me to make the adjustment for the first year that I lived here, but I can say that I have NEVER regretted moving here, living here, and now I love it here and can't believe that I ever loved the city that much that I would want to stay in a crowded, polluted, traffic ridden location.

    First, it's around 50 below in our parts right now and have been these temperatures for almost going on 11/12 days now. There isn't much sun, either. We probably have about 4 hours of daylight.

    Driving up the AlCan Highway is going to be rough. I agree that you should get a block heater and change your antifreeze to rate at 50 below before you make that trip. Be sure that you clock and watch your mileage to be sure that you have enough gas to make it to the next stop. I would not hesitate to bring a 5 gallon gas can with you for the 'just in case' that you will need.
    Cell phone service is also inconsistent in Canada and watch out for text messaging and roaming charges that you might accrue while you are there.

    Before you know it, you'll be in Tok, Delta Junction, and then ride down the mountain past Quartz Lake, Harding Lake, Salcha, Eielson, North Pole on to Fairbanks.

    Here are places that you could maybe find somewhere to rent:

    Just be sure that you add 'Fairbanks' in your inquiry.

    ...and once you arrive and would like a warm, home cooked meal, let me know. We will open up our house to you.

  8. #8
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Rental Cabin:

    You've gotten some good advice so far. I've got a "dry" cabin for rent right now for $425 a month if you'd like to check it out.

    PM me if you're interested. Good luck!

  9. #9

    Default Good info

    I made the move in 1999 out of the blue and desire to head north. It was the best thing I've done. I drove up in my 2wd 1995 dakota short box and did a few things before I headed up. I put a new Optima battery in, changed out every fluid I could with synthetics, block heater, tranny heater, oil pan heater. Carry a set of super warm clothes, parka, boots and some fire making materials if all fails and you're stuck on the AlCan highway. You should stop at Laird hot springs too if you're taking that route. If your 22 is something you really want to keep, mail it like mentioned above. Rent is pricey around this town if you're searcing for anything "modern". The dry cabin route is a great choice if you really want to experience Fairbanks in all its glory. I think it's kind of "fun" simply relying on wood and the water you haul to get by. I did it for 8 months and it's not as bad as some people would think. If you're traveling and you notice you're not getting heat in your truck, try covering your radiator with cardboard, it'll help.

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Life is short, it's best to live your dreams vs. letting life pass you buy and wondering what had happened if you had lived your dreams.

    We packed up everything we owned and moved up in 97, though in April and to the more temperate southcentral.

    As others said, make sure your vehicle is up to snuff on maintenance. Extreme cold is brutal on equipment, and you are almost guranteed to see extreme cold in January. I'd say in addition to changing out all the fluids, I'd have a new water pump installed and if the timing belt is close to needing changing, change that as well. Carry extra gas, and extra fluids for the vehicle, i.e. oil, coolant etc. Change out the washer fluid with -20 rated fluid and carry an extra gallon of washer fluid.

    Put on snow tires, and get a set of chains for the rear wheels. Carry cold weather gear and a sleeping bag. If you break down, it might be some time before someone comes along. Get a copy of the milepost, and be aware that some gas stations are only open in the summer. Don't let your gas tank get below 1/2 full. Get a bag of charcoal brickets. If you have to park in extreme cold and don't have the option of plugging in the vehicle overnight, you start the brickets in a metal pan and place them under the engine to let the engine warm up. A large cooky tin is perfect, you'll have to punch some holes in the bottom of the sides to let air in.

    Often times our roads are easier to drive in the winter, no road construction and graded frozen road beats rutted out muddy roads. That said, there isn't much day light and you'll be traveling down unlit roads where a moments inatention can result in getting off into the shoulder, and then off the road. Don't drive until you are completely fatiqued. Take a break every few hours and stretch. I used to go on marathon driving sessions, but now if I'm beat I'll pull over and take a 15-30 minute power nap. It works wonders and even if I'm 45 minutes from my destination I know when to pull over and take that nap.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Two Rivers

    Default Like NIKE "just do it"

    I moved up to Fairbanks in late November '94 and have never regretted the timing. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. The driving conditions will be bad at times but just take your time, you don't have to rush to a job or anything. Just enjoy the scenery both good and bad. It will take you a few days once you arrive to find a place to live but there are a few dive motels that won't be too bad for a couple days. Feel free to PM me and I'll do what I can to help.


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