Prepping Truck for Alaska - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
2013+ General Discussion General Chit Chat About the 2013 model year differences 6.7L 4th generation Cummins - NO ADVERTISING - Sponsored by: StarLite Diesel

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Prepping Truck for Alaska

I was able to get a lot of info and tips from another discussion but that one is closed now so I figured I would start a new one focused on my questions.
I like the idea of running a short extension cord under the truck and plugging my block heater into it as well as a trickle charger and battery blankets. Question about a trickle charger though, is one needed since the batteries are connected or would I need one for each battery?
As far as tires go, is anyone running Ridge Grappler's? I've only had limited experience on ice and snow with them.
Thank you to all that have provided info on the prior questions.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 06:17 PM
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There are some good vids on youtube about this.

But...DO NOT USE A TRICKLE CHARGER!!!

A trickle charger can boil all the fluid out of the batteries because they never shut off, even after the batteries are fully charged.

What you want is a battery maintainer, they use a "float" charge technology, keeps the batteries charged like an alternator does.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 06:21 PM
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Where in AK?
Year round?
Garaged or outside?
How long will the truck be sitting between using it?
Could be as little as nothing at all to as much as block heater, charger, oil and trans pan heater.

Tires? Same tires you'd use anywhere else. If you're after the best winter traction, either sipe whatever tires you pick or have some dedicated snow tires. Otherwise, AK snow isn't different than any other snow, except when its very cold, traction is much better than when its warm out.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 06:38 PM
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https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2...installed.html

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2...batteries.html

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:17 PM
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I have never used battery blankets or maintainers on any of my vehicles. Never have had a problem with the batteries as long as they are in good condition to start with. We regularly see -40 where I live. My truck has the block heater, oil pan pad heater, trans pan pad heater and a pad heater on the DEF tank, although I just recently deleted so that will be taken out. All the plugs are plugged into a 4 way junction box under the hood with a single cord coming out the front of the truck.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:50 PM
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I currently live up in Fairbanks, most people run several heaters on their vehicle, you might not need it down in Anchorage as it doesn't get as cold. I have a block heater, oil pan heater, transmission pan heater, and battery blankets. In the winter, I usually auto-start my truck as i'm packing up my lunch and putting my boots on, then i'll brush the snow off and hit the road. Maybe 5-6 minutes of idle time, and I haven't had any issues (all my emissions is intact).

For tires, I don't have any experience with the Ridge Grapplers, but for winter tires I run Nokian Hakkapelitta LT2's from basically October - March. Funny name I know, but they are amazing tires (come studded from factory). If you're going to swap your tires every winter like I do, it's best to pick up an extra set of wheels and have them mounted. This way you can do a changeover in your driveway rather than having to drop your truck off and pay to have it done twice a year. This will also save wear and tear on your wheels from tire shop dudes man-handling them.

Anchorage isn't really any different than the northeast in terms of weather, so don't sweat it too much.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank y'all for the info so far.
I will be stationed at JBER so somewhere around Anchorage or Eagle River area.
I will be using the truck every day just not the same as I have been in Texas.
It's a 2015 with just about 94k miles including lots of heavy hauling and mostly 30 minute drives to and from work at 75mph.
I'm not expecting to put near that miles on it over the next 4 years but know that it will still be used as my daily driver.
I am planning on using the same tires year round which have been two sets of the Ridge Grappler's the past 60k miles. I haven't had much of a chance to test them on the ice or snow so I was hoping someone up North has some experience with them. I've used BFG all terrains on a prior Cummins with great success on ice and snow, just trying to see if these will be as good or not.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 08:14 PM
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No problem. There's a good diesel related Facebook group up here with a lot of info and parts for sale/trade. It's called 907 Diesel.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 08:17 PM
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You will get real winter fuel in Alaska. If your batteries are good, and use 5-40 synthetic, that’s pretty much all you will need. If you can plug in, that’s a bonus.
I run syped Duratracs.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank y'all a lot.
I'm glad to know now that there is a difference between a battery maintainer and a trickle charger.
How do the duratracs last? They seem like a great tire with but with a soft compound that tread life would be an issue.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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N of 60,
Thank you for pointing out the engine oil weight. Its been so long since I was in Alaska (with a gasser half ton) that the oil weight has slipped my mind till now.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:35 PM
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I was impressed with my Ridge Grapplers in the snow and ice of Northern NY this past winter. I never “needed” 4WD, but I did engage it a few times as a comfort factor. Mix of city streets, farm fields, logging roads, and highway driving and they’ve handled the snow well everywhere I’ve had them so far.

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