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Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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Default Moving to Houghton MI; advice

Hello, I'm from northern NJ (where it snows) but plan on moving to the upper peninsula somewhere around Houghton but have never been there (yet) but need a little bit of advice on car selection for winter. Here are my questions:
1.) What is the most amount of snow you get in a single storm in winter?
2.) What is your sort of "average" snowfall and is it usually powder or really heavy snow?
3.) How well do they plow the roads especially during a heavy snow storm.
4.) Are there any lare hills?
5.) Does anyone rough it out with fwd, snow tires and chains?

I will need to be able to go to work every single day so this is really important to me and if need be, I will sometimes have to drive all the way to Marquette in the worst of it if need be, a 100mi. drive. I have a fwd 2010 Honda Odyssey with Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires and I have made it through fine in NJ. However I do plan on getting snow cables. I have found that I can get through about 8" of packed snow and 12" of powder with my car on level roads before I start to struggle. I should note that I live on top of a 22% gradiant and rarely have trouble but it is usually very well plowed. Do you think I need AWD/ 4X4? And if so, do I need the ground clearence of an SUV/ pickup or a car/ minivan? I'd really love to keep my car but you have to do what you have to do. From what I understand, there is always some snow on the roads but during a typical storm about 2-4in and during a blizzard some roads can be completely clear (due to wind) but others can have 4ft. snow banks, is this correct?

Backround: I used to own a 2003 Acura MDX which almost evryone here will likely write off as a "soft-roader" or a "poser" but it came with Michelin Cross Terrain tires (lasted till 90k. mi.) and a locking diff. I drove on the shoulder of 287 covered with about 36" of snow and took it on a beach once. I couldn't bring myself to go off-roading for fear of damaging it. In other words I was like most SUV drivers, they have the ability but do they use it? No. So I don't wan't to be "that guy" again. I really prefer the room of the van and would not on a cold day in he!! consider a Toyota Sienna. I figure you guys must have the most knowledge on this. Thanks for your help!
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 06:59 PM   #2
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that was a great first post and welcome to the site. Plan on being made fun of, but dont take it personally and you will be fine. If you can drive in the snow you will be fine. Houghton gets alot of snow...sometimes heavy, sometimes powder. The flies are bad in the summer. As far as plowing, they keep the roads pretty clear...and no one used chains or studs in MI, as they are not legal
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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lol Houghton, averages 208 inches a year. I am moving up there in about 3 months for school.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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Only rule with chains is that they can't contact the road surface, ie the pavement, so with enough ice you can use them... but, the plows keep the roads clear enough you probably wont get the chance. A junk car, with good tires fine.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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Buy a big truck with a big lift and tires also. This is a 4x4 site thats what we all drive.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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I've seen upwards of 40" overnight, the roads aren't bad with a 4x4, little cars get stuck on the hills when its snowing decently, you'll see chains sometimes. Agate hill is awesome. Econo foods has the best booze selection around.

feb-march suck with wind chill (frequently -30+), its one of the coldest places in the midwest being in the middle of lake superior.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Wow, you guys are quick! I made a post on another Michigan car forum yesterday and am still waiting for a reply! From what I gather, the roads won't be much worse than in NJ during a really bad storm... only there will be a "bad storm" on a nearly daily basis, but I'm up for a challenge. The way I see it, I'll buy the chains and with the money I saved over AWD I'll pick up a snowmobile for recreation. If I need AWD I'll buy it later or rent a 4x4 for the day. Thanks again, this was really sort of off topic.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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I'd skip the chains if your getting a sled, if its that bad just take the sled
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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You should probably buy my jeep and just not worry about it.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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Don't buy a heep, thats the worst investment ever!
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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Don't buy a heep, thats the worst investment ever!
Because rusty exploders are the greatest dd's evar right?
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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Because rusty exploders are the greatest dd's evar right?


Uh yeah
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:27 PM   #13
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Because rusty exploders are the greatest dd's evar right?
hellz yeah! I've never had a problem with my sploder.
Actually I've parked the sploder and drive a Impreza now.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:28 PM   #14
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Because rusty exploders are the greatest dd's evar right?
Tell me which jeep of these 3 are not prone to rust issues?
XJ, YJ or TJ.....
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Up! View Post
Wow, you guys are quick! I made a post on another Michigan car forum yesterday and am still waiting for a reply! From what I gather, the roads won't be much worse than in NJ during a really bad storm... only there will be a "bad storm" on a nearly daily basis, but I'm up for a challenge. The way I see it, I'll buy the chains and with the money I saved over AWD I'll pick up a snowmobile for recreation. If I need AWD I'll buy it later or rent a 4x4 for the day. Thanks again, this was really sort of off topic.
LOL. You haz much to learn about the UP.

A. Snowmobiles are nowhere near cheap. Or reliable.

B. It snows a lot. It doesn't give a shit.

C. You can't rent jack shit in the UP. Everyone is poor, or closed, or it just don't plain exist.

D. The roads will be very much worse than in NJ. Ever tried to drive through feet of snow? Didn't think so.

The UP is one of the most rugged areas in the midwest. FWD simply will not do. Buy a shitty $800 4x4 half ton pickup/jeep/blazer/whatever and slap snow tires and throw a shovel in it.

Be prepared for cold shitty weather, no starbucks, no malls, no city life, backwoods hilljacks, rednecks, weirdos, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in this country.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:44 PM   #16
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lol. You haz much to learn about the up.

A. Snowmobiles are nowhere near cheap. Or reliable.

B. It snows a lot. It doesn't give a shit.

C. You can't rent jack shit in the up. Everyone is poor, or closed, or it just don't plain exist.

D. The roads will be very much worse than in nj. Ever tried to drive through feet of snow? Didn't think so.

The up is one of the most rugged areas in the midwest. fwd simply will not do. Buy a shitty $800 4x4 half ton pickup/jeep/blazer/whatever and slap snow tires and throw a shovel in it.

Be prepared for cold shitty weather, no starbucks, no malls, no city life, backwoods hilljacks, rednecks, weirdos, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in this country.

rong
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:49 PM   #17
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LOL. You haz much to learn about the UP.

A. Snowmobiles are nowhere near cheap. Or reliable.

B. It snows a lot. It doesn't give a shit.

C. You can't rent jack shit in the UP. Everyone is poor, or closed, or it just don't plain exist.

D. The roads will be very much worse than in NJ. Ever tried to drive through feet of snow? Didn't think so.

The UP is one of the most rugged areas in the midwest. FWD simply will not do. Buy a shitty $800 4x4 half ton pickup/jeep/blazer/whatever and slap snow tires and throw a shovel in it.

Be prepared for cold shitty weather, no starbucks, no malls, no city life, backwoods hilljacks, rednecks, weirdos, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in this country.
Mostly right, but some can get by with FWD, and there is a starbucks on campus.

Just for example, we got about a foot of snow today, with about 6 cars(including 2 awd subaru) getting stuck on a flat road next to my house. You should also plan on using your bumpers.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:50 PM   #18
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rong
dammit hancho, I lived in the UP for 23 years. There is no way in hell I would ever suggest to someone not knowing the area or conditions to drive a barely adequate vehicle during the winters there.

Is it possible, yes, anything is possible, but it's just kinda stupid.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 09:50 PM   #19
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Mostly right, but some can get by with FWD, and there is a starbucks on campus.
keep it on your end over there then. we don't need that crap on the east end.
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 10:01 PM   #20
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hellz yeah! I've never had a problem with my sploder.
Actually I've parked the sploder and drive a Impreza now.
Fuck. That's what I'm trying to dump the dub-k for.




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Tell me which jeep of these 3 are not prone to rust issues?
XJ, YJ or TJ.....
The wj and wk are more of a competitor to the exploder, and both appear to hold up better.
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