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MitchS

2WD or AWD for C-17 locations?

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Hi all,

I'm headed to UPT in April, and want to buy my fiancée a new car to replace her 2004 Saturn Lemon as soon as it fits the budget. She'll be commissioning when she's out of law school in a year, and I want to give her something that will make her feel good and serve her well over our first few PCS's--probably a middle-of-the-market crossover. I hope to fly C-17s, and as a JAG, it's likely that she'll be stationed at the same bases as me. (The following question is assuming that everything goes according to plan and understands that nothing is guaranteed. Humor me.)

She's from Texas, so she isn't experienced with driving in winter weather. (And, well, she isn't the best driver altogether, so I don't expect her to really go out of her way to master it.) So, for the bases we'll probably see over the next 10 years, is AWD a must? An appreciated luxury? A waste of fuel efficiency and maintenance costs? What are your thoughts?

Edited by MitchS
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1 minute ago, MitchS said:

What are your thoughts?

Thoughts?  You're way ahead of yourself on several fronts.  Don't buy her a car until you're married.

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Her car won't last much longer than our engagement, so I want to be ready to replace it if and when we have to. If that's before we're married, fine, if it's a year after we're married, also fine. I'm doing the research now, while her car is still running, so it doesn't have to be a chore for later.

Edited by MitchS
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Hi all,

I hope/expect to fly C-17s


Nothing wrong with hoping. That said, those who "expect" something out of UPT are often those who need a heathy dose of expectation management.

A guy in my pilot training class expected to become a FAIP, so he bought a house in Enid. Halfway through Phase II he DOR'd.

Another friend, instrument rated prior to UPT, expected to fly A-10s. He couldn't make it through T-6 instruments.

Go to UPT, work your ass off, and learn to love whatever airframe you rightfully earn.


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OK, to answer your question, C-17 bases are too diverse to answer your question.  AWD would make a lot of sense for Elmo, maybe McChord.  Not so much for Charleston.  Welcome to the world of no right answer.

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Okay, that's fair. You're right, I shouldn't expect my first choice. Just trying to plan wisely. Sorry for the entitled language.

Let me amend my question: I live in Texas where weather isn't an issue when it comes to car buying. Would winter conditions at the average AMC pilot's likely first 3-5 assignments be significant enough to factor in to a decision to buy AWD or 2WD on a new car?

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Okay, that's fair. You're right, I shouldn't expect my first choice. Just trying to plan wisely. Sorry for the entitled language.

Let me amend my question: I live in Texas where weather isn't an issue when it comes to car buying. Would winter conditions at the average AMC pilot's likely first 3-5 assignments be significant enough to factor in to a decision to buy AWD or 2WD on a new car?

If you appropriately drive for the wx conditions, FWD, RWD, or AWD won't make much of a difference. AWD is the most idiot proof, followed by FWD, with RWD being the most squirrelly on ice or snow. I'm at McChord and am just fine driving my RWD car. Since I've been here the wx hasn't been too shitty, but I'd consider taking an Uber to work if it gets really bad.


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used Subaru Impreza wagon, you'll be safe anywhere

edit: take her to a parking lot when it's icy and let her learn the limits of the car...AWD doesn't equal AWBraking

Edited by Day Man

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Dude you're counting way too many chickens.

If you really want to do this though, cast a wider net to all AMC bases and you'll find Fairchild and McConnell are in there too.

Anecdotally after 1 winter in Philadelphia, we had one snow storm. I was on a mission during that whole time, so the amount of snow I've seen here is low.

You'll be fine with FWD. I drive a Civic to work every day.


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4 hours ago, nunya said:

Thoughts?  You're way ahead of yourself on several fronts.  Don't buy her a car until you're married.

This is the correct answer.

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Way to many variables. Majority of Air Force jets have several basing options in vastly different climates as well as overseas where that big ole 4 wheel drive ain't going to fit. (Assuming UPT works out) Your basically asking what clothes should I pack for that mystery vacation you haven't won yet. Also don't buy shit until your married. 

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7 hours ago, MitchS said:

Hi all,

I'm headed to UPT in April, and want to buy my fiancée a new car to replace her 2004 Saturn Lemon as soon as it fits the budget. She'll be commissioning when she's out of law school in a year, and I want to give her something that will make her feel good and serve her well over our first few PCS's--probably a middle-of-the-market crossover. I hope to fly C-17s, and as a JAG, it's likely that she'll be stationed at the same bases as me. (The following question is assuming that everything goes according to plan and understands that nothing is guaranteed. Humor me.)

She's from Texas, so she isn't experienced with driving in winter weather. (And, well, she isn't the best driver altogether, so I don't expect her to really go out of her way to master it.) So, for the bases we'll probably see over the next 10 years, is AWD a must? An appreciated luxury? A waste of fuel efficiency and maintenance costs? What are your thoughts?

Not a pilot, never will be a pilot, just a humble A&P that fixes the jets you hope to fly one day. Stop worrying about your girl and cars. When you get to UPT just worry about getting through to breakfast, then lunch, then dinner in that order. Old joke; How do make God laugh? Tell him your plans. Spent 23 years on active duty and never got an assignment that was even on my dream sheet if they even have those things anymore. If you are at Vance or Shepard I would get a used car you would not mind driving that has hail damage and is going to get some more hail damage. I.E. a 2004 Saturn Lemon.

Edited by Prosuper
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Drive that lemon into the ground. Tell her to start saving so she can buy a replacement cash. Paying interest is for chumps.

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Drive that lemon into the ground. Tell her to start saving so she can buy a replacement cash. Paying interest is for chumps.

So, paying interest at a percentage less than inflation is for chumps?


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I bought a convertible as a Lt waiting to start UPT.  After UPT, I sold the convertible to buy a wedding ring for my fiance.  5 years down the road we got divorced and now I have neither a wife nor a convertible.  I miss that car.

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I'd say you are putting the cart in front of the horse but you don't even have a horse, yet.  Opportunities to buy cars come and go but your shot at successfully completing UPT will only occur exactly one time.

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Make her buy her own car. But really, what if you end up with an overseas assignment? Are you willing to pay to ship the second car overseas? I'd run that car into the ground until 1) You're married 2) You make it through UPT and 3) You know where you'll be going.

Edited by polcat
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21 hours ago, MitchS said:

 I want to give her something that will make her feel good and serve her well over our first few PCS's

 What are your thoughts?

It's a car.  Take a best guess about what you think is needed.  If you PCS somewhere and it's not the right vehicle, trade it in and get something else.

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9 hours ago, ihtfp06 said:


So, paying interest at a percentage less than inflation is for chumps?


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Ah, the age old Dave Ramsey vs. non-Dave argument. The correct answer is use common sense. If you don't have that, then nothing is going to help you.

Dude, I respect you for thinking and caring about this chick. I do. But if she's gonna be a JAG, then she's perfectly capable of dealing with buying a new car and not having you pay for it.

If you're dead set on it? Buy a reliable, cheap car. I'm thinking a Civic, Accord or Camry with over 100k and under 2-3k. The cheaper and in better condition the better. 

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Get a Jeep...

CbAt-UmUMAEkrxb.jpg

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Ask her to buy you a car instead. It will show that you are an alpha male and call the shots. 

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7 hours ago, polcat said:

Make her buy her own car. But really, what if you end up with an overseas assignment? Are you willing to pay to ship the second car overseas? I'd run that car into the ground until 1) You're married 2) You make it through UPT and 3) You know where you'll be going.

1) Shack

2) Shack

3) Shack

ATIS

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 4:25 AM, guineapigfury said:

I bought a convertible as a Lt waiting to start UPT.  After UPT, I sold the convertible to buy a wedding ring for my fiance.  5 years down the road we got divorced and now I have neither a wife nor a convertible.  I miss that car.

"You'll always lose money chasing women. But you'll never lose women chasing money"

-My mom

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If you're going to be a C-17 guy, the last thing you want is a lawyer wife that's drained your cash on a new car. You'll need income to pay for the flock of bastard children you have in Rota/Constanta/Germany, etc. 

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