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View Full Version : Alaska Questions (damage, trailer size, getting stuck)



BooBear
02-23-2013, 07:26 PM
May 15 to July 7 (maybe longer and CA). Concerned with the stories about rocks, windshield, etc. Do I need mud flaps? Grill guard? Some of the ALCAN seems to drop to 10mph and frost heaves. What's a good miles/day or miles/hour average?

Cassiar Hwy ore trucks; the Klondike to Skagway; or the spur to McCarthy - all concern me about getting damaged or stuck. Carry chains? Is the 35' trailer too big and heavy? Will I have campground size problems? We're completely self-contained including insulation, gen, inverter, compressor and will have 56 gals diesel when I'm done with the auxiliary tank.

And I'm prepared to bring the heavy clothing for any biking we do.

We've seen some squirrelly situations in the Smokies, so it's not like we need expressways to be content. I've ordered Church's guide and the Milepost, but I'd still like to hear the first hand comments of some of you all. Dave & Julie Hancock posted some great stuff, but I sure hope we can do for less $. Like to know how they got 10.9mpg average. Just did LA & TX and 10mpg for 3,000 miles.

davebennington
02-23-2013, 08:59 PM
We went to Alaska and if you use common sense you will not have any problems. Some things to consider before you leave.

1. service your truck, oil change, check ALL fluid levels. take extra oil and filters for your truck everything in Alaska is very expensive. replace your wiper blades and take extra set as well as washer fluid.
2. If you have any doubt about tires truck and trailer buy new ones check on them regularly.

here is a link to the thread that we kept when we were there.

//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/24960-Dave-amp-Julie-s-Alaska-Adventure/page7

have a good time, take your time Alaska will be there tomorrow, the next day and next week too.
if you have any questions PM or email me.

dave

Kubzilla
04-09-2013, 12:24 AM
Hey, just saw your post. We moved to Alaska in October of 2008, and moved back in March of 2012. When we drove up, I drove my 06 Chevy 2500HD Duramax pulling a 16' Tandom Trailer. The only issue that we had was making sure that we had enough Diesel. In October, many of the Gas Stations are on reduced hours, so we had to plan accordingly. Since you are going May through July, you should not have much trouble, but if you take a 5 gallon fuel can or two, you should be safe there. I retired in February of 2012, and we drove our 28' Class C Winnebago back in March. If you have ever seen Ice Road Truckers, well yeah, it looked like that for about 1500 miles. I carried chains, but never had to install them. The road is pretty much like any rural highway you will find in the Lower 48. If you are going in early May, however, you may possibly have to deal with Spring Break-up, which can be a real bummer. You may encounter several hundred miles of Ice Potholes and filthy windshields. Take several bottles of windshield washer fluid. Probably the most helpful thing that you can take is your "Mileposts". They call it the ALCAN Highway Bible for a reason, and it will tell you everything from which route is the best for you, to when and where you can find food and fuel! Some things to be on the lookout for in Canada:1) Animals, big Animals. We saw Large Black Bear, Moose, Bison, Deer, and many other things, and they like to stand in the road and laugh at you as you try to work your way around them. 2) Frost Heaves will slow you down, although we only encountered maybe 15 miles or so of them. 3) IF YOU WANT TO BRING A HANDGUN, DO NOT BRING IT THROUGH CANADA!!! Yes, I yelled that. It's not a bad idea to have a large caliber Handgun in the back country in Alaska, but you will need to ship it to a firearms dealer in Alaska, and ship it back when you leave.(most rifles and shotguns are fine to transport, but check first) The Canadians are rather sensitive about that... 4) You will need a Passport, or Passport Card, or an Enhanced Drivers License, and proof of Canadian coverage on your Insurance. 5) Fuel gets much more expensive in Northern Canada. As far as camping, when we came back, since the roads were icy and most campgrounds were closed, we mostly stayed in rest areas and parking lots. The Canadians were very accomodating there. Your Mileposts issue will inform you of open camping areas. I would absoloutly recommend Liard Hot Springs just North of Muncho Lake in British Coloumbia if you go on the eastern route. It's right off of the Highway and well worth the stop if you like sitting in Hot Springs. As far as your windshield, Probably a 25% chance that it will get chipped. Alaska especially was hard on my glass.
Dave's advice above is all spot on. If your rig is in good shape, and you keep your eyes open, you will have an awesome trip. I am planning to go back in the Summer of 14 for a couple of months. Have a good time, enjoy the Beauty that is Northern Canada and Alaska, and be sure to let us know how your trip went!

dbbls59
04-09-2013, 10:34 AM
Watch the white line at the right edge of the pavement and you can see the frost heaves well ahead of you. Slow down. Also, if you see a traffic coming toward you, slow way down. It is not the speed of the oncoming traffic that breaks your windshield, it is your speed. I never had any trouble find diesel fuel. I have a 38 gallon tank and fueled up around 1/2. We used Churches book much more than the milepost. Finding water and dump stations was not a problem either, lots of them along the way. Enjoy your trip of a lifetime.

aatauses
04-09-2013, 10:36 PM
You will enjoy every minute of your trip. You can go on either the Alcan or Cassier. We, along with two other workampers came up last May and had no issues. Travel slow and plan on 200-250 miles/day and enjoy the ride. We hit the most frost heaves near Destruction Bay area. Fuel was not an issue and most parks were just starting to open, but did not have any issues finding one and never had to make reservations. Be sure to read CN rules for firearms--we had complied with the regs and had no issues when we entered CN.
We enjoyed the summer so much, decided to store the rv and stay the winter (we are originally from ME so weather was not an issue). If you are planning to stop near Kenai (Diamond M RV), or have more concerns, let me know
al
currently in Kenai, AK