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Old 01-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
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Austin , Texas
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A trip to Alaska

We are planning a trip to Alaska (summer of 2007) in a soon to be bought AS. We are looking to buy a 28-32 ft. but a 34 ft would be nice because of the dinnett. Is there anyone that has done this trip and if so what advice can you give about the size of the trailer, shorter vs. longer. Is a trailer over 30 ft. just to long to get into parks or around the roads of Alaska. Does the 34 ft overhang at the rear cause any problems that are difficult to overcome.

Any info would helpful.



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Old 01-08-2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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I did the AlCan in the 90's but I was in my car. So I can't offer any advice on the length of your trailer and camping. However I found that the Alaska Milepost guide was worth every penny. It is so detailed with tons of resources. They will even tell you where to watch out for sheep in the road licking salt, etc. If they said animals would be in the road at a certain milepost, there were usually animals there. Here is a link to information on the travel guide. They are updated yearly.

Jim & Kathleen
1968 Overlander - WBCCI #5793
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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I know two WBCCI members who lead Caravans that have done Alaska in 34 footers. One has a Diesel GMC and the other an 8 liter gas Suburban. You will need a real truck to pull that thing. There is a 2006 30 footer with a dinette.
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:37 PM   #4
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My parents went last summer from Florida. Roads in Alaska are horrible, make sure you've got extra money for extra tires! They also installed a rock shield in the grill of their F250 four door. They pulled a 30' Excella that has the dinette. Heck, even some 22/23 footers have dinettes! My uncle and aunt went with them and blew out some tires (they have a 5er).

Trip was priceless! Pictures were amazing. Good luck!!
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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Go for it!

I'd say to just go for it. Yes, some of the roads are not like those of the Lower 48...BUT, then, neither is the scenery...

As for horror stories of blowing out tires, skins and windows--sure, its a possibility. Even so, it is better to have these problems while experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opposed to waiting for a storm (or other natural disaster) to punish your AS in the driveway. After having driven a 31' AS up the AlCan in 2003 I'd second the need for good preparation, good maintenance, good luck, a good tow vehicle and a VERY relaxed pace. Take your time--it wouldn't be out of the question to plan for a month+ in order to drive both ways and actually see something along the way. You'll need this, too, in order to actually do something while you are visiting the "Greatland". Your greatest limits are your pocketbook, physical capacity and imagination.

Think 3/4 or 1ton diesel if you are going to pull a 34' or loaded 31' AS up here. You will thank yourself (and me) afterwards.

"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill" -Samuel Johnson
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:28 PM   #6
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We drove to Alaska last spring/summer. It was a great trip, and I'd love to do it again. We left on May 16 and got home on July 16.

You will find that some of the roads are not what you're used to, but I would not describe the roads as "horrible" as did FiveGears parents. I guess it depends what you're expecting and how much time you have.

The worst roads that we traveled were the Top of the World Highway from Dawson City, Yukon to Tok, Alaska, and the Cassiar Highway through northern BC. Both were worth the drive despite the long sections of gravel. On the paved roads you have to watch for frost heaves. Most of them were marked by orange flags at the side of the road so there was time to slow down. For us the scenery and experience of seeing Alaska far outweighed the condition of the roads.

We were warned about flat tires, but we didn't have a single one and I can't even recall passing anyone along the road who was changing a tire. The only problem we had was a chip in our windshield from a truck that passed us going through a construction zone in northern BC.

Some highlights of our trip were: the Kenai Fjord tour in Seward - we went for the full day tour and it was well worth it, the sled dog demonstration at Denali, the towns of Seward, Homer and Valdez (the drive into Valdez is beautiful, the Top of the World highway, Gold Dredge #4 near Dawson City, the drive from Watson Lake through Whitehorse to Dawson City.

We were gone for 2 months and traveled 13000 miles. We had our four kids (age 7-12) with us. You could probably do it in less time without kids, but then there were lots of things we didn't see.

As others have pointed out, having a copy of the Milepost is a must.

Make sure you're prepared to black out your windows with something if you have trouble sleeping in the light. For about 3 weeks of our trip it never got dark at night. The locals use aluminum foil - which would go well with an Airstream.

Just writing about it makes me want to go again!
Grant Davidson
Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:37 PM   #7
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An interesting opportunity for free camping in Alaska is a program run by the Kenai school district. If you commit to stay for at least a month you can camp for free in a school yard with water and electricity, and sewage pickup once a week, in exchange for keeping an eye on the school and calling the police if you see any problems. They do this to cut down on vandalism. We talked to a couple who were staying at the school in Valdez and it was working really well for them. This was their third summer doing this. They had bought a boat the summer before. They camped in front of the school and their friends camped behind it. We saw RVs parked at a number of schools as we were driving through the Kenai Peninsula.
Grant Davidson
Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
Desert Fox
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
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Trip To Alaska

Hi All,
I have done the trip 2003 and 2005. We spend the whole summer in Alaska. It is a a wonderfull trip. As someone said that the roads are not the lower 48 and you must remeber that 1800 miles at least is trough Canada.
Carry a passport if you have one and no guns.
The roads are mostly 2 lanes pawed. There are some construction going on all the time. In Yukon especialy they are working on 30 to 40 miles at a time. Rember that they have only about 4 months from start to finish on the job, so it goes on 24/7 during the summer.
The worst road waas between Haines Junktion and Beaver Creek a lot of frost heaves . Top speed about 35 mile per hour .
We have 31 foot AS sovereign . The only place we had a problem is in Denaly National Park . It is the goverment rv place. The spot was so small that I hat to push the trailer over the fire pit so the truck would be of the road. It is strange with 6.5 million acres they could not make the rv spots bigger.It was the only place we made reservation for two days but left after 1 night. It started to snow in the middle of August. It was very cold.
We get up early and leave camp grounds about 7 am and start to look for a place around 3pm. You can also camp on the road side look outs. That I would not advize since the land belongs to a lot of criters that think that humans are part of the food chain or as Alaskans say a popsicle on two legs.
The main Alcan hiway is good. If you want to take side trips park the trailer and go exploring. We did just that . The problem is turning your rig around on road that has no turn outs.
You can not get lost becouse there is only one road in and out.
Have greate trip.
Regards Russell from Sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:55 PM   #9
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I will let everyone know how the trip is for us. We have three Airstreams leaving from the Tallahassee, Fl. area the first of May. That's just a little over 80 days left to get ready. We will have two 34 footers and a 30'. All three have the same TV. We plan on getting back to Florida in mid September.

Capt. Charlie
1998, 34' Classic Excella 1000. WBCCI # 1901
'04 Chevy 2500HD CC,LT 4X4 SB,D/A. 45 gal fuel tank. Hensley Arrow, Guided by Garmin 2610 GPS. Twin eu2000i's
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:03 PM   #10
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Wow, Charlie-you all have a wonderful time! I enjoyed the pictures my parents brought back, just breath-taking! Enjoy!!
Minya and the kids

2005 22' Safari-
...lost her in the divorce-
Would like another (Airstream), please!

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Old 03-07-2006, 01:37 PM   #11
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Sapulpa , Oklahoma
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My wife and I are leaving in June for an extended trip to Ontario Alberta and on to Alaska. We have a Dodge Diesel and a 1976 Argosy that we are cleaning up as I write. She is cleaning I am writing. Will we need a larger that normal fuel tank? Our tank holds 24 gallons of diesel.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:14 PM   #12
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Eagle River , Alaska
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We do have 3 distinct seasons up here:
Winter, hunting and road construction.
Summer is on a Tuesday this year.

I drove the ALCAN last summer pulling 22’ Safari and plan to do so again this year.
I’ve pulled it all over Alaska including above the Arctic Circle without incident.

Buy the 2006 Milepost. Money well spent. You’ll be glad you did. Lots of info, where to stay, where to look for what, etc.

Come prepared with spares, gas etc. Stop often and check your rig. And enjoy the trip.

Summer temps are great, 60-70F.

The roads are not that horrible, relatively speaking. No worse than California Sierra “highways”. Most Alaska road horror stories of 5 flat tires and such originated in the 1970s and 80s on gravel roads. The main highways (all 3) are paved and rather good.

Frost heaves WILL send you bumping along. The worst I’ve hit were in Canada. Some are flagged, other you never see, they just send you flying against the cab roof.

The scenery and wildlife viewing are amazing.

Cracked windshield? Welcome to Alaska.

The worst roads I’ve encountered while towing were in passing through Seattle!

We are getting electricity installed in the igloos next month.

Alaska: The last foreign country still friendly to Americans.

Eagle River Alaska
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nail_Fac44
We are looking to buy a 28-32 ft. but a 34 ft would be nice because of the dinnett. ... Is a trailer over 30 ft. just to long to get into parks or around the roads of Alaska.
We've been to Alaska twice, the most recently in 2001 (we're planning on going again in 2007).

On our 2001 Alaska trip, we pulled a 33' fifth wheel with an MDT (medium duty truck). We had no problems fitting it in any of the campgrounds or driving any of the roads. You can read about our 2001 trip at

By the way, there are Airstream trailers with dinettes shorter than the 34'. If you're looking for a Classic, both the Classic 30' and the Classic 31' Dinette have dinettes. There are dinettes in some of the CCDs and Safari's, too.

See where we are:

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