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Old 01-21-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Airstreaming Alaska?

Greetings!
I'd love to take our 31' and spend 3 weeks in Alaska, plus the week to get up there and back. My wife has heard the roads are too bad for trailering. Anyone have any experience, any suggestions? I think it would be fun to just spend the time and see some of the "off the beaten track" sights...
Any advice? Suggestions? Warnings?
Thanks!
Steven
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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When I went up in '67 there were 1500 miles of gravel, mud, and dirt. Now I've heard it is a "walk in the park" in comparison. A good resource guide is the "Milepost". Get a copy and learn what you need to know.
In my opinion, if your equipment isn't up to doing what you want to do, then you either get different equipment or teach yours how to do the job. The last I heard you don't get a chance to "try it over" in the next life.
Living causes death -------------- every time. So I plan to live while I have the chance.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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Absolutely go! And do get a current copy of "The Milepost."

The roads are rough in spots...they freeze and refreeze and are often under repair.
There can be stretches of gravel. But it is definitely doable and well worth the trip.
The Milepost will give you current conditions as well as camping information.

I trailered from California and went north on the Alaskan Highway and came south on the Cassiar Highway. The rest areas are like parks.

The scenery is spectacular!

Have fun.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:27 PM   #4
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Use the Search Tab above to look for other threads..

There are dozens of threads and messages on the topic if you search for key words. THe WBCCI runs two "Caravans" a year with guides, mechanical assist and group travel if you'd be more comfortable with that...

From prior posts, plan on a few flat tires, a broken or cracked windshield and some rock hits on front of the trailer. To minimize damage, stay back form vehicles in front, use 3M plastic film on windshield and headlights, get flaps or rock guards for trailer, and carry at least one spare, maybe two.. Beyond that, maybe some extra fuel in a can on roof rack and emergency goodies like generator, extra food, critical truck and trailer parts (thermostats, fan belts, etc..).

Should be a piece of cake, and we'll read your posts to be ready when we do it in a few years....
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:00 AM   #5
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We went last year, and I was surprised at how good the roads were. Well, at least until we got into the Yukon. From there on there are some rough spots, some gravel spots, and some roads are just older and rougher. You will also find construction areas that will slow you down, so dno't plan on making very good time.

It's a challenge sometimes, but if you just slow down and take it easy, it really is easy. I would also say make sure your vehicles have NEW tires at the beginning, take spares, and do not pass any gas stations if you have less than half a tank of gas. Make sure your tow vehicle is in good condition because emergency services are few and far between, and so, expensive.

Gasoline is also expensive, so plan on that. Last year we paid $1.59C per liter (about $6 US per gallon) in places, but that was in the height of the prices. But, we liked it so much, we plan to go again this year if we get all of our ducks in a row. Just going to take a different route and see some different things.

Do it now....you may not be able to go next year.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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I am interested in doing this trip too and I was curious what the availability of diesel was like along the route. I would assume it should be readily available. Has anybody taken their diesel puller there?

Also the Milepost has a great website with loads of information that would hel preplan. The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner - Home
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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I don't have a Diesel, but it seems all the stations I bought gas at also had Diesel. Again, more expensive than gas which was already expensive. Also, I saw lots of Diesels up there, so it must not be a problem.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CA Streamer View Post
I am interested in doing this trip too and I was curious what the availability of diesel was like along the route. I would assume it should be readily available. Has anybody taken their diesel puller there?
We were up there year before last and had no trouble at all finding fuel for our diesel tow vehicle which is in my signature. The highest priced fuel was in British Columbia. Alaska fuel prices were almost the same as it was in Texas when we left.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:36 AM   #9
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The highest priced fuel was in British Columbia.
Yes, and we were told that BC had an extra provicial tax that made it so.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
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Welcome to the Forum. There are numerous threads on Alaska. A recent one is: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...xan-47240.html

It is not a particularly hard trip on your trailer, but you can make it so if you wish. There are remote roads in the north country that will shake you up, but the payoff in what you experience may be worth it to you.

It can be a hard trip on you because it's a lot of driving. It's 3,500 miles from Colorado to Fairbanks—from Mo. even more. Alaska is huge and BC and Alberta and Yukon are big too. Fairbanks is a common initial destination because the Alaska Hwy points that way, but when you get there, you've only begun. A week to get to Alaska can be done, but it depends on your stamina and how you want to travel. There's plenty to see in Canada and when we've gone north, we look at it as a trip to Canada and Alaska.

Take as much time as you can. Seeing the north in a rush is not a good way to do it. Each trip there has been six weeks and that was about as much as we wanted to be away from home, but that was without a trailer. With a trailer, I think we would want to take a week or two more because we just can't travel as fast.

By the way, there's a another place as far and quite impressive—Newfoundland. We've been there once and want to return there too.

Gene
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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And, Steve, you don't have a trailer yet. Once you buy one, take short trips, then longer ones until you learn how you want to travel with a trailer and see what your comfort level is with long distances. Then after a year or so, go to the ends of the continent. On a long, long trip, on the first leg, which will be 1,000's of miles, with an SUV, I generally plan on 500-550 miles a day. So far, I find 400 or so miles with our Safari just about as tiring. We'll try to expand that, but I don't think we'll ever get to 550.

You can also start learning about Alaska and NW Canada. There's so much you can do and see, you will have to pick and choose and it's best to know a lot about it first.

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:33 PM   #12
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We have driven to Alaska twice, the most recent being last year. We did not find the roads to be too much of an issue. There are sections in Yukon Territory and eastern Alaska that have frost heaves to deal with. Every now and then we would hit a bump that we hadn't seen coming. For the most part you are warned of a pavement break. The Airstream handled it well with the only damage being a broken fresh-water drain valve. We had several tire problems but they occurred in the lower 48. We have rock dings on the front of the Airstream, but we consider them beauty marks. I suppose we could have kept it pristine, but that would have meant not going anywhere.

Fuel prices may never again be as high as they were last summer. We were buying diesel at over $5/gallon. We followed the Mike & Terri Church book "Guide to Alaskan Camping". Milepost was OK, but a little too all-inclusive and it became an impediment to our planning. The first time I spent too much time with my eyes on Milepost and less on the actual road. We preferred boondocking in provinical and state parks and some of the mom-and-pop campgrounds. WiFi was sketchy at best.

Good luck with your planning. Feel free to PM me for further information.

Paula
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:05 PM   #13
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windshield

I spoke with a gentleman that made the trip up there last year. He and his wife took their MoHo, and had to have both windshields replaced when they got back. The insurance company picked up the tab.

Just plan on a new windshield for the truck.

Woody
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:33 PM   #14
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I think you may or may not need a windshield. I wouldn't replace an ok one before the trip. But I have gotten many dings and cracks on interstates, especially in the winter when highway dept's put "sand" more like pea gravel on the road. If you travel on gravel roads and go fast when oncoming vehicles are coming or follow someone too closely, count on a windshield. It can happen anywhere.

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