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Old 04-06-2016, 08:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Ballpark -- using nice round figures just to make the point -- let's say you are going to drive 10,000 miles total including sight-seeing in Alaska. Six weeks is 42 days, which means that you will be driving an average of 238 miles per day. This equates to roughly FOUR hours per day every day.

Let's say you need to take 1/3 of the days "off" from driving (14 days off), to enjoy life and the sights, which would then leave you 28 days for 10,000 miles, or 357 miles per day, the vast majority of which will be towing! Not including setting up to spend the night, breaking down camp to move on, and so forth.
....
I hope you will post the details of your trip and what you are able to accomplish in six weeks, and I do truly hope that you have fun!

Peter

Peter, I really appreciate your input. Truly! Don't think for one second that we're unappreciative of your opinion. We want to hear everyone's thoughts and experience.

I think different people have different tolerances for driving. Once we've gotten away from the east coast (which in my opinion has been the most miserable part of all of our trips, other than one nasty hot day in heavy traffic around Chicago many moons ago, but I won't go into that ), we've been able to tow 500 miles a day on the interstates. As I recall from years ago, the roads in southern Canada (at least) were also pretty good and you can move right along. We expect both of us to share driving this time, making it a little easier. Obviously, once we get to AK, we expect daily mileage to decrease substantially. I agree that 10 days of all day driving each way is going to be arduous, but we'll be keeping our "eyes on the prize," if you will. If we're bookdocking nights without detaching the TV, setting up and taking down camp is really a minor deal. Dumping and getting fresh water will take longer but we don't anticipate that happening every day.

I don't know that we'll ever have more than 6 weeks to do a trip like this and we're not getting any younger. Maybe we should wait, but here's the thing--if we don't go soon, will we regret it if we never get there? Right now our AS is newly and completely refurbished, new axles, tires, floor (shell on--what a bugger that was!), etc. etc. Did a 1600 mile shakedown run last fall. It's not going to be in better shape than it is right now. The trip appears to be affordable. Call us crazy if you will, but if we do go I certainly will post an update on our experiences and final costs to the forum.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:45 AM   #44
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Hi again from AZ. . . adding to my previous post We took 83 days because we could, & had put the trip off for years because of time constraints, go for as long as you can, as soon as you can. It'll be great & you'll want to go back ! ! Our 2nd trip will be different & we now know what else we want to see. By the way, we thought the Riverboat Discovery day trip deal in Fairbanks was terrific, the TOW hwy goes from the Alcan to Dawson City (one of our favorite stops), & very little of it is paved, but not really a problem for us (twice) Buy fuel at 1/2 tank. (even on the Alcan) The Cassiar was very different than the Alcan, the side trip to Stewart/Hyder is great. We too bought groceries & 'ate in' a lot. A camera with GPS will really help you remember which mountain that is ! The Icefields Pkwy was as pretty as we saw on the way to the Alcan..............have a great time ! ! !, regards, Craig
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:06 AM   #45
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Thanks msimon for the kind words and thoughts.

As one more "not getting any younger" crazy soul, I guess the best bet is to go for it!

Look forward to hearing from you On The Road Again.

Have fun . . .

Peter







PS -- If you have any favorite On The Road Again songs, feel free to post them on this thread:

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Old 04-06-2016, 09:10 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by TxDave View Post
You definitely want to purchase the Milepost Travel Guide when planning your trip. This book is an invaluable resource.
Thanks to everyone for the tip on The Milepost. It's been on my wish list at Amazon since 2012. Since there's a new edition every year, I didn't want to buy until the trip seemed imminent. We've also re-upped our Good Sam membership and will be getting a Pilot/Flying J account. I understand that one can get windshield insurance for a nominal fee, so we'll be looking into that as well. I understand stone guards for the TV are also a must. Other Alaska threads on Airforums have talked about stone protection for the trailer (especially street-side) in the form of taped on padding or foil roll insulation. For those of you who've gone, is this kind of stone protection worth it? A few years ago, a large truck wheel weight went completely through the upper front of our old Overlander. It did quite a bit of damage. Would hate to break a window in the Excella. Would appreciate any thoughts and input on this as it's all part of the overall cost of the trip. Thanx.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:28 AM   #47
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I understand not liking crowds, just understand the limitations you are putting on yourself. Many people don't due to our short summers. Example in the interior, we normally get first frost around Aug 20 so expect some nights around freezing,many tourist attractions shut down around Labor day. Usually August rains mean low ceilings so mountain views may be reduced. This year we had snow in August on our way home from salmon fishing in Valdez.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:51 AM   #48
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My wife and I made the trip in 2013 from Northwest Michigan. Our trip was 109 days and there was never enough time to see everything. The mileage logged was just over 14,000 miles and in 2013 the average U.S Dollar cost for fuel $4.78 and we used 1,233 gallons. Our trip included the Northwest Territory as well as a trip out the Dalton Highway to the end of the road. We also took the RV on the ferry to Juneau. At times we left the RV behind and stay in B&B or Hotels when we thought the roads were too challenging. Being an MBA I keep all kinds of records so if you I would be willing to share them, . You can also see our adventure from our blog: larry-Jan-TVC.net. It will be in the archive section of the site.

However our trip did end abruptly when I had a medical issue and was stranded in British Columbia for two weeks...but that is another story. My advice get travel insurance if you do not want to deal the Canadian Medical system and trying to get reimbursed once you get back to the states

If you want more info, just respond directly to me with an email address:

By the way we are going back in 2018 to finish up what we missed.

When we made this trip we pulled a 36ft 5th wheel. After the experience of that trip we bought an Airstream...our second one.

RECAP ALASKA TRIP - 2013
Diesel Fuel $5,892
Truck and RV Maintenance and Repairs $1,161
Ferries $1,178
RV Parks $3,283
Hotels and B&B $1,144
Groceries $1,614
Resturants and Diners $419
Tours and Entrance Fees $1,828
Gifts and Souvniers $867
Personal $743
Other $218
Total Expenditures Alaska 2013 $18,347


INTERESTING TRIP NUMBERS
Diesel Fuel - Gallons 1,233
Trip Mileage 14,293
Average Price Per Gallon - Diesel Fuel $4.78
Total Days on the Road 109
Average RV Park Cost (102 Days) $32.19
Average Hotels and B&B (7 Days) $163.43
Overall Average Out of Pocket Cost $168.32
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:21 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisen View Post
I understand not liking crowds, just understand the limitations you are putting on yourself. Many people don't due to our short summers. Example in the interior, we normally get first frost around Aug 20 so expect some nights around freezing,many tourist attractions shut down around Labor day. Usually August rains mean low ceilings so mountain views may be reduced. This year we had snow in August on our way home from salmon fishing in Valdez.
Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:55 PM   #50
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Nice for you to get feedback from some who have done this before but remember that we're all different and experiences will be different, even at the same locations, depending on weather, interests and many elements. We did an Alaska cruise in 1994 and enjoyed it, aware, nevertheless, that we were being herded around as tourists bringing "green". Went back in our 25' Airstream in 2005 on an Adventure Caravan trip. Don't remember the cost (different today anyhow) but it was about 6 weeks. Way better than the cruise. Glad we took the Adventure Caravan trip for our first time with the AS. Planned on returning to those places we either liked or didn't see enough of but circumstances (and, now, age) prevented it. Yes, you go where the tour is planned though there is considerable opportunity to personalize the time you spend unless you have the need to be first to arrive at the next destination. However, way less stress and unexpected issues according to many conversations I have had with many firsttimers who planned their own. No matter the time nor issues, I can't recall anyone being disappointed in Alaska and most hoped to return..
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:56 AM   #51
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This is a great thread. Thanks to the OP for starting it. And, thank you to many that have contributed. Our first summer of retirement, in three years, will be spent in our AS, in Alaska. I've only spent a few days there, and really want to go back.
My trip was from St Louis to Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) and back, on a motorcycle. 10,000 miles in two weeks. So, pretty much everything is a blur.. I do remember the mosquitos! Couldn't take my helmet off in some places..
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:38 PM   #52
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We are planning a similar trip except heading out from Toronto and visiting along the British Columbia coast. Total we are away about 40 days and guesstimate 7-8K Canadian 😎
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:47 AM   #53
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Wow...reading everyones posts just makes me want to make the Alaska trip more than ever!! As a kid grew up listening to my grandfathers stories of driving a new Cadillac up the Alcan. Later joined the Coast Guard and heard all the stories from my buddies.....while being stuck in Florida. Now I am half way there in Montana but not retired yet.......30 months and counting!! Thinking it will be the ultimate RV trip, just like some of those Wally Byam hosted over 50 years ago!!
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:33 AM   #54
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Looks like postings to this thread are starting to taper off, so I'd like to take the opportunity before it goes completely dead to thank all of you who posted replies to my original question. We can't tell you how much we appreciate all of your different perspectives! Happy travels, All!
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:26 PM   #55
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Looks like postings to this thread are starting to taper off, so I'd like to take the opportunity before it goes completely dead to thank all of you who posted replies to my original question. We can't tell you how much we appreciate all of your different perspectives! Happy travels, All!
Thanks for starting the thread and for your openness to differing opinions. I hope to see Alaska someday!

Please start a new thread to document the trip this summer, if you have the time and inclination.

Have fun!

Peter
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:05 PM   #56
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We're heading to Alaska with 6 other Airstream couples, departing Central California at the end of May, hitting Dawson Creek on the first week of June and ultimately ending up in Jasper at the end of July, then heading home in early August. This thread has been great.

One question about medical insurance, specifically in Canada. We are fully covered in the US but haven't given much thought on what we would do if we needed medical attention in Canada. What have you that have traveled through BC, the Yukon and Alberta done for medical insurance?
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