Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2005, 08:24 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Home from Alaska

After almost 2 months our trip to Alaska has come to an end. We drove almost 21000 km (13000 miles) with 4 kids in our '99 Suburban 1500 and 1964 Overlander. The only problems we had were a couple of stone chips in the windshield and one blown fuse in the tow vehicle.
We took the Klondike Highway route up through Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon and then over the Top Of The World Highway through Chicken to Tok. We spent a couple of weeks around Ancorage and the Kenai Penninsula before heading up through Denali to Fairbanks, then back down to Whitehorse. We came south through British Columbia on the Cassiar Hwy. then down to Vancouver before heading back east to Milton, ON.
A few highlights:
-the kids loved the water slides at the West Edmonton Mall
-a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords where we saw a glacier and lots of wild life
-the mountains and glaciers of Alaska
-the Islands and Ocean Center in Homer, Alaska
-the Alaska Sea Wildlife Centre in Seward, Alaska
-the Williams Lake (BC) Stampede
-pick your own blueberries and cherries in the Fraser River Valley and Okanagan Valley of British Columbia
-the Calgary Stampede parade


Grant Davidson
Milton, ON
__________________

__________________
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2005, 08:48 PM   #2
Site Team
 
Janet H's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,447
Images: 90
WOW - Sounds like a great trip. I guess picking your own berries sort of makes up for fuel prices.....
__________________

__________________
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

.
Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

AirForums Custom Search
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2005, 09:59 PM   #3
Cartoon Character
 
Porky Pig's Avatar
 
2004 34' Classic
On The Road , U.S.A.
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 885
Images: 10
Grant,

Sounds like a wonderful trip ... any pictures?

Also, what were the road conditions like?

And ... we were just in the Fraser River Valley and the Okanagan Valley a couple of weeks ago ... the cherries were superb!
__________________
Porky

TrailerGypsies.com
WBCCI #3405 Escapees #80360

I live the life I love and I love the life I live.
-- Willie Dixon
Porky Pig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2005, 10:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1987 29' Sovereign
Sparta , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 507
Send a message via Yahoo to wingfoot321
Grant,

Sounds great. We are planning to go in 2008. We are going on a caravan for 60+ days.

Just curious. Did you keep any kind of log on expenses? Per day, per month, per trip or whatever.
__________________
wingfoot321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 07:29 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
jfowler218's Avatar
 
2007 31' Classic
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 71
Images: 1
Alaska Trip

We leave for Alaska on 8-3-05. Did you have any problems finding RV Park sites? Did you make advance reservations?
__________________
jfowler218 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 10:04 PM   #6
Not your average Tiki
 
Tikiman's Avatar
 
1968 26' Overlander
Columbia , Missouri
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
Images: 17
RV'ing in Alaska

My wife and I spent two weeks in Alaska in Sept. '04 and had a great time. We rented an RV for our very first RV experience. We found that Alasaka is very RV friendly.

If you find yourself in Talkeetna, AK there's a great RV park as you pull into town. We boondocked along the road to Denali at Honalulu Creek (sp? great campsite downstream from the hwy bridge). Also stayed in the NPS campground in Denali, Forest Service campground at the Russian River, and an RV park in Homer.

Can't wait to go back, as soon as the A/S is ready we're heading north.......

Tikiman
__________________
Tikiman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 09:38 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
WOW - Sounds like a great trip. I guess picking your own berries sort of makes up for fuel prices.....
We have 4 kids, and we encourtage them to eat as many as they put in the pail. Cuts down on the cost of lunch.
__________________
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 09:50 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porky Pig
Grant,
Also, what were the road conditions like?
The worst part was the Top Of The World highway between Dawson City, Yukon and Tok, AK. The scenery is beautiful, but much of the road is gravel with lots of potholes and washboard. Also there are a lot of dropoffs with no guard rail. This didn't bother me, but a woman that we talked to in Whitehorse said that her sister (who works that road on a highway maintenance crew) has often driven large motorhomes through the worst parts for drivers who just couldn't take the stress.

Something we hadn't considered was the amount of dust that entered the trailer on gravel roads. Everything was covered in a fine layer. Maybe it's worse on our trailer because it's 41 years old.

The roads for the rest of the trip through Northern BC, Yukon and Alaska varied from near perfect to short sections of rough gravel through construction sites. On most of it you can do 55 without feeling like you're going to do any damage. You don't want to do this trip in a hurry, but then why rush when the scenery is so beautiful. Even on sections that are nicely paved you'll come across frost heaves that you will need to slow down for. Most are marked with Bump signs or more commonly orange flags on the median, but every now and then we'd come across an unmarked one that would give us a jolt.
__________________
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 09:51 AM   #9
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
How did your Airstream fare?

I met a fellow Airstream owner who was the campground host at a local state park. His Airstream was a 2004 30' Safari bunkhouse. I noticed that the had many stickers on his trailer above the stone guards. I thought it was strange but he told me that they were covering small nicks and dents from the gravel on the roads on their trip to Alaska. While there is a lot of paved highways up there, I was told that in some areas the permafrost keeps any kind of paved surface in shambles.

Sounds like if you travel up there, you need to seriously look at some type of serious wheel flaps (ala Silvertwinkie's flaps on his Surburban) on the tow vehicle or some other screening on the trailer itself. I curious about others who have towed up to Alaska and how their Airstreams faired on the roads up there.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 10:33 AM   #10
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
Last year before leaving International there was a caravan heading for Alaska that was going off the rally site. Many of the trailers, especially those without rock guards had taped a layer of cardboard over the front of the trailer from the bottom edge of the window to the rub rail. They also had additional cardboard in the TV.

I don't know if it works, but based on what I saw it must have some benefit.

We have one member in our unit that gets a new windshield EVERY time they come back for an Alaska trip. There are just a lot of loose stones getting thrown around.
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 11:15 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfoot321
Grant,
Just curious. Did you keep any kind of log on expenses? Per day, per month, per trip or whatever.
Gas for the entire trip cost Cdn$3560 (US$2848) for 21000km (13000 miles). We averaged 11.5 mpg (US gallon). Gas costs ranged from US$1.83 per gallon in Owatona, MN to US$2.61 in Glenallen, AK. Around Anchorage the cost was $2.15 to $2.20. In Canada the cheapest gas we found was in Maple Ridge, BC (80.9 per litre) which is about US$2.45 per gallon. In northern BC and Yukon gas ranged from 96 to $1.08 per litre which is about US$2.90 to US$3.26 per US gallon.

RV parks (all prices $US) ranged from $16 to $37, with the more expensive ones being in Alaska. We mostly stayed in private parks with full services, and price seems to vary more by location than the quality of the park. In the past we've always stayed in public campgrounds, but it's hard to find them with anything more than pit toilets once you get north of Edmonton.

Some of the parks we stayed at (all prices $US):
-In Beiseker, Alberta (north of Calgary) there is a nice municipal park with services. I can't remember the price, but it was very reasonable.
-Aspen Beach provincial park south of Edmonton was nice - an unserviced site was $17 - nice bathrooms. We stayed in 2 other Alberta provincial parks, but were disappointed to find that they locked the showers/flush toilets at night. What's that all about??? If you arrive late or leave early you only have access to the outhouses.
-Whitecourt Lions campground in Whitecourt, BC ($16) - nice treed sites with water and electrical
-Pioneer RV park in Whitehorse ($18) for fully serviced sites on gravel. No trees, but nice washrooms and laundry and free wireless internet.
-Tok RV village in Tok, AK ($32) nice sites with full services and nice bathrooms. The price was a bit of a shock, but we paid more later in the trip.
-In Seward there is a municipal campground on the water with water and electric at the site and flush toilets and showers. I think we paid about $12 for an unserviced site.
-Anchorage RV park in Anchorage (of course!) is nice. It has full services and nice bathrooms for $32.
-In Homer we stayed at the Ocenview RV park. It was one of the more expensive at $37 per night, but it's right in town and on the water. Bathrooms and laundry were nice, and free internet conection. You can also camp on the Homer Spit, but it's really exposed to the weather.
-In Denali we stayed at the Denali RV Park a few miles north of the park road. It was $30 per night with full services and nice bathrooms.
-In Fairbanks we stayed at the Chena Marina campground for $36 per night. It's a nice park with free fishing in the pond, free movies to borrow, a TV/games/reading room, free pastries and coffee in the morning, nice bathrooms and laundry. One of our favourites.
-The Cassiar RV park in Kitwanga, BC is nice. Water, sewer and electrical for about $17.
-Canada West RV park just west of Revelstoke was another good full service campground and free wireless internet. I don't have the price, but it was reasonable and included a pass to the municipal swimming pool in town which is a beautiful indoor facility with a water slide.
-The most expensive park in Canada was in Osoyoos, BC. I think it was close to US$37, but it was late and we really wanted a shower. This is where I learned an important lesson - NEVER TRUST ANYONE OTHER THAN YOUR SPOUSE TO DIRECT YOU INTO A SITE. The guy working there insisted that he help me back into the site while my wife registered and paid. He only watched one side of the trailer while the other side came within an inch of being creased by a picnic shelter. It was only by luck that the trailer wasn't damaged. If I had gone back 2" more it would have damaged the awning support. This is the first and last time I'll ever trust anyone else to direct me in. He seemed to have the attitude that everyone needed help backing into a site. I've never had a problem backing in anywhere - I grew up on a farm and backing up a trailer is second nature to me. I didn't appreciate him assuming that I couldn't do it.

Of the 60 nights we were away we paid for RV parks 33 nights. We spent about 7 nights with friends along the way. Other times we stopped at rest stops along the road or slept at Wal-mart or Fred Meyers stores in cities. Some people look down on camping at Wal-mart, but they're free, easy to find, free, safe, free, well lit and if it's a 24 hour store you have access to bathrooms at any time. And did I mention free? We paid a total of about US$700 for the 33 nights we stayed in parks. We never booked ahead and were never turned away because a park was full. Some parks charge for showers which can add up when there are 6 of us. We tried to avoid those parks if possible. Some were only 25 for 2 minutes which was okay, but others charge a couple of dollars.

Internet Access - we took a wireless laptop (iBook) with us. About half of the private RV parks had service of some kind, but about half of them charged for it - we never paid. In most towns you can get access at a library, sometimes wireless. We also found that just by driving through a residential neighbourhood we could usually find an unprotected signal - later we read in the paper that this is illegal. It was often easier to find wireless internet than cell phone coverage.
__________________
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 11:18 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Sounds like if you travel up there, you need to seriously look at some type of serious wheel flaps (ala Silvertwinkie's flaps on his Surburban) on the tow vehicle or some other screening on the trailer itself. I curious about others who have towed up to Alaska and how their Airstreams faired on the roads up there. Jack
We didn't have any damage, although maybe scratches would show up if the trailer was polished. We did get 2 stone chips in the truck windshield, one of which has become a crack. It happened when we were passed going through a construction zone.
__________________
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2005, 07:03 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
DavidsonOverlander's Avatar

 
1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 798
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
Sounds like a great trip. Can't wait to see some scenic photos. How the heck did you manage to steal away EIGHT weeks to do this? Damn...
I'm a teacher, and one of the benefits that we have is to enroll in a program called Deferred Leave. It allows us to work for 1 to 6 years at a reduced salary and then take the following year off. I worked for 6 years and was paid 84% of my salary with the other 16% being held back by my employer. During the 7th year, which is just ending, my employer paid back the money that had been held back. The money only earns 3% interest, but you don't pay income tax on it until it's paid back to you so there is a tax advantage. We can do this twice during our career. The most common leave is a 4 over 5, 4 years pay spread out over 5 years.
I enrolled in the program 7 years ago just after our twins were born figuring that I would take the year off when they were in grade 2 and my other two kids were in grades 5 and 7. It's been great having the time with them.
I ended up traveling for about 4 months out of the past year. As a family we went to Prince Edward Island, Washington DC, the Florida Keys, South Carolina and Alaska, all in the Airstream. My 12 year old son and I went to Arizona for a week in April and in January I went to Costa Rica for 2 weeks to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
It's been a great year! In September I'll go back to teaching a the same school I was at before.
__________________
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
TAC ON-5
DavidsonOverlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2005, 07:30 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
norbert's Avatar
 
1993 30' Excella
chicagoland , north of cheddar curtain
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,258
Images: 24
Talking

isnt it great when one can use the system, instead of the system using you....

norby
__________________

__________________
Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
norbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motor Home Gun Laws winner On The Road... 26 08-17-2009 03:45 PM
'78 Argosy central heater motor home edmatlock Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 5 11-22-2002 11:57 PM
New Forum Home Page! Andy R Our Community 8 10-31-2002 05:44 AM
Finally! Bringing it home... pjtaia Our Community 12 09-30-2002 09:31 PM
Identity Protection RV and Home FrankR Off Topic Forum 0 09-10-2002 10:26 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.