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Old 04-23-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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Mileage Question

I'm not limited by time and not money...

As such, what is the most mileage have any one of you traveled in one trip. I'm getting ready to go on my "bucket list" trip to Alaska and I'm wondering if I'm being realistic. I'm traveling to Alaska from Georgia, joining a caravan in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. I'm doing the trip solo (meaning I'm driving alone). I don't have the luxury of having a spouse or a friend to share the trip, plus my A/S is a little too small for more than me (IMHO).

I'm traveling this year because I don't know how well (health-wise) I will be next year since I'm dealing with cancer. I'm not afraid of making the trip, I just want to know if I'm being realistic. I've done a lot of courageous things in my life and tend to be very organized.

I've figured that just from Georgia to the caravan portion of my trip (getting to the end of it) is 6600 miles and that does not include the trip back to Georgia (from Whitehorse, YT to Georgia). I figure the whole trip will be about 9000 miles. Again, time is not a problem. I am traveling based on how I feel. The fastest portion of the trip is the caravan (which is 3,300 plus miles in 38 days).

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“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it; I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
---Diane Ackerman (Author, poet, essayist, naturalist)
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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Total mileage is irrelevant. What counts is taking time to see what you are going there to see in the first place. Take your time, travel at a speed that is comfortable. Take as long as you need. You will be fine.


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Old 04-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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Health is a big issue in all our lives. Wish you well.
You will have a great trip. But you will probably enjoy it more after the caravan. You will not be on any schedule then and can take your time and enjoy what you want to see.
This is a trip everyone should do at some point in their lifetime. It is a big world out there and we only see such a small portion of it in our everyday lives.
Have fun, take lots of pictures, and keep us updated.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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The longest trip we have taken was from our home in Walnut Grove, CA to the WBCCI International in Burlington VT, via Washington DC. From Burlington we went to Niagara Falls, Lancaster PA, then back through Michigan, on our way to visit family in Montana. Then to Whidbey Island WA to see friends on our way to Long Beach WA for a week long kite festival, then back home to Walnut Grove, CA.

We made the trip towing our '65 Caravel with our '47 Chevy Street Rod. As you can see we made 54 stops (#1 and #56 were home), some just overnight, the longest, Long Beach Washington, was a week and a half. The car speedo rolled to the 100K mile mark on that trip.

9,146.0 miles

87 days
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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When we went from TN to the International in S Dakota and the Alaska and returned via WV I think we logged something over 13000 miles and about 2.5 months
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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Our trip from VA to AK was 13.3k round trip.

Love to do each and every one of them again.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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I agree with Boondocker. Travel at your speed and have fun. You are taking a trip that just about every other person on this forum would like to be taking. Go for it and have fun!

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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Traveling to Alaska can be very tiring no matter what your health is. On 3 trips there we have traveled 10,000 to 11,222 miles. We start from Colorado, so add miles for traveling from Georgia. I find that when I figure the miles to and from somewhere I add another 50% because of side trips, driving around towns, etc. For Alaska, it's not quite that much because there are fewer side trips—fewer roads to go on. With two of us, both can drive which makes it easier, but there are long days with beautiful, but repetitive scenery. Until you drive past Edmonton, it's hard to understand just how big North America is.

By the time you reach Yukon, there is almost always daylight in June and July—actually twilight, but it's still light out. Some people have trouble sleeping, even with blackout shades. Our bodies feel the light I guess and on our first trip we slept very little for days and then collapsed and sleep a lot, then started the process again. After about 4 weeks of driving, our butts hurt. We have gotten cushions for the seats and that has helped a lot. We put reflectix on the bedroom windows and that makes it dark and insulates better. I don't recall if the 23' has a bedroom, but reflectix can be affixed to the windows with Velcro and removed when necessary.

We've done these trips in 6 to 8 weeks. It is certainly worth it to us because we keep going back.

I think it would be good to check on availability of medical services should you need treatment along the way. Also check on health insurance availability while on the road—a lot of US insurance is not good in Canada.

Then check on how many miles per day the caravan will go. Some of these caravans press pretty hard and some don't. If you tire easily, a long trip could be a problem.

How big is your gas tank? While there's always gas within a 100 miles or so, some is very, very expensive (compared to very expensive) and you may want to have either a large tank or gas cans with you. Our tank is only 26 gallons and that is too small, so we had 2 5 gallon gas cans and sometimes used them so to not worry or avoid higher prices. Fill up in Montana just before you cross the border. Find a credit card that doesn't charge extra for foreign currency—we got a Capital One card just for the last trip because they don't add fees for that like just about every other credit card. Right now the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar and they have high gas taxes, so this trip will be expensive. Last year, gas was most expensive in the Muncho Lake area and people try to avoid buying gas around there. You can talk to people whenever you stop and they will tell you about high prices, road problems and such. Once you get to permafrost country there will be frost heaves in the road which slow you down if you don't want to go airborne.

Every time you re-enter the US you may get a fruit inspection. They seem to be more concerned about fruit than anything else. We could have bought thousands of dollars more than we were allowed without tariffs, had stores of illegal imports, hidden illegal immigrants, but all they were after was fruit. If you see a customs person coming out and putting on gloves, watch out. Many of these agents have not been socialized well and can't even say "hello" or "how are you?" Leave on those fruit labels that say "US" and I think Chile is ok.

I certainly don't want to discourage you and I think you are courageous to do this. Preparation is everything and it seems you understand that well. Just take the right precautions and you should be fine. It is a great trip.

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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We made the Alaska trip last summer also. We went the long way via California and then up the West Coast, coming back on the Alaska Hwy. It was just a few miles short of 15K, and we did it in 6.5 weeks, but we tend to do too fast, because a 600 mile day is not uncommon to us.

I consider it a wonderful trip, a trip of a life time, so do go, enjoy yourself, see everything, but take your time doing it.

I do suggest you see the Kenai penninsula, take a wildlife viewing cruise out of Seward, take the Hwy to Valdez, and if possible, do the Cassiar Hwy thru BC one way or the other.

Make sure your equippment is in good shape, expecially tires, flaps, pad the front of your trailer, and take some extra fuel.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:12 PM   #10
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Benjisgal, go and have fun! I admire your spirit! BTW, how do you find out about caravans? I would love to hook up with one this summer. I'm kinda new to AS and would love to have the fellowship and experience of the veterans.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #11
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Good for you!

If you feel OK, I would suggest driving not more than about 4-5 hours each "driving day" and then taking every 4th day off (on average) to enjoy where you are. That way, you would average about 200-250 miles/day or about 1250-1500 miles/week. Some days on the flat plains you might put 8 hours of driving in easily, but mountain driving with lots of hills and curves might exhaust you after 2-3 hours.

Let your body guide you and if you think 2-3 hours of driving per day is more reasonable - plan accordingly. Enjoy the ride and tell us your route as we all might be able to point out some pretty spectacular spots for you to check out!

If the caravan is putting on more miles per day than you are comfortable with, see if one of the other caravanners has a spare "driver" that could take over for you here and there, but would have their own trailer to sleep in at the end of the day.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:22 PM   #12
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What a great trip! Keep us posted along the way and then it wont seem as you're on your own. Lots of friendly folks along the way and if you run into trouble its comforting to know that other airstreamers maybe be close.

If health may be an issue later then it makes total sense to do it now. Go for it and take us along!

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:25 PM   #13
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longest trip

we are currently 68,000 or so miles into our longest trip...19 states, won't be completed until we reach all 48 of the lower, as they say......then we have to go back to the places we really liked
and the Four P's(Paula, Phoenix and Peabody II and Pearl)…Peabody is here…..
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kingfisher24 View Post
68,000 or so miles into our longest trip...19 states, :
You must know those 19 states REALLY well by now.

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