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Old 12-16-2010, 09:29 AM   #15
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We have made 2 road trips to Alaska and plan a 3rd in 2011.

We had small stone damage on the front of the Airstream. Properly installed mudflaps will help keep some of the stones from hitting the front. I suppose you could wrap the whole front in bubble wrap, but we chose to not worry about any "character marks". We have subsequently kicked up a piece of tire which dented a front panel and run into a hailstorm which left marks on all the upper panels and roof panel. After 60,000 miles, I expect our "girl" to have some indication of wear. Believe me, I don't look as good as I did when I was brand new either!

A functional problem came when a rock knocked off the drain valve of our fresh water tank. Everything else was cosmetic.

Paula
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
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Yes, the Alaska roads are rough, muddy, and have lots of loose stones, and there are lots of construction areas. This is how we looked at Chicken, AK after traveling the Top of The World Highway (really not as good as some of our county roads.


This is the foam padding I put on the front of our trailer, which was very effective. With it, and the flaps we received no damage to the front of the trailer.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:52 AM   #17
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WOW are they designated sites in the background in the campground in Chicken? If so they have really modernized a lot since 2000.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:17 AM   #18
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WOW are they designated sites in the background in the campground in Chicken? If so they have really modernized a lot since 2000.
Oh yea, they have gone big city with water AND electricity, well, that is when the generator is running, but still no sewer system. They still use outhouses.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #19
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They still use outhouses.
For good reason. An outhouse may be freezing but it will not freeze.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:55 AM   #20
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mostly the gravel roads were pretty rough. Shelves came unachored, things screwed together came apart. Mostly from overloading, best I could see. People load a magazine rack or bookshelf extra full with heavy stuff then it falls off. If you just gotta carry catalogs and magazines put them in box on the floor over a b eam. Some stone damage, but not much,really. Several hundred miles of gravel roads with steep drop offs and no guard rails. You could loose a whole rig if you were really unlucky. When we came into Alaska from Canada after leaving Dawson city there was a car and uhaul about 100 yards down the hill on its side. Some one had sprayed "OK" on it meaning that the people had gotten out and there was no need to go down and check it again. I grew up in Applachia so I was probably better prepared mentally for this type of driving.
We had a few chipped winshields in the group. Nothing you can do about it. When a truck decides to pass you on a gravel stretch it does so. And it is often like a shotgun hitting the side of the car with the little gravel they use. One thing we did was to cover all of the drivers side windows of the trailer with plexiglas and aluminum tape. There were A few flat tires from the sharp gravel. We hight have had a few people along that had not gotten past the point of worrying about the "investment" and "resale" of their rig. Personally I enjoyed the route and the drive very much. My strong reccomendation is to carry a small generator to charge the batteries and to make sure your electrical system is in good shape and that you understand how to use it. I did not carry a generator and it was our first long trip in a trailer. I use a breathing pac and was worried about running out of electricity. So we frozen in Chicken because we did not have enough juice to run the furnace for 3 days. They did have a nice building with food and heat and computer hookup in the campground we stayed in (there are 2, and they are very competive). We froze in Jasper going up for the same reason.
Most of the bigger dents we have gotten in our trailer came in the lower 48 from debris on the highway. Most of the dust and dirt that is still in the seams and cracks 2 years later came from Alaska.
Some people put the pvc and screen guards on the front of the trailer. There was a pile of them free for the taking at the campground in Prince George. I was afraid it would come loose and beat the trailer up worse than the stray rocks. I did have big mudflaps. Some of the happiest times were when we would find a carwash big enough for the rig.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #21
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i my self never been to alaska but have a brother inlaw went there a few years back. he got a broke windshield, a flat tire on 5th wheel and lost one wheel off the 5th wheel, he said it pasted him on the road.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #22
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Check out Crawford Gene's trip report of their travels last summer from Colorado to Alaska and back. Very entertaining and informative reading.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:11 PM   #23
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One trailer on our trip had an axle failure. ruined the hub and the axle, so the spare bearings were of no use. He was darn lucky to find and recover the wheel and hub anyway. Days and days of travel at 30 mph on 3 wheels to get to Whitehorse. They fixed it there. One totaled trailer from a animal strike also. It can happen. Most dangerous thing is people stopping or slowing down in the road for animals or getting lost and having to turn a bunch of trailers around in the road. The truckers run hard up there.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:01 PM   #24
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Bill M, I searched for the WB CCI caravan driver's manual. No luck. Any help in trying to find one. Ore could you cut and paste to this thread.

AirCamper: I too am concerned about rock damage. I think the foam sleeping bag pad is a good idea. I think it's worth the effort to take some time to protect the AS.

It's very exciting planning the trip. Google maps, when combined with satellite and street view are incredible tools. In one street view, I was even able to see that a gas station also had diesel fuel. Just received my North to Alaska tourist info in the mail.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:19 PM   #25
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Diesel fuel is not a problem in the north. You have a large tank and fuel is readily available. All stations in Alaska are required to have water available, only found one the would not supply it. A lot of supermarkets have dump stations so you can deal with that while mom does the shopping.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:35 PM   #26
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Great! I'll be staying tuned and taking notes from this thread. We're planning a two month Alaska tour for July & August 2011. We'll be in our new 2011 FC23FB, which will have had a few 'shakedown' trips (Chaco Canyon should rattle it a bit) and then CO to WA. A caravan might be of interest. Any equipment suggestions will be appreciated. I'm installing 2x135 watt Kyocera panels and a MPPT controller for solar power.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:01 PM   #27
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Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamuJoe View Post
Great! I'll be staying tuned and taking notes from this thread. We're planning a two month Alaska tour for July & August 2011. We'll be in our new 2011 FC23FB, which will have had a few 'shakedown' trips (Chaco Canyon should rattle it a bit) and then CO to WA. A caravan might be of interest. Any equipment suggestions will be appreciated. I'm installing 2x135 watt Kyocera panels and a MPPT controller for solar power.


The solar addon is a good deal on this trip as the sun shines about 18 hours/day in July.
Hope you have a great trip.
Dave
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:10 AM   #28
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Take extra headlights, and the plastic bubble covers for headlights were a neccessity years ago. Get used to swatting at least 20 mosquitos on you each swat, hard not to breath them in. Probably a good idea to protect your radiator from rock hits too. Narrower rigs would be a plus, as the trucks take most of the road.
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