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Old 10-19-2021, 12:41 PM   #1
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MARCO Island , Florida
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Alaska pre planning 2022

Hi
I would like to take my 2021 Grand tour to Alaska in 2022. a few ??
1- Have you done this in a GT ??
2. Is this a good idea ? or Bad idea ?
3. What extra equipment did you take ?
4. What spares would you, or did you take.

Thanks
Joe Parisi
SWF.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hi

Looking at doing something similar. In our case:

It's an X rather than a GT, but still the same idea. It's getting a spare tire ....

We're pulling a small trailer behind the Interstate for "stuff".

The Classic 30' will also be part of the caravan.

Bob
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:10 PM   #3
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There are so many threads about this it's hard to know where to start as a newbie. But I think one of the best I've seen and read in it's entirety is by TINCAMPERS. Their experience is so thoroughly documented in a separate BLOG with outstanding commentary and inspiring pictures to boot for those like me that have not been there. I recommend that as a good read.

And TINCAMPERS had this THREAD too.
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vet4scuba View Post
Hi
I would like to take my 2021 Grand tour to Alaska in 2022. a few ??
1- Have you done this in a GT ??
2. Is this a good idea ? or Bad idea ?
3. What extra equipment did you take ?
4. What spares would you, or did you take.

Thanks
Joe Parisi
SWF.

I have a 2016 GT. I drove the ALCAN both directions in 2017 and 2019. In 2021, we rode the ferry northbound Bellingham, WA to Whittier, AK because Canada did not allow recreational travel. Canada open up in mid August and we drove the ALCAN southbound. Each year I towed a 5x8 utility trailer with fishing gear and a 10 cubic foot freezer.

I believe it is a great idea!

Extras:
Two 5 gallon cans of diesel. Used the diesel in 2017 and this year. Both years got to a fuel stop which was listed as having diesel, but pumps inoperative.

2.5 gallons of DEF.

Assorted tools.

Spares:
Electric operating motor for black and gray dump valve. (had sticking valve, thought it was the motor, did not want to order parts on the ALCAN)
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:08 PM   #5
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:20 PM   #6
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We went to Alaska this past summer (F250 + Classic along with friends who also pulled a Classic). The road was in excellent shape except for the stretch from White Horse to Tok (very bad) and the stretch about 30 miles north of Delta Junction (bad). The easy answer to bad road conditions is to just slow way down. Even the Dalton was in excellent shape - we saw 2 Honda civics and other sedans cruise along.

That said, I am a fan of being prepared. We took two spares for the truck and two for the Classic. Also took extra diesel cans. Never used any of them but there is no substitute for the peace of mind knowing they were there.

Go for it
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:56 PM   #7
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We went in 2019 - 9000 miles, 43 nights. I did not bring extra fuel. Looked ahead and kept tank in the upper half unless I was sure of big-town fuel availability. Bought a 2 1/2 gallon jug of DEF in Soldotna and added it there. Took the ferry from Haines to Juneau to Prince Rupert and had no problems in doing that. Had the spare underneath and brought a tire plugging kit - but didn't need either. Also brought a spare incooler tube after reading of Tincampers problem. Brought an extra fuel and air filter but didn't need either. Used a stupid-looking hood bra - though am not sure I needed it. Got a rock chip near Edmondton. Also got a chip in Minneapolis during an Alaskan trip 30 yearss before. Can't blame either of those chips on the ALCAN. Hwy between Palmer and Glenallen had terrible frost heaves - not too bad going slow with the Interstate (actually the smooth waves were kinda fun) but it would have been terrible if towing a trailer. Lots of gravel near the border due to construction - makes a mess if dry and makes a real mess if wet. We winged-it for camping everywhere but in Denali and for the two days in Juneau between ferry rides. Had no problems finding a place to camp - but then we're not picky. Stayed in a commericial CG only in Fairbanks for laundry facilities. Send me a PM with your e-mail address if you want me to send you our itinerary and trip notes.
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Old 10-19-2021, 04:40 PM   #8
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We have been to Alaska three times, the last time towing an Airstream. We brought fuel, never needed it. In about 30,000 miles of driving, one flat, not much different than driving in the lower 48. Various covers and stuff to prevent rock chips on both truck and trailers were seen, but not too common. The Alaska Hwy. is paved, not dirt and a lot of what you hear is no longer true. We got a few chips and dings in windshields, but we get them in Colorado too.

I’ve never heard anyone who lives along the Alaska Highway or in Alaska say “Alcan”. That name was used during World War II and faded out long ago. Along it, it is simply “The Highway”. The highway is good much of the way, but frost heaves can be bad in Yukon and Alaska. There are always stretches that are torn up to replace. Frost is deadly for paved roads. They fix them pretty fast. With permafrost melting because of climate change, roads will probably be worse for a while.

The roads are long and towns far between, but basic services are generally available. I bring a tire repair kit (I needed it for that one flat in Chicken, Alaska). I also had a chip repair kit, but never used it. I brought enough tools to take apart a locomotive and was glad. Canadian dirt and gravel roads are usually better maintained than ones like that in Alaska.

Get a copy of the Milepost when the new one comes out in the spring. A local library may have this year’s edition and thumb through it until you are familiar with it. Travel books about Alaska and Yukon and northern BC are also helpful.

On our first trip in 2002 finding a salad or healthy food in Alaska was difficult, but it got better in several years. US customs can be difficult. Each time we went through, the newbies (there are a lot of them) were more difficult. It seemed they had to prove themselves. I had one agent criticize me for not stopping exactly where he thought I should —the difference was less than a foot I guess, though he hadn’t made it clear. This is the petty stuff they concentrated on. They used to look for fruit without fruit labels on them and confiscate the fruit. We found the fruit in Canadian markets to be better than the US, so that was quite unfortunate.

There’s lots to see in Canada. Dawson City, Top of the World Highway (often a quite bad road but the views are incredible), side trips along the way. The Cassier Hwy through BC is a good alternate route back.

If you take the Alaska Ferry anywhere and have a trailer, you have to back into most spaces between narrow dividers. You may have to back out down the ramp. The guys directing
people on the parking deck are unclear what they want sometimes and in a big hurry. Alaska ferries enter and exit on the sides because of narrow waterways unlike most car ferries where you enter at one end and drive off the other. The ferries are nice and you make close friends on them and never see them again.

You will cover a lot of country and see millions of trees. Long drives are necessary to get there, but the payoff is great. There are two places to drive to the Arctic Ocean (it looks just like an ocean), the Dalton Hwy. to the oil fields at Dead Horse and north from Dawson City, Yukon to Tuktoyaktuk on the McKenzie Delta in Northwest Territories.

Our trips lasted from 6 to 8 weeks and we saw just about everything you can drive too. By mid-September you can see the Aurora Borealis. One of the best places is a bit north of Yellowknife, NWT, after you drive past the airport lights. We also saw them about 300 miles north of Dawson City on the Dempster Hwy.

There is much more and those travel books will help you sort out what appeals to you.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:36 AM   #9
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Hi

So, when is "to early" to head up there? I see recommendations that suggest May 15 is a reasonable point to head north of Dawson Creek. Obviously you *can* do it in February, running with no water isn't going to make the crew happy ....

Bob
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:29 AM   #10
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Whatever you do, DO NOT bring a firearm through Canada UNLESS you have all the paperwork in order.
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
Whatever you do, DO NOT bring a firearm through Canada UNLESS you have all the paperwork in order.
Hi

..... also read up on their rules on knives. My normal "pocket knife" is one that I can open with one hand. That bumps into their rules. You need to read up because they aren't quite as simple as some make them out to be.

Bob
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:03 PM   #12
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Good To Go!

If you decide to head north from Fairbanks on the Dalton Highway all the way to the North Slope, I would strongly recommend one extra spare tire mounted on a rim. Also, infrastructure/rescue is much better in Canada than than Alaska. At least it was back in the day circa ‘02
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:52 AM   #13
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My wife and I were in Alaska this past summer, we had Jobs in Talkeena so we were able to get though Canada in May, the Alaskan Hwy from Dawson Creek is mostly paved there was a section of gravel road maybe 10 to 15 miles, I don’t really remember, as already mentioned from Haines just west of Whitehorse was the worst section rough, potholes and heaves. I figured I averaged 40 miles per hour for 200 miles. The good news is that any serious heaves or potholes are flagged or a orange stake, there are also signage for upcoming change in surface, Canada had better signage than Alaska. It was a beautiful drive. The milepost is a must,. On our return Canada was opened, we went down the Cassier Hwy, it is paved the entire way, however there are no markings and no shoulder, it is plenty wide however. The provincial parks in the Yukon were beautiful, mostly dry camping one did have water and electric hookups, and free firewood in the Yukon. As most I to had more tools than needed, you never know, spares for my spares and I started with new tires on both the truck and trailer. I only had some minor issues, a few popped rivets inside, the bedroom tv fell off and the shower door eventually came apart about a month later, most of that probably happened before I realized and watched for the flagged marker. It was a awesome trip, we explored most of the Kenai peninsula, Whittier, Valdez, Homer, Seward, and points in between. A wonderful time, you won’t be sorry you went. We just got home a week ago.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:37 AM   #14
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I took the Airstream to Alaska in 2019. I wrote my thoughts on the trip in this post. Happy to answer any specific questions.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

So, when is "to early" to head up there? I see recommendations that suggest May 15 is a reasonable point to head north of Dawson Creek. Obviously you *can* do it in February, running with no water isn't going to make the crew happy ....

Bob


I usually depart south Mississippi mid April moving slowly in a north west direction, I usually catch a late snowstorm or blizzard north of Calgary usually not to bad as long as you get a good campground and let it pass. I don’t mind snow headed up however I don’t like when I’m headed south.
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:27 PM   #16
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We drove the trip in 2006 ( I can't believe it has been so long). We tried to sign up for the Caravan but failed, so we just went on our own.

Great trip. Make sure your equipment is in top shape and just go. We used the Milepost, of course, but also found that the Church and Church book was a great help too. The trip works best if you give it plenty of time. That way you will focus on the trip rather than the desination.

We only had one tire repair - a slow leak that we noticed in Watson Lake. Very convenient. Don't schedule your stops too closely. Allow for pleasant surprises - Muncho Lake was one of those for us.

Our trip was from July 15 to September 15. 13,300 miles.

Pat
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Old 10-21-2021, 04:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vet4scuba View Post
Hi
I would like to take my 2021 Grand tour to Alaska in 2022. a few ??
1- Have you done this in a GT ??
2. Is this a good idea ? or Bad idea ?
3. What extra equipment did you take ?
4. What spares would you, or did you take.

Thanks
Joe Parisi
SWF.
#1 Yes, we did it in our GT two years ago. From Wisconsin to Coldfoot Alaska and back.
#2 It is a great idea!
#3 Lots of things, none of which we needed. We took a spare air filter, spare fuel filter and spare windshield wipers. Lots of tools.
#4 No spare tire. We did have air tire pressure monitors and steel valve stems installed.

I carefully read Tincampers blog (as others have mentioned).

Most importantly, a copy of Milepost -- https://themilepost.com/

Also note, there are big stretches of highway in Canada (e.g., Yukon) and Alaska where this is no cell service. So at least think about a satellite phone and if you like music Sirius FM (even that can be flakey because of so far north and mountains). I had an HF amateur rig setup so I didn't bother with a satellite phone. I did bring a CB radio but never used.
And I agree with others never let your fuel tank go below 1/2 without taking the opportunity to fill up (and it won't be cheap).

We left late May. Everything was OK but the Denali Highway hadn't been graded when we were there in early June. It made for very slow going (gravel road) but it was an awesome drive.

We also took the ferry from Wittier to Valdez. Great views and a lot of fun. No problem getting it on the crew was careful to ensure that we could load safely.
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Old 10-21-2021, 04:42 PM   #18
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We were on the WBCCI Caravan in 2018 and it was the trip of a lifetime. Started at Mile 0 of the Alcan Hwy (Dawson Creek, BC) and ended 2 months later at Prince George, BC. It was from mid July to Mid September.
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:21 AM   #19
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Hi All
Thanks again for all your insightful information. I keep reading it and rereading it all.
Joe SWF,
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
We have been to Alaska three times, the last time towing an Airstream. We brought fuel, never needed it. In about 30,000 miles of driving, one flat, not much different than driving in the lower 48. Various covers and stuff to prevent rock chips on both truck and trailers were seen, but not too common. The Alaska Hwy. is paved, not dirt and a lot of what you hear is no longer true. We got a few chips and dings in windshields, but we get them in Colorado too.

I’ve never heard anyone who lives along the Alaska Highway or in Alaska say “Alcan”. That name was used during World War II and faded out long ago. Along it, it is simply “The Highway”. The highway is good much of the way, but frost heaves can be bad in Yukon and Alaska. There are always stretches that are torn up to replace. Frost is deadly for paved roads. They fix them pretty fast. With permafrost melting because of climate change, roads will probably be worse for a while.

The roads are long and towns far between, but basic services are generally available. I bring a tire repair kit (I needed it for that one flat in Chicken, Alaska). I also had a chip repair kit, but never used it. I brought enough tools to take apart a locomotive and was glad. Canadian dirt and gravel roads are usually better maintained than ones like that in Alaska.

Get a copy of the Milepost when the new one comes out in the spring. A local library may have this year’s edition and thumb through it until you are familiar with it. Travel books about Alaska and Yukon and northern BC are also helpful.

On our first trip in 2002 finding a salad or healthy food in Alaska was difficult, but it got better in several years. US customs can be difficult. Each time we went through, the newbies (there are a lot of them) were more difficult. It seemed they had to prove themselves. I had one agent criticize me for not stopping exactly where he thought I should —the difference was less than a foot I guess, though he hadn’t made it clear. This is the petty stuff they concentrated on. They used to look for fruit without fruit labels on them and confiscate the fruit. We found the fruit in Canadian markets to be better than the US, so that was quite unfortunate.

There’s lots to see in Canada. Dawson City, Top of the World Highway (often a quite bad road but the views are incredible), side trips along the way. The Cassier Hwy through BC is a good alternate route back.

If you take the Alaska Ferry anywhere and have a trailer, you have to back into most spaces between narrow dividers. You may have to back out down the ramp. The guys directing
people on the parking deck are unclear what they want sometimes and in a big hurry. Alaska ferries enter and exit on the sides because of narrow waterways unlike most car ferries where you enter at one end and drive off the other. The ferries are nice and you make close friends on them and never see them again.

You will cover a lot of country and see millions of trees. Long drives are necessary to get there, but the payoff is great. There are two places to drive to the Arctic Ocean (it looks just like an ocean), the Dalton Hwy. to the oil fields at Dead Horse and north from Dawson City, Yukon to Tuktoyaktuk on the McKenzie Delta in Northwest Territories.

Our trips lasted from 6 to 8 weeks and we saw just about everything you can drive too. By mid-September you can see the Aurora Borealis. One of the best places is a bit north of Yellowknife, NWT, after you drive past the airport lights. We also saw them about 300 miles north of Dawson City on the Dempster Hwy.

There is much more and those travel books will help you sort out what appeals to you.
After your last trip and posts, I felt we had journeyed there with you and decided we didn't need to go! Now, looking at a caravan of ASers here at Alumalina...talking about the trips they have organized...still, getting across Canada border seems to be the issue with covid...we shall see. Getting the urge to go again...may need to revisit your trip and pictures!
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