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Old 09-16-2008, 02:17 PM   #21
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As some of you may know, we made the trip to Alaska pulling a '75 23' AS this year. We were gone 30 days, and drove a hair over 11,000 miles. We plan to go again next summer (09), and hope to take a little more time.

We went up thru Banf and Jasper, and then on to the Alaska Hwy. I was actually surprised at how good the roads were after hearing all the horror stories all my life. Shure, there was some construction, and some bad stretches, but nothing like what I expected. Actually, some of the roads IN Alaska are worse than the Alaska Hwy. The last section of the AH between Haines Junction, Yukon, and Tok, Alaska is the worst IMHO. There is a stretch of 300 miles on that road that will take 6 hours to drive.

We stayed in RV parks because we wanted power to run a small electric heater, and since the 23 had a very small grey water tank, wanted a dump. And, to be honest, I don't like the idea of camping with critters that are big and mean enough to devour me.

Like others, I would suggest that you have good tires, and spares. We did not take extra gasoline, and it was not a problem, but almost. Don't trust the map that shows a town, and expect to be able to buy gas there. Some of the "towns" that are on the map, are nothing more than a combination gas station, restaurant, lodge, and RV park. Some even less, and the worst part is some of them are closed, so no gas. We did make it to a gas station twice with the low gas indicator illuminated on the dash. Again, I don't feel you need to carry extra gas, but it's not a bad idea, and certainly don't do like I did and say "Oh well, we should be able to make it to the next town". If you see gas available and you have under a half tank, stop and buy gas.

The one other thing I would caution about, is the packing/loading of your trailer. We had a microwave oven mounted with velcro above the frig, and it rode there just fine from San Antonio, TX to Haines Junction, YK, but when we got to Tok, AK, it was a pile of junk laying on the floor. Later, on a very rough road North of Glennallen, AK, the medicine cabinet was found in a pile laying on the floor. Some of the roads, as I said, are very rough.

One last thing....make every effort to insure the trailer is closed up and sealed if possible, especially in the rear, as dust from the gravel construction areas gets into the trailer bad.

Good luck on your trip...I know you will enjoy it.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:49 PM   #22
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Rodney;

Your PowerStroke should be pretty easy to add an additonal tank in the bed of the pickup. Being in "farm" country you should be able to find a shop that can put it in fairly reasonably. A few years back Lou and I met an individual in WestPort, Wa. that had put an extra 100 gallon tank in his P.U. bed and he was able to make it all the way from Alaska w/o having to refill. That was when fuel was less than $1.00.

Good luck if you decide to do this.

Bob and Lou

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Old 09-16-2008, 09:40 PM   #23
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In 2002, that section north of Haines Jct. was being rebuilt. I guess it didn't last long. The problem is permafrost and the heaves in the road from freezing, defrosting, refreezing, etc. Either the surface breaks up or the whole road gets bumps, or both. They use chip seal there because it's cheap, easy to repair, and the roads don't last long anyway. We were surprised, overall, by the good roads in Canada, not so good in Alaska.

I agree, get gas when you can. There are some really long stretches as the Alaska Hwy winds along the Yukon border with BC. I imagine some gas pumps may be difficult to get to with a trailer too. I didn't worry about that in '02 and '06 because we didn't have a trailer.

Steve, how did you go 11,000 miles in 30 days? That's 367 miles a day, every day. We drove 11,222 in '02 in 6 weeks with a new pickup, not towing, and were exhausted. We found after about 4 weeks our butts were sore and the seats felt like they were full of rocks.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:27 AM   #24
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Gene, We did not plan it that way...it just sort of worked out that way. We actually did it in 28 days because we spent one day on a sight seeing cruise out of Seward, Ak, and one day just relaxing in Valdez, AK. There were about three days we were driving and sight seeing without pulling the trailer, but there were also some long days where we drove in excess of 500 miles. The worst was one of those "we're too close to home to spend another night" type, when we drove from Garden City, KS on home which was a little over 700 miles.

We plan to go back this coming summer, take a different route up the West coast, and spend more time in AK (our son and daughter-in-law are there now).

We actually felt like we had taken our time because on the way up, we toured Arches Nat Park and Canyon Lands Nat Park near Moab, UT. Then on to Glacier Nat Park in Montana, followed by a tour of Banff and Jasper Nat Parks in Alberta. Then on the way back, we stopped and toured the Black Hills area of S. Dakota and saw Devils Tower Nat Monument in Wyoming, Bad Lands Nat Park, Mt Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Monuments.

We did, however, drive about 70-75 MPH where possible on the Interstates. It was our "trip of a lifetime", and although we spent a lot of money on gasoline, we really enjoyed it, and actually spent less than our friends who have taken one of the 10 day combination cruise tours, and we got to see lots more.

Oh, another thing we enjoyed....we noted on almost the entire trip how few other Airstreams we saw. That is, until we got back to Montana, and ran into tons of Airstreamers coming back from the International in Bozman. Talked with quite a few of them and as a result, we are currently planning on going to our first rally next weekend, and join the WBCCI.

Edit: About the "how did we do it?", and "sore butts" question...we too had a new pickup, well almost new, an '07 GMC extended cab, and it has some really comfortable seats.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:14 PM   #25
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Steve, I understand how the "trip of a lifetime" becomes one of the trips of a lifetime. Try Newfoundland some day, that's another trip of a lifetime.

Toyota makes good trucks, but the seats aren't all that comfy. Maybe I should have bought the Limited and gotten leather.

Rodney, you need a new luxury truck for your trip to Alaska.

Gene

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Old 09-19-2008, 06:48 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
........
Rodney, you need a new luxury truck for your trip to Alaska.

Gene

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Love to have one, but it ain't happening on a professors pay. I almost stole this truck and I have no idea how I will be able to replace it when the time comes. Hope this sucker last.....
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