Alaska Bound - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #15
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Check out the book "Camp free in B.C." available online at Hiking Camping Guidebooks | Home Of The Opinionated Hikers I've found it invaluable. The sites aren't all free but are cheap. They're boondocking only. Each site has specific directions on how easy or difficult it is to reach. Recommending trailer size accessibility. The book is broken into regions. You will save the cost of the book in your first few nights.

Cheers,
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #16
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I can't help you with Scamp-specific stuff as we did it in a Casita last year. Here is some general advice. Carry at least one complete set of wheel bearings (pre-greased is best). Plus, whatever commonly breaks on a Scamp.

Take your truck and trailer to Discount Tire. Ask them if the tires are good for another 20,000 miles. If not, change them out. I found the tires wore twice as fast on the trip. Take the batteries to an Interstate dealer for testing.

RV parks seemed to be few and far between. We mostly dry camped. If you use solar, be aware there are a lot of cloudy days there. Many Provincial parks have water that must be boiled before drinking. Gas stations can be 50 miles apart but if one is closed (common occurrence), that's 100 miles to the next one.

Have fun!

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #17
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I can't help you with Scamp-specific stuff as we did it in a Casita last year. Here is some general advice. Carry at least one complete set of wheel bearings (pre-greased is best). Plus, whatever commonly breaks on a Scamp. <snip>
+1
I agree with Marv. I carry two complete sets of Timken (made in USA) inner and outer bearings, as well as replacement Dexter inner and outer seals and quality grease too. I figure if something fails "in the boonies", cost of buying in advance will seem plenty cheap. Multiply that tenfold in AK, I suspect. You don't need to know how to install - just have new parts with you.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
Check out the book "Camp free in B.C." available online at Hiking Camping Guidebooks | Home Of The Opinionated Hikers I've found it invaluable. The sites aren't all free but are cheap. They're boondocking only. Each site has specific directions on how easy or difficult it is to reach. Recommending trailer size accessibility. The book is broken into regions. You will save the cost of the book in your first few nights.

Cheers,
Mark
Thanks for posting that... never heard of it before and it looks like a great resource. I've bookmarked the page for future reference (in anticipation of getting up there some summer).
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:53 AM   #19
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Stone Protection

On our trip to Alaska we covered the bottom and sides of our gas tank with one inch foam to protect it from stones.

On our trip to Labrador with our trailer I covered our protruding grey tank
with the same foam.

The gray tank's foam was peppered with stones on the Labrador highway and looked like swiss cheese. I did this because some other trailer users had their tank punctured by stones.

The gas tank's foam on the motorhome took a number of hits.

For subsequent trips I have extended the length of my mud flaps on the tow vehicle.

As well on the next trip to Labrador I plan to cover the front of the trailer with vinyl from Oracal My plan is to use Oracal 970 Gloss White Vinyl. The stuff is flexible and can be wrapped around curves. It is also removeable if taken off within a few years. It is available on EBay.

The Milepost book is mandatory and well worth the small price. My navigator read the book as we drove.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #20
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Foam Protection

Norm & Ginny thank you for the advice on protective foam and vinyl. I know I need to do something since the 13ft Scamp has little ground clearance. I am having some mods done to the Tacoma in Arizona, Old Man Emu Shocks, and an ARB bumper with brush guard. I do have some skid plates underneath with the Toyota off-road package, but not the gas tank. I was going to at least carry an extra-water pump, some hose/and clamps for the trailer, and those covers for black & grey water outlets. Like this idea of foam. This technique would well apply to other locations. When I traveled on the Trans-Lab, the Land Rover had plenty of underneath protection. I kept well to the right and clear of the flying logging trucks. They throw rocks and dust that reduce visibility. I managed to bring my original windshield home in tact. I read Pete's link and now want to include Top of the World & Chicken, AK in the trip plan. Have you traveled any of these routes? In addition, I have a good friend who is related the Carmack who started the Gold Rush in the Klondike. So, I want to go through Carmacks, Yukon to take photographs to bring back to Val. Appreciate your advice and recognize you have travelled a great deal. All the best in your future travels.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #21
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Alaska

Linda,

I thought the trip to Alaska was a lot easier than Labrador though we had no major issues in either case.

The only spare parts we carried were brake pads and a fan belt. You can be nowhere and need a fan belt. We also carry a SPOT on way out trips that allow us to call for assistance where ever we are.

One advantage of a pickup truck tow vehicle is that they are everywhere and spare parts as well . In Labrador the nearest Honda dealership was often more than 500 miles; fortunately in 7 years we've never had a single problem.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #22
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Joy A. here.........I always carry extra stuff for the trailer, rivets, wheel bearing, fuses etc.. What I did do for Alaska was add some of that clear plastic stuff to protect the front of the Scamp even though I had mud flaps across the back of the Jeep. I placed it from the bottom up to the belly band and from the door around to the refrigerator door. The underneath of the trailer was fine, needs nothing done to it.

As for tires, simply carrying the normal spare for the tug and trailer is fine. However, I would recommend that you make sure the trailer tires are new or next to new as 13 trailer tires can be hard to come by.

I didn't carry extra gas however I think in this economy I might do so if I were traveling to Alaska. Maybe just one 5 gallon can. I'd imagine some of those little gas stations I stopped at may be close now. I found gas pretty much very 100 miles in 2006 and also never let my tank go below 1/2. Better to be cautious.

Now for the tug...I aways have jumper cables, an air pump, fuses etc. I did add to my stash a fan belt and air filter. I thought they might be something that could be hard to come by. If I had a problem with either a simple backyard mechanic or handyman could install them for me. Push came to shove I could it. I carry a tool box.

I made a gravel guard for the Jeep out of hardware cloth and PVC which I tied on the front with zip ties. It was a little overkill but did come in handy one time when an oncoming Semi toss a large rock right up into what would have been the grill. My windshield faired OK with exception of a large ding, again from an oncoming Semi. I still have that windshield and "badge of honor" ding, from the Alaska trip on the Jeep. People always ask when I'm going to have the windshield replaced, obviously not very soon. The ding is just a large blob that isn't in my line of sight, with no crack traveling, as often they do.

People have heard lots about the Alaska Highway but it's a piece of cake. 90% of it and all the other roads you'll travel are fine paved highways. I worst part of the highway is from Whitehorse to the Alaska border. I don't recall anything else but there could have been a few frost heaves in. I don't think so though. My recollection is that the nasty part started on the north side of Kluane Lake to near Beaver Creek.

I can't speak for the Top of the World Highway as I opted not to pull my trailer over it and was glad I'd made that decision. Lots of people I spoke with implied it wasn't worth the effort. The road out from Chicken to Tok evidently isn't not all that great. Several said they had to dodge trees right in the middle of the dirt/gravel road.

My dog, Lily, had an intestinal problem by the time we got to Fairbanks so I didn't do the Dalton highway. Had I considered doing it I would not have taken the Scamp. I was considering a simple drive up as far as the "Circle" but again didn't do it.

I willy nillied it and did just fine finding campsites however, I recommend that you make sure you have reservations for campinng if you are near Anchorage or Seward on the 4th of July. Also it's a good idea to have reservations for Denali. I found most campgrounds were not even 1/2 full and I imagine the economy now might have some of them closed but surely not full.

Just be sure to take it slow and have lots of time. I took 2 1/2 months to do my trip. I figured I'd never get back there. I do think about another trip maybe some day as I surely enjoyed it.

PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:28 PM   #23
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Thank you Joy

Thank you for taking the time to log a very detailed response and give great advice. I have enjoyed reading your forum trip report. In fact, it gave me the incentive to take the Scamp to Alaska. Prior to that I thought I was going to have to finance a small truck camper for the journey--ground clearance. I am taking my two Golden Retrievers along, Bedford & Emmie. One of the reasons I purchased an RV was so we could travel with some flexibility. I have been to Alaska but flew there in conjunction with military duties in the early 1990's. I promised myself I would return one day by making the drive there. Well, that day has come. I am reaching a bench-mark birthday and the Goldens are getting older too. I will take a break from two part-time jobs and make the trek. We start from Flagstaff, Arizona, the 2012 Overland Expo. I have planned for Adventure Trailers in Prescott to make mods to the Tacoma: ARB bumper, Old Man Emu Shocks, and Firestone air-assist rear leaf springs. I will also work to get some onboard air. As I learned once before, line up all the onboard gear, suitcases, and cut the load in half. You are right parts are essential. I use to carry more parts than clothes when I drove the Land Rover. Nobody had parts for it.

Linda
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:29 AM   #24
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On board air is not a bad idea. I presume you are talking in the tug!!!

I left home here in CA, just north of Yosemite, June 5. I'd say the trip was mighty warm all the way to Liard Hot Springs, first 8 days of travel. I traveled with the back window down for Lily and my driver window down for me and occasionally had the air on while traveling. With older dogs you might want the air on more than I had.

Liard Hot Springs was the absolute hottest stop. Plus virtually the only place I encountered really pesky mosquitoes. I started the generator and plugged the trailer in, then Lily and I spent most of the time at Liard in the trailer.

There's a nice SP in Fairbanks which is nice along the Chena river and with just a few mosquitoes.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:30 AM   #25
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Alaska mosquitos and temperature

We went to Alaskain 2003, a particularly warm year in Alaska. We never turned our AC on. Mosquitos are interesting. We also went to Laird Hot Springs, swam in the springs and never saw a mosquito.

We only saw significant mosquitos in one place in Alaska and that was at Wonder Lake in Denali located at mile 92 on the parks road. We spent a good part of the day there and protected our selves satisfactorily with deet.

Denali is of course a must stay. There are a few camping areas within the park. The furthest into the park that you can camp is mile 30. By camping at mile 30 bus rides around the park are shorter. If you hope to see the mountain you statistically have to stay 3 days because that most magnificant mountain is only visible one day in three.

We absolutely loved Denali and was worth the trip alone. On our bus rides we saw 18 grizziles, one stood up in front of the bus, actually frightening because you can come upon one when hiking about......

Since we we're up that way we took a side trip to the North west Territories. We did run into a true mosquito swarm in a provincal park.

Sometimes I think we're mosquito lucky...

I will say that we put screens on the inside of refrigerator vents and the like. Nothing drives me crazy like a single mosquito buzzing around inside the trailer while attempting to sleep.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #26
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Joy, what kind of gas mileage do you get with your Jeep? Does it change substantially while towing?

Thanks!

Melissa
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #27
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Melissa,

People see all the pretty pictures of the huge mountains in Alaska, well they are georgous but you dont' drive in them. The roads are actually at low elevations. Summit Lake is the highest point on the Alaska highway was maybe 4,000 ft. I can't remember but it wasn't high at all and then you were back down low. There really weren't that many up hill pulls of any significance.

My mileage was normal and maybe a little bit better because I wasn't in the altitude like I am here in CA. I just looked at my mileage log for the trip and I averaged 15.8 mpg. That's pretty normal for pulling the trailer.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #28
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Wow! That is fantastic! I dont average that here in Flat Florida towing with my V6 Toyota minivan! A couple of years from now when my oldest is off to college maybe I should look into a Jeep and it tows 5000 lbs! So few SUVs do any more.
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