North to Alaska via the ALCAN? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
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Looks like my son & his family will be transfered to Alaska, has anyone made the trip up to and back pulling their egg with them? If so how did the egg do? Did the road take a toll on the egg? Any problem with broken rivets? Would you do it again? We will not be going this year, but will be wanting to next year. Not sure if we want to go by the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alaskan Highway, Alaska-Canadian Highway, or ALCAN Highway or just fly. How recently did you make the trip? How is the Highway?

It looks like they maybe driving the ALCAN in September to get up there.

Thanks for any info you might have.


DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
2015 Lance 1985 ~ Casita de Campo ~23' 4"
~Previously ~ 2005 16' Scamp
2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab Longbed ARE Topper
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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I hope you get lots of responses ###AND### post your own experiences. I, too, would love to do that. Probably ship it one way and drive the other. I am thinking of driving to Seattle "area" and shipping to Anchorage then having a NICE LONG trip home.

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Old 03-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #3
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Here's a couple of topics to read, from those members that have done the Alaska trip:
Joy's Alaska Adventure
Alaska Highway

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Old 03-14-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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We did the trip about 20 yeaars ago in a 24' moorhome. The roads were not that bad. They are mostly paved. We drove to Prince Rupport CA and took the ferry to Juneau, then on to Haines. Drove to Anchorage and returned via Fairbanks and the ALCAN. Even then 90% of the roads were paved. On one stretch of gravel road it was so smooth we were doing about 50 MPH. You can also catch the ferry in Bellingham.

At that time the road issues were:
  • A 30 mile stretch of major construction in AK that we traveled both in and out.
  • A stretch of construction outside Whitehorse that was a gooey mess because of rain. The mudd turned to concrete when it dried. We never sis get all of it off.
  • Ide heaves - these are speed bumps that form in the highway because of freezing and thawing. They are hard to see except for the skid marks just before them. They can be dangerous but the locals mostly ignore them and fly over them.
  • One broken side window from a rock kicked out sideways from a passing vehicle.

We were up there 3 weeks and put on 5,000 miles from the Seattle area. I do not remember anything that would cause me not to pull our Casita up there. (Some friends of ours drove it round trip in a '35 Cord 2 years ago). I would consider installing a gravel guard to protect the front of the trailer from rocks and gravel.

An alternate route is the Cosevar (sp) highway, which is West of the ALCAN. When my folks drove it in their motorhome several years ago there was less paved road than the ALCAN but it is a more scenic route.

Have fun.

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Old 03-14-2009, 05:41 PM   #5
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Hello Adrian

In July, 2006 we took our 2005 17 foot Escape and our friends took their 1973 Boler to Alaska. We live in Terrace, BC and so took the Cassiar Highway up to the Yukon and then the Alcan and Alaska Highway. The trip took us to Whitehorse, Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, back along the Tok cut-off, Top of the World Highway to Dawson City and back home down the Cassiar again. We did 6,248 km. You just never know what the roads will be like as the climate takes a real toll on them. Even though it is supposed to paved all the way you're likely to come upon lots of frost heaves, and of course summer is the road repair/construction season. The scenery is spectacular and we want to do this trip again. Our trailers did get some rock chips. We did see one trailer with plastic bubble wrap put on with duct tape as a rock guard. Simple and effective. On this trip just make sure EVERYTHING is tied down or securely stowed as things really get tossed around. A trip of a lifetime well worth taking.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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If you're looking to protect the front of the trailer from rock dings, along with good mud flaps you might want to consider this product: Transit Shield. I personally haven't used it, this is from a post on the CasitaForum by Gene Layton the webmaster: Trailer protection, Going to Alaska or snow country?. And you need to be a member of CasitaForum to view that link.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:19 PM   #7
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The 'mud' that didn't wash off was likely full of calcium carbide, a water attractant that Yukon Terr DOT puts on the gravel roads to keep the dust down -- Same stuf used in DriesZAir -- That's why there are so many car wash places along the road, because if it gets wet and then dries, it is a bear to get off -- Also, it attracts moisture, so you really don't want it on your steel frame.

Go to library and get a copy of The Milepost, which has detailed descriptions, even mile-markers, of all the roads and highways and is updated every year. You can read an old one for the feel of it all and then buy the latest edition before you go.

The way the funding for the road goes, there is always a section being repaired/maintained and that will be the hard part -- The road gets better every year and is no longer what it was in Grandpa's time, but the stories live on...

Personally, I preferred the Cassiar Highway as being more scenic, albeit gravel in many places. I traveled on all but a very few of all the roads listed in The Milepost.

I went in Summer 2001 and found that if I kept the pressures *down*, as well as my speeds, on the rougher roads, I had no tire problems (Put 12,000 miles from Prince Rubert around all the roads and back to Prince Rupert, airing my tires up and down with small 12VDC compressor, with zero flats -- I was carrying a mounted spare each for truck and trailer plus an extra tire, but never needed them).

However, I did NOT try the Dempster, Dalton or Yellowknife roads; the first two being notorious for road hazard to tires and flung rock hazard from haul trucks. I later met a lady with an SUV towing a utility trailer, which she dropped so she could run those highways more easily.

I enjoyed the trip immensely and the people I met were quite nice. I hung around Chicken AK for awhile and became known as Rat Man because Ratatouille was still alive then, but had to leave when the lady running half the town started using foul and distasteful language peppered with three and four-letter words like 'job' and
'work' (An expected Summer worker hadn't shown up).
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:56 PM   #8
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I was reading this article in a Free magazine I picked up at the RV dealer. It is also on-line.

May not answer all your questions but some interesting reading and suggestions.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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Adrian - should be the adventure of a lifetime, for your son's family as well!

DonnaD - thanx for posting the link to Joy's Alaska journal ... I was alookin' for it!

and Pete - thanx for mentioning "The Milepost" ... couldn't remember that title to save my life, and wanted to mention it here.

Happy trails, all - L 'n D
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” A. Einstein
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:21 PM   #10
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Hidee Ho!!! This be Joy of Joy Alaska Adventure.

I pulled my 2001 13 Scamp up the Alaskan Highway summer of 2006. Nearly a 3 month trip some 9000 miles, would have been more if I had driven all the way back but I took the Alaska Ferry system as I wasn't going to miss Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg or Ketchikan. The only reservations I had was in Anchorage because I was there over July 4th weekend and then of course for all the campgrounds when I got off the ferries. I departed the ferry system at Prince Rupert and drove back home from there.

Gas was at it highest in 2006 until this last summer. There were little communities all along the way with gas so it wasn't a problem. I do wonder if some of them might not be open now with the economy in it's current state. With gas high in 2006 one fellow told me that his business was down at least 50% and that RV's were usually truck to tail but not so then. I had asked him about his business because it occurred to me that no one was catching me and I wasn't meeting very many RV's.

As for the road, it was much better than most rural roads here in California. The gravel portion was above Haines Junction and Kluane Lake in the Yukon to the Alaska border. Maybe 150 miles of iffy road surface. There were frost heaves but they were marked with little flags telling you which side of the road had the heave or pot hole. I didn't find them to be all that troublesome. There was road work here and there but then I had road work on all the roads from CA to the border, so why not Canada and Alaska. The roads aren't that bad. I had no problems with rivets.

Donna mentioned some film to cover the trailer with. I used it on front below the belly band and around the side about two feet. I also made a gravel guard for the front of my Jeep. I made it out of PVC covered with black foam pipe wrap duct taped on and hardware cloth attached with zip ties. I attached the whole thing to the Jeep with 4 large zip ties. I wrapped the PVC with the black foam simply because I didn't want to use paint and I didn't like the looks of a large white thing tied on the front of my Jeep.

I thought I had done the trip well enough and saw everything that I wouldn't do it again. But I harken back to that trip quite frequently.

Would I do it again......IN A HEART BEAT.

Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:36 AM   #11
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Definitely get yourself a Milepost. Then just take it easy and enjoy.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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I forgot to mention the Milepost. I purchased one as soon as the latest version had been published. When it arrived I immediately sat down with a hi-lighter and some tabs. I virtually read the book cover to cover. I hi-lighted everything I wanted to see and more, putting tabs on all the pertinent pages. It's a great book which is basically sectioned off by the major roads, which are not many. The only trouble I and some others have had with the book is that often you are reading it in reverse depending on the route through Alaska. So the tabs really came in handy.

I chose a counter-clockwise route. The major roads make a circle in Alaska from the town of Tok. To me it seemed natural to just keep going straight to Fairbanks then loop around and down to Denali, Anchorage, The Kenai and then back through Anchorage to Glenallen down to Valdez and back to Tok. Just my choice.

The Milepost is just that telling you what is at each milepost but remember I said I was worried about some little businesses being closed because of this economy. If I were going this year I wouldn't rely on it so much for gas, keep that tank topped off. That would be mostly for Northern British Columbia and the Yukon.

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A view from the Kenai - Mount Redoubt which is about to blow and Mt. Illilama. I didn't write down which was which

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Doesn't this just make you want to go

Don't hesitate

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Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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I have taken my Alaska/BC trip in three stages.
My first trip was pulling an Aliner up to Vancouver, ferried to Vancouver Island, driving to to Port Hardy and then taking the 16 hour ferry to Prince Rupert. Then went up the Cassier highway to Watson lake and took the Alaskan highway back home through prince george and Spokane.
On the map this route is shown in red.

Second trip was last year where I went up to Prince george in my Casita and picked up a friend and we went directly to Denali and directly back. This route is in green on the map.

My third trip will be this year. In black. I'll drive up to prince george again and then head west to Prince Rupert where we will meet up with our retired-teacher-trailer club. From here we will island hop and stay in RV parks in Ketchikan, Wrangle, Petersburg, Prince of Wales Island, Juneau and Skagway and then back down the Alaskan highway again.

Without question the most beautiful drive was the first one. The Ferry ride from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert was incredibly beautiful and then the Cassier was second most beautiful. All this comparing the Alaska highway all the way to Denali.

Days are very long in summer and you can drive slow all day, stop to fish, hike, and photograph and still not pull in to camp until 10:00 PM or later. Therefore you will make more miles per day than you may plan for. I like to drive slow and see the sites and stop alot so I don't get tired of driving and only stop to sleep and eat and move on.

A much bigger map is at
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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Doesn't this just make you want to go
Heck, yes!!!


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