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 > Your search for posts made by 'EmersonTT' found 3 matches.

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RE: Trans-Labrador Highway - Closed

Interesting — In mid-June of 2017 we drove from Red Bay on thenLabrador coast to Goose Bay (roughly 350 miles), then on to Labrador City (another 350 miles) south to the St. Lawrence (370 miles)-- roughly 1,000 miles, give or take a few. We were towing a 21 foot travel travel. We looked forward to this adventure, and it was indeed an adventure, but, frankly, I would not do it again (until the road is MUCH improved) or recommend the drive for anyone else towing a travel trailer. The gravel dust that got inside was awful (despite painters tape and other efforts to keep it out), and the horrible roads banged the trailer up pretty good -- nothing disabling, but the kitchen cabinets came loose from the wall, and we met another guy who lost his fresh water tank when a bracket or coupling of some kind snapped off. There were a few relatively smooth sections of gravel where we could manage maybe 40 mph, but also many rough and potholed sections where we had to creep along, but still could not avoid bouncing the trailer around pretty severely. We encountered minimal traffic, sometimes going for half an hour without encountering a vehicle in either direction, but when we did (usually a big semi hurtling over the gravel), both the TV and trailer would be encased in a blinding cloud of gravel dust. Some sections of the highway are infamous for large chunks of gravel that cause flat tires, and we were one of its victims. Fortunately we were able to pull into a potholed dirt clearing on the side of the narrow road before the tire had gone dead flat, so I could safely unhitch the trailer and change the tire. Then the rains came, just when what initially had been a reasonably smooth (if terribly dusty) section of gravel road had transitioned to mostly packed dirt, which the rain turned into slippery mud. We crawled for over an hour with white-knuckles in 4-wheel drive until we hit better gravel. After 300+ miles of the gravel, we hit good pavement 30 miles or so before Goose Bay, and the next day we found the 350 miles or so of pavement from Goose Bay to Labrador City to be new and excellent. But the guy in Goose Bay who fixed our tire had warned me that the 350 miles after Labrador City through Quebec to the St. Lawrence is a terrible road. Also, like the road in Labrador, there is no cell coverage, but unlike in Labrador, Quebec has no system for borrowing a satellite phone for this road. The next morning, as I checked out of our motel in Labrador City, the woman at the front desk asked if we were headed down the Quebec highway, and when I said yes, she shook her head and said, "Well, good luck to ya, my darlin'!" We crossed into Quebec, but had not gone many miles south towards the St. Lawrence before we found that the tire repair guy had actually understated the bad road conditions. We slogged over 100+ miles of rough washboard gravel, with semis once again throwing rocks and gravel dust all over us, then found that most of the remaining 250 miles of asphalt was full of potholes, bumps, dips, and crumbled pavement. Adding to the challenge, we encountered more tight curves and steep uphill and downhill grades than ever before -- on this or any other trip -- too many 10% grades to count and some as steep as 14%, with road conditions precluding any opportunity to build up speed for the uphill grades. On the other hand, the wilderness scenery was fabulous, with endless vistas of sky-blue lakes, deep green forests, beautiful hills and immense rock formations, along with cascading rapids visible from the bridges (often one lane with wood plank decks barely wide enough for the big semis). But there were very few pull outs or even shoulders wide enough to stop for longer looks at the greatest viewing spots, and I had to keep my eyes glued to the road surface to avoid the worst potholes as the trailer helplessly banged and bounced along behind us. Conclusion: Great adventure and fun to tell people about, but, as I said, I would not do it again and would not recommend it for towing a trailer.
EmersonTT 07/06/19 09:58pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Driving the Dempster Hwy

We came off the Dempster on Wednesday, June 26. We started back from Inuvik to Eagle Plains on Tuesday morning (the 25th). It had been raining all night, from Inuvik to Eagle Pains and maybe further south. Long stretches were extremely slick; in fact, the road was closed from Eagle Plains to the NWT border from sometime early in the morning until about 11 am or so (NWT time), and we were one of the first ones to cross south on the Peel River ferry when it reopened. It was slow going and downright treacherous in spots, and every vehicle was coated with the black goo that the highway kicks up when it's really wet. I was very happy that we had decided not to tow our travel trailer on our Dempster trip, not only because of the slippery sections, but also because the frequent rough, washboard and pothole stretches of road would have been hard on the trailer. Truck campers and truck body campers do okay -- we saw a lot of them, but many fewer trailers and no big rig RV's. But I knew that the rough sections of the Dempster would bounce and twist a heavy towed vehicle such as a travel trailer with the exaggerated effect of a teeter-totter, because this was our experience towing over the Labrador Highway two years ago, and I did not want to replicate that experience on the Dempster, which is just an up-and-back trip to destinations that have decent places to stay -- a bit pricey, but decent. Having said this, the Dempster and Tuk roads are, as others have noted, excellent unpaved roads for some very long stretches -- certainly for more than a majority of their combined length of 500+ miles -- and the trip as a whole is absolutely worth it -- an adventure to a couple of very interesting towns, with some of the most outstanding scenery in the world along the way, if it's sunny, which it was for us the entire way up to Tuktoyaktuk and from Eagle Plains to Dawson coming home.
EmersonTT 06/28/19 12:28am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Roll Call Alaska 2019

We are leaving soon from Wisconsin for our second trip to Alaska, towing a 21 foot travel trailer. We'll head across North Dakota and Montana to Flathead Lake, then up into southern BC and west through the wine country to Vancouver. We'll loop around via the Fraser Valley and Prince George to Prince Rupert, then take the ferry to Haines. We're not seeing much of Alaska this time, just driving from Haines up to Chicken, then taking the TOW to Dawson City and the Dempster up to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Circle. From there we work our way home via Whitehorse and the Alaska Highway. We figure to be gone a couple of months.
EmersonTT 05/09/19 09:14pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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