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RE: This WRONG on so many levels...!

OK...guilty secret here: when I decide to peg out the unhealthy eating meter, I will grab a bag or two of candy corn from the GK's halloween bag, don't eat it often, but a time or two per year. ...and I like brats. ...and I've been known to drink beer on occasion. but, for crying out loud, this concoction ruins all three ingredients.
PA12DRVR 10/15/21 03:51pm Around the Campfire
RE: Aurora activity high -- and not much moon!

Generic fall mid-level overcast (between 8,000 - 12,000) up here in the Los Anchorage area right now but with winds from the NW & NE, maybe something will clear up for this evening...
PA12DRVR 10/11/21 03:26pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Not much posting

Using the infamous weight police as an example, I think many times that a post is seen as argumentative, objectionable, or difficult, it may simply be that many times the poster's prior experience / bias / PoV is (intentionally or not) not typed in: "...Nothing wrong with towing a 12,000 # FW with a SRW 3500" ...instead of posting "I put some effort into staying within the numbers, but I'm not carried away with it and have had my trailer and towed it for several years, so in my view, there is....Nothing wrong with towing a 12,000 # FW with a SRW 3500" Or saying "Overloaded vehicles will lead to legal liability" instead of "I'm a practicing attorney and have done a few cases in my jurisdiction where the question of loads on vehicles are being debated and while these cases almost always settle (so they aren't reported), my clients have had to pay me to at least negotiate through the issue of overloading, so I always warn my clients that ....Overloaded vehicles will lead to legal liability ...that I'll have to address if you get in an accident."
PA12DRVR 10/04/21 02:55pm Around the Campfire
RE: Coal-Rolling Teen Pickup Truck Driver Hits Six Cyclists

The driver should be prosecuted to the fullest extent applicable. No justification and, I suspect, no realistic mitigating factors. That being said, I miss the rules in the jx where I went to post-grad: it was pretty straightforward: A cyclist riding had the same rights and duties as a motor vehicle; including required to stop at stop signs, not to impede traffic, required use of signals, etc. Wasn't always enforced and many cyclists (and LEO's) didn't know the rules, but the regulation was there if needed. The flip side was the cyclists walking / off their bike had the same rights and duties as pedestrians.
PA12DRVR 10/01/21 11:09am Around the Campfire
RE: weight question

"Safety is about having a well maintained vehicle in good condition more than anything else. The performance, or lack thereof, will drive you toward a more capable vehicle LONG before what you are driving is truly "unsafe" if you are anywhere near the ratings." ^^^ This. That being said, were it me, looking at the 2021 3500 SRW ratings for a 4WD Crew Cab Standard Bed: 12,000 GVW, 29,700 GCVWR, 21,300 max 5th wheel rating, 4,185 max payload: I'd probably shoot for a trailer with a (trailer) GVWR of 16,740, probably a bit less...i.e. so that 25% of the trailer's GVWR = the max payload of the SWR 3500.
PA12DRVR 09/21/21 02:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: cleaning 7-pin receiver connector on truck

"Interesting comments. I surf other forums and dielectric grease was always recommended as the solution for this problem. I can tell you only from my experience, since using the grease, I have this error less than I did using a dry connection. I will continue to use it even if it is the wrong product, only because it works. Thanks for the definitions and experience from electricians and electronic techs." My experience as well. The emery board, sandpaper, etc probably helped, but after doing that AND applying the dielectric grease, the repeated "trailer disconnected / trailer connected" cycle went away and has been gone for 2+ years now vs. the usual 1-2 weeks after using ONLY the emery board / sandpaper / wire file solution.
PA12DRVR 09/17/21 10:51am General RVing Issues
RE: Just beginning to do homework

"There is no guarantee but before you do your very first mile get your vehicles fully serviced. If a part looks dodgy, have it replaced. I do & did for this trip but Murphy is always there riding with you. Once north of Edmonton help is further & further apart & available. Carry routine spares. Fuel filters, oil filters, brake rotor pads. That type of thing that a northern garage probably won't have on hand & there is no such thing as next day delivery. Carry tools that you need for things that you can do yourself." Traveling to AK, as has been noted before, is not to the end of the world, but (having driven to/from AK since 1976), I can't imagine better advice than that above. In particular, take what is needed to swap rims/tires and take a good plug / patch kit as well; a small compressor or even a small compressed air tank could be worth it's weight in gold. In that 40 years of driving the Alcan, I only had one busted headlight, but a spare light or bulb for one's headlights would be a good thing as well.
PA12DRVR 08/23/21 10:16am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Just beginning to do homework

^ 3 weeks up, 8 weeks exploring and 3 weeks back is rushed? Man I sure hope I get to live the dream some of you are living before I die! 14 weeks does seem like PLENTY of time. FWIW, and even trying to filter out the "I live in Alaska" effect, if the 6 weeks for combined travel to / from isn't enough, I'd suggest sacrificing part of the Alaska time to see BC, YT, and the Mountain West of the US. Granted I was traveling by car, but it was all the wife and I could do to make the Houston - Anchorage trip last 6 weeks in 2018, even stopping at several NP's and doing a surprising amount of backtracking.
PA12DRVR 08/20/21 05:36pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Auxiliary driving lights

I'd go with floods for the other 2 for sure. Pencil beams straight ahead, floods aimed out a bit. The lightbar I have is spots in the center section and floods in outside lights. It lights up ditch to ditch quite well for a significant distance. Even with the truck having a great set of HID low beams (they're arguably brighter than the OE high beams both near and far), the spot flood LED lightbar combo is orders of magnitude brighter. Also if everyone could leave the "You'll blind oncoming traffic and the law states you can only have 4 lights on" cr ap Karen arguments out of this thread, that'd be great, mmmmkay? You don't know how I or anyone else drive or when an where we use our bright lights. Thanks! Second the above. The relevant wildlife where I'm at is moose...and I'm not sure any lights will dissuade a moose from crossing a nice hard-surface highway vs. snow...but floods on the outside of the vehicle/end of light bar/ etc seem to help a bit. Having one's auxiliary lights on an auxiliary switch is a good thing.
PA12DRVR 08/19/21 05:35pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Just beginning to do homework

Sounds like the OP has a plan: couple of thoughts FWIW - As noted, for summer / shoulder season travel, there's nothing unduly challenging about driving from L48 to Alaska. FWIW, in a 35' class A, I'd recommend planning on a fairly slow pace from Dawson Creek onward...but in years past, hundreds of Class A's come up the highway to AK; it's not a trip to Ultima Thule. - 2022 might be more crowded than "normal", but "crowded" or not is a matter of viewpoint and always a crapshoot. If 2022 is your timeframe, that's your timeframe. - Careful driving and a good pre-trip inspection are strong recommendations, but that's not any different just because one is going to Alaska. - Even in the summer, it's worth (IMNSHO) traveling on the top 1/3 - 1/2 of your fuel tanks. - Only the OP can evaluate the pro's and con's, but: it will be a slower trip pulling a toad; and a toad will be quite convenient in Alaska if one is spending more than a day or so at any particular location.
PA12DRVR 08/16/21 12:24pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska Sept 2022

Spent far too much of my non-internet career dealing with the Jones Act. "Outdated" = "long since outlived it's usefulness" = IMNSHO. Personally, the cruises NOT are something I'd participate in, but it only takes one season without them to realize the very significant $$ that they bring in to the local economy, even after factoring in the very integrated "value chain" that the cruise lines push. Edited to add "NOT"
PA12DRVR 08/16/21 12:12pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Just beginning to do homework

Being an almost (except for 10 years in Ewe-stun) lifelong Alaskan, I'd second what MorSnow said: doing the trip on your own opens up lots of possibilities that simply aren't there with a caravan. Perhaps a silly example but in SC Alaska, halibut fishing is typically closed to charter fishing on Tuesdays / Wednesdays (although only Wed this year). What if your group is in Seward on Wednesday and you want to go halibut fishing? No-go. Can't really comment on the travel time: I think 2 weeks is long enough to drive to Alaska from Philly but probably not long enough to enjoy the sights in the Rocky Mountain states, BC, YT or other places along the way. While the Rocky Mountain states will "always" be there, there's some spectacular spots in Canada that should not be shortchanged.
PA12DRVR 08/13/21 11:04am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska Sept 2022

I suspect the cruise ships are leery of all sorts of mandate and possible quarantine issues (i.e. State and Local) as well as concerned with the degree of increased cleaning, spacing, etc. Back in July, the 1st cruise came into JNU with, IIRC, 680 passengers vs. 2200 pax capacity. There's also some non-Covid stuff like the (recently defeated, IIRC) ordinance in Juneau that would have impacted the number of ships allowed in at any one time. ...and they may be having staffing issues like many similar hospitality sectors: Denali Princess Lodge is closed this year (although, with the tie-in to Princess, that closure is a chicken or egg debate), K2 is offering reduced # of tours, Simon & Seaforts is running at circa 60% capacity, etc.
PA12DRVR 08/13/21 10:46am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska Sept 2022

Just a pre-planning note, many of the usual attractions that visitors (of all types) like to visit are tied to one degree or the other to the cruise ship crowd (even in SC Alaska, such as Los Anchorage and Talkeetna). Whether or not the cruise ships return at something near usual levels will have an effect on whether some of the tours / activities / services are also back to their pre-restriction levels. Even assuming the border stays "open", it would be well to check with one's intended destination / attraction to make sure it's open in 2022....even if that just means a decision to turn right to Fairbanks or left to Glennallen / Anchorage
PA12DRVR 08/11/21 12:03pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: giving it up

Sometimes we just have to face reality. It stinks, but it is what it is. Please stay on the forum-you have some great input. X2. x3....and as a colleague of mine always reminds me, don't let the things you can't do stop you from doing the things you can do. (Even if that "can't do" list gets longer with the 6's and 7's at the front of our age.)
PA12DRVR 08/07/21 02:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: Alaska Sept 2022

Just off gut instinct (I haven't taken the trip for a few years now), I'd think that leaving AK by mid-September would be pretty safe for snow issues....and I believe if one is flexible in routes, once at Whitehorse, one could start looking for the least "snow-likely" route and be even more likely to avoid serious snow. I believe that going into BC one can stay ahead of the inflection point of the "It's snowing / I'm further South" curve by heading South / West ....but again, fading memory. Unless things have drastically changed, though: a late fall / early winter trip is very do-able from a fuel perspective. As noted above, just need to fuel up early and often. Run off the top 1/3 of the tank.
PA12DRVR 08/07/21 02:07pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska Sept 2022

We last went in 2003 in the summer. We want to go next year but with a wedding in Brazil the end of July we can't leave until Aug 1. Wondering how things are in Sep in Alaska. I checked weather and looks good. we can handle 30 to 50's. Are campgrounds still open, Lots of places to boon dock even in a large rig. My wife does want some shopping, touring, etc. I would guess that all the places are still open in Sept, but not sure. Head home Oct 1 or so. Not really on a schedule . Personal view is that mid-September to mid-October is some of the best time Alaska has to offer....but that's for scenery, temps, hunting, stuff like that. Most of the campgrounds are shutting down shortly after Labor Day; many of the dedicated tourist attractions stop at that time as well. There will still be some tourist activities but pretty few and far between after September 15 or so...particularly if the COVID thing means there are the reduced #'s of visitors as we've had for the past 18 months. You'd probably have to, for example, hook up with Joe the Bush Pilot to fly around McKinley rather than booking a standard tour with R***'s or *2. Boondocking opportunities will be the same as earlier in the year...although comparing 2003 to now, there are far more signs on the wide spots about "No overnight stays" or "No camping"...don't think that's actively enforced. Temps will be right within your range (30 - 50) for much of Alaska: warmer, perhaps, in SE, cooler (possibly much cooler) up North of Fbks. If you can make it for any part of August, there will be more opportunities.
PA12DRVR 08/05/21 09:26am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Can I rent your RV?

Grit said "But it’s your decision ultimately, not ours. And everything isn’t doom n gloom. Plenty of RVs get used every day without getting messed up. The majority of them, I’d imagine." I suspect the VAST majority of "RV used by someone else" situations end up without the slightest hint of trouble, either with the RV or with the relationship. ...that being said, in my non-internet life over the past 18 months, I've had 4 matters where an RV rental went bad...2 through an agency, 2 private. Worked on both the lessor and lessee side. Even with an iron-clad contract (not many of those involved), because the RV is someone's pride and joy, any dispute gets magnified beyond what it should. One of my clients complained, a bit, about "I had to pay you about half the money we got from the other guy". My answer of "I wouldn't have even charged you for me to say it was a bad idea if you'd asked me first" didn't really help. ...but in the end, it's the OP's decision.
PA12DRVR 08/04/21 03:55pm General RVing Issues
RE: tire covers, yea or nay

Never used the covers when I was actively RV'ng since I parked out of the sun (3-wall carport), so FWIW: - Lost 3 out of 4 tires on an ATV wagon due to sunchecking / dry rot even in Alaska. It only rolled about 2x per month between May - September and sat for the rest of the time (except for reposition to get out of the way for snowplowing). Lost the tires after about 4 years of that pattern...cheapo ATV type tires, FWIW. - Several colleagues fly bush planes with high dollar (think $2,XXX per pair) tires on them. They always cover (even in Alaska, and even in the winter) when parked and most will take fabric covers (even though it adds a few pounds) when they fly into the backcountry and plan on the plane being parked for a few days. - My airplane (with the above high dollar tires) sits in a hangar most of the time, but I take tire covers along when I fly out of town for more than 1 night. My 2-touchdown per landing skills will likely be what dooms my tires, but putting the covers on or off is worth it for whatever protection is provided.
PA12DRVR 07/27/21 05:38pm General RVing Issues
RE: Pros and Cons of Tankless water heaters in RV

I have a tankless system at both of my remote properties in AK: served by well and / or rainwater catchment. Temperature of the supply water can run between 35 and probably 60. One of the tankless heaters has an electronically adjustable water temp, the other requires a manual plug-n-play to change the delivered water temp. If one wants to do a lot of shutting off and restarting during use, this is not the system to have. If one has a limited supply of water, this is not the system to have. However, if there is not a significant limit on water, I believe tankless are actually more cost-efficient (considering cost of gas and electricity) than keeping a 20 gallon or larger tank full of hot water. 6 - 10 gallon? IDK. All that being said, we use our tankless heaters without the "way too hot or way too cold problem" (IMO, that's a mixing valve issue at the point of delivery) and without any problem with cold intervals...but when we shower with the tankless heaters, we let the water run for about 2-3 minutes before getting in and we keep it going until through with the shower. Similar exercise if we're using how water for other tasks. We have not had problems in either location where the tankless heater is fed by varying volume / pressure of water (i.e. both our locations are served by pumps, either from the well or from the rainwater basin). Might not be the best application for a typical RV, but there could be some benefits for some situations.
PA12DRVR 07/13/21 01:48pm General RVing Issues
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