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 > Best itinerary for Alaska

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speediq99

Arizona

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Posted: 06/06/22 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been in contact with a couple of friends that are driving to Alaska now in similar rigs. Just before Tok, one experienced damage to the rig, and a bent frame. The other one had broken leaf springs and 2 blown tires. Roads are a mess in certain areas.

Thank you for all the great information shared here. It sounds like we are going to rethink this year's trip and either fly next year or rent a smaller rig. I am not sure I can drive 30mph for 1000s of miles.
These big rigs take a beating even in our relatively well paved highways.

Thank you again

MC

Veebyes

Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 06/06/22 02:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Basically you can do Alaska either in a clockwise direction or an anti clockwise direction. besides a few side roads there really are very few choices to make.

Same with getting there & coming back. You can do the Alaska Hwy up & the Cassiar back or do it the other way round.

As far as speed goes, well, it depends. You can get very long stretches where 50mph can be done quite comfortably. Alaskan highways are very good & often 60mph can be the norm. You can also get stretches where work is being done & a convoy leader will take you through. No telling what speeds will be for those sections. Sometimes the wait is long enough to get out & get to know who is infront & who is behind you.

If you think that you can blast through & do in three weeks what needs months, think again. Alaska is not that big. Canada is. Canada is much bigger than most think. Canada also has some of the best sights to see.

Also, those side trips to places like Seward, Homer, Wittier, Haines, Hyder & others, take time

* This post was edited 06/06/22 03:01pm by Veebyes *


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sue.t

Ibex Valley, YUKON

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Posted: 06/11/22 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I share thousands of photos of Yukon and Alaska taken during our touring. Includes photos of some campgrounds http://suethomas.ca/2010AugSept.html

Sue


sue t.
Pictures from our many RV Adventures to Yukon & Alaska from Vancouver Island. Now we live in Yukon!

Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 06/12/22 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All good advice. My advice to add. Don't speed thru Canada nor Alaska. I don't recall ever driving over 35 mph. Keep the speed down for 2 reasons.
1) Frost heaves. We found that generally they'll mark frost heaves. Maybe an orange cone, maybe a stick with orange tape. Or maybe they won't get a frost heave marked. Some of these can be quite pronounced. We saw an empty flat bed semi go all wheels airborne hitting an unmarked frost heave. Came across 2 cars on their tops in the bush at frost heaves, probably as a result of those frost heaves.
2) An important reason for keeping the speed down - critters. Slow down and you'll likely see all kinds of critters. And hopefully slow enough you can stop when that moose or bear decides to cross the roadway just as you're in the same spot. Keeping the speed down gives you a better chance of stopping before being stopped by a large moose. A full grown moose is a big critter. You will not win in a bumper contest with a moose. Law of superior tonnage. We came across a Dodge pickup right after he had hit a small young moose. Buckled the front frame of the pickup where the engine was shoved back to the firewall, the front tires were even with the front of the door and the dash was moved back several inches into the cab area. The moose didn't fare well either. We had a big female and calf come out of the brush straight for the side of my pickup while on the Dalton Highway. She was close enough I could have almost touched her. Her head was taller than the cab of my F-350 4X4. The people behind us thought she had hit us.
Canada and Alaska are trips to be enjoyed. Slow down and enjoy the scenery and critters. Rushing and you'll miss it.


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ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/12/22 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can drive all of the paved roads in the State easily in less than a week.
There are so many places to camp it is hard to pick one.
You will have a lot of daylight.
It is easy, just get out and wander around.
Plan to be self sufficient.
Meet the people. I like road houses.

speediq99

Arizona

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Posted: 06/12/22 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you.
These is very good advise.
I appreciate it.

MC

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/13/22 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

speediq99 wrote:

I have been in contact with a couple of friends that are driving to Alaska now in similar rigs. Just before Tok, one experienced damage to the rig, and a bent frame. The other one had broken leaf springs and 2 blown tires. Roads are a mess in certain areas.

Thank you for all the great information shared here. It sounds like we are going to rethink this year's trip and either fly next year or rent a smaller rig. I am not sure I can drive 30mph for 1000s of miles.
These big rigs take a beating even in our relatively well paved highways.

Thank you again

MC


That's unfortunate. And I wouldn't judge by the issues your friend's had. There are a multitude of reasons why those things could have happened and not a precursor to you having problems.
Heck I average more windshield damage driving around Seattle that 2 years in AK and never popped a tire.

But yes, if you don't have the patience to slow it waaay down with a monster sized camper like that, then it will be frustrating for you.


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Back in God's Country

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Posted: 06/13/22 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple of further thoughts about AK.

- Roads are a mess in certain areas...no question. Just slow down. On occasion I drive a 5-yd dump truck (unloaded) between Los Anchorage and Fbks or Homer. Although that truck is very stout and can take any bumps, the driver not so much, so I slow down and enjoy the scenery even though there's almost no risk of damage to the rig.
- Tires: In 45+ years of driving in AK, including 20+ trips on the Alcan, I've had 3 flat tires in AK (on the road...a couple more around the house) and 1 (!) on the Alcan. That one was a monster PITA as it was on a big flatbed truck, but it happened just outside Whitehorse, so solvable. Point is, although flats can happen, the odds are in your favor.
- Windshield damage: it happens. I've got 5 vehicles, all have damage...but strangely enough, except for the Jeep Wrangler, all of the vehicles picked up the first ding / crack in the L48 (not even the Alcan, just in the L48). Slowing down helps windshield damage as does not having to see the bumper of the guy in front of you.
- "You can drive all of the paved roads in the State easily in less than a week."....although more or less accurate for the Anchorage-Fbks-Valdez-Homer loops, it would have to be a pretty fast drive and that wouldn't include the Dalton North of Fbks that's paved. One would also miss some of the relatively decent gravel roads on those loops.
- If you can bring yourself to go slow between Dawson Creek and Delta/Fairbanks/Tok, and if you can identify where to stay in AK for a few days at a time so you can use your truck to get out and see / do, a trip to Alaska would be enjoyable IMNSHO.


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