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Salty Dog

Upstate NY

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Posted: 08/24/22 04:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all the comments and thoughts! Weather and its impact on touring is a concern for us. I added content on our trip plans.

My wife and I do not like to just sit so I didn't plan on idle time (maybe the vacation mode mentality). Our RV is pretty well optioned so we don't require a laundromat.

Our planned route - so far and including the already mentioned stops has us entering Canada north of Shelby Mt, staying in Calgary for 3 nights, Banff for 6, Jasper for 3 nights, an overnight in Prince George, 2 nights in Telkwa, an overnight in Meziadin Lake, and 2 nights in Iskut.
Spend 3 nights in Watson Lake, 2 nights in Whitehorse, and an overnight in Beaver Creek.

Our return trip is leaving from Fairbanks with an overnight in Tok, 2 nights in Haines Junction, an overnight in Watson Lake, 2 nights in Fort Nelson, 2 nights in Dawson Creek, 3 nights in Edmonton, 2 nights is Saskatoon, an overnight in Estevan, and then back into the USA in North Dakota.

The beginning of the trip is after we return from Myrtle Beach in May.

We want to leave late enough so we can see the Northern Lights - either in Fairbanks or on the return trip.

Two of our children will be flying in to spend 2 weeks with us while we are there - into Anchorage and out of Fairbanks.

A couple of other questions - does Sirius satellite radio work in the north country? As mentioned, I used RV Life Trip Wizard for the trip planning. How often is the travel speed significantly less than the posted speed? I get seeing wildlife and having slowdowns - how often does this impact the travel? I love to photograph both wildlife and landscape so this is another concern for us. Thanks again!

Wife, kids, somebody else's kids, dog, kitchen sink

Cleverly disguised as an adult.


Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 08/24/22 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ALASKA HighWay = just another long highway, 99% is paved but the road improvement is on going (always)

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Posted: 08/24/22 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From Ft Nelson we drove to Ft Liard and that's where we saw the most bear per mile. And the fewest vehicles. That's a long stretch - not by Canada or Alaska standards but it's a good drive. IIRC on our way to Ft Liard we saw 2 other vehicles and 10 bears.
As PA12DRVR mentioned those towns are good jumping off places to see what else AK and Canada has to show. They're all nice towns with their own history but AK, Yukon, BC, and Alberta isn't about the towns.
You don't want to underestimate the frost heaves. We were parked along the road taking in the view when a flatbed semi came by, well faster than I would have been driving. He hit a frost heave and all 18 wheels came off the ground by the time he cleared the heave. It was down and then up like going off a ramp.
As far as hitting a moose we were first on the scene after a Dodge pickup hit a moose square on. The hood was crumpled and shoved inside the cab. The driver was OK but a bit banged up. Every thing in front of the engine, grill, lights, bumper, everything was compacted into the engine. The moose didn't fare any better.

* This post was edited 08/24/22 05:34pm by Wadcutter *

Camped in every state


South Eastern British Columbia

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Posted: 08/25/22 12:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PA12DRVR wrote:

For the OP, I'd second most of the destinations suggested by Wadcutter as good places to visit. It is beautiful country around Chicken, but (IMHO) that's the draw, not the town itself. Similarly in my view, Valdez and Juneau are scenic spots and great starting points for "adventures", but I believe the "adventures" can be duplicated in other parts of AK. If one catches the right combo of weather and seasons, the drive from Glennallen to Valdez can be spectacular in late summer / early fall.

I've always enjoyed Whitehorse, Watson Lake, Muncho Lake, and Dawson Creek. It is striking to me how much all of those have changed since '74.

One should be cautious about frost heaves, but..again opinion...the biggest concern is if one is trying to flog a big MH or 5th wheel along the Alaskan / Canadian roads like they were on a freeway in the L48.

...and you neither want to hit a moose in AK nor a buffalo in Canada. 'nuff said.

And not to further pound the horseflesh, but: My dad worked on the road during it's construction for a few months as a catskinner, called it the "Alcan"; in '74, my first trip, it was referred to, in Alaska anyway, as the "Alcan"; upon entering Canada (if coming from Alaska) or entering Dawson Creek otherwise, the road was referred to as the "Alaska Highway" on road signs, billboards, sign forest, etc; and, sometime in the early '80's when there were enough roads that I had to look at a map, the Alcan / Alaska Highway had road numbers, either "BC #xxx" or something similar. The nomenclature doesn't really matter, but in my 7th decade now, I've become habitual about calling the road the "Alcan".

No pounding here either, my uncle was a surveyor for the Canadian Govt, and was working with the US and Canadian governments jointly building the Alaska Hwy during its entirety.
He was actually working in the Yukon for mining companies at the time the war broke out in 1939 and joined up then.
He was then stationed in Ottawa and shortly after that because of is northern experience sent back to the Yukon / Northern BC to work on securing the northern guard, what that meant I have no idea, he didn’t talk about it, as he died when I was in my 20’s back in the 70’s.
There are many names for different things in this world, However I will always call that Hwy the Alaska Hwy because my Uncle Jack worked on it for start to finish, and that’s what he called it.
He lived in Whitehorse from 1937 to 1976, so he had some seniority of northern life.
Oh, I’m in 7th decade as well.

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Posted: 08/25/22 04:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like a great trip. We did it in 2013.

I would suggest purchasing Mike and Terri Church's book "Alaska Camping." It has routes, times, campgrounds, restaurants, sites to see, when you need to make reservations, etc. I bought it the year before and read the entire book, highlighting and tabbing pages for easy access. It was a treasure trove of information and there were many things we saw that we had only read about in their book. We also used the Milepost, which almost reads like a history book.

Enjoy your trip. We traveled fewer miles per day, especially after getting to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip and we have many memories.


Dale Pace
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Southeast Louisiana

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Posted: 08/25/22 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another tip while traveling through Canada make note of Canadian holiday weekends and expect Provincial campgrounds to be pretty full.


No paticular place.

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Posted: 08/25/22 08:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Salty Dog wrote:

My wife and I do not like to just sit so I didn't plan on idle time (maybe the vacation mode mentality).

If this was in reference to my post, doing 6hr towing every other day doesn't suggest much idle time. You still have grocery shopping, maintenance, trip planning, visiting local sites, hikes, etc... that can easily fill the "idle" days.

It's fairly common to hear folks who start full timing quit after 6-12 months because it's so tiring. When you get them to describe their travels, it's like when they were working and they had a weeks vacation and wanted to visit someplace 1000miles from home. For a week, when you have no other option it's doable to go, go, go...when it's a lifestyle, it gets old pretty quick.

While I think 4 months for your trip is doable, I would have a plan to reassess every couple months and be prepared to slow down or otherwise change how you travel if it's not working.

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Salty Dog

Upstate NY

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Posted: 08/25/22 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No bad thoughts Valhalla! 6 hrs driving is enough for most days and to much for others.

Just the statement that we usually are on the go rather than sitting and relaxing. I think that is going to be our biggest challenge in retirement!

We are rethinking (and re-planning) to cross off the lower 48 portion and concentrate on Canadian Rockies and Alaska.

Thank you to all who offered their thoughts, hints, and suggestions. Each one is highly valued and appreciated!


Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 08/25/22 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

and of course, you can add lower 48 or a portion of it back into trip!

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orange , CA

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Posted: 08/30/22 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just did a 2 month trip from LA (real LA, not Lower Alabama) Pounded it up on 8 days, back in 8 days from Tok. We were up touring around for 6 weeks plus change.

- one of our highlights was Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic ocean. Dalton hwy very scenic. Coldfoot and Deadhorse great stories to tell. We towed our Jeep, used it on this trip.
- Alaska and Canada make it too easy to camp and use hook ups. You can boon dock, there's places but they are not so easy to find for someone not too familiar.
- Seward was another fun find. Good accessible hiking, boating, great restaurants, tour boat saw lots of marine life.
- Homer.. ifnyou want to fish this get reservations early. As you get ready to leave, the fishing guides will call you to fill seats of drop outs. Plan ahead.
-Salmon fishing in rivers is boring. You're just trying to snag a fish passing by, they aren't interested in eating.
- dip netters.. know when things going on, will mess up your fishing
- talk of reservations is true. . We only used it at Denali. Stayed longer than we should, was 4th of July. Didn't want to be looking for a place. Scenery south of Denali much better and some remote camping
- frost heaves damage is real.. watch out.. RV welding shop in Tok was very busy.
-The roads may be muddy, really soft in places. Frequently a pilot car. You could be stopped for up to an hr and a half worst we saw.
- when we came up cis Cassiar hwy early June was wet, cold, roads rough. Coming down was sunny, dry and roads largely better
- Really liked Whitehorse as a town. People cool.
- Enjoyed Muncho Lake and resort.

Had no real breakdowns, (lost a coach battery .. died) no broken glass, flats but were prepared. Keep it fueled up is good advice. Also have food handy. Some gas stations and restaurants were out of food or employees not working.

Have fun

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