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RE: Benefit of extra fuel tank.

FWIW, I'm in the "it adds convenience so why not" crowd. When I pulled a 39' fifth wheel, the extra fuel from an in-bed tank gave me a total of about 1200 miles range before needing a fillup. That meant I could gas up after dropping the trailer and setting up camp rather than worrying about getting into any given station with the trailer attached. The convenience was worth it for me...never did the math nor took the trouble to chase the cheapest fuel, but sure did like just wheeling the truck into a station.
PA12DRVR 05/12/21 09:34am Tow Vehicles
RE: Free Immunizations to Tourists

"Back to Alaska-we will be there next month. I'll be checking while going through the airport to see if anyone is taking them up on it. Should be interesting." Just got back to AK from a week-long trip....the shot / test area (in TSIA) is indeed interesting. The line for testing and the line for shots were both much shorter than the line for the nearby Starbucks stand. Didn't count, but my impression was that there were more folks in orange vests saying "tests this way" "vaccines this way" than there were people being either tested or vaccinated. FWIW, although things could change by July, various covid-related restrictions in Anchorage (and a few other home rule / self-governing localities) are in excess of any State of Alaska "mandates", most of which are at most recommendations.
PA12DRVR 05/11/21 09:57am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Bear Spray

The best and most effective bear deterrent continues to be the use of one's noggin to stay situationally aware. It's this time of year (continuing for the next 6 weeks or so) when we routinely have bear encounters between trail runners and bears: why? ....'cause the runner says "Oh, it's great to finally be able to use XYZ trail after its been blocked by snow all winter." Unfortunately, hungry mama bear with a cub or two is thinking the exact same thing.
PA12DRVR 04/30/21 10:39am General RVing Issues
RE: Free Immunizations to Tourists

AK is just trying to get rid of inventory! They can’t give away enough shots here even in Seattle to fill the appointments available. Any guesses why? Because the paranoia isn’t en Vogue anymore.... This ^^^^. Alaska is having a hard time getting the majority of folks to vaccinate: many of the remote villages are seeing pretty high vax rates, but in the big population centers, lots of skepticism is leading to lots of leftover vaccinations. On top of which, of the XXX places that provide the vax service, probably 80% require an if one is not terribly energized to get the shot, then has to schedule an appointment, thus taking time off work or whatever....the shot just doesn't happen. Offering the shot to incoming travelers also helps them (the travelers) deal with the many local governments that require either a shot or a two-week quarantine before entering. It may not be logical, but there it is.
PA12DRVR 04/29/21 11:35am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Evacuation Insurance

Not to beat this dying horse, but would reiterate that any purchased "evacuation" or "travel" insurance should be carefully reviewed and compared to the details of the intended travel and the locations of any potential evacuation need. If the medical evacuation coverage is to transport one from the village clinic off the Parks Highway at Lower Podunk, Alaska to either Los Anchorage or Squarebanks, almost any "evacuation" coverage will provide that since it's on the road system (or at worst, between two identified airports, say BGQ and MRI). If the desired evacuation is from the Jake's Bar landing spot up the Nizina River, a long 60 minute flight in the 'ol PA-12 from the nearest identified road, that particular evacuation won't be covered by all plans.
PA12DRVR 04/28/21 12:55pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Nokian Rockproof tires?

FWIW, my former daily driver Chebby 2500 had Nokians of some "all weather" version on it. Can't recall the model, and they weren't the best in either mud or snow, but for for the 5 years so far, they just couldn't be beat for a dependable, tight, and look-like-they're-supposed-to tire. Don't get much mileage now on them, but I'm pretty impressed with Nokian so far.
PA12DRVR 04/23/21 10:04am Tow Vehicles
RE: Obesity in America

At 2X years of age, my job was acting as a pipefitter for anywhere between 8 -12 hours /day on industrial construction projects. For recreation (and to help pay rent) I took care of the proverbial 4 horses, 3 cows, and a bunch of dogs. Involved quite a bit of hay handling, mucking out, etc. For pure recreation, I went hunting and fishing....all involving a backpack and hiking. Decided to improve myself. Two college degrees and a few decades later, my job involves being a keyboard wielder for 7-10 hours per day; my recreation is driving a boat or airplane; and hunting and fishing involves taking said boat or plane somewhere and ideally catching or shooting at something while still having said toys in sight. ...and along the way, I acquired an interest and some skill in smoking meat, scotch tasting, and cooking for the family. Although I'm technically obese (or close) according to the BMI scale, I view myself as pudgy rather than obese...but whatever the analysis, I know that I have no one to blame but myself.
PA12DRVR 04/21/21 03:26pm Around the Campfire
RE: F 250 vs Ram 2500

I kinda think the Ford guys should buy F350s and the Ram guys should buy 3500s. I don't see the point in anybody buying a F250 or 2500 series truck. When I replaced my Chebby, looked at both Ram 2500 and F250. After essentially deciding that it would be a flip of the coin, ended up with the F250. Been quite happy with it, with only one regret: For (IIRC at the time) the extra $1,000, I should have got the SRW F350.
PA12DRVR 04/18/21 01:03pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Trying to decide on whether or not to purchase-DECISION

After analyzing our situation for a week we opted not to buy the fifth wheel. Loved it, love the lifestyle but there were too many negatives that outweighed the positives for us, mostly the "work" that goes with it. Loading, unloading, hitch install & removal, storage of unit off-site, etc. There's still a "bucket list" of air travel we want to do and we just can't justify buying something to sit in storage while we fly places. We don't abide by the theory "if I can't drive to it I don't need to see it". There's too much in the world to see. I'm pretty certain this is it-we won't ever go back to it-but I've also learned to never say never. Now entering my 7th decade...and having a fair amount of toys...I find that the wife and I gravitate to using the toys / doing the things that take the least amount of prep and takedown. Having the ol PA-12 set up for short flights around Los Anchorage, I'll decide to forego the longer flight to McKinley which adds at least an hour or two to the planning, gear selection, etc. Aside from it not being the ideal activity for Alaska, one of the reason we gave up on RV'ng was what felt to us like the disproportionate level of "pre- post- storage" type effort compared to time using it. The challenge of course, which it seems like you're addressing well, is to continue to pursue interests rather than letting inertia become the dominant factor. Looks like you made the right decision for you.
PA12DRVR 04/10/21 10:56am General RVing Issues
RE: Trying to decide on whether or not to purchase-DECISION

Don't have a dog in this hunt :) but one thought I'd offer is to do stuff when the urge strikes you....not that I'm old at all nor barred from doing "stuff" but for quite a few years during my Tejas exile, I told myself "I'll do more of *** whatever *** when I get back to AK". Only to find that the passage of time meant that either the state or I or both had changed to the point that doing whatever was no longer feasible or it was not as enjoyable as presumed. If the relevant timeline is either now or in the fall, probably not a factor, but as time goes on, negative inertia has an increasingly strong effect, often to one's detriment. Opinion only.......
PA12DRVR 04/06/21 03:10pm General RVing Issues
RE: Bear Spray

Last went to Yellowstone in '18. Saw a gentleman confuse himself with Rambo as he ventured out of the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs to run across the street to the Post Office....bear spray in one hand, air horn in the other, looking both ways for bear. Knew he was looking both ways for bear because he almost ran into a bison. Sheesh! If you're not hiking "off-trail", IMNSHO, even if you are, the best bear deterrent is in your head. Being bear aware is better than any other deterrent. It's super convenient to get bear spray in the park or surrounding communities. I'd second the earlier suggestion...go to a nearby Costco, buy two containers and use one for practice. If you need bear spray, exceptionally unlikely, but if you do, you need to have tried it to know how to use it.
PA12DRVR 04/06/21 10:03am General RVing Issues
RE: Looking for SUV recommendation

Also consider a cap instead of a tonneau cover. If there is a load of snow on it, you'll have a tough time lifting it. Plus, the price difference isn't large...depends on the options and model you choose Have owned (???) 8-9 pickups in Alaska (with short stints elsewhere). Had one with the tonneau cover, one bare bed, the rest with caps. If the OP is considering covering the bed, I'd second BenK's advice and suggest a cap as the preferred method. Provides room for bulkier items as well....
PA12DRVR 04/05/21 04:28pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Waited on Canada long enough

The whole pandemic thing is hurting the world, not just Alaska. Regardless of the pro's and con's of the Canadian border being closed (that's entirely Canada's decision), some thoughts about flying in to AK in 2021: - Many of the more prominent (meaning "Cruise Ship Affiliated") tourist entities in AK are allegedly going to remain shut down this summer....might check into any activities and make sure they'll be open....Particularly lodging and other activities in and around Denali / Glitter Gulch, but not unknown in other areas as well. - I think it's likely changed but many of the tourist activities that were operating last summer (and may be open this summer) had certain restrictions (for example, 6-pack boats only allowed family members) that would be worth investigating before committing to an excursion. - Much of the State mandated requirements for quarantine, etc. have been lifted and many local governments have changed their mandates to suggestions ("shall" v. "should") but it would be worth the time (IMO) to check the City of Fairbanks and Northstar Borough and ???? for any local COVID restrictions that may be imposed by the local government
PA12DRVR 04/05/21 11:56am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Looking for a 2.5" receiver hitch

I think they will all be **** till you get into the $200-$300 range . . . Remember you get what you pay for. x2...although I think you should expect to pay closer to $300 than $200. Have and have had for at least 15 years, 4 (!) vehicles with 2.5 receivers on them. Over the past 20 years, have used a variety of straight and adjustable hitches. Would suggest that, to get the quality you need, the adjustable hitch should be heavy enough that it takes some effort to pick it up and put it in. Very unscientific, but I've found a couple of times that the lighter adjustable hitches don't hold up if you're pulling anywhere close to what the 2.5" receiver can.
PA12DRVR 04/01/21 03:20pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Removing seized shackle bolts?

Speaking of Harbor Freight, I was given a full set of 3/8", 1/2", and 3/4" drive sockets from HF when I was 18...suffice to say that was well into the last century. Have used all of them over the years to one degree or the other...3/8" stuff a bit more than the big stuff, but with a few rebuilt trailers, couple of big trucks, and the infrequent dozer and tractor over the years, they've all seen occasional use. ....none have ever broken and, while I've lost a couple of the sockets, the ratchets and breaker bars are going strong more than 40 years later.
PA12DRVR 03/26/21 11:23am General RVing Issues
RE: Evacuation Insurance

I'd second what Crowe mentioned...PITA, but probably can get a good start with a web search. Only further suggestion that I'd offer is to call up whichever entity looks suitable and talk through the details of your travel, including access (or lack thereof) to your locations along the way. Obviously, the primary road system in the U.S. and Canada is not a problem. The secondary road systems in U.S./Alaska and Canada are likely not a problem either... but if your travel involves going to locations where you are limited to either bush plane or helicopter access, I'd ask the insurer to identify the specific part of the policy that covers that...and I'd also ask them to walk through all of the exclusions to make sure "remote" is not excluded. One of my clients had a situation where "travel to the nearest airport within 50 miles" and "evacuation from the airport to a suitable facility" were both allegedly covered, but when travel to the "nearest" airport meant either a helicopter flight or a 25-mile riverboat ride (i.e. no roads, etc), the insurer balked.
PA12DRVR 03/22/21 10:53am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Evacuation Insurance

LifeMed Alaska offers a membership service to cover remote medical flights and the like. I don't know the membership restrictions precisely enough to know if its suitable for the OP's plan, but many remote lodges either provide or recommend that their summer help gets a membership. The one time I was flying and stopped flying before I wanted to...and at a location I didn't want to stop at..I was picked up by the Air Guard and didn't have to pay a dime. Nearly 30 years ago, though. Conversely, had a colleague experience severe illness in the back of beyond a month or so ago and was told that his evacuation flight, had it not been part of his LifeMed membership, would have cost circa $40,000. All that being said, I'm not sure how an "emergency evacuation" would play out on the road system.....not that it couldn't happen, just not quite the same as being off the road system.
PA12DRVR 03/19/21 10:53am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: CC&R dated 1973 says no RVs, trailers, boats can be stored

"We need the OP to fill in some blanks." That would help but probably wouldn't get to a definitive answer. Interestingly, a quick survey of the last 3 pages reveals at least 10 different jx, not counting the OP's jurisdiction. In many jx, CCR's actually run with the land (are appurtenant) and therefore do not need an active HOA for the CCR's to be an enforceable by anyone governed by the same CCR's. Although much of property law tends to be consistent across a good part of the U.S.A., most jx have extensive statutory and administrative law that governs property and interest applying experience from other jx won't necessarily provide insight into the OP's situation.
PA12DRVR 03/15/21 10:54am General RVing Issues
RE: Texas winterizing...

Not a flaming post, just what I have to offer. I lived in Houston, Tx more or less from 2008 - 2016, although much of that time, I was on a two-week rotational schedule to Alaska. I'd guess most of Texas other than the panhandle is unprepared for snow and freezing temps. Maybe the panhandle and West Texas are better equipped, don't know. Houston has water mains above ground as well as other infrastructure issues that aren't suited for freezing temps. However, I was in Houston during the winters 2010 - 2013. The 2011 winter (for Houston, anyway) was nothing like the recent conditions. 2011 had fairly low temps, but not approaching Zero, more like 20's, and that only for a night or so. 2011 had, depending on location within the larger Houston area, 4" - 12" of snow...that's based on what I remember driving through and it was a race between falling snow and it melting, creating pretty slick driving conditions. It was quite the comical observation for an old Alaska boy to watch Houston drivers in snow; apparently, there's two positions for the gas pedal: full on or full off (accompanied by full brake). Point is that Texas could probably do with some winterizing, but 2021 was not a duplicate of 2011 and 2011, taken for what it was, would not have suggested even to the most ardent "upgrader" that Texas needed to prepare for several nights of Zero degree weather.
PA12DRVR 03/10/21 11:28am Around the Campfire
RE: Cost effective 14,000 tow rating

Until you said single wheel I was thinking a old class 5-7 would fill the bill. ^^^ This. When scoping out possible pricing for my '13 F550, I was quite surprised at the number of (relatively) low mile 550's available from the past several MY's that came with a variety of bed might even be able to find a more recent F450 with the P/U style bed. ...but the SRW is a pretty strong filter.
PA12DRVR 03/02/21 10:35am Tow Vehicles
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