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We'll buy the truck first, tow our current TT with it, and then get a FW a few years later. When we go window shopping we never go down in weight or length, so I'm sure by the time we get around to buying a FW we will need a DRW. Recognizing that length/weight always increase is 80% of the solution. My progression was 19' TT, 27' TT, 39' FW. If I'd gone right to the dually at the middle trailer, I'd have saved a fair amount of $$ and hassle..but didn't need a dually, so didn't get one. Get whichever vehicle makes sense for you. There's no inherent qualities of either dually or SRW that can't be defined, evaluated, and compared to your planned use. Not to further confuse the issue, but I've had several SRW's and DRW's with full 4-door crew cabs and full 8' bed. In those situations, the DRW vs. SRW adds mayby 5% more difficulty in daily use...but even the SRW crew cab / full size bed is 75% more difficult to work with than a single cab, 6.5' bed other words, I've always found length to be the critical factor in the "is it hard to drive" determination; DRW much less so.
PA12DRVR 07/13/20 10:24am Tow Vehicles

Drove a DRW for 5 years or so as the quasi-daily driver and 5th wheel rig. Currently use a DRW F550 dump truck fairly regularly. Other than drive through spots, easy enough to learn to move around with / park / navigate....the rear wheels eventually become a non-factor. ...but my DRW for the 5th wheel was back in the day. If I was picking a rig right now, I'd definitely run the numbers, but would be leaning to a SRW
PA12DRVR 07/10/20 12:07pm Tow Vehicles
RE: leveling jack stuck

Different application, but I had a hydraulic leveler on a flatbed trailer that had pitting and rust with the rust buildup preventing retraction of the male part of the cylinder. It was stuck in the extended position, so I could get at about 80% of the length to hit it with a wire wheel and lube. It was a good fix, but the "barrier was breached" and I had to repeat the cleanup about every 4 months or the end I replaced it, but that jack only cost about $500 and 3 hours of my time to replace. I'd think if your jack is stuck in the extended position, sanding and lubrication will solve the immediate problem, but only on a temporary basis.
PA12DRVR 07/09/20 01:42pm General RVing Issues
RE: Paid Caravans to Alaska Worth it?

Even after living in the big city for a long time, I'd far rather be in Grande Prairie trying to plan a route to Dawson Creek than in Katy, TX trying to figure out the best way to pull a 39' fifth wheel through Ewe-stun to Louisiana.
PA12DRVR 07/09/20 11:46am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Paid Caravans to Alaska Worth it?

"Contrary to reports, mostly from people who have never been there, the North is a very civilised place. The roads are for the most part, good. Those flags marking frost heaves in certain areas are there for a reason. There are long stretches of no cell service. People survived without phones anywhere before. There is no need to have a northern trip planned out to the last day." This in spades. There are long stretches with no cell service; in the summer however, those stretches are fairly well traveled. Simple matter of waving someone down to get assistance or at worst an offer to call for help down the road. In the old days of the late '70's, the Canada side (gravel) was typically much easier / better to travel on than the allegedly paved Alaska side. Of course, that portion of the road is now what you see (in Canada) if you look for the "Old Alaska Highway" signs. In multiple trips on the Alcan, my most common problem was broken headlights, closely followed by flat tires. By and large, I'd guess that one would have to have their own spares of those and a caravan wouldn't help. Even some of the other problems I recall (warped rotor, failed axle seal, etc), a caravan wouldn't help except possibly to transport a person to the next town to arrange help.
PA12DRVR 07/08/20 03:13pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: hauling trailer to Alaska

Above is all generally good advice. My $0.015 (prices are down due to pandemic restrictions on travel :) ) - Think about how much time you'd like to take on the trip, then double it. There are limitless opportunities in the NW (I'm thinking, Washington, BC, YT, possibly Alberta, and of course Alaska) where one could park the TT and spend days noodling around with your tow vehicle, hiking, seeing the sights, etc. - Think about the cost of the trip and double it. Not practical, of course, but while the travel cost is what it is, there are all sorts of paid commercial excursions that, if there's any way possible, should not be missed. Glacier cruises, flightseeing over McKinley, fishing, bear viewing, dog sled rides (that one always puzzles me to be honest), ATV Cruises, Glacier hikes, etc, etc, etc. - Expect and be prepared for rain. If it doesn't happen, great, but be prepared. - Bring the best binoculars and photo gear you can. Depending on one's interests, good hiking boots as well.
PA12DRVR 07/07/20 10:39am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Paid Caravans to Alaska Worth it?

One would need to see how the numbers add up and what one gets for the $10,000. Does that include park fees? Excursion fees? , etc, etc? In full disclosure, I've never done an RV caravan, nor have I driven from Miami to Alaska. I have made the drive a couple of times from Port St. Joe to Seattle and Alaska...and have driven from points south (Dallas, Houston, Denver, Great Falls, Seattle, Idaho Falls, Alamagordo, Durango) to Alaska over 25 times. Yes, it would be great for someone else to do the planning and reservations, but then you're locked in to that itinerary and schedule. Strictly for me, unless the $10,000 was a UUGE bargain (i.e. park fees, that sort of thing), I wouldn't do it. For the price of a couple hours searching this forum, you can probably build a pretty good list of where to go and what to see on the route from the NW, through Canada, and in Alaska.....assuming the travel restrictions are eventually lifted.
PA12DRVR 07/07/20 10:26am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Bikes n ladders..

That's pretty cool looking....light gauge stainless (for the box) or ???? Ladder's pretty neat as well
PA12DRVR 07/01/20 11:23am General RVing Issues
RE: Help with Long Term planning for Alaska

I'd chime in with what Bill / Trackrig said. Counting my stint in Ewe-stun, I've only got about 48 years up here, but something North of 25 trips on the Alcan, starting back when it was gravel. Much of this is preference (or preference based on observation) but I'd suggest the following: - Get a 3/4T, 4x4: I just backed an empty boat trailer into a nasty spot on my property; dry, light trailer, but gnarly nonetheless and needed the 4WD to make it work. Can't state what the current premium for 4x4 is, but can state with certainty that up here, it's worth it...and as noted, one almost never sees a 2WD pickup - I'd guess that the truck with TC might get into more "camping spots" but I think you might enjoy a bit more overall mobility with a TT and a truck, particularly if you end up staying in one locale for more than a night....drop the TT, go for dinner, shop a bit (don't buy the tourist trap stuff), cruise the local area, call it a night: easier in just a truck. - Alaska doesn't have any "cities" to speak of, but Los Anchorage and Squarebanks are still easier to maneuver in with just a pickup than with either a TC or a trailer. - 26' seems about right for a TT size. Go with big wheels if you can. - I have a preference for diesel for a variety of reasons, but gas/diesel is a toss-up in reality. I'd think for use other than AK (i.e. on the farm) diesel might be preferred. - There's not many "truck stops" up here like there are in the L48 (i.e. Pilot/Flying J, etc). Most locations on the main highways are configured to allow big rigs to come in and fuel up. Some ain't. Some others are clearly geared toward big rig traffic, but that traffic is as much pickups hauling boats or sno-go trailers as it is 18-wheelers. - Strong personal bias (and worth no particular weight) but I'd stay away from the big DP rigs or similar large Class A's. I'd also stay away from the Class C's, but lots of them are rented and apparently enjoyed up here. - There's so much more to do in AK (and on the trip up through Canada) than "just" RV that I wouldn't contemplate the trip in a setup that didn't allow me to toodle off somewhere sans TC or trailer...but again, just personal preference. - Bring good photo gear...
PA12DRVR 06/30/20 09:10pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Flashlights

What are your thoughts about headlamps? Between the lights on our phones and the prevalence of headlamps, I haven't bought a new flashlight in years. This ^^^^. After using mag-lites for years, I've about completed the switch entirely to headlamps in the 5 (!) wheeled vehicles, the 23' riverboat, and the ol' PA-12. One of the headlamps is actually a band that holds a mini-mag mag-lite, but the rest are a variety of Princeton makes from our local hardware chain. Between $29 - $39 each depending on the season and the features. After 25 years, it's finally sunk in with me that I don't do well with rechargeable stuff. Now all the headlamps use the same battery, so I just once a year make a sweep through the vehicles and replace batteries.
PA12DRVR 06/29/20 08:02pm General RVing Issues
RE: Truck Mod Question, re: CargoGlide

Have had a Bed Slide on (now 3) pickups, all the 6'-6" bed size. I've built a rough frame of 2x4's and plywood sized to accommodate 4 each 27 (IIRC) gallon (2 files of 2) Commander totes on the "bottom" layer and open on the top layer for whatever. I've built a slot in the center of the bed slide that holds my handyman jack and a collapsible boat hook. Theoretically, it could hold my shovel as well, but it's easier just to toss that alongside. The only time I've climbed in the bed the past 10 (?) years was to disconnect the Bed Slide for transfer and the very infrequent situations where something fell off the back of the totes and off the Bed Slide...Bed Slide was one of the best truck investments I've made. .... ...but the collapsible boat hook runs a close second.
PA12DRVR 06/26/20 11:22am Tow Vehicles
RE: Wear the mask

Nope. x2
PA12DRVR 06/25/20 10:57am Around the Campfire
RE: Air Conditioning how many do not use it.

No RV now, but when I had them (3 total) I lived in Ewe-stun, TX. Easiest to say I didn't use the AC in January. Other times, default was to use the AC: for heat and humidity April - Sept, mostly just because it was warmer than comfortable in Feb, March, Oct - Dec. On the 3rd and last RV, a specific requirement was for ducted AC. Probably turned out to be one of the reasons we used AC much of the time in that unit.
PA12DRVR 06/24/20 03:14pm General RVing Issues
RE: Do useless gifts bug you like they bug me?

Daughter and I both cook quite a bit. I probably have $2,000 invested in Wusthof and Henckels knives. She probably has an equal amount invested in kitchen gadgets...not quite "as seen on TV", but awful close. Guess what keeps showing up in my stocking at Christmas and a few days later getting put in dark corners of my pantry or kitchen, never to see the light of day? I guess the gadgets aren't useless, but I very much prefer to do things my way when it comes to the kitchen.
PA12DRVR 06/22/20 04:20pm Around the Campfire
RE: ? 12-Inch Female-Female Hose - What For?

The same piece like that that I have came with a hose reel for connecting to the water source.
PA12DRVR 06/22/20 11:03am General RVing Issues
RE: Just wondering

More important than the height is the distance between the tops . In open sea five feet ain't much if a mile apart , or even fifteen or twenty if far apart . That's the issue right there. 5 feet is the max I can handle in my quasi-river-salt boat with a jet (fortunately got 360 ponies upstream).....but when even small seas (3' - 4') are stacked, it's a pretty rough outing. I shut my engine off twice in circa 4' - 5' seas: Sucked up a bunch of jelly's one time and cut off the cooling water flow. Other time, I was just wearing out the throttle linkage off-on-off-on as I would crest (go to idle to avoid cavitation) and then sink into waves (go to 70% + power to climb up the swell). Took a gamble that the weather forecast was correct...and it held position with the kicker for a couple hours until the seas subsided a bit then beat feet into harbor.
PA12DRVR 06/22/20 11:01am Tow Vehicles
RE: Harbor Freight has lifetime warranty on hand tools

I've had some HF tools (impact socket set) that, although not used professionally, have lasted north of 30 years. Other HF stuff has failed within 6 months. If one had the magic wand and was buying tools today...what would be the brand to purchase?
PA12DRVR 06/16/20 01:55pm Around the Campfire
RE: Question on 450's/4500's

Agree that is all where one looks; up here in Los Anchorage, I don't believe I've ever seen a 450/4500/550/5500 without 4WD.
PA12DRVR 06/16/20 09:59am Tow Vehicles
RE: Most expensive camp chair!

"Will it fetch me a beer and open it for me?" I think we're talking a whole 'nother layer of expense to find an accessory that provides this service. ?? 7 YO granddaughter loves to do this for grampa, but heaven forbid we calculate the money spent on spoiling her!
PA12DRVR 06/12/20 04:11pm General RVing Issues
RE: Is anyone here into surf fishing?

There are some folks that are catching even halibut up here (AK) by surf casting. Takes some doing and a willingness to stand for a while in the wave zone, but interesting. My friend pulled an 80#'er out last weekend. I believe, haven't confirmed, that Fish & Game would view drone use as prohibited.
PA12DRVR 06/12/20 10:28am Around the Campfire
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