Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Help with Long Term planning for Alaska
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 > Help with Long Term planning for Alaska

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Tee Jay

The Peninsula, Kenai & Olympic

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Posted: 07/02/20 10:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are looking at a truck, go to the 1 ton. Pretty much the same cost, but heavier frame and suspension. The trucks since about 2012 in 3/4 and 1-ton have a nice ride when empty, not like the old days.

A light weight TT will get a real SHAKE down towing it that far. Get the heaviest built one you can. For a place to start, try Arctic Fox. There are others, maybe some better, but a place to start. Get the electric brake wires out of the axle tube and outside the tube, lashed to it firmly . Inside, they jiggle and abrade and short out. Tires need to be LT, 10 ply. Some of the construction areas have larger rock on the surface at times. Also, stiffer sidewalls add to the life if you make hard turns backing up. Avoid a rear kitchen. The back of the trailer will do some wild gyrations in the frost heave areas. Things hung in the closet may need rearranging.

It can be a nice trip, as it is all paved now,unlike the mud and gravel of the 1960's. But the pavement breaks and frost heaves do mean you need to slow down.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/02/20 10:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Me? Option A, go with what you got and skip the new truck.


On edit:
Yes why beat up a new truck for this run. Besides you have a new truck if it is 3.5EB. I would have no issues taking my 20 year old truck on that journey and actually plan to some day.

* This post was edited 07/08/20 11:06am by time2roll *


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/07/20 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What's wrong with your current truck? I mean if it's time for a new truck it's time, but I'd actually prefer an older truck to wail on for 8000 miles of bumpy roads.
It literally is no different than driving around rural NC or wherever you live, except the bears are bigger, the deer are moose and there are less people and more mosquitos.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Nodaker

North Dakota

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Posted: 07/07/20 08:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would recommend going up to 3/4 ton. Then either use your current tt or get your 5th wheel long enough before going to Alaska to give it a thorough shakedown and fix all the minor defects and weak spots before you go.

Then, dont be in a hurry. Slow down on frost heaves and construction zones and you'll be fine.

Our trip in 2016 was with a 2500 HD gasser pulling a 36' 5er. Sometimes it would have been nice to have a bit smaller trailer but it was not a problem to find sites to park.

It was a great trip, still looking at going back!


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SideHillSoup

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Posted: 07/08/20 10:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple things which are my opinions and from my experience:
Followed my Cousin from Washington State from Oregon / Washington State boarder to Moab Utah and back. They at the time owned a 2018 150 3.5 EB pulling a 26ft trailer. Every time we hit a hill we slowed down to a crawl. I live in south eastern BC in the middle of the mountains so I have years of experience driving a hauling trailers in the mountains all months of the year. . I told them the last night we camped together before they headed back down to Vancouver Washington State that they needed a bigger truck, they agreed. They now have a new Ford F-350 Diesel.
If your going to be thinking of a new truck and your going to be doing a lot of traveling towing something, hands down a diesel is your best option. I had gas trucks and diesel trucks Over the years, and my last two trucks have been diesel, and we are sure happy they were / are.
If your thinking of a new truck the Long box or short box would be what you want, however I would get a crew cab for extra storage. The short box is a little easier to manage in parking / backing up a trailer around tight corners but even with my short box I take two parking sport when I park empty.
What ever truck you decide on make sure it has a transmission cooler if it doesn’t all ready have one. I’m pretty sure that when you get the “tow” package, when you buy a new truck, the transmission cooler is part of that package, so ask if it is part of the package, if it isn’t get one installed. Transmission have a hard time to dissipate heat, and when you add longer drives, mountains plus a trailer being towed, the transmission is having a much harder time trying to cool the fluid in the transmission. I see it all the time people broke down on a mountain pass becuase their transmission started slipping on HOT days, and it does get Hot up here.
There is nothing wrong with the trailer you have now is there? If you still like it why buy new and then find problems that come with a new rig, because all new RV’s have issues, again I know this from experience and seeing lots of people while out camping.
A couple things to do before you leave home with your present trailer. Repack and or replace all the wheel bearings, and put brand new rubber on the trailer. Not saying you won’t cook a bearing or get a flat, but the chances are much less and a piece of mind knowing, what’s rolling down the road is A-OK when you left home.
Our first trip up to Dawson City Yukon in 2004 we took our 1980 skylark 5th wheel and we didn’t have one issue. However I did go through that rig from one end to the other and repacked the wheel bearings and added new rubber including the spare as the rubber was checkered on the spare even thou it had a wheel cover over it.
Add a couple 100 watts of solar panels ether potable or attached to the roof. It’s day light much long the farther north you go so these panels will keep you batteries charged up when your not traveling and dry camping. ( boondocking in the USA) . I also use two 6 volt batteries for May last 3 RV’s and we do mostly dry camping for weeks on end no power issues. We do have a 2000 watt Yamaha Gen set, however we rarely use it.
My was if from Stewart BC ( Stewart B.C. / Hyder Alaska) and we have made many trips up to northern B.C. over the years. When we did the trip up the Alaska Hwy through Dawson Creek we bought Mile Post as everyone on here was talking about that book. Wife thought I was nuts spending that money on a book, however once she started using it while we traveled it sure was handy. I just got my 2020 Mile Post for next year trip to Tuktoyaktuk NWT. lots of new stuff in it since my last book in 2004.
Have fun on your trip
Soup.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/11/20 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^I'd like to know what kind of 26' TT slowed a new Eco boost to a crawl going uphill?
That doesn't even compute.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/11/20 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I see, the OP hasn't been back, but, while there is a bit greater potential for damage driving up there, I/we made 2 trips up, both loaded heavy and towing and drove all over the state with TC in the summer and pulling sleds in the winter and 18mo later, zero damage, no flat tires, no broken windshields.
its a great trip and I can see the value of peace of mind with a new tow vehicle and wouldn't worry about "hurting" it going to AK. I also would prepare like any other long road trip. Aside from knowing I might be camping if it broke down, not calling uber to take me to town for parts!

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