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Old 07-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
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Alaska 2015 in 43 ft MH

We want to travel to Alaska in our 2013 Winnebago Tour with full wall slide. We have concerns that our size is going to considerably limit CG's and limit routes. Another concern is getting our coach beat up with gravel roads etc. Do most CG accommodate big rigs without site problems or getting in/out? We also thought of going with a carravan, such as Winnebago Tours and would enjoy the thoughts of those that have done caravans with a large unit. I would like to hear any thoughts, especially from those with our size of coach that have made the trip and can provide route and CG recommendations. Thank you.


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Old 07-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #2
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It's a great trip to Alaska, we drove a 40' MH with a toad without a problem. As to rocks chips, not one on the MH but did pick up a bunch on the toad, recommend you cover the front of the toad with somethng. Get MILEPOST book, it will tell you all about the routes up. Don't go up too early, most rv parks don't open until end of May. ALCAN highway is nice and wide and paved the entire way up.

My 2˘ worth on a caravan is not woth the extra price, we did not, but spoke to many, some liked it and some not. Rather be on our schedule. As to slides, not a problem, we have 4 slides and never had a issue on parking.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Jon & Pam:

Back in 07, took our new 06 Mtn. Aire (40 ft Newmar) and tow car to Alaska. We were also a little concerned about campground access and wear and tear on our rig but encountered absolutely NO problems accessing camping spots, and, except for windshield chip from an on-coming fuel truck on highway just out of Dawson Creek, and some tiny chips on windshield of tow car we had zero damages. Highways, except for short construction areas are paved and as long as ya take it easy with frost heave spots, you'll be fine.

By the way, we learned on our way North, that ya might want to leave your big rear mud flap (if you've got one) at home since that is the culprit that throws small stones up on your tow car windshield...believe it or not. I was seeing small gravel stones in the windshield wiper well of our tow car and couldn't figure why until the owner of Fireweed RV Repair in Whitehorse on our way North told us about the effect these mud flaps have. I removed this flap and stowed it up inside the canoe we were carrying atop our tow car, and....whaalaa,...no more stones gathering in the wiper well. We did, however, buy and use a windshield cover just to be sure, but those mud flaps DO cause the problem.

Have a great trip....it's FABULOUS!!

Steve & Lynette


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Old 07-09-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chickadee View Post
Jon & Pam:

Back in 07, took our new 06 Mtn. Aire (40 ft Newmar) and tow car to Alaska. We were also a little concerned about campground access and wear and tear on our rig but encountered absolutely NO problems accessing camping spots, and, except for windshield chip from an on-coming fuel truck on highway just out of Dawson Creek, and some tiny chips on windshield of tow car we had zero damages. Highways, except for short construction areas are paved and as long as ya take it easy with frost heave spots, you'll be fine.

By the way, we learned on our way North, that ya might want to leave your big rear mud flap (if you've got one) at home since that is the culprit that throws small stones up on your tow car windshield...believe it or not. I was seeing small gravel stones in the windshield wiper well of our tow car and couldn't figure why until the owner of Fireweed RV Repair in Whitehorse on our way North told us about the effect these mud flaps have. I removed this flap and stowed it up inside the canoe we were carrying atop our tow car, and....whaalaa,...no more stones gathering in the wiper well. We did, however, buy and use a windshield cover just to be sure, but those mud flaps DO cause the problem.

Have a great trip....it's FABULOUS!!

Steve & Lynette



Bravo! Your post is worthy of a new thread on full-width mud flaps.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:29 PM   #5
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We had a front cover on our toad while in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. It was well worth it especially after this day on the Top of the World Hwy. The toad never got a nick or ding on the body or windshield.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
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We got a broken windshield less than 30 miles on the Alaska Highway. The road was fine and not the problem. We were hit by flying rocks from gravel trucks with uncovered loads. We have a dent in the hood of the truck and one on the fiberglass cap of our 5th wheel along with the broken windshield. Go figure we have not encountered any issues in the gravel construction zones along the way. Frost heaves are plentiful and mostly unmarked. Campgrounds up this way are expensive and just not all that pleasant. Think gravel parking lots with your slides right up next to your neighbor's slide. We have traveled without reservations and have not had issues finding campgrounds to stay at and we have a 37ft 5th wheel. If you do not need hook ups, you have many more options. There are numerous steep grades along the route so driving an underpowered unit will not be pleasant. By the way, our GPS goes insane from time to time, even in Canada so you should not solely depend on it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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We are currently in Denali on day 18 of a 50 day caravan. I can confirm removing the mud flap. I left mine behind in Whitehorse and no more stones on the toad. The road, or shall I say Goat Trail, (cannot use the term highway) from Destruction Bay to Beaver Creek is the worst section of the trip. Once you get to the AK border, the roads are great.
You will need a cover for your toad of some description. The best in our group is the full front covers that are custom fitted. Slow down and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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I have done the trip in 2010, 2012 and will be going back next year, 2015. My rig is 72 feet when all connected up. R HOME followed by R JUNK. I don't have to worry about nicking up any toad as everything is inside my rolling garage.

I have had only one stone hit my coach windshield on my return back to the lower 48 in 2012. That was from a pickup truck hauling a boat going the other direction and the boat drifted into the shoulder where all of the gravel was. Oh well, I will get a new windshield once I get back to the lower 48 after next years trip.

No problem finding fuel, places to park overnight, campgrounds, RV Parks, etc. The Milepost is a good tool but there were fuel stops listed that had looked closed for years. So don't totally rely on the book.

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Old 07-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #9
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I did the try to AK 2 years ago in a 45-foot MH. I was concerned that finding adequate CGs would be a problem. It was not and we only made reservations in Homer and Denali. I would call ahead at lunchtime, when we knew how far we wanted to go. The only limitation was power. We have a totally electric coach, so we can't power much on a single 30A circuit. There was no need for A/C, so it was not a big deal.

Ditto on the rear mud flap. I threw mine away before leaving FL.

Slow way down for the road construction and it's not bad.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:18 AM   #10
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We had absolutely no problems with our 40' or Jeep. We mostly boondocked or used public campgrounds. The RV parks are nothing but parking lots so good entrances and exits. There are plenty of big rigs up there. The roads you'd be traveling are all paved. However, just like the lower 48, you'll encounter some gravel sections. On those you'll be driving very slow like everyone else but semi trucks seem to go faster. When you see one approaching, just move as far to the right as you can. Sometimes we even moved over and stopped because there's very little traffic on those stretches.

The frost heaves are mostly marked with red cones. You'll soon know from a distance when one is coming up. It's very obvious. So ones that aren't marked you'll have a chance to slow down.

The whole trip will not be interstate-type driving. It's slow going but then you'll get to enjoy the views better.

Regarding the rear mud flaps. We don't have one on ours - just the wheel flaps. However, we too, saw folks removing them in campgrounds. We saw rocks laying in at the bottom of the toad's windshield. We didn't have any. We didn't get any windshield problems or any dings. We didn't add any special protection.

Regarding a tour - we could never do one because we like to go at our pace. Sometimes you might want to stay longer in an area and sometimes you're ready to leave the next morning.

Also, don't lock yourself into reservations far out. The only ones we made were for the July 4 holiday and for Denali's Teklanika campground. Those we only made a few weeks prior. If you use RV parks, pull in early afternoon and you'll get a site. The caravans come in later.

Alaska is a very easy trip. There are few roads so you can't get lost. Purchase the Milepost for reading up on the historical data and town data. Don't rely on it for campground information. The ads are paid ads so they're all great . Purchase Mike & Terri Church's book, 'Alaskan Camping' for campgrounds. They lived in Fairbanks so they know campgrounds along the whole route from Canada and up. They even given great boondocking spots and size limitations on campgrounds. Also purchase the 2/1 coupon book 'Alaska TourSaver'. One glacial cruise will pay for it. These can all be ordered online.

Don't be afraid to go by yourselves. You'll encounter plenty of helpful RVers along the way and you'll be seeing them time after time. You're all going to the same places. You'll also find that the local people are great and very helpful. They're proud of where they live and want you to come back!
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:32 PM   #11
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I would like to thank those that responded. We have decided to make the run in our 2013 Tour next year looking at starting from BC on June 1. Any route suggestion on up/down or places to stay/eat/visit would be great. You folks are terrific.


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Old 07-14-2014, 06:59 AM   #12
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Here's our blog on our trip, www.midlifervtravel.WordPress.com. We took the ferry back. If you don't I always try to avoid traveling the same road twice. Some take a detour at Whitehorse traveling to Skagway, taking the short ferry to Haines and then rejoining the ALCAN at Haines Junction. That should be considered.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:23 AM   #13
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I'd recommend going up the Alaska Hwy., and coming back on the Cassier Hwy. if you want to stop at Stewart/ Hyder to watch the bears feeding on Salmon. You can then drive up in your towed up to see Salmon Glacier. It's pretty awesome because you're high above the glacier.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:16 PM   #14
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Alaska Hwy travel update

I just returned to Alaska (my home).
I made the trip South this summer to Utah, Zion, Canyon, and Arches National parks. Bryce was in the middle of a snow storm (middle of May) so we bypassed it, we'll see it next year.

I went down the Cassiar and back up from Dawson Creek so I traveled both ways just to see which was in better shape. You can see I am easily entertained.

I would recommend the Cassiar to all, large and small RV's , it is paved and in great shape (The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log) the only pavement breaks were near Dease Lake. A half dozen short breaks most 50' long I remember one a bit longer but not much. Fuel was nearly the same price both ways except Bell II they were a bit hight than the rest @$1.92 per liter, Bell II is a nice lodge if you're into staying in a lodge.

Reasons are simple; Cassiar: is 10 to 12 hours shorter drive, road condition is good and scenic. Lakes, Mountains, no really long hills because you tend to be in the valley's.
Dawson Creek: Road construction out of Dawson Creek several long breaks of unpaved road being upgraded to Chip seal, one stretch more than 100 km (rock chip from traffic exceeding the posted speed limit). Also they are working the gas wells with many large trucks pulling on to the highway from muddy side roads that create a lot of dust or mud if it is raining. To be honest the scenery is also a little boring.

The next really bad section of the road is out of Haines Jct., lots of frost heaves and broken pavement but drive reasonable it isn't that bad. Continuing toward the Canada / Alaska border about 114 km of construction to Beaver Cr., actually much better road than that South near Dawson Cr.. Drive the posted speed and move over if you see someone coming at you or from behind and you won't be blasted by rocks.

If you want more details, gas prices, recommended travel plan let me know I just did one for a neighbor heading South, we can combine our experiences to help you out.

In May we will be heading to Dawson over the Taylor/Top of the World Hwy and then on to the Dempster North to the Arctic Circle then back thru Whitehorse just a loop to warm up for Summer travel.

Cheers Bradley
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