Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-22-2016, 12:51 PM   #421
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,298
**Post trip report**

After spending about 110 days on the road traveling from Ohio to Alaska and back I have the following observations:

~ Total of 13,500 miles traveled (Late May to Sept 18th)

~ The states of Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming and Southern Alberta can be very windy. Traveling to AK. at one point in S. Dakota I thought my trailer would blow over with the fierce side winds. Gas mileage went from a normal 11 down to 8 mpg. over the course of 1200 miles.

~ Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and the Ice Fields in Alberta are very busy, all the time. We made 5 days of reservations a few months before for early June at Banff and Jasper. This is still considered per-tourist season. Unless you find a parking spot before 10am in Banff, you will be walking a long way to get to the shopping district. Since we missed Lake Louise on our north bound leg we tried to get a reservation for the second week in September on our return. No luck. Ended up getting a dry site in Jasper Whistler Campground. Would try our luck while towing the RV trailer getting a spot in the large (500+) parking lot for Lake Louise. No such luck. Complete grid lock, unless you want to walk a mile or two down the road. RV parking in general is very limited in the Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper parking lots that service waterfalls vista's or lakes. Many times cars will park in the RV spaces ??

~ The roads are not all that bad to and from AK. Took the Alcan up along with the TOW route thru Dawson City to Chicken AK. On the flip flop took the Cassier down. Just have to be 100% focused for frost heavies, gravel breaks and wildlife. One thing you will notice are the lack of guardrails. Very very few...Some roads will have "0" shoulders.....The worst roads or sections would be: #1 the first 30-50 miles (western section) of the Alcan before entering Alaska. Lots of deep frost heavies...#2 the first 20 miles (most northern section) of the Cassier in the Yukon Province. Very narrow, many small hills with "blind" summits. #3 The 30 mile section of the TOW / Taylor Hy-way between Jack Wade Junction and Chicken Alaska. Very rough gravel, narrow in spots, some rather sharp turns. #4 The eastern 20 miles of paved road on the Denali Hyway. Yes, it is paved to tangle lakes BLM Campground, but with some very deep frost heavies. #5 Driving thru Chicago on I-80 any time of day. After spending the summer in AK. waited till 8-9pm to run the Chicago Gauntlet. Still had to "white knuckle" it thru. Going, we ran it at midnight on a Sunday. Much better.

~ Longest road grade or hill was along the Ice Fields Parkway in Alberta. Have driven worst hills, but must be careful of other slow vehicles. Otherwise all the roads had no more than a 8% grade and over no more than 3 miles. It might be a long hill, but there seemed to be a flat section or two to rest your brakes. The hill coming out of Valdez had a very very narrow slow vehicle lane, where you will want to not use if your a wide body.

~ Iowa and Southern Minnesota sure have a lot of wind turbines. Why don't the other windy states follow suit?

~ Richardson hyway between Delta Junction and Valdez is one of the beautiful sections of roadway.

~ Glacier viewing. Forget Exit Glacier (near Seward AK.) where you are fenced back 500' from the edge of the glacier. Worthington Glacier near Valdez you can walk right up to the thumb / edge of the glacier. There is even a ice cave to go in if your brave enough. It's about a 10 minute walk from the parking lot with good RV parking.

~ Fuel prices...Overall gas prices were lower than past years. Gas prices in Canada are more than the US, but with the extra 30% premium on the US Dollar, it came out maybe 10-20% more. Gas was most $$$ at the Canadian locations that were located at lodges or campgrounds. Even with my small fuel range (225 miles) I very seldom got much below a half tank. I did carry a extra 5 gallon gas can. While in the Dawson Creek Visitor Center pick up there current lodging and fuel stop list. I used the Gas Buddy app. as much as I could.

~ If you look there are just enough "free" dump and water fill locations. Sanidump.com is a good resource to free dumps. Also the Milepost and Mike and Terri Church's Alaskan Camping has some printed locations. 60% of the time stayed at off the grid dry campsites. Either state, provincial, BLM, Boondocking or sis-n-laws driveway. Only once did I pay $5 in Seward AK. to use the city dump-station. You will learn to conserve water and waste tank storage.

~ RV and Truck repairs. I have a 2014 Tundra and a 2013 Aerolite hybrid trailer. The only thing on the truck was I got two screws in one tire. Tire had to be replaced under a extended tire warranty I bought. Happened on the TOW. And got one small stone chip in windshield. Besides some expected tightening of some interior trim screws in the trailer, I had two issues. #1 was a intermittent brake issue on the trailer brakes. After a few tries at narrowing down the problem. I did a complete inspection of brake wiring from brake controller to RV brakes. Here there was a wire that ran thru the trailers axle tube that a grommet was missing or fell out and caused the wire to rub and short out. A 5 minute bush fix solved the issue. #2 While on the return trip in one of the construction zones (Destruction Bay Yukon) with a pilot car, one of my RV's side windows gotten blown out by a on-coming construction company truck going twice the posted speed. That is where I received the stone chip in my trucks window too. I limped into Whitehorse Walmart and did a temporary patch. Stopped in Elkhart IN. to a surplus store and picked up a new window for $45. The manufacturer wanted $700. Going next week to have a dealer install it. I did bring assorted containers of bolts, screws, clamps, tape, zip ties,......Bought a good air compressor. Came in handy when I had the two screws in my tire causing a slow leak. Waited till I got to the Fairbanks Toyota to have tire replaced 3 days later.

~ Favorite campsites: Paxson Lake, Tangle Lake (both BLM campgrounds off the Richardson Hiway). TEK Campground inside Denali NP., Seward City campground, Anchor Point State Park AK. Laird Hot Springs BC., Boya Lake Provincial Park BC. Williwaw Forest campground near Portage AK. and last but not least campsite #1 at my sis-n-laws driveway in North Pole AK. And yes, all these places had pit toilets. Everyone was super clean. That is one thing I really noticed. Either the camp host or a outside vendor did a top notch job in all ther parks throughout Canada and AK.
__________________

__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-22-2016, 03:16 PM   #422
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,356
Excellent summary!! We've stayed at most of the campgrounds you did. Naturally, Teklanika (TEK) in Denali was our favorite but we enoyed the Seward City park because our front window faced the waterway and we could watch the big ships come in late at night and leave in the morning. The otters played right in front of us. We didn't make it to your #1 choice - didn't know the address or we would have. We were in the North Pole...so close, too.


You faired pretty well with repairs except for the window. Glad you found a cheap one! We didn't have any damage or repairs along the whole summer trip.
__________________

__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2016, 11:05 PM   #423
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,298
Didn't like paying the $40 for a electric parking lot spot in the Seward City Campground, but the location was great. But staying at all the state, forest service, BLM, boon-docking and provincial campgrounds made up for it.
Unless the price of fuel skyrockets, we would like to return in 3 years. Kind of kicking tires looking for that next RV trailer. Looking along the lines of Arctic Fox, Winnebago.... in the 25' to 30' length.
Good to be home. But now I find myself with many small projects do around home.

Had to wash my RV trailer twice to remove all the grim. But she cleaned up real nice. I was able to wash both the rv and truck 3 times on the trip. Otherwise don't spend the time trying to keep your RV nice and shiny as you would in the lower 48. At one point my blue truck was tan from a number of rainy and muddy construction zones.

I did add some 3M clear mask on my headlights, grill chrome and leading edges of the hood and fenders. Seemed to do the job.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 10:15 AM   #424
Senior Member
 
ChileRick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Palm Desert, Ca
Posts: 630
We are doing Alaska next year, and looking for advice regarding our entertainment options.
I apologize if this is off topic, but we are wondering if we can successfully use our Dish network, as well as
SiriusXM. Also, is AT&T coverage decent up there? Thanks.
__________________
2012 Winnebago Sightseer
2003 Wrangler
...and a dog named Belle
ChileRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 12:51 PM   #425
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,298
Quote:
Also, is AT&T coverage decent up there?
We have Verizon which we had decent coverage in areas that "have coverage". ATT had the same OK coverage, and better than Verizon down in the Kenai. Not sure about Dish, but I did see people with there satellite dishes out. In the Fairbanks area, very few homes have a satellite, because basically you have to point it level with the ground. Saw more satellites from Anchorage southward.

WiFi is crappy at best at 90% of the campgrounds. Too many people streaming...The visitor centers thru Canada and AK. had the best WiFi. Many campgrounds will promote their "free WiFi". But they will limit streaming, or put a 30 minute per day usage limit on it. I would suggest bring a bunch of DVD's if you need to keep yourself entertained. When we did have a electric campsite, not once did we use the DVD player. Either we were picking berries, prospecting for gold, watching wildlife, enjoying the campfire or just taking in nature.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 02:06 PM   #426
Senior Member
 
lakewoodpaul's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 429
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilerick View Post
we are doing alaska next year, and looking for advice regarding our entertainment options.
I apologize if this is off topic, but we are wondering if we can successfully use our dish network, as well as
siriusxm. Also, is at&t coverage decent up there? Thanks.
the scenery and experience is the best entertainment option.
__________________
WIT# 34347
lakewoodpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 04:43 PM   #427
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 994
We had really good Verizon service while in Alaska. We kept our phones turned off while we were in Canada. We had DirecTv way up into Canada but could not get it when in Alaska. It never occurred to us to use our batwing antenna since we were having such a good time and we watched an occasional dvd. We are planning to go in 2017 again.
__________________
jpharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 05:37 PM   #428
Senior Member
 
rag_ftw's Avatar


 
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChileRick View Post
We are doing Alaska next year, and looking for advice regarding our entertainment options.
I apologize if this is off topic, but we are wondering if we can successfully use our Dish network,
Don't know about Dish but our DirecTV didn't hook up north of Whitehorse.
as well as SiriusXM.
Sirius stopped north of Anchorage

Also, is AT&T coverage decent up there? Thanks.AT&T and Verizon both worked around just about every populated area. Forget the cell phone in places like Denali National Park!
Ditto what Superslif said. We took a shoebox full of DVDs and never opened the box. Just to much stuff to see and do outside, by the time we went inside in the evening we were ready to grab a quick dinner and hit the sack.
__________________
Robert & Leslie
2004 Travel Supreme 38DS04
Cummins 8.3 ISC 350HP
rag_ftw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 07:24 PM   #429
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,356
XM won't work the further north you go. This will be a good test for you on entertaining yourself like the old days.

As others have said, we were outside all the time doing things so didn't miss any of the 'connections'. Remember...it stays light out for a long time. Devise some blackout material for your bedroom windows if light bothers you. We just made some 'rough' shirred black curtains on a small tension rod that fit over our regular window coverings. We slipped them up at night and easily removed them during the day.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2016, 07:57 PM   #430
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Olympic & Kenai Peninsulas
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChileRick View Post
We are doing Alaska next year, and looking for advice regarding our entertainment options.
I apologize if this is off topic, but we are wondering if we can successfully use our Dish network, as well as
SiriusXM. Also, is AT&T coverage decent up there? Thanks.
Our Dish antenna (fixed) on the Kenai is about 4' in diameter and appears pointed at the ground about 200' away. There is at least one RV antenna that will work in Alaska, most will not go low enough. Depending on your particular antenna, expect to lose coverage after Ft Nelson. Over the air will work in a number of places, but not all, for some local stations.

Expect Sirius to get real sporadic and unreliable between Haines Junction and Tok. We just put it on suspension while we are in Alaska and start it again when we are ready to leave.

AT&T has decent coverage, not to be confused with universal. A lot of the road system has no signal, most of the populated places have good signal. It gets better each year, but......
__________________
2006 Intrigue Ovation 42'
#11968
Terry Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2016, 11:41 AM   #431
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,298
Quote:
Ditto what Superslif said. We took a shoebox full of DVDs and never opened the box. Just to much stuff to see and do outside, by the time we went inside in the evening we were ready to grab a quick dinner and hit the sack.
Many times we were in bed by 9-10pm...all tuckered out. But then you would start to see the light of day thinking it's 7am, here it's only 5 in the morning. Many mornings I would grab my coffee, and do a walk around the campground. Most Alaska travelers, crash early, get up early, pack up and get on the road by 8 or 9. But also end the day early like 3-4 in the afternoon. Very rarely did we get to a camp spot after 6pm.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2016, 11:53 AM   #432
Senior Member
 
MrsChilerick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 342
Thanks for the information. Our normal phone contracts and TV contracts are all expiring in the next few months, since we are spending a great deal of time in Alaska next year, we wanted to understand if there was anything from that perspective we should take into account when making our decisions about renewing what we have.
__________________
MrsChilerick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2016, 03:37 PM   #433
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 994
We told family to email us since we had our phones off in Canada. We were able to check email just about every day. I understand Verizon has better plans than the one I have had for a very long time. I may also have to switch for our Alaska trip next year.
__________________
jpharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2016, 06:28 PM   #434
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,298
Quote:
Thanks for the information. Our normal phone contracts and TV contracts are all expiring in the next few months, since we are spending a great deal of time in Alaska next year, we wanted to understand if there was anything from that perspective we should take into account when making our decisions about renewing what we have
With Verizon you have two options for travel into Canada "we" thought. A month before our trip the Verizon rep said you can upgrade $20 a month for 1G data, 500 text and 500 minutes or $2 per 24 hour block anytime you use your phone. Since we were going to take our time driving thru Canada going up (June 2 to June 22) we opted for the $20 plan.

When we got the bill for June, there were a bunch of overage charges. We were very careful with our minutes and data while in Canada. When we called to get an explanation, the Verizon rep said that plan we had signed up for a month ago had been discontinued 3-4 months ago. But I said it was a Verizon rep who put us on the plan. She said that rep must have not read her email that the plan ( $20 plan) was cancelled. I would like to say something here, but will not. Was able to negotiate the overage down to $20 + the original $20. (Not a happy camper ) hence on the return trip back from AK. we went with the $2 plan for each 24 hour block of usage. 30 minutes before your 24 block is done you get a text from Verizon.

Worked out good because the 3 days we were on the Cassier route coming home we didn't even have cell coverage. So of the 7-8 days in Canada on the return we used four 24 hour blocks of cell service. So $8....
__________________

__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"NEWMAR CORP" 2017 Models & other items plus "NEWMAR COUNTRY" "007" Newmar Owner's Forum 8 03-21-2017 05:47 PM
Alaska 2016? t55watson iRV2.com General Discussion 31 07-08-2016 07:51 AM
Tough choice - 2015 vs. 2016 Jayco Greyhawk s1njin Class C Motorhome Discussions 11 12-07-2015 03:33 PM
Workampers for Alaska 2016 AKrvman Workkamping & Volunteering 6 10-05-2015 09:55 PM
Trip to Alaska in 2016 gmadams Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 23 04-19-2015 06:22 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.