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Old 05-20-2014, 11:42 PM   #1
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Seattle north to Alaska

Wondering about people's experience driving to Alaska, how long does one need to realistically set aside? I have heard people taking 3-4 days of long car driving, but RVs are slower-- mine can be real slow over mountain passes.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:09 AM   #2
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I'd get the mileage for the route you want to take and figure 300>350 miles max per day, 250 more like it. Throughout B.C. and the Yukon the roads are not freeways like I-5, even with the advantage of the extended daylight hours in the summer, if I was figuring out the trip for my self , I'd say a month , round trip , unless all you want to see is the white line on the road.
I'm setting things up to go as far as Whitehorse next year and have a month set aside; and Alaska is a fair ways further.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:37 AM   #3
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Seven days, Seattle to Tok. This will have you moving! We've done the trip twice, I'd recomend 10 to 14 days. There is a lot to see in Canada, half the enjoyment of the trip is enjoying BC and Yukon.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:44 AM   #4
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From Seattle to Vancouver 2 plus hours.

After that, here are some possible way points

Vancouver to Prince George, about 8.5 to 10 hours depending on how you drive.

Prince George to Dawson Creek (note, not Dawson City). Actual start of the Alcan. probably, another good day of driving.

Dawson Creek to Laird River hotsprings

Laird River to Watson Lake That gets you out of BC.

If you stop to see some sites that should probably take you 4 to 5 days.

After Watson Lake, you have Whitehorse, Dawson City and then you can go top of world and down back to the main hwy and on to Tok and then Fairbanks. That is another 4-5 days at least.

It is entirely up to you. I have gone up and back from Vancouver in 10 days stopping here and there for a day to see some sites. That included a trip to Dawson City and over the top of the World, out to Tok, back down to Watson Lake and then down the Stewart Cassiar Hwy and back to Prince George. However, I had done the trip before and cut back on sightseeing. I was also pretty dog tired when I got back as I did all the driving. To be honest, I would take at least 3 weeks to enjoy some of the sights and so on. Depending on your interests, you can spend considerably more. Tok is really not an endpoint. You pretty much want to go up to Fairbanks, take in Denali and there is much more.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:00 PM   #5
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Since we are talking Canada….what does everyone do for cell service while in Canada? My service charges astronomical International rates. I have a second unlocked phone I keep for internation travel, but last time I was in Vancouver I had a real difficult time buying a SIM card since I did not have a Canadian address. I found it easier getting a SIM card when I was in London than when I was in Canada!!
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:17 PM   #6
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Since we are talking Canada….what does everyone do for cell service while in Canada? My service charges astronomical International rates.!!
Same is true going into US with a Canadian carrier. So bad it's cheaper for me to have both. Canadian phone with Telus & US with Verison, both pay and talk. But I maintain a US , PO Box and bank account so probably easier for me than others.
A Canadian carrier , just started advertising unlimited talk and text North America wide, I think it was Wind, I'll track down a web site and re-post.

EDIT:
https://www.windmobile.ca/
www.telus.com/

I'm including Telus web site because, they have the best coverage in B.C. and Alberta. Don't know if they have residency requirements or affiliations with US carriers, Feds had been investigating their rates so things have been changing in a hurry here.
RE, EDIT : Having reviewed both companies coverage areas, looks like most of Northern B.C. and 95% of the Yukon have no coverage. I'll check with a friend who works in the oil patch and travels the area , to see if he has rec-commendations.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:41 PM   #7
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A Canadian carrier , just started advertising unlimited talk and text North America wide, I think it was Wind, I'll track down a web site and re-post.

EDIT:
https://www.windmobile.ca/
www.telus.com/

I'm including Telus web site because, they have the best coverage in B.C. and Alberta. Don't know if they have residency requirements or affiliations with US carriers, Feds had been investigating their rates so things have been changing in a hurry here.
Thanks so much for this info! I have to be able to work while on the road so cell service (and internet) is a must. It is only 6-7 hours from Vancouver WA to Vancouver BC and we would like to travel into Canada more…but it is always this darn phone thing.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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Orangepeel; Go to the " Tech Forums " and do a search for US cell phones in Canada.
a bunch of posts from April there, looks like it's still a nightmare.

One of these days I'll learn to post links to other posts in the forums.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:50 PM   #9
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Same is true going into US with a Canadian carrier. So bad it's cheaper for me to have both. Canadian phone with Telus & US with Verison, both pay and talk. But I maintain a US , PO Box and bank account so probably easier for me than others.
I was looking into what T-Mobile might have available since you can go non-contract. Seems they have Simple Choice plans that work in both CA and the US (as well as a bunch of other countries). You may want to check them out and see how they compare to your Verizon plan. I have Verizon also and have been thinking about dumping them when my contract expires in December. This may be the incentive I need!

Here is the link I found to their plans:
Cell Phone Plans | Cheap Cell Phone Plans & Unlimited Data | T-Mobile

And OP, sorry I hijacked your post! I will stop on the cell coverage now.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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Be sure to get a copy of the Milepost -all the details of the road(s) up to Alaska are listed. Lived in Alaska for 2 decades. This is the bible:

The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner

I've done it in 2 days, and also taken 10 days. Depends on how comfortable you are with long distance driving.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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While we're posting links.
DriveBC
Alberta road conditions, road reports and traffic cams | 511 Alberta
Current Road Conditions - Highways and Public Works - Government of Yukon

Safe travels.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:18 PM   #12
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For this proposed trip I have two weeks to get from Seattle to wherever and then back. Sounds tight.

Anyone have experience with the Ferry? One friend suggested driving up and taking the ferry back. The ride from Haines to Bellingham leaves Monday afternoon and arrives Friday morning. That's a long boat ride!
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:33 PM   #13
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For this proposed trip I have two weeks to get from Seattle to wherever and then back. Sounds tight.

Anyone have experience with the Ferry? One friend suggested driving up and taking the ferry back. The ride from Haines to Bellingham leaves Monday afternoon and arrives Friday morning. That's a long boat ride!
We looked into doing the ferry last year. It was more spendy than we imagined. Here is the info we found.

I am not sure how big your rig is but mine is a hair over 38'. For vehicles over 21' it is $67.20 per foot going between Haines & Bellingham. If you are over 103-107 inches wide you will be charged approximately 125% of the fare listed for the vehicle length. Vehicles 108 inches wide and over will be charged approximately 150% of the fare listed for the vehicle length. Source: Alaska Marine Highway System :: Official Site :: Alaska DOT&PF

That price above does not include the fare for you or any other passengers - it is just for the vehicle. So for you and any other passengers it is another $353 per person going from Haines to Bellingham. Here is a link to the current fare sheet: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/doc/..._SETariffs.pdf

Oh and the kicker….don't plan on staying in your RV during the trip on the ferry. The coast guard does not allow passengers to be on the car deck while the ferry is moving, only when it is in port. It takes almost three days to sail on the ferry from Haines to Bellingham.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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For this proposed trip I have two weeks to get from Seattle to wherever and then back. Sounds tight.

Anyone have experience with the Ferry? One friend suggested driving up and taking the ferry back. The ride from Haines to Bellingham leaves Monday afternoon and arrives Friday morning. That's a long boat ride!
Wait until you have more time. With two weeks when you get there it will be time to turn around and go back.
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