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Old 12-28-2015, 08:16 AM   #1
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Alaska trip coming soon. Any advice would help

Planning our Alaska trip in the spring. 3 months give or take. Any advice would help on boarder crossing into Canada, cell service, fuel stations and boon docking sites. Also, what insurance are you using? Towing would be a question if the Ram truck were to have a problem. We will pull a 38' 5th wheel toy hauler with our small Yamahas and an ATV. Thanks in advance for all your help.

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Old 12-28-2015, 08:30 AM   #2
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Location: Waynesboro, PA
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We have not done the trip, but I just recieved a info packet and map from NORTHTOALASKA.COM. Check them out, it was free and has good info.

Redick & Peggy + 1 dog & 1 cat
2007 DSDP 4035
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #3
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Border crossing regulations change all the time so it's best to look directly and the official site for details. Most cross from the lower 48 around the 3rd week of May. It can be done earlier but many campgrounds and attractions don't open yet. Also, many lakes will still be frozen over and they're prettier without the ice.

For camping, purchase online Mike and Terri Church's book 'Alaskan Camping' which includes Canada and the Yukon, also. It will give you lots of ideas on where to boondock, too. Regardless, as you're driving you'll see many options. We just used a RV park a few times during our three months.

Also purchase the 'Milepost' which isn't the best for camping but the history and maps are very good. We kept it open and constantly referred to it while driving.

Another purchase is the 'TourSaver 2/1 coupon book' available online. Get it before your trip as there are things in it that you could perhaps use before even getting to Alaska. Don't rush through Canada and the Yukon. There is much to see there. As for the TourSaver book, one glacier cruise will pay for the book and you'll want to do at least one!

Our Verizon cell was good in the Alaskan towns but don't count on it while driving in more remote areas. Plan on using public WiFi in Canada at visitor centers, etc.

Fuel: Plan on driving on the top half of your tank. Don't wait to search for a cheaper price. On your return home some of the smaller stations close up when they run out of fuel. Also, travel books aren't always up-to-date. Things change daily along the trip. . . just be flexible.

Have your truck and RV in good working order and with excellent tires before your trip. Towing is not problem but you might have to wait for repairs if parts need to be shipped. Again, you'll need to be flexible and not get uptight about it. Carry some minor parts with you. The locals all drive trucks so you won't be alone.

Reservations: We only made two during our summer for our 40' motorhome and those were only made a few weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd get to the area. One was for the July 4 weekend (Alaskans like to camp, too) and one for 5 nights in Denali's Teklanika campground. As it was, we arrived in the Denali area earlier so on a whim we boondocked in a lovely spot the previous night and drove into Denali early morning when folks were leaving. We easily secured an additional 5 nights in Denali's front campground, Riley Creek. We saw 'THE' mountain 7 of our 10 days in the park and every single large animal more than once.

Just a plug for another site to check out: Woodalls.com Alaska/Canada forum...lots of information on it. Also, at the very top of the page is a 'Sticky' with Alaska Hints...things to do, restaurants, etc. It's long but compiled by those who've gone there.

We've made two trips without a mechanical problem or damage to our RV or towed vehicle. Just drive slow.

Have a great trip!
Full-timed for 16 Years
. . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:27 PM   #4
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Thanks to all so far for their advice. Someone had wondered where we would enter Canada. We plan on going through Portal #6 in North Dakota and then heading north up through the HW Territories, maybe to the Artic Ocean. Planned to go up to Prudhoe Bay to dip in the ocean but that's again another question as to the road conditions pulling a 5'er. Another question also, would a CB radio be useful in the more remote locations where mainly truck traffic is present. We do plan to take dual spare tires for both 5'er and Ram plus three 5 gal. fuel cans. On the return trip, plan to go back through Canada and into Washington. As this will probably be our only trip "Into the Wild", want to be sure to see anything and everything that is of interest as well as some fishing, glaciers, and wildlife. And YES, we have "Bear Spray". LOL Told DW that bear is nothing to worry about unless your the slowest runner. Hummmmm Guess that will have to be me. LOL
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:00 AM   #5
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1. Don't rush it!
2. Slow down when you are on bad roads.
3. Enjoy every minute it!
Steve and Sharon
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited, Blue Ox
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:09 AM   #6
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I wouldn't pull a 38 footer up to Prudhoe. One crossing option we've used a couple times is at Sweetgrass/Coutts out of Montana. We've never seen a back up there. Our last trip north we hit a pretty good snow storm pulling out of Destruction Bay 3rd week of May. Lakes were still half frozen, lots of ice in some of the rivers, and the snow covered mtns. were spectacular, especially the Wrangells and Mt. Sanford. One of the advantages of going early is road construction hasn't started yet. You should also plan on coming back by way of the Cassiar so you can stop at Stewart/Hyder to watch the bears feeding on Salmon. Then go up in your tow vehicle to Salmon glacier. It's also pretty spectacular.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:54 AM   #7
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Purchase or add windshield replacement insurance ;-)
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:08 AM   #8
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Ramets is right..i would'nt pull anything to Prudhoe, i worked in that oil field 24yrs,you will tear up everything you own on that haul road BEWARE!!
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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I went to Alaska in the summer of '14....went with a group on motorcycles...my humble opinions are....passports(the need to be up to date), you can take a shotgun if you have fill out the proper paperwork and paid your $25, check websites on border crossing rules/regulations carefully, have NEW tires and a couple of mounted spares, a good tool box, call your credit card co and let them know where and when you are going otherwise you may find your credit card blocked, DO NOT worry about getting Canadian money...we NEVER found a place that did not take US currency...they want US currency...the only issue is you will get Canadian change...so on the return trip, and we came back through Sweetgrass crossing, we just bought lots of snacks and used up all our Canadian money. Check with your cell phone carrier to see what charges you may incur using your cell phone in Canada...it can be shocking...though our txts were free...but many areas are "dark territory". DO NOT SPEED...you could find yourself heavily fined or worse...DO NOT SPEED...they are really serious about speeding. Check with your insurance company about coverage in Canada...remember, you are leaving the country...you might increase your coverage. You NEED road/travel insurance...such as AAA Premier RV...this is what we had and it is excellent in the US and Canada.
We were there in late July and early August and there were 30 degree nights and some places still had snow...be advised.
Plan on paying high prices in Canada...I MEAN HIGH....and they do not get much better in Alaska.
Plan/Plan/Plan...Study/Study...ask those that know...then plan again...always have multiple backup plans.
MHO...do not go till July/August...the weather is much better...May/June has lots of rain and cold...your choice.
Either way have fun and travel safe...my lovely wife and I may plan a trip to Alaska this summer July/August in our 40' DP now that the diesel prices are super low.

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