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Old 06-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #1
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From Florida to Alaska - Are we crazy?

As we continue to plan our journey, we are considering pulling a 5th wheel from Florida to Alaska to visit our daughter.

We still have not picked out a 5th wheel but we are looking to tow and live in something in the 35' range (+- 5'). The plan is to take our time and stop off in several states along the way. Maybe 2-4 weeks on each stop except Ft. Carson where our son is stationed (stay a bit longer). Our travels will start around Feb and we hope to be in Alaska by July so some winter driving at the start.

We are looking at a 2019 F350 6.7 Power Diesel (DRW, 4x4). I've done some research on steep inclines, some snow travel, etc. and I'm concerned about getting enough truck but keeping within budget and being safe.

Question: Is this truck in the ballpark of what we need to safely undertake our journey? Are there any major things we should consider for such an undertaking? I know, broad question.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:37 PM   #2
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Yes, you're crazy...

But in a good way...

I think as long as you shop TV to match the 5er you end up with, you'll be fine.

Make sure you have an insulated underbelly for the trailer, so your tanks and valves will be safe for the winter portion of the trip.

The Alaska highway is mostly gravel, so make sure you prep the rig accordingly. (Stone guards, and dash plates, etc)

The rest of trip just sounds like a Grand Adventure that makes me jealous...
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:25 PM   #3
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My thoughts as I have 17,000 miles towing a 5th wheel. I would buy the shortest 5th wheel I could with 3 slides. It is the slides that add space. Buy a quality 5th wheel like Artic Fox or Outdoor RV.

I would also hold off on a truck as all new redesigned trucks come out in the next 6 months.

Also when the new trucks come out look in depth as to the changes. When I have looked at trucks in the past I gravitated to the Ford. In 2020 I might pick a different truck. All 3 will be close in capability.

Lol - if I wanted to drive from Florida to Alaska I would try to stay small. Maybe F-150 FX4 towing a small travel trailer.

I am thinking the FX4 package is a must. It has skid plates and locking rear differential if needed. Good to protect the under carriage of the truck going to Alaska.

A 2019 F-350 dually is a very capable truck but in think I would rather have a SRW F-350 as it will be better in any snow. Especially with the FX4 package. A small Artic Fox 5th wheel and SRW F-350 FX4 would be a good choice IMHO.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
My thoughts as I have 17,000 miles towing a 5th wheel. I would buy the shortest 5th wheel I could with 3 slides. It is the slides that add space. Buy a quality 5th wheel like Artic Fox or Outdoor RV.

I would also hold off on a truck as all new redesigned trucks come out in the next 6 months.
But the new features come at higher prices. Also, my trade-in would lose value by that one year. I'm wondering if waiting a bit would be good to get a better price on a 2019.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Lol - if I wanted to drive from Florida to Alaska I would try to stay small. Maybe F-150 FX4 towing a small travel trailer.
We currently have an F150 and a small TT is out since we plan to live in it. Wife said no smaller than 35'. My F150 can't touch any of that. We figure we'll live in it for at least 1 year. Gonna need to spend extra to get a FT rig.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #5
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The Alaska highways are not mostly gravel. There will be some sections of gravel where they are repairing it. Same goes for the Yukon. Make the trip, its a beautiful drive.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:15 PM   #6
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Sounds like the trip of a life time. Go have fun.
Cross into Canada on US97 in WA or in MT heading north toward Edmonton. From there it is NW toward Prince George, BC. On return you might book the ferry south to Vancouver or Seattle on the inside passage.
With a new dually you have lots of choices. Personally I would pick Grand Design or Arctic Fox for fivers. The Fox I think is more of a rugged trails fiver that will hold up longer. Sadly you dont have many dealers in the SE.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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I would think when the redesigned 2020 models come out you get to see if they are worth more $$$ or not. If yes, buy a 2020, if no, you should get a great deal on a left over 2019 which will also be a great truck.

I actually wonder how much better they can make trucks. 10 speeds vs 6, 9% more torque, maybe use a mix of ultra high strength steel and high strength steel for the frame to help keep weight down. Oh, how can I forget the new 7.3 pushrod gasoline engine. That might be a game changer.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:22 PM   #8
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Join the RVing Alaska 2019 Facebook forum .
It’s full of information and daily updates from people that are doing this right now.
We are going next year but not towing our 40’ 5er.
Instead we bought a used class C and towing a Jeep Wrangler 2 door.

As far as trucks we tow with a 2017 F 450 KR 4x4
The 450 had a tighter turning radius, bigger brakes and tires, and a beefed up frame and rear axle.
Price was so close to the 350 I couldn’t pass it up.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:50 PM   #9
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Be very, very careful going to Alaska. We went for "The Trip Of A Lifetime" in 2006. Stopped in the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and then took the Alaska Ferries from Prince Rupert to Haines, with a drive up to Alaska. That did it!! We had a wonderful time. The CAREFUL part is that it was addicting. We went back in 2007, 2009, 2011, 1013, 2015, 2017, 1018, and are now in Valdez. We'll do this as long as we can. I'm 78 and DW is 77. If we were 20 years younger I'd be living up here, but medical services can be thin so we'll be satisfied with visit summers. Oh yeah, we did drive the RV to Tucson in 2011 and flew to Alaska for the Iditerod and 2 weeks of winter touring. Loved it too. If you fish, you'll think you died and went to Heaven. We bring home a 17 cu ft chest, a 3 cu ft basement and a 3 door refer/freezer full of fish and shrimp every year we go up.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #10
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I'm no truck expert but a 3500 dually with a diesel engine should get you just about anywhere you want to go.

I've pulled with a half ton and then a 3/4 ton so I believe you are in the ball park.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:32 AM   #11
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I would insist on an Artic Fox for that journey.
https://northwoodmfg.com/arctic-fox-2/arctic-fox-27-5l/

No dealers in Florida. The nearest dealer is in Georgia.
https://www.southlandrv.com/inventor...del=Arctic+Fox

The biggest Artic Fox 5er is about 30' long (model 27-5L). Advantage is it's a 4-seasons RV, and has a 60'x80' walk-around queen-size bed (not the shorter "RV queen size" in most 5ers.

GVWR is 13,400, which translates to a max pin weight of about 2,680 to not more than 3,000 pounds. Yes, quality-built 4-seasons RVs are heavy. So that eliminates the pickups with single rear wheels (SRW). So count on needing at least a 350/3500 dually (DRW)tow vehicle. The 2019 F350 6.7 Power Diesel (DRW, 4x4) you're considering will work fine. If it's for me, it will be an F-450 with at least Lariat trim.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:00 PM   #12
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Alaska Trip

We have driven to Alaska 5 time since 2009 and it is a great trip, but you need to recognize the roads in YT are not interstate's . You always need to look ahead for road condition and be able to slow down.

We are in Alaska right now and it as amazing as ever. One thing you need to know is reservation are needed to make sure you get in the campground you want to camp in. It does get hard to get in to some campgrounds when tour groups come in because they can take up 20-30 site at one time. So think ahead and research where you want to stay. The other thing you need to know is go counterclockwise because it helps with mosquito.

If you can get to Alaska first or second week in June you may be ahead of the crowds. Also if you are not in a hurry, we stay one week in each town because you have already spent the money on diesel so why hurry.

If you have any question about Alaska let me know
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:08 PM   #13
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We had friends last year that already owned a 35ft 5th wheel - they bought a 22 or 24 ft tow behind and went to Alaska last summer for 2-3 months. Got back and sold the TT for what they paid for it.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:44 PM   #14
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The biggest AF 5er is the 35-5z. The wife and I did a walk through of one in Hamersville, OH. Really nice rig, made for treks like the one you're about to undertake.



My wife and I are currently in the planning stage of a TN to AK trip in May 2020. AF & ORV are our top picks as of now, GD, Highland Ridge and Heartland are finishing off the list.



Subbing so I can see how your search and planning progress.
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