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Old 01-21-2015, 05:02 AM   #15
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You didn't mention when you plan on driving up. We crossed into AK. May 31st. This seemed to be before the road construction got underway. Except for a little snow out of Destruction Bay, which by the way didn't last that long, the road was great. As mentioned when you get into northern British Columbia & the Yukon look for the flags on the side of the road to warn of frost heaves. It's such a great drive with unparralled scenery, it's best to take your time & enjoy. Oh, and keep the camera on the dashboard, or you'll miss some unexpected shots.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:12 AM   #16
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I join the chorus, once you get on the Alcan, DRIVE SLOWER! You're on a special trip, enjoy the views. At the same time you are greatly reducing the chance of vehicle damage and accidents.
I forgot that one day(2012) while trying to catch our caravan (long story). I hit an unmarked frost heave and did about $3,000 total damage to our 5er. Totally my fault for driving so fast.
BTW, frost heaves are not what the words bring to mind. During winter the perma-frost causes the roadbed to make a big hump in the road, but when it thaws it settles down, making a depression in the road. The one I hit was a foot lower than the good road and about 30' long.
Road crews do a good job of marking them with tiny red flags, but sometimes they miss one, flag gets blown away, etc. Best solution, drive slower, 40-45 and enjoy everything surrounding you.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:23 AM   #17
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We last week just drove through construction on I5 at Sacramento, this was more challenging than anything we contended with in Alaska. And this included the top of the world highway. Watch for the frost heave warnings or a strange wiggle on the center line stripe, if you do not slow you will soon learn to. You may/will get a rock chip that could mean a new wind screen, but it happens in the lower 48 too. Saw several putting bubble wrap on the toad front to prevent rock chips and saw a couple coach's with the wrap on the front. Even one coach with the first 8",bottom, of the bubble wrap on the wind screen.
HAVE fun and relax and go slow, an extra day or two can make a big difference.

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Old 01-21-2015, 09:03 AM   #18
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Will be going up next summer (16'). was planning on getting after-market headlight film. The new Tundra's have these big headlight lens that just scream "hit me rock"...

Have flown up there 4-5 times to visit family. I think the biggest rock problem are the locals who pass you at 70 mph. on a gravel section of road posted at 50mph. Many times when a paved section of road has had bad frost heave damage, they may be in the process of fixing or regrading that section and gravel will be used until it is repaved. Most locals vehicles are kind of beat up from the harsh winters and driving on secondary roads still constructed of gravel.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:29 AM   #19
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Living in Alaska, we go 'outside to the lower 48' every other year. The drive can be a challenge at times, but it is best to slow down and take it easy. As far as rocks getting kicked up into the engine compartment, see if your MH has a heavy duty screen under the engine. Ours does and it does make a difference. So far the only issues we have had is rocks getting kicked up by passing semi trucks. Before we head out, I go through the MH and inspect as much as I can. Make sure that the tires are in very good condition, chassis lubed, check for loose bolts/wiring and carry a few spare parts. I have extra light bulbs, fan belts, both fuel filters, oil filters, oil and coolant. Most of the normal things that one should have. Watch the weather and be prepared for any type of weather and it can change quickly.
Have fun and be safe.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:49 AM   #20
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“There are endless miles of gravel with trucks tossing boulders at your windshield and frost heaves that will rune your suspension!” regaled an Alcan traveller to other considering a trip north.

Possibly to appear more adventuresome, many who have taken the Alaskan journey tell tales of how they overcame the treacherous roads and dangerous wildlife. Often these tales are greatly exaggerated and heavily salted by a vivid imagination. Yes, there are sections of gravel road, frost heaves and large trucks that appear to show little consideration for others sharing the road, but they are generally manageable and pose only a minimal risk to your self, motorhome, and toad as long as a modicum of care is used.

The Alaskan Hwy and all northern access arteries through Alberta and BC, including the Cassiar Hwy, are fully paved except for current construction zones. What is a little different about northern road construction is its depth and length. A typical section of road construction will be 10 to 15 miles and involves not only the replacement of the road surface but the underlying roadbed as well. Depending upon its current stage in the reconstruction process you might encounter soft freshly laid gravel or hard washboard gravel awaiting pavement. If in active construction, it will be one-way traffic and you’ll have to wait for a pilot car. If there are motorcycles in the traffic line they will often be allowed to ride to the front of the traffic line to enable them to go first if the roadbed is soft as they need to maintain their forward momentum and a stopped car could cause them to bog down and fall over in a soft roadbed. If two-way traffic is driving through a gravel section, take it slow and keep as close to the shoulder as is safe. If a large truck is approaching at a fast speed, don’t hesitate to pull over and stop until they pass by. On washboard, simply go slow (very slow) and ensure that your countertops are clear of falling objects or they will be vibrated off the counter.

Most of the frost heave is between Destruction Bay and the Alaskan border. This particular latitude is especially bad for heaving the roadbed up and dropping it back down as the permafrost underneath thaws and refreezes. Frost heave can be small, only an inch or two vertically and a few feet in length or it can be a foot vertically and run for 10, 20 or more yards long, either across of along the roadway. On my first Alaskan trip on a motorcycle I was airborne many times and it was exciting but it would be less so in a large motorhome and hitting the 90-degree leading edge could do serious damage. Take it easy going through the frost heave area and keep an eye open for red flags that mark most of the heaves. You can drive around many of the frost heaves and drivers commonly use either side of the road if no other traffic is present. If safe to do so, use the best section of roadway.

Remember to keep and eye open for wildlife. You don’t want to miss and great photo opportunity and you don’t want to see a moose or other critter close up, embedded in or bouncing off the front of your coach. Watch for other cars pulled off to the side of the road as they may have stopped to view nearby wildlife and never assume that game off on the shoulder won’t suddenly bolt across the highway.

I’m heading north to Alaska again this summer (2015) from May until the end of August and if I see you or another coach having trouble along the way, I’ll stop and do my best to help.
Retired and livin' the RV dream!
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:13 PM   #21
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Look at the speed of driving like this... It took you how many months to decide to take this trip. how many months planning and saving, and NOW you want to rursh through it Not me
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:15 AM   #22
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Drove to Alaska last yr, Chevy truck and 5th wheel. I would do it again in a heart beat.
Beautiful beyond words. Did suffer a broken windshield, seems somewhat normal. As far as the road conditions...really very good except last 150 miles before Alaska border and about 100 miles into Alaska. give or take. Lots of construction and frost heave in that area ....just drove slow and cautious....no problems just took awhile. Also had no reservations anywhere except Denali. Had no problems with space availability. Have a great trip.
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:58 PM   #23
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Also had no reservations anywhere except Denali.
Which campground did you stay at in Denali? (Riley Creek, Savage River or Teklanika)?
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:52 PM   #24
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We had reservations for 5 nights with our 40' motorhome in Teklanika campground - the farthest one you can drive an RV. We made them only 3 weeks prior when we could better judge where we'd be and when.

As it turned out we got into the area early so we boondocked at a beautiful area along the highway and then drove into Denali early morning. We easily got a site in the front campground - Riley Creek for another 5 nights.

Staying in Denali 10 nights gave us 7 wonderfully clear days to see 'THE' Mountain along with all the major critters in the park. There is plenty to do from both campgrounds.

For Teklanika we bought the TEK shuttle bus pass which allowed us to travel whenever we wanted further deep into the park. Sometimes we went out for a couple hours morning and evening and saw lots of animals.

The only other reservation we made was for the July 4 weekend. Alaskans like to camp, too!
Full-timed for 16 Years
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:51 PM   #25
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I'm reading this posting with great anticipation. We're headed to the big white north around June 1 or so. This will be our first trip up and plan a total of 8-10 weeks, although we don't have a real need to get home if we feel like staying somewhere longer. Very much appreciate the great wisdom of those making the trip before us.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:12 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by capnqball View Post
I'm reading this posting with great anticipation. We're headed to the big white north around June 1 or so. This will be our first trip up and plan a total of 8-10 weeks, although we don't have a real need to get home if we feel like staying somewhere longer. Very much appreciate the great wisdom of those making the trip before us.
There have been so many great responses to my request. So glad it has helped you, too. I'm relieved to know that I don't have to make reservations months in advance, especially without knowing exactly when we'll get there. Maybe we'll find each other on our Alaska travels. Our rig is recognizable in that my blog address is on the side of the coach: ClassABoomers.blogspot.com. If you see, come and say hi.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:16 PM   #27
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I think there are some great Alaskan cruise ships you can take without worrying about damaging your rv.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #28
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We took our first major RV trip in 2009 to Alaska, driving a 2007 Hurricane with a Ford Escape in tow. Our trip was great, just wish we had done it sooner to give us more time, but we left almost as quickly as we could, which was 2 weeks after my wife retired.

The drive was great, the views were fantastic and we are going to do it again in 2015, with more time allowed!! Had no issues at all except the first frost heave!! I had to look back to make sure the toad was still attached! After that first heave, I slowed down and looked for the small orange flags on the side of the road. We did get one rock chip in White Horse, from a dually pickup truck with no bed and no mud flaps. We were in town and going about 30 mph.

Check out our photos and story as we travelled. Alaska - 2009 - ronniesphotos

Ronnie (WD5GIC) & Jan (WD5IHU)
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