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Old 01-23-2018, 10:02 PM   #15
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As MisterT said pay attention to the little red flags. Which indicate Frost Heavies. I slowed down for first one, which had been repaired, as had the next several. Then I hit one faster than I should have that had not been repaired. I slowed down for the rest. Also slow down for bridges. Bridge Roadways are built like a cattle guard for drainage. You loose traction and it feels like your floating out of control, when going too fast. It is a great trip. Slow down and enjoy it.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:57 AM   #16
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I did the trip in 2016 in an American Coach (Fantasy Your Way caravan), didn't do the dirt highways (Top of the world). Roads were okay, maybe 100 miles of dirt due to construction, about 5 miles of washboard, that was the worst. Other than getting dirty all was good, no chips on RV or tow vehicle windshield and didn't use any covers on tow vehicle. I drove at about 45 to maybe 50 on the frost heave sections of the road so it was easy to slow down and they were pretty well marked. I put chicken wire underneath the radiator to reduce chase of a rock penetrating the radiator.
Great trip and I hope to do it again
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:04 AM   #17
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We took a 60 day Alaskan caravan in 2014 (in our previous Tiffin Phaeton). It was an awesome trip. Youíll make many great friends, have lots of fun and see some incredible sites.
We were told to reduce our deductibles to zero for the trip (which we did) then increase back after returning to the US. We were driving in a small town at ~20mph when a truck passed and threw a rock. We had a golf ball sized hole in the windshield. Carry some clear packing tape, just in case to cover any damage.
Top of the World Highway and the ferry were not a problem. If itís dry, your coach and toad will be covered with thick layers of dust. If itís wet, they will be covered in mud. You will stop in Tok, AK after Top of the World Highway. They have dual wash racks so folks can clean their coaches.
We highly recommend Cummins Anchorage if you need engine work. We spent 10 days of our caravan there while they cleaned and rebuilt our engine due to a failed EGR cooler.
Again, this a great trip...just go with the flow.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:48 AM   #18
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Good advice provided here. We did the same Fantasy trip in 2016 and it was the trip of our lives. Made life long friends and had a blast. We had heard horror stories of the roads but found all was manageable simply by driving at appropriate speeds for the conditions. Yes, the big mud flap can be a problem and we saw many toads with piles of gravel between the hood and the windshield after traveling over construction areas. Always the common denominator was a low full length mud flap. Suggest setting it as high as it will go or, better yet, remove it for the trip. We did not have a flap and used a Protect-A-Tow and had zero damage to the toad. The biggest risk to the MH windshield comes from gravel thrown up by on coming cars/trucks. Suggest slowing and moving over as far right as possible in construction zones when oncoming vehicles are approaching. We did this and successfully avoided windshield damage until the last zone near Destruction Bay when we got a repairable chip thrown up by, of all things, a Honda Civic. But that was the sum damage of our trip. The Yukon ferry was a non event as the crew was continuously grooming the ferry transitions and taking extra care with the RVs. So go and have fun, take reasonable precautions to protect your equipment, drive appropriate for the conditions and you will have an amazing trip!
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:00 AM   #19
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IMO the bad conditions of northern roads is highly overrated. Planning our 4th trip to Alaska since 2008 this year. Each year road conditions have been better than the trip before. Last time, 2014, a good chunk of the TOW was being worked on & was terrible with the large stone layer that had just been put down. It was a couple miles, seemed like many more, of jogging speed. I anticipate that section to be lovely this year. I fully expect to encounter construction somewhere else on the TOW.

As for the rest, pay attention to those flags & drive according to conditions. Generally I prefer northern roads over pothole riddled interstates & city bypass roads.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:19 PM   #20
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I don't know if it was the mud flap or the Roadmaster guard on the front of the toad, but we had "blowback" on to the back of the coach from the Alaskan Highway that left the lower third of the rear cap with an abrasive looking result. The bottom half of the rear cap had to be repainted. I would invest in the Roadmaster canvas device that stretches from the coach hitch to the front of the toad if I was to do it again. JMHO
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:42 PM   #21
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I did a trip in 2016 with the vanity mudflap and 2017 without. Trust me, take it off.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jmcarter View Post
And if you hit a lot of calcium chloride (if wet be thankful youíre not on a motorcycle, slicker than owl dung) you need to be sure and wash it off as soon as possible. Maybe others have tips for some corrosion preventative that you can spray on the chassis. Stuff I used on my bike isnít practical on a MH. In my avatar you can perhaps make out the BMW GSA on the trailer, get use to seeing them up there.


In a previous life I was a senior exec st Motorcoach Industries. We made many attempts to protect the lower carriage of our buses and coaches from the Magnesium Chloride. We tried everything.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:23 AM   #23
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I would invest in the Roadmaster canvas device that stretches from the coach hitch to the front of the toad if I was to do it again. JMHO
Can that be used, or does the hot exhaust from the exhaust pipe burn it?
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:47 AM   #24
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I use a similar item from Protect-a-Tow, but my exhaust exits from the side. If yours exits back and down I have seen posts where the writer has modified the horizontal blanket by cutting and trimming clearance for the exhaust
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:55 AM   #25
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We took a caravan to Alaska last summer. The best trip ever! We had one flat on 495 in New York on the coach and one flat on the toad on the Alcan. We were saved both times by tire plug kits. The stones in the windshield happened in the middle of the city in Whitecourt, didn't even make it out of an urban area. We tied up the mud flap and used a car guard II between the coach and toad. The only further damage was many stone chips around the coach from road conditions. No damage to the toad. We bought the coach to use it and not worry about damage.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:47 AM   #26
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Can that be used, or does the hot exhaust from the exhaust pipe burn it?
Maybe, but the cost of a repaint is 2500-3000. The screen would be about 8-10" above the pipe and most of the exhausts I've seen on later models points down. As I said, I don't know whether the abrasive result of the paint was the swirl behind the coach, or if it was bounce back from the road guard on the front of the toad (was suggested by the S&S guy at Middlebury). But it was real, and thinly place where it could have happened was the road between Watson Lake and Dawson Creek, with significant stretches of road work in Summer 2016.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:41 AM   #27
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Can that be used, or does the hot exhaust from the exhaust pipe burn it?
I added some extension straps to the back of our coach that moves our Protect-A-Tow about ten inches aft. This coupled with tuning my exhaust stack about 45 degrees has not melted anything in over 20,000 miles. I really prefer the screen vs a shield.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:35 PM   #28
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Soooo...We are planning to take our 2016 Anthem on the 48 day "Heart of Alaska" RV caravan tour. Seeing as how part of it is on Gravel roads.(the Taylor highway and Top of The World highway) I was wondering if anyone has opinions if this will be ok for our 2016 Anthem coach with out wrecking something. I have already installed the "Alaska Pack" by RoadMaster to protect the Jeep.
Any scoops would be most appreciated. (ie CB radio for caravan, etc.)

Thanks in advance...The Balladeer
Balladeer,
I have read your intentions on doing AK....awesome trip. But I would NOT do "Top of the World highway"(YT9) and the Taylor Highway (AK5) from the border crossing thru Chicken and Tok in your Anthem. This road will very likely destroy your rig. I did it in my Earthroamer XV-LT and even with airing down my tires from 60/90psi(highway) to 40/60psi(offroad) (for ride/traction). It was an EXTREAMLY rough ride. Now my ER is built and made for this. The road up to Dawson City (YT2) is paved and manageable for your rig. You could possibly even go from Dawson City, the George Black ferry and on to Little Gold (Border Crossing)(YT9) without much difficulty (just very slowly). But after the Crossing be prepared for some of the nastiest roads (Taylor Highway (AK5)(gravel/dirt)) you have seen until you return on to the ALCAN into Tok. My suggestion, if you insist on doing the "Top of the World highway"(YT9) would be go no further than the border crossing (still be rough but manageable) then return to Dawson City, Whitehorse (YT2) and resume the ALCAN (YT1) into Tok and onward for the rest of your trip. Make sure you stop at the ALL Visitors centers along the way and get the road condition reports from each.
The Anthem is not made for these type of roads. You will with a high probability be sending your Rig back down to the lower 48 in boxes. If you insist on it ....go SLOW!!! Be prepared for damage (lots) and flat tires (carry a spare). Investigate on either an InReach (GARMIN) or a Satellite Phone with associated insurance (SAR/MEDIVAC/Recovery). There is no cell phone service up there. If you have any issues you will need them to have a wrecker come out and retrieve you....a VERY EXPENSIVE proposition.
I did love my trip. Did mine in 60days and it was STILL TOO SHORT. If I can do it again I will take at least 6 months, start into Canada late April/early May and exit Canada on my return in late October/early November. There is so much to see and do 48 days is a whirlwind tour.....missing lots and doing ALOT of driving per day. That is a shame for such a once in a lifetime trip (maybe). But I would take your time. Also, get the book "MILEPOST" which is updated yearly and is a pretty good look ahead for your DW to read while driving along. A very good value.
I know a bit convoluted at times but that is also what your drive will be.

Take Care and safe travels

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