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Old 01-25-2018, 05:49 PM   #29
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Anyone done Alaska in April and May?
If so any issues with weather and roads this early

Chuck
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:08 PM   #30
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Besides the weather & road conditions, many camp grounds don’t open until the weather warms up. Not say some aren’t open, but the prudent traveler will check ahead.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:54 PM   #31
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We did the trip last year in our Dutch Star with three rock chips I repaired. Did Top of World with no problems other than great coating of dust. You have received great advice from many so do not let a few others scare you. Yes you can do damage to coach if not paying attention or driving to fast, but, can do the same in lower 48. Yes some of the roads suck but so do many Interstate highways in lower 48. You will encounter many sections where you will go very slow and slow is okay. When traffic catches you there are pull offs everywhere to let others pass. If you are passing other coaches then you probably are driving to fast and will learn so at next frost heave. LOL If you can not stop fast enough to take a picture of a grizzly bear, moose or others you are going to fast.

Remember it is a tour not a race campground to campground so go slow and enjoy the sights. Do not worry about coach getting very dirty, it washes off. Recommend purchase from auto parts a windshield repair kit $15 and if you get a rock chip then repair at next campground. Very simple repair and normally will stop a crack from starting. Yoga mat is cheap and very effective protection for toad windshield.

Be sure and post what a great time you had!
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:01 PM   #32
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Anyone done Alaska in April and May?
If so any issues with weather and roads this early

Chuck

The more into May the better. As mentioned CG availability is one issue, weather is still cool the closer to April you are, then if you are planning on doing the TOW there is the question of when the ferry starts to run for the season.

This depends on the timing of the ice breakup on the Yukon so that the boat can be launched. Ice breakup at Dawson City can be as soon as the 1st week of May or it could be as late as towards the end of May.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:12 PM   #33
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Yoga mat is cheap and very effective protection for toad windshield.
Good idea. How do you attach it?
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:15 PM   #34
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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.
Do you have any photos?
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:18 PM   #35
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Good idea. How do you attach it?

Stretch across windshield and stick each end inside open door and close door on mat. Never moved during entire trip. Yoga mat cheap.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:34 PM   #36
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Anyone done Alaska in April and May?
If so any issues with weather and roads this early Chuck
We always arrive in Wasilla during the 3rd of 4th week of May. Have we seen some 10 degree mornings? Have we had to delay a couple days waiting on the snow to melt in the Canadian Rocky mountain passes? Have we made the drive when the only ground that wasn't covered in snow was the berms along the side of the road? Have we seen dozens of bear, elk, fox, lynx, buffalo, etc munching the first green grass in the clear berms? A resounding YES to all the above!

We repeatedly make this trip to experience the beauty of Canada and Alaska. We DO NOT get in a hurry and spend from mid May to late September north of the border. This is NOT a trip to do on a tight schedule. My recommendation is to make a plan and then add 20% to your schedule for unexpected happenings! You might want to spend 1/2 a day watching a momma grizzly teaching her twins how to catch salmon or the proper technique for stripping a blueberry bush of its fruit! That kind of stuff you just can't schedule!
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:37 PM   #37
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We did Alaska last summer (2017) and all I can say is....EVERY RVer needs to do this trip. We did no advance preparation...thought we were only going to Banff, then turned right and headed north!

I left the rear mudflap inside the coach in case I might need it. Didn't do anything to the car and not a single ding to it. Brought along a yoga mat, but never used it. Got a couple windshield dings in BC, but none on the Alcan. Where they are doing road repairs you will usually be following a patrol car, going at slow speeds, so no concern with coach damage...only MUD! Lots of it.

When you come into Tok, be sure to fill up at the Tesoro station at north end of town...free coach and car wash with a fill up. Also a Shell station nearby offers the same deal. You WILL need to wash up for sure!

We camped at Walmarts about 4 times, at various open sites, in Anchorage at Cabellas and at Wallyworld in Fairbanks. Most all turnouts in Alaska offer free overnight camping...they are clearly marked, so just pull over into them.
Only times we used CG's was to empty tanks and fill with water.

And yes...the TOW route really was a highlight of our trip...don't miss it! And don't forget a trip to Kennecott/McCarthy, in the Wrangell/StElias National Park. Definitely the highlights of our trip!
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:03 PM   #38
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...And don't forget a trip to Kennecott/McCarthy, in the Wrangell/StElias National Park. Definitely the highlights of our trip!
Did you take the Essex to Kennecott?
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:06 PM   #39
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Left it at Tonsina Lodge, south of Copper Center. Drove the toad to the end of the Chitina Road, then walked across the bridge. Real cool experience staying at the lodge, overlooking the glacier and the old town/mill.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:00 AM   #40
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slabman,
Nice to know a coach this size can travel the TOW ok.
What were the date spreads that you made the trip. We are scheduled to go between July 10 and finish around Sept 3rd this year.

thanks..The Orca (formerly the Balladeer)
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:00 AM   #41
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Left it at Tonsina Lodge, south of Copper Center. Drove the toad to the end of the Chitina Road, then walked across the bridge. Real cool experience staying at the lodge, overlooking the glacier and the old town/mill.
Drive the McCarthy Road in an Entegra? Whew...I am game for a lot of things but that 60 miles has some real ugly spots not well suited for a low clearance Class A. I’d leave the RV in Chitina and finish out the next section in my TOAD. And yes, I have driven that road 4 times so I have a little experience with that particular segment. Kennicott Mine....absolutely a georgous place...GO there but leave the Entegra on the pavement! Stay at the lodge and enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:19 AM   #42
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Gregg, you might be the ONLY tandem axled MH you see!😬 before getting the Denali...then we saw a few. No Prevosts, of course. And a couple old Monaco, a King Aire, but that's about it. But I will tell you....you will love having your big ol' comfy home with you in all that wilderness. 😉

What is interesting about the trip is we encountered frequent 10+ percent grades, but don't remember getting over about 4500 ft in elevation. To see glaciers at only 2000 ft is mind blowing, 'cuz in the lower 48 one needs to get up above 10-11000 ft. It just stays too cold up there, so glaciers exist at lower elevations.

We crossed the border the first week of June and were back before the end of July. Kind of a quick trip, but the boss doesn,t like to dilly dally around much.😜. We encountered a tour group and I remember one guy who was repeately bored because they had scheduled way too much time at some locations...he wanted to spend more time in other locations. So be sure their itinerary fits your interests, if you can.

Frost “heaves”. Actually, there are more like soil COLLAPSES. When the frost meltsunder the pavement, the road base is left with excessive moisture and wheel loadings will cause dips in the pavement. You will see them marked by little flags along shoulders...Canada seemed to be better at marking these than Alaska. So just slow down and you'll have no problems. In fact, keep 'er in the 50-60 mph range...no more.

Alaska is a magical place....so raw and undeveloped. I really want to back again after selling this big MH this summer and travel in a Sprinter MH, just to see some places I didn,t get to the first time.

BTW....a 60 day organized trip is normal, but they usually dump you off at the Anchorage area, so you need to have time to get back before it gets too cold.
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