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Old 06-22-2021, 06:09 AM   #1
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Alaska roads

I have a question that I can't find an answer for in the forums or via Google search.

Background: my wife gets very nervous riding in the passenger seat of our F250 pulling our 28 ft TT when we are in the mountains out west. Two examples are the drive from Cody WY into Yellowstone, and the parts of I-70 east/west of the Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Says she feels out of control, nauseated, etc. despite my (by my own assessment LOL) stellar driving.

Tentative plan: next summer I want to fly into Anchorage, rent a Class C, and hit a few national parks as well as glaciers, ports, towns, etc. We'll need a 26-28 ft RV for the 4 of us, no toad.

Questions:
1. How will riding in a Class C in Alaska compare to the above two roads in terms of steepness, drop-offs, etc?
2. Anyone with similar spouse experience have any advice for how to lessen the fear/anxiety?

Many thanks,
Pete
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purduepete97 View Post
I have a question that I can't find an answer for in the forums or via Google search.

Background: my wife gets very nervous riding in the passenger seat of our F250 pulling our 28 ft TT when we are in the mountains out west. Two examples are the drive from Cody WY into Yellowstone, and the parts of I-70 east/west of the Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Says she feels out of control, nauseated, etc. despite my (by my own assessment LOL) stellar driving.

Tentative plan: next summer I want to fly into Anchorage, rent a Class C, and hit a few national parks as well as glaciers, ports, towns, etc. We'll need a 26-28 ft RV for the 4 of us, no toad.

Questions:
1. How will riding in a Class C in Alaska compare to the above two roads in terms of steepness, drop-offs, etc?
2. Anyone with similar spouse experience have any advice for how to lessen the fear/anxiety?

Many thanks,
Pete
Feel your pain brother - I had to install a special rear view mirror so the DW could visually confirm that there is nothing to worry about. Behind us! I didnít want to do it but in the long run....happy wife, happy life

PS - my driving is stellar too of course, but that has little to do with it
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purduepete97 View Post
I have a question that I can't find an answer for in the forums or via Google search.

Background: my wife gets very nervous riding in the passenger seat of our F250 pulling our 28 ft TT when we are in the mountains out west. Two examples are the drive from Cody WY into Yellowstone, and the parts of I-70 east/west of the Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Says she feels out of control, nauseated, etc. despite my (by my own assessment LOL) stellar driving.

Tentative plan: next summer I want to fly into Anchorage, rent a Class C, and hit a few national parks as well as glaciers, ports, towns, etc. We'll need a 26-28 ft RV for the 4 of us, no toad.

Questions:
1. How will riding in a Class C in Alaska compare to the above two roads in terms of steepness, drop-offs, etc?
2. Anyone with similar spouse experience have any advice for how to lessen the fear/anxiety?

Many thanks,
Pete
I ask my wife "Do you want to drive?".
She may need some motion sickness medicine, so she can calm her anxiety. My wife took it once before we went over the long bridge to Dauphin Island. But after that she has not taken any once she saw what she was missing. What I mean "by missing" is she was so anxious she missed the beauty of the drive. Then I had her drive once at her own pace, now she is like a kid seeing all of these places for the first time.
Going from Alamosa to Colorado Springs she was looking around so much so forgot to be concerned about the 9600+ foot pass we had to go thru. She must had took 100+ photos with her phone. Maybe find a way to distract her from the drive, I did and it works pretty good for us.
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Old 06-22-2021, 03:13 PM   #4
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The only 'iffy' road I can think of on the drive from the lower 48 to Alaska would be a side trip on the Top of the World Highway and that you wouldn't have to do. This is a gravel road.

Stay on the paved roads and easy peasy!

I'd suggest you do the drive to Alaska and enjoy what the whole experience has to offer. How often would you do this trip? Canada and the Yukon are just as beautiful... and sometimes, even more so .... before you even get to Alaska.

Take the trip with your own RV and enjoy!

Perhaps she could wear a eye mask or take medication for her anxiety.
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Old 06-22-2021, 03:18 PM   #5
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The Alcan itself (driven it three times over the last 46 years) is a MILITARY ROAD. As such, it avoids all grades possible. Not possible to build a highway in a HURRY that also takes in scenic destinations. There are not significant grades on the basic highway.


Ya, the first two trips, were mostly on well-graded DIRT. Now, 100% paved.



Drive side roads, like into Skagway--- OH MY.


Tell us your actual "point to point" and we can give first hand experiences.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:28 AM   #6
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On our trip to AK, I don't recall any roads that triggered 'scary' response from DW - and we drove(class A towing a Jeep) the Top of the World Hwy. The roads can be very dusty due to lots of road repair(gravel breaks)and the frost heaves can be lumpy(although usually well marked). Lower speeds contribute to a safer ride through some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. 'Trip of a lifetime'!

I guess if I could characterize any road that was scary, it would be the TOTW hwy...it had been raining for a month and we had some coach wheel spin driving out of Boundary, AK. - slow and steady up the middle of the road.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:48 AM   #7
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I have the same concerns with my Bro n Law. He laid down in the bottom of my boat with his eyes closed on a recent boat ride. Then he wanted to drive two vehicles on a 30 mile road trip so "we both could be the drivers".
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purduepete97 View Post
I have a question that I can't find an answer for in the forums or via Google search.

Background: my wife gets very nervous riding in the passenger seat of our F250 pulling our 28 ft TT when we are in the mountains out west. Two examples are the drive from Cody WY into Yellowstone, and the parts of I-70 east/west of the Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Says she feels out of control, nauseated, etc. despite my (by my own assessment LOL) stellar driving.

Tentative plan: next summer I want to fly into Anchorage, rent a Class C, and hit a few national parks as well as glaciers, ports, towns, etc. We'll need a 26-28 ft RV for the 4 of us, no toad.

Questions:
1. How will riding in a Class C in Alaska compare to the above two roads in terms of steepness, drop-offs, etc?
2. Anyone with similar spouse experience have any advice for how to lessen the fear/anxiety?

Many thanks,
Pete
We flew into Anchorage and rented 3 Class C motorhomes . Only 2 of the 3 drivers had experience driving a MH .

Left Anchorage and drove to Seward for a fishing and Glacier viewing cruise .

Then drove North to Denali for 3 days to hike and take the shuttle bus into the park.

Left Denali and drove to Fairbanks for a week to visit family . Explored the area and went to Cheney Hot springs for a day excursion .

NOTE , the rental company contract said NO DRIVING to the Artic Circle North of Fairbanks . To do so is at your own risk and all associated damages and costs.

Left Fairbanks and drove West to the Copper River Valley and back to Anchorage .

We had no problems with roads or fuel stops or camping during the entire trip . Our novice driver loved the trip . It was a stress free vacation.

It was an incredible trip with spectacular scenery and friendly folks . I highly recommend the adventure.

Side note ........ Alaska has bigger mountains , but Washington State has bigger trees.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:56 AM   #9
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We have a few roads here in Montana that I wouldn't recommend for you but I don't remember anything in Alaska that would be a worry. Stay on pavement and you'll be just fine.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:34 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the feedback. Sounds like it wouldn't be any worse than Wyoming/Colorado, and maybe slightly less disturbing to my DW. I've begun preliminary planning and will start a new thread to gather input from this great group.

Pete
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:44 AM   #11
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We rented a class C a number of years ago and had no problems at all (my wife gets nervous on mountain or coastal roads with dropoffs). As previously mentioned, the rental agencies have policies as to where and where not to drive.

This was prior to my owning an RV so I had no experience beyond a VW pop-up camper and I was never nervous.

We didn't take a far ranging trip, pretty much from Anchorage to Denali and the Kenai. The roads were in excellent condition.

There are plenty of places to stop for a rest. Unless things have changed, unless there's signs saying you can't, you can stop pretty much anywhere for a rest, nap or even an overnight.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:59 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the feedback. Sounds like it wouldn't be any worse than Wyoming/Colorado, and maybe slightly less disturbing to my DW. I've begun preliminary planning and will start a new thread to gather input from this great group.
It's not going to be anything like the Colorado mountain driving! Many 'stories' out there are the Alaska of yesterday. It's a modern state and the route getting there is modern. Yes, you'll have some road construction - just like the lower 48 - but that's the only time they can work on roads. Allow plenty of time for your whole trip - 2-3 months. Don't plan on driving long days but sitesee enroute. Distances are too far apart to backtrack to see something. Many days we drove 100 miles or even less.

Get the Milepost for maps and history. (We read outloud about the things we were seeing as each of us was driving.) Get Mike and Terri Church's book 'Alaskan Camping' which has everything from the Canadian border and RV park, public parks and good boondocking spots which we used a lot as others do.

One other thing.... does your wife drive? Perhaps that would calm her. Being a passenger can cause anxiety because you're not in control. We always take turns driving... keeps us sharp with it ... and the other gets to see things.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:15 AM   #13
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Thanks guys.

Twogypsies - as you may recall from my previous trips, we're not retired so have limited time. Looking at a small trip Anchorage, Denali, +/- Fairbanks, Kenai peninsula, then back to Anchorage. Probably will have the rental RV for 9-10 days, plus 1-2 days of travel to from, and that's all the time we can do at this stage in life (and. . .probably all we can afford money-wise too LOL).

Re: DW driving - we may try that with the rented Class C. She isn't super-interested in driving the truck/TT, but may be open to this (and I do think it would help her).

Pete
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Old 06-24-2021, 04:39 PM   #14
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Plenty of road construction going on up here but with minimal delays.
Still a few narrow spots along the highways but not many and they are working like crazy to widen the areas. We almost slapped mirrors with a semi on our way to Valdez last year, I knew we had an inch to spare but the wife didn't see it that way
Hope you enjoy your trip!
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