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Author Topic: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"  (Read 57277 times)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #120 on: July 18, 2012, 07:40:09 AM »
Ain't RV life exciting? There is always something that needs attention!

$60! Wow - prices have gone up in AK since we were there in '02. As I recall, Homer Spit was the most expensive place we stayed (except maybe for Anchorage) back then, too, but it was about $38.  But great view and lots of bald eagles and ospreys. Good halibut fishing too, if you are into that sort of thing.
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Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #121 on: July 18, 2012, 11:59:00 AM »
Marty:


If you are ready for a little boondocking after two days as you come on the Spit there is a great city beach to the right that we parked on for several days.

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #122 on: July 18, 2012, 01:02:44 PM »
$60! Wow - prices have gone up in AK since we were there in '02. As I recall, Homer Spit was the most expensive place we stayed (except maybe for Anchorage) back then, too, but it was about $38.

Yeah Gary, but for 10 years I guess that you would have to expect that. I have noticed on this trip though, unless you stay in a dive campground or boondock, the prices are not much different than we are paying in the lower states.  And for the price, they don't have the amenities that you find either. 

Yep, you know I saw that on the way in Jeff, but I wasn't sure if it was a place that allowed overnighting or just day use. There were a few rigs in there along with a few cars. 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 01:10:11 PM by SargeW »
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Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #123 on: July 18, 2012, 07:42:25 PM »
Just find a place you like and pull up facing the water.

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #124 on: July 20, 2012, 12:37:34 AM »
Well, I got the storage bay caulked (I hope) and hit any seam that looked even remotely suspect. Most were in the top section of the storage bays, that are close to or next to the rear wheels. All the bays by the front wheels are clean and dry.  I use a whole tube of caulking and still have a spare if there are other leaks.

Weather forecasters in this part of the country are the only ones that are worse that the ones in California.  Many days now we have checked the weather here in Homer, only to see that the forecast is for heavy clouds and a high percentage chance of rain.  The last 3 days have been fabulous as far as weather goes.  I think that they call this type of weather forecasting a "WAG".  Wild *** Guess. 

We finally got to meet up with Marsha and Tim today. They were out exploring and came down the Homer Spit.  They stopped in for a nice visit, then we went south to find an interesting place for lunch. We tried a place that Marsha had heard about first called "The Salty Dog".  Good place, but no food. So we wound up at the place across the street called the Broadway Inn. Good fish and chips and cold beer.

This was also our first look at the little town of Homer.  Lots of restaurants, bars, and gift shops (kind of reminded me of Key West, Florida when we were down there).  We may go back tomorrow and scout around.   

We have extended our stay here in Homer, as we love the ocean views and being right on the sand. The weather we have had so far on the spit has been wonderful.  Lots of fishermen pulling in for the weekend though.  We are here for 1 more night then we head towards Seward.

A pic of the crew after lunch, and a few pics of the drive to Homer from Anchorage. 
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Tom

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #125 on: July 20, 2012, 06:43:39 AM »
Thanks for the report and the pics. Tim and Marsha are really nice folks and fun to be around. Glad you were able to get together.
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #126 on: July 21, 2012, 11:00:18 PM »
We spent the last 4 days in Homer, down on the "Spit". It's a 4 or 5 mile long finger of land that splits Kachemak bay. The bay is surrounded by glaciers and snow capped mountains.  One side of the Spit had small rolling surf and the other was a tranquil bay.  We journeyed down the Spit one day with Marsha and Tim Lassen (RV Forum Staff Marsha).  We had a halibut lunch and a few beers at one of the many fish restaurants on the Spit. Good times! 

All in all the weather was great during our stay there, which made it nice to sit outside, enjoy the family of bald eagles that frequented the campground, and watched the dozens of fishermen that come and go. So one of the days I did some catching up on the issues that were plaguing me on the way to Homer. I got the Jeep lights fixed (a really dirty 4 pin connector on the front of the Jeep) Caulked some of the storage bays that had been leaking, and siliconed and greased the leveling jacks on the MH.  I also worked on the connector for the back up camera that was blinking off and on. 

Well, the Jeep lights were a success, the storage bay sealant only partially successful (still wet today after driving in the rain all day) and the jacks worked well. I am afraid that the back up camera, or most likely the monitor is toast.  No picture at all today, just occasional static. Nuts, this is going to be pricey.   

But in typical fashion, just when you think things are going well, something else happens.  So the day before we pull out I am going to get the RV ready to roll. Check the fluids, clean stuff up a little. Check the oil, a little low, add a quart.  Check the coolant, it could use a little bit.  Mix up some coolant, prepare to top it off.  Wait a minute. Is my coolant tank leaking? It's wet and appears to be dripping.  Wait, no it wet on top of the tank too.  That's not right, I have been parked for a 3 days.  Where could this drip come from in the back of the coach?  Oh, wait a minute. The only thing back here that could have water in it is the water heater.  Oh crap.

The water heater sits in the corner of the rear closet, all the way back on the curb side up high.  There is an access door in the closet that allows entry to the back of the water heater. I moved some clothes and pulled off the wooden cover panel. The back of it was drenched.  Next is a sheet metal panel that holds the winterization bypass valve.  I pulled the screws to look behind it. When I tilted it towards me a bit, I got sprayed with a face full of water. 

OK,  now I got trouble. I turned off the water and pulled the drain plug on the front of the water heater. After emptying 10 gallons of steaming water, I went to the back and removed the metal panel. The bottom hose that feeds fresh water into the water tank had a plastic 1/2" nipple with a white plastic elbow that was connecting the inlet line.  When I moved the inlet line a bit I could see that the plastic elbow fitting was splitting in half. I moved it another bit and the whole back of the elbow snapped off in my hand! 

OK, what to do? Lets see, I am in Homer Alaska, Friday at about 4:40 PM, and I need a plastic "Flair-It" female elbow to put my water system back together. Right now I have no water in the rig to drink, wash with, or use the restroom.  Great.  A few frantic calls to local merchants turned up no Flair-It parts, but a near by hardware store may have something I can use. I race down as they close a 5 PM.  I buy a menagerie of 1/2" galvanized parts, and a plastic elbow that is supposed to work on PEX pipe.   

I get back to the RV and try putting together the miscellaneous parts. I get it all assembled, but I have my doubts.  I have Diane turn on the water while I wait in the closet. After my second shower in the closet, I resign myself to the fact that these parts just are not going to do the job.  We start scouring the internet and find a possible dealer in Soldatna, about 80 miles down the road from Homer.  That will have to wait until tomorrow. We filled up some water bottles for the night to allow us to brush our teeth and use the restroom.

The next morning we are up early and head out. It started raining during the night so things are a little damp.  We had thoughts of maybe just staying in Soldatna for the night, and looking for the repair part then. No dice, Soldatna is sold out do to the Salmon run in progress. 

So we continue on to Sterling where the RV parts guy is at.  He does have some Flair-It parts, but not the exact one I have. But one is close, and it's the only option I have so far.  So I buy the part, and continue on to Steward.  The Water Front city park on the bay is pretty full, but we managed to find a electric/water hook up spot, and get settled in.  In a few minutes I have the new elbow installed, and I am cautiously optimistic. 

I have Diane go out and turn on the water. At first everything seems to be OK. So I tell here to come on in out of the rain.  But a drip starts at the new elbow where it connects to the plastic nipple.  Well shoot, I'll just give it a little turn and tighten it up a tad.  WHOOSH! Shower #3 in the closet.  Diane runs out and turns the water off, and I get toweled off. Again. 

The problem is that the new elbow has a compressing type insert in it, and the plastic nipple is too thick for the rubber seal to seat.  Fortunately I had kept some of the parts when I replaced the buzzing backflow preventer a few months ago.  I reused the brass nipple I had taken off before, and the new elbow snugged up tight. I hope. 

The new fitting has been in place about 5 hours, and I am still dry.  At least when I stay inside.  It has been raining since we arrived, and the forecast is for rain for the next 3 days or so.  Well, welcome to the Alaskan coast.  But at least I am plugged in, can wash up, and make a nature call.  I have 2 stations on the bat wing antenna, CBS news, and WGN from Chicago. ????

Not sure how that works. The Verizon air card is working well, but we are still too far west to get enough signal with my Direct crank up satellite dish to pull in enough signal to lock on.  We are here for one day, or three. Not sure yet, depends how crazy the rain makes us.  We hit our first serious bit of road construction on the way in to Seward. About 5 miles long, and they were still working in the pouring rain.  One lane at a time with a pilot car.  Other than that it was moving pretty well.  Got fuel in Sterling after picking up the RV part, and paid $4.42 a gallon. I wanted to make sure we fueled up in case we had to dry camp in Seward. 

Maybe we will see the sun tomorrow! 
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Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #127 on: July 22, 2012, 12:18:41 AM »
Marty, Leaks must be in the air!! 

Ours isn't as drastic as yours, but this morning Tim kept hearing "drip...drip...drip" and since it had rained all night was thinking something was leaking in the coach.   Oh joy, water coming in between the walls from the roof.  Neither of us hear very well, so we both held our breath and focused on where we were hearing the drip..   We both thought it was coming from under the sink.  Tim got on his hands and knees, poked his head under there, flash light in one hand, clean dry hand feeling all around.  FOUND IT!  It's at the connection from the copper tube to the pex hot water line- 90 degree elbow.  However, our leak is random.  It leaks one minute then several hours later, the joint is dry.  We have no Pex repair stuff with us.  He wants to have extra parts before he tackles trying to fix it.  We've never worked with Pex before, so I'm not sure this joint is one that can be tightened.  Even if it is, Tim wants extra parts in case it breaks when he puts a wrench on it.

We have reservations in Copper Landing for tomorrow, so hopefully we can find parts somewhere.  Wouldn't ya know it, we carry an extra solenoid for the slide mechanism, and an extra control panel for the HWH and the list goes on and on.  However, we have no parts for "Pex" repair.  I think he will stock up.

When you are in Seward, watch the cruise ships turn around right in front of where you are parked to head back out of the bay.

Marsha~

BTW, we've been turning off the water when we leave the coach, it would not be fun coming home to a water soaked coach.
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #128 on: July 22, 2012, 12:37:59 AM »
Isn't that the truth Marsha? I never thought I would need PEX parts either, but I think when I get back to the lower 48 I will be picking some up.  They really are fairly inexpensive (unless you buy them in Alaska!)  It would be worth it just to have a few laying around.  I know what you mean, a rupture like that could end a trip for a long time.....
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #129 on: July 22, 2012, 08:11:26 PM »
We had the chance to do a little exploring around Seward today. We drove out to Kenai Fjords National Park to see Exit Glacier. I couldn't drive all the way to Alaska and not get up close and personal with a Glacier.  The rain actually let up for a while, so the drive and 1 mile hike to the glacier was pretty pleasant (mosquitoes were pretty thick though). You can't get out onto the glacier though, as a ranger explained that a tourist was killed on the glacier in the late 1990's due to ice breaking off and falling down the slope. And this is called "Exit Glacier".  Why you ask?  Because when the team of explores were discovering the ice field in the early 1900's the entered at one end, and yep this was where they exited.   We did get a few cool pics though. 

Then we stopped at a restaurant in town and had lunch. We had a run at the fish again, only this time I had cod and Diane had salmon. Very good food and some local brewed beers. I had an interesting one called "Mens Room Red".  Hows that for a conversation starter? 

Then Diane wanted to hit the store to pick up some chicken before we head off to Valdez tomorrow. While she was in the store I went to get gas in the Jeep. I picked her up and on the way back we wanted to be sure of the location of the dump station for tomorrow.  We wandered a bit in the area of the park and found it at the north end of the campground. There is a reason for this tidbit of information I'll get to in a minute. 

Coming back to the RV I wanted to check the status of a few of our issues that came up the last few days.  The water heater leak looks to be holding well, so I buttoned up the cabinet and put everything back in finally.  Next I had to see what the issue was with the back up camera or monitor. I have taken the dash board apart several times now, so it's not such a major effort anymore. There is still a bunch of screws to take out, but it goes pretty quick. 

Getting the necessary panels off I checked the area of the back up monitor. There is a bunch of wires back there, and I have add a bunch myself with the all the electrical gadgets that I have added in the console area.  I found all the plugs for the cameras and pulled each one apart and looked at the pins. All looked normal and not bent. An in line fuse looked good, and nothing obvious was broken or disconnected. So turned the ignition key on to check the status of the monitor. It lit up like nothing was wrong, and both side view cams as well. Well nuts, there was obviously a loose connection somewhere, but I have no idea where. I jiggled all the wires I could find but couldn't replicate the problem.  Well at least it works again, I'm just not sure for how long.   

Having all the little chores done I decided to take Heidi for a walk while it still was not raining.  I walked all along the water front, and she seemed like she was eager to keep walking so we went all the way past the beginning of the park.  I figured that we would go just a bit further and let her sniff around a pet walk area and then head back.  As we are leaving the park I happen to walk past a large rock on the ground and notice that there is a gas cap perched on top of the rock. Hey, that looks a lot like my gas cap.  Oh no. My mind races back to putting gas in the Jeep and I don't remember putting the cap back on.  I called Diane on the phone and had her go out and check the Jeep.  Nope she says, no gas cap.  I don't believe it, could this really be my locking gas cap? 

I carry it back and check it with my gas cap key. Yep, it works.  I don't believe it. It's about a mile or so from where I got gas and picked Diane up at the store. I usually set the cap on the bumper and then put it back on as soon as the tank is full.  Usually being the operative word here.  I guess I got an early Christmas present this year, because that will never happen again!  Go figure, only in Alaska.........

Diane also completed another entry in the picture blog if you are interested.
Marty--
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ArdraF

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #130 on: July 22, 2012, 09:48:10 PM »
Marty, on our last trip to Alaska, which was before HDTV, we got DirecTV at Soldier's Summit and that was it until we returned.  Jerry met a fellow who lived in Skagway and he said they can't use small dishes up there.  His was one of the big 6' antennas.  So don't feel bad - you're not alone!

I might add, one of the funniest things was that Jerry would start aiming the antenna at every campground and within minutes there would be a crowd of guys.  "Did you get a signal?"  "No."  "Me neither."  It was just like bees to honey!  ;)

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captsteve

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #131 on: July 23, 2012, 12:17:49 AM »
Marty, on our last trip to Alaska, which was before HDTV, we got DirecTV at Soldier's Summit and that was it until we returned.  Jerry met a fellow who lived in Skagway and he said they can't use small dishes up there.  His was one of the big 6' antennas.  So don't feel bad - you're not alone!

I might add, one of the funniest things was that Jerry would start aiming the antenna at every campground and within minutes there would be a crowd of guys.  "Did you get a signal?"  "No."  "Me neither."  It was just like bees to honey!  ;)

ArdraF

I think I'll have to record the dish pointing signal on my dvr just for such an occasion! That will mess with their minds. Have the whole park out pointing their dishes! lol   :o :o :o

Sarge, buy some lotto tickets!! you are a lucky man with that gas cap.
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99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #132 on: July 23, 2012, 12:32:04 AM »
I sure have been enjoying your posts and pics on your trip. 

I'm learning a lot about the different types of experiences one might encounter on a trip to Alaska.  The roads concern me, so I'm putting together a list of things to have just in case.  I've been talking about taking a trip like that for some time, now I just need to make it happen.  Until then though, I look forward to each installment and every picture you post.

Thanks!
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indiana journey

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #133 on: July 23, 2012, 07:46:38 AM »
When you get to Valdez, right across the street from the downtown Bear Paw campground is a hardware/automotive/boat supply store. You should be able to pick up some pex fittings there. Otherwise, you should be able to find some in Anchorage on your way to Valdez.
We loved the drive from Glenallen to Valdez and the town of Valdez.
Have fun on your adventure.
Indiaa Journey

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #134 on: July 23, 2012, 11:22:36 AM »
Sarge, buy some lotto tickets!! you are a lucky man with that gas cap.

Boy Howdy! That would never happen again in a million years!
I sure have been enjoying your posts and pics on your trip. 

I'm learning a lot about the different types of experiences one might encounter on a trip to Alaska.  The roads concern me, so I'm putting together a list of things to have just in case.  I've been talking about taking a trip like that for some time, now I just need to make it happen.  Until then though, I look forward to each installment and every picture you post.
Thanks!

Thanks, I appreciate that! But you know what, the roads up here are not near as bad as I was lead to believe. One "Travel to Alaska" seminar we went to the speaker said " well you are just going to get to Canada and set your cruise control on 35 MPH for the whole trip!"  Meaning that you couldn't drive faster than that in the conditions.  I have found that not to be the case at all. As a matter of fact, I have been able to drive at or near the speed limit for the whole trip first part of the trip so far. The parts that are bad are usually marked, and don't last that long.

As for parts I just recommend a selection of hand tools to fix or tighten any little things that come loose, and a good dose of curiosity.  Poke around at things and do your regular maintenance and you will take care of a lot of stuff. 

Thanks for the tip Indiana. I will probably pick up a few PEX fittings and put them in the RV where they will rot because I will never need another one!
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #135 on: July 23, 2012, 01:51:58 PM »
Thanks, I appreciate that! But you know what, the roads up here are not near as bad as I was lead to believe.

One of the many good things that comes from as detailed a travelogue as yours is real time information and reliable personal experience. So much folklore and outdated information is passed on as gospel that it creates a really negative vision in the minds of people who are prone to "why would I?" instead of "how soon could I?".

The detailed information provided by your reports is what people who make informed decisions use, so again, thanks!

We have been so excited by your posts that we booked one of the last glacier cruises this season out of Seattle. We have some tough time constraints the next couple of years that cannot be loosened, so we hope to do the next best thing, and at least whet our whistle.

Your excitement is obviously contagious, and in a good way!

Kim
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Derby6

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #136 on: July 23, 2012, 06:16:37 PM »
WoW Sarge--Seward to Valdez is quite the drive for 1 day... :o
Definately doable at about 500 miles though.
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #137 on: July 23, 2012, 08:03:12 PM »
You are 100% right Derby! And that's why I drive and am not the navigator!  We actually went about half way, we are in Glacier View, just next to the Matanuska Glacier.  We will go the next couple of hundred miles tomorrow.  Yeah, 500 miles in a day is a little rich for my blood......

That's outstanding Kim! I think an Alaskan cruise would be an awesome way to see the sights.  You will even get to see stuff that I won't be able to see!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 08:04:50 PM by SargeW »
Marty--
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Wendy

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #138 on: July 23, 2012, 10:30:12 PM »
Mom & Dad never made it to Alaska in their RV in their years as full-timers. But they did have a dandy cruise.

Wendy
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 12:25:23 PM by Wendy »
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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #139 on: July 24, 2012, 08:36:59 AM »
Sarge, when you are in Valdez go to the museum at their airport.  It is fantastic and not what you would expect at a museum at an airport. DO NOT MISS IT.
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #140 on: July 24, 2012, 11:39:30 AM »
Well now you got my curiosity going.......
Marty--
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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #141 on: July 24, 2012, 04:07:56 PM »
Sarge:  Your posts and pics are just sooo awesome that I'm becoming more and more excited about our trip to Alaska next summer! Your recent post mentioned something about attending a seminar about traveling to Alaska?  Who, what, where & when...so new to this rv'ing idea...I'm a PLANNER and organizer (which is why hubby has me navigate!)...so the more info I can gather the happier clam I am.  Keep the posts coming, and yes, a cruise to Alaska is a good way to experience the last frontier, but I'll bet you wouldn't give up all that you are experiencing on this trip for anything (even with your rc/jeep 'problems').  Thanks for keeping us up-to-date!
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #142 on: July 25, 2012, 12:47:21 AM »
Thanks Linda! We have attended two different seminars on Alaska travel, both at rallys.  One was at the Winnebago Grand National rally in Forest City, and the other was at a Good Sam rally at the Phoenix speedway.  Each was given by a different person, so I got two different perspectives on the travel issues.

Yep, you are right, I still wouldn't want to miss out on the adventure for any reason!
Marty--
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ArdraF

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #143 on: July 25, 2012, 09:14:31 PM »
I think I've also seen such presentations at FMCA rallies, although haven't attended one myself.

ArdraF
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Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #144 on: July 25, 2012, 10:57:58 PM »
Ardra, they are seminars at the FMCA rallys, Tim and I went to one the last time we were at a rally.  Lots of information.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #145 on: July 25, 2012, 11:49:37 PM »
Marty.....Hope your slide arm is a quick fix...drats!!!

We will be in Anchorage tomorrow morning at the "Golden Nugget" campground in order to stock up on supplies.  We are down to nothing but fish in the fridge.  I tried finding a campground that had cable TV because we wanted to watch the opening of the Olympics.  No such luck.  I found one, but it was so poorly rated on RVparkreviews.com that I decided no TV was better.  There doesn't seem to be quality campgrounds in or near Anchorage. 

On Monday we are heading to Talketna for the night so that Tim can have "sourdough" pancakes the next morning.  Then we will be in Denali for several days.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #146 on: July 26, 2012, 12:51:18 AM »
We stopped in at a map dot named Glacier View after leaving Seward, and checked in for the night at the Grand View Cafe and RV park. It was actually a pretty cool little park. It was small and the sites are standard dirt and gravel, but the scenery is pretty nice. You can take a short walk out of the campground on a marked trail and have an overlook of the Matanuska Glacier. So walked the trail and took a few pics. There is also a little resturant in the campground office that offers standard meal fare.  We pulled out the next morning on the way to Valdez and hit a Tesoro gas station in Palmer. I paid $ $4.05 a gallon, which was pretty good considering some of the prices we have seen in the small towns. 

In route to Valdez we passed by the Worthington glacier. It was huge, and we could easily see it from the highway. Diane took a few "dashboard" pics as we went by, but we didn't stop. 

We continued into Valdez and checked in at Bear Paw II campground. You actually have to check in at Bear Paw I around the corner. They call this campground the Adult only campground. It has a location right on the inlet bay to Valdez harbor, and the fishing trawlers cruise by all day.  Most all of the sites back up to the bay, so the view is great. The sites are set up for trailers, but if you want to head in with a motorhome it is no problelm.  You can run your electric and water under the coach, and if you don't want to run sewer underneath there is a dump station on the way out of the campground.  The rate was $40 a night, and they have no problems filling the place up.  Kind of a cool side note, the guy that checked us in said that we could wash our car or anything we wanted in the site, no problem.  Wow, I haven't heard that since I got into Canada.  So one of the first things I did was wash the Jeep and the Motorhome. There was layers of mud on everything.  I was pretty tired afterwards, but it was worth it. 

Well, it seems like I used up all my good luck with the Jeep gas cap in Seward. Because while setting up the rig in Valdez I was on the left side doing the hook ups while Diane was doing the inside set up.  Suddenly I heard a loud bang, like someone dropped a man hole cover or something. My neighbors were outside looking at a problem 5th wheel pin box so I walked around to check if they were alright.  Instead Diane met me at the door and said "I think something is wrong with the slide. It just made a loud noise". 

Oh crap. Fearing the worst I pulled out a tape measure and checked the distances from the motorhome wall to the edge of the slide out on each side.  Yep, the rear side was out 1/4" farther than the front edge.  I have checked them in the past and knew that they used to be exactly the same.  I got out a flashlight and had Diane slowly retract the living room slide a few inches at a time.  Yep, there it was.  A gear wheel that rides on a toothed track on the bottom of the slide arm had 2 chipped teeth. (pic below).  OK, so now I am spinning trying to figure out what to do about this. 

By the time I figured out what was wrong, it was about 4:30 PM Alaska time.  A quick call to Power Gear was futile (Power Gear does not answer retail phone calls).  So I have had decent luck with their e-mail in the past, so I filled out the form, explained the problem and attached a photo of the broken gear.  Oh yeah, and I checked my warranty date. I was 29 days out of warranty on the Power Gear system. Figures.  Winnebago was closed, and I checked the local listing for a RV repair shop in Valdez. The closest I could find was an auto mechanic. I figured that the most likely place was going to be Anchorage. 

I got an e-mail the next morning from Power Gear. They said that they would "good will" the part and I would pay for labor. They would also ship to where ever it needed to go. I called Winnebago customer service line and asked about a Winnebago authorized repair shop in Alaska. They did recommend one in Anchorage called "Great Alaskan Holidays".  It is actually a rental  dealership that specializes in Winnebago motorhomes, both Class A and C, and therefore do all types of sales and service repairs as well. I called and talked to the service advisor who said that I could get an appointment this coming Monday.  The timing would work out about right with the part being shipped so it looks like we are making an unscheduled trip back to Anchorage. 

I also called my extended service contract provider "Corner Stone" and started a claim for the rest of the labor charge. Funny, I never buy extended service contracts on anything usually, but when buying the motorhome a few years ago the dealer made a pretty good deal on it so I went for it, never expecting to need it.  We will see how this turns out. 

On a recommendation from Marsha, we went to scout out the local Salmon Fish hatchery here in Valdez.  It was really pretty remarkable. We talked to a guy before we found the hatchery that was there to do some fishing of his own. He said that the hatchery was now closed and had harvested all of the salmon eggs that they could use. So the weir was now closed (a stainless steel ramp about 30' across that lets the salmon upstream) so all of the fish just jam up next to it until they are either caught, eaten by a bear or a sea lion, or just die. In one of the pics below you can see the hundreds of fish jammed into one small area trying to get upstream. 

Kind of a fact of life for a salmon I guess, once they return to spawn, they will only live about 2 weeks, weather they make it or not.  The sight of the whole thing kinda put Diane off on salmon. She says she will stick to cod or halibut from now on. 

The weather everywhere we have been lately has been kind of cold, rainy and gloomy.  Then today dawned, and it was a picture perfect day in Valdez (see pics).  The mountains were breathtaking, the air was crisp, and the sun was just warm enough to feel good without getting you hot. We also caught a few pics of a neat waterfall on the way to the fish hatchery.  This really is a neat area, but we are getting the boot tomorrow. Two caravans are getting here tomorrow and are taking up every available space here, and part of the other campground.  So we head off for Anchorage in the morning. 

The Verizon air card worker well here, and the satellite would have.  There was a huge tree in back of the site that prevented us from getting signal on the roof top dish. With all the other stuff going on, I just never got around to using the portable. 

Marsha, we too will be at the Golden Nugget, but not til the afternoon.  See you there!  I think I can get satellite there, so if so come on over and watch the Olympics!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 01:04:00 AM by SargeW »
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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Derby6

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #147 on: July 27, 2012, 02:53:58 PM »
So you headed back to Anchortown or what?
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #148 on: July 27, 2012, 06:29:03 PM »
Yep, got an appointment for Monday at 0730 to get the new gears put in.  I went by the "Great Alaskan Holidays" business to check them out.  A pretty good sized operation. They not only rent various sizes of RV's, they also have a large service department and even have some new ones on site to sell.  I confirmed the service appointment and chatted with a service rep.  At first glance they seem pretty squared away.  Hopefully on Monday afternoon I will have the same opinion!

Marsha and Tim are here in the park with us, across the road. They are out doing a float plane trip for some sightseeing. I am sure Marsha will fill us in when she gets back.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 06:30:49 PM by SargeW »
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Kevin Means

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #149 on: July 30, 2012, 02:47:54 AM »
Marty, I'm really finding your opinions/insights into the various campgrounds helpful, and I love the pictures of your coach in the campsites. Hope the slide-gear repair goes smoothly.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

 

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