Advice needed on Accesories for Alaska Trip

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Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
Posts
8,105
Hi Gang,

I'm still outfitting my old coach for the Alaska trip in June and would appreciate your comments on the relative value, need and/or requirements for the following:

FWIW:? I will be traveling the Top-of-The-World highway and the Cassiers on the return

Questions....

1.? ?I have new tires and PressurePro system installed.? Do I need to carry my mounted spare tire on this trip?? I could really use the
? ? ? space for other things.

2.? ?What type of protection is best for my toad?? Blue Ox underskirt?? Barrier of sorts?? Bra?? Windshield cover?

3.? ?I've heard pro's and con's about the rock guard across the rear of the coach. (dragging and kicking up extra debris) Do I need it?

3.? ?This one probably speaks for it'self...? Hitch pin and towbar locks?? needed?

4.? ?The Honda (toad) has some protection via belly pan to protect the radiator but do I need some screening underneath
? ? ? the old gas Bounder to protect it's radiator?

Thanks in advance as I know you all (or as we say in Carolina "all y'all") will share your thoughts and experience.
lou
 

rhmahoney

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Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,405
FWIW:  I will be traveling the Top-of-The-World highway and the Cassiar on the return. 
-----------------Sounds good I did that route 4 years ago. Just go not so fast.

Questions....

1.  I have new tires and PressurePro system installed.  Do I need to carry my mounted spare tire on this trip? 
------------I am not carrying one, but then my travel buddy Terry has one!

2.  What type of protection is best for my toad?  Blue Ox underskirt?  Barrier of sorts?  Bra?  Windshield cover?
-------------Had only 3M film on toad headlights 4 yr ago because I waited too long to order roadmaster guardian, resulting in chipped paint on front edge of hood. Now for this yr's trip I have the roadmaster guardian.

3.  I've heard pro's and con's about the rock guard across the rear of the coach. (dragging and kicking up extra debris) Do I need it?
----------------all high line coaches have them. I had to clear a couple of handfulls of gravel from the bottom of the toad windshield.

3.  This one probably speaks for it'self...  Hitch pin and towbar locks?  needed?
----------------Certainly... especially in the USA

4.  The Honda (toad) has some protection via belly pan to protect the radiator but do I need some screening underneath the old gas Bounder to protect it's radiator?
----------------I went without this and did not get punctured. However, JD's american eagle 40 fter got a rock puncture in his radiator in Oregon a few years ago. The stone came up from under the engine and hit the medial side of the radiator.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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74,305
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Based on our experience during a 3 month trip in 2002...

1.  I have new tires and PressurePro system installed.  Do I need to carry my mounted spare tire on this trip?  I could really use the space for other things.

You probably won't need the spare at all, but if you do, chances are you will be fairly far from any source for a replacement. Depending on how common your tire size is, you may have to wait for one to be shipped in from the lower 48 - figure 3 days to get it to Anchorage plus whatever extra to reach where you are.  That said, we did not have one on our rig, nor did our traveling companions.

2.  What type of protection is best for my toad?  Blue Ox underskirt?  Barrier of sorts?  Bra?  Windshield cover?

We had 3M film on the toad headlights, a rear skirt on the coach (ours is set fairly high, almost never drags), and a home made screen on the front of the toad. Still got a lot of rock chips in the paint at the outter edges of the fenders, and even up around the windshield and hood.  Got a windshield chip as well.  Our friends lost a headlight and got a windsheild chip too.  Some of the stones were thrown up by traffic going the other way, some by other vehicles passing us and some by our own rig. Halfway through the journey we fabricated a cover for the hood and windshield from a heavy piece of felt-backed vinyl and some bungy cords. No further problems. I heartily recommend one of the full front covers, basically a bra that extends up across the hood and over the windshield.  They are easy to slip on/off and many time you can just flip down the windshield portion of the cover and use it that way (e.g. just to disconnect and park the car). I have not heard anyone claim that any of the tow bar skirts fully prevented damage to the toad.

We got a stone chip on the motorhome windshield too. Had the 3M film on the MH headlamps so no problem there.


3.  I've heard pro's and con's about the rock guard across the rear of the coach. (dragging and kicking up extra debris) Do I need it?

Don't "need" it. It helps for some things, I think, but is certainly not a necessity.  We have one (a Rock Solid") and had it for a couple years before going to AK, but  if something happened to this one I don't know if I would bother to buy another or not.

3.  This one probably speaks for it'self...  Hitch pin and towbar locks?  needed?
No, at least not simply because you are going to AK (and BC and YK).  The moose aren't going to steal your tow bar.  ;)


4.  The Honda (toad) has some protection via belly pan to protect the radiator but do I need some screening underneath the old gas Bounder to protect it's radiator?

Better safe than sorry. If there is a space below the radiator open to the road, rig a piece of hardware cloth, 1/8 or 1/4 inch mesh, to block stones that might kick up. It's usually pretty easy.  I would not worry about adding a mesh behind the grill on a gas engine rig.    Rear engine diesels with side radiators seem to be at the biggest risk - their powerful fans seem to suck stones into the openings easily.

Be prepared for lots and lots of dirt and mud on the vehicles.
 

Just Lou

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Dec 25, 2005
Posts
8,105
Thanks Guys,

This whole life style is so expensive that I don't need to be spending money where it's not needed.
I appreciate the willingness to share your wisdom.  lou
 

Rex

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Feb 15, 2006
Posts
253
Location
Alabama Gulf Coast
Well Lou,  take a look at this.  I know you have seen new cars being shipped with white plastic film on them to provide protection.  Well you can get it also to protect the front of your coach and toad.  It is not all that expensive.  Comes in white and clear.  Heck, it is cheap enough to put two layers on at the same time.

No, I have nothing to do with the manufacturer or seller of this product.  But I will be using it on my trip to Alaska.

Front End Protection
www.transitshield.com $32.95 per roll 714-318-2886
[email protected]


Hope this is of help,

Rex
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,305
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The website doesn't say how thick the film is - you need something really substantial for the coarse gravel and cobblestones you will encounter in the far north.  Ought to help, though.

By comparison, the heavy duty, clear 3M Paint Protection film sells at retail for $30-36 per linear foot (24" wide) and is permanent.  Costly, but you only do it once and it is thick enough to really protect. It comes in 6 mil and 12 mil thicknesses.
 

JerArdra

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
1,814
OnaQuest,

We have been to Alaska twice in our MH.  I strongly suggest a deflector on the front of your tow car, mainly for mud (if it rains) and of course rocks.  The one we like is at http://www.towcardeflector.com 

It goes below the towbar to protect the lower radiator on the car.

JerryF
 
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