Question about driving to alaska

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Peggyy

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We are considering taking our travel trailer on a trip to Alaska    We have been told that the roads are so bad that it will tear up our camper    If you have driven to Alaska and have any advice for us please let me know    I?m wondering if it will tear up your camper will it not also tear up your vehicle?  I read about lots of people going to Alaska So it must not be too bad?
 

UTTransplant

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Tens of thousands of people drive to Alaska each year in all sorts of RVs. We had planned it this year, but then my daughter decided to have a baby, so we are going in 2020. Check out trip reports of others who have gone recently. We have met a number of Alaska trippers including those in motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. They all did just fine. Will you have something come loose? Maybe, but you can have that happen on I-10 in Louisiana too!
 

MikeFromMesa

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From what I understand the road is now all paved so I don't see why it should be too bad. It used to be gravel and was terrible on cars and trucks alike. I know it was very hard on our car, both on the trip up and back, but that was many, many years ago and I don't see why a decently paved road should cause any real issues.

The one concern I would have is the availability of parts in case something breaks down. As I remember from my last trip it is pretty isolated on the road with towns very far apart and no large cities between Dawson Creek and Whitehorse (a distance of about 1400 kms, almost 1000 miles) so you might want to keep that in mind.

Personally I would like to take the RV and make the trip, but would feel more comfortable in some sort of caravan, just in case of mechanical issues.
 

Peggyy

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MikeFromMesa said:
From what I understand the road is now all paved so I don't see why it should be too bad. It used to be gravel and was terrible on cars and trucks alike. I know it was very hard on our car, both on the trip up and back, but that was many, many years ago and I don't see why a decently paved road should cause any real issues.

The one concern I would have is the availability of parts in case something breaks down. As I remember from my last trip it is pretty isolated on the road with towns very far apart and no large cities between Dawson Creek and Whitehorse (a distance of about 1400 kms, almost 1000 miles) so you might want to keep that in mind.

Personally I would like to take the RV and make the trip, but would feel more comfortable in some sort of caravan, just in case of mechanical issues.

We would be going with a large group.
 

dcrbtt

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We are also Going to Alaska this May/June. From What I understand speed is not your  friend due to the Frost Heaves. But the road is in fair condition until about 50 miles past Fairbanks then it turns to a dirt road and it is recommended that you have 2 spare tires. And many suggest you get a copy of the Milepost Alaska 2019, I am ordering one today due to come out March 5.
 

Memtb

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  Group trips or caravans are great, but the possible downfall is....if one breaks down, it may shut-down the entire caravan....or not!  You “still” may find yourself alone, unless some of the caravan members have unlimited time! Not trying to be  “Debbie Downer”  just realist!
 

lynnmor

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I don't know the current road conditions, but years ago at a seminar on traveling to Alaska, the speaker said the fist thing to do is swat the windshield with a hammer and get it over with. 
 

Memtb

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lynnmor said:
I don't know the current road conditions, but years ago at a seminar on traveling to Alaska, the speaker said the fist thing to do is swat the windshield with a hammer and get it over with.
,

      :)).  ;D
 

AStravelers

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We went in 2016 for a 4 month trip from entering Canada from WA on April 27th crossing back on Labor day.  Roads are all good, except for construction and some frost heaves, mostly in the Yukon and AK.  Just go slow, take your time, don't rush.  Plan on 100 miles to no more than 200 miles in a day.  Speed is what causes the damage.  Hit a frost heave at 55-60mph and your suspension is probably toast. 

Here is a link to the index page for our blog of the trip:  http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2017/01/alaska-trip-index-april-26september-6.html
 

Memtb

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  With this recent discussion about rv’ing to Alaska, the subject of taking the ferry came up. I thought it was a great idea, as we would love to see some of the coast line, without taking a cruise. Get to Alaska,RV Alaska and do the Alaska Highway back to the lower 48.....Ouch!

  Leaving Bellingham Wa. to Whittie, Ak., for our rig ( truck/5th wheel),  2 people (seniors), and 3 lap dogs.....$9700.00 That’s pretty “Undoable”!

  If we drove up to Prince Rupert, BC to Haynes, Alaska....considerably less money. But, still $2,700.00. Much more reasonable, but, “not” chump change!
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Memtb said:
If we drove up to Prince Rupert, BC to Haynes, Alaska....considerably less money. But, still $2,700.00. Much more reasonable, but, ?not? chump change!

That is how we always went when we wanted to take the ferry.

Compare the cost of the Ferry with the cost of fuel and campground fees driving the Alcan. The difference is what it costs you to take the Ferry.


Also an added bonus of taking the Ferry is that you arrive rested, you don't have the mileage of driving the Alcan both ways on your RV and you get to see the beautiful inside passage.
 

Memtb

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
That is how we always went when we wanted to take the ferry.

Compare the cost of the Ferry with the cost of fuel and campground fees driving the Alcan. The difference is what it costs you to take the Ferry.


Also an added bonus of taking the Ferry is that you arrive rested, you don't have the mileage of driving the Alcan both ways on your RV and you get to see the beautiful inside passage.

  For us, it seemed to be a way to make the trip complete. Catch 2 days of beautiful scenery, while possibly seeing a whale or two, maybe witness a glacier calve......and then do Alaska “AND” then the Alcan down to the lower 48!    memtb
 

SargeW

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We drove to Alaska in 2012. We did sustain damage to both the RV and the Jeep towed. Not horrible, but damage none the less. Some have done it with no issues at all. It's luck of the draw. Road conditions are different every year, so "what are the roads like?" cannot be answered with any certainty. 

One of the biggest differences in road construction between the lower 48 and Canada that we found is that in the US if a piece of road need repair, the concerned section is removed repaired and replaced in one continuous flow. Even if it's a few miles long. In Canada we encountered many sections where the road surface was removed and just dirt and gravel remained. Some of the sections were 10 - 15 miles long.  That's the way there were on our way up, and were exactly the same on our way back south 8 - 10 weeks later. I think that's where the old joke originated, "There are 2 seasons in Canada. Winter, and Road Construction". 
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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SargeW said:
One of the biggest differences in road construction between the lower 48 and Canada that we found is that in the US if a piece of road need repair, the concerned section is removed repaired and replaced in one continuous flow. Even if it's a few miles long. In Canada we encountered many sections where the road surface was removed and just dirt and gravel remained. Some of the sections were 10 - 15 miles long.  That's the way there were on our way up, and were exactly the same on our way back south 8 - 10 weeks later. I think that's where the old joke originated, "There are 2 seasons in Canada. Winter, and Road Construction".

Marty, Those are areas where the permafrost is so bad that they can't keep pavement in decent shape even for one summer season. So they just leave it dirt and gravel and try to keep that in as good of shape as they can.
 
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