Whitehorse to Koidern to Tok

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bp0ty4us

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
Posts
12
Location
Gilroy, ca
Planning trip to Alaska later this year from California bay area. Trip reports I have read suggest this section of road will likely be under so much repair that you need to slow down significantly to avoid/minimize damage to your rig. Would appreciate any reports on road conditions and travel times in June 2022 or 2023 time-frame I could use for checking/adjusting my planning.

2012 RAM 3500 TD pulling 35 ft 2016 Montana HC fifth wheel

Thanks in advance for your inputs!
 
The on,y part of that road that is really awful is Destruction Bay to Tok. And yes, it is truly awful. We took it in August 2022, but I haven’t heard anyone in 2023 who had a better experience. Make sure your rig is in good shape. Check things like shackles before you leave Whitehorse. You can get repairs there easier. It is 200-220 miles IIRC, and you should plan on it taking all day. Get up early and get going. Parts will be 30 mph or less.
 
Thanks for your responses.
Reports from 2022 and 2023 definitely support continued expectations for bad road conditions. We are going to split this into 2 travel days: Whitehorse to Koidern, then Koidern to Tok with a few nites in between just in case. Will definitely check suspension hardware before leaving Whitehorse. Considering packing a couple of spare shackle bolts JIC. Sounds like key element is not driving faster than conditions permit and expecting you are going to find some of those deep pot-holes.
 
They put orange markers over in the ditch where there's a frost heave, you'll learn to watch for those. Then you'll hit a good one that they didn't mark and you'll really slow down....
...for a while, and then the road will be pretty good for a couple miles and your speed will pick up, and then!
You get the idea.
 
I am 'practising' in Mexico for a future trip up the Alcan Hwy. They have many speed bumps here that they call "topes" and they very in size from small bumps laced across the highway to large ones that would do serious damage if you hit them at high speed. Not all are posted and not all are painted. They do like placing them on highways where a tree's shadow "hides" it. So you are on a constant search for these speed bumps, and also the occasional deep pothole that seems to appear outta nowhere. Nighttime driving is serious stuff if you do not know the road.
They also use metal "bowls" (for a better word) that are inverted and nailed into the roadway, those must be really hard on the belts in a tire.
 
They put orange markers over in the ditch where there's a frost heave, you'll learn to watch for those. Then you'll hit a good one that they didn't mark and you'll really slow down....
...for a while, and then the road will be pretty good for a couple miles and your speed will pick up, and then!
You get the idea.
I nearly wrecked my rig hitting an unmarked long frost heave. It did break some welds on the aluminum frame structure of my new 5er.
Contrary to wording a frost heave turns into a depression after the big thaw, that one was about 10' long all the way across the highway, and about a foot deep.
It was my fault for trying to catch up to the caravan after I had truck braking problems.
I finally learned how to spot heaves, I watched the edge of the roadway, when it appeared wavey I slowed.
 
I am 'practising' in Mexico for a future trip up the Alcan Hwy. They have many speed bumps here that they call "topes" and they very in size from small bumps laced across the highway to large ones that would do serious damage if you hit them at high speed. Not all are posted and not all are painted. They do like placing them on highways where a tree's shadow "hides" it. So you are on a constant search for these speed bumps, and also the occasional deep pothole that seems to appear outta nowhere. Nighttime driving is serious stuff if you do not know the road.
They also use metal "bowls" (for a better word) that are inverted and nailed into the roadway, those must be really hard on the belts in a tire.
Must be a common thing south of the border. They have them in Belize, too. Luckily, most of those are painted yellow but still a surprise at night driving along at 60 MPH and round a bend in the highway and you're on top of it before you can bring it down to 40.
 
Must be a common thing south of the border. They have them in Belize, too. Luckily, most of those are painted yellow but still a surprise at night driving along at 60 MPH and round a bend in the highway and you're on top of it before you can bring it down to 40.
Well a lot of the roadways have posted speed limits to slow the traffic in certain areas... but Mexico being Mexico, NO ONE follows the posted speed. So you try to 'fit in' and not slow down all the time otherwise they are on yer butt, but then forget that 'they' know the road, and topes! The trick is never to be in a rush and just watch the road.
I lived in Northern Canada and have dodged 1,000's of frost heaves and "holes" but topes here on a nice stretch of highway is a whole other kettle of fish.

EDIT: I mentioned I have 'dodged' frost heaves, the truth is you mostly drive through them as they are typically across the whole highway and can be longer than the vehicle, in other words, they swallow the vehicle.
 
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Thanks again for your inputs and advice. It sounds like (if there was decent cell phone service) some enterprising geek could write an app that shares accelerometer data in similar fashion to traffic that would identify locations of bad road conditions... Our only applicable experience was a few years ago heading to Fort McMurray from Edmonton, where we learned that when they put markings, or "BUMP" signs out, they meant it!

Short of that, I think slow and steady, preferably following far enough behind others for best chance of slowing sufficiently to avoid damage is my best bet.
 
The on,y part of that road that is really awful is Destruction Bay to Tok. And yes, it is truly awful.

They put orange markers over in the ditch where there's a frost heave, you'll learn to watch for those. Then you'll hit a good one that they didn't mark and you'll really slow down....
...for a while, and then the road will be pretty good for a couple miles and your speed will pick up, and then!
You get the idea.
What they said. Spot on.
 

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