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 > Leaving Nor Cal in Early March

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MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/08/18 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you're going to have to rethink, based on that estimate and some I did myself. All were very spendy. I used Whittier and Homer as arrivals, from Bellingham.

Best bet might be to sit tight where you are, and keep an eye on weather in central BC, the Yukon, and eastern Alaska, where you would exit/enter. Use Tok, AK as your weather sample as it's the north/south decision point for whether you go to Fairbanks, or Anchorage.
If/when the weather appears to break along the route, make your final departure decision.
The Glenn Highway to Anchorage from there has some spectacular views but it's up/down and desolate in places, and wasn't in great shape in September 2016 when we drove it in a 20' camper van. However, we've driven worse in northern BC and the Yukon.

Good luck with it.


Mike.
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ppine

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Posted: 01/08/18 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Way too early for the North with a big trailer. Take the Alaska State Ferry to Haines, but then you still have almost 500 miles to drive to Anchorage. For a nice couple from California you are going to be in over your head. Don't do it. You have to drive through the Yukon to get there. I have been snowed on in August there.

You could drive up without the trailer, but still have to face the cold and snow and the remoteness. Buy a trailer up there and sell it when you leave.

If you insist on going anyway, plan on stopping by the side of the road with no hookups when it is below zero. If that sounds fine, have at it. The gas stations are 100 miles apart. There are few RV parks and they will mostly all be closed.

* This post was edited 01/11/18 10:16am by ppine *

buylow12

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Posted: 01/08/18 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well we're from Savannah Georgia actually, but I was born in Wyoming.... Anyways we're rethinking our plan totally. Probably cut out her working there and have her extend her contract here till the beginning of May. Then leave May and come back around August or September. It's not so much that I don't think I can do it in sure we could, it's that I really don't want to. I've taken this trailer a lot of places I probably shouldn't have, lol. Boondocking in parking lots isn't boondocking to me. We want to enjoy our trip and so far that sounds like it's going to be much less enjoyable than if we find another way to do it. And the ferry unfortunately is too expensive no matter how much I'd like to justify it.

We could also do something else(pacific north west or maybe mountain west, or maybe even southwest? Unfortunately we've been to a lot of these areas,but of course there is always more to see) for now and head to Alaska later. I'm planning on getting a used four wheel drive truck and a used truck camper next year as a rig for driving México and central and south America. I suppose Alaska would make a great shakedown cruise beforehand. It'll also provided better capabilities all around, other than comfort...


Tim Czarkowski
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MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/08/18 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That sounds like it would work better, travelling and staying up there from May to September. This may not apply, but don't forget to look into transporting firearms/ammo through Canada if you are bringing anything with you. Info at this website...
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/index-eng.htm
Click left hand column topic "Visitors / Non Residents" for the details.

buylow12

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Posted: 01/08/18 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yea I've already looked into it a bit. I have a 12 gauge shotgun I plan to bring with me. Especially since we do a lot of boondocking. I also have bear spray, which is legal since it's specifically for animals.

It doesn't sound like it's to big of a deal to import a gun like that, no?

PA12DRVR

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Posted: 01/08/18 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tried to post earlier, but got shut down for some reason. Some thoughts:

- I don't RV in Alaska but have lived here (more or less) for 50+ years; have taken 20+ trips to/from Los Anchorage and the Northwest
- While I've driven the road in all seasons, for a pleasure trip, hitting the Canadian border (south) might be better in mid-to-late May rather than earlier
- Leaving Alaska / Anchorage in September (early) is not too late IMNSHO. Yes, you might see snow (more likely in Canada than on the departure roads in AK), but it wouldn't likely stick enough to unduly impact your trip.
- I've traveled the AMHS a fair amount: it is a spectacular trip and worth taking as a passenger or perhaps with a passenger car: taking an RV (or a boat, don't ask me how I know) strikes me as prohibitively expensive.
- Other than a few spots (Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer's, Cabelas) there's not much "parking lot camping" up here. In fact, many "campgrounds" are gravel parking lots with aspirations. [emoticon]
- There will be some campground-type places that it will be tight with a 35' 5th wheel ....but there should always be a spot of some sort available; every summer, hordes of RV's of every description clog the roads up here: Big Class A's, popups, big and small TT's and 5th wheels....apparently it works for them.
- "Boondocking" often means pulling off in a road cut, gravel pit, or wide spot on the side of the road as long as not specifically prohibited. However, unlike many places in the L48, one can simply stroll from such spots a few hundred yards to see scenery, possibly animals, babbling brooks, etc.
- A trailer/5th wheel + truck combo is ideal: find a spot to stay for a few days, use the truck to explore the backroads or to tool around
- Roads in AK aren't interstates but also aren't that bad. Within the past 3 weeks, I drove from Los Anchorage to Cantwell on the Parks and to Glennallen on the Glenn.....both were fine and I averaged (including stopping for gas and one sit down meal on each trip) about 60 MPH from door to door...but I was trying to make distance, I was in a pickup, and there was limited traffic. Go slow enough to enjoy the scenery and the roads won't be an issue.


CRL
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MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/08/18 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Overall length over 26", barrel length over 18.5 inches, if it's a semi-auto. Magazine capacity for semi-auto long guns is 5. All other action types are unlimited. Your shotgun is considered "non-restricted" up here, so that makes it easier. Transport unloaded, with a trigger lock and in a lockable case if possible. The locks are overkill, but it will impress the CBSA (customs) folks on our side. Ammo can be stored in the same locked case or container with the firearm. Sorry for all the goofy rules, but we don't have a 2A.
There are form(s) that need to be filled out, beforehand if you download them. Then declare it at the border, show them the form, and I think you need to go to secondary to sign it in front of someone important. If in doubt, call the toll free number and ask. I find them pretty easy to deal with, and reasonable. They would rather you asked the questions, than just show up at the border and have problems.

Crazy4silvers

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Posted: 01/09/18 12:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the last 5 or 6 years we have left Fairbanks in February and returned the end of April to early May pulling 26' TT. Roads are always much worse in spring than February so keep your eyes open for frost heaves and potholes. Most of all slow down, for many miles 45 is too fast for me with the trailer.
Also very few campgrounds open in northern Canada much before mid May. We are ahead of that so have our planned stops. Many motels etc will rent you a electric plug in. Only 20 amp so have the correct cords/adapter along. Roadside pulloffs can be very muddy if they aren't paved and many/most are not. We have driven all day in snowy conditions in late April.


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PghBob

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Posted: 01/09/18 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Give some thought to calling the Alaska Ferry Office, and let them help with the planning. You might be able to take a leg north to Juneau (reportedly their "hub"), lay over a few days and take another Ferry to Whittier which is only a couple hours away from Anchorage.

The Ferry system charges by length. Again, more accurate info on cost if you call. Additionally, there are charges if you want a stateroom. You, can save some money by just sleeping in lounge chairs or pitching a tent on the rear deck (pretty cold given when you want to travel.

My understanding is you can save money by boarding the Ferry in Prince Rupert BC, rather than boarding in Bellingham WA. Again, a call would clarify.

We took the Ferry on our return trip from Alaska. One Ferry from Haines to Juneau (layover), and another to Bellingham via Sitka and Ketchikan. Very enjoyable trip, beautiful scenery, pleasant employees, good dining, and a nicer state room than we expected.

Good luck with your plans.

MDKMDK

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Posted: 01/09/18 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Based on my brief history of driving northern BC and the Yukon (97) in Canada, and my equally brief encounter with the Alaskan highway system, I think Crazy4silvers and PA12DRVR know of which they speak.

Good luck with it, whichever way you travel.

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