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Tennessee to Alaska to California to Tennesee -- five months in a Cruiser

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Pejibaye

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I'm writing a blog on our "adventure" -- you can read it by going to travelblog.org and searching on "Tellico".  We're leaving on May 29, and driving through Sault Ste Marie, then across Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Alaska Highway.  We'll spend 4-6 weeks in Alaska and return to Canada to spend a couple of weeks driving up the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean.  After that, we'll drive through British Columbia to the Washington and Oregon coasts, hit Yosemite, and head east to Tennessee, hoping to be home by Halloween. 

I welcome suggestions and ideas!


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fandj

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We did a somewhat similar trip in 2014.  We left Virginia in mid May and returned in late September.  We travelled across and made stops in the Badlands NP, Devils Tower, Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP and crossed over into Canada on the western side of Glacier and up to Yoho, Banff, & Jasper National Parks and then up the Alaskan highway to Alaska.  In Alaska we visited Skagway, Haines via ferry, Valdez, Anchorage, Seward & Homer on the Kenai.  From there up to Denali, Fairbanks, town of North Pole, and back south.  We took the Cassiar highway down British Columbia with stops in Stewart and Hyder.

A great RV adventure.  We knew our general route and played it by ear by adjusting our campgrounds and stays as desired.  The only reservation made for the entire trip was in Denali NP.  It truly is RV friendly in that there are numerous places to Boondock, provincial parks, BLM, State, and national parks.  I suggest getting the Milepost book for the Alaskan highway and Alaska Camping by Church https://www.amazon.com/Travelers-Guide-Alaskan-Camping-Alaska/dp/0982310110

I would like to do it again but not sure that will happen.  Wish you a safe and enjoyable trip.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 08:24:09 am by fandj »

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gandalf42

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That will be an incredible trip. I believe its good you don't plan to take the RV on the Dempster. Also good you will have a sat phone with you. WIll you sleep in the SUV while on the Dempster or ?

The two times we have traveled the road between Chicken and the Canadian border it was not a one way road. A bit narrow, yes, and a lousy gravel road the last few miles but not one way. They were doing major construction work on it the last time we past through so not sure if there was a grand plan to improve it. We boondock camped just into the Canadian side, overlooking the border station. Windy but a nice spot. The Canadian Top of the World Highway while a gravel road has always been an easy road to drive.
Mike & Pat Astley,

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Ron Dittmer

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fandj,

What you did in 2014 is my dream trip.  What an adventure that must have been.  Your profile says you own a 2016 2552.  What was the motor home you made that trip with?  How did that rig hold up for the trip?  Did you tow a vehicle or go solo?  If we ever get the opportunity to do a trip like that to Alaska, I wonder if we should take our Jeep or leave it home.  It seems a trip where we would be on-the-move to a new camp almost daily, rendering the Jeep just coming along for the ride.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Pejibaye

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To Gandalf:  In 2007, we ventured about 100 miles up the Dempster, driving our Lance truck camper.  Yes, the Cruiser will be much happier waiting for us in Whitehorse.  We'll tent camp for a couple of nights, stop at the first motel, then tent camp another couple of nights before Inuvik.  Same on the way south.  Needless to say, the dog will also wait for us in Whitehorse!

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fandj

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Ron,
On our Alaska trip we had a small pull type camper which we towed with a Toyota Tundra pickup truck.  The total trip was just over 15,000 miles.  Both truck and camper made it without any issues.  We were somewhat apprehensive after reading some of the reports.  What we found was roads not that much different than what we had experienced in the lower 48. On the Alaskan highway there were areas with frost heaves but these were generally well marked so one could slow down and maneuver around or through them.  Canada and Alaska had quite a bit of road repair.  We did not have any windshield damage.  I attribute this to the strategy of where there were loose gravel and approaching traffic we would slow down and move as far to the right as possible.  One road we dit not go on was the “Top of the World”.  At the time we were hearing reports the road was being repaired with fairly large rocks and several people were experiencing tire damage so we decided to skip that.

I would not be concerned about taking our Phoenix 2552.  I expect it to fit how we camped better than the pull type camper.  Many camps were only single nights so the setups would have been somewhat easier.  The longest we stayed in any one place was about 5 days.  Thinking back of where we used the truck only I don’t think we would have been too badly inconvenienced by only having the Phoenix without a tow vehicle.  Other than Anchorage traffic congestion issues were non existent.  The towns were small and parking would not have been a problem.  Denali requires park busses for travel within the park so having a toad would not have been a benefit.

We saw camping units of all types though I expect the most common type was the pickup camper.  These no doubt would have fit back country better as many of them were 4wd and a little better road clearance.  We typically stayed in state and federal campgrounds and never had any access or site size problems.

It was a great adventure for us.  We have made several trips out west in the lower 48 which we enjoyed but none as much as our Alaska/Canada trip.  It truly was our RV dream trip.

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Ron Dittmer

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Thanks fandj for those great details.  It sure seems like it would be one of those trips to leave the Jeep home and just go solo.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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bftownes

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I'm writing a blog on our "adventure" -- you can read it by going to travelblog.org and searching on "Tellico".  We're leaving on May 29, and driving through Sault Ste Marie, then across Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Alaska Highway.  We'll spend 4-6 weeks in Alaska and return to Canada to spend a couple of weeks driving up the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean.  After that, we'll drive through British Columbia to the Washington and Oregon coasts, hit Yosemite, and head east to Tennessee, hoping to be home by Halloween. 

I welcome suggestions and ideas!

I look forward to reading your BLOG

Barry T