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Old 07-15-2009, 02:45 AM   #11
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Glad you made it safely. Enjoy the North and the mosquitos.
So how much money did you spend on fuel?
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:17 AM   #12
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
Glad you made it safely. Enjoy the North and the mosquitos.
So how much money did you spend on fuel?
I prefer to not know how much I spent on fuel Trip back may be even more expensive, if we end up having to ship the RV via cargo ship or ferry.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

I'm jealous! Congrats on having the guts to take such an awesome journey!
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightybus
Can you please send us a few pictures, tell us about a few more things about the area, tell us if you recommend someone making the journey, when you plan on bugging out etc.
http://www.thetannerfamily.com

About the area...well we're not much into fishing or hunting, so that's a big chunk of what Alaska's about that I can't report on. We've walked on a glacier, hiked to another one, went on a tram up a mountain, seen spectacular views, etc. Played in snow and in a lake on the same day. Stuff like that. Might be going on a trip next week to Fairbanks to attempt to see the Northern Lights. Sun activity might spike the 18th or 19th (we could be there the 19th), so if it looks like it'd pan out and the smoke has cleared, we'll go. Otherwise we'll divert to Valdez this month and try Fairbanks next month.

Trip wasn't that bad. Roads were better than when I drove to Houston, TX. They were so bad then that the hinge I put on one side of the generator cover (meant as a quick fix) bent, and I was worried the cover might eventually come off. Didn't happen this time. Now, when I made the trip to Houston, there was a freak snowstorm around Memphis, TN. This is what caused the bad/rough roads.

I should probably note that the hard drive in my main laptop started to fail too. The hard drives that failed were in devices that were NOT running at the time, plus they were all laptop drives (so they should have better shock protection). As of now, the only drive that completely survived is the one in the netbook, which WAS running at the time (it served as my gps). If I had to do it again, I'd make sure anything with a hard drive in it was well cushioned. I might get another netbook that has an ssd drive (no moving parts), as I'm tempting fate keeping it on during the rough parts. Oh, and running the washer while driving past Destruction Bay (some of the worst frost heaves are here) probably wasn't smart, but it worked fine afterwards.

If your bus/rv is in good mechanical shape, and you've got the money to take care of a potential breakdown while on the way (not to mention money for fuel, food, etc.) I say go for it. Roadside Assistance is virtually a must, I'd get a plan with either Good Sam or Camping World (I believe they're fulfilled by the same company, I need to double-check as it's time to renew). Even AAA may not be a perfect option, with mileage limits, iffy coverage in Canada, and also iffy RV coverage (even if you get RV coverage, it's not valid in some places). The plan from Good Sam and Camping World will tow you as far as is needed, works for your RV everywhere, and is good anywhere in North America (I think you might have to pay first in Mexico then get reimbursed, but they pay upfront in the US and Canada). If you were to break down on the Alaska Highway it could be hundreds of miles to get a tow, and they can charge a pretty penny.

Currently plan on leaving mid October. Hopefully we'll have good weather. If not, then I'll see about staying until mid November and then taking the ferry back.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Just a quick update. Gonna head towards Fairbanks Wednesday. Hope to see the Northern Lights. If I feel brave I'll drive about 300 miles one-way on a gravel road to get to the Arctic Circle. One of those things you do for bragging rights I guess. Do some more sightseeing (gotta stop by North Pole, AK since we've got kids), head back and stay at the Operations building for the school district in Anchorage (the Camper Host program for the parks was canceled for the fall, luckily they found another place for us). The new place only has two 20-amp 110 connections, so any cold nights we'll have to run the generator (which is fine, we'll just do laundry those nights, since the washer/dryer requires 220v too).

New plan is to drive the RV back sometime in the second half of September. If the roads get too bad I'd have to ship it on a cargo ship for about $3k, buy three plane tickets to meet up with it near Seattle (and we'd have to fly our three cats too), and still drive it home. $$$$$$. Or, I can drive it when I know the roads are good and fly back if I need to. Have to see what happens with my wife's contract. Basically I'll either drive myself and the kids back home in September and she'll fly home in October; or I'll drive the RV home, fly back to Anchorage, and we'll all fly home in November. At least I shouldn't have to worry about tire chains.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Had no idea we were on the same road the Ice Road truckers drove in Season 3 until we were already on it. It was so rough, I figured it might be the one (I don't watch the series, but my dad told me about a rough road they were on in Alaska). We drove the entire 414-mile (one-way) long Dalton Highway, stopped at Coldfoot Camp to refuel and get some food, and again at Prudhoe Bay.

We did see the Northern Lights, they were faint all of one night, only got bright for about a minute (and I stayed up for hours waiting for an encore). No pics, sorry (didn't bring my tripod, there's no way I can hold the camera steady enough long enough to take a good picture of them). Also saw Santa's house in North Pole, Alaska (had to send everyone postcards), ate at a McDonald's in Fairbanks (they had a Playland), saw some scenery in Valdez (I tried to explain to my wife that there was a much bigger waterfall just 15 minutes from our home in TN, but oh well), and then came back.

I'm still updating the blog, so many pics to go through. RV made it through in one piece, though the front tires were wearing a bit funny, the outside was all wavy (the waves finally disappeared, but of course the outside is still worn down more than the rest). The inverter even started charging the batteries again, I guess that Dalton Highway shook it hard enough to make it start working again.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:57 PM   #17
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Re: From Tennessee to Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Post a link to your blog.

Smitty
And just two posts up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I was going to ask for pics too, until I saw the link you added (thanks).
At least I'm not the only one with memory problems

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