T@B Travel To Alaska

Om3Om3 Posts: 23Member
We are considering a trip to Fairbanks AK with our T@B 400 in early summer. With that said, has anyone made this trip and do you have any advice to give us? We are also  wondering the wear and tear (if any) that the T@B had in the journey. Looking forward to any experienced wisdom from folks who have made this journey with their T@B!

Comments

  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,564Member
    @Om3, You might want to check out the trip that @Vikings made this past year. Look under North to Alaska.. under this Camping & Travel Post. Good read, lots of great photos. Hope this helps you. I know there have been several folks here that have made that journey, and hopefully they will chime in & give you some advise/tips. ;)
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Eric & Liz  Spokane, Wa.


  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 300Member
    edited December 2017
    There were a couple of threads last year. The Vikings posts hit the highlights.

    https://www.google.com/search?ei=6KU6WsrVB6vTjwSMipCgBg&q=alaska+site:tab-rv.vanillaforums.com&oq=alaska+site:tab-rv.vanillaforums.com&gs_l=psy-ab.3...2439.6153.0.7417.22.13.1.0.0.0.213.1451.8j4j1.13.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..12.0.0....0.g6qh29kbCbU

    I drove to Alaska two years ago from So Cal (no Tab yet) and it was a spectacular experience.  I might decide one day in June that I need to take the trailer there.....

    Go find the Milepost. Invaluable.

    http://www.themilepost.com/



  • Om3Om3 Posts: 23Member
    Thank you, Folks!!! We will check these tips out. Our son and his family live in Fairbanks and this time we are considering taking the T@B. Have seen some UTube postings of people sharing the experience using other campers and most see to say the camper took a beating over the dirt highways leading up. 
    Have a safe holiday, all!
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,153Administrator
    Om3 said:
    We are considering a trip to Fairbanks AK with our T@B 400 in early summer. With that said, has anyone made this trip and do you have any advice to give us? We are also  wondering the wear and tear (if any) that the T@B had in the journey. Looking forward to any experienced wisdom from folks who have made this journey with their T@B!
    I drove up to Alaska and back from Michigan (10K miles) back in the summer of 2015.  We drove the entire length of the AL-CAN highway from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction and on up to Fairbanks, on over to Anchorage, Denali NP, out on to the Kenai peninsula, down to Valdez, Seward, etc.  We came back via the Cassiar Hwy, stopped in to Stewart, BC to see the glaciers and hit the southern most entry back into Alaska at Hyder which was very interesting.  Drove back through the Canadian Rockies via Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, etc.  Two words - Breathtaking & Spectacular pretty much sum up that trip of a lifetime!  

    You can read read about our trip here:

    http://golittleguy.com/news/category/journey-to-alaska/
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 300Member
    @Om3, the "dirt highways" (Cassiar, Dalton, etc) are optional.  You can easily drive to Fairbanks on well maintained paved roads.  I had never heard of a "frost heave,"  however, and some of those were interesting to bump over.  Summer is also the road maintenance season.  There were several gravel and dirt sections of the highway that were being worked on where  you followed a pilot car, and some of them were interesting, but every kind of vehicle easily got through.  Several were wet and muddy, and my car was "stuccoed" with it.  After my first car wash at home, I left a large brown puddle in the driveway.

  • FergieFergie Posts: 41Member
    The attached pdf contains information I sent to a friend before we left on our trip and move to Alaska last spring. While all the information is good and should be looked at, two of the more important ones we found after making our 8000 mile journey across the U. S. and Canada on our way to Alaska are: (1) "The Milepost" that is updated and published every year. It contains a trip planning section and the mile by mile details you will want to know on the route you select and (2) A stop at the Visitor Center at Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaska Highway where they will have all the latest information on the status of the road, lots of maps and printed information and can answer almost any questions you might have on the highway and Alaska.

    In addition we had an Apple laptop computer and an AT&T "hotspot" with an unlimited international data contract with us that we used for detailed maps, making reservations and in general communicating with the rest of our world. The "Technomadia" site below can give you all the current information about such on-the-road communications. I have other posts on the T@B blog describing other aspect of our trip such as how we handled mail and fincances.

    Fergie


     
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,153Administrator
    Definitely get the International calling plan but know that the Internet will be sporadic and limited at best up in Canada unless you find WIFI.   Most of the text messages I sent out up there seemed to catch up when we found WIFI.   It was crazy!

    I entered Canada just south of Winnipeg out of North Dakota and the highway west out of Winnipeg was rougher than a corn cob.  We took the Yellowhead Highway across Canada which was interesting but don't believe I'd go that way again and would probably head north out of Montana and up through Alberta.  We came back that way and it was when Glacier and the west were burning.  Some ominous looking skyline for sure!  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • FergieFergie Posts: 41Member
    Michigan Mike:

    "Definitely get the International calling plan but know that the Internet will be sporadic and limited at best up in Canada unless you find WIFI.   Most of the text messages I sent out up there seemed to catch up when we found WIFI.   It was crazy!"

    Good point! However, every campsite that we stayed in both the U.S. and Canada had Wi-Fi, but we also found that our AT&T hotspot also worked at these locations which we chose to use because of security concerns and performance. We didn't actually try to use the computer while we were actually moving on the road. The only spot we had trouble was on a Sunday evening when we were staying in an RV park in Fort Bridger, Wyoming. We had a good signal, but the data rate was very slow. We figured out later that it was because so many people were streaming video from the tower around us watching movies over the 4th of July weekend!

    Fergie
     
  • Om3Om3 Posts: 23Member
    A BIG thank you to all of the encyclopedic info!!!! Happy Holidays!!!! :)
  • T@BalongT@Balong Posts: 197Member
    The first thing I'd say is..........if you've never been to Alaska and want to go, you should go.   It is a remarkable place and if you are both a "journey and destination" traveler (as most T@bbers are), there is nothing that compares.   We made the trip four years ago in a small teardrop and have many good memories.   Having said that, a road trip to Alaska is not for the faint of heart.   We have discussed going back, this time in our T@B.   Two things are causing us to think twice..........how could we ever have an experience that comes close to our first trip?...........and do we want to subject our T@B to the rigors of such a trip.   The T@B is well made and will survive the trip, but you should be prepared to lose its showroom appeal.  As others have posted in this thread, the road to Alaska and back is not always smooth sailing.
    2015 T@B S Max, 2015 Jeep Cherokee

  • Om3Om3 Posts: 23Member
    Thank you...These responses are really helpful! T@balong...your comments regarding the wear on the camper is honest and what we need to know before making our decision. We have traveled to AK before...have family in Fairbanks...but, all trips have been by air. It is a beautiful place!!!!
  • RollingBnBRollingBnB Posts: 181Member
    We drove in 5/16. The drive thru Canada was better than Ak. The sights are amazing. The Alcan highway is fine except for the 40 mile stretch that is not paved. Just pay attention to the heave flags and slow down, We met a 5th wheeler that was waiting for a tow due to a broken axle. $4k tow to Anchorage. 
    2017 T@B S Max White C@stle
    2015 Chevy Silverado & 2017 GMC Acadia
    Alan & Patty
    Southern Az
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 300Member
    Unpaved or under construction?


  • RollingBnBRollingBnB Posts: 181Member
    Just not paved. Ground moves to much

    2017 T@B S Max White C@stle
    2015 Chevy Silverado & 2017 GMC Acadia
    Alan & Patty
    Southern Az
  • T@BalongT@Balong Posts: 197Member
    The frost heaves are a challenge.............things that are not securely anchored will bounce around quite a bit.
    2015 T@B S Max, 2015 Jeep Cherokee

  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,153Administrator
    Just slow down, take your time and enjoy the scenery.  Traffic coming at you zips by, stay as far to the right as possible with the big trucks to help avoid the rocks and windshield cracks.  I highly recommend the trip down to Valdez as it's a beautiful stretch of highway and you will enjoy the glaciers.  The trip down the Cassiar highway and side trip to Stewart, BC was breathtaking.  Massive glaciers and it was like another world.  

    The trip back through the Canadian Rockies was beautiful but Lake Louise was a tourist magnet and huge parking lot and a nightmare trying to find parking pulling s trailer.  Not worth getting jammed up in that area and looking for a place to turn around.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 T@B Max S
    Attached Image
  • RollingBnBRollingBnB Posts: 181Member
    We left Az early May and beat the rush to Ak so many times we were the only traffic on the road. We even beat the cruise ships into Skagway. We would just stop on the road to watch the wild life crossing.
    2017 T@B S Max White C@stle
    2015 Chevy Silverado & 2017 GMC Acadia
    Alan & Patty
    Southern Az
  • T@BalongT@Balong Posts: 197Member
    The scenery in Alaska is spectacular but sometimes you don't get a chance to see it.   After chatting with fellow travelers along the Alaska Highway, we were persuaded to add Valdez to our travel itinerary.   Unfortunately, we never got to see the scenery since we were blocked in with fog and low clouds.   Yes, we were disappointed.   On the other hand, while visiting Denali, we were blessed with being able to see the mountain on three separate occasions from different vantage points, when the average traveler doesn't get to see the mountain while visiting.  
    2015 T@B S Max, 2015 Jeep Cherokee

  • FergieFergie Posts: 41Member
    The Drive From Palmer to Valdez

    Long before we moved to Alaska this summer (with our T@B that goes where it is towed!) we had been coming up here for years because we had relatives in both Palmer and Valdez. Thus we have made many back and forth trips between the two towns via the Glenn and Richardson Highways. 

    To me it is one of the most beautiful drives in the world no matter what time of year you make the journey. From Palmer in the Mat-Su Valley, the Glenn threads its way along the edge of the Matanuska River to its source at the glacier of the same name with the Chugach Mountains on one side and the Talkeetna Mountains on the other side. As you approach the little town of Glennallen where it joins the Richardson Highway, you get magnificent views of the Wrangle Mountains on a clear day.

    Turning south on the Richardson to Valdez you travel in the Copper River basin between the Wrangle Mountains and the Chugach Range and then past the Worthington Glacier before going over Thompson Pass and then down through Keystone Canyon to Valdez. The views are spectacular.  If fog or weather spoils a view in one section, you are sure to be rewarded in another.

    The best time of the year, of course, is the summer and early fall. The drive from Palmer to Valdez is 290 miles and takes about 5-6 hours depending on how often you stop to admire the views. If you are going to be driving in Alaska, this is one trip you should make!

    Fergie
     
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 300Member
    June, 2016:  Matanuska River on the right of the Glenn Highway just a few miles west of Glacier View.  Even on a really rainy day, the drive was spectacular.  ( I was heading to Tok, and the next day to Haines to catch the car ferry.) I have many pictures like this of my trip.  No cars in sight for a few miles, just stop, get out, take the shot....





  • VikingsVikings Posts: 56Member
    Make the trip...the trailer will survive.  As Michigan Mike says just slow down as needed.  The frost heaves (I think they are really permafrost melts) are usually well marked.
    Our trip was June 8 to July 9, and about 7000 miles total.  Biggest hassle...after getting home two days and lots of elbow grease cleaning road tar/grime off trailer and TV.    But both survived nicely.  You can find our blog in travel section, labeled North to Alaska. 
    Have fun.  

     
    Kim & Mary Kay,  2016 CS-S,  Spokane, WA
  • Om3Om3 Posts: 23Member
    Thank you...we are planning our trip about the same time you took yours!
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