U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 02-22-2013, 09:21 PM
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,394,318 times
Reputation: 5937


Hello, I posted a thread a little while ago about the Matsu Valley vs Kenai Peninsula and my wife getting an RN job up there. Anyways we are still planning the move but have pushed our departure date to April 20th because we are thinking about pulling our very large 5th wheel up there. This thing is 41 feet long and very heavy and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous pulling it up there. We think it will give us greater flexibility to decide which area we like without signing any year long leases and stuff like that. We have lived in it for a year so are very used to a minimalistic lifestyle.. I figured weather would permit us to stay in it until Septemberish. We lived in it in single digits in the mountains of Arizona and were fine, as it is a very good camper. I have brand new tires and am experienced towing it in the lower 48. The main thing that worries me is wind, how is the wind that time of year. Also are most of the fuel stations along the highway big rig friendly? I guess the point of all this is can anyone whose pulled a trailer offer me some comforting reassurance or should I push the departure day even further back? Do you agree that the 5th can offer us greater flexibility in deciding on fairbanks, the valley or the peninsula? Or should I leave it at home? It will cost me an extra 800$ in fuel to pull it up there. Thanks for the opinions and advice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 02-22-2013, 11:11 PM
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,904 posts, read 11,690,350 times
Reputation: 5559
Prepare for the slower portions of the road once you head north from Whitehorse. I drive by Golden Nugget here in Anchorage almost everyday and people are living in their 5th wheels all winter. Good luck.

Golden Nugget - Anchorage RV & Motorhome Park
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-23-2013, 04:34 AM
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,941,226 times
Reputation: 3470
Drive carefully and you will have a great time. When you get farther North on the AlCan, you will get frost heaves in the road, just slow down and they won't be much of an issue. They are hilly bumps in the road caused by Perma Frost underground. The highway department in both Canada and Alaska are always having to cut them out and resurface the roads, just a fact of life here and you drive accordingly!

Otherwise, sounds like a nice rig to live out of on your trip up and here!

Takes lots of photos and post them of your trip up!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-23-2013, 11:04 AM
4,718 posts, read 8,691,220 times
Reputation: 2153
Having done the drive the past summer, NUMEROUS 5th wheels were on the road. The fuel stations in remote Canada can be more big rig friendly than some off the highways down here. Alot of them are easy pull thrus and some are pumps out in the open without even a roof over them.

If you have driven the roads in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado and haven't had any issues with weight, you shouldn't on the AlCan either. Only thing I noticed was that last year when I went, most of the road was mud or in 'chip seal', which is like driving on 30 grit sandpaper. One lady pulling a 5'ver got new tires in Montana and they were BALD by Lake Watson when I met her. (this was on the truck, not the trailer)

Basically, I noticed the frost heaves and the need at times to go slower than the 70-80 KPH limits in Northern Canada - even not pulling. Since you will be pulling heavy your stopping distances are further (and I know you already know this), so when you see the 'wildlife is a plenty' sign, be prepared to have to come to a complete stop... If not because they are in the road, but because other people have stopped to see them. I know that there can be wicked wind, but I never ran into any up there. I did run into some sustained 60mph wind in Wyoming with higher gusts. I wasn't pulling a trailer so the only thing it did was make my mileage go way down and I had to carefully open the doors for my kids to prevent having doors ripped off by the wind.

Not sure what your driving range is pulling heavy, but a 300 mile range, IMHO, is my minimum for that route. This will let you pass a station if it is closed or out of fuel (or WAY overpriced) and it also lets you get to the next station should you run into a nasty headwind and your mileage sinks. Most RVers I know have way more than that for range, but just in case you don't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-23-2013, 02:15 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,557 posts, read 3,927,693 times
Reputation: 1918
My biggest recommendation is to get a copy of The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2013, 02:33 PM
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,394,318 times
Reputation: 5937
Thanks for the replies and advice. I already have my milepost and passport ready to go. We have decided to take the travel nurse route to get up there as they pay more money and it will most likely be in the valley. So we still aren't 100% sure if we are bringing the 5th wheel or if we are going to try to find a 3 month lease. We are coming up April 20th and if I can find a decent job as well we might stay there through the winter and see if we can handle being full time Alaskans .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 06:58 AM
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,850 posts, read 19,589,140 times
Reputation: 6479
My advice has to do with how you load your trailer. If it is a single-axle trailer, load the trailer as balanced as possible. You just want about 15 to 25 pounds of tongue weight on your hitch to keep it from bouncing around. Also, a trailer with large tires will endure the trip far better than a trailer with small tires.

If your hitch is the screw-on or bolt-on variety, make certain you check to ensure it is tight when you stop. I lost my trailer when the hitch unscrewed itself from the vibration and came off. Had it not been for the safety chains my trailer would have ended up in the ditch, or worse. I was able to use my brakes and slow down to allow the trailer to run into the back of my jeep. I used the jeep to stop the trailer. The next hitch I bought I had welded on at Whitehorse.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 02:51 PM
Location: Anchorage
1,926 posts, read 3,906,849 times
Reputation: 862
go slow over the frost heaves
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-07-2013, 08:47 PM
Location: Juneau
583 posts, read 652,971 times
Reputation: 2143
Great trip. Allow enough time to stop and enjoy the spots along the way. I pulled a small homemade trailer behind a six cyl. Isuzu Rodeo up the highway in '94 with my wife and two small kids and it was the best road trip ever. I've known people who have pulled large trailers up the highway and you better make sure your vehicle is up for the drive. Break down and it's about 300 miles between towns. I'd sell the 5th wheel and buy something when you get to your destination.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-08-2013, 10:44 PM
Location: Palmer
182 posts, read 397,925 times
Reputation: 157
Review my post I just updated. I have done a lot of write up there. Towing isn't difficult and places for fuel accommodate trailers. Much of the fuel stops in those routes are friendly access wise even with a larger 5th wheel.

I just added the only spot where besides the frost heaves mentioned above will be the real issue along the route. The higher traffic area along Peace River region and over the bridge. If you seek more specifics I have traveled the route 12 times round trip since January last year.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alaska
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top