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Old 05-16-2009, 09:12 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,284 times
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Hi, my wife and I live in New York and we are quitting our jobs in July to take a 6 months trip before moving to California. 3 of the 6 months will be on the road, including at least 1 month in Alaska, covering the Dalton and all. It's going to be an amazing journey.


I know preparation will be key to success, and I am now looking to buy a used Ford Explorer for the trip. Is the Explorer just about the most common SUVs up there where I will have the least trouble getting repairs or tires or windshields if/when necessary (knowing that repair shops are few and far between in the remote areas)? This idea is simply based on the thinking that there must be a lot of Ford trucks up there and parts have to be more abundant. Of course, I could be dead wrong. What's your advice? I bought a one-owner '93 Nissan Pathfinder in 2005 for $2700 and had absolutely no problems with it for the 4 years that I owned it. But for this trip I am not going to go for something that old. I need something reliable and easy to service, even by some lone mechanic in the middle of nowhere like Coldfoot, AK or Stewart, BC.



Appreciate your advice.


Henry
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:15 AM
 
4,986 posts, read 8,283,109 times
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Most of the light vehicles (Pickups and Suburbans) owned and operated by the oil companies up and down the Haul Road and up at Prudhoe are GM and Dodge. And of course they are all diesel.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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Best to have a repair manual, tools, good spare tire, extra belts, containers of water, jumper cables, etc. in case of the need for self-repairs.

Sounds like an incredible journey! Have fun!
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Ford Focus. That way when it dies on you half way through the trip and you leave it in a ditch, you'll only be out 100 bucks.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
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with Mt. Redoubt blowing....spare air filters!!!!
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,904 posts, read 11,690,350 times
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You might want to rethink the whole plan. There are no jobs for you in California. If you have jobs where you're living you might want to keep them. California is fixing to declare bankruptcy. The Federal government will be giving the State of California and all it's illegal aliens to China in order to settle part of the debt for all the billions of dollars the Fed has borrowed from them.

Other than that you should think about buying a Subaru Outback for your road trip to Alaska. If all else fails they are long enough to sleep in the back of them with the seats folded down. With the rail system on the top you could add racks and carry more of your belongings on the top.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:50 AM
 
19 posts, read 46,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose Whisperer View Post
Most of the light vehicles (Pickups and Suburbans) owned and operated by the oil companies up and down the Haul Road and up at Prudhoe are GM and Dodge. And of course they are all diesel.
In several years of working on the Slope, there's one thing I know... it's that Ford f250 thru f450's are by far the most popular trucks in the Prudhoe Bay (BP) side, and Chevy 2500 thru 3500's are the most popular truck on the Kuparuk (Conoco Phillips) side.

There are a few Dodges running around, but they're rare enough to be noteworthy.

While diesels are the main engine of choice, gas engines have become more popular in the field, at least on the BP side where Colville sells gasoline right in Deadhorse. There have been issues with the diesel pickling plant on the BP side keeping up with the demand (lot's of activity on the Slope these days), the fact Conoco decided not to build a diesel plant when Sarah raised the taxes, and the required switch to ULSD over the entire field by next summer. Add in cheaper lease rates for gas engined trucks, and the switch isn't as hard to believe as I first thought.

In any case... an Explorer will be as foreign as a Fiat on the Dalton. Bring a real truck. Any of the major makes will be fine, including Dodge.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 14,165,472 times
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How about not worry about the vehicle that time of year...drive reasonable and should have no problems, what a trip and enjoy it...

PS...I would drive some type of RV thingee to stay in, IMO...save money on motels and not so good food..depending on your taste.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,166 posts, read 27,421,913 times
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There are a lot of trucks around Alaska, including Fords. As for mechanical service along the Dalton, I have no idea. What you want to do is to install a front screen that has holes not larger than 1/4". This screen is a good idea to have in front of the truck, and you can have it made ahead of time and install it once you begin driving the Dalton. The Elliot, which turns into the Dalton past Livingood, is paved up to this town (a few houses along the road, actually). But from Livinggood to the end it's a gravel road. A screen that covers the front from slightly below the front bumper to a few inches over the hood stops most small rocks. Otherwise some could reach the radiator and damage it. The screen, if high enough, stops rocks that usually hit the lower portion of the windshield. RVR's usually have huge screens (wire mesh) in front of their vehicles.

Service the truck thoroughly (oil, gear oil, transmission oil, coolant, etc.), also grease the driveshaft U-Joints, and have the bearings greased just the same. You must have good tires, and a couple of spares.

You can probably find journals about traveling the Dalton, on the Internet. This one is of the AK Highway, and sort of interesting:
http://www.alaskajourney.com/north49.html

Here you go for the Dalton:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...Alaska&spell=1
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,941,226 times
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One that is reliable will do just fine. The road to Alaska is pretty much paved nowdays and a nice drive. Having one you can sleep in is a big plus. But you can drive to here with any car/truck nowdays as long as it is in good shape.

Enjoy the trip!
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