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Old 07-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #21
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Re: Nissan SMB

Great report. I'm thinking your Nissan is AWD? Seems to be very capable and did a great job. Like I posted, one of these days I'd like to head that way. Not too sure about the "no guns" thing Canada but guess there is always bear spray
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #22
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Re: Nissan SMB

Thanks. The NV is rwd. Nissan was/is supposed to bring out a 4x4 version in 2014, based on the new Titan, which was/is supposed to use the NV platform. It looks like the Titan will be delayed until 2015. There are also rumors of a diesel.

Regarding a couple of other things you brought up on other threads. We use our microwave when not on shore power. SMB in their NV intro video, and Jonathan in person, said we could do this as long as the engine (expensive generator) was running with the inverter on. We do this sparingly, and it appears to have had little impact on battery reserve. A 2013 Chevy van owner said the dealer told him he could only use the microwave when on shore power. One time, I thought I was on shore power after setting up camp but the breaker was off. I had everything set correctly in the van and just assumed there was power. The microwave worked fine. Didn't realize this until the next morning, when I started the coffee brewing. I still can't get over camping with a coffee maker, a toaster and a microwave.

Another was when to give up the camper. We parted with our '83 VW in 1999 when we were no longer using it as a camper. Our kids, who lost interest in camping in high school, had graduated from college, so we weren't using it to see them. I also was no longer competing in cycling. Another reason: it was old, air cooled, and interior things were breaking due to desert heat. I did some restoration just to make it look less shabby.

A reason to hold on to an SMB would be planned trips: in your case Alaska. We bought again to use the NV for 10 years (will be 75 then), at least once a month or 1000 miles, to complete some trips we never got around to. Oddly, Alaska wasn't one of them. Our next big trip is the Lewis and Clark route. We dusted off to re-read Out West, American Journey Along the Lewis and Clark Trail by Dayton Duncan. This was first published in 1987. No dates set. I would also like to learn how the Europeans get their campers and c-class RVs here. We saw a Fiat Ducato RV and many Mercedes Sprinters, including a 4x4. That would be a trip!

Installment 11 (5/23-25/13)

We took route 3 out of Fairbanks toward Denali National Park. The road was in great shape but there was construction to deal with. (In both Canada and Alaska, look for small cones/flags on the side of the road, as these show the start and finish of bad patches. Sometimes really bad sections.) We stopped briefly at the National Park, but our main goal was Denali State Park, which has views of Mt. McKinley and hiking trails where dogs are permitted. It, however, was snowed in, so we continued on to Montana Creek campground, a fishing camp. There were pit toilets, no water. Who needs water when you are fishing. It actually was a nice campground; a least 6 others pulled in after us.

The next morning, we backtracked to Talkeetna. This is a 30 mile detour, but worth it. Talkeetna was a supply town, now turned climbers town. Great breakfast with the locals at the Roadhouse. We stayed at the only RV park there; we had a spot on the edge of the campground. Tent camping is available at the other end of town near the rivers, and they posted signs where you couldn't camp. The signs were ignored.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:02 AM   #23
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Alaska in a Nissan SMB

Thanks for sharing this great report. Looks like you had a great travel!
Looking for next updates...
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #24
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Re: Nissan SMB

Installment 12 (5/26-27/13)

On the way out from Talkeetna, we stopped at the Flying Squirrel Bakery for coffee, scones and a loaf of bread. We continued on route 3 to Wasilla and took route 1 to Anchorage, then south toward Seward and Homer. Just follow Cook Inlet. At the junction with route 9, we headed toward Seward. It rained progressively harder as we neared Seward, which helped us because many people headed home early or had cancelled their Memorial Day weekend. We stayed at the municipal campground, essentially a parking lot on Resurrection Bay. Some sites have hookups, and we chose one near the shore. Worth the view. We stayed 2 nights, as the weather was supposed to improve so we could take a Kenai Fjords day cruise. We made reservations, the only reservations we made on the whole trip, for an 1130 (6 hour) cruise.

The old town is worth walking around, even in the rain, to see all the murals. There also are many restaurants.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:38 PM   #25
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Re: Nissan SMB

Installment 13 (5/28/13)

What a difference 2 days make.

There are at least 3 companies that offer cruises. Not sure why we picked the one we did, but it didn't seem to matter. The cruises left at the same time and went to the same places. At first, we were disappointed because we had assigned seats; this was only for lunch. You can bring your own, which we did, or eat a buffet style meal. We spent almost the entire trip outside on the bow, which turned out to be a good thing as there were swells and the stuffy cabin contributed to a lot of sick people. The views were spectacular.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #26
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Re: Nissan SMB

Installment 13 cont.

More photos.

The captain took us to Holgate Glacier, as Aialik Glacier was iced in. He took us in about a 1/4 mile (seemed closer) from the glacier and stayed there about 20 minutes so we could listen and watch "calving."

The cruise also included looking for and finding Humpback whales. Whenever the crew spotted sea otters, bears, mountain goats, Puffins, Bald Eagles etc. the captain took us as close as possible.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #27
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Re: Nissan SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Not too sure about the "no guns" thing Canada but guess there is always bear spray
Hey, we seem to manage okay without them.

Come on up, you'll be fine.

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Not too sure about the "no guns" thing Canada but guess there is always bear spray
You're probably better off. IIRC, in 50% of bear-human w/gun encounters, the human is mauled or worse. The number drops to under 10% w/pepper spray. Then again, people who avoided bears have a 100% safety rate.


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Old 07-09-2013, 06:08 AM   #29
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Re: Nissan SMB

You need to consider whether it is a black bear or brown/ grizzly bear. The concensus is:

If attacked by a black bear, fight for your life. One other thing is that black bears can be brown. If you have time, look for a long, pointy muzzle before you fight for your life.

With brown/grizzly bears, you don' know if the charge will veer off. If not, fall to the ground and protect your head. If the worst happens, fight for your life.

The problem with sprays is you will spray yourself. In my former life, when we were issued pepper spray, we had to experience it. It can take you to your knees. I can only imagine what bear spray would do. You probably would frighten the bear.

We saw lots of bears on the side of the road. Most ignored us as we drove by. We came across a mother and cubs. As we slowed down, they first went to her, then ran into the underbrush. She followed but not without looking over her shoulder. Probably thinking "Damn tourists." Except for squirrels, our dogs ignored all large wildlife. The exception was 2 wooden bear cut outs in front of a business.

One of the many brochures shows a picture of people very near bears taking pictures of bears. It was an ad for a bear watching experience. No evidence of any type of barrier.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radin2son
The problem with sprays is you will spray yourself. In my former life, when we were issued pepper spray, we had to experience it. It can take you to your knees. I can only imagine what bear spray would do. You probably would frighten the bear.
Experience it, as in be sprayed? And I thought rubbing your eyes after chopping hot peppers was bad!
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