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Old 07-13-2009, 05:10 PM   #11
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

Everyone is friendly.

Roads..........depends on your point of view. On the way out of Alaska I met a guy at a rest stop. Said I was going down the Cassiar Highway. He said 'Don't do it. Terrible road.' After going down it, I'd say it is better than any road we were on in Alaska (outside of Anchorage). I think he expected smooth freeways. Maybe he turned around after the Alaska Highway north of Haines Junction. Some of the paved roads are very rough, hard to drive more than 50 mph. Some of the dirt roads are worse 25-30 mph. If you come for the scenery and wildlife and are willing to put up with roads damaged by permafrost issues, you'll be fine. If you expect perfect roads, stay home.

Mike
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:05 PM   #12
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

My wife and I second the above. We are sitting in downtown Valdez. We spent the day kayaking around the base of Columbia Glacier. If you get here and want to try, Anadyr Adventures treated us like royalty. We booked a Monday trip and were the only ones to go. I highly reccomend them and we saw things we never would have on
our own.

The roads are not too bad. Frost heaves and pot holes but if you go slow and enjoy the journey, it's well worth it.

peace, Bob and Amy

travelling with "VanBearPig"!
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:01 AM   #13
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

We just got back home this past Tuesday. We went to the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks and then Homer and Seward. IMHO roads are not bad. Grew up in the midwest where gravel is the norm. Was going to drive up the Dalton to the circle but my wife read a couple of books that advised against it saying how bad it was. Well she talked me into paying and absorbent amount of money to take a tour bus, what a waste. I found the Dalton to be know worse than any gravel road I had ever been on. The only difference was the hills are a lot steeper than I've seen on gravel before. Was a great trip and hope to do it again soon when we can spend all summer and drive my own vehicle up. Ate fish every day and Moose a couple of times. Great stuff. I also found people very friendly and helpful. Not many that are my age and older that were born there.


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Old 07-18-2009, 08:20 PM   #14
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

Hi Mike -- Glad you and your van got out of that unscathed!

How did you know you were losing oil in the first place? A dash warning light? Or did you just happen to notice from the outside?

I see they rear-wheel towed your 4x4. Are there supposed to be issues towing 4x4 Sportsmobiles that way (instead of using a flatbed)?

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Old 07-19-2009, 07:42 PM   #15
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

Yeah, I stopped anf noticed a puddle when I came back to the van - lucky me.

One of the advantages of a manual 4x4 transfer case is the neutral position. You should be able to flat tow it in transfer case neutral. The tow guy was happy he didn't have to crawl under and pull the driveshaft as he would have needed to do for a 2wd van.

Mike
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:42 AM   #16
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely


Wow. During our trip to AK in 2008 we carried enough spares/fluids to do a complete oil change (just in case we somehow mashed either one of the oil filters while out in the boonedocks). I checked the oil level and visually inspected the oil filters at almost every fuel stop as well as every overnight camping spot. Fortunately, we never had to use our spares. No oil = expensive showstopper. Super glad that you caught the fact that you were losing oil before it ran out!! Amazing. I thought that I was just being paranoid... but you just ensured that I wont saving a little space and weight by leaving these specific spares at home any time soon.

Glad it all worked out.

Cheers,
---TWOLOST---


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Old 10-01-2009, 05:26 PM   #17
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Re: Leaving Alaska - Barely

Turns out the 6.0 engine will protect itself if you run it too low on oil. Once it starts to suck air from the pan, and that air gets into the high pressure oil pump it will stop injecting fuel. No fuel = no go = no damage to the engine. I'm sure that is an unintended consequence, but it works.

Mike
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