Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Planning a trip to Alaska (Dalton Hwy): recommendations?
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Planning a trip to Alaska (Dalton Hwy): recommendations? Reply with quote

1991 Carat->Westy, 225k on WXB(apparently with a rebuilt engine).

Planning a trip to the great white north. Planning to drive up the Dalton highway to Prudhoe bay.



Looking for recommendations on things to do in three categories.

Mechanical maintenance before the trip/Tools to bring(besides the usual assortment), specific things like that 17mm you need to change the oil.

Things to bring on the trip, camping gear, food, inspect spray, etc.

Things to do on the way/and in Alaska. This is my proposed route:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&...66&z=4


Things so far planned for maintenance are a fresh oil change. Got good tires and I'm trying to figure a way to take a second spare. Have a large gas can that sits up in the cargo rack. New gas lines are waiting to be installed. Otherwise the van has been trouble free so I'm not sure what else to be prepared for.

Planning to take my thule on top to put some stuff in, but am also thinking about a rear hitch mounted cargo carrier.

Any other words of wisdom?
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon


Last edited by Sir Sam on Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:30 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DAIZEE
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2010
Posts: 7552
Location: Greater Toronto Area Ontario West Side
DAIZEE is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a Libby's Bong for clearing air out of coolant system. I think it's in a sticky. Sounds easy to make, doesn't take up much room and I oh so wish I'd had one several times already. Better to have and not need than.....
_________________
'09 2.5L Jetta 5 cylinder, 5 spd, super turbo, see thread in H2O Cooled Jetta, etc...
83.5 Vanagon L Riviera Model with 98 1.9L TD AAZ 4 speed Daily Driver 3 out of 4 seasons (sold)
84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
aswah
Samba Member


Joined: November 13, 2007
Posts: 907
Location: PDX
aswah is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: throw the map away Reply with quote

throw the itinerary out and follow your heart... so many times in my life I have met the coolest folks, seen the most beautiful sights and found total happiness by NOT follow a specific route. take the dirt road, travel down that scenic highway, stay another night... and for jah's sake take ME! I wanna go. Alaska is so incredibly amazing! I think that will be my unborn daughters first real trip in Kaya!

That and do some preventative maintenance now... a few bucks today will save you thousands out on the road. Tow trucks in remote areas can be costly, quality mechanics are far and few between...

Oh yeah, eat some great seafood and wild game for me!

aswah

"The finest quality of this stone, these plants and animals, this desert landscape is the indifference manifest to our presence, our absence, our coming, our staying or our going. Whether we live or die is a matter of absolutely no concern whatsoever to the desert. Let men in their madness blast every city on earth into black rubble and envelop the entire planet in a cloud of lethal gas - the canyons and hills, the springs and rocks will still be here, the sunlight will filter through, water will form and warmth shall be upon the land and after sufficient time, no matter how long, somewhere, living things will emerge and join and stand once again, this time perhaps to take a different and better course." - Cactus Ed
_________________
WIT WA DA DA (Peace and Unity)

Aswah, Lisa, Beaumont and Loose Lucy Too!

1989 Westy
2013 Jetta Sportswagon TDI
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: throw the map away Reply with quote

aswah wrote:
throw the itinerary out and follow your heart... so many times in my life I have met the coolest folks, seen the most beautiful sights and found total happiness by NOT follow a specific route. take the dirt road, travel down that scenic highway, stay another night... and for jah's sake take ME! I wanna go. Alaska is so incredibly amazing! I think that will be my unborn daughters first real trip in Kaya!

That and do some preventative maintenance now... a few bucks today will save you thousands out on the road. Tow trucks in remote areas can be costly, quality mechanics are far and few between...

Oh yeah, eat some great seafood and wild game for me!

aswah


Planned route is really nothing more than, I wanna drive as far north as I can, figure I'll swing by into Anchorage, and I wanna swing by seattle on the way back. Looking forward to eating my way across the continent(seafood).

Any suggestions on the preventative maintenance?

Anyone out there ever read the book "Road Fever?" its about two guys doing a promo for Chevy driving a new truck from the south tip of south america(terra del fuego) to the northern slope.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DAIZEE
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2010
Posts: 7552
Location: Greater Toronto Area Ontario West Side
DAIZEE is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one suggestion, several vans in here have done this trip this year. Track them down (I can think of at least 2 ?3) and get in touch with them for real life experience.
_________________
'09 2.5L Jetta 5 cylinder, 5 spd, super turbo, see thread in H2O Cooled Jetta, etc...
83.5 Vanagon L Riviera Model with 98 1.9L TD AAZ 4 speed Daily Driver 3 out of 4 seasons (sold)
84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAIZEE wrote:
one suggestion, several vans in here have done this trip this year. Track them down (I can think of at least 2 ?3) and get in touch with them for real life experience.


Ya I've been watching a few of those threads. I hope I don't wind up needing a new trans like tschroeder0.
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DAIZEE
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2010
Posts: 7552
Location: Greater Toronto Area Ontario West Side
DAIZEE is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you!
_________________
'09 2.5L Jetta 5 cylinder, 5 spd, super turbo, see thread in H2O Cooled Jetta, etc...
83.5 Vanagon L Riviera Model with 98 1.9L TD AAZ 4 speed Daily Driver 3 out of 4 seasons (sold)
84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
aswah
Samba Member


Joined: November 13, 2007
Posts: 907
Location: PDX
aswah is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: maintenance Reply with quote

boy the world is screwed when I am asked for maintenance sugestions... snce I am a complete moron and my Benchley gets more use as a secondary cutting board than a reference manual (still can't believe Karl has the damned thing almost memorized)... I went to the GW maintenance schedue posted somewhere on their site and did everything there. I am sure there are plenty of folks far better equipped to dole out advice...

In Anchorage, go to the brewery and get yourself a pint and some seafood... Most of my Alaska experience deals with Valdez and Cordova. So, I can recommend great spots around there. I did frequently go deep into bear country, which isn't hard up there. I brought two cans of heavy duty bear spray, which as long as there is a bear on the label you can carry over borders no problem.

Oh the joy of hearing glaciers calve in the middle of the night!!! Oh, the eagle preserve outside of Haines, AK was amazing too!

bring a fishing rod and Aswah's not-so-secret Asian sauce for a kick ass meal!!!

Aswah's not-so-secret Asian sauce:

1 part Soy
1 part Water
1 part Mirin or Sherry
1/2 part Sugar
1/4 part Rice Vinegar
loads of ginger, garlic and hot peppers

simmer everything together. BTW, this sauce keeps unrefrigerated for a long ass time... the longest I had some was six months... goes great with everything... vegetarian, seafood, pork, chicken, ducks, beef, your soulmate who is driving you nuts singing 100 bottles of beer in the fridge as you are driving... road kill, whatever you feel like cooking...

mix a bit of cornstarch with water and whisk into sauce. Add more and more cornstarch till it thickens a little. strain, cool and pack in mason jars... enjoy...

i use about one hand of ginger and four heads of garlic and a few hot peppers whenever I make about two quarts. use more or less as your fancy strikes...


ASWAH

"I am drunk on the fiery elixer of beauty" - Everett Ruess
_________________
WIT WA DA DA (Peace and Unity)

Aswah, Lisa, Beaumont and Loose Lucy Too!

1989 Westy
2013 Jetta Sportswagon TDI
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
outwesty
Samba Member


Joined: June 06, 2006
Posts: 1043
Location: Tahoe City
outwesty is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We made the voyage to AK this summer. 9,600 miles from MI to AK and back to Montana. We took the Dalton up to the Arctic circle.. Your van will get beat up. I am amazed at how much different my van looks after the trip. We did some really far out in the middle of nowhere camping. The narrow two tracks scratched the hell out of the paint and there are a ton more chips and even a few dents. I am a firm believer in using the van so I'm okay with it.

One thing that saved us a few times is an assortment of metric bolts and nuts in case something loosens up.

It is pretty cool to take the Alcan from mile 0 out of Dawson Creek. Its starts off boring and gets really good and stays good. We spent 5 days in Canada. We wish we spent more.

Camp at mile marker 13 on the hope highway if you make it down south. Go for it. you will love it. Its been 2 months since we got back and I still think about it every day.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Mile 13 on hope hwy

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
www.outwesty.com Vanagon Westfalia Rentals in Tahoe City, CA
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

outwesty wrote:
We made the voyage to AK this summer. 9,600 miles from MI to AK and back to Montana. We took the Dalton up to the Arctic circle.. Your van will get beat up. I am amazed at how much different my van looks after the trip. We did some really far out in the middle of nowhere camping. The narrow two tracks scratched the hell out of the paint and there are a ton more chips and even a few dents. I am a firm believer in using the van so I'm okay with it.

One thing that saved us a few times is an assortment of metric bolts and nuts in case something loosens up.

It is pretty cool to take the Alcan from mile 0 out of Dawson Creek. Its starts off boring and gets really good and stays good. We spent 5 days in Canada. We wish we spent more.

Camp at mile marker 13 on the hope highway if you make it down south. Go for it. you will love it. Its been 2 months since we got back and I still think about it every day.

http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww179/powdercore/IMG00121.jpg

Mile 13 on hope hwy

http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww179/powdercore/akthreeS20015.jpg



Yup, not too worried about the body, the van is due for a repaint, so if it gets more dinged up now its no big deal. Not looking to be particularly adventuresome offroad in a 2WD Carat and not my Jeep.
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
tschroeder0
Samba Member


Joined: April 14, 2008
Posts: 2078
Location: Boulder CO
tschroeder0 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, listen to Outwesty he knows what he's talkin bout.

My tranny problem was really not about the AK trip, it could have went at any time, but yes, it sucks. I leave in the morning to go back to fix it up Rolling Eyes

Other than the trans going, I really had no problems during the whole trip (and the one previous) I will be somewhere in the 12-13,000 mile range by the time I get back.

I replaced cv's prior to leaving and checked over everything, front to back.

Trust me on this one, the trip up to Prudhoe is amazing, but you are really out there.
When I asked a guy an estimate of what it would cost me to get my van towed back if something went wrong when I was up near the end, he laughed and said he knew of one "tow" (really loaded onto a semi) that cost the guy over 1000.00$!!!

I worried about gas for that trip and what I should have thought about was having 2 spare tires, we had a really hard time tracking just one 15" down when I destroyed the other one.

Check out my post for details.

Other than that I carry a lot of odds and ends including new brushes for my alternator, a fuel pump, various size hoses etc...

Have a great time! Feel free to pm me. Todd.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya I saw your ordeal with the tire. If I can figure a way I'm going to take 2 spares....somehow.....Wishing I had time to do a pathfinder tire carrier before I leave.


The thing is something like your tranny, not due to the trip, but just due to it being its time. When that happens at home at worst its a bad day. When it happens in Prudhoe Bay.....ya, thats a real bad day.
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
becida
Samba Member


Joined: November 03, 2004
Posts: 48
Location: USA
becida is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You asked about preventative maintenance.
Change all the the fluids, repack the wheel bearings and CV joints.
Have a great trip!
_________________
Rob
Traveling...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dhaavers
Samba Member


Joined: March 19, 2010
Posts: 6989
Location: NE MN (http://g.co/maps/zt72q)
dhaavers is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: throw the map away Reply with quote

Sir Sam wrote:

Anyone out there ever read the book "Road Fever?" its about two guys doing a promo for Chevy driving a new truck from the south tip of south america(terra del fuego) to the northern slope.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


LOVE Tim Cahill. I try to keep one of his books in the van at all times - you never know when you'll have a little time on your hands. (Too bad this one's about a Chevy...)

Good luck on a great trip!
_________________
86 White Westy Weekender
"The WonderVan"

<EDITED TO PROTECT INNOCENT PIXELS>
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
campism
Samba Member


Joined: September 07, 2007
Posts: 3857
Location: Richmond VA
campism is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Anyone out there ever read the book 'Road Fever?'"

Yep, read most of his stuff and this one years ago. Don't expect this to be a guidebook about Alaska. It's about a balls-out run top-to-bottom so expect the Alaska part to be over in a blink.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

campism wrote:
"Anyone out there ever read the book 'Road Fever?'"

Yep, read most of his stuff and this one years ago. Don't expect this to be a guidebook about Alaska. It's about a balls-out run top-to-bottom so expect the Alaska part to be over in a blink.
\

I know, I read it years ago too. Fun book!

Very little of the story revolves around the US, since it took so little time to cross compared to everything else.

Liked the part about the sheep accident in south america.

And the batches......we dont need no stinkin batches....I think everyone has parodied that at some point.
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DAIZEE
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2010
Posts: 7552
Location: Greater Toronto Area Ontario West Side
DAIZEE is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, hello. News, pictures?!!!
_________________
'09 2.5L Jetta 5 cylinder, 5 spd, super turbo, see thread in H2O Cooled Jetta, etc...
83.5 Vanagon L Riviera Model with 98 1.9L TD AAZ 4 speed Daily Driver 3 out of 4 seasons (sold)
84 Vanagon GL Wolfsburg Westy WBX 4 speed (sold)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAIZEE wrote:
Hello, hello. News, pictures?!!!


Installed the TF65 last night and today, have second battery and inverter setup, ran into a bad water pump for my sink, used the one from my 87(inline shurflo), need to goto the hardware store and get a new drain hose line, wire in facet switch, got new propane regulator and small green bottle adapter.

Still need to get CB radio, install new fuel line kit, front table support bracket, and passenger side swivel seat.

Plus get all my gear and everything sorted out.
_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Chris_L
Samba Member


Joined: December 22, 2006
Posts: 46

Chris_L is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got home to fairbanks last night, driving my 86 gl syncro from san diego. I have lived here since 87, so my impressions are more of the journey than of the destination (I know Alaska fairly well by now, and also know that the state is much much much better off the road system, via small aircraft).
I had driven the Cassiar highway 3 times before, most memorably in a 1968 land rover 109SW in December, and this was the first time I had done the Alaska highway proper. The area around Muncho Lake is fantastic, and Liard hot springs really is a true gem. Further north, things just stay good and Kluane is another gem. But, despite all this beauty, the icefields parkway between Banff and Jasper was hands down the most amazing area of our trip.
Next time I will start in Yellowstone, go through Glacier, continue onto the icefields parkway...


anyhow, remember to live in the moment and that the destination is but an excuse for the journey.

For your vehicle, if you can drive it comfortably in a busy city in heavy traffic then it is ready for this trip. The further north you get (until you begin the Dalton) the easier the driving gets. Less traffic=easier. High quality tires are a must...but the entire Alaska highway is paved.

For camping gear etc, Alaska is pretty much done with summer by the middle of August, so bring slightly warmer clothes and sleeping bags but not full on winter gear. Good rain gear...

The bugs are less now later in the summer, just get bug dope here if you need it, or wear long sleeves.

We used our bug net on the sliding door opening every night camping, that is a really nice addition to the van.

We have a Kelty carport awning that was nice on rainy evenings. It has been an exceptionally rainy summer.

Get a copy of the Milepost. It is kind of dorky in an RV sort of way, but just one useful tip late in a long day of driving is worth the price and more.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Sir Sam
Samba Member


Joined: July 19, 2009
Posts: 1667
Location: Fort Collins Colorado!
Sir Sam is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Chris.



Wow, long time no updates, getting ready to goto alaska to drive up the dalton highway:

New fridge is installed, watching the freezer temps:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Second deep cycle battery installed down on the left, new outlet wired to 800W inverter, two 12V outlets crammed into the old breaker box. New propane regulator hooked up with 1lb bottle adapter. since all I will be using for is the stove the 1lb bottle should work just fine.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So I used some 3/4" angle iron doubled up to make a ledge for the swivel seat:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then I once all the welding was done I realized that I welded it in backwards.........YARG

After some correction. The seat swivels:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


fridge sticks out a little further than the stock one did, but it doesn't mess up the interior space or anything:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
'91 Carat Westy

87' Syncro + '87 Westy conversion coming soon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB