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Old 06-16-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
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Heading North

My wife and I are wondering what experiences people have had towing trailers off-pavement in northern BC, the Territories, and Alaska.

We drove up there in a 4-cyl. diesel Land Cruiser many years ago, and feel the urge to go north again, this time with a travel trailer, probably an Escape 17B, behind our 4Runner. We had most of the Territorial campgrounds to ourselves back then, and put up the tent if the bugs weren't bad, and slept in the Land Cruiser if they were. (We had unbolted the rear seat and left it at home). Having a trailer along will be a huge comfort upgrade.

We drove the Stewart Cassiar Highway, went to Whitehorse, then Dawson City, drove the Dempster to Inuvik, re-traced to Dawson, drove the Top of the World back to the AK Highway, saw Kluane Park, then caught the Alaska ferry at Skagway to Rupert, then the BC Ferry home to Vancouver Island. The whole trip took four weeks.

We went in late July/early August, and encountered zero rain. As a result, all of the gravel roads were dusty, but firm, we had no tire trouble, and never needed 4WD.

We'd love to hear about the adventures of Escapees who have towed a trailer over any of those roads, or who have enjoyed an off-pavement trailer trip anywhere in western Canada or the western USA. Any tips regarding trailer preparation and gear selection would also be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: Heading North

Hi Catchlight,

We traveled to Alaska from Texas last year. We were gone over three months and traveled almost everywhere you mentioned, pulling a 17' Casita. The tow vehicle was a Nissan Pathfinder (no 4wd). We didn’t have any problems with the driving, but did replace tires near the end of our trip.

We only took the ferry from Haines to Juneau and then back to Skagway, the rest was driving. Alaska had the rainiest summer in 51 years. It was cold and dreary many days, but it never stopped us from sightseeing. If you are interested, I can send you our spreadsheet with costs incurred. Send me your email and I will send you the attachments. They are too long to attach here.

Vicki
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Heading North

There are several members of the Casita forums who made that trip in their trailers. Might provide a bit of insight.

Dave
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #4
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Re: Heading North

Thanks for that, Dave. I'll check it out.
Brent.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:53 AM   #5
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Re: Heading North

The Alaska highway is good right to Fairbanks, you just have to dodge poy holes and road construction in the shakwak area before Beaver Creek.

If you want off road expeience (Gravel) give me a call when you get to Whitehorse or send me an E Mail.

I just returned from a few lakes that may interest you if you want to get off road.

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Old 06-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Heading North

Thanks, Doug. That would be great to have some local knowledge when the time comes.
Brent.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:53 PM   #7
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Re: Heading North

Brent;

If I was to ever return to the lower mainland to live I would probably live in Courtney.

We have friends on the Island who live in Merville, and for years a group of about fifty people would cpllect on their land for a "Pig Out"

Spend the weekend cooking a pig, playing horseshoes and bocci, drinking beer and telling lies.

I am not quite to old for that now. late nights, ?

Friends children and dogs all have a good time.

Doug
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: Heading North

Gord,

Yes, the Comox Valley is a great place to live, and while Courtenay is getting big box retailers, most recently Costco, ten miles north the funky little country store is still the hub in Merville.

The Pig Out sounds typical of a lot of free-flowing, multigenerational Mervillian events, where everyone interacts and celebrates as they see fit, and the neighbours are either out of eyesight and earshot on the next acreage, or they are friends who brought some great food and maybe a guitar, and are there with you around the fire. I guess the word is "community", which might be an endangered commodity in some places.

And there are several good campgrounds in the forest or by the ocean for any Escapees interested in coming to visit the Comox Valley, and Vancouver Island in general.

Brent.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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Re: Heading North

Brent,

Good campgrounds on the ocean sounds good. We might take you up on that in the future.

Vicki
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