Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Copperas Cove, Texas
In an earlier post I said if I wasn't in Afghanistan in May 2014 the plan was to go back to Alaska then. Well it's May 2013 and I currently AM in Afghanistan, so I shouldn't be here this time next year, which means we're planning for Alaska in May 2014.
I'll be home in the fall, so plenty of time to finish getting the truck ready for Alaska. Before coming to Afghanistan my buddy and I pulled the mounts and brackets for a dual battery set-up from a diesel Dodge Ram to put into my truck (1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4), and we pulled a roof rack off a Dodge Minivan for the truck's topper (all sitting at home waiting to be mounted). I've already ordered the rims and slightly larger tires for the truck (they'll be waiting for me when I get home), and before coming to Afghanistan I talked to a shop about changing the gears from 3.55 to 4.10 and a true-trac up front (to match the rear) to be done when I get home. The truck got a tuner (Hemifever) to optimize performance, and I swapped out the slightly warped OE front rotors for some drilled/slotted rotors. We'll have the truck ready for Alaska come May next year.
So barring any higher priority events (kids weddings), we're planning on going to Alaska & Canada during the May/June timeframe 2014. It will be a three week trip starting and ending in Bellingham, WA; usually the ferry leaves on a Friday and we will get off at Haines, AK. We'll be driving back through Canada and leaving Canada through Vancouver at the end of the three weeks ending back in Bellingham, WA.
If you want to join us, or are even remotely considering it, let me know and start planning now; it's only a year away. And if you're thinking of building a trailer for the trip, start the trailer project now. Start rounding up your camping gear you still need (there's some I want to still get, like the propane shower) and such so you can spread the cost out over the next year. Ask for specific camping gear for Christmas! Vehicle requirements are minimal, but include things like all four tires in good condition (if you need new tires, get them before the trip; this isn't the time to try and squeeze a few more miles out of your current set), full size matching spare in good condition (no temporary spares), tow points front and rear (a factory tow hook up front and a rear 2" receiver is adequate), CB radio, fire extinguisher, and sound mechanical condition. If anything is questionable (like hoses or belts) get them changed before the trip so you can do it at your convenience and where parts are readily available. Auto parts stores are few and far between in the Alaska/Canada wilderness. Battery on it's last leg? Get a new one before we head out. Got a small mysterious coolant leak? Figure it out and fix it before even leaving home. Belt squealing? Change it (and check the tensioner too).
Trailers (4-6' utility/expedition type trailers only, not big camper-type trailers) in good condition, and you'll need a matching spare tire (and preferably bring an extra hub with bearings - they're not that expensive).
I'm looking forward to getting back to Alaska! I want it to be fun. Let me know if you have any questions.
coops2k - how are your trip plans to Alaska coming along?