"Alaska Trip", pros & cons of Scamp, Blog information

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Gary Lee
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Additional information on Alaska, Trip, Sept. 29, 2014

Hello Everyone, 

I hope you did not think we left to go back to Alaska again, it has been awhile since I last posted and that will never, ever, ever happen again (DRIVE to Alaska) in my lifetime.  We may go on a cruise etc. and see things we did not see but never drive it, I promise!!  I really hope you will all heed my warning and research before trying this tredge, TAKE A CRUISE, FLY IN OR TAKE A TRAIN BUT 
"DRIVING WILL BE A DISSAPOINTMENT TO MOST( especially the driver)"but make up your own mind. 

I am going to post a few photos here that are in a special folder designed for mostly Scamp owners and I can see by the number of those reading my updates on our Alaska trip that you are interested in getting information I only wish I had received. The photos I am posting are from that special file I made for you to view, I will continue to update the Photobucket albums but I have about 20 more to post and that takes a lot of time.  I only hope this effort is enjoyed and considered by you all for your trip so that you have more information to enjoy your trip way more than I did.  Remember, if you drive the driver will not get to enjoy himself during the many, many hours of driving because of the roads in the upper North American tredge to Alaska. 

I may not get all my photos I intended to post today done but will do so tomorrow if not.  I had trouble with posting more than one photo in the past with using the (IE) browser and will hope for the best in my use of Google Chrome.  Wish me luck. 

We have been back a little over a month now and everyday I still say at least 5 times a day, (Man it is so good to be home).  that is not a real good trip if you continue to say that everyday but I sure am and the prices here in the Lower 48 are wonderful!!!  For Everything!!!

I have to tell you now also that for many miles our friends Dave & Mary offered to tow our Scamp through much of Canada and Alaska as the mountain hills were up to 12 deg and average 10 deg. climb for very long distances and I just thought my car would never make it.  She worked really hard to keep up to Dave up to the point where Dave started pulling our Scamp.  

So I do not bore you any more here are a few of the photos I intend to post here on (SOI):

Price of fuel way back when Jesus wore pampers I believe, sure wish these days would return.  This fuel pump was in a field at one of the camping grounds we stopped at overnight in alaska. 

This was actual cost of fuel in ALASKA once we arrived there, July of 2014.

This was the highest price we paid in Yukon, this is the price per Litre which adds up to nearly $8.00 US per gallon!!!!!!, 

On way through Canada, BC and the Yukon get used to using one of these.  Be carefull, you have no idea what lurkes in there or the opening on each side of each out house.  Get used to the smell, it ain't gonna be good!

Here is a view of what is inside, you hope.  women especially love using these, Some so nasty you could puke. 

This was family time each night for 72 nights we spent on the road in our Scamp.  Our dogs get along great with the Guinea Pigs, we were so glad to bring our entire family with us in our Scamp.  It was also in this same bed that Linda saved my life using the Hymelick Maneuver to relive me of chicken caught in my throat with no way to breathe.  I thank here ever day since as well even today, you have no idea what this can do to you mentally when you think what could have happened. 

While at our good friend Dave 7 Mary Brawdy's house before we left for Alaska I  introduced our Guineas to a very friendly horse, it was so darn funny.  Horse did not know what to think of these hairy little critters.

Here he shows his emotions, only was not sure if it was cause he wanted to eat them!!

Yes, here we are after 9 days of traveling through Canada at my Bucket List destination. 

Dave pulling my Scamp through the border to enter Alaska. 

 

here is proof our whole family was there to celebrate part of my bucket list together.  

At a museum in Anchorage Alaska we seen this. 

()f course I had to be a fool and get in the tub and have a great laugh and so did everyone at the museum. 

Living conditions of some of the "Gold Miners" whom trudge up to Alaska looking for that big nugget even today.  We seen many, many set ups like this that are actually lived in daily. 

I misplaced the name of this Scamp owner but there is a story here.  I left this campground to get something at the store and when I drove back I was not paying attention where I was going to park my car.  So I got out of my car, got my groceries from the store I bought and knocked on the door to get in as my wife sometimes locks the door.  Well this was not even my Scamp and the owner was gone and I had to step back to realize this was not my Scamp in the first place.  It was quite funny at the time.  The owner was very nice and a business man and I feel bad I misplaced his business card as I know he reads this forum.  I was very glad to have met and talked with him and his Scamp was of the 1970"s if I remember correctly, he loves it and travels in it all the time. 

Well this was the first serious problem I had because of the bad roads in Canada and Alaska, they took their toll on my old vehicle.  The brakes were in good shape according to my mechanic here in SC but after traveling about 7,000 miles and about 1,000 of these miles I believe was in gravel the dirt etc. just ate up my entire brake system.  It was all fixed to be like new, at the cost of $1,000!!!  Nothing is cheap in Alaska, nothing!1

This was the 2nd problem we had and the first time getting towed which was on our way back home.  We just got into ND and the bearing on the driver side of our Scamp failed and got eaten up.  The reason this happened, the bearing was not adjusted by the mfg. correctly.  The warranty covered this but it still cost us two travel days etc. 

OK, here we are again, 108 miles from home and the Harmonic Balancer on my Jeep come apart.  Had to get towed to a garage again, two more days lost!!  Age may have had a lot to do with the failure of my harmonic balancer but I am sure the fine dirt from so  many bad roads sure as heck did not help.  

Well we finally made it home and kissed the ground where the Scamp was to be parked temporarly.  I have to tell you that our good friends that traveled with us from Pullman, Wa. traveled through Canada and Alaska and then back through Canada and then back to Pullman, Wa at the cost of over $7,000 for Diesel!!!  A cruise would have been about 1/2 of that cost and a lot of fun not having to pull into so many fuel stations at the cost of what it was up there. Canada is horrible in particular. 

To go to the actual album I posted today and see more photo highlights of the other albums I will post go to: 

http://s629.photobucket.com/user/busconverter101/library/Scamp%20On%20Line%20photos%20as%20taster?sort=3&page=1

I will post when the complete other photos are posted, this takes a lot of time to do. 

Garylee

 

 

 

 

 

Garylee

Snow Gypsy
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Awesome Thread

I really enjoyed this thread with so much info not to mention seeing that someone else takes a guinea pig (or two) camping.  Someone recently said "You're taking your guinea pig camping?  I said "Well, what else would we do with her?"  Sparky, 4 1/2 years old, mixed breed between long hair and short hair, black, white and silver.  The only issue we have with her in tight quarters is when we eat fresh salads.  She is very demanding.

I was in AK in Anchorage at Elmendorf AFB in the mid-70s.  Would love for the family to go some day and see it.  So many places and so little time.

Cathy

 

 

Cathy

Joy A.
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Don't let Garylee scare you

Don't let Garylee scare you off.

I did the Alaska trip in 2006 all by myself from Central California up the Alaskan Highway and then back down the coast via the Alaska ferry system.  The only road I did not do was "The Top of the World".  I went everywhere with my favorite spot being the tip of the Spit in Homer.  I had a great time with absolutely no problems.  Sure my Scamp wasn't brand new but then in the 6 years prior to Alaska I've never had any problems with my Scamp.  New is not the issue.

My trip was just short of 3 months.  I would do the trip again "In A Heartbeat".

(Oh yes, I did have 3 screws backout occasionally that are on bottom of the kitchen cabinet, but then they do that all the time, so I just screw them back in.)

 

 

Joy A. & Olive

2001 13 Scamp "Puff"

Full-timer

2019 1500 Ram Longhorn

SOI #168

 

BDeaton
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Yup,

Yup,

What Joy A. says.

We did our Alaska trip two years ago.  The total trip took over 20,000 miles.  Our "bucket list" required travel from north of the Arctic Circle down to the Mexican Border.

We took a ferry out of Bellingham, WA up the Inland Passage to Skagway, AK and started Scamping from there.  Did Yukon Canada to "Highway Over the Top of the World" (must say, that was an interesting mostly 5 to 10 mph experience on the AK part of the Highway!!!  However, we are retired and do not do reservations so...did not HAVE to be anywhere on time. LOL).  Heard recently  that AK has paved the AK part of the "Highway". (CHECK THIS INFO before committing to it!)  The Canada part if the Highway was already wonderfully done.

We used the pipe line haul road to go north of the Arctic Circle then toured most of the paved Alaska roads down as far as Haines and Seward.  Then back thru Canada visiting all possible airports and museums along the Alcan Highway (my bucket list).  Then entered the U.S. in Montana and cruised down Hwy 191 to see the American flag flying at the Mexican border at  Douglas, AZ.

We started the trip with new Scamp tires and were able to use same tires for another 18,000 miles for a total of 38,000 tire miles.....so Canadian roads apparently did not hurt tires.  Interesting that I had problem with frost heaves on Alcan Highway until Bevie noticed that they mark the parameter of the damaged area with little red pendant flags on short pieces of wire stuck into the roadway.  She called out bad sections coming up so I was able to slow WAY down before making the "Lil Critter" go airborn.  ;>)

It was a trip we will always remember.  We are thankful we were able to do it.

The Scamp is what makes it possible for us to live our dream of seeing as much of the U.S. and Canada as possible. I am sort of a maintenance freak ( e.g.  I lube Scamp wheel bearings every 5-8,000 miles.) so we have not had an on road emergency in 8 years.  Note that Bev only allows paved roads except for the Alaska trip (her bucket list) and the Apache Trail in Arizona Superstition Mts. (my bucket list) so pulling the "Lil Critter" is perfect for us.

Bob D.

Bob D
2005 13' Scamp  "Lil Critter"
Brenda, AZ

Gary Lee
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Not intending to scare anyone

My intention of all the information on our trip to our Alaskan trip is not to scare anyone but to tell you of the experience we personally had and I expressed that often.  Yes we did have some good things to view etc. but I was warning everyone what to expect and the pit falls that could occur and did to us.  Everyone has to make their own decision but what price are you willing to pay?  I would always recommend the trip to Alaska but not driving the way we did.  Take the cruises available from Seattle etc. is my recommendation, allow much time to travel if you drive, even 72 days from SC was not enough as it is 9 days through and 9 days back out of Canada = 18 days at the speeds that are safe to travel.  

I wish everyone the best of luck in your decision, Personally we did not receive complete gratification on this vacation trip that was supposed to be the biggest part of my bucket list but it was at the cost of $14,000 and we did not see all we wished to and could have if we took the cruises, train rides and perhaps a air plane ride that is sometimes available in a package deal for way less than we paid out and you get to see Alaska as you envision it. 

I would have no reason to leave this information if it had not been our (Personal Experience). Exaggerating any information of our trip is the last thing I would ever wish to do on this forum.   

The lower 48 states will always be our stomping ground in the future and our egg will never get broken again.

Good Luck with your decision.

Garylee 

Garylee

chickostick
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any bed modifications?

I read through your whole trip. WOW!!!! I am curios if you used the cushions that came with the scamp for your matress or if you made any modifications?

Gary Lee
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Bed modifications for long trip recommendations

Chickostick, to answer your question on the bedding we used.  Yes we did use the cushions in our Scamp but also bought a 2" foam top mat that fit our bedding mattress (cushions), 54" I believe in width.  I do recommend this or even thicker but it will cost more but well worth it.  We did not break down our bed at any time during our trip, (78 Days & Nights) but left it in bed form at all times and we still do now for our trips so we could crash any time we wanted and you will want to in the afternoon at times just to decompress from driving, driving, driving.  

Leaving your bed down and not using the dinett is your choice of coarse but a real PIA to remake from bed to dinett each day.  We did this for two days then we said no way will I have my Wife and I work our butts off to make it each day and with very little storage room to put the extra foam mattress and bedding.  Again, your choice.  We at many times in bed if the weather got bad at times, we bought plastic lap trays and it worked fine.  But most of the time we ate in our companions bus or in our camping chairs outside.  Make it a fun adventure.  If you have animals with you, we did, (two chicuacua's and two guinea pigs) also and they loved playing on the bed in our camper when we stopped traveling for the day. 

I guarantee you the standard Scamp cushions will break your back after two days.

I hope this helps you decide, you will thank me if you add more padding under the skeleton. Good Luck. 

Garylee 

Garylee

Snow Gypsy
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The Worst That Could Happen

Garylee:  I did not see it as "scary".  We always try to trouble shoot through our minds the worst case scenarios, ask ourselves if we could deal with that and if the answer is "yes", we are ready to go ahead and take it on.  You took a lot of time to detail situations, many or all could happen just about anywhere.  Again, thank you!

 

 

 

Cathy

pcweir
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Thanks for the adventure!

Driving the Alcan Highway has been a lifelong dream of mine.  Thank you for sharing the ups and (especially) the downs of your trip, since there's so much more to learn from them. Good lessons learned without having to suffer the discomfort, and useful no matter where my Little Dumpling and I go.

Pamela Weir
Scamp 13' - "Little Dumpling"

Gary Lee
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Alcan Highway traveling

Good Luck (pcweir) when you travel the Alcan Highway.  Listening to all the information and preparing better than we did will probably make your trip a more pleasant one for you and your family.  Plan to travel slow, stop often at sites, take your time every day and if you see something interesting, STOP and look.  I would say to allow 2-3 full months, and no less.  Be sure of your travel money situation and make sure your tow vehicle is in tip top shape, tires, oil, timing chain, I mean everything.  check your air in all vehicles every morning, don't miss this.  Use a laser temperature monitor from HF or similar to shoot your tires every time you stop to be sure the wheel bearing and wheels are all the same temperature.  (I would definately, definatly repack and adjust my wheel bearings) to have ease of mind you did all you can before your trip. Have top shape vehicle brakes on your tow vehicle, the dust and stones will take their toll if you run on half brakes, it will cost about $1,000 for complete brake job in Alaska which includes rotors.  

Try not to overload your vehicles, (we did and suffered because of it), bring plenty of the BEST bug repellent you can get and bring a stinging kit in your medical box for those pesty critters that the repellent will not affect or very little. 

If you hit lots of frost heaves and you will, slow down, enjoy the ride up and down of them, but protect your trailer as well as tow vehicle.  If you go with others, have good CB's that have longer range to communicate than hand radios with only a few hundred feet if that no matter what the instructions say.  A CB will also put you in contact with police and emergencies if needed.  Do not let anyone get ahead of you if you travel in a group, one stops for photos or toilet, you all stop and start again together.  Anyone in a hurry let them go on their own and tell them you will meet them PROBABLY up ahead but just let it happen.  

Have good towing insurance, (AAA or similar, research on net for the best) be sure you are covered in Canada.  You will be no less than 9 days going through Canada, (ONE WAY) and 18 days both ways!!!!  Allow for this in your phoning home to family to update them.  You will be out of phone range many times, and it is $.75 min. to call if you do not have special plan from your phone provider.  Set up your bills to be paid on line when needed, but pay them early when you have internet service as many, many places do not have this.

Do not let your fuel get below 1/2 tank in Canada or Alaska at any time!!  Hope you do this.  Use a special TRAVEL debit or credit card for your trip, monitor all charges each night as you stop if possible on the internet.  Some will try to double charge you and you cannot remember where this happened if you let this slide.  

I am just giving you quick tips to consider for a safe, enjoyable trip which I know can happen and with the help of my suggestions and GOD you will not have any of the experiences we had but you will have only good ones.  

I wish you much luck, take many photos and videos, stop often and just enjoy this trip.  Don't let my bad experiences discourage you but let them help prepare you.

Garylee  

Garylee

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