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Headed back North

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Old 01-26-2018, 10:32 AM   #1
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Headed back North

Starting to look like work will finally let me get back to Alaska and this time stay for a couple years. Even though having the Mrs follow me in her car has its benefits, like not having to listen to Top 40-hope she never reads this- for the 3205 mile journey that is quickly approaching, I'm thinking about towing her car.

So, anybody ever towed the Alaska highway? Would sticking a Subaru in an enclosed trailer along with the rest of our belongings be as practical as I think?

What would you do to your truck, besides fresh fluids and routine maintenance? I'm thinking bumper, lights, exhaust brake, gauges, two spares...depending on what Anchorage area emissions are, maybe I can remove my cat for a little extra flow.

Is this money saving? Besides the cost of the trailer, I figure Ill be towing anyway, so whats another (3100 lbs for the car and the weight of a 20 foot trailer instead of 12) aprox 5k lbs? Its only fuel, mileage, and wear and tear on one vehicle instead of two....

Its probably important to say that this will be in early march, Ive never driven to AK, Im very experienced at towing even in poor road conditions, and of course Ill be bringing plenty of gear and equipment.

Just throwing this out there since I dont have anyone to discuss it with in person. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:09 PM   #2
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I recently bought a new Forest River 22ftx8.5ft Vee nose cargo trailer 6000lb axles with a rear ramp door and hidden beaver tail to get the ramp angle down, I bought it sight unseen and they delivered it to my house. Finding anything with heavy axles and 16 inch wheels was difficult and I had to settle for the rear ramp door. The rear of the trailer is very low to the ground and has a skid plate at both sides which I touched a couple of times on entry and exit ramps, the trailer in general is not very high either, as I'm only on fairly good roads I thought it would be ok and help with fuel mileage. I towed it loaded 825miles then return the same distance empty, I used 1/3 more fuel total than the same trip towing my 36ft 5ver rv, I was shocked. The trailer has floor tie downs but they are not rated very heavy and the trailer walls are flimsy, it's not an enclosed flat deck equipment trailer. Just some things to consider.
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by IHCsawyer View Post
Starting to look like work will finally let me get back to Alaska and this time stay for a couple years. Even though having the Mrs follow me in her car has its benefits, like not having to listen to Top 40-hope she never reads this- for the 3205 mile journey that is quickly approaching, I'm thinking about towing her car.

So, anybody ever towed the Alaska highway? Would sticking a Subaru in an enclosed trailer along with the rest of our belongings be as practical as I think?

What would you do to your truck, besides fresh fluids and routine maintenance? I'm thinking bumper, lights, exhaust brake, gauges, two spares...depending on what Anchorage area emissions are, maybe I can remove my cat for a little extra flow.

Is this money saving? Besides the cost of the trailer, I figure Ill be towing anyway, so whats another (3100 lbs for the car and the weight of a 20 foot trailer instead of 12) aprox 5k lbs? Its only fuel, mileage, and wear and tear on one vehicle instead of two....

Its probably important to say that this will be in early march, Ive never driven to AK, Im very experienced at towing even in poor road conditions, and of course Ill be bringing plenty of gear and equipment.

Just throwing this out there since I dont have anyone to discuss it with in person. Thanks in advance!
I`ve driven the ALCAN high way 3 times. in `63,`69,`93. the first two were 1,100 miles of gravel, dirt and mud. the `93 trip was all black top. good road. the one thing you need to get is a copy of "the mile post" a travel guide that tells what`s on every mile of the highway. another thing, if you have guns better get with the Canadians to get permits for them. I hear it is a ton of paper work to get long guns in. pistols are next to impossible. some of my friends mailed their guns to them selves in Alaska. in `93 my son had NO guns, but the Mounties found 1 .22 long rifle bullet in the counsel of his pick up, and they dismanteled his truck looking for a gun. they found none, and walked away. took him 3 hours to put his truck back together. in `63 and `69 long guns were okay, but pistols were restricted big time. I had long guns but no pistols, so it was easy to cross the border. from `93 on it has gotten much harder to get any guns into Canada.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:09 PM   #4
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wow. more fuel than with the 5ver! i never would have thought.

which of your trucks were you towing that with busboy? weight would be close to my last tow. that was an old 34 foot 5ver with everything we owned it it. it was just over 15000 lbs

All of our belongings weigh in under 3000 lbs. her car is 3100 according to google and the empty weight of the tandem axle 8.5 x 20 trailer im eyeing is 3200. so minimum estimation is about 10k lbs. add two adults, two dogs, extra fuel and tires, i could see 12-13k being total weight......mpg wont be good. 12ish if im lucky?

any idea what eliminating 3-4,000 pounds, and towing a 7 x 12 would net me?
So towing (2000 lb trailer + 4000 lbs of crap) i could see 14 or 15 mpg but maybe im optimistic
I dont see it offsetting the cost of fuel for the second car, but ill have to crunch some more numbers

also thank you jta. I knew I couldnt bring the hand gun, but hadnt yet looked into my long guns. I didn't think Canada would have an issue with two bolt action rifles and a pump 12 gauge. and my copy of the 2017 milepost should be arriving any day now!
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:21 PM   #5
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The 2011 3500 fully deleted. The 13700lb GVWR 5ver is a newer one with an aerodynamic front but the cargo trailer has a vee nose that is also sloped down, the only other factor was I tow about 10 mph faster with the 5ver which you would think would use more fuel not less. Yes guns are a factor up here, my son is a collector and has quite a few restricted guns even transporting between provinces you need a permit. If you don't need them for the trip I would just ship them.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:36 PM   #6
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Another thought might be a flat deck equipment trailer and a storage box tied down for your belongings, the trailer would be much cheaper and much sturdier. My 20ft 14000lb flat deck has 2x6 floor while the cargo trailer has 3/4 plywood and was almost 1/3rd the cost of the cargo trailer. It would be easier to tie the car down on a flat deck.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:14 PM   #7
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I do like that flat deck idea. Surely I can find a small shipping container or something to put on it. and there are flat decks galore in my area. we lose the rough plan of possibly sleeping inside the trailer, but it might allow me to convince the ol' lady to buy a topper for my truck haha

sounds like the guns are going to need shipped. Why move to AK if I dont have my 300 win mag?

busboy do have link for the type of storage box you were thinking of?
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:39 PM   #8
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id be looking for something decently large. all of our stuff fits in an 8x10. the price of storage containers shocked me.

i suppose the least expensive option is to build something myself. hopefully something that holds up to highway speeds haha
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:49 PM   #9
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I'm currently moving the 825ml back to the farm and have been transporting things there. I did look at sea cans but they weigh too much so I bought the cargo trailer for furniture. For other things I made a 4ftx8ftx4ft high 1/2inch plywood box that I can unscrew the top and front for ease of loading. You could easily make a 8x8x8ft box with a door like a small shed from 2x4 frame and plywood sheeting screwed to the deck of the trailer, tarp it for the trip and strap it down. Once there you could unload it shingle the roof and you have a shed or BBQ shack ready to use.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:53 PM   #10
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If you need 10ft storage length then you'll need a slightly longer trailer than 20ft to tie the car down.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:09 PM   #11
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thinking that I may have found a use for my parents old deck wood....
with the Subaru packed to the gills i shouldnt need such a large unit. limiting its height will be the most important. I built a box that filled the bed of a truck a couple years ago when I worked for the US forest service in washington. it was made with scrap wood from ripping down bum shelters, and is still in use 5 years later. surely I can handle this (famous last words)
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