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Old 03-23-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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Top of the World Highway

The wife and I will be traveling to Alaska from Florida this summer. We will detour off of the Alcan Highway to Dawson Creek then to Fairbanks via the top of the word highway. My question is for those who recently driven the highway; what are we to expect as far as road conditions, are they any special preparations that should be made? We will be traveling through there in mid July.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:21 PM   #2
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:30 PM   #3
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Crossed the TOW last June. Leaving Dawson, you will ferry across the Yukon River. The road over to the state line is all gravel and dusty, but it was in very good shape. If raining it would be pretty messy. Customs was no problem but only open certain hours. First 10-15 miles on US side was terrible. Road construction, building base for road, large and sharp rocks. Drove 10-15 MPH and made it without any problems. One lady ruined two tires on the TOW. Should be OK by this summer.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply. I have a fifth wheel with two spares. I plan on taking it slow and enjoy the scenery. I'll give myself all day to travel the highway.


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Old 04-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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I took this route in late July 2013. If you have time go up the Dempster Hwy (gravel) before you get to Dawson. A very nice CG, Tombstone Territorial Park, about 25 miles up the road. Leave your 5ver at the CG and drive further up the Dempster. Some of the best scenery on my whole trip was up the Dempster. Beautiful! (I didn't do the whole thing. I just went up 50 or so miles.)

The TOW drive was not bad. All gravel and just a little narrow. It keeps your attention. The Canadian side is in excellent condition. The American side was shorter but was rough and under construction in 2013.

When you finish the TOW you end up in Chicken, Ak. There is a fancier restaurant but I ate at the funky Chicken Creek Cafe and had an excellent meal. Homemade desserts also. Well worth the stop. There is a one pump gas station there also.

The Dempster, Dawson, the TOW and Chicken was a very fun part of the trip and well worth the extra driving. Have fun! It's a great trip.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:43 PM   #6
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Loved going through Chicken,
Great food, We we also there on July 17th of 2013
Stayed at the campground over night and continued on the next morning.
Poured rain all night along with the road construction it was a very slow go and a mud mess, By the time we got into Dawson City you could not tell that is was a motor home, It looked like a mud covered truck, Found a car wash about 3/4 miles out of town . After and hour and a half and about $28.00. Looked like a motor home once again, Was a great part of the trip, great scenery.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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I too will be heading to Alaska then hit Dawson City on the way back. What special preps did anyone make to their trailer? Ours is a FW with a battery box hanging out the bottom of the basement and some sewer pipe showing.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
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Really not much. I have an open bottom so I put plastic auto/electrical tubing around the exposed wires as best I could. My biggest prep was to replace the OEM tires with Maxxis. I felt a lot more confident putting 11,000 miles on the Maxxis. I added darkening material to the curtains since I don't have "night shades". You will be surprised how light it is at 10 pm, 11 pm and even a little at midnight mid summer. If you want to go to bed at 10 or 11 you need to darken up the camper otherwise it is still light outside. That was about it. You are in for a great trip!

You want to get 2 books for sure. The Milepost, of course. Then there is a book written by a husband and wife, the Churches. I don't remember the title. I'm not at home but camping at the KOA in Springfield, Ill. The Churches book gives you every place you can camp including free road side rests. I used it almost daily to decide where I would camp the next evening. If you want the name, let me know and I will get it for you when we complete our vacation.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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Yes I would love to have the name of the book. Me and my wife are heading to Alaska in one year somewhere around April or May of 2016 and plan on making the trip from Texas to Anchorage and we are going to start a new life there then. we have a Cedar Creek 33IK and plan on taking it. full timing right now in Texas.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:26 PM   #10
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Wow, that's quite a life change from Texas to full time in Alaska. The book is called "Traveler's Guide To Alaskan Camping" by Mike and Terri Church and is available at Amazon.com. The book was updated in 2013. It is really full of camping options all along your route through Canada, the Yukon and Alaska. I had brought along a couple of other books but rarely used them. I used The Milepost and the Church book just about every day. Both books were a lot of fun to go through the winter before you leave so you can plan your route.

Good luck with your travels and your life change!
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:02 PM   #11
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Did my "rent an RV" trip to AK back in 2002. Awesome scenery. Eventually, you will just stop taking pictures because around every bend is another beautiful view (plus back then digital cameras were in their early stages and the memory cards--remember those?--filled up quickly.)

If you find yourself going down the Kenai Penninsula toward Homer, Russian River Campground was very pretty and quiet. Also in Homer, you can actually camp on the beach (I don't recall what kind of hookups they had there, though.) If heading up toward Fairbanks and Denali--they have (had) some odd rules at Denali...they don't let you drive out the park road, unless you're camping at Teklanika CG (30 miles into the park,) but you have to stay there for 3 nights and you can't leave...so we didn't do that. Also, Exit Glacier was awesome--you could walk up to it and pick up pieces of glacial ice that had fallen off (which was also great for pouring Kentucky bourbon over later.)

As I did not drive up there but flew and rented, I can't help you with any AlCan or TOW recommendations. Oh, but don't drive up the Dalton highway. It sounds like a good idea until about 3 miles in when every dish in your cupboards is broken...

Have a great trip!
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:08 PM   #12
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My wife and I plus Bandit are planning the Alaska trip in 2016, thanks for the tip about the Churches book. Got it in my Amazon wish list.
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:47 PM   #13
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We started our trip to Alaska on May 31st. In rapid city sd now. We will be entering Canada after the 4th of July from glacier.


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