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mdanard

Towing to Alaska

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We are planning our first trip to Alaska in 2020 and have heard stories about the road and possible damage to toads. We have a 42' motorhome and tow a 2019 Ram truck.  We protect the truck with a rock guard and tow defender (all by Roadmaster).  Does anyone have first hand experience with this drive and how the toad has held up?  I would think we have the protection we need but would hate to get there and mess up the truck with no options.

Thanks

Mike

 

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Mike.  Welcome to the Forum!

I'm at the end of South Central Rally and both coaches next to me,  new 2019 Newmar's 45 foot, one with a CRV toad & one with a Jeep unlimited, spent 44 days in Canada, Yukon and 60 days in Alaska...not even a scratch!  They, like me, don't have a rock guard or tow defender...cause more dings than they prevent, due to turbulence!  Ever see them on Newell or Prevost?  We just returned 2 weeks ago from 63 days in all the Eastern Canada Maritime, including Labrador.  I have a Tradition 45' & Jeep toad, no problem!  Was told the roads in Alaska, was better than Newfoundland and Quebec.

Only one thing bothers me about your post...you seem to be more concerned about a $46,000 Ram Truck, than a $$$$ 42' DP !!

I was in Alaska 1978 & 1987...my Fiance was there in one of her coaches in 1996 & 2004...we are going again in 2021...New DP 45 & Toad. 

Go enjoy yourself's...one suggestion.  Carry an extra serpentine belt for DP, filters and windshield wiper blades.

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If you have a full-width mud flap. leave it home; it kicks up more rocks than it blocks. When we went, some friends who went with us have an Essex towing a Ford Explorer. One one particular strip of graveled road repairs, when we stopped for the evening, their Explorer had the area where the wipers are full of rocks, even though they have the tow protector on their tow-bar. The wagonmaster suggested removing the mud flap, they did. That eliminated the gravel in the wiper area.

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Ray, that's the reason why Newell & Prevost have the flap separating drive axle and  tag!  No full flap in back, turbulence!  You also don't see their 4 down vehicles with a Rock Guard.

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Went to Alaska in 01 with a friend.  He had a full width rock guard.  After a few hundred miles his toad, a full size Ford van, had both sealed beam headlights broken and filled full of gravel.  I determined that the rocks from the tires were hitting the rock guard and bounce off the road and up to the headlights.  We went to a plastic shop in Anchorage and got some Lexan 1/8 sheets and duck tape them over the headlights.  I use camping sleeping mats with 6 ft bungee cords across the front of my truck and not one mark on the toad.  On gravel roads when oncoming trucks are running 75 mph I always slow to 25 mph and nose into the shoulder.  Only broke one driving light lens.

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Thanks for the info, good points to consider.  We have been told that the gravel roads are hard on towed vehicles.  We used to get rock chips on our toad before the rock guard but that doesn't normally happen now.  Never really considered the mud flap creating turbulence.  

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Ray, same with the sweeper...both have been around, since the early 1970's...have used them on gas units, never DP's.

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2 hours ago, manholt said:

Ray, same with the sweeper...both have been around, since the early 1970's...have used them on gas units, never DP's.

The biggest problem with my coach as many is there a rear radiator.  The fan there has a tendency to suck rocks into the radiator and damage it.  To protect the radiator the manufacture install a belly screen to stop the rocks.  What happens is those rocks roll across the screen and come out between the bumper and the factory rock guard with your toad gets blasted.  What the "sweeper" do is catch those rocks  below the bumper and direct them down to the ground where they belong.  

I had the old factory rock guard and it was a big failure and was also like dragging a anchor in the water.  If you have a side radiator and good mud flaps behind the rear wheels you don't need either of them.  Also neither will protect your toad from getting dirty from rain or dust.  

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On 9/26/2019 at 9:01 AM, manholt said:

Ray, same with the sweeper...both have been around, since the early 1970's...have used them on gas units, never DP's.

Carl, this is off-topic, however one Dawson City attraction that was not to be missed has a sad story today. The inventor of the "Sourtoe cocktail" has died.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/captain-****-stevenson-sourtoe-obituary-1.5359630

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We did 62 days this past summer in BC, Yukon and AK. After a couple of days I did strap up my full width mud flap because it caused all sorts of rocks to fly up onto the Jeep, fortunately no damage. We did get two chips and cracks in the windshield though . And neither was on a gravel road but on good paved roads in BC..

Also be aware that in BC and Yukon and parts of AK, their idea of road paving and repair is gravel and oil. Also between the time they lay the gravel and oil it, they put sodium chloride on it to keep dust down, really does a number on metal and aluminum wheels.

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Ray, thank you for the Link.  I was already drunk, when it was in my glass of Yukon Gold (that's the best)!  Yep. Got the certificate in 1987!  Don't think I'll kiss his toe! :ph34r::wacko:

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