July 6, 2020

We're back! Thank you for your patience during the move.


PLEASE READ (click)

Traveling the AlCan Highway

A place to discuss all activities related to the Great Outdoors & Camping

Moderators: Rileysowner, Fire Cakes

Post Reply
BonnieBlueBunny96
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:20 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by BonnieBlueBunny96 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm

Hi all. I want to drive the AlCan Highway in the summer, June/July. What are the road conditions at that time of year? Any tips or gear that is indispensable for the drive? My van is a ‘96 Astro awd. Destination, Denali.

Astrophysics
I sleep in my van
Posts: 825
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by Astrophysics » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Hi,

Sounds great. 2" lift would be good to install.
Gear:
New tires, BFG KO 2 or similar. Plus new full size spare of same size. Spare lug nuts, tire sealant, jack, air compressor, etc, tire plug kit Monkey grip,
New shocks,
New AGM battery, Optima or Odessey.
New tie rods and idlers,
Auxiliary tranny cooler
New alternator, new power steering pump,
New serpentine belts(s)
Rear trailer hitch to mount recovery shackle bar.
30 ft nylon recovery strap.
D shackles, qty 2
New headlight bulbs, and keep old ones as spares
LED interior dome lights,
Spare drivers side side view mirror,
Spare tail/ brake light bulbs
New windshield wipers, and save old ones as spares,
Etc,
Etc,
Any spare part that you would need.
Tools, gloves, snow chains.
Etc, etc.
Or just bring credit cards and cash to pay for tow and repairs.

Good luck, have fun.

AP

BonnieBlueBunny96
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:20 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by BonnieBlueBunny96 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:40 pm

Golly. That’s a long list. Thanks.
How about some info on the road as well? I have heard that I may not be able to exceed 60kmph on some stretches.

User avatar
Herbie
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:45 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by Herbie » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:34 pm

BonnieBlueBunny96 wrote:Golly. That’s a long list. Thanks.
How about some info on the road as well? I have heard that I may not be able to exceed 60kmph on some stretches.
Hate to send you elsewhere, but this is a good candidate for the folks at ExpeditionPortal.com, there are a ton of people there who've traveled that area much more extensively, and will have more contemporary info.
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
Image

AstroWill
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:09 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by AstroWill » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:45 pm

A stock Astro/Safari will handle it just fine. A good running van with decent tires, and a full sized spare(I wouldn't skimp on this). Always be prepared to take a different route though, I took an extra gas can strapped to the back but never used it, keep your tank full. Bring cash and more than 1 type of credit card. Most of all, take your time and enjoy it.

WE7X
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by WE7X » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:49 am

I have been up and down that highway several times in the last fifteen years. Twice in older Subaru sedans, to Arctic Circle in winter ( Alcan 5000 Rally) , and once to Prudhoe Bay; but most recently it was in a 40 foot motor home, towing a JEEP as a 'dingy' to Fairbanks, and back.
The road is paved the whole way, ( has been for more than 25 years) except for random summer construction/repair projects.
I would not be afraid to drive any reasonably well maintained sedan up that route. I saw a Honda Insight ( Hybrid vehicle) towing an 'A-Liner' trailer. He was headed to Denali. Two weeks later I camped right next to him near Denali.
It is a ways between available gas stops in some stretches, so don't let your tank get much below half.
A full sized mounted spare and maybe an extra unmounted tire, if you have an uncommon tire size.
Frost heaves can make for some 'interesting' lumps in the road, and many of the construction projects are just taaking out those heaves and repaving. After experiencing the first half dozen, you will know what needs to be tied down better! General tourist traffic( motor homes and trailers), also bogg down the highways at times.
WATCH OUT FOR ONCOMING TRUCKS, particularly in graveled areas! They can spew gravel for quite a distance and pitted, (or worse, Broken) windshields are a common result of that trip. I know one person who takes a piece of Lexan and a roll of duct tape just in case he needs a temporary windshield. I think that is overkill, but you might think about what you might do in case the windshield does get cracked badly. A sheet of heavy plastic taped over the interior would keep shards from falling inside the vehicle.
Take plenty of mosquito netting and repellent ( several different kinds if you can. the bigger bugs seem thrive on the most common repellent ,<GRIN> ) for the various varieties that you WILL encounter.
One of the Harbor Freight 'electronic' bug swatters looks like a tennis racquet and works very well ($3-$6). Use a few small magnets to hang mosquito netting over doors and windows if you need ventilation.
Most places take credit cards, but you sometimes run into problems with card machines in small towns. Cash always works, and some times it gets you a better deal.
If you are in the Glennallen area, a trip to the Kennicott mine complex is a great side trip. It is quite a few miles (45 miles one way??) of unpaved road ( driveable, but LOTS of potholes), and some hiking or the local taxi. Plan to take the whole day, and research ahead of time.

Have a wonderful trip,

Rod Johnson
Issaquah, WA
WE7X aka Rod Johnson
Forest Green Metallic '98 LS AWD
Issaquah, WA

BonnieBlueBunny96
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:20 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by BonnieBlueBunny96 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:18 pm

Wow. Thanks Rod. This is the kind of info that I can share with my more timid family members. Some are filled with worry about a solo trip up north.

Astrophysics
I sleep in my van
Posts: 825
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by Astrophysics » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:19 am

Hi,
I am fabricating a bracket to mount spare tire on inside left rear.

I mounted 3/4" plywood on wall using existing threaded insert and the seat belt bolt. I need to add 2 or 3 more Riv nuts to the side sheet metal to make it more secure. The wheel and tire weighs 48 lbs.
Then I will mount the spare tire bracket to the ply wood.
I have some plastic wheel chock s to secure tread. To allow for future 29 or 30" tire to fit bracket rather than just my 28" LT225/70-16 BFG KO tires, I insert a piece of 2x8 lumber on the floor under the tire.

AP
Attachments
image.jpeg

tomas
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:07 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Traveling the AlCan Highway

Post by tomas » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:34 am

This is the highway we want to take someday.
Rod, I have a friend who've been to Prudhoe Bay for the oil job. We're finishing the installation of the new rack and tonneau covers plus a couple of led light bar when he mentioned about the place. That is one of the coldest places he has been.

Post Reply