Nice trip! Beautiful scenery even if it's hard to take in while driving a truck camper down a rough, icy road while swerving for deer. Studded tires are the best, are you thinking of a set for the trailer?
Does the wind blow like that all year round?
We don't get enough ice when we can go camping and ATVing to warrant the trailer getting a set of studs. If anything I might get a set of chains to use as "drag chains".
As for the wind.. It is a blessing and a curse. In the summer you pray for no wind to take the boat out fishing. But if going camping or ATV' ing or river fishing you want some wind to keep the bugs away. Wind is a part of island life. Winter is usually stronger up to 125mph!! Summer is typically 35mph but have seen 50mph in the summer. Pretty rare, but 35 can happen often in the summer.
Nice pictures, looks like fun for all. But 10.8v?!?! What did it show when everything was turned off? That sounds like really pushing it into the 'dead zone'.
It rebounded to 11.9V
I think I need some more aH's if I am going to overnight in the teens with the furnace going...
Thanks for the tour Garry . Nice to see that old Avion out-n-about . Those roads sure look slick but I'm not seeing what I call frost heaves.
It was real hard to picture them without stopping, but there were some that "table-topped" 8 inches... with minimal slope up or down... I didnt drag hitches or bottom anywhere, but the Rancho's took a beating even going as slow as I was going...
So just to follow up, Thanks for all the great comments! So Friday night it got down to the high teens, we shut off the Honda Generator at about 8:30 pm, and didn't get up till about 7:30. Had to adjust the thermostat down through the night, because even with the vent cracked the 12,000 btu Atwood was cooking us out! Some of you may remember from the Avion Thread that before this fall all we had was the 3000 BTU wave catalytic heater. This past fall I finally installed the Atwood and it has been great. We also changed out the 5 year old Walmart group 27 house battery for a Group 27 180aH battery. And with the Boon Docker smart charger, it seems to be doing well, but I had not given the battery that much of a hard test. When we went to Anchorage for Thanksgiving, the camper stayed plugged into shore power all night and we were driving around during the day. Even with temps to 6 below zero, the Atwood kept the camper very toasty, but it did go through the propane at those temps. I was having to fill up every few days.
So when we got up, the furnace and Engel Fridge/freezer was still running well, and the battery indicated 10.8 V with both running. Had to bring in the generator to warm it up before it would start and stay running. Put the camper back on the generator at about 9:30 in the AM. While I was cooking breakfast the boys unloaded the bikes to enjoy the sunny but cold morning ridding the beach and trails and sliding around on all the ice!
I pulled off the screen, the pink 1 inch foam board and the reflectix from one of the dinette windows to let some light in and to watch the boys, and after I thawed the window I took these pics.
After Breakfast and alot of bike riding the boys were cold, so had some more hot chocolate and I had some more coffee. Then we loaded up the bikes and decided to explore a little more of the Chiniak area since the Native Corporation had done some more logging and it had been over a year since we had been out this far past our favorite beach.
The storms have been big this year and while it has been frigid, so we have alot of icy build up on the beach rocks that we don't normally see.
God created the Sitka Blacktail deer here on Kodiak to blend in very will with the terrain! We counted over a dozen along side the road between Friday and Saturday. The boys kept asking if it was legal to hunt this time of year. I had to keep reminding them that they had to wait till August.... ;-)
This is a more typical Kodiak Beach. This is why Kodiak is lovingly know by the locals as "The Rock".
As we started the long process of driving back to town, these were the road conditions...
Here is the sign for a 10% grade with alot of ice. I was in first gear and slow before I even started down the grade...
This Guy didn't manage to stay on the road...
At the Olds River the sun had cleared the roads pretty well.
By this time all the cold weather and junk food and fun as well as my slow driving on the ice and frost heaves, both boys were out cold!
And the cattle were enjoying the sun as well!
As we reached the American river, there is a large dirt parking lot that everyone parks at to take the Saltery Trail in on their ATV's. This trail is not for the faint of heart, though not difficult in the summer can be quite sportin in the winter...
This is the view as I pulled of the clear main road...
And this is the view at in the parking lot.
As I was leaving the lot, I managed to wake up the boys, as I decided to see if I could get the near 50 foot of rig the break loose and do a controlled slide. It was only a little slide, as the studded tires on the truck work well, but the movement got the attention of the boys! ;-)
More of the scenery on the drive back.
When we arrived back at the house, I had a fair bit of icicles and here you can see the studded 19.5 tires that I have that work VERY well!!
I hope that you have all enjoyed!
Well, as I mentioned to the folks over on the Avion thread, my son has been bugging me all week that he wanted to go camping and take the ATV's out to our favorite little beach here on Kodiak Island Alaska. Problem has been weather has been 20-30F with winds 25 to 55 mph for quite some time. Well, Thursday afternoon the wind settled to a mere 15 to 25 mph with occasional gusts to 30, so it was time to attempt to load the camper on to the truck.
SO said son assisted me crank up the 1966 Avion, got it loaded without incident, and then began loading the other goodies in. Then Friday afternoon I got off work a little early, fueled up, went home hooked on to the ATV trailer pulled up in front of the house and began loading ATV's, food and sundries for our overnight-er. He called his friend who came over as we were wrapping up the load-out. Got all the bikes gassed up, cinched up the torsion bars as I had been warned of lots of ice on the roads and lots of big frost heaves. Also strapped to the trailer our latest camping acquisition, a Honda EU2000i. Since I have added a forced air 12,000btu furnace, and with the weather as cold as it has been, i knew that my single group 27 180AH wet cell would be sorely tasked.
Once loaded up, we began the normal one hour drive From Kodiak "city" to Roslyn Creek. This is about a 55 to 60 mile drive. I had queried a coworker that lives less than a mile from the beach how the roads were, and he said that the ice was bad and the frost heaves were worse. He was right!
About half way out we stopped to let traffic by and gave me chance to snap off a few pics.
As you can see, there is ice around and some snow. I am running 19.5 studded snow tires, trailer has brakes on both axles, but just load range E trailer tires, non-studded.
All the way out we were seeing deer on the road, off the road, on the beach etc.
Here is one out on the beach,
As we got closer to our camping area the frost heaves that were so bad that we were in second gear on the ZF-6 and doing 15-25mph gave way to solid sheets of ice...
Two hours later we arrived at the beach and it was absolutely beautiful!!
Thats all the pics for Friday Night! Next Post will have the next days!!
Good morning all from chilly Kodiak Island Alaska!!! This past week was spring break and the kids have been bugging me to take them camping and to take the4wheelers out. It is still winter in Alaska and we have been having temps in the high teens to as high as 35 for the past month. But with that same high giving us clear and cold also has sent winds of 25-55 mph which ends up giving us windchills down to single digits.
That all said it was 27 Thursday with sustained 15-20 winds with gusts higher that we loaded the camper on the truck. Then after lunch yesterday we hooked up the flatbed loaded the bikes and new generator loaded food and clothes and drove out to our favorite beach. Took us twice as long to get there due to glare ice glaciers from the sustained cold mixed with sunshine. Not to mention frost heaves that had we hit any harder than we did might have broken something. We basically drove the 60 miles at speeds of 15-30 and most was around 25. I am studded up on the truck but not the trailer so took it very slowly. The torsion bars and super hitch did real well to control the porpoising. We arrived at the beach to a warm camper with the furnace set at 50 the whole drive out. Came in fixed dinner brought the generator in for two hours then fired it off to charge the battery and run the lights and heater and watch a movie on a 19" tv from my sons room at home. Had dinner before the movies then about 9:30 I went out and turned off the generator and we wnt to bed. Had to turn down the thermostat as it was too warm, but the camper stayed toasty all night. Checked the battery voltage this morning and it was down to 10.8. Brought the generator in for two hours and got it warmed up while cooking breakfast. Then fired up the honest to charge the battery. Boys are out on the ATVs having a blast. Will get pics up soon.
My son and daughter-in-law live in 29 Palms, and they stopped last weekend at the Salton Sea, as it has water in it for the first time in many many years. They are saying how green their spring is so far! But I fear for a record fire season down there with all the vegetation growth...
Have fun! And get lots of pictures!
I don't have solar yet but my little Engle will last over a week on a single group 27 wet cell deep cycle without any charging. It really is a miser.
I just scored a Honda EU2000i generator for $600. Used ones here go for $900 or more and. New ones are over $1200 here in Kodiak. They were asking $700 and when I tested it it started up but shut down in about a minute. Did this three times each time the low oil pressure light came on. Got it for $600 thinking it an easy fix. Turns out if the oil is too cold the oil pressure won't build up correctly and it will shut down. So it left the generator in the house overnight and it started first pull and ran smooth as silk and powered the boondocker transformer, the furnace running the engle running and the lights and microwave. So we can now boondock in style until we get solar set up.
Keep on camping!!
Great Trip Report!! I was going to try to load up the C-10 last Friday, but with my daughters Basket Ball games, it was dark when we got home... THe kids are on spring break this week, and with no ferry's running ... ARGHH!! I am hoping to get the camper loaded up today so that I can take the kids out at least one night and go four-wheeling with the ATV's. We will see... Keep the pics coming!! IT looks much warmer there than the 20-35F here with 20 to45 mph winds...:W
I still have four unmounted265-70 Bridgstones. I am planing to buy 5 Visions from eBay and have shipped to Seattle. Then brought to Kodiak on the barge. I also ended up with a few used 19.5's that one will be my spare. My challenge is I run 225-70 studded in the winter and 265-70 in the summer. I will carry a 9R 19.5 as it will fit in the spare location but will not match either tire. But it will definitely not be too light weight as the stock spare is. I have so far not needed a spare but I do always carry one. I hope this makes sense.
I'm running these http://www.ricksontruckwheels.com/images/tires/bridgestone/m729f.jpg width=640
But when I replace them I will replace with non-studded Toyos in the 265 size. The bridgestones are open shoulder but are more of an AT design tire than the Lugged style of the Toyos
Did you buy the vision wheels here in alaska? If so who did you go through? I'm thinking about jumping to 19.5's on my 13 Ram 3500 srw; any advice would be great. I haul an arctic fox 811.
I bought them off craigslist in Kenai. They were used. Bought all 4 with 265-70 tires for $1100. I am looking at buying a set of bare runs new to put my 265's back on as I had them removed for the 235-70 snow tires. And the tech had a bear getting them off. eBay sellers have a set for around $800 and I can have them shipped to Seattle them barged to Kodiak for not much more. Our company gets a really good shopping rate on the barge.
Hope this helps.
Garry in Kodiak
We really love our Engle 12v fridge/freezer. Only downside is that it is either a fridge or a freezer not both at the same time. And it is a chest style so it would not fit the same as a traditional wall mount. Hope this helps! It doesn't draw much at all. We have been running a single 12V battery for the past 5 years and only since adding the furnace have I worried about not having enough juice for the long haul.
Garry in Kodiak
I got lots of looks on our trip too, but here on island I think everyone is used to seeing the wannabe MadMax movie candidate. Thanks again for all the comments and encouragement. I just pulled the Avion and plow off this weekend so I can get the truck repaired. Once it is repaired I hope to do some winter camping still this winter. Well hope everyone has a great week and a great year!!
Garry Doesn't it say 'Retired' in your signature? Your holidays sound like a lot of work to me. Glad you had a good time, those are some epic travels(10-15ft seas good for sleeping).
12k BTU is much more suited to a TC than the 16k I installed(didn't see a 12k when I was shopping but I didn't look too hard). I took the plunge and ordered a Wave3 yesterday and much to my surprise it was on my doorstep today(free shipping). It does weigh around 7lbs and is too heavy and tall to be mounted on my cabinet door. Ill probably just screw it to the bathroom partition facing forwards about waist height. That should favor the overhang and dinette where it's needed most.
I wish I was able to fully retire... I retired from Active duty Navy, but still have three of my four in Highschool. So I have to continue working for at least awhile longer. Besides the cost of living in Kodiak Alaska is quite expensive, so the retirement helps take the extra trips.
But it looks like my next four years will have a lot of time in the bleachers.. My Freshman Daughter is already make heads turn on the basketball court as a lead player on the varsity girls team!??
As for your wave-3, I would recommend mounting as low as possible and when not in use keep it covered. I mounted mine right below the closet facing the bathroom. It's far enough away from everything and slows the whole camper to feel the heat.
Hope that this helps!
What a wonderful trip to Alaska and it looks like everything when pretty well. Also what is the name of the Bar-be-que place in 29 Palms, we're always looking for a new bar-be-que place and we pass through 29 Palms going to Kingman, Az. fairly often.
I'll ask my son and daughter-in-law.
Great report Gary. Love the mirrors on your 02 SD, must be a huge improvement. Thinking about swapping mine, how did the install go, easy swap?
Thanks! The mirrors were one of the very first upgrades after I bought the truck. It had the dog ear mirrors and they were awful. There were some discussions one one of the Ford Superduty sites that had a wire by wire tutorial back in 2010 when I bought the truck. The hardest was threading the turn signal/park light and defrost wires across the cab behind everything and then through the small rubber tubes. Then I made up connectors and connected everything up.. The 02 Switch ends up working the side to side backwards, but it wasnt worth replacing the switch over. Took the better part of a saturday.
Hope that helps!
A few questions, with your family traveling;
Do you keep your tanks filled with water and in use? I just finished a period of below zero weather for multiple days and teens and 20s for highs for 2 weeks without winterizing, still using my faucets and showers.
The other question would be with all of your wonderful upgrades have you considered installing an aux propane tank? There are many side tanks, like used in Tigers, which could meet this upgrade. As you know I carry 114 gallons of propane and it is one of the best things I did when putting my project together.
As for the condensation, don't forget with all those people breathing there is going to be an amazing amount of condensation, just from that source alone. If you can utilize dry heat (electric) it certainly controls the condensation. I too have freezing in the corners and cab over. A couple of years back even frozen vegetable cans in the cabinets. But have never had any freeze damage in my Lance camper.
I wonder have you considered more extreme winterizing as btggraphix did a few years back with his TC? Reserving a short time to open up the camper (even when in the teens) goes a long way in removing condensation during extended TC camping in freezing weather.
Again, thanks so much for sharing about the tires, chains and larger (read tall) family joining on this holiday adventure. It is nice to see more TC owners out here in the winter with me with just a few cold weather practices used. Maybe more will consider not parking their TCs until spring.
We travel in the winter with the potable tank dry, and the water pump dry. I put the pink stuff in the sink trap, and plumbing on the grey water side. As for the commode, it is a necessity when traveling and use in the winter in Alaska. It is a recirculating toilet, and we found out 5 years ago that if I use windshield wiper fluid (Good to -50F) and a formaldehyde based toilet chemical, all works well. No smell, and flushes all the time.
I have a second narrow vertical tank that I have, but have been searching for the right plumbing to plumb it from the original tank locker to the new locker, and either put in a shift style regulator, or just manually unscrew the hose from one bottle to an extension hose to the other bottle...
I have added alot of 1" foam board and reflectix since our first trip 5 years ago, and it has made a big difference. I hope to add additional insulation as I continue to upgrade it, but we have found that we do some work, then use it to see what works and what doesn't, and then repeat.
Fortunately didn't need the chains, but was very glad for the 19.5 studded tires!
Thanks again for the words of encouragement!