Several good routes as mentioned above. We lived in Ouray, just south of Ridgway for about 10 year prior to moving here to the swamp country. I had to make numerous business trips to Denver, year around. In the winter, from Denver I would often drop south to Colorado Springs, go west on Hwy 24 to 285, just north of Poncha Springs, south to Hwy 50 and west to Montrose and south on Hwy 550 to Ridgway. Most of the time Hwy 285 is a fine way out of Denver headed west.
Monarch is one of the friendlier of the high, over 10,000 ft passes in Colorado, IMHO. Good shoulders on most of the highway going over. It is not one of the shelf highways like you can find in other passes. I especially like Monarch when the road is snow and ice covered in the winter, much better places to slide off the road that aren't 500 ft down from the road. LOL
Fun gift shop and chair lift at the top of Monarch Pass, called Monarch Crest. Good RV parking is available as well they make fudge there that is worth the stop as well. Use good mountain driving skills on the downhill side of any of the high passes. Before we moved from Ouray, we had a Class A Winnie, that we would usually take the toad off at the top and my wife would drive it to the bottom. The brakes on that rig had a real tendency to over heat. With your 5th wheel, just take it slow and easy geared down. People get in trouble getting in too much of a hurry.
I understand a person can contact Visa and add a pin to their card. Which I have not done yet. Two weeks ago I picked up a basket of food and other items at my local Wal Mart, total just over $250usd. Inserted my chipped Visa card, it processed the charge, approved it and the cashier handed me my receipt. No pin required, no signature required and no ID required. Not a very good way to prevent fraud, IMHO
Most medicines are not going to be a problem. If you have heart meds, blood pressure meds, blood thinners, etc. then shouldn't be any problem. If asked, just be honest, keep a written list of what you take and have it ready if you need it.
Now if you are on any of the narcotic based pain pills, then you probably better have a doctor's letter. Some drugs may not even be legal in all of Canada, such as medical marijuana.
Wal Mart has filed a law suit against Visa over the new chipped cards which transfer most of the fraud cost back to the merchants. Visa doesn't require a pin on the new chip cards I have and if I lost one and someone used it at Wal Mart, Wal Mart would be the one to eat the cost of what was purchased. With the old non-chipped cards, the fraud charges got fed back to Visa as I understand the law suit. I have read that most countries other than the US and Canada, a pin number is required to use the chipped cards.
Around here, the Stuart Florida area, we get what seems to be a lot of golf enthusiastic snowbirds/RVers. Golf and fishing seem to be the two big draws, after the weather the top of Lake O is normally considered the no frost line in Florida. I personally enjoy having a few more cold days in winter than we have here, but many like the milder climate. Suspect after living for 25+ years in rural Alaska and about 10 years in western Colorado, Ouray, that I consider some cold as good. LOL
The generator in the OP's original post is about the 5.5 KW Onan, a twin cylinder gas engine model that Is a direct drive from the generator engine to the alternator/generator portion. There is no belt involved on these as there would be on a liquid cooled gas or diesel generator.
A seasonal camper in Florida needs to decide if they are going to take their RV back north with them or leave it here in Florida. When we were fulltiming in our Rig, we spent one winter season in the Homosassa/Krystal River area at Nature's Resort RV Park. Met at least a dozen couples, from eastern Tennessee, Crossville area that when they got ready to return home for the summer, called one of the local storage places that sent out a truck to haul their trailer to storage for them. In the fall, the storage place would bring it back to the campground and set it up. The couple setup next to us said he sold his truck as he no longer needed it to tow his large 5th wheel. Most of these Crossville couples just brought their cars/SUVs down to Florida.
Recently I got an email advertising from a campground in the Ft Meyers/Naples area offering a 7 and 5 plan. If I would pay for 7 months in advance, then I could leave our RV on the same site, unoccupied for the 5 months. We weren't interested as we went back to being extended travelers living in a stick and brick.
For us personally, I would try to stay south of the top of the Big Lake, Okeechobee. I would just have to factor in costs, any needed specialized medical care needed, family, hobbies, climate desired, etc. Florida has something for every taste or lack of taste. lOL
I tend to like the Crystal River area and both sides of it. This is Old Florida, the Non-tourist Florida, Third World Florida, laid back, backwater of the state, eat but it appeals to many. For short stays over there we like Rock Crusher RV, Wintered at Natures Resort and had friends that stated at the Encore Park and enjoyed their stay according to them.
The car wash I have used the most in Fairbanks, is on University Ave. it is before you get to the college, must be just past Giest Rd, not far from where the Alaska Railroad crosses University. It is real close, same side of the road, northbound on University Ave, as Sam's Sourdough Dinner, a most excellent place for breakfast.
This particular carwash has in the past heated their spray water which takes the dirt and grime off much better than using cold water. It has been about 4 years since I washed my rig there last.
On our last trip in our truck camper, where the SiriusXM radio was set up in the camper, external antenna on the camper roof, I had service staying at the 3 G Campground in Fort Nelson, but the next night staying at the Downtown RV Campground in Watson Lake, we didn't have a signal. So somewhere between those two towns we lost the service.
Suspect I have driven the TOW 20 or 30 times over the last 54 years I have been driving to/from Alaska, most years I don't see any tow trucks. The most I have ever seen, that I remember was 2. One was road service out of Tok for a flat tire and the other for an RV that got stuck because of a soft shoulder.
One summer there were two vehicle accidents, one a west bound RV, for some reason, the driver pulled out of his lane, crossed the opposing lane and drove off the road down an embankment into some willow trees. No injuries, but his wife was following in their toad and had a real scare watching their motorhome go over the edge.
The other accident was the US Customs agent that was west bound, ran off the road into a flooded creek and was killed.never did see a final report on what the investigation determined to cause the accident.
Overal, the TOP is not much different than any other gravel/dirt road in the US or Canada. People that learned to drive in the rural areas on gravel will think it to be an OK road. Those that learned to drive on multi lane pavement will claim it is the worst road ever. I have talked to people that told me the TOP/TOW is/was their first gravel road driving experience.
Folks that learned to drive around Badwater Texas, will have different thoughts than those that learned to drive in LA or Vancouver.
In reading on line there seemed to be a lot of conversations about the 5.5 KW Onan having over heating issues on some rigs.
We just acquired a new Fleetwood where they put the fresh air intake through the side of the compartment door. All the air being pulled in to cool the generator is being brought in directly from the outside away from the exhause and heat of the engine. Our Onan is a 4 KW single cylinder but something like this might work on the 5.5 KW as well.
Here is the vent from the inside with the compartment door open.
They added a removable flange with rubber seals to stop the intake of any heated air from the engine and exhaust system.
If the OP likes the 5th wheel, he may find it cheaper to rent a space in a public storage area to keep it instead of at his home. I did this for a number of years when we lived in Colorado.
Other possibilities is to reshape the yard area where you are trying to park at home. Sounds like you have a hump you are trying to back over. There are lots of things I would try before I lost roughly $5,000 on a rig I liked other than the jacks digging into the dirt.
During the years I was living in Nenana Alaska, I bought one of the 10 x 50 foot ATCO trailers (Alberta Trailer Company) which had been brought to Alaska for the construction of the Alaska Pipeline. They imported thousands of those trailers into the state from Canada. Ranged in use from bunk houses, comfort stations, offices, etc. The one I got had been an office so no bathroom in it. It had 2 x 6 walls, well insulated and I added surface wiring for all my tools.
One of the best shop building I have ever owned, especially since I think I paid about $2,500 delivered from the Fairbanks area and set up on blocks for me.
I installed a couple of wood burning stoves in it and spent many an hour in it butchering wood. LOL
During the years we lived in Alaska, I often carried a chainsaw with us. Very handy at times, especially when boon docking . Many of the years when we camped on the Kenai, we were on property we owned so cutting trees wasn't a problem.
Remember one time on the road out to Chena Hot Springs, I took the 5th wheel down a trail/path that I thought had a turn around at the end by the river. It seemed like a good idea at the time. LOL
But it took the better part of a day and a half to cut enough willow trees to be able to turn the trailer around to get out of there and back on the pavement. Normally I would walk the trail first before driving down it. Was sure glad I had a small chainsaw and a few gallons of mixed gas with us.
From Wisconsin, I would get on Interstate 94 west bound, to I 90 then turn north on I 15 to cross the border at Coutts/Sweatgrass into Canada. Running the interstates in the US I find by getting an early morning start, I can make 600 miles a day, realizing I will make fewer miles the farther north I go. The multi-lane roads in Canada are not any real difference than the interstates in the Lower 48. Make the miles when you can and then slow down when you need to.
If both of you are going to be driving, then doing the trip in 8 days won't be a big problem that I see. Or if you can drive 15-16 hours a day then a 6 day trip is very doable, when need be.
I am an early riser and by noon, I will often have traveled 250 or more miles. Now folks that like to hug their pillows till 9 or 10 AM and then stop to have a "little wine" at 2 PM are going to take quite a bit longer to make the trip. So how long is very personal and how many miles a day are you willing to put in on the road is the key. What type vehicle are you using, etc. Lots of pull offs, especially once you get into Canada. I tend to avoid going through both Calgary and Edmonton, but at times it is necessary to do both as they are large urban areas. Good roads and all but just lots of traffic, especially during going to work/home hours.
Once you get through Edmonton, just head on over to Dawson Creek and get on the Alaska Hwy till your reach Alaska. Make a right hand turn in Haines Junction and turn left in Tok to head south to Glennallen, to Anchorage and on south to Homer. The farther north a person gets the less choices of roads you will have. I have taken Hwy 2 across to the Great Falls Montana area but I 95 is mucho faster for us. Great trip, slow or fast. You see the same scenery and can plan you stops on the way back.
I find from south Florida to Fairbanks takes us roughly 10 driving days as making 450 miles a day isn't a problem for us. A lot depends on a RVers age, health, enjoyment of driving, etc, as to how many days it takes. My BIL and his family, when living in Anderson Alaska, normally figured on about 50 hours to Bellingham Washington, which with 3 drivers, they would leave Anderson after work on a Friday and driving straight through would arrive in Bellingham on Sunday evening. Not my preferred way of travel but it worked for them. For many residents, going to/from Alaska by vehicle, they see the Alaska Hwy as just a long road to drive to get where they want to be, which is Outside in the Lower 48.
The quickest I have ever made the trip was Anchorage to the Houston Texas area in 6 days, averaging 800 miles a day approximately. I was solo in a car and driving 16 hours a day. When I got tired, I would pull over and sleep in the car for a few hours and hit the road again. No desire to ever do that again but was necessary that one time.
So if a person has multiple drivers, the trip can be made somewhat quickly. My wife doesn't care to drive on most trips but has driven the Alaska Hwy with our two pre-teen age daughters in our class C motorhome one trip. I flew down and met them in Colorado that summer after I got the work issues settled down to where I could leave
We lost several gumbo limbo trees to the EAB, brought in, I read, by the last hurricane that hit this part of Florida. The gumbo limbo is a native Florida tree and thought to be immune to most local insects but not to the EAB. Bayer makes a systematic that can be spread on the ground around the trees if you catch it in time, which I did for about half my trees.
Something else blew in with that storm that killed the oaks I had in the yard but didn't bother my hickory trees. Who knows.
We tend to stay at the Garden of the Gods campground in town. Good location, not far from Manitou, etc. Most summers we spend about a week there as my wife grew up in the Springs and went to high school in Woodland Park. So we stop so she can visit old running buddies and to do some of the tourist stuff. On our last visit I notice the Garden of the Gods had put in a half dozen or so pull throughs for big rigs with 50 amp in addition to water/sewer.
Many/most of the in town campgrounds in this area are old and were built for smaller RVs but for a place to park, several will do. This part of Colorado is one of the oldest tourist areas of the state. Many used to arrive by train,or hired cars with drivers, and spend the summer, in the Manitou Springs area, especially the Plain people, the Mennonites, the Amish,and Brethren, among others, from the upper Midwest.
The fairly new Cheyenne Mtn SP is real nice but out of town a ways and is hard to get a reservation, at least for us. We have also stayed in Woodland Park at a couple of the campgrounds on the highway headed for Deckers. In the north edge of Woodland.
Lots to do in the Springs area.