On our last trip through BC, the farther north of the border we got, the more provincial parks seemed to be privatized and run by contractors, nor wardens. Charging for sewer dumps, appeared to be more popular with the contractors as well. Many sold firewood also. If privatization saves money overall and services to the users remain acceptable, then other than the increase in camping fees, I have no real objections. But if the government agencies in charge of the campgrounds does not have the employees to run what they have now, who is going to run all the new sites?
The last 4 round trips we have made to Alaska have been in a truck camper. We don't tend to stay many nights in one place so don't really need a tow. If we are staying a week in Fairbanks, Valdez or other urban areas, we have at times rented a car. Most of our trips have been in a mid sized Class C without a toad. Only remember pulling a toad on one trip. Nice to have while there, but a pain to get it there. When RVs get over the 30 ft. range, toads seem to be more useful to have with you. Most full timers pull a toad everywhere they go, so a trip to Alaska is no different.
We now camp in a 31 ft Class A and pull a Jeep Wrangler on most trips here in the lower 48 May try to work in another trip to the north country next summer, but not sure if the Jeep will get to go or not. Sold our truck camper and 5th wheel so no longer have the option of taking one of those. I tend to tell folks, just take what you own and are comfortable driving.
The stay in Anchorage shouldn't be any big problem. There is a reason that the Anchorage Bowl area is known as the Banana Belt of Alaska. Anchorage, due to the warm Japanese Ocean Current close by, has a climate much like Colorado Springs. The Springs does have more extremes on both ends of the temperature scale. Now most people that live in Anchorage and think they are living the rugged Alaska lifestyle, all seem to live where it is much colder than what the weather bureau reports. LOL. My BIL who used to live in Anchorage liked to tell visitors about the time it got to -40 F for two weeks at his house. I had to pull weather records to show him it had never been -40 F recorded in the city. One day , back before he and I were born it had gotten down to something like -38F.
If it wasn't for the warm ocean current near by, Anchorage would have a climate more like that of Nome, Alaska and probably be about the same size. My wife and I owned some rental 4 plexes, in Anchorage across the street from Worthington Ford. Majority of renters were military, many of whom had transferred up from the base in Minot, ND. They thought they had been sent to the tropics after a winter or so in Minot.
To tow in February, both the tow vehicle and the 5th wheel will need to be winterized, to get through the much colder Interior of Alaska and Canada. Electrical heated battery blankets, engine heaters, all lubricants changed to synthetics. (I spun the bearings in the rear differential of a new GMC pickup I had just purchased in Fairbanks one winter. The desler's shop has missed changing it to synthetics so they got to pay for a tow and a new differential)
I always found the winter roads around Anchorage to be much slicker than around Fairbanks, Beaver Creek,Tok, Glennallen in the Interior. As it gets super cold, ice and snow take on the feel of sandpaper when packed on a road surface. The same applies to flying a ski equipped plane in the north country. When it is super cold, -40F or colder the snow and ice will bring you to a halt much quicker when landing. When it is above zero, at times you wonder if the plane will ever stop, as the end of the landing strip gets closer and closer. LOL I spent 25 winters in Alaska, most of it in the Interior and probably preferred winter time for driving, so long as the vehicle was properly prepared.
I have found several firearm storage places in Shelby, Montana, north of Great Falls. Several Shelby gun dealers offer this service. Hardware Hanks, a licensed dealer did charge $25 a month for a handgun. I have used the metal storage lockers at the Lewis and Clark RV Park, in Shelby in the past for storing,both excessive amounts of alcohol and firearms. These could be rented by the day, week or month at what I considered a reasonable cost. You provide your own padlock.
RV Park Reviews is now owned by the same group that owns the forum site IRV2.com, a competitive forum to this one. Some of the owners of both did/do post here on this forum
I have had the last couple of reviews returned to me for revisions, that I sent in to RV Park Reviews. We just returned from a month long trip to Colorado and Montana but I won't waste my time writing reviews on RV Park Reviews. I don't need my reviews censored by someone that has probably never been to the campground I am reviewing. So I do my reviews on www.rvparky.com, the Allstays app on camping and the Good Sam camping app, one of the best in my opinion. On our month's trip we mainly used these three to find and make reservations. Also found the Good Sam RV Road Atlas to be very handy to choose routes with numerous campgrounds available.
Three Bears supermarket in Tok is a good stop for us. Cooked and/or frozen items are usually less of a concern than fresh items. I have crossed at times when fresh eggs are not allowed but hard boiled, peeled ones in the fridge were OK to take across.
I lived in rural Alaska for 25+ years and never thought the prices in Alaska were any real difference than in northern Canada. We often stock up in Whitehorse due to them having several nice supermarkets, with good selections. This and a stop for needed items in Tok, will get us to Fairbanks or Anchorage.
Depending on many factors, such as where you live, your work history, etc, food questions may not even come up in their questioning. I have a bit of law enforcement type work history in my past, and once that info pops up on their, either side of the border, computers, that is all they want to talk about.
Normally the day before we cross the border, I try to get online to see what is on the prohibited list. Then we will make meal plans to use up those items. I will cook meat products I purchased in Canada, and freeze them before crossing into Alaska. Never had a problem with that method. As long as a person is honest, they may have to give up some food item, or pay some extra duty on the item, such as booze, there just isn't any serious repercussions, unless you have firearms or illegal drugs not declared.
We did the reverse run last week, on our Florida to Colorado trip. Stayed on I 10, used the tunnel to go under the river, till we got to Interstate 65 on the west side of Mobile. North on I 65 to the Hwy 98 exit to Hattiesburg, less than 10 miles on I 65. Some traffic on the first 20 miles or so on Hwy 98 out of Mobile. We were in our Class A towing our Jeep behind and had no problems with that route and we are about 12 ft in height. Should be just as easy dropping south to I 10 on 65 and on east.
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.