Some of my crossings have been more interesting than others. I have received the same firearms questions as the OP mentioned. Normally the first questions you are asked, are to establish a base line for the agent. They are determine if the person talks slow or fast, do they pause before answering, do they make eye contact while answering, etc. once the simple, easy to answer questions have been asked, then come the important ones based on your computer screen, past work history, state of residence, type of vehicle, etc. From the changes in the responders answers, the agent is accessing the likelihood that the person is lying to them. Keep in mind, having a good sense of humor is not a requirement to work the border crossings for either country.
Both the US and Canada share computer information with each other. The last full search we received was by the Canadian agents at Beaver Creek, possibly because I am known to communicate with Sue T. At times. Or it may have just been my turn in the barrel. I get the same gun questions, do I have one with me? Do I own one? More than one? How many handguns do I own? The correct answer is 9, the Customs agent checked his screen and said that agreed with their information. Then asked why I didn't have one with me. My standard, truthful answer is I am not working this trip and it is against Canadian law for me to have one . In the olden days I have brought handguns with me into Canada on several occasions, and their computers never forget that. Probably till into the 70s, pilots of small aircraft, flying through Canada, to/from Alaska could have a firearm in their survival gear with no problem.
The best thing to do in crossing is to relax, be honest, don't elaborate your answers and enjoy the experience.
For a number of years when traveling in the mountain west, we had both a Verizon MiFi and used the hot spots on our AT&T iPhones. What really helped with both was when I installed an external antennae and a Wilson Sleek rig inside our RV. Business may it a requirement I felt to be able to stay in touch with clients. There were time in the west that neither carrier had a local signal that we could find, a couple of times both had a voice signal but no data signal was showing up. The external antennae solved most of my connection problems if there was a usable signal.
A couple of weeks back we were camped in one of the more remote Florida State Parks, where I saw a man sitting on his roof, laptop and hot spot running. He commented too, that an external antennae might be the way for him to go. LOL
We too have Florida resident annual passes to WDW. Most years we spend between 35 and 40 nights at the Fort. That works out to 8 or 10 trips a year with the RV. The last three trips, I haven't gone to any of the parks. My wife and young grandsons go to one of the parks about every day. If the boys parents are with us, they too will hit the parks. I find the peace and quiet of the campground to be enjoyable. We usually have our granddog, Rookie beagle dog, with us so he too enjoys the walks around the campground. Some days the boys will spend half a day at the swimming pool at the campground and the other half at one of the parks.
While the Fort is a bit pricey, it isn't all that much more than many of the other Florida campgrounds, especially in south Florida and the Keys. The Fort is what we use to compair all other campgrounds with as we travel. The Fort is the best run, maintained and clean CG where we have ever stayed. When we had a 5th wheel we found the 100, 200 and 300 loops to be very tight, not always the sites but the roads were way too narrow to be able to back in to some.
There are basically 3 sets of TV satellites that hang out over North America. The first of these was the Canadian Avik 1, then Anvik II was launched, followed by the US And Mexican Morelos satellites. The Us satellites are the farthest south, over the equator, generally speaking.
Most of the 13 years I lived in Nenana Alaska, I watched TV received using a 6.1 meter dish, about 20 ft. At that time none of the satellite signals were scrambled so we tuned in directly. After the scrambled the signals, I bought service for a dealer in Tennessee and used his address as the satellite TC companies wouldn't sell me service in Alaska as they claimed I couldn't receive their signal. Duh? So my family watched US programming, Canadian TV, loved the Red Green show, Vinyl Cafe with McClain and the Mexican shows.
If I had an interest in watching TV in Canada, I would figure out a way through Shaw Direct or Bell TV , etc to buy one of their larger dishes, a receiver and the level of programming I wanted. Probably have to create a Canadian address to make this idea work. Sure there would be many Shaw dealers happy to have you business. Not going to be cheap but very workable. Last summer we were camped next to a Canadian couple in western Colorado that were able to watch their local Canadian news shows over their satellite. Their roof mounted dish was close to twice the diameter of most US ones we have had in the past. It was remotely controlled from inside their RV and auto locked on to the Canadian satellite.
Thanks for the photos. One thing I have noticed in the last few visits to Dawson Town, is that more and more of the visitors are Canadian. Years ago, finding an out of Province/Territory car tag in the far north was quite rare.
My first trip to Dawson was 53 years ago, not bad for an Okie (Ozark American to be PC) ranch kid to get that far away from home.
I grew up fascinated by the writings of Robert Service, as he lived in both Whitehore and Dawson, working in the banks of both towns. He refered to the town as Dawson Town, so I figure that is good enough for me as well. LOL I have the complete works of Service on my ipad so when I am in either town I love to sit on the river banks, reading his works, letting him take me back in history. Just wish he had found time to make it to Alaska, for a visit.
"To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames" from the Ballad of the Ice Worm Cocktail by Robert Service.
Haven't been posting of late, as we have been trying to get more camping trips accomplished. After spewing forth verbiage for 15 years on this forum, I decided to give everyone a reprieve. LOL
The Milepost has put together a lot of good information about this Jewel of the North, Dawson. http://dawsoncity.ca
Dawson has always been a favorite stop for us as it is like stepping back into history. A nice selection of campgrounds in and around town and lots to do just walking around. During the years we lived in rural Alaska, we enjoyed taking mini vacations over to Whitehorse and up to Dawson Town and back home. Some trips by RV but most by small aircraft, sometimes mine and other trips took my wife's. Both Whitehorse and Dawson are super fun and educational so it is easy to spend a full week or more, hitting both towns. From our home in rural Alaska it was about a 3 hour flight into Fairbanks, then 3 hours more to Northway, and then 3 more into Whitehorse or Dawson, which ever we went to first. Whitehorse had great shopping. My wife had a love affair going with the Hudson Bay store there, as they had everything.
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.