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 Post subject: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Location: 7,000 feet, Zuni Mountains, New Mexico
Share your tips, ideas, and make suggestions on how to prepare. This might range from financial readiness - to camping equipment - to vehicle preparation and anything in-between. In my opinion, this is a good way to start preparing now in hopes to alleviate last minute financial burdens and lack of preparedness.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Starting this month (April 2012), we’re planning to put $100 dollars into a separate envelope monthly for the Alaskan trip.

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Last edited by dieselenthusiast on Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Location: valley center, ks
Looking at getting a axle and building a trailer......... maybe.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:07 pm 
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kskj wrote:
Looking at getting a axle and building a trailer......... maybe.



That would be cool! 8)

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I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Location: valley center, ks
What is a good axle for a 5x6 trailer(or somewhere around that) that will handle 15 inch tires?

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2003 KJ Renegade, 5 speed, frankenlifted,Al's a Arms 4.5,Moabs 245/75/16 BFG KM2's, custom rock rails, full Mopar skids, Hella ff220 lights,Hd cooling,Front DTT,Riddler diff cover,Rola safari rack,Cobra 29 peaked & tuned.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:48 pm 
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kskj wrote:
What is a good axle for a 5x6 trailer(or somewhere around that) that will handle 15 inch tires?


There are a lot of things to consider when looking at axles. AL-KO makes good leaf spring axle assemblies, plus you have the option for hub/drum and electric brakes. Basically, you can build your own axle and get the load rating that you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:06 am 
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I have a few upgrades that I would like to add to the tow rig before we take off for Alaska. The stock truck is sufficient for pulling our lightweight camper, but I would like to make it more efficient. Out of the factory, the Cummins will crank out 325 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,600 rpm. The longer stroke of the 5.9L inline 6 produces plenty of torque to tow up mountains with ease. However, the engine generates a little too much heat for my liking, especially when towing up those steep long grades. I’ve already added a cold air intake; I just need to get more air into the motor. So to help reduce heat, I ordered the GDP Air-Boss plenum. The Air-Boss has an elevated design and offers the best air flow possible to the back three cylinders (cylinder #4, #5, and #6). The hottest part of the engine is always in cylinders #5 and #6, hence where head gasket failures can occur. The Air-Boss (which is aluminum) opens up air flow to the rear cylinder by 30%. The end result is lowered EGT’s and better fuel efficiency.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 9:15 pm 
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I’m replacing the OE air intake manifold with the CDP Power-Flo intake manifold. There are two benefits: (1) I want to be able to monitor boost and (2) I want to increase air flow into the GDP air boss plenum. The GDP Power-Flo is a one piece mandrel bent tube that is internally powder coated to reduce air resistance. Unlike the OE intake, the GDP is designed to maintain air density and velocity to eliminate air speed reductions. The GDP manifold also has a boss with two 1/4" npt ports and two 1/8" npt ports. In all honesty, I just want 1 port for a boost gauge. I’m not interested in water/meth or nitrous oxide.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 9:32 pm 
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This whole Alaskan trip really got me back into my truck, lol. There are so many things I’ve wanted to do and now I feel like I have a reason to do them. Anyway, I added the GDP Big Line Kit for two reasons. (1) I want to be able to monitor fuel pressure and (2) I wanted to increase fuel delivery to the injection pump. The 3/8” hose replaces the 1/4” OE hard line that goes from the fuel filter housing to the injection pump. Just by replacing this line, there is a 2-3 psi gain at the injection pump inlet. The kit also replaces the restrictive banjos with custom stainless adapters and includes a billet aluminum "T" for adding a fuel pressure sender.

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I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 12:29 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Starting this month (April 2012), we’re planning to put $100 dollars into a separate envelope monthly for the Alaskan trip. By May 2014, we should have a total of $2,500 saved.


We added another $100 to the month of May for a total of $200

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:58 am 
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We bought our travel trailer new in 2008. The camper still has the OE tires on it including the spare. Since this is a lightweight trailer with dual axles, the tires do not get hot or wear quickly. I keep tire covers on during storage for sun protection. At 7,000 feet in New Mexico we get a lot of damaging UV Rays that can deteriorate rubber tires and rubber valve stems quickly. But overall the tires look good and I have no plans to swap them out anytime within the next few years.

With that being said, I would feel more comfortable knowing that I have plenty of spare tires in the event of blowouts, flats, or other types of unexpected tire failure. Since the spare still has the OE tire, I decided to buy two more wheels and tires for spares. I know this might seem a little excessive, but it’s a huge peace of mind knowing that I have plenty of tires in case of an emergency. Plus, I can reduce downtime by not having to worry about finding a spare replacement when a tire failure does happen. And trust me; tire failures don't happen in convenient places.

MAXXIS Trailer Tire
185/80R13 6PLY
M8008 ST RADIAL

I bought these tire totes to store them in. I’m actually very impressed with the quality and fitment of these totes and the ease of use. They are adjustable to fit a large range of tire sizes, plus the handle makes it easy to carry. I also like that the tote keeps tire residue from getting things dirty.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:19 pm 
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For the most part, the travel trailer is well-equipped and ready to go. Through our RV travels, I’ve been compiling a list of things that I wanted to update, modify, and/or customize.

We learned quickly that traditional store bought hangers do not function well in the camper. While traveling down the road the swinging motion causes the hangers to fall. The remedy for this problem is to simply buy hangers that are made for RV’s. I don’t know why we didn’t buy these years ago.

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In order to get free shipping from Amazon, I went ahead and ordered caps for the leveling blocks. The leveling blocks are Lego-styled for stacking. I’ve used the leveling blocks for years but haven’t used the caps. The caps aren’t necessarily crucial, but I do like the added protection and stability they offer.

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I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:36 am 
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In general, trailer wheels are universal. They typically have the same backspacing and generally share similar bolt patterns. With that being said, I’m not sure how often these tires get stolen. Either way, I can’t afford a missing spare, so I added a cable lock.

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We finally lost the factory spare tire cover going down the road. I wasn’t happy to pollute but I was happy to get rid of it. It was a cheap cover with an elastic band. Those elastic bands over time become brittle and lose their elasticity. I replaced it with a tire cover manufactured by an RV company. This particular cover has great customer reviews and comes with many different sizes to fit specific tire applications. The new cover is felt lined and has a corded cinch design. As you can see in the photos, the fitment is perfect. According to the reviews, this cover will hold up to harsh winds, UV rays, and extreme hot and cold temperatures.

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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Okay, I called AAA and got my membership. I went with the AAA Plus. The AAA Classic only covers towing for up to 3 miles, plus they won’t tow my travel trailer. The AAA Plus will tow my travel trailer as well as the tow vehicle, plus they will cover towing up to 100 miles. Plus, AAA covers Canada. Here’s the breakdown for those who are interested:

4 roadside services per year
AAA Classic: $52 per year for one person.
AAA Plus: $82.00 per year for one person. $127 per year for two people.
AAA Premiere: $160 per year for one person. $160 per year for two people.

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I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:38 pm 
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I decided to go ahead and replace the OE rubber damper with an aftermarket silicone damper.

“Critical harmonic vibrations occur numerous times in a engine’s operating range. Stock rubber and elastomer-type dampers are frequency sensitive “tuned absorbers”, and work at only one critical frequency. In the case of a stock rubber damper, it is tuned for a factory engine’s critical harmonic vibrations. If you change the mass of pistons, rods, or the crankshaft, you change the natural frequency of the crankshaft assembly; therefore, the stock damper is no longer tuned to the new frequency of vibration, and you may be headed for early failure of expensive engine components. Dampers also create heat while they work, and rubber is a poor dissipator of heat. This heat and the exposure to the elements deteriorates rubber, causing it to crack and change durometer, which then leads to inertia ring slippage, damper failure, uncontrolled torsional vibration, and costly engine parts breakage.”

“Fluidampr® Performance Diesel dampers offer the best protection against torsional vibrations. Performance tuned or stock, your diesel engine will run more efficiently with a viscous Fluidampr® installed.”

“Fluidampr® has tested on both stock and performance tuned diesel pick-ups. Dyno tests have shown consistent increases in horsepower and torque. Typical HP gains of 6-8 and torque gains of 15-30 pounds feet.”

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2016 Arctic Fox 22G/Onboard 2500 LP Cummins Onan Generator/160 Watt Solar Panel

I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:07 am 
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You can see the GDP Power-Flo intake manifold and GDP Air-Boss plenum installed. I also have the largest by-pass oil filter for my 14 quart system installed. The filter is a 2 micron Amsoil BP110 which is a whopping 10.44” inches long. According to my UOA’s, I can safely run the oil at 15,000 mile intervals. I will not need to change oil at any time during our trip to Alaska.

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2016 Arctic Fox 22G/Onboard 2500 LP Cummins Onan Generator/160 Watt Solar Panel

I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:22 am 
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Bring a fat friend you can outrun in case of a bear attack. :jester:


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:03 am 
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BugginKJ wrote:
Bring a fat friend you can outrun in case of a bear attack. :jester:


That's why I'm bringing my Chihuahuas. :mrgreen:

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2016 Arctic Fox 22G/Onboard 2500 LP Cummins Onan Generator/160 Watt Solar Panel

I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:04 am 
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To put things into perspective, let me reveal some interesting numbers:

My estimated distance from where I live to Deadhorse, AK is approximately 4,000 miles. My estimated fuel economy will be an average of 12 mpg. My estimated fuel cost is going to be $4.75 per gallon. Based on these estimates, I will be burning approximately 333 gallons of diesel on the way up. At $4.75 per gallon, that is a total cost of $1,582 dollars one way. Assuming that my return mileage is approximately the same, I’ll be burning 666 gallons of diesel and spending $3,164 dollars round trip.

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2016 Arctic Fox 22G/Onboard 2500 LP Cummins Onan Generator/160 Watt Solar Panel

I took the road less traveled. Now I'm LOST.


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 Post subject: Re: Alaska Bound - What preparations are you making?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:10 am 
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Currently my estimates are
Miles: 10,000 round trip
Gallons: 500 Jeep or 460 Astro
$4.25 a gallon
Cost: $2125 or $1955

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