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  1. Default Dallas to Alaska - 4000 Miles One Way!!

    Some of you know that I am not fond of drag racing. The truth is, that very few of you really know much about me at all outside of my internet personality. While I am very similar in real life as I am online, there are deeper things about me that I just donít have time to share. This is one of my ultimate fantasies, and one that might be coming true very soon.

    I would like to drive from Dallas to Anchorage Alaska. 4085 miles. 8200 round trip. $1000 in gas.

    I wont be setting any records or accomplishing anything that has not yet been done. And to think that I might subject my beloved camaro to this abuse startles me, I might have to do it in some other car. Which is sad, because a part of me wants to do it in the camaro to say that I chose one of the least reliable and risky vehicles to do this in. Which looking deeper, could be quite stupid.

    You see, it really does not matter what car you take. The way there covers portions of Canada where people donít live. Where there are no gas stations. The final leg of the journey will subject me to a portion of road that has no gas stations for more than 800 miles. No V8 car sold today can get 800 miles on a tank. Only truckers and rigs can make this journey. Who else would want to?

    Whatever car I took, would have to be fitted with an additional 30 gallon fuel cell, perhaps 40. We would need tools, a CB, flares, a Tire, parts, a tent, food, and more. The trip would take 3 days of non-stop driving, but about 7 days with stops.

    It would just be insane.

    The thing is, no-one does this. No-one anywhere I have ever met sits down and says, ďI want to drive to AlaskaĒ. You just donít. I know, because I have done up to 1100 mile trips like this on my own many times before (something else you didnít know about me) that the TRIP ITSELF is the adventure. The destination is just the reward.

    So far, I have driven from Dallas to , Tampa, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Monterrey and back. All in the Camaro. All directions of the country. In my camaro I have seen the country, met hundreds of people, and experienced what America is all about. But I think I want to make the ultimate journey.
    The more I think, the more I think that I would rather take a modified Subaru or Evo on the trip. Something AWD and comfortable. But anyways, I would like to do it.

    Also, could do the trip in reverse. Dallas to Costa Rica. Not as far, but twice as dangerous.

    Anyone even remotely interested in discussing the possibilities, risks and challenges of such an adventure? Chime in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default Overselling

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you are greatly overstating the challenges of an Alaska Roadtrip. Hundreds of people make this trip everyday, and there are no 800 mile stretches without gas. The longest stretch of the Alaska Highway without services is only about 100 miles, with gas typically being available every 20-50 miles.

    This trip is so popular, in fact, that there is an entire annual guide dedicated to this trip called the Milepost which I encourage you to read to learn a little more about this not-so-lonely road.

  3. Default Go Forth!

    I don't have a reputation to ruin in these forums, so who really cares what I have to say!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakushan View Post

    I would like to drive from Dallas to Anchorage Alaska. 4085 miles. 8200 round trip. $1000 in gas.
    At least that much, I'd allow a little more for gas because some of the road are pretty poopy and your gas mileage will not be as good. When we went to Alaska, we flew up and rented an RV. It was total Hell driving that thing on some of those road and we learned very quickly to take along GAS CANS! I didn't drive it, but my cousin drove from Alabama to Anchorage in a crusty old school bus that ate gas. She didn't say anything about having any problems finding gas stations along the way. So I still have to think it's totally doable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakushan View Post
    Whatever car I took, would have to be fitted with an additional 30 gallon fuel cell, perhaps 40. We would need tools, a CB, flares, a Tire, parts, a tent, food, and more. The trip would take 3 days of non-stop driving, but about 7 days with stops.
    Your longest stretch of questionable road would probably be Hwy 1 (I think! maybe it's 97? through the Yukon) but you could always drive up through Washington State, through BC, which is a friendlier route for car travel as I understand it. Again, yes, you will probably want all those goodies, but gas cans do the job, too. And as for parts, just how crappy is your car?! Oh, and you never said how much time you had for the trip in total. That would be good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakushan View Post
    It would just be insane.
    Yes! But insane is fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakushan View Post
    The thing is, no-one does this. No-one anywhere I have ever met sits down and says, ďI want to drive to AlaskaĒ...The destination is just the reward.
    I would love to. And yeah, it's all about the trip and the bizarro people you meet along the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakushan View Post
    Also, could do the trip in reverse. Dallas to Costa Rica. Not as far, but twice as dangerous.
    I took the kids (only two of them at the time, to Mexico, Honduras and Belize in a crappy Corolla and never once had a problem. It helps to have friends where you're going though! i never felt "in danger", but I also took along a little extra cash to grease some palms and I had two months to kill. I have a friend who has done a road trip to Costa Rica with her 15 year-old and the worst that happened was that her passport was stolen. They still think the trip was totally worth it.

    As for the car you drive, as long as it's in good mechanical condition and has a good set of tires...well...it is a Camero? I drive a stupid mama-wagon Dodge Caravan and have driven it into mountains on questionable gravel roads and around hurricane debris, so I might not be the best judge of cars. My biggest question is "will this car hold all my gear?" If you're up for another car and can afford something with AWD, I'd do it. Having driven all over Alaska in a rental RV, I wish I'd had something a little more practical.

    So heck yeah! Let us all know how it goes and maybe next year we'll consider going back to visit the largest mosquitos I've ever seen in my life!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default No problem for a New Beetle

    I have a friend who lives just outside of Denali NP who has driven her 2000 New Beetle down to the continental US three times. One of the only cars that probably has less clearance (without being lowered) than a Camaro is a New Beetle. She had no problems. She did put a bra on because of rocks and didn't want paint damage. (Bra on her car; probably on her, too. LOL) The first time she did this trip, she brought her 3 and 7 year old boys. I know she wouldn't have done that if the trip wasn't considered safe enough for them. That was in 2000.

    As Mark said, gas is no problem. This is actually a very popular drive and you will rarely have longer than an hour without amenities (fuel, food, lodging) along the way.

    As long as you have the time and the money, go for it. But don't overstate the dangers. Of course, one should always have a kit with the proper things for potential problems. Check out the Gear-Up Section for ideas on that.

    If you go in the summer months, you just might be surprised at the number of vehicles on the road with you. And wave if you see a lime-green New Beetle. It might be my friend who is planning another trip down to the continental states this summer.

    So, if the Camaro is mechanically OK for this trip, take it. Have your car serviced by a reliable mechanic and your tires checked before you leave. If you don't trust your Camaro, then, yeah, you might be better off in another car.

  5. Default

    Wow, you guys are awesome!

    First, a few things. I am a graphic designer, working for an American LeMans race team. I know cars inside and out, and my camaro is no exception. Most camaro owners modifiy their cars for increased power, mine is modified, believe it or not, for road-trips. I love, like in an odd way, driving all over. I love it alone as well. My trip to Rt66, Albuquerque and back, 100% on my own was very memorable.

    Here is a current pic of my car.



    Here are some of the things I have done to my car to make it easier to drive long distance.

    -Comp LS6 Engine Springs
    -ARP Hardened Push Rods
    -Forged Valves
    -Dodge Viper T56 Transmission
    -Dual Stage Carbon Clutch
    -EATON Rear Differential w Posi
    -Motive Gear 3.73 Ratio Gears
    -Valentine 1 Radar Detector
    -TOM TOM GO
    -10 Mile CB
    -XM Satellite
    -DVD, TV, MP3 Player
    -8000k HID Lamps

    The car makes 340hp, gets 28 miles a gallon, and runs strong. Also a substantial amount of other engine mods and suspension mods.

    I want to plan a perfect trip. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default

    I'm not sure how much of that stuff you'd need for a road trip - for example, tv's and dvd players in cars always seem counter productive to a roadtrip to me - but it sounds like its a car that you'll enjoy using and I guess that's what's important. good luck.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    I'm not sure how much of that stuff you'd need for a road trip - for example, tv's and dvd players in cars always seem counter productive to a roadtrip to me - but it sounds like its a car that you'll enjoy using and I guess that's what's important. good luck.
    Well, I dont watch any TV, I look at the road, I just like to listen to music.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Cool Trip

    First of all - I would love to hear stories from the Le Mans race team. I've caught the series twice, both times in Houston and loved watching the races. I am bound and determined to get to Sebring one of these years.

    Anyway - what are your interests. Now that we've determined you'll be ok car and gas - wise it's time to think of other aspects of the trip. Have you got a route picked out other than the Alaskan Highway? Are there certain things that you'd like to see along the way? Are you a history buff, or a rock climbing junkie, etc?

    I think you'll be fine in your car, I'd be wary of any major off-roading though. I've driven to all corners of the US in a Ford Taurus. It works for me and gets great highway mileage, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. I've never had trouble getting into anyplace I wanted to go. But I have resigned myself to knowing that my car will get dings and scratches (I live in Louisiana - I have no choice). I carry basic food supplies, medicine, a spare tire, blankets. In other words - just the basics. I also have a ton of cds, books on tape for those lonely roads where there is only on cruddy radio station, and a satellite radio.

    Good Luck! It sounds like an awesome trip. It's one that's on my "list".

    Oh - and an 1100 mile trip by yourself will never get you an odd look around here. I did a 4100 mile trip last summer and am headed to England next week. All alone. And if you really want to see something to boggle your mind check this upcoming trip out.

    Laura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Cool car!

    While I know some people here disagree with me, I think the car can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your roadtrip. I have far more fun in my New Beetle than I ever did in any other car I've ever owned. (Although my 78 VW Scirocco came pretty dang close...loved those Recaro seats!) Yes, my car is covered with scars from taking him on logging roads and other areas where New Beetles usually fear to tread, but I've had a heckuva lot of fun doing it!

    It sounds you've got the car tricked out. And a beautiful car it is! Now you need the right gear. I encourage you to check out these posts about what to pack. Even though we've established that road services are fairly regular throughout your planned route, it is always good to be prepared. And the more remote the area you're traveling through, I think the better it is to take this seriously. You may not need or want everything listed. But those posts should give you some good ideas.

    Do you need any help with routing? Budgeting? Or anything else?

  10. #10

    Default

    to add on, in the summer the drive it Ak is not lonely. in fact some part will have traffic jams due to slow drivin RV's. it is a great drive. with a little planning it is not a hard drive. even in april when everything is not open there is plenty of gas stops and motels every 6-8 hours.

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