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Thread: Haul road rigs?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Haul road rigs?

    I am curious what folks are running up the haul road. I would love to have a solid ford ranger or similar but don't see that happening. Would a small SUV like a ford Escape be well suited for the trip provided it was running good rubber? I have the big F250 that would do it but 18MPG doesn't sound that ideal compared to closer to 30. Destination would be coldfoot in early August.

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    I've seen 4 guys packed in a geo metro all wearing ski goggles cause they didn't have a windshield, so people run that road in just about anything. Just about any dependable vehicle with good tires (preferably E rated) and a couple spares should work...windshield optional

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Try towing a boat up there getting 2-3 mpg on the uphill climbs....I'd love 18 mpg!
    BK

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    When I used to drive up there years ago, I bought a 91 3/4t Chevy Suburban just for that purpose. I put a roof rack on it to haul the meat and extra gas. All my gear stayed dry in the back and I could sleep in it if I didn't want to set up a tent. Plenty of room for buddies too. The only downside was the gas mileage, but the 40 gallon tank gave it good range. In fact "White Lightning" even made one of the Drury Brothers DVD's.

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    1997 GMC 1 ton xslope truck pulling 12000lbs of horses and trailer blowing black smoke and getting pasted by guys on peddle bikes.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    That AK Powder Monkey kid did it in a subaru outback with a couple of guys. There was someone else about that same time that claimed to have 5 hunters in their outback for the trip. All racks were left on the tundra if I recall the post correctly.

    Any well maintained vehicle that has good tires, and has room for at least one extra spare, would work.

    My only trip that far north was in a F150 quad cab that was company owned. It worked fine since I was not buying the gas.

    If you can wrench a little then a mid 1990's model Yota Tacoma extended cab or T100 with a 3.4L motor would work well. Don't go too early with the 3.0L. They suck due to bad head gaskets, and then worse repairs to bad head gaskets. Put a canopy on it with a lumber rack or rocket box and you are good to go.

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    I drive a blue Ford up and down the road about 8 times per year. I can make it from Fairbanks to Prudhoe on 1 tank of gas, but it's a big tank.


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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Country View Post
    When I used to drive up there years ago, I bought a 91 3/4t Chevy Suburban just for that purpose. I put a roof rack on it to haul the meat and extra gas. All my gear stayed dry in the back and I could sleep in it if I didn't want to set up a tent. Plenty of room for buddies too. The only downside was the gas mileage, but the 40 gallon tank gave it good range. In fact "White Lightning" even made one of the Drury Brothers DVD's.
    was it Red(ish) color?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member High Country's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    was it Red(ish) color?
    The only red on it was a little rust, the rest was white.

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    Member logman 49's Avatar
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    With my Dodge diesel I can fill up in FBX run up the road and hunt for a week then back to Coldfoot with fuel to spare. I can get over 800 miles to a tank if I take it easy.

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    First thing I look for in a new hunting partner is a newer 1 ton with good rubber.

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    I've run several rigs up there, from broncos and suburbans to tundras and f150's. I've had 3 flats in 6 years and more than 30 trips up there. It's 500 miles of dirt road and nasty potted up asphalt. Ive seen subarus and civics up there as well as pedal bikes and enduros, I guess anything reliable will work, comfort and MPG's are the question.

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    I take the Dodge 3/4 Diesel but last year we ran into quite a few people that rented vehicles in Fairbanks and they were all Ford Escapes outfitted with CB radios. I drive one of those at home on the Kenai and I'll have to confess they are really dependable, but won't carry my camper.....................Meh.....
    Mike

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    I spent a lot of time last winter looking at old landcruisers (fj60's), and I spoke with one of the local landcruiser experts to get his opinion. He asked me what I wanted one for, I replied things like the haul road and jim creek. He suggested a minivan for the haul road and a buick lesabre for jim creek.

    Somehow we ended up with a honda pilot, I will probably take it up there in a year or two.
    My only gear sponsor is the salvation army - Dick Griffith

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    Member gutleap's Avatar
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    I drive a Freightliner with a 600 HP engine and 18 speed transmission. Loaded I weigh in at 108,000 lbs. I have no trouble getting up and down the hills.

    I drive the road for a living and as such, I see all kinds of vehicles on that road. There will be three areas of construction again this summer/fall on the road which means it can be real rough through those areas. You indicated you are only going to Coldfoot so you will only have to go through one of the construction areas. You should be fine driving your Ford Escape up there. I only have two words of advice for you. Slow Down. The people that have the most problems with that road are usually the ones that drive it like it is the Parks Highway. Slow down and take your time over the rough areas and you will have little to no problems.

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    I had planned on driving my older F150 up the Haul Road in August 2010 and then buying a new truck after the trip. Unfortunately mechanical issues forced my hand and I bought a new truck just prior. Driving up the Haul Road wasn't the way I wanted to break in a new truck, but that's just the way it happened. 500 miles around Anchorage/Kenai and then it headed north. The only damage was a small rock chip on the passenger side. That truck has been up and back to Prudhoe twice with no damage (other than the chip).

    Like gutleap said.....SLOW DOWN! I always slow to around 20 and pull as far the the right as possible until oncoming traffic passes. Just about all of the truckers will slow for you. It's the hunters hauling ***** the other way that will throw rocks up at you. You'll miss much of the gravel by only going to Coldfoot, but also some of the adventure. lol


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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Try towing a boat up there getting 2-3 mpg on the uphill climbs....I'd love 18 mpg!
    BK
    Ha...!!! I was gonna say....I've gotta F250 and have never seen 18 mpgs. I'd love it too...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    We took our time and literally came to a stop on the right shoulder each time we met a trucker. Every one of them was curteous and slowed down to a crawl and usually waved to us. A little patience goeas a long way.
    Some spots were rough but we took our time and had no problems.
    I wouldn't hesitate to drive anything up there if you aren't in a hurry.
    BK

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterlingmike View Post
    I take the Dodge 3/4 Diesel but last year we ran into quite a few people that rented vehicles in Fairbanks and they were all Ford Escapes outfitted with CB radios. I drive one of those at home on the Kenai and I'll have to confess they are really dependable, but won't carry my camper.....................Meh.....
    Mike
    Arctic Outfitters is the company that rents Ford Escapes for use on the haul road.
    http://www.arctic-outfitters.com/auto-rentals.htm

    I think you'd be fine with your Escape LuJon.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  20. #20
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Back when I drove that road on a regular basis (10 yrs ago), I pretty much decided that E rated tires were critical piece of gear. There was far more gravel at the time, but still not sure I'd want to take a SUV/Wagon up there with P rated tires if other options were available. Probably good to Coldfoot, but I'd still just take the truck. One blown tire or breakdown will eat all those fuel savings in a hurry.

    Yk

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