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Thread: Alaska/haul road vehicle

  1. #1

    Default Alaska/haul road vehicle

    Hello all. I am new to this wonderful forum and this is my first post. I will be moving to Fairbanks in a few months to take a civilian position on Fort Wainwright. Right now I own a two wheel drive truck. I am assuming I will be better off with something four wheel drive. Because I will have this vehicle shipped up there, I need to know in advance what you guys recommend. Can a vehicle pull a cargo type trailer up the haul road or is the road too bad for that? I don't anticipate any real heavy towing needs because right now I don't own a boat. What the is best/inexpensive way to go? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I see many people pull a trailer up on the haul rd. Main thing to worry there is getting flat tires for the trailer and you vehicle. I have been up there 3 times. 2 times no flats, but last trip I recieved two. ALso Antigun pass can has so steep parts so a good truck to pull your trailer would be hepful. Antigun pass can get snow on it in Aug so a 4wd truck comes very handy. I would go with a 4wd this will allow you to do more things and to go more places if you decided to get off the main road anywhere here in Alaska.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  3. #3

    Default

    Run what you brung. Up here we call it a beater with a heater. That is all you need. Taking a nice vehicle up the haul road or anywhere in Alaska for that matter is just a waste. As long as it is mechanically sound, it is good to go, because there just aren't that many roads anyway. Seems as though I have heard of more nice vehicles getting trashed or dinged than beaters. Whatever you drive, it will get dinged from rocks and sometimes people. Locals like to lay claim to the area and sort of take offense to your presence.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Talking Archives

    A search of the archies may give you a lot more help.

    Haul Road - Two wheel drive will do in the early season before the snow falls. With chains after the snow falls it would work too. Most of the road is not bad most of the time. It is "the pass" that is going to get you in foul weather. As far as towing a trailer up there? If you can bare to take a bucket of gravel and throw it at your trailer all day as it sits in your yard, then you might consider taking it up the road. It is going to get extremely dirty and hit with gravel behind the truck. A full width mud flap, front window shields and other protective garb is going to help. How big are we speaking of?

    As far as Fairbanks - There are some people on the forum that live up there. Expect temperatures between -50 and 90 degrees. A cold weather package for the motor is important. Radiator shields, battery insulation, transmission insulation........ It plain gets cold. Road wise, I will always have a 4-wheel drive. Other option might be a truck with a posi-traction rear end, locking differential. Mine is a 4x4 with a locking diff., camper package, off road package, diesel. Yes lots of diesels up here. It used to be cheaper than gas but now gas is cheaper. Unless you burn something other than what is sold at the pump.

    Good luck! And welcome to the forum.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  5. #5

    Default

    Just curious, why would you be pulling a cargo trailer up the haul Road?

  6. #6
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    i agree with dave and gary. i hunt the haul road 1-3 x / year i usually haul boat trailer or big utility trailer plus heavy cab over camper. 2wd would do it usually.. chains would be a must .....even in august i have gotten snow fairly regularly in august one year seemed like every 2-3 days. Atigan pass can get very interesting with snow. one year a tourist in a rental car got part way up and stuck ( foot of snow on road) we got him turned around and he went back north.....he ended up leaving the rental at the north side of pass?????and hitched a ride to coldfoot with some hunters. i have 4wd diesel ( and would not be without a 4wd) and carry 2 sets....never have used them. most flats 3 on truck and 2 on trailer but many trips with none. road condition has improved in alot of ways in recent years they have been "paving" , some type of chip seal surface. problem is pot holes they can't grade that like they could the dirt. years ago, very rainy and trailer axles were dragging in mud. bearly made it thru with 4wd. road is much better now.
    btw welcome to the board- Pat
    4wd is very handy frequently in winter around town.....not a "got to have" thing but alot nicer when roads are slick.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  7. #7

    Default Haul road

    I was going to ask the same as AlaskaCub; why do you want to take a trailer up the haul road? What do you think this road is and what do you think it leads to?

    It sounds like you may not realize what this road really is.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  8. #8

    Default Alaska Cub and Hawken

    I have a family I will be brining with me to Alaska and so I was wondering if I could get byy with a Suburban style four wheel drive and use a trailer to haul coolers with meat, gear and such. I have pretty much discarded that idea now as I don't want to have to worry about changing trailer tires as well as vehicle tires.

    Do you guys think that if I bring my two wheel drive up there and try to sell it or trade it that I may find that nobody wants it?

  9. #9

    Default Humm

    Thats your call , 2wd trucks dont hold much value up here, you can sell them but your probably going to take a loss on what its worth compared to selling it in the lower 48. Most every truck or SUV on the interiors roads is 4wd with few exceptions. Theirs 2wd trucks on used lots up here that have been wholesaled cuz dealers dont think they can move em. If you even remotely think you are gonna want a 4wd truck at sometime, and I am betting you will, I'd sell the 2wd down there.

  10. #10
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    Default

    What kind of a 2wd drive truck do you have?

  11. #11
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    If you are thinking along the line of a Suburban then why take a trailer. Its large enough you can put everything in it. I have an Excursion and have yet to run out of room. Granted I am not packing a wall tent and stove.

  12. #12

    Default Louis

    My current truck is a two wheel drive, 2002 F150 crew cab with a V8.

    I'll figure all this out. Thanks for the advice.

  13. #13
    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    you may not be able to sell your truck for much but you can get some real good deals on trucks myh friedn just bought a 99' f-350 for 3,000 under blue book. the complete warming package is a must. all I've had this winter is a simple block heater and I barely get by. haven't ever been up the haul road. (going to but God must not have wanted us to go 3 of our trucks broke two days before the trip)

  14. #14
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    Thanks. I'm actually in the market for a 2wd. We're looking at a Toyota Tundra v6 at this time.

    I've been commuting between North Pole and Fairbanks for about the last decade in a 2wd Ford ranger and have stayed out of the ditch so far. The truck also serves for firewood hauling duty. I grew up in AK and our family always got by with a 2wd truck.

    There have been numerous occasions life would have been easier with 4wd, of course!

    Just another perspective...Louis

  15. #15
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Talking Tires

    One of the most critical items on the haul road is proper tires. Throw the lower class tires out and get "D" or "E" class tires. Most of the guys that have tire problems have them because of inadequate tires. I run E's and have only ever had one slow leaker. I think that happened from hitting a hole so hard I loosened the bead.

    There is no Automobile Club on the haul road and the distance one way or the other to get help is gonna cost you.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  16. #16

    Default Haul Road etc

    I second DaveintheBush about the class of tires. Two trips up the Haul Road, 1-ton Ford 4x4, 2 flats per trip. Good way to make up new words. Those were D class tires with pretty aggressive tread and I'm not a speed racer type driver. With a lesser class tire it would have been way worse.

    Also second the beating your rig will take. Both trips resulted in new spectacular holes in windshields and one busted headlight from oncoming semis flinging golf ball sized rocks. Talk about defensive driving 101. Semis own that road and it's much safer to get out of their way.

    Definitely don't take any rig up there you want to keep pretty. Ain't gonna happen.

    Also take more of everything than you think you'll need. Two mounted spares is my minimum requirement anymore along with at least one drum of diesel.

    PM with any questions if you want.

    mbd

  17. #17
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default trucks

    I brought up a 4WD truck 3 years ago and I instantly gained 4grand in value as soon as I hit the state line it seems. I sold it and made a nice profit to get me started and bought a little older vehicle. I'm going down to get married next year and will be purchasing another 4wheel drive and drive it up the hwy and hopefully do it all over again
    Justin

  18. #18

    Default

    Thanks for the info on the value of vehicles up there

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