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Thread: Probably a stupid question?

  1. #1
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Default Probably a stupid question?

    Just received a job transfer to Anchorage, so we'll be moving up there in the Spring.
    Pretty excited about my family (wife & 3 kids) exploring Alaska, hunting, fishing, camping, etc.
    Been dreaming of toys: ATV's, trailers, guns, etc, and visiting my local dealerships.

    Don't want to speak blasphemy on an ATV forum, but after doing some rough $$$-math,
    it makes me wonder about which is the best way to go?

    Buy a Quad, and a SxS, meat/gear trailer, and toy-hauler to pull behind my current crew-cab,
    OR, buy a second truck/jeep and fully customize it for off-road use?

    Are ATV's the only way to get into the backcountry (besides an airplane),
    OR, can a barely road-legal specialized SUV get the job done?

    Standing by, to be educated about AK vehicles.

  2. #2
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    My opinion which isn't a great one is if you are only using the vehicles for hunting save your money and do a couple fly in hunts. I like riding my quads so I use them for recreational use. Other forum members will have other opinions on this matter.

  3. #3

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    hi and i am going to go out on a limb here and hope that what i say wont offend anyone but i personally think
    that four wheelers are fun but depending on the operator you can take your barely legal ( hell legal for that fact )
    into all the places the rest will go if you are back woods smart and can drive As for when i was a kid pops always took us out in the old willey's jeep and the only thing that was bad was deep water which we pulled fan belts a few time for river crossing bad mud you look long before you go in!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BUT HERE MIGHT BE YOUR CATCH and i am not graced with all the knowledge on it but some of the area have wait limits as to vehicle size
    i hope this will get you some one with that knowledge to help answer
    Larry

  4. #4
    Member Torqued's Avatar
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    I have a side by side and would not trade it for any jeep etc. I have had them and broke them. The side by side is lighter and cheaper to operate. They do not brake near as easily and are cheaper to fix if they do. If I had the money I would own a mudd-ox 8x8 with the turbo diesel, full cab, and tracks. It will pack your family and you can drag a trailer to carry all of your gear. It will get you to places no atv will, just not in a hurry. A snowmachine is great in the winter, but you can also add tracks to your atv or side by side and still go a lot of places. Also helpful in the mud. A crewcab Polaris Ranger with a lift and tires might also work for you.

  5. #5

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    Many places up here are starting to put a vehical weight limit of 1500# dry wieght on our trails, so the use of any kind of full size truck or jeep would be way too heavy. My vote would be atv or argo type rides, heavy on the argo(or mudd ox) if you have the cash.

  6. #6
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    ATV,s are a great way to get around. You have to learn how to ride to get through all the mud and be safe. Off road modified rigs are big up here, how much money you got? I float hunt, ATV hunt, walk and hunt. The closer you hunt to Anchorage the more the pressure. I like my 700 king Quad, you can go about anywhere and haul a lot of meat out with big ATVS >More power the better. You still got to be a good hunter, it,s big country up here.I,ve lived here 21 years now, It,s Awsome

  7. #7
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    I have hunted and fished up here most all of my life, basiclly since the early sixties. If you can afford it a full sized track rig like a Cattrack (one for sale on craigs list a while back) or a Rollagon like what is used on the slope you can get just about anywhere(but remember Anything CAN and WILL get stuck). As for 4X4's even tricked out ones they can go a lot of places and they do haul more than a wheeler or side by side but the first BIG swamp you come to the wheelers will leave you behind. Even a VW powered rig (Baja 1500lbs & under or tube frame less than 1000lbs) will go farther than a 4X4 when they are setup right.
    As others on here have said it will depend on just what you are really going to want to do... road hunt with some off road juants into areas that are already very well traveled(truck, jeep or VW power) or go farther in where there are less people but still some around (wheelers or side by side) or get to places where there is no one(cattrack,Rollagon or an airplane)
    You also need to consider what your family will want... is your wife outdoorsy? and do you want to have just some weekend fun wheeling out in the toolies. My kid is now old enough to join my friends and I when we ride and gets a blast out of it, but my wife could just as well go in to town and shop with her sister.
    So If you are still thinking about jeeps or trucks I suggest looking at the Knik Glacier posts on here (and yes I know that when Metal creek is raging NOTHING will get across) the pictures speak for themselves.

  8. #8
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx for all the responses!

    We're mainly looking for reliable transportation out into the backcountry,
    where most of our recreation will begin after we turn the engines off.
    ATVing looks fun, but we're not really into "wheeling", just for wheeling's sake.
    (no offense intended, just not our thing)

    The Mudd-Ox looks great, but will it really carry 2 adults and 3 kids comfortably for hours?
    How much ($$$) is the amphib trailer to carry all the camp gear and dead animals?

    Thanx, Dave.

  9. #9
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    My 2 cents.

    The first year, you will see Alaska through your windshield. This is the time to learn the area, gain residency, take a halibut charter and learn salmon fishing. Possibly, do some skiing, hiking, snowboarding, get the kids into hockey, watch the ididarod, irondog start, etc..... EXPLORE THE ROAD SYSTEM!

    Second year is the time to apply for PFD, hunting permits, and gain knowledge of the areas that YOU like. Everyone is different. Some fish the Kenai, some fish the parks streams, etc..... be very open to new ideas! UTILIZE YOUR RESIDENCY!

    Third year. The kids are settled into school programs...... lose a few weekends to this. If you have discovered what works for you, start gathering gear that suits your needs.

    What I have found.
    Summer is short. You cannot ATV, boat, tour, saltwater fish and everything else in the season.
    Winter is long..... find a habit that will make it shorter. Snowmachine, ski, snowboard, trap, etc.....

    Welcome to AOD!
    Mike
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    Bill Hicks

  10. #10
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx Mike! Sounds like good solid advice.

    Unfortunately, our relocation to AK may only last for 3-6 years, so we'll need to compress the time-line a bit.
    My whole family is very adventuous and outdoors oriented, and we've moved around the country some:
    Texas-Florida-Maine-Virginia-Washington-and soon Alaska, and that's just since we got married!
    There is a possibility that we could retire up there, but that'll depend upon a lot of factors???
    Everywhere we move, we hit the ground running and try to "UTILIZE OUR RESIDENCY"!

    So, if we really want to experience as much of AK as possible, in as few years as possible,
    what kind of vehicle(s) should we get to go with our current Chevy diesel crew-cab?
    (PS - the wife and I are both commercially-rated pilots with lots of small-aircraft experience, but,
    I figured that we would rent airplanes occasionally, instead of buying/hangaring/maintaining a 6-seater)

    Thanx again to everyone for the suggestions!

  11. #11

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    I would forget about SUVs up here if it were me. There aren't enough roads and when you get off road there isn't enough bottom. Stuck stuck stuck. ATVs would certainly be the thing for you. You might look into one side-by-side, and one two up ATV. Kawasaki makes a mule that has too large bench seats and would certainly all your family. But I always like having two rigs when going into the backcountry. That way in case you have mechanical problems on one you've always got a way out. These rigs cost about as much as SUVs but if you watch craigslist and other adds, you're likely to find a deal on newer machines from people who are leaving the state. But if you can afford new, then sometimes the warranties come in handy. Good luck!
    "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes"

  12. #12
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    How old are the kids? That's a big question that needs to be answered. When my kids were small (all under age 10) We made do with our Alaskan adventures by road camping. You can do an amazing amount of stuff in this state right off the side of the road. As the kids got older they were able to handle ATV's and we now have enough for everyone. We still don't get our money's worth out of our ATV's in my opinion. It's a good thing that we live where we can legally ride right from our house and the kids use them for transportation, otherwise I'd have more regret at spending the money on them.

    Last year 4 out of 5 camping trips we took didn't even involve our ATV's. We don't bother to take them when we head down to the Kenai Penn because of lack of good riding. The kids still have a blast hiking, fishing and just sitting around the campfire. Even when we headed up the Denali Highway the ATV's got limited use. The kids spent 90% of the time running through the woods playing and fishing.

    My crew-cab Chevy diesel pickup was the best vehicle purchase I have made. My family has been from Prudhoe Bay to Homer in that thing and camped in dozens of different places along the way. Throw the canoe on top, camping gear and dogs in the back and it's a perfect vehicle for Alaska.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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