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Thread: Alcan VS Alaska marine HWY?

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    Default Alcan VS Alaska marine HWY?

    Which is better for moving to alaska with kids in tow? I realize the ferry is pricey with vehicles and a trailer involved and that they charge by the foot but it seems better than driving through Canada with the kids not to mention firearms! If anyone can weigh in I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Andy

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    well they are both great trips but depending where in Alaska you are heading you might want to be careful with the guns and Canada as you still need to drive back into Canada from Haines its most of a day driving still in Canada so have your papers in order.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    If you are moving up with the military, don't let them fool you in to just driving. They are suppose to pay the ferry route too.

    Both have there advantages. get the "Mile Post."

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    Member G3_Guy's Avatar
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    As AKB said, get the MilePost... We received ours in the mail today and all I can say is wow. It's an inch thick and full of helpful information for your trip to AK. Here is the link. Be sure to check Amazon for it too! http://www.milepost.com/
    G3 Guy
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  5. #5
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Default I say ALCAN...Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by hunterdave View Post
    Which is better for moving to alaska with kids in tow? I realize the ferry is pricey with vehicles and a trailer involved and that they charge by the foot but it seems better than driving through Canada with the kids not to mention firearms! If anyone can weigh in I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Andy
    I drove because of ferry costs...and I like driving anyway. The right answer for you depends on many variables. Some details you probably don't feel comfortable posting here..I wouldn't feel comfortable anyway.
    - What type of guns..Pistols and Military weapons are very difficult and even sometimes impossible thrui Canada.
    - What are you driving and/or towing? How reliable is it and are you comfortable towing?
    - What are your kids ages? Do they travel well?
    - What is your financial situation?

    Is what worked best for me on my last move was to fly the wife and kids after I and the dog drove it. She had my weapons that was a No-GO to go thru Canada. My dad and his buddy made the drive with me, but only because they wanted to..I didn't need them. Maybe you drive with a kid and the wife flies with one..save one plane ticket

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    I would be driving up my 01 cummins with a boss v plow on it as I wont leave it behind,and a large trailer along with another rig for my parents. I like the idea of the alcan but i'd hate to have a breakdown in Canada and my kids just might make it unbearable!
    I guess i just don't know yet.
    Andy

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBassking View Post
    If you are moving up with the military, don't let them fool you in to just driving. They are suppose to pay the ferry route too.

    Both have there advantages. get the "Mile Post."
    That's true...to a point. The military would only pay for the length of my primary vehicle when taking the ferry, I was responsible for the costs incurred for taking my trailer (19 foot river boat) on the ferry. It was waaaaay more cost effective for me to drive vs. take the ferry.

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    A couple of notes here, the plow may not travel well in front of your truck plus the added fuel loss because of it. Can you put it in the trailer, your truck might run hot during the summer driving.
    Guns are fine LONGGUNS and SHOOTGUNS no hand guns or military type its a pain.
    I did the trip again in 08 when the fuel was high it will be worse this summer. at least 5$per gal for desiel so keep that in mind on what you are bringing with you.
    Its a great trip fi you want to take a bit of time with the kids, lots to see on the road.
    I have not done the ferry but its either tenting it or state room and bring you sandwitches with you the food on the boat is pricey.
    if you drive you can camp it along the way and save some money and ever other night or so get a walkin for showers and such. The kids would have a bit more fun that route.
    Good luck enjoy the time with your family on this trip

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterdave View Post
    . I like the idea of the alcan but i'd hate to have a breakdown in Canada and my kids just might make it unbearable!
    I guess i just don't know yet.
    Andy
    I've done both trips a couple times, as you ask about the kids in tow factor,
    depending on your kids age, if younger, remember that your kids will be able to run all over the Ferry, having a blast, watching movies in the movie theatre, exploring all the different levels, even camping out on the observation deck, and really safely, you won't have to worry about them.

    The ferry might be a lot better for their entertainment factor.
    Probably worth extra cost if the Ferry comes out higher.

    We have two boys (9&4 yrs) and wouldn't even remotely consider puttin them in a car/truck for that long of a drive, just cause it would be torture for everyone, keeping them entertained that long.

    If you do go for the drive option, you could bring portable DVD player, or a small laptop, that's our solution for long drives, works good, but the Alcan is several Full days, might be hard to get them back in to the rig after a few of those. (Could be your midcanada breakdown, everyone's sanity ??)

    Just thought I'd toss in that there is a lot of room on the Ferry to run, and high rails all around,
    they'll have a blast, vs. sitting trapped in the back seat FOR DAYS, on the highway
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member kantill's Avatar
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    We'll making this trip in June by the HWY, and the kids are going to be in the camper so the can watch a movie on the laptop or play games.

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    I'm a geologist and in 1988 I took my two kids 8 & 12 at the time on a 9 day road trip all over the Rockies. Towards the end of the trip I can still hear their plaintive cries as I'd slow down. "Oh no another road cut, pleeeease Dad don't stop!" LOL Fast forwards to today and everytime we all get together, both of them talk about what a great time they had on that road trip. No TV, no Walkman, no video games. Just lots of scenic beauty, hiking and camping, boy I was mean!
    Steve
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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    I agree about the plow sweepint i'll trailer it somehow. i dont want to overheat the truck but i just bought it and its coming with one way or another.

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    I am thinking the ferry might be the best for everyone even though it will cost more. My family would love it unless the seas get rough. Has anyone been on the ferry in high seas? My wife get sea sick sometimes, actually alot!

  14. #14
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'd say, on the Inside Passage, Bellingham to Skagway, or Haines,
    your chances of seas big enough to get those larger Ferries rolling, Virtually Nil, especially in summer,
    It's mostly a Flat Calm scenic cruise

    Now if you decide to get a ride across the Gulf of Alaska, like over to Seward, Cordova or wherever they go when they do that, a little bit higher chance that it would get into something, but those boats, the Kennicott would be the one, are really Large, not very susceptible to weather

    But if you stay on the Inside, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, etc. you are barely going to be able to tell you are on a boat.
    maybe a remote chance of some swells or weather crossing one area, Queen Charlotte Sound in northern Canada, for a few hours,
    Otherwise, it is a cakewalk on the weather scene.

    As to the Roadtrip Camping fun, I agree with Rockdoc, that cn be fun and memorable for kids
    but the bottom line, no matter how much camping, Fishing, playing around you do,
    There is still approx 2500 miles to cover, which is a lot of time in the rig for the kids,.....

    something to consider, may be different than a lot of memories of roadtrips down south

    i'd say, even tho the Ferry can be long and a little taxing on the adults for sheer boredom,
    (bring books to read, buy your own groceries for sure, just for munchy needs at least)
    You'll arrive much more relaxed and will have enjoyed some scenery along the way, saved some serious dollars in gas and wear and tear on the rigs,
    I imagine the long boat ride will be memories for the kids as well.

    Let us know what you end up doing, take some pics and post 'em on here, whichever route you choose, and have fun
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I have travelled the Alcan round trip twice with two kids, and once with three kids. All the trips were a complete piece of cake. No issues at all. We spent the money to sleep in hotels every night. I ended up driving 12 hours a day with a 1 hour break mid-day so that everyone could get out and stretch. The trip with three kids started in North Carolina and ended up being 8000 miles by the time we got home to Alaska. The kids, 10,11 and 7 were all in the back seat of a crew cab Chevy and did just fine.

    I wouldn't dream of driving that far with a blade on the front of my truck. Figure out another way to haul it.

    There is no advantage to taking the ferry as far as firearms go unless you take the across the gulf route. Price that sucker out and you'll be figuring out a new way to get your guns to Alaska. The ferry to Haines actually leaves you still having to drive the worst section of the road anyways.

    Coming from Wisconsin you can cut some drive time off diagnaling up through Canada vs. going due west to Seattle for the ferry. Frankly, I've never even considered the ferry as a viable route.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    First of all I have to say it is because of people like everyone who has responded here that my family and I are moving to Alaska, well the hunting ,fishing and scenery don't hurt either, but seriously thanks everyone. I think the ferry is going to be it because of my 3 small kids even though it is more expensive. I want everyone to be able to stretch and move around,besides we'll get our fill of driving fun from Wisconsin to Bellingham to the ferry. Seriously thanks everyone again for helping out a stranger,something alot of people would never do.
    Andy

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    Hey Dave, How did you end up moving your stuff? Im going to moving up there from N.C in month or so and I have to decide quick.

  18. #18
    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    I havent moved yet but if you are moving that soon the marine hwy is probably filled up but i'd check anyways let me know which route you go and how it goes! Good luck!!!!


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    Yeah the marine highway is already full for cars. I was actually referring to driving the Alcan myself or having someone move us.

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    if i had the choice and the time i'd drive the alcan and soak in the scenery. good luck.


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