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The Dalton Highway

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  • The Dalton Highway

    My wife and I would like to take our 23 foot Coachman Freedom Express and 2004 Ford F-250 up the Dalton Highway early July. Have watched some youtubes of people that have done it and looks totally doable. That time frame should still have a better chance of being dry rather than later.

    See if I am missing something to be prepared.
    • We have already upgraded the cheap drawbar.
    • Want to have Trailercraft reinforce where the leaf springs attached to the frame
    • Maybe reinforce the fresh water tank.
    • Extra 5 gallon jugs of water
    • have tire plugs
    • have 2-3 spare tires. Current tires used 1 season.
    • Jack for trailer
    • 12 volt air compressor
    • Complete tool set
    • cb radio
    • Garmin InReach
    • extra fuel jugs
    • Generator to recharge the batteries
    • screen over radiator
    • replace all rubber hoses on the truck. they are still original.

    Beyond that just food and clothing.

    Any additional suggestions or cautions like "Please dnot' do this"!!


  • #2
    I've only done the drive once, and your plans fit with what I saw. The road was generally good, but there were stretches of roadwork where you were driving on loose 6-8" sharp cobbles and the person we were following got a flat (we were fine). The general suggestion is 10 ply tires, we had that on the truck, but not quite on the camper. I found the truckers courteous, and just took it slow in the rough spots. Before I do it again I will have the contact info for tow service out of fairbanks. we saw a couple folks with problems (the flat tire and a an f-2?-3?50 with trailer that sheared its wheel lugs off, likely due to loose lugnuts and rough road).

    Travelling when it is wet it is ugly, your tow vehicle and camper will never be the same. I had buckets of gravel and mud embedded into the frame. We crossed the pass in a blizzard towing following a grader over - fun.

    Think about dropping camper as far south as you can, and driving without as far as possible.

    Worth it for sure, tho.


    • #3
      The main thing is the quality of all the tires. I only run "E" rated tires. I have only had one leaker on the trip. I also carry the "Inflate a Flat" tractor trailer cans and radiator sealer. I have never used either. The road can be muddy so a way to clean the windshield (like once we had to stop at a stream and throw pots of water at the windshield.) Extra windshield washer fluid.

      Patriot Life Member NRA
      Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
      Life Member Disabled American Veterans


      • #4
        Well we made the trip to Deadhorse, Manley Hot Springs, and Circle Hot Springs. Roads were excellent. The Dalton alternates between being awesome to some rough spots. We saw 2 compact cars on jacks that must have gone through their spare tire. We had no flats on the F250 or the travel trailer. I did upgrade to Goodyear Endurance on the travel trailer. It was 74 degrees at Prudhoe Bay and 80 south of Deadhorse when we left. We left our trailer at Marion Creek Campground near Coldfoot and then drove to Deadhorse. Good decision! Road I hear is worse after rain. Stayed the night at Deadhorse Camp. Very basic. Excellent birding around the lake at Deadhorse and saw caribou and musk ox too. We broke a leaf spring hanger on the travel trailer somewhere on the way to Coldfoot. Limped back to Fairbanks to have it welded. The only other glitches were the sink counter-top on the island in the travel trailer came loose. It was only stapled on and the cap on my truck jiggled back about an inch.

        In Fairbanks, there is an excellent Antique Auto Museum that is a must see.


        • #5
          I've been up there a number of times. I finally put 19.5 rims and tires on my Dodge 3500 P/U. With my Lance camper on the truck, the difference was unbelievable.


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