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Author Topic: North to Alaska  (Read 24858 times)
eb99603
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« on: July 14, 2015, 08:15:39 AM »

The house is sold. The bus is (mostly) packed. I'm collecting a folder with the printed route, customs declaration items, CoachNet numbers, insurance company numbers, etc. By the start of the weekend we'll be well on our way up to Alaska.

The purpose of this drive is relocation, not leisurely travel so we'll be pushing pretty hard. I picked up the bus down in Florida, and drove it 1800 miles home. Now another 3400 miles up to AK. I have 3 drivers so we should make some pretty good time (assuming no breakdowns). Should be a blast!
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IMABUSBOY
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 02:03:02 PM »

The first two words that come to mind...I'm jealous! Tongue That said, have a great and safe trip!! Good luck and be sure to post! Smiley
Danny
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Happiness is not found at any destination, it can only be found on the journey.
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 06:37:27 PM »

Excellent news - drive safe and try and enjoy the drive!
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eb99603
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2015, 05:55:46 AM »

We're on the road! After getting my unloaded, unfueled weight at Precision Frame (32,800 lbs) I started doing a back-of-the-napkin calculation. And then I started getting nervous. A household of belongings weighs a lot, and so does 230 gallons of diesel. Brought it to a CAT scale before embarking and my mind was eased: 4k to spare!



Yesterday we left MN later than anticipated and stopped in Minot, ND. Nothing too eventful other than a pretty nasty rain storm for about 15 miles. Bus is driving well. Inverter and all of the electronics inside are really making for a much more enjoyable experience for the non drivers. We lost a tail light in the rain - apparently water's getting into the housing. Thankfully I have plenty of extras. Much of western MN and ND has had diesel selling less than gasoline. To that I say: booyah.

One thing I did note, however, is that I'm not getting any heat up by the driver. It wasn't a big deal in MN due to the outside temps, but we'll need to get that figured out sooner rather than later or this will become a very uncomfortable drive.









Should be through Canadian customs later today!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 06:38:31 AM by eb99603 » Logged
eb99603
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 06:41:43 AM »

Other observations from the road...

Smells. The changing smells coming through the HVAC system are fascinating on a road trip. From different crops, to animals, and other vehicles' mechanical issues it's always something new.
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John316
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 08:46:26 AM »

Ed,

I will totally be watching your thread. I love Alaska. Someday, I will be driving the route myself. Please keep this updated as you can. Already loving the thread!

Cheers,

John
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Sold - MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2015, 08:54:52 AM »

If it was me, I would be trying to figure out how much of the heating system the FL owner removed thinking that he wouldn't be needing. This was a major consideration in our choice. We bought a bus that was converted in MN because it still had heating equipment installed.

For what it's worth.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 01:03:55 AM »

Ed, do
You have more photos of your journey and updates? This is a dream trip for us


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
https://goo.gl/photos/GVtNRniG2RBXPuXW9
gumpy
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 06:44:23 AM »

Scott,

While it's been over 10 years ago, the photos of our 2005 trip are still on my website at http://gumpydog.com/Alaska_2005/Photos/2005_alaska_trip_index.htm

No text. Too many photos to annotate.

Feel free to ask questions.

craig

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Craig Shepard
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 03:11:10 PM »

Oooh! Thanks Craig! I'm going to click the link right now!!


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
https://goo.gl/photos/GVtNRniG2RBXPuXW9
Scott & Heather
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 04:19:27 PM »

Lots of great pics! Did the guy in the rollover accident live? Looks like his trucked burned pretty bad


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
https://goo.gl/photos/GVtNRniG2RBXPuXW9
eb99603
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 07:20:28 PM »

Man do I feel like a chump for starting this thread and then falling off the face of the planet. The drive was ... eventful ... though nothing we couldn't overcome, and then all of the aspects of moving to a new place got the better of me and I never came back to share my story with you folks. I'll be back this week for sure to continue where I left off in my July post.

UPDATE: Thanks Craig/Scott for reviving this thread. I'd been meaning to collect my notes and pictures from the trip to document it better but it kept getting back burnered until I totally forgot about it. It's been fun collecting everything tonight, and beginning to relive the trip a bit!
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 10:56:58 PM by eb99603 » Logged
gumpy
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 03:21:13 AM »

Lots of great pics! Did the guy in the rollover accident live? Looks like his trucked burned pretty bad


Yes, he was fine. He had escaped before the fire started. This was before I had purchased my Cold Fire fire extinguishers from Jim Shepherd or I might have tried them out.
I considered pulling up and breaking out the water hose, but decided against it as I only had about 50 feet of hose, and with the toad attached I would not have
been able to back up if needed.
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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 03:22:21 AM »

Man do I feel like a chump for starting this thread and then falling off the face of the planet. The drive was ... eventful ... though nothing we couldn't overcome, and then all of the aspects of moving to a new place got the better of me and I never came back to share my story with you folks. I'll be back this week for sure to continue where I left off in my July post.

UPDATE: Thanks Craig/Scott for reviving this thread. I'd been meaning to collect my notes and pictures from the trip to document it better but it kept getting back burnered until I totally forgot about it. It's been fun collecting everything tonight, and beginning to relive the trip a bit!


We'll be looking forward to your writeup. It's a great trip that others should be encouraged to do. Recent information on the conditions is always appreciated.
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Craig Shepard
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http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
dtcerrato
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2016, 03:56:14 PM »

Really really enjoyed reading this thread. Still going through the photos. Lots of awesome stuff. We're planning on an Alaska road trip this year - probably May through September Florida Alaska Florida. This thread is very rewarding and appreciated. Good stuff, - what bucket lists should be made of! Thanks for sharing. 
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Dan & Sandy
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eb99603
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2016, 06:01:26 PM »

The wife and I started a new blog after moving to AK as a means to communicate with all the folks back in the midwest. In the interest of not writing the same post twice and because it's a PITA to upload images here vs there, I'm sending you folks that way for the write up. Disclaimer: I've gone backwards a bit and started from the beginning. Most of you are probably more interested in the behind-the-wheel details. Those are coming.

https://bonesbitsandbuns.com/2016/01/28/alaska-bound-part-1/
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eb99603
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2016, 06:59:07 PM »

Here's post numero dos: https://bonesbitsandbuns.com/2016/01/30/alaska-bound-part-2/

And a link to all of the posts in the series: https://bonesbitsandbuns.com/tag/alaska-bound/ Posts 3+ will be much more picture heavy, but full disclosure, our second child was born ~24hrs ago so I'm not sure how long it'll take before I get back to writing up more Alaska trip posts.
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gumpy
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2016, 03:31:47 AM »

Congratulations on the family addition. Hoping all is well with Mom, baby, sibling, and Dad.

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Craig Shepard
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2016, 04:56:59 PM »

Congrats!!! We have a 4 month old ourselves!!! Will be checking your links!


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
https://goo.gl/photos/GVtNRniG2RBXPuXW9
eb99603
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2016, 12:32:25 AM »

Thanks for the well wishes, gents. All's well over here with the new one. We're all trying to get into the new rhythm. Thankfully our first isn't too jealous of the new guy taking what used to be her sole access to mom/dad's attention. Sleep's ... a thing of the past. Smiley It's not that bad. But if memory serves me, week 3 was the most challenging time with our first child. We shall see what the future has in store.

Finished post 3. https://bonesbitsandbuns.com/2016/02/06/alaska-bound-part-3/
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2017, 06:32:01 PM »

Wow! where have we been since over 19 months ago!...? Yes we made mention of wanting to do the Alaska trip and by golly we did do it. May through September 2016 over 12,000 miles and $30,000 later. It bit us & bit us real good. We purchased a piece of ground in AK on the way out as an insurance policy that we will return... that was about half of the whole trip expense. We experienced a whole lot of mechanical woes but never gave up & continued to push on. During trip - replaced (not all at once) air compressor drive, cylinder head, blower, power steering shaft, cross over tubes, generator quit charging, brake drum, three oil changes (making oil). Since returning home from the trip we did an in-frame engine overhaul, upgraded from original inoperable generator to a 200 amp alternator (driven by the original generator armature shaft), completely rebuilt clutch assembly & attended two rallies, & recently lost a fan but no radiator damage! We're coming out of retirement at the request of a company that worked me for many years to do a project or two so we can recoup some of that trip expenditure because we want to do it again & again... We don't fret about the mechanical woes during the trip because we used this bus full time since 1979 to work construction projects all over the continent & most of all that time never even set the rack on the old girl. We knew she was a tired old bus when we set out for Alaska but knew she had at least one good trip left in her & by golly did it & took us back home. We were doing 63 mph on US freeways with two nearly dead cylinders... These old beasts are built like tanks to last. 26 years of commercial service then 40 more years of conversion status & still going strong (er) than the day we purchased it in April of 79. The engineers wont fade away until the last one goes to he scrapper which wont be in this century. :-)
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Dan & Sandy
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2017, 04:42:00 PM »

Forgot to mention a starter failure also. Replaced the starter. US. Coach shipped a rebuilt one to us in an Illinois campground. Alaska or bus(t) maiden trip successfully completed, 2nd trip on the horizon.
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Dan & Sandy
PD4104-129 since 1979
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