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On leaving Alaska

1311 Views 20 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  SlowRoller
On September 8th we finally closed on our house sale. The next day we left at noon on the 9th for Olympia, Washington. This is about 2400 miles in all, we did this in 6 days/5 nights of travel pulling our 21 foot Coachman RV TT, and a box full of "stuff".

Of course, my 2021 Ram 2500 Cummins cared not one bit about the load. The first day was up the hill and straight into a strong headwind. That first leg to Glenn Allen (about 150 miles) was 11.1 mpg (hand calculated, as are all further mentions on mileage). The next leg to Tok was (another 150 miles or so) was a little better at 12.2, still windy, hills, and a lot of slowing down, speeding up, slowing down, ect, ect, as the road is pretty nasty on the Tok Cutoff.

Past Tok we pulled off for the night at one of the many rest spots.

The next day was just horrible for winds, all day driving straight into gale force winds, and more 11 mpg. Plus the Hwy from Beaver Creek to Lake Kluane is real bad, constantly slamming on the brakes for frost heaves, this slowing down and speeding up, plus the wind and hills, conspires to not great mileage, but I could still get 300 miles easy on a tank full. But once we filled up at Haines Junction, the wind started to die down. We pushed on past Whitehorse to Teslin and stayed at the Yukon Motel and RV park, easy pull throughs and sewer dump. I filled up there the next morning, getting 11.67 mpg from the previous day.

Fuel blends can vary from "near summer fuel" to "winter blends, aka, lousy mileage", and is always suspect up in the north.

The next day we woke to clear sunny and windless skies. And it was like this the rest of the way. No wind, none. With that, we decided to head down Hwy 37 (Cassiar Hwy). The road is all paved now, and while narrow, I liked driving at 50 mph (80 kph). The scenery is just splendid. At Dease Lake we refueled. This was the most expensive fuel on our trip at $2.56/liter Can, or about $7.48 a gallon US. I didn't think that was all that horrible. The mileage was at 12.83 mpg.

We spent night 3 just a couple of miles south of Dease Lake at a nice little self pay ($10) campground. Again, the weather was just spended, sunny and warm.

And as we continued, the mileage stayed in the 13 mpg range, plus or minus .2 mpg for the rest of the trip. I did notice the engine seemed to "wake up" after a few hundred miles. The power was effortless and endless. As @Captainmal shared, his mileage towing is much similar.

At the start of the trip the DPF gauge was at 1/3,rd and just as we pulled out of Palmer, Alaska, a regen started. Once that finished (quickly too), the DPF stayed clean the whole 2400 miles and no further regens were seen. I like this passive regeneration. My 2017 Ecodiesel never passively regened.

I had filled the DEF tank full at a pump in Wasilla at the start of our trip. I added one box of DEF on the way, leaving about 2/3rds of a tank of DEF left at our destination.

In all, an uneventful drive but for the madness of Seattle at 4 pm.

For driving on long windy roads, the 2500 was so much nicer than the 1500 with that nice firm stance, I was always comfortable too, I never thought the 2500 was too stiff of a ride.

I like this truck, it fills our needs well.
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I'm considering doing the opposite: Moving to Alaska. I have a job offer in Juneau which we are leaning toward accepting. I am torn about what to do with the Ecodiesel and our Winnebago travel trailer. Juneau is completely cut off from anywhere. It's accessible only by boat or plane. Vehicles must take the ferry. There is very limited camping in the Juneau area (accept for tenting, which we quit doing about 30 years ago!). We would love to take our camper and visit places in interior Alaska, which would mean getting it on the ferry and stopping at Haines or Skagway and driving through Canada, or taking the ferry all the way up to Whittier (near Anchorage), which is multiple days away.

I hate the thought of selling my Ram and our camper, because we love both of them. We're looking at retiring in about six years or so, so it wouldn't be forever. Any advice?
There are folks from the lower 48 who store an RV in Alaska to use during the summer. You might look into storage at Haines or Haines Junction, but the ED might not be the best vehicle for such occasional use. A motorhome might be more convenient to store. Get a Jeep to use in Juneau, ferry it to Haines and use it as a toad when you get some time off. It largely depends on how much time off you will have to get use out of an RV.
Bet it is more than that.

About 50 cents a mile with fuel costs here in Florida while pulling a decent trailer. Then add on the tires, living expenses, maintenance for that mileage and more. Without pulling much of a trailer I spent $400 driving to and back from my Georgia camp. Used to cringe when it was just over $150.
Perhaps he filled a bunch of gas cans in Anchorage at $4.99 OR he got 13 MPG. Right now, it would be about $1181 with certain assumptions: 12 MPG, not using over 20 gal between fills, and using the cheapest prices. (I calculated for a round-trip.) In fact, if he didn't include a fill at the end, that could almost be $130 (ouch!) Hopefully, @sourdo has calculated his MPG.
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We're just waiting for southern California temps to abate, which will be in the next week or so. We'll hopefully stay at Bashford's Mineral Hot Springs near the Salton Sea. I've stayed there many times, quiet, adults only, and the cost is cheap by the month. It is a neat place.
Timing is important! We figured on returning between mid-August and early September. My partner had a band practice scheduled for Labor Day. We got home 9/1, just in time for a week of 100s, up to 118 in my back yard!!! Then the band practice was cancelled! We really should have taken another week to get home, but we were getting a bit homesick.
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