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2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 6.7 L Turbo Cummins 3.73
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Continuing on from the Arctic Circle pull off and another 60 miles we reached Coldfoot, Alaska. Not much there but an airport, food, fuel and lodging is available here. Diesel was $4.89 a gallon. This is some awesome country in high summer. The road is paved for quite a stretch in the Coldfoot area. The frost heaves are many and driving slow is the key here. The speed limit is 50 mph.

We continued on through spectacular scenery.

Coming down the north side of Atigun Pass. This is a 4,739 feet high pass. The grades on the Dalton Hwy are breathtaking. The road barrels up and down hills, 8-10 percent grades are all the time. I got some very good use with the engine brake. Damn that works very, very well. I had to put the truck in 4x4, and at about 15 mph we crawled up and over. I about had to pry my fingers off the steering wheel after this one!

As for our truck, it didn't care one bit!

Sometime around 3 pm we made it to Galbraith Lake, another BLM Campground. This was a bit rustic, but adequate as a place to stop. The trees are all gone now, we are north of the Brooks Range. This is Arctic tundra country.

Galbraith Lake pics. You can see patches of snow out there.

Looking south towards Atigun Pass.


Looking north from Galbraith Lake.


Day 4. We awoke to a bright sunny day, or night??? I awoke that "night" with the sun streaming in my eyes, it was 2:30 AM.

The road up Atigun Pass and beyond, were getting concerning. Very rough, slow, many bumps. I had a pretty strong premonition we should turn around. Galbraith Lake is about 170 miles to Prudhoe Bay. But my wife egged me on, so we continued. Bad things were about to happen.

Somewhere north of Galbraith Lake I hit some holes rather hard. I started to hear banging sounds, so I pulled over. YOU MUST be conscience of traffic, and only stop where traffic can see both ways. The first thing I see is a bearing dust cap is missing.

Then I look underneath to see not one, but two broken rear leaf springs on the Rv.

SHIT! SHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT AND MORE SHIT! We are 120 miles from Prudhoe Bay and not a pot to piss in. The trailer rear axle was riding on the frame and the waste tanks, holy crap. This is as far as we got, I was heartbroken, but not surprised. The road is getting pretty bad.

The turn around view looking north.

Time for an Alaskan bush fix. With axes, wood, jacks, blocks, I came up with whittling some lumber to fit in the hangers, so the broken ends of the springs had some lift.


And with that, we turned around and headed back. We ended day four at the Marion Cr BLM campground 5 miles north of Coldfoot. This nice campground with RV pull throughs and was $10 a night. No dump though, I really needed to get those tanks emptied. It was a very long day.

At this point my guts are hurting, yea, I'm a bit stressed out. I had to stop and redo my fix a few times, as the wood would eventually get chewed up. And we are driving very slow. 35 mph takes a long time. At Coldfoot we filled up the fuel tank. So far my bush fix was working out pretty well, so we decided to push on south to the 5 mile campground near the Yukon, another 120 miles.

As for the Ram, it didn't care if the RV had wheels or not. I was surprised though at the mileage going up and down these steep grades all day. This was the tank full that took us from Coldfoot, up and over Atigun Pass and back to Coldfoot. The Lie-O-Meter, for once, was right on with my hand calculation. 12.8 mpg. Just superb, wonderful, I was surprised at the mileage, I thought it was great.

Later on that afternoon we made it to the 5 Mile BLM campground. With the RV dump, and water, I was able to take a nice hot shower. So far, the suspension is "hanging" in there.

Day 5. We cleaned out the waste tanks getting rid of a lot of weight. I did not fill the water tank, leaving enough for bathroom breaks. I redid my wood blocks somewhere heading south that morning. So far, so good. I think we're going to make Fairbanks.


And later on that afternoon, with tremendous relief, we hit Fairbanks. Wow! By this point, my bush fix was all done. We found a very nice RV park on the Chena River, where I booked two nights. They had full hookups too. The weather was very warm for the last couple of days, in the 80,s. It was nice to have the A/C on. The RV park also had a pressure washer, OMG did my truck and RV need cleaning. Before we did anything, I pulled into the rv cleaning station, and blew off a wheel barrel of mud.

The next day, day six, I got up early, and hit the parts house. Two new springs, some hangers, ubolts and brackets, and was on it by 9:30 AM, and done by noon. All fixed and good to go.

And on the 7th day, we got up early, hit the road at 7 am, and drove the 320 miles to Palmer. We arrived at home at 1 pm. :):):):):)

Before we even got things cleaned out of the RV, on our own, both my wife and I came to the same conclusion. WE got to do this again.

But not with a bumper pull trailer. Coldfoot is doable with a RV TT, but past that, uh uh. One could park your RV TT in Fairbanks, and do a run with a truck only. I saw people with cars too, not a good idea either.

There were some folks that tent camped, or had a camper/shell on a truck. We saw some class C motorhomes. You can also rent vehicles to drive up the haul road. The bugs were anywhere from not many to OMG Run!!!! Head nets and bud dope are essential.

I wish I could post some more pictures, and perhaps later on I will on the off topic lounge.

And the Ram truck just shrugged at it all.


Super Moderator
911 Posts
Had to do that trick of a couple pieces of 2x4 between the axle and frame on my boat trailer. Nice fix. Makes you wonder how many crucial spare parts you need to bring along.

13,970 Posts
Oh man, what a bummer.

I have been away a month and just saw the first edition, missing this until now. You are quite creative to make a temporary fix. You are also a realist to make the decision that towing may not be as easy as most think.


Now looking forward to reading part three.
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