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  • Alaska trip - fuel prices I can expect along the route? Doing critical budget check.

    Hopefully I will have my new truck next week, but by typing this probably I jinxed myself with another delay

    Anyway I had previously budgeted the trip in January, but fuel prices are all over the place. Assuming I can get close to 1000 miles on the truck before my mid July departure, I was wondering what current fuel prices are in Canada and Alaska. I am pretty much headed north from Colorado and plan to do the loop Fairbanks to Denali NP to Anchorage and any nearby NP's and back with some coastal side trips and possibly the inland ferry. We like the out of the way peaceful scenic stops. Don't need any KOA's etc ...well maybe every two weeks to do laundry.

    From January pricing I have added 25% overall , but I am guessing I am a little low.. I will start out loaded with the basic dry and caned goods we all carry and plan to buy locally in Canada to clear customs and not have to give anything up. And as I go and do a bit of fishing to fill in if possible. Stock up at the bigger towns on meat, etc - or is there a better way? This is a bucket list trip recreating the trip the Family took in the late 60's when everything was gravel and I was a kid. I remember Mom said I caused an earthquake at the Alaska visitor center. It was an actual 3 something that occurred and the place as log built so creaked a lot for a minute. I got blamed for everything

    BTW I have the 2021 milepost book and have done a lot of research on places to see - I plan a month, but can go longer, especially if I find a spot on the coast with fish, crab and clams. I would like to go out on the commercial boat and actually catch or harvest them, so any tips would be helpful.

    I would appreciate any planning and budgeting help on this - like the current cost of typical grocery, meat, chicken, etc. Are there any good web sites for this? I have tried looking up the major town along the route so see what they have, but most are out of date - probably a COVID thing.
    Thanks
    Keith
    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

  • #2
    Yoda -- my friend and I canceled our planned trip to Alaska this year due to fuel costs. We're still going on a trip, but the mileage is cut way down and the length of each stay at any one place has doubled. Below is the rationale.

    When towing fully loaded (Goldwing in the truck bed) the average fuel mileage of my '17 DRW can vary from 6.7 to 9 mpg. (I've tracked every fill-up since purchasing the truck.) Interstate speed is 65 mph. The original trip was ~13K miles. Figure an 8 mpg average (lots of mountain roads) and a $5/gallon cost for fuel and the budget is busted. Over $8K just for diesel.

    For us, the Alaska trip would have been fun and amazing to go with the trailer, but it's not that much of a "must do" due to the price increases of everything.

    Your mileage will be better than mine, but it's still going to be more than anyone could have planned and expected. Hope you get that truck soon!

    Howard
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #3
      Hi Keith,

      The process to enter Canada requires an "ArriveCan" App that needs to be loaded to your phone and completed within 72 hrs of arriving at the border. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-heal...arrivecan.html A key part of this is that you have to have documentation of Covid vaccinations. Also check for anything that might be prohibited. This changes depending on what is perceived to be a threat at the current time. Currently poultry products because of Avian Flu.

      As to the price of fuel . . . this has gone even crazier than in the US. Figure on diesel being $2.50 Cdn/L. This would be $9.50 Cdn/USGal or about $7.50 US/USGal.

      Many credit card companies want to know when you will be travelling outside the US. If yours does, there will likely be an online place to fill this out with your bank.

      Rob
      Cate & Rob
      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
      2015 Reflection 303RLS
      2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
      Bayham, Ontario, Canada

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      • #4
        Originally posted by howson View Post

        When towing fully loaded (Goldwing in the truck bed) the average fuel mileage of my '17 DRW can vary from 6.7 to 9 mpg. (I've tracked every fill-up since purchasing the truck.) Interstate speed is 65 mph. The original trip was ~13K miles. Figure an 8 mpg average (lots of mountain roads) and a $5/gallon cost for fuel and the budget is busted. Over $8K just for diesel.
        The math here isn't incorrect but looking at the total fuel costs versus zero fuel costs is only relevant if the options are go to Alaska or stay home. Not intending on picking on you with this howson but using your post as an example for anyone on the fence about a long trip because the numbers you posted makes it easy to compare.

        If someone were all-in on going to Alaska before the current fuel price hike, consider where prices were when you felt it was acceptable. If they were $4/gal instead of $5 then you're looking at $6,500 versus $8,125 (this is all considering Howard's information above, someone else's numbers will obviously vary). The more appropriate question becomes is the trip worth that EXTRA $1,625. Is it a trip of a lifetime? Is it a bucket list item? Maybe it's worthwhile and maybe not, but consider the increase in cost and not just the total cost because we all know spending a lot on fuel is an unfortunate requirement of this form of travel. Similarly if you pivot your trip to be somewhere else, compare the mileage that trip requires versus your first choice and which journey you'd rather embark on, using the difference in fuel costs as just one factor in a number of them that should be considered with any longer travel.

        Just want to put that out there for anyone considering a long trip and scared off by a massive fuel budget. Try taking a look at the difference and if you think the juice is worth that squeeze for you.

        Food for thought.
        Cheers!
        David and Deana
        2022 GMC Sierra 3500 AT4, CC, SRW, 6.6L L8T Gas, MYD 6-Speed
        2022 Reflection 303RLS w/ Gen-Y Executive Hitch

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WondersAwait View Post
          The more appropriate question becomes is the trip worth that EXTRA $1,625. Is it a trip of a lifetime? Is it a bucket list item?
          The answer, for me and my friend to both questions, was no. Lots of other options that won't break the travel budget.

          Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

          2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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          • #6
            Yoda Keith don't forget there is also a credit card charge for currency conversion. Check with your credit card company before crossing the border and getting home to find out that every time you swiped the card they hit you for an extra $3 plus.

            I hate to say it, but you may want to push that trip back 10-12 months and let the oil industry calm down a bit. Also this will allow you to let you possibly leave a bit earlier should you find a place you want to spend a couple of weeks to not be pushing on the return trip to avoid the possibility of getting trapped in SNOW.
            Joseph
            Tow
            Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
            Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
            South of Houston Texas

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            • #7
              Thanks for the tips everyone.
              howson Howard - Sorry you are not making the trip this year - I may be in the same boat, but a plus is it appears less folks are headed that way.
              WondersAwait David - I had priced fuel at $4.50 /gal in January so I am looking at +33% overall. to $6 average, but probably should recalculate on Rob;s information. I am hoping I see 10 mpg towing, but that's a guess. Overall I had 10K in fuel planed and was using $150 a day in other costs (food, campsites) - $4500 We normally limit our eating out. Plus $1,000 to cover possible Halibut and crab fishing. Am I missing anything?
              Cate&Rob Rob - thanks again for all your help. I have your AriveCan information saved. We also got our passports and both fully vaccinated.. Took a while for mine as they did not like the first and second picture the Durango post office took.
              Jlawles2 Joseph I usually carry Discover ( the say no travel fees) and Visa (I need to check with Bank of America) I will also have cash available like I always do. Thanks for the clue to notify them I am traveling. The only information I did not see on Discover is the currency conversion and any fee there. Ill haft to call.

              Thanks everyone....time to think

              Keith
              2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

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              • #8
                Yoda

                We put off our Alaskan trip in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. We wanted to go this summer, but we're staying home due to a family member's health. I really want to make the trip in 2023, and hope that some of the fuel prices have mitigated by then.

                Like you, I plan on doing some fishing on the trip, so I'll be taking my boat along with the trailer. We'll probably spend 3 to 3-1/2 months on the journey.

                Cate&Rob - Thanks for the pointer to that App. I hadn't heard of that one before.

                Jim
                The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

                Jim and Ginnie
                2017 Reflection 297RSTS

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                • #9
                  Yoda Keith - we are planning Alaska in 2023. Another good resource we are using is the book "Alaskan Camping" by Mike and Terri Church (available on Amazon). The Milepost is good, but this book is written more from a camping perspective. Granted it is written from a ClassA/C point of view, but good content for sure.

                  If you are a YouTube guy, there are a couple of good RV Alaska series we have watched: Long Long Honeymoon (LOLOHO) Alaska series (trip was in 2016 I think); Keep Your Daydream Season 5 (2018); and Newstate Nomads (2021).

                  What route are you taking through Canada? There are several options... I can probably help you out on the Alberta side of things (Banff, Jasper) and some of BC as well - feel free to send me PM if you want some specific information.

                  Cate&Rob Fuel prices aren't quite that bad in Alberta yet. Filled up earlier this week (diesel) for $1.80/L and topped off yesterday at $1.92. However, I would bet you're right that in the Yukon and along the Alaskan Highway the prices are getting up there.
                  Ken & Sandra
                  2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KSC_Travels View Post
                    Yoda Keith - we are planning Alaska in 2023. Another good resource we are using is the book "Alaskan Camping" by Mike and Terri Church (available on Amazon). The Milepost is good, but this book is written more from a camping perspective. Granted it is written from a ClassA/C point of view, but good content for sure.

                    If you are a YouTube guy, there are a couple of good RV Alaska series we have watched: Long Long Honeymoon (LOLOHO) Alaska series (trip was in 2016 I think); Keep Your Daydream Season 5 (2018); and Newstate Nomads (2021).

                    What route are you taking through Canada? There are several options... I can probably help you out on the Alberta side of things (Banff, Jasper) and some of BC as well - feel free to send me PM if you want some specific information.

                    Cate&Rob Fuel prices aren't quite that bad in Alberta yet. Filled up earlier this week (diesel) for $1.80/L and topped off yesterday at $1.92. However, I would bet you're right that in the Yukon and along the Alaskan Highway the prices are getting up there.
                    Thanks Ken I will PM you.
                    Right now I was looking of coming straight up I15 or swing west slightly on I90 and cross on 93 north of Missula and then on to Dawson Creek I want a make a loop and if possible not back track. I have a thread on the possible routes at the other place.
                    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

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                    • #11
                      Yoda -- get the Milepost book! Has every possible route and it is literally documented mile-by-mile.

                      This was the route I was going to take...lots of miles...

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                      2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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                      • #12
                        howson what app is that? Over been looking for a decent one for planning trips.
                        Joseph
                        Tow
                        Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                        Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                        South of Houston Texas

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                        • #13
                          howson data-cke-saved-href="#" href="#" class="b-bbcode-user b-bbcode-user--has-avatar js-bbcode-user js-bbcode-user--userid10" style="background-image: url("https://gdrvowners.com/core/image.php?userid=10&thumb=1&dateline=1651439996"); ">howson data-cke-saved-href="#" href="#" class="b-bbcode-user b-bbcode-user--has-avatar js-bbcode-user js-bbcode-user--userid10" style="background-image: url("https://gdrvowners.com/core/image.php?userid=10&thumb=1&dateline=1651439996"); ">howson data-cke-saved-href="#" href="#" class="b-bbcode-user b-bbcode-user--has-avatar js-bbcode-user js-bbcode-user--userid10" style="background-image: url("https://gdrvowners.com/core/image.php?userid=10&thumb=1&dateline=1651439996"); ">howson a-cke-saved-href="#" href="#" class="b-bbcode-user b-bbcode-user--has-avatar js-bbcode-user js-bbcode-user--userid10" style="background-image: url("https://gdrvowners.com/core/image.php?userid=10&thumb=1&dateline=1651439996"); ">howson =howson;n84588]Yoda -- get the Milepost book! Has every possible route and it is literally documented mile-by-mile.

                          This was the route I was going to take...lots of miles...

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Great minds think alike. I had almost the same route planned. However I an curious of the side trip to Mackenzie bay?? Dad had us fly to point Barrow on our trip. The ice pack was up on the shore so I had to climb and ice burg - promptly fell in as one tipped on shore.. Dang that water was cold. That was back when everyone used the Air Force base to land there. Landing with huge tires on metal grating was a thrill... I was just a kid - now I know better.

                          howson Howard Is there any chance you can share the details of your planned trip? It would be a huge help to me and probably others. Would make an excellent thread for us planning such and adventure

                          Thanks
                          .
                          2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

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                          • #14
                            This thread is super interesting, and I’m watching this with great interest. We’re looking at Alaska for next summer.

                            Not to speak for howson, but Yoda, I believe that side trip up north is not to Mackenzie Bay, but to Tuktoyaktuk.

                            I’m very interested to hear if Howard was planning to tow up up there.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dsimmons View Post
                              This thread is super interesting, and I’m watching this with great interest. We’re looking at Alaska for next summer.

                              Not to speak for howson, but Yoda, I believe that side trip up north is not to Mackenzie Bay, but to Tuktoyaktuk.

                              I’m very interested to hear if Howard was planning to tow up up there.
                              Yep. Tuktoyaktuk. We were not going to tow the campers, they were being left behind in Dawson Creek. The road from Chicken to Dawson Creek is unpaved, so that's why the extra rock guards were installed on the truck and camper (which I now don't need but nice to have). The plan here was to have a bottle of champagne with us so we could dip our toes in the Arctic and share a toast. I've almost lived this trip vicariously through all the planning and research (sigh).

                              A fantastic YouTube series to consider watching is Morton on the Move's Go North. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ATMLDoR_7TOZTg

                              Note: what might not be immediately evident is the alternating colors represent alternating travel days. Some overlap as the pic below is the overall trip. The screenshot if from Basecamp, the Garmin planning tool I've used for a long time for both motorcycle and camping trips.

                              Yoda -- not sure what details I can share? There is literally hundreds of hours of research and planning that went into this...I can answer specific questions but summarizing it would be very difficult. From the snip below you can see I even identified photo opportunities (camera icon) and where we'd stay overnight (Eagle Plains and Inuvik). I found the Milepost book very helpful as it shows the major routes and then, mile-by-mile, documents them. What's fantastic is, with the purchase of the book, they provide a code to download a digital copy. Searching the PDF by keyword reveals every related entry.

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                              2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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