Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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sad face
The travel day that made the two RV Gypsies say "What were we thinking"
BUMPS AND GUNK
The two RV Gypsies say "DON'T DO IT - DON'T DRIVE THE ALASKA HIGHWAY UNLESS ROADS ARE FIXED." Their car windshield was cracked and pitted in several places and the front of the car looked like it was sand blasted. The car was totally pitted and needed an entire paint job. The decals were completely ruined. The motorhome had also taken a beating, not to mention the stress on both vehicles and the two RV Gypsies. Another RVer asked the two RV Gypsies, "Why are we all doing this?" Good Question!
 

For about the last 350 miles on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon Territory, much of the roads were dirt/gravel, mud or just full of bumps and dips called frost heaves. The two RV Gypsies found this to be extremely stressful. The worst frost heaves were marked with red flags, but many frost heaves were not marked. The motorhome shook, bounced and rattled like you would not believe. Clothes fell off the closet rack and sweaters fell from their shelves making it almost impossible to open the closet doors. Covers to ceiling lights fell off. And sometimes when a car was in front of the RV or passing by on the dirt/gravel roads, the dust was so heavy that the two RV Gypsies could not see through the windshield. These roads were watered at times and that kept the dust down, but then the road became muddy. Have you ever written "wash me" on a dirty car? Of course you have! But guess what? When the mud dries on the cars and RVs you can not write on it because it cakes and becomes thick like clay. Scroll down below for photos of this event.

mud caked on the car
mud caked on the car

The car's headlights do not have a cover - that is caked on dirt that totally hides the headlights.

A regular car wash could not get this caked-on dirt off of the car.

It had to be pressured cleaned off with a powerful pressure cleaner. This is solid road dirt that did not come off easily. Luckily, the city of Tok had such a car wash (for a fee of course).

mud caked on the car and RV
In The Milepost Book (which is a must for anyone driving in Alaska) - it says "Tok is known as the Sled Dog Capital of Alaska" and "Judging by the number of Alaska Highway travelers cleaning their cars and RVs in Tok each summer, it may also qualify as the Vehicle Washing Capital of Alaska as well." - an Understatement!!!!!
- DRIVING THE ALASKA HIGHWAY 2009 -
WE ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE......................??????
gravel road
gravel road
The tiny pieces of gravel got thrown onto all vehicles - this is how the two RV Gypsies' windshield got cracked in several places and the paint job got pitted.
gravel road
gravel road
gravel road
gravel road and dust
BELOW: Having to pass water trucks on a hill with no divider lines / lanes
having to pass the water turcks on a hill
dust on the gravel road
dust on the gravel road
dust on the gravel road
mud on the gravel road
Could not really photograph the frost heaves because they just don't really show up in photographs. Actually some of them are hard to see until just before you hit them, and some you don't even see in time. The dirty muddy roads above caused the filthy cars and cracked windshields, but the frost heaves are really stressful on the vehicles.
And unless the two RV Gypsies can get the ferry back (it was booked on the way here) at a cost of about $8,000, they have to drive through this area on the way back too. Hopefully, some of these roads will be fixed by then, but since the work on these roads started in 2008, it's almost certain to be another stressful trip back.
Permafrost 101: Permafrost is ground that is frozen year-round. The roads ripple like waves on an ocean, local residents notice it every time they drop an orange and it rolls all the way across the room. Permafrost causes the most trouble when it melts under the road and the road sags - thus called frost heaves.
sign about roller coaster roads
sign about the frozen earth

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