We’ve received many questions about our Go North expedition, traveling to Alaska, and where people can find more information. We’ve pulled together this Go North FAQ page to pull the information from our site into one easy place. If your question isn’t answered below, please drop it in the comments section at the bottom of the page!
1. Where can I learn more about Traveling to Alaska/Arctic Ocean?
If you’ve watched the whole Go North Series and want more, this Go North FAQ page has lots of info and you should check out our EXPLORE MORE page which is full of informational and educational videos & articles all about our truck camper experience and about traveling in Alaska and Northern Canada.
Also: Watch The RVers TV Season 2 for a in-depth feature about the Go North Expedition on Discovery, PBS, and Fun Roads TV!
2. Where to next?
Our next big adventure took us to New Zealand!
A similar (shorter) travel video series is in the works, and that will likely be released in late 2020.
3. What was your timing for visiting Alaska? When did you Start north/get back?
- We departed from Lancaster, CA at the Lance Camper Manufacturing facility on April 25, 2019.
- We crossed into Canada May 6, 2019.
- We crossed into Alaska the first week of June.
- We went back to Canada to drive the Dempster Highway in July
- We returned to Alaska for most of August in Valdez and on the Kenai Peninsula
- We were in Fairbanks, AK from Sept 5-10 to see the Northern Lights
- We left the mainland of Alaska on September 13
- We re-entered the Lower 48 of the US in mid-October
- We returned to Lancaster, CA on Oct 31.
You can dive more into this Go North FAQ by reading our Complete Guide to Planning Your Alaska RV Trip
4. How many miles did you drive?
Nearly 15,000 miles 🙂 We fortunately started out with a practically brand new set of tires. When we got back, they were probably in need of a change…
5. What vehicles did you take?
We partnered with Lance Campers to take a 2019 Ford F350 4×4 DRW Diesel truck with a brand new (we watched it go through the factory) 2020 Lance 1172 truck camper.
Videos to watch:
- Detailed walk-through: Tour the Lance 1172 Truck Camper – The Go North Expedition Vehicle
- Truck Camper construction at the factory: Episode 2: The Build
- What it’s like to drive a Truck Camper: Driving & Off-Roading in a Truck Camper
Note: We modified the Lance Truck Camper with:
- 5 Battle Born Lithium Batteries and an alternator charging system
- RV Water Filter Store water filtration system
- Connectivity equipment for staying connected to cell service in the remote north
- Dometic CFX Electric Cooler for additional refrigeration and freezer space
- Truma furnace and water heater to efficiently stay comfortable on this big trip
Learn more about our modifications here: The Build | Go North Episode 2
6. What gear did you take?
Alaska is a long way and pretty remote. We spent a lot of time preparing, packing, and pruning our gear to bring the essentials we’d need to protect ourselves and support our trip.
Check out our Blog Post about How We Packed Our Truck Camper for Alaska | Go North Episode 3 for more info on what we brought.
➡ We put our gear into an easy Alaska Gear Kit for you to stock up on your supplies.
Some of our favorite gear was our ExOfficio BugsAway Clothing, which is infused with insect-repellant! We wore this stuff all the time, and it WORKED! We had their lightweight breathable jackets, their pants, and their bandanas. Here we are all garbed-up against the swarm we found driving along the Dalton Highway in Alaska.
7. How about those Porcupines, eh? 😂
We ran into some trouble with porcupines on Canol Road in the Yukon – you can watch our misadventure in Episode 9.
While not really a Go North FAQ, the incident is frequently brought up if someone has watched the show! Basically, they were attracted to the wiring under the truck which they chewed. Fortunately, we had a soldering iron and electrical supplies with us and Tom was able to find the problem and fix it out in the middle of nowhere. When we got it back to Lance the Ford dealership told us everything looked good and that Tom did exactly what they would have done 🙂
As far as we know, both porcupines lived happily ever after.
8. How were the roads?
This is a big Go North FAQ, and one we were worried about ourselves.
The Answer: Not as bad as we were expecting, and it depends on which ones you drive.
We went prepared and intending to drive a lot of dirt roads, but you don’t necessarily have to. The Alaska Highway used to not be paved, but these days the vast majority of it is, reducing rocks taking out windshields, etc.
You do still have to be cautious, as frost heaves can sneak up on you! Our advice is to go slow, make sure you have good tires (you’re going to be putting a lot of miles on them regardless), carry a spare (as you always should), carry an air compressor and a tire repair kit, and research your route conditions beforehand. During the summer you’re also guaranteed to come upon some construction, so add buffer time to your travel days just in case!
Check out these articles & videos for specific roads:
- Alaska Highway
- Tips for Driving the Dalton Highway
- Episode 11 – Dalton Highway
- Episode 12 – Dempster Highway
>> Also check out our Recommended Alaska Gear to help you get prepared for your Alaska trip!
9. What happened to the truck camper? Did you get to keep it?
We loaned the truck and camper from Lance Campers. At the end of the journey, we returned it to their marketing/test fleet, or to be restored to “new” condition and sold to a dealer. We removed our electrical system, water filtration system, and connectivity equipment, but whoever ends up with it will be lucky to have the Truma VarioHeat Furnace and AquaGo Water Heater installed on board!
10. Will you be selling your 5th wheel and moving into a truck camper?
We get asked this Go North FAQ a lot, and the full answer will take a longer video to discuss the pros & cons of truck camper life vs. fifth wheel life – to come in the next few months.
Short answer: No, we have no plans to sell our 5th wheel. We’ve made so many customizations to this rig (solar, Tesla battery, composting toilet, new flooring, new furniture, mechanical upgrades, etc.) that we aren’t ready to start all the way over. We also aren’t sure if we personally could live full-time in a truck camper, as we love plunking down in Florida and Michigan for a few months at a time and the extra interior space is great for that.
We absolutely LOVED the flexibility and versatility of the truck camper, and definitely see one in our future for more adventurous trips like this one!
11. How often did you take the camper off the Truck? Was it Hard? How long does it take?
We didn’t take it off nearly as much as we thought we would. We primarily removed it for 1) off-roading or going somewhere we didn’t want to bring the camper, 2) stays of longer than 2 days so we could run errands/go adventuring without having to pack up, 3) really unlevel camp spots, where the only want to get level was to take it off the truck and level it with the jacks.
Removing the truck camper takes about 5-10 minutes. The slowest part of the process is actually waiting for the electric jacks to extend and retract. Putting it back on is the same, although it did take a handful of times for us to get down lining the truck up with the camper properly.
Check out the Explore More Video we did about How to Load & Unload a Truck Camper!
12. How much time did each episode take to make?
It varies from episode to episode, and they started taking longer as Tom kept wanting to learn new techniques and make each one better than the last. Rough estimate is around 40-60 hours of post-production per video (data management, scripting, editing, music, color grading, etc. This does not including filming time, traveling, activity time).
13. What cameras & editing software did you use?
We shot mostly on our Panasonic GH5. Check out our Camera Gear kit to see all the lenses, cameras, and accessories we use.
We used a combination of Davinci Resolve, Adobe After Effects, Audacity, and some custom animation software for our editing.
14. How did you stay connected in Alaska and Canada?
This is another big Alaska and Go North FAQ. In order to produce and upload this series, we needed to have connectivity all along our drive. We worked with Mobile Must Have to get the best set up possible! Check out our post that goes into full detail about how we stayed connected and able to upload videos during our trip: Connectivity in Alaska & Canada
➡ Mobile Must Have is offering our viewers a special promo code for 5% off your entire order!
Use code “friendsofmortons2019” at checkout for your discount!
15. How was camping in the cold weather?
We had no problems! The Lance 1172 was four-season certified and we had the Truma VarioHeat Furnace and AquaGo Water Heater to keep us all nice a cozy. Check out our post for more info on our Cold Weather Camping experience, from dealing with humidity to our lithium battery performance in sub-freezing temperatures!
16. How did the dogs do?
The dogs did great! It took them a few weeks to get used to living in the truck camper vs. our fifth wheel, but after that they were fine.
Crossing Canada/US borders with them was easy, we just rolled the windows down at every crossing to show they were there. We had their vaccination records on hand and ready to show at each checkpoint, but no one asked for them in our case.
We purchased a Pet Bridge for the back seat of the truck to give them (and us) more room and it worked great!
17. What was your favorite Part?
We get this Go North FAQ all the time, and it is impossible to answer! All of it?
For the sake of helping someone plan a trip and determine where to go with more limited time, here is a list in chronological order of some of our highlights:
- Banff/Jasper National Parks
- Northern Rockies of BC, Muncho Lake, Liard Hot Springs
- Dawson City, Yukon
- Denali Highway & National Park
- Midnight Sun Fun Run
- Dempster Highway/Arctic Ocean Plunge (if you and your rig are up for it)
- Valdez/Salmon Fishing/Hike to Worthington Glacier
- Katmai Bears!
- Jet skiing to glaciers (Whittier)
- Helicopter tour to glaciers
- Northern Lights viewing
- Boya Lake
- Salmon Glacier
- Prince George area
Hope this helps you more than hinders! Regardless of where you go and what you do, you’ll find incredible beauty and amazing adventures out your doorstep 🙂
18. Would you go back to Alaska?
Absolutely! Even though we had 6 months of exploring the north, we feel like we have just scratched the surface. Cait absolutely fell in love with Denali National Park, and we would love to experience more of the Kenai minus the major smoke.
We would also really love to go back and explore southeast Alaska, as we only got a tiny taste of that area when we visited Haines and Skagway and rode the Alaska Marine Highway in Episode 18. The Yukon and northern British Columbia also had so much more we’d love to see! We will have to wait until we have another truck camper to do it again, though 🙂
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