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Posted By: Skooter 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 11 2020 06:30 PM
This old 216-powered truck made it to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the northernmost road-accessible point on the continent (11,802 miles round trip). To celebrate I've posted a dozen or so pics that I don't think ever got online to the link in my signature. Will try to post more through the weekend. If any of you long-time Stovebolters attended any of Shelley's events or have any related photos from that time, including the Rt 66 drive the following year, it'd be great if you could post or link them here. Special thanks to all the Stovebolters who were a part of that effort. If there's any doubt whether you should attempt a big road trip in your old truck, all I can say is if you have the opportunity, get prepped and do it. thumbs_up

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Posted By: tom moore Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 11 2020 09:06 PM
Best post I’ve read in awhile! The adventure must continue. Would you recommend a 1/2, 3/4 or 1 ton for the the same trip today? I am putting together a GMC 1 ton flat bed. Thinking about making a camper to for it.
Posted By: Green_98 Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 11 2020 11:46 PM
Wow that is quite amazing. Do you have a write-up on your whole trip? Did your truck have any problems on your journey?
Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Jul 12 2020 01:12 AM
Originally Posted by tom moore
Best post I’ve read in awhile! The adventure must continue. Would you recommend a 1/2, 3/4 or 1 ton for the the same trip today? I am putting together a GMC 1 ton flat bed. Thinking about making a camper to for it.
Thank you kindly. Absolutely would recommend it for any stovebolt or antique vehicle, given enough preparation and time. I'd gotten letters and spoke to folks who actually drove the Alaska Highway back in the day with stock unmodified vehicles, and all those roads including the Dalton are in better condition nowadays...although still at the mercy of the weather so repairs are constantly needed throughout summer and I suspect that will never change.

Still digging in boxes for a particular image showing inside the camper fully loaded up, will post when (if??) found. Was made from luan plywood, maybe 1/4-inch at most, because it needed to be lightweight. Never put it on the scales but was never the slightest strain for myself and another weakling to lift on/off the truck.

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Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Jul 12 2020 01:37 AM
Originally Posted by Green_98
Wow that is quite amazing. Do you have a write-up on your whole trip? Did your truck have any problems on your journey?
The best write ups are the Classic Trucks (Aug, 2001 issue I believe) and the Associated Press articles, both accessible via the truckwithaheart link below. They're the first half dozen photos on the site. On the trip, had to rebuild the generator in TX (took a southwestern swing from TN through TX and AZ on the way), replaced dead battery in Ogden, UT, had FIVE flat tires, broken muffler hanger/bracket, and an annoying axle seal leak due to pitted ring around the axle surface requiring tire removal and brake cleanup about once a day. Funny that axle seal had never been a problem until you start driving hundreds of miles a day. Also, a short time prior to the trip some stupid idiot (meaning myself) decided to remove too much rear main bearing shim because she leaked oil like crazy and wanted to close up the seal. Then less than a week before the highly publicized departure event she spun the bearing, and there I was 3 days till departure underneath replacing that bearing and this time, leaving LOTS of clearance, leak be damned. Long story short, as a result she leaked 10 quarts of oil on the trip, but I was happy anyway. grin

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Posted By: MiraclePieCo Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Jul 12 2020 03:35 AM
Courageous and inspiring!
Posted By: J Lucas Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Jul 12 2020 04:27 AM
Great story Skooter. I hope to make a long trip in mine some day.

John
Posted By: Doc.Hall Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Jul 12 2020 02:51 PM
A great inspirational account. We want to tour The Blue Ridge in the Spring. Thanks for your story, here in the south as a kid I remember seeing the 47 thru 55.1's bed covers with a galvanized sheet of barn roofing. Like what justhorsenround is using on his barn. They would roll the tin (galvanize), to the bed rails and place wood the shape of the roll for re-enforcement. Normally connect each wooden end with 1x2 or 2x2's. Be sure to put 2x4's all the away around the bottom paying attention to the bevel of your bed. 54 up had a flat bed rail so no need to bevel the bottom. Looks like a military quonset hut. One can add window's on each end. Most had a hinged door over the tail gate. There you have it. Use your imagination. Doc.
Posted By: Wally / Montana Re: 20 years ago today... - Tue Jul 14 2020 02:31 PM
I think I remember your trip at the time but I didn't meet you along the way. How impressive. You have a lot of us dreaming. Was this a memorial trip? That's what I'm remembering but it may have been someone else on a long trip.
Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Wed Jul 15 2020 02:50 PM
Great idea for the tin roof quonset camper Doc. The drive it was a cancer benefit in memory of my father who died two years prior and had always wanted to homestead in Alaska.

Pics of nice clean 216 after the drive. Yours too, can look this good! grin

STILL lovin' my Rochester B after all these years grin eeeek

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Posted By: Doc.Hall Re: 20 years ago today... - Wed Jul 15 2020 04:02 PM
Thanks Skooter, oh, one thing I failed to mention. My brother in law and I made a different type topper to carry tobacco plants on a 67 Ford p/u back in 1970. On the way we found out that it blows off like a feather if it's not anchored. I-4 in Orlando, never looked back. I was surprised how fast that 352 c.i.d. would go. Also you can use anodized metal if you want a colored topper. I'm using galvanize color because it looks more country. Wow! Dad's truck looks great. I had a friend that took the trip in the 60's in his 67 Chevy truck. Because of the lime rock road when he got back it looked like someone had been shooting it with walnuts at close range. He put wire cages on the windshield and all lights and took it back three more times. Love your 52. Love my Rochester B's. Doc
Posted By: Frank50 Re: 20 years ago today... - Wed Jul 15 2020 06:27 PM
I remember your trip Scott. Very inspirational. And way cool taking a 48 year truck on a journey like that.
Posted By: 1Ton_tommy Re: 20 years ago today... - Wed Jul 22 2020 04:21 AM
My wife and I made a very similar trip the year previous to yours. We started and ended in Seattle. I took spare parts including spring leaves, head gasket set, fuel pump, water pump and other stuff I no longer remember. The only thing I needed was a part I forgot to bring, a fuel filter that plugged up 20 miles from Dawson City, YK. I nursed it to the NAPA store in Dawson and got a replacement. The old one was plugged with what looked to be goat hair.

I'll upload a couple of pics. Their locations will be obvious.

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Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Thu Jul 23 2020 05:23 PM
Great pics and awesome rig! Cant wait to see more pics. thumbs_up
Posted By: Wally / Montana Re: 20 years ago today... - Thu Jul 23 2020 06:10 PM
1-Ton,

1st Picture: I talked to the driver in 2004 in St. Mary, MT on the east side of Glacier NP. He was from Seattle and had just crossed Going to the Sun. Was that you? There are differences (like the camper) but there are similarities too.

2nd Picture: Camper was just sitting there up the Bitterroot Valley. Class C?

We took a 2-month trip to Alaska with our truck camper and other great straight 6-cylinder (D*dge diesel). We went to Haines on the Alaska Ferry for 2 1/2 weeks and 5 layovers. Continued on but missed Prudhoe.

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Posted By: Dusty Re: 20 years ago today... - Thu Jul 23 2020 08:03 PM
I remember the story Scooter , what a great trip and write up also .

I have the classic truck mag smile

I often use my camper for extended trips here , though not as far as I run out of Island , LOL .

edit ; pic taken on the Nevis Rd , South Island , NZ. 2017 (there had been a bit of weather a couple of days earlier smile )

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Posted By: tom moore Re: 20 years ago today... - Thu Jul 23 2020 10:50 PM
Oh man! I’m getting the itch. Last pic above? Holy you know what!
Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 25 2020 02:16 AM
Tom ya got that right! I'm in AZ now, slightly closer than TN (maybe)!

Anyway, I'm thrilled to have found the sketches I'd made to build the camper. Anyone who's seriously interested enough to be able to use the sketches for ideas to make your own, feel free to PM (as long as it's understood FOR PROFIT USE IS NOT AUTHORIZED). Keep in mind the dimensions may or may not have been changed as the build progressed, plus my bed is ever-so-slighly out of square, so measure your own bed first.

Below is my brother David changing one of the flats on the way back from Prudhoe to Fairbanks. This one was a blowout, nothing gradual about it. I reasoned the harsh high ridges inside the period correct Firestones were responsible for chafing the tubes. That didn't cause every flat, as one shop found a valve stem cap between a tube and tire with obvious results, but I know several of the inflated tubes bubbled along a chafe line when checked in soapy water afterwards.

Also some video captures showing inside the camper (with blown out tire in one). That ill fated removal of a main bearing shim (to close the leaking seal) also resulted in sending my wife to find the best-we-could-afford camera that was both video and photo capable, and although I used my good 35mm SLR for hundreds of film prints, the captures attached here is the best of the camper-fully-loaded I ended up with. In other words, the technology of the day wasn't anywhere close to what it is today, although I still wish I'd been able to select a cam myself instead of getting a facefull of 10w40 drips changing that main bearing/seal 3 days before departure.

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Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 25 2020 02:20 AM
Dusty if they ever try to take that pic away from you, make sure they have to pry it out of your cold, dead, hands thumbs_up outsanding!
Posted By: Skooter Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 25 2020 02:30 AM
Forgot this one showing inside cabinet with bottom hinged door so you can still get in there with junk scattered all over the bed. (Sketches mentioned above show outside dimensions only; nothing inside camper.)

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Posted By: Wally / Montana Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 25 2020 02:33 AM
And Dusty. There is an island to the west of you if you need more miles in the bush or outback! Any Aussie treks to compare with Alaska?
Posted By: TPR57C Re: 20 years ago today... - Sat Jul 25 2020 03:35 AM
Plenty of tracks here as far as the eyes can see up Northern Territory it gets interesting and central Australia definitely need 4wdrive
Posted By: 1Ton_tommy Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Aug 02 2020 05:27 AM
Wally Montana: That was indeed me that you talked to at our fuel stop in St. Mary's MT. The camper in your photo is the replacement for the Vanguard we took to Yukon and Alaska. It rotted away sitting in the rain in Seattle. I still have the Avion, sitting patiently waiting for its next trip. Aluminum won't rot. Main trans is out of the pickup at the moment to cure a noisy third gear. It spends a lot of time pulling hard in third gear and my hearing is not getting better. See some more photos in the "Camper' thread in General Truck Talk.
Posted By: Wally / Montana Re: 20 years ago today... - Sun Aug 02 2020 04:06 PM
Since we're all dreaming of camper trips in our ADs, here's a couple suggestions.

Take the Alaska Ferry north to Haines or Skagway and, after seeing the rest of Alaska, return on the AlCan Highway. With a lot of planning, you can get civilized times for arrivals and departures for layovers. If you have the reservation for the way back, you might not be able to extend your stay.

When traveling the Going to the Sun highway and Logan Pass in Glacier NP, go from east to west in the early morning. The east side of the Rocky Mountains is generally more spectacular than the west side (continental lift makes it that way, I guess) and you'll have the morning sun at your back. Fantastic views staring you in the face. Of course, the virus has closed the east entrance right now.
Posted By: 1Ton_tommy Re: 20 years ago today... - Tue Aug 04 2020 04:35 PM
Wally/Montana; We took the bikes off the back of the camper and started from St. Mary's one morning early and rode to the Logan Pass summit. That gave a lot of time to enjoy the views. On the way down we had to watch the road carefully because the construction left lots of areas of rough gravel. We'll make that trip again one day, though maybe not by bicycle.
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