4400 miles in a Cruiser
Funny how plans change. I thought I'd be in Fairbanks going to school right now, but family problems called me home. Figured I'd have some fun while home,fix my car for my brother to drive around and then fly home. I thought I would drive back to Seattle when I learned I could get a ferry ticket for under $500. Went to go book said ferry ticket and it was over $1300. So now I'm driving the whole way. Here is the tentative itinerary:
Leave Denver 5th of March towards Las Vegas
AMGA SPI course Mar 13-18
Meet up with my dad and climb Shasta 26-28 march
Drive to Seattle and climb Rainier 1-3 April
Hang in seattle for a week, visit family and friends,
Drive to Fairbanks on the Alcan Second week in April
The Truck Good:
The truck has been road worthy for the last week. Rebuilt the motor, transmission, xfer case, new radiator, new battery. I'm comfortable fixing almost anything on the truck.
The Truck Bad:
Hole in the fuel tank, need to rebuild the heater and carb, rear sill, quarter panels, and wheel wells are rusted through to the point I don't let anybody ride back there.
Money is tight. Between fixing the car, taking online classes, and doing jobs around the house I don't have time for a real job. Parents are helpful in that they do have jobs around the house that pay. First priority is the fuel tanks and rust. I need to find a new/used tank w/o a hole and find a auxiliary tank to increase my drivable mileage to over 150 a tank. I've read Jeff Zepp's website on a cheap rear sill and plan to go that route over buying one. I have a MIG welder and can somewhat weld so I'm going to scab plate the quarter panels. I have no idea how to fix the wheel wells as the rust is under the support brackets for the roll cage.
The Wish List
These ideas are the "oh I have the extra cash for a _______" ideas. Roof rack. I have yakima towers and bars for bikes and skis but it sure would be nice to have storage on the roof for extra fuel and my junk. Drawer or simple shelf system. Since the quarters and sill are kaput, the rear tire holder was taken off. I'd like to store the tire on the wheel well attached to the roll cage. Driving lights, simple piaa of such for night driving. Radio, the old one was fried by a rust hole in the firewall. A simple inverter to charge the tele or computer. bigger alternator to power the electronic goodies.
The writer of this post will take all given info with a grain of salt. He also understands that this is an insane, and dangerous idea but would be one hell of a memory.
The quote of the day is: "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." Robert Burns "To a Mouse"
That said, sounds like a great trip...It all comes down to how dependable the 40 is in the long run...
Sounds like you have a TON of work to get ready for such a trip...My first question is how much more will it cost to drive the entire way vs. taking the ferry from Seattle? That is a LONG way and a LOT of gas...For my 40, the extra $800 the ferry will cost compared to what you thought it was going to cost would only net me ~267 gals at $3/gal (and I bet gas will average more than that) which would be 2670 miles in my 40. Google maps says it is ~2300 miles from Seattle to Fairbanks. By my calculations that means driving will save you ~$111 over the ferry (assuming 10mpg and $3/gal gas) not including the $500 you were originally planning to spend of course.
6+ days driving to save $100 vs. taking the ferry? Trip of a lifetime or not, I think I'd be getting on the ferry :D
Keep us up to date on how the planning and preparations are going...Some of use might have something you could "borrow" that would help you make the trip :thumb: - In fact I've got a set of NIB ProComp offroad lights I'd donate to the trip...I bought them off Zepp for a case or two of :beer: but I've decided to go a different route. The only negative is Jeff told me they are power hogs drawing like 10amps...Might be too power hungry for the 40
My Gas and MPG estimations
cruiser got 14mpg before I rebuilt it, I assumed the same for the engine now
190 gallons of gas w/ 15% safety margin
Gas was only 3.30 in fairbanks when i left and was less in anchorage so I chose 3.00 per gallon
$570 in gas
50 mph at 10 hrs a day
4.6 days, say 5
$1,247 one way w/o a cabin, sleep in car
4 days travel, one day in Juneau
I plan to sleep in my mountaineering tent, -10F is nothing at night. My diet probably wont change, Ramen, PB, tortillas, Cheese, and sausage.
Get a Milepost for this year if you haven't already. It'll be a blast. I'd drive the 40 even if it cost more.. as long as you have the time
You'll love it. sounds like you have a great trip planned.
Noise cancelling headphones. :)
Sounds like a great plan. If you have the time, go for it. :thumb:
Sean, at least you will have you bike if you break down.
Bikes already in AK, without a rear derailur or chain. I think if i put the blower motor back it'll quiet the engine noise down. I still have an insane tranny whine. CTS rebuilt it but it is still louder than my engine. Would putting a synthetic oil like lucas or royal purple in quiet it down?
I can see why you originally looked into the ferry since it would have been less...
I'll probably be the only naysayer out of this adventurous bunch and I must be a wuss because I'd still be eyeing that ferry :hill:
If I were travelling with a couple other rigs, and driving my LX, then I'd be all for driving just for the memories and the fun. I guess that many miles in my 40 just doesn't sound fun at all :o - Breaking down out there...well don't :D
Will they let you set up your tent on the ferry deck? :D - A RTT on top of the 40 would be the schizz :thumb:
You are insane to drive something that uncomfortable and unreliable that far. Get some earplugs. Rub some soap in the gas tank holes. You can't hear the radio in a 40 anyway. Bring lots of ducktape. Skip the power inverter. set up a 12v plug and get the cords to charge phone and computer directly from 12v. take lots of pictures.
I'm awaiting the trip report. Jealous that I can't go too.
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