Under Construction




      Why do retirees with unlimited time take fancy cruises with cocktail parties and formal wear and see very little of the real Alaska?

We're celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a return trip to Alaska.  Our anniversary was in January, and some years ago, we decided that the next time we get married, it will be in the summer when the weather is better for traveling to celebrate.  Since #25 is a biggie, we figured we'd pull out all the stops.  After several years of talking about taking a cruise around Cape Horn, CJ realized that she wanted to go back to Alaska more than anything else.  Our first RV trip to Alaska was in 2004 with a Holiday Rambler Caravan.  We were so new to RVing that we'd only spent one night in the 10-year old trailer we had then before we left for Alaska.  We're convinced that the HRRVC folks put on better caravans than any commercial outfit, and going on a caravan completely eliminates almost all the hassle and risk of such a venture.  Perhaps too much because what we want now is an adventure, not just an RV trip. 

The most obvious differences this time is our decision to take 2 significant side trips on the only roads in North America that go above the Arctic Circle.  The Dempster Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories and the Dalton Highway to Dead Horse, Alaska.  Each of these side trips involves well over 400 miles of gravel road through the most isolated areas in the United States & Canada imaginable.  The roads are the primary supply routes for the oil industry in the far north.  The good news--hopefully--is that most of the road is in decent condition.  The bad news is that some of it isn't.  The worse news is that the truck drivers are paid by the load, not the hour, so they drive as fast as possible and in the process kick up clouds of gravel. 

Imagine traveling from San Francisco to Chicago on a gravel road with only a couple of gas stations along the way.  That's what it will be like by the time we've done both.  As much as 240 miles between services of any kind at all--and no cell phone coverage--means we have to be prepared and as self-sufficient as possible.  To get prepared, we did a lot of research on what travelers on the roads needed, and then researched how to best prepare both our truck and trailer.  We practically had to rob a bank to buy all the stuff we did.  Now we're spending the next couple of months installing the stuff and working out the details.  If you interested in the details of all the preparations we made to the truck and trailer for this trip, click here.


This photo was taken the day after we installed the Hensley Hitch





Memaloose State Park

Memaloose State Park on the Columbia River, Oregon



Sitting in our driveway


The day we took delivery.  Note that we hitched up using an old hitch without connecting the weight distribution spring bars.  First, we drove directly to the Washington State Police weigh station to weigh the new trailer completely empty with absolutely nothing installed.  Second, we installed the Hensley Hitch the following day.

  A photo of the receiver installed by Northwood.  The installation included the 1/4" thick rectangular tubing and channel welded to the rear of the trailer frame rails, plus the two 1" square tubing side braces on each side of the receiver.  We requested that the receiver be mounted as close as possible to being flush with the license plate portion of the rear cap so what ever we connect to the receiver reduces our angle of departure by the absolute minimum.

How to build an Arctic Fox 29V

An annotated photo essay on the construction of an Arctic Fox 29V

Under Construction

    Chassis with holding tanks being plumbed Another view of the chassis with the holding tanks being plumbed
  Getting the last touches of the interior done before the exterior walls are installed    
  The roof being wired    

Weight Chart 



This site was last updated 03/28/09