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Charles Skinner

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We RVed to Alaska in 2008, and it was a trip of a lifetime! We drove into and out of Skagway. A question. --- As we neared Skagway, a sign read --- I think ---- something like ---- "Next 10 miles, 9 percent grade." As we started down, I put the truck in "low," and the engine screamed all the way down, AND we met some bike riders about have way down. I had to move over some to miss them. Really dangerous. Good that nobody was coming up in that lane. Now, my question --- Was it 8 or 9 or 10 percent grade? When I tell people about this, they find it hard to believe! When we came out of Skayway, I sat my "miles per gallon" at "0" and when we got to the top, it was showing 2.8 miles per gallon! So, do you remember the exact number for the down hill grade? I believe that it was around 9 percent. Do you remember?


C. S.

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I know a gal that had a TT and when she got to the bottom she had have new rotors, drums and lining put on.... Charles I hope you were holding the tach below redline and if not it,s time to come to a screeching halt and let brakes cool down ! If you lose an engine going down hill from overwinding they will more than likely be picking you up at the bottom with a stick and a spoon!

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We day tripped down to Skagway last July from Whitehorse. I sure don't remember the grade percentage but it was quite a descent going down and of course a pull coming back up. We were sort of glad we only day tripped down and didn't take the fiver. Horizontal rain down and back. Went to see some friends that worked in Skagway last summer. It turned out to be "quite" a summer for them. First they put the rig on a boat in Washington state. Just as they were getting ready to put the rig on the boat, a call came from the boat company. "We got a problem. The dock sunk last night at Skagway and will be out of service for approximately 10 days. Where do want dropped off"? So they chose Haines. About 350 mile trip from Haines to Skagway. Well with grocery shopping pretty much out of the question in Skagway during the summer, they would have to go back to Whitehorse, YK. Then of course coming back into the US just north of Skagway some groceries were confiscated. I think it was about July 3rd when we visited them, from May 1 thru that date, they were able to sit out three times. Then when leaving in September, as they were pulling the grade mentioned above the tranny went out of the truck and the fluid then caught fire on the ground. They got it put out. Of course they were still in the US and hadn't crossed into Yukon yet. Called Good Sam Road Service, yep we will come get you as we will put the tow truck on the ferry. Approximately 19 miles from Haines to Skagway by ferry. The friend tells them you have about 30 minutes to get on the ferry as he knew ferry times, and that depends if there is space available, and you just don't understand the situation. About this time a couple in a van were on their way to Yukon to retrieve a tour bus that had broken down and recommended a towing company out of Whitehorse. So he calls Good Sam back and verified that he talked to them and took control of the situation himself. The wrecker company in Whitehorse billed his credit card $1600, which he knew, before starting the wrecker. Came across the YK-US border, hooked onto them and dropped the fiver off in the Whitehorse Wal-Mart lot, which is about where everybody just passing thru, stops also. Well the Ford dealer couldn't look at the truck until who knows when and it was out of warranty. So on Sunday morning there was a knock at their motel door. They had left the fiver since ice was forming in the Wally parking lot and it was too cold to stay in the fiver and they left a note saying where they were. It was tow company owner telling them he had a shop and could look at it first thing Monday. So that is what they did, the tranny of course was history and Thursday they were pedaling south with no further issues. He wrote a letter to Good Sam informing them of what happened. He received a letter back that they would review the situation. By golly some weeks later he got a check for the $1600. Of course his $1600 paid in Canada was less than the $1600 US, so when he cashed the check it was for $1600 US, so as he said I "made" a coupe of bucks.

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We do remember that road. We had no problems with a 28'TT hauled by a 3/4 ton van. I wondered about brakes but had no problems and the tranny did no overheat going up. There was a black bear heading uphill on the road as we left and he was in no hurry and no interest in us at all.


Reed and Elaine

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  • 3 weeks later...

It is an easier route to drive to Haines, take the ferry to Skagway and make the uphill climb. Yes, it is 11% in places, but not a bad pull unless you are grossly under-powered or towing a heavy trailer mis-matched with an under spec'ed tow vehicle. I towed a 38' triple axle 5th wheel up it with no problem.


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