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I got permission from SWMBO to take my birthday month of August to drive from Northern Illinois to Alaska. I am planning to do the Dalton Highway all the way to Deadhorse as part of the trip.

I've read several conflicting reports on road conditions and tire hazards. I'm planning to take two full-sized mounted spares.

Besides my snow tires, I currently have a set of TRD beadlocks with standard road-going BFG ATs, and a second set of TRD beadlocks with BFG KM2 mud terrains. I am leaning toward using the KM2 setup, and purchasing two more tires for the full sized spares (already have the extra wheels). However, I am not opposed to purchasing six new tires specifically for this trip.

So, what are your thoughts? Would the KM2s be up to the punishment of the Dalton Highway, or should I consider another alternative?

Glamor shot for attention...I'll be bringing the canoe but not the scrambler on this trip...

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I have been up the Dalton in my brother's FJ. He was running Cooper MT's and they were fine. We went in early May so we ran into snow and I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Coopers performed. I would think that either set of tires you are planning would be fine. If you are going in August, I would lean toward the MT's because the Dalton will be very muddy.

Be sure to take plenty of fuel as there are not many gas stations on The Dalton. The few gas stations there have been known to not have any fuel from time to time.
Granted we did not go all the way into Deadhorse, we still took 20 gallons with us. Better to have too much fuel than not enough in that situation.
Also, there are many trucks traveling on the Dalton, so when you see one coming, slow down and move over as much as possible to minimize the chances of a broken windshield. That being said, chances are you will still get a broken windshield on the trip.

A couple of pics from my trip-

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Nice pix, Zisman!!! I wonder how many FJs have been north of the Arctic Circle!

RE: fuel, I have the LRA 30 gallon extended range tank already installed, so 49 gallons total on-board, plus two 1.5 gallon rotopaks on the swing out arm, and I'm probably going to take two 5 gallon gerry cans on the roof rack. Not too worried about fuel...should have enough with that configuration to go roundtrip without having to refuel up there (if necessary).

RE: Bar3K
One of my concerns is sidewall strength given the rocks, so that's a really good suggestion to check the load rating. I'd love to only have to buy two tires!
 

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Hi,

I’ve not been up the Dalton but have been up the Dempster in Feb so ice and snow on BFG MT’s and they worked just fine, Also covered many unsurfaced roads in Canada on these in May when muddy and rough so I would be happy to say the MT’s would cope just fine. Can’t comment with any experience on the other options but can’t see why the ATs wouldn’t be OK too, they might be a better option overall if you are travelling mainly highway to Alaska
 

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RE: fuel, I have the LRA 30 gallon extended range tank already installed, so 49 gallons total on-board
Increased fuel capacity would be a huge upgrade in the FJ. How do you like the LRA auxiliary tank? Have you had any issues with the OEM emissions system throwing codes? Any other feedback on it?


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Ideola,

I did the Haul Road in '09 on my R1200GS and regularly stay up to date on the Haul Road conditions via ADVRider.

If it's dry out, you can run the Haul on racing slicks. If it's mildly damp (aka, hero mud) you need nothing more than a street tire. The issue is when it's wet. The road is covered in calcium carbide on a very regular basis. This material packs down into this amazing hardback that is as hard as concrete in the dry...but is slick as snot on ice in the wet.

Here's the key: There's a balancing point between wet and too wet. If it's too wet (aka, slimy mud) no amount of tire is going to save you. That snotty mud gets everywhere, packs up the tire treads and you're basically driving on slicks. It doesn't sling off the way normal mud does either. It's total carnage.

Seriously, Just wait a day or two to dry out.

I got lucky when I did the Haul. I was in-between storm cells the entire time in late July and had absolutely perfect conditions. Temps dropped to 38 degrees.

Some other notes:

1. The Haul overall is about 550 miles, start to finish.
2. Gas is available in Coldfoot, about halfway in or 250 miles. The second half of the journey is about 300 miles without gas stops. On my motorcycle, I packed a 2g gas can and only used it once.
3. If you want to stay in a room in the halfway point, consider staying in Wiseman, a little place right next to Coldfoot. Nicer, friendlier and just a couple miles off the beaten path.
4. The first 30 miles and last 30 miles are the worst road conditions and have heavy and deep gravel in the corners.
5. About 50% of the middle of the Haul is actually intermittently paved.
6. The Big Rigs have right of way. Always. 80,000# of rig cannot stop.
7. Speaking of the rigs, make sure to chat up the truck drivers about the road conditions when you get up there. If the rigs aren't running, neither are you. There's only one main reason the rigs stop and that's when the road conditions are too nasty to drive safely.
8. The moment you finish the Haul, pull over and wash off your license plate, brake lights and turn signals. Seriously, they give tickets for mud obscured lights.
9. The biggest dangers on the Haul are potholes (which are buried under loose gravel) and moose. The potholes are the more dangerous...catch one wrong and you can get sent into a ditch.
10. When you finish and get back to Fairbanks, do make sure to get to a coin-op car wash and spray as much of that calcium carbide off the FJ as possible, including the undercarriage. That stuff is corrosive and if it does harden up you need a hammer and chisel to get it off.

Best of luck to you! Alaska was perhaps the single best vacation I've ever taken.

PS: I absolute love the Scrambler!
 

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