Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Full Size Spare Tire

Only two more days until our great Alaskan adventure begins. Yeah! We finished planning the trip weeks ago (full finalized itinerary coming tomorrow), but there were still some final preparations to take care of over the last week involving my car. There was the oil change, the state safety inspection (my car was due for one anyway), and finally, acquisition of a full size spare tire.

A full size spare tire is highly recommended for Alaska Highway travel. Our odds of actually needing it at some point during the trip are probably fairly low - maybe 10%, if I were to guess. Alaska Highway road conditions aren't always great, though, so flat tires do happen. And what if we get a flat tire 150 miles from the nearest service station? Do we really want to put that many miles on a donut, then wait for a few hours at the nearest service station? This way, a flat tire is not a serious inconvenience. We can just swap it out with the spare and move on with the rest of our trip.

A full spare tire isn't cheap. We had to get a new rim for the tire as well, and that brought the total cost to $230. We're chalking that up to the cost of the vacation.

Carrying a full size spare in the trunk means less trunk space:

This might be an issue if we were bringing camping gear with us, but we're not, so we should still have plenty of room for all of our stuff. If we don't, then...we'll have to get creative.

Now...for folks planning on traveling the Dalton Highway up to Deadhorse, they actually recommend you bring two spare tires with you. Yeah...we're not doing that drive. About 9,790 of the trip's 9,800 miles will be on paved roads. This spare tire thing might be overkill for us, but at least we'll feel better.


Savanna said...

This sounds like such an amazing trip. Will you be passing through Oregon on the way up?

Chris Allen said...

Unfortunately, no...Oregon (and even Washington) are a little too far out of the way. The fastest route to Alaska involves entering Canada in North Dakota.