Crossing the Alaska Border and Getting Screwed
Everyone says the “Top of the World Highway is unbelievable, you will not be disappointed”. We’ve also been told by several travelers we respect that “Chicken, Alaska is the coolest little town in the USA.” We set out on this path to see if this side trip off the ALCAN is really worth it, because our time in Alaska is limited and Fuel isn’t cheap! So…here goes nuthin’.
Top of the World Highway
Heading west from Dawson City we board a free ferry to cross the Yukon River and it’s off to the Top of the World Highway.
The road spends a short portion on the ridge of a mountain, above the tree line, with seemingly never ending views of the mountains way off in the distance (hence the name Top of the World). The road is all dirt but it’s well maintained and we’re able to cruise at a speed of 40 mph or so. For a road that has such a hyped name we really expected the scenery to be jaw dropping (sure, it is pretty), but we felt that overall the drive was just decent, especially compared to the Icefields Parkway that we traveled just a few short weeks ago.
We cross back into the USA at the Most Northerly Land Border Port at Poker Creek, Alaska, population 3. Immediately after crossing into the states we’re greeted with the most beautiful paved road we’ve ever seen. We pulled over at the vista point for the quintessential “Welcome to Alaska” photo opp, and this is when we heard the eerie hissing noise coming from our RV.
Essential RV Tire Safety Tips
You know how I always end up showing people “how not to” videos? I guess we’ll have to chalk this experience up to that title as well. Since the filming of this video we’ve gotten the tire fixed and we asked several service centers and tire techs about what’s the best gear and gadgets to keep on board for repairing an RV tire, here’s what we’ve come up with.
- Tire Pressure Monitor System – I’ve had the Tire Minder since we purchased our first RV. I distinctly remember reading someone’s recommendation online about a TPMS, it said something like yes these are expensive, but its way cheaper than losing a tire and dragging a bare rim down the road. Not only is it good for the tow car it’s saved my butt on the RV tires as well, unknowingly losing air pressure could be disastrous in an RV, especially the front tires.
- Heavy Duty RV Tire Compressor – I found out about our air pump from our friends the RV Geeks and they swore about the quality, in fact they own a diesel with a built-in air compressor but they still prefer the Viair! After my first use I have to agree, this pump is way more heavy duty than the standard pumps you can purchase at the auto parts store, yet it’s a fraction of the size & weight of the air compressors with the built in tank like you find at the hardware store. I like the RV model because it’s compact, lightweight and comes with the accessories I need all kept safe in the little carry case, although I wish it had a standard plug option as well as the battery clamps.
- Tire Plug Repair Kit – This is a temporary solution only, but from what we’ve learned it’s much safer than using the tire slime stuff. The “brown” sticks are supposed to be stronger than the “red” sticks so they should hold up to the high pressure of an RV tire a bit longer. Having this small RV tire repair kit on board might be the difference of a 10 minute patch or an entire day waiting on a tow truck to arrive.
- Tire Pressure Gauge – I’ve gone back and forth on the metal style vs. the digital style over the years but the newest one I purchased works extremely well and appears to be more accurate than the old-school style metal one I have. I bought the two pack and I keep one in the RV and one in the Smart car.
- Safety Triangles – In this instance we didn’t need our triangles because we weren’t on a busy road, but we have broken down several times on busy highways and these warning triangles work extremely well to alert oncoming traffic there is an issue ahead.
10 or so miles down the road from the border crossing that beautiful tarmac ends and its back to the bumpy dirt roads, actually the US dirt road here is even worse than the Canadian side. It’s a long, slow descent into Chicken, Alaska, especially when you know the air is blasting out of the RV tire. As you can see below there are plenty of bugs to welcome you to Alaska 🙂
To be perfectly fair to Chicken we arrived on one of their busiest weekends of the year: ChickenStock! It’s a music festival that draws quite the crowd. I overheard a few locals saying “we counted 12 planes at the airport, some people spent a fortune to see this show.” With our late and stressful arrival into town we decided to forgo the $40 concert entry fee and instead just unwind in the RV with a cocktail and an episode of House of Cards.
The next morning we walked around both campgrounds and made our way into Downtown Chicken. If you’re here on a non-event day you can camp behind the cafe downtown at no charge, they just ask that you pack-it-in and pack-it-out and only stay for a couple days max. There’s a cool bar and a cheesy gift shop along with a restaurant that are all attached, if you’re looking for “character” in a small town this place totally oozes with it.
Chicken Tip – The fuel downtown was only $3.79 which is $0.30 cheaper per gallon than what we paid at the campground just a block away. Dang-it, I hate when people take advantage of travelers and over charge because they are the biggest and/or first thing you see on the route!
From Chicken many people take their tow car up to Eagle, AK but there’s only a visitor center, a museum and couple historic buildings up there, so we decided to skip this four hour (each way) side trip and make our way back towards the ALCAN Highway.
Sorry Tok, other than a gas station that offered free overnight parking with fill-up along with a mediocre RV wash station we didn’t find much in Tok to do. I’m sure there’s something here but nothing really jumped out at us, but we’ll have another chance since it’s on the road out of Alaska. One night was more than enough for us so now it’s on to Fairbanks!
Yukon & Charlie River Float – If you have loads of time we’ve been told of a cool self-guided multi day river float that starts in either Eagle or Dawson City, inquire with the Dawson City visitor center for info.
Top of the World Pullouts – There are several pull-outs with great views along the Top of the World highway for overnight camping. You could easily kill a few days on this route if you want to mosey along and camp for free.
Is this side trip worth it?
According to Google Maps the direct route from Whitehorse to Tok is 8 hours / 387 miles. The route we drove was an extra 5 hours / 130 miles. Based on our Gas RV Fuel Economy of sub 7 MPG and the high prices of fuel ($4 – $6 per gallon) this far north this side trip cost an extra day and $100.
We’ve seen a lot of amazing things throughout our 5+ years of life on the road and we like to think of ourselves as not jaded, however if a good friend asked me that same question we posed at the start of this article: “Is it worth it to veer off route for the Klondike and Top of the World Highway?” Based on our experience, I think my honest answer would likely be a soft “no” unless you had the extra time and money to spare. That said, I do think every experience in travel enhances life in one form or another…so take my thoughts with a grain of salt and blaze your own trail. Happy Travels!
Fuel Prices – Fuel is less expensive in Chicken vs Dawson City and Downtown Chicken was substantially less expensive. The cheapest fuel by far is in Tok, AK so only put in as much as you “need” to complete this route.
Road Conditions – The Top of The World Highway is in good condition and fairly well maintained however the road into Chicken was a bit rougher, winding and narrow but nothing too crazy. We’ve heard horror stories about traveling in the rain on these roads so you may want to wait for a sunny day to make the trip.
Weather – Temperatures were mild and pleasant with highs hovering in the upper 60’s and the lows in the upper 40’s.
Dates Visited – June 15 – 16, 2015
See all our Alaska Travels and tips here: #Alaska Bound
Have you traveled the Top of the World Highway? What did you think about the scenic drive, Chicken and Tok? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to help other travelers make their own educated decision on whether or not it’s worth the side trip.
Read your comment about Tok. I totally disagree with you, we spent 5 days there and loved it. Met wonderful buisness owner there, ate at a restaurant there several times, excellent food! Wonderful Rv park with a great owner who gave us some free nights and gave our friend 5 free nights as he had Truck trouble and needed to wait a week for parts. They repaired his truck the same day the parts came in. We loved our time in Tok!
Just saw your tire patch video in the middle of nowhere.
I would highly suggest that both of you looking into gwtting your Amateur Radio License (not CB…huge difference) for being in contact with road help, friends and family.
Cell phones are very limited in coverage where amateur/ham radio can be used locally, regionally or globally for communications.
Please check out the American Radio Relay League at http://www.arrl.org for more information.
The saying goes “When All Else Falls, Use Amateur Radio.”
Thanks for the great videos and information!
Kurt – Amateur Radio Callsign: KA7ZDD
cute vid’ thanks for sharing. I was smiling the whole way through. heehee
Living on a bike. Or is it off a bike? I don’t have the faintest idea what the luxury of RV “wonderland” life. But, I enjoyed again, what you shared with all of us. Outdoors with woods and sunlight, and a few humans can be enjoyable. I don’t enjoy the capacity for storage; but have become inventive. Hanging bags, like a hanging basket to have fruit; garlic etc. Within reach, and convenient storage menthod; ie. Hanging plant idea. Peace upon you friends, and good karma ! Bye !
Just started watching RV videos since we are first time owners of a Class C Jayco Greyhawk. I have so many questions about everything. Right now we would just like to be able to get the hot water to stay at 105. It just gets hotter and hotter when trying to shower. We thought we’d just use the hot water and not the cold. Oh, well. One day we may figure it out. Love your videos though. Wish you had been specific about brand names for tire compressor and tire pressure gauge you used. Thanks!
The gear info is almost always in the corresponding blog post or in our gear section of the blog. In this case: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/Crossing-Alaska-Border-Getting-Screwed
my family was wanting AK 812 several days ago and was told about a business that hosts a lot of sample forms . If others need AK 812 too , here’s a
This one deserves an Emmy, both for honesty and for somehow producing this amid the trauma. Your videos are so artfully done. Great site, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
Ummm do you have a spare tire? That would be one of the things I would carry. Also you might consider taking the test for a ham radio license. You can talk quite a ways on a 2 meter radio.
You guys are awesome! I’ve learned so much from your blog and videos! You do a great service for those who want to RV or RV full time. Look forward to more exploits. I’m looking forward to RV’g with my dogs fulltime!!!
Jason, I just wanted you to know I purchased a 2015 Bounder 33c (new) and bought the pump you used. Your video was much more informative than the instructions and I got to watch your tribulations while eating Sun Chips. Thanks so much, I would have paid an admission ticket for the entertainment factor with Nikki’s narration. 🙂
OMG, that was hilarious and tragic all at the same time. I must commend you on the mostly happy attitude during the tire event. I’m still chuckling. We are now motorhome’less after 15 years, but did pull the trigger on the 30′ Airstream Classic so back in the game. While 80% the same, it does have some parts that make us (me) seem like a clown … all about the learning. Expect to go on extended trip in January, but heading up to Tiger Run in a week so if you are around then find us! Happy travels.
Cool cats! Where do you put the cat box?
Currently we put it up in the passenger floorboard, it’s great while we’re parked because it’s completely out of the way. More cat info here if you’re interested: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/traveling-cats
I watched this video over and over before I ordered my own Viair air compressor so now I totally know how not to use it. I love this thing! Question: after u got the air filter figured out, did you try airing the tire with the long straight adapter or do u still use the flexible screw on one. And what works better?
A small tip: place the trigger (with the PSI gauge) in between the two yellow hoses so you are not right by the tire and use the screw on adapter to air up your tires. If you bought your Viair using our website we appreciate the support!
Great video. You two make me laugh. Fun stuff. I do have a tip for you if I may. You can carry a full size commercial compressor in one of your compartments that is big enough to not only air up your tires but also run an impact wrench or other air driven tools. They run on 120 volts but you can plug them in to your Rv as long as you have your generator running. I carry one in my Aerbus and it has come in handy more than once. You can actually change a tire using the impact wrench. Be sure to carry a spare that is already mounted on a wheel. One other tip, when airing up a tire on you MH, put the jacks down to take the pressure of the tire. This will make things work much better. They say not to use the jacks when changing a tire, but you can use them to lift the MH off the ground, then put a jack stand or blocks under the frame to support it off the ground until you change the tire. Just a few tips from an old man who has been there done that. Facebook, living the rv laptop lifestyle. Ron.
You guys crack me up! Love your videos. Your chemistry is really cool. We’re going to take the Alcan next June in our 2014 Bounder. We’ll have a little more time for those side trips with our 8 and 9 year old sons along. Thanks for the tire tips- looking forward to Chicken…glad you came through it with a smile…
We made the Alaska trip in the summer of 2014. We left TOK and made the trek across the Top of the World highway. We did it in a 5th wheel and carried 2 spares for the RV because of the difficulty of finding rv tires on the road. Luckily we did not have a flat until we got back to North Dakota and that was on our truck one day while in town sightseeing….It was a trip of a lifetime as we were celebrating our 50th year of wedded bliss….A lot of people make the trip with a tour group but we chose to do it alone….a tour group would be able to assist when a calamity occurs….
Tom Van Soelen
You have the same pillows in your MH as I have in my Park Model home !!
We found our way to Chicken as well. But our experience was a little different. We were the ONLY people camping at Chicken …. It was definitely an experience.
We come from a country with strict gun laws and NO hunting other than kangaroo and rabbit shooting to cull the pests on farms. All night in Chicken we heard bang bang bang of hunters shooting Moose and Caribou. It sounded like it was right outside our RV ….. So it was a little disturbing.
Anyway it was an experience worth the bumps in the road
Best video ever on a frustrating day!
So real, griping, stomach turning! If I ever had to endure frustration like this and then video record it I would of done much worst on the whole thing. Knew some of it from experience but the air compressor you used was a new one for me. I am using my air brake compressor for now because I couldn’t find a reliable unit that could fit in a small space. I will look into this guy as soon as possible.
the locals told us to camp at Boyer Lake on the Cassiar. They were absolutely correct. One of my favourite campgrounds ever. Some of the campgrounds are little more than a gravel parking lot. Enjoy.
Thanks for the tip! We will check it out!
Hi Jason and Nikki, I am addicted to your site and videos! I just wanted to say I’ve used the tire repair kit for many years (they used to be strips of leather) although the kit might not recommend it, when I use it I leave it till I get new tires which might be a few years or till the tires are to the point the tread meets the hump that goes across letting you know it’s time for new tires. Never had I an issue on my car, SUV or travel trailer. I wish you both the best!
Great video series! I’m an engineer, and I always enjoy the practical aspects of problem solving. I will look into the tire pump, viair, brown tire plugs and the TPMS. Great tips!
Wow! Now that was an adventure…Thanks for sharing.
I just love reading about your adventures. Thanks so much for sharing…in any order….
Just a comment about your blog. you should have your content by date. when I look at the main page of Alaska and pick a topic, I would like to read it in order. I have know way of knowing which order it is in
Well hello. We are super glad to have you around and please remember that we are just two people sharing our journey. The content is in order by date on the main Alaska page.
I just watched the video. I’m glad to see that you’re alright. It could have been a lot worse.
NEVER, NEVER, EVER, use that fix a flat on a truck tire. the air in the truck tire could be a higher pressure
and travel into the can. There is a blowout plug on the bottom. it will blow out, could hurt you. never point that blowout plug towards you. The patch that you put in the tire does not have to be replaced. to make it a little easier to insert the tool, you could run a small drill bit in the hole a couple of times.
Now I’m done talking to you as a father.
I like your blog very much. just trying to keep you safe
Ha ha, thanks for the tips! Glad it all turned out ok and we didn’t experience any injuries along the way. (well other than Jason’s little cut in the end).
I thought you might enjoy some reading material for those lounging around the RV times. http://thisamazinglife.co and a couple of videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxyg2O1Gobom/cap-it/ Josh Dueck is one of my favorite athletes and just started this new Blog about selling everything, moving into an airstream with his family and hitting the road. (My FAVORITE Josh video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F25CDzEkVWg You’ve inspired so many people to hit the road, he really personifies “Anything is possible” and he makes me feel happy 🙂 Enjoy!
It was a pleasure to meet both of you tonight and learn about your recent travels. A good beer is best shared over great conversation! I’ve sent you an email with a few things our group did (for the next portion of your trip). Best of luck in your travels.
It’s funny how the world works, allowing us to share a beer and swap stories. If we make it back to Dallas we’ll definitely hit you up…but this time we’ll bring the beer 🙂
BTW – If you haven’t visited LUCK in Trinity Grove you gotta go check it out for a host of local & regional brews.
Must admit, I was a bit star struck when I saw you pulling into our local Cabella’s yesterday evening. I was half tempted to stop by and introduce myself and thank you for sharing everything you have. My husband and I have just recently purchased a 5th wheel that we are currently remodeling but will be moving into shortly as full time RVers. We have at least one more winter in Alaska (should be interesting to see how we hold up) then will potentially be moving on. Your blog has definitely assisted in some major information gathering and provided us several cheaper items for purchase than our local trailer stores. Again, thank you for sharing! And I hope you enjoy the remainder of your time in Alaska!
Awe, you could have said hello! If you see us again, make sure to say hello! Good luck with the remodel and super glad to hear our suggestions have saved you some cash. That is music to my ears!!!
Sorry to hear that you didn’t care for this side trip. We LOVED this area and the rich Alaskan history that surrounds you here. To be able to visit some of the most influential gold rush sites of Alaska’s history (Dawson City and the Forty Mile River area) was educational and spectacular!
I would caution promoting a “self-guided” float on the Yukon & Charlie Rivers to anyone who doesn’t have experience floating rivers on a regular basis. These rivers are beautiful and scenic and cruel to inexperienced rafters, canoers and kayakers.
Keep in mind that Alaska is truly “The Last Frontier” and parts of our beautiful state are still rustic and not easily accessible. Higher prices often accompanies that inaccessibility. With that being said, sit back and enjoy the beautiful and breathtaking vistas that this great state has to offer everyone!
as it the inner or outer tire that had the nail? Earlier you were treating the outer with air pressure, then later in Chicken you were treating the inner. The video has me confused. Love your adventures, want to be there soon!
It was the inner tire but there is a valve located on the outer to make it easier to inflate/check.
Am I missing something? The earlier video shows the outer tire with a nail and losing pressure, and putting more air in it, but when you get to Chicken, you are treating the inner tire instead with the glue to plug the hole. There are 2 tires, so which was the one with the nail in it?
Awesome video! Not going to lie, it made me laugh:) thanks for letting us learn from your mistakes. But some of our mishaps are the parts we remember the most about our trips!
BEST video ever…. You guys are awesome and this is such a great depiction of how to handle a really stressful situation gracefully. Thank you! I will be showing this to my husband tonight.
A couple tips from an Alaskan vagabond.
Tok Alaska has the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge- cool hikes, camps, fishing and crane migrations. Don’t miss the cranes on your return trip.
Natural Lands Information Center – 4th and F (inside the yellow building) in Anchorage best research for all your Alaskan stops and free Alaskan movies!!!
As a general contractor and all around fix it guy I understand your video oh so well. But I would be afraid to put my learning curve on YouTube. Kudos to you!
I’ve been watching your videos for years and have enjoyed them immensely! You have certainly inspired me to take our RV on the road more often, for longer distances and for greater periods of time. We aren’t full timers like you two, but we enjoy it nonetheless :).
By far this is my favorite video because it’s just you two as you are in life. I would love to see more of the “in the journey” videos like this. Not only because, hey, real life happens, but because it is you guys unscripted and it’s so fun to watch. I laughed more times during that 30 minute video than I have in your past 20 videos :).
I experienced your misfortune over 30 years ago. Middle of nowhere and inside dual flat. Fortunately I had planned ahead. I had all the materials for jacking up the coach, removing the tire/rim assemblies, dismounting the tire from the rim, PROPERLY patching the tire reassembling the tire and airing up the now repaired tire and remount them onto to the coach. My coach had air suspension and more than adequate reservoir/air tank capacity to inflate the tire as well as operate a full 1″ impact air wrench/gun. Yes it took longer about two hours, however, a run flat tire is NEVER a wise choice in the middle of nowhere and to continue to run on a near flat tire will only contribute to its deterioration. MY experience was enough for me, at my soonest possible point in time, to buy TWO spare rims and tires and make room for them in the underbelly of the coach.
Thanks for going through all the trials and tribulations of full timing, and putting the results on youtube. My wife and I are planning to do the same thing when we retire in 2024, and seeing your exploits eases our minds that while there are a few drawbacks, the rewards far outweigh them. As to your trouble with the flat tire on the way to Alaska, check out the website: http://www.tirebee.com. There, you can buy a tool that will allow you to install a tire plug in the hole left by screws, nails and such that you pick up along the way in your travels. I am a mechanic by trade, and I regularly plug car tires dozens of times a year, and they are permanent repairs, self vulcanizing and becoming part of the tire. 22.5″ truck tires are a little different though and would require this tool and the special plugs that are provided with the kit. I think that federal law says that you can’t repair a tire this way if it is a steering tire, but the dualies on the rear are OK. You can, though, make a temporary repair on a front tire if you get it replaced the next chance you get.
Keep travelin’ , we love your videos. And it’s nice to see that your cats seem to have accepted RVing with aplomb, (we have 5!). Good Luck!
OMG! Sooooo many happy comments I can’t respond to them all 🙂 Thanks to those that stuck with me through the entire process, I hope you were able to lean a few lessons from my mistakes! It was one helluva day but it was a great day of learning and experience that will ultimately make me a better prepared traveler.
Oh my goodness. What a nerve wracking experience. Thanks for the video. I’ll make sure we have all the proper tools for our travels. I’ll leave you a tip. The beers on me.
ha ha, thanks! It was an experience but honestly not too nerve wracking. At least you now know what not to do. 🙂
Loved the video. You guys are having a great trip so far. Have fun and stay safe!
John & Joanne Ravensbergen
Joanne and I are following your journey throughout Alaska and appreciate all your reviews etc very much! We’re also doing the same trip. We came up from Abbotford BC and headed north from Kitwanga to Stewart and crossed briefly into Alaska at Hyder. It was strange crossing back into Canada having to answer silly questions: how long have you been in the USA, did you purchase anything? Etc. It was kind of ridiculous but I guess they have to go by the book. From Stewart via Dease Lake and Teslin we ended up in Atlin and camped right on the water front. A very quent little place with beautiful scenery. From here we drove to Skagway and stayed two nights. Enjoyed the train ride up to the Chilkoot Pass, a must do attraction. Next we took the ferry to Haines and spent one night At a waterfront RV Park. The Haines museum was very interesting with lots of old relics from the gold rush days in the yard. Grabbed some blueberry snakies from a local bakery and hit the road. We stayed one night at Haines Junction in a muddy campsite since we had a lot of rain overnight. The road from Haines Jc. to Tok was good mostly except for a very long stretch I would describe as the Highway from Hell. The road looked like it had been Carpet Bombed. What really pissed me is that there were no warning signs when starting this route out of Haines Jc. I would have avoided this hwy and gone via Whitehorse to our destination Valdez. I might add Valdez was the most scenic town we’ve seen so far, it’s totally surrounded by glaciers. We spent three nights there. Next we took the ferry to Whittier a 6 hour scenic boat cruise. We’re now in Seward and enjoying the scenery. Love biking the beautiful paved path along the Ressurection Bay. We’re also dry camping in front of the bay since most hookups are snapped up by locals who mostly go on fishing charters. If you love to fish , this is the place! Our plans are to see Anchorage, Denali Park, Fairbanks and eventually end up in Whitehorse. Keep up the great articles, we just devour them.
? John and Joanne
John & Joanne
I couldn’t help but think of the “Winnebago Man” videos on youtube as Jason was “fixing” the flat. Outwardly very restrained but I imagine he was running a blue streak in his head! Wife and I will be full-timing in about 4 years and really appreciate all the advance knowledge you and your fellow RV bloggers have provided. If you find yourselves in LA (lower Alabama), stop by for a craft brew and some Gulf shrimp on the house! Happy travels, Big Daddy.
Love your videos. This was by far the funniest, you know as in the “crap why me” but later when it all works out you laugh about it ?.
My husband and I have finally decided to embrace our constant moving (mostly due to his job with the railroad) and are in the process of selling our lovely large house and moving into an rv with 2 kids, 2 cats and a dog. We are extremely excited we love adventures. I always say we are gypsy’s at heart. I haven’t told everyone just yet because the reactions and negative comments just seem to work my last nerve. Back to my point. Love you guys and I’m so thankful I stumbled upon your YouTube videos! Just seeing another family who enjoys experiencing new places. Did you ever have to deal with negativity about your lifestyle?
I was wondering how the new solar set up is working. Any insights?
AMAZING!!! With full sun we can use battery power just like we’re plugged in! We are blown away by the performance of our lithium battery pack and the new solar setup is quick to charge out batteries back up.
You can not overemphasize the importance of a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). They are such a good idea that all new cars have them built in. The RV industry needs to take notice and provide MotorHomes with a built-in system, and towable RVs with some sort of user friendly add-on system, all as standard equipment. One averted blow-out can cover the cost of the system and will make RV buyers much happier over the long run.
Like you I had my TireMinder alert me to a loss of pressure in one of my dual wheel tires. I aired it up and was able to make it to a tire store where they fixed my problem. There were not able to repair the tire as an “S” hook from the end of a rubber snubber was stuck in the sidewall, but because I did not let the tire go flat it did not damage the other tire by overloading it, thus saving me the cost of one tire ($600). Also a flat tire on the dual can, unknowingly, disintegrate and cause massive damage to the body of your RV and/or other expensive components.
So, please stay on that soapbox and shout for all the world to hear about the benefits of a TPMS.
Just way to funny. From the dust cloud coming from the tire, to the gushing blood, had me laughing. Sorry about the bad luck with the tire. I was feeling guilty for laughing so hard. Grad it all came together. You make great videos and I look forward to the new videos which I check for daily Someday you’ll have to put a collection of Jasons repairs in one video. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t come out with the muli swear word, word. Tim the tool man was a great comparison. Keep the videos coming, love them. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing your trip. My favorite part of your video ” screwed in alaska” was her remark, ” Just finish up so we can get some beer”. Keep them coming!
Enjoyed the video but I had to cringe when neither of you were wearing safety glasses. This is an absolute must when working with compressed air, tires, or batteries. Even when filming from a distance.
My brother had a tire with 18 plugs in it when it was changed out. He had a rural mail route. He bought the plugs in bulk(50 pack). Not as much air pressure as your vehicle, but he really believed in them.
Tom the awning fixer
Tok does have a most worthy stop. Directly west of the Chevron station is a local artists’ craft cooperative. My wife and I purchased a birch bark basket that compared favorably with examples we saw in the Fairbanks cultural center and in the Fairbanks museum. Inexpensive for the type, too. It was the only souvenir we deemed worthy of not just shelf space in our house, but also of carrying 5K miles in the confines of our View.
We’ve watched you for awhile now…….And I must say….THIS video makes us want to meet you even more now!! We laughed, cried and even felt your pain on this video……Jason you kept it together….Nikki your “extra” side notes about Jason, Perect! We watch both The RV Geeks & Technomadia as well and really enjoy you all but
this video shows us the real you(and we love it)
X2 on many of the statements above, great Job!
I must thank you. Who knew that at 1:58 in the morning I would be watching your “I got screwed” video and laughing out load. If I have to have insomnia, at least you put a smile on my face. Really . . . I was crying when you blew on the tire at the end and the dust bellowed back in your fave. So sorry you had problems, but you kept your cool. Pick up some snoopy band aides at your next stop. 🙂
Loved this! Thanks for sharing the sometimes joyful realities of RVin’! 🙂 You guys rock:)
The top of the road ‘highway’ can be a lousy, muddy adventure or a lonely, scenic, sometimes dusty, way to spend a day. When I was there last it was with a small group of motorcyclists and we has the latter. I bought the “survived” T-shirt to remind myself of the ride and just happened to be wearing it while I read your report.
Loved the fact that you (Jason) can operate highly tecnincal precision cameras to get fantastically in-focus shots but didn’t know how to use the ViAir until you read the instructions! I guess that now you have it figured out you’ll be abl to use it to avoid a face full of Alaska dust next time you want to examine something dusty.
Thanks for leaving that part in the video you posted. Gave us a BIG smile as we’ve all been-there-done-that.
Fantastic good job you are learning, same way I learned. I felt and acted and swore just like you. I probably could have run into you in Fairbanks , this was my 5th trip to Alaska this year 4 times by motorcycle. I have had plenty of flat tires but this year I had a blowout between Dawson and Whitehorse. Even on a motorcycle I carry a very small compressor, it took 4 plugs and just barley held enough air to get me to Whitehorse. Love it.
I loved the ‘raw’ and unedited nature of this video, and of some of your more recent work. I’ve been thinking a ‘blooper reel’ was in order – and having some of that included makes you all the more fun and ‘real’. That blowing into the rim moment? We’ve all had it! Keep up the great work!
BTW – That Bounder is a squeaky mama jama! Scale of one to ten – Bounder vs Excursion ‘squeak factor’?
Another item to add to your tire emergency kit are valve stem cores and a core tool. Recently while checking my tire pressure on my rear outer tire the stem core decided to give way. The core tool and new core plus my 150 psi compressor saved the day. http://www.amazon.com/Slime-20088-4-Way-Valve-Cores/dp/B0020T17J2/ref=pd_sim_263_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=05X6QRFDQXKG1QF93CJR
I have been primarily just been watching your videos, what I’ve been missing not seeing the blogs!!!
My wife and I (I’ve gotten her interested in watching too) watched the latest video last night, I personally do not know of many people that haven’t had to “learn under pressure” as Jason did with the tire experience. I’m sure you get a lot of people that say they see themselves in your experiences, I have to add us also.
My wife was, and still often is, the cool calm one with me getting more and more upset as problems keep snowballing with nothing appearing to work like it is supposed to, like NOW!
A great video, as they all are. We really liked watching the new video last night, it was a Gone With The Wynns video night on our Roku after I got the notification on my phone yesterday afternoon about the new video, and we watched quite a few of your older videos and I we really liked the Chicago video where Jason wasn’t paying to close attention and interrupted Nikki and you added the text that she was annoyed and kept it in the video! Very funny!
Very glad to get all the reports of what it’s been like in your travels. Thanks for posting it all!
Now, I’ve got a lot more reading to do on the blogs!
Wow! this was not only entertaining but informative. Thank you for allowing me to learn how to fix a tire and setup my compressor.
Just curious: Did you have the tire repair kit when you found the nail OR you bought it at Chicken?
If you had it, why not fixing tire right away?
Also, BIG tip: That annoying “squeaky noise” on the dashboard is probably the engine hood!!!! Our Bounder almost got me crazy with this same noise and after I disassemble and check all dashboard… I found that noise come from outside hood!! There are two rubber “stops” (one at each side) with screw adjustment… check it and adjust until it’s very “tight” (I mean Hood closing X rubber stop) when you close the hood (you will need to apply pressure on the hood to lock it). I don’t know about you but there are no other things that get me more mad than “noises” inside the RV!!
PS: The part of the video where Jason blow the wheel and got all dust on his face was hilarious!
We picked up the repair kit in Chicken, otherwise we would have used it right away. Big Thanks on the tip about the squeak in the dash! We haven’t taken the time to really investigate but that sounds dead on! I may owe you a beer for that one!
Thank you so much for sharing that. You have to know it will happen to me someday – now I won’t be quite so terrified;-))
It is times like this when having each other makes these things much more “bearable”. Traveling alone, I couldn’t help but think how miserable I would have been if this happened to me. There is a lot to e said for moral support! I adore you two and thank you for sharing ALL your experiences…good and not-so-good. Most of the time life is so good I guess it makes you forget all about getting screwed!
Ron & Laurie
We are sorry for your misfortune, but it turned into a great, funny and informative video.
It always a good idea to reed the manual, but I understand when under presure or losing presure you can forget things.
I hope that it won’t happen again, but if it does you might want to hook up the compressor to your Smart Car, safe fuel, no fumes and less noise.
Safe travels and CHEERS.
Guys, I’m sure this was no fun at the time – but – hilarious!! Thanks for the great un scripted video!!
I Love your posts, pics and videos. You both make the best of some unlucky situations. Keep em coming. Safe travels!
Jason, Great video! Your video reminded me of the Robyn Williams movie RV. ?
On suggestion, I saw this on another website and thought it was a great idea so I thought I would pass it on to you and others.
I know you used a blanket to lay on while working on your relate but…. Pick up an inexpensive yoga mat and keep it rolled up in one of your trunks for when you have to get down and lay on the ground. It lessens some of the uncomfortable rocks and sticks you may have to lay on as well as keeps you cleaner than being right on the ground. I’ve had to use it a time or two and it’s much more comfortable to lay on while working under any RV or car. ?
I think everyone’s comments covered it. I get worried for you guys even though I knew the outcome would be ok. Jason, I feel for you man!
Jenn - Newschool Nomads
You guys!!!!! How cute can you both be!!!! I loved the cat on Jason’s lap and when Singa wanted to be in the Alaska picture with Nikkie. So sorry to hear about your flat but you handled it so well. I LOVED Top of the World Highway. We were there mid September and the leaves were all changing color. It was glorious! Chicken was EMPTY when we were there so it sounds like it had a different vibe. Other people told us it wasn’t worth it but we did it for Thing 2 because he REALLY wanted to pan gold there. His joy was worth it! Love seeing Alaska through your eyes! ((hugs))
This last video … Re: flat tire was helpful. I also have the vidair pump and it is awesome! But need to add the tire repair plugs!
Awesome video! LOL. Had to watch it twice because I laughed so hard the first time, laughed quieter on the second viewing so I wouldn’t miss anything. I always wondered what a day in the life of the Wynns would feel like. When it rains it pours. We are just weekend worriers right now but dream of motorcoach life. Thanks for sharing, it means a lot to us that you take us with you on your journey. We have followed you from the very first and have upgraded upon your experiences and you haven’t let us down. This year I upgraded to the nature’s head toilet and I have to say I would never go back, it is a fantastic upgrade. Next will be the Tire Monitor system.
I’m sorry for your troubles…but I was sitting here laughing most of the way through the video. Not laughing at you, laughing because I could relate to having problems and hearing a lot of cussing. Jason was on his best behavior for the camera. We tried to air up the RV tires with a regular air compressor and blew out two of them. I’m glad to see an actual RV air compressor that can do the job. So thanks for that! Hope your troubles are over for the rest of the trip. You know what they say, “shit happen!” Happy trails.
I want to thank you for this video because I know feel like my husband and I aren’t the only ones who have these RV dramas and react in very similar manners, although i was impressed with how little cursing was invovled. Wecently broke an axle while towing and that was loads of fun…that would have been one hell of a “how not to”….anyway, enjoy Alaska! Love the posts!
Wow! What a great post. You had me guessing for a long time how you got “screwed”. I even thought for a moment that maybe the cat’s grand escape was going to be a major ordeal and mountain rescue.
I really related to the whole experience recognizing that your experience could easily happen to me. While I carry all the types of equipment you used, I’ve only tested the possibility in theory. I’ve never gotten caught in a bind, but my turn is coming. We did 6,000 miles this summer. When we crossed Arizona the air intake on the engine was 117 degrees and the Tire Minder monitors were reading 146 degrees. We pulled over and waited for the cool of the night. At every stop I always checked the tires and passed a strong flashlight around the tires in a quick sweep. Fortunately, no hissing, cracks, splits, or bulges. Whew!
I’m so thankful that you didn’t steer off into the abyss. A friend of mine blew a front tire and slammed into a rock wall. The whole side/front end was ripped off, threw them into a wild drive across the median, through the fence, and smashing into a garage. They were sitting in their big fancy chairs stunned with only minor injuries. They were lucky to be alive. That story has prompted me to be zealous about maintaining and monitoring everything related to rolling and stopping.
Our excitement this trip occurred when a rock blew out the side window of the coach. We were in a construction zone constricted in heavy traffic. It sounded like a bomb went off. The wife screamed. The glass spewed into the coach all over her and the dogs. For a brief moment I thought the whole side of the had been ripped off. Then my wife calmly said, “I’m all right.”
Keep the stories and adventure coming. Safe travels!
Best video ever!! Sorry Jason, but we laughed along with Nicky. You are Tim the tool man, was that a Binford 500 air compressor you were using?
Way to go Jason…..keep up the good work with regards to directions! All of us guys know that directions are just suggestions not hard fast rules. We don’t need no stinkin directions! How hard can working a compressor be? Or a tire plug? Great videos…keep them up as i look forward to them.
BEST “HOW NOT TOO” Video EVVVER!!! Hilarious!
You poor things!!!! But, at least, you had what you needed! BTW, I didn’t get to hear Jason cuss (and I was looking forward to it). Just one IMPORTANT thing, next time, when you are under the RV and by a wheel, PLEASE put a chock under the wheel & put one one the other side, too! It would be HORRIBLE if the RV moved and ran Jason over! Thank God you are ok!!!!
Also guys, get a emergency patch kit for the little smart car! It’s way safer that that little donut they usually send for a spare. Faster too
I enjoyed that but it was like watching a suspense movie when Jason was bumming about the nail, driving 10mph, getting back out ect..,drilling the hole and putting in the rubber seal, my eyes got big, heart racing and a si of relief when he got finished…the funny part was, he cut himself on the easy part. I will be watching you next week on Going RV on the east end of USA. ps hope no more problems, my heart nerves are shot !
Coolest video yet! Next flat you guys will be veterans. The plug stuff was a permanant fix for the first 45 years of my life.
Jason, I have a question on the green inflate. Will that stuff interfere with your pressure sensors ? If they do, do you have to reprogram that sensor? Great video and pic’s. As always Happy Trails.
Joe the computer guy
Best video I’ve seen by you guys. I mean no disrespect as I am sure you spend a ton of time editing the others but I was in tears laughing when Jason blew into the rim and gets a face full of dist. Thanks guys, I needed that laugh so bad!! Stay safe and keep the updates coming. Cheers!
Incredibly entertaining video – from our perspective. Thanks south for sharing! You guys are hysterical!
Love and miss ya!
This post was great! It made me realize that you need to be young and energetic to make an RV trip to Alaska. You were lucky you two didn’t end up spending the night by the side of the road. I keep waiting for you to run into some bears or moose. Seen any?
I can’t believe I watched the whole thing, but I did. I stood in our swimming pool, the entire time. Now I am typing this, while still in the pool. I consider myself a fairly handy guy, but I never thought of carrying a plug kit. I have an HR Trip so as you know I have air on board. However after watching the video I may look into the viair pump. I also carry five gallons of extra diesel in the RV. Enjoy your videos and look forward to many more.
So cute! From your lead in I thought you were going to get screwed at the border crossing. LOL!
I enjoyed the video, quite entertaining. I know you don’t want to hear this however, I believe you have a lot of your “mother” in you and your aunt or grandmother. What do you think Nikki?! Be safe.
You had us on the edge of our seats! When you first had difficulty getting air into the tire, we were worried… “Oh No! Hope we didn’t give Nikki & Jason a bum steer on the compressor!” Then you showed the flexible valve stem and we were urging you, right though the computer screen “There’s a screw-on chuck in the bag, Jason! Go get it!!!” LOL When you went back to the bag and we heard the Viair still running, we knew something was wrong. Another classic Jason “How Not To” video is born! You are the best. Really had us laughing, but also relieved that you two survived your ordeal and were able to repair everything in the end. And of course we’re happy that our compressor recommendation was solid after all. 🙂 Hope you continue to have better access to internet so we can see more. A little side note… unforeseen events have us stuck in BC for the moment. We’ll almost certainly be here when you come though. We miss you, so let’s make sure we connect.
We had some other travelers tell us you can actually put the trigger in between the two hoses making it safer to pump up the tires…I’ll have to try this next time. Thanks so much for the 411 on the awesome RV air pump!
Sad you’re stuck in BC but we’d love to see you again. We should be coming through in late Sept.
Favorite video of yours so far! Thanks for sharing your adventures and for the inspiration.
You two are awesome and I always look forward to your blogs and videos.
Susan & Drew Waller
Your funniest or best video yet. can relate to reading directions, don’t until necessary. Had a bounder, the noise reminded of old times in it. never had a flat, its was educational. thanks and have fun
Great story and advise about Alaska
Always a good day when there is a new Wynns video. Great job. I’m going to take a look at my tire repair gear and see if I’m up to snuff. Even though I’ve got a brand new RV that doesn’t mean I can’t “get screwed” like you folks did. It never occurred to me to take the toad into town – even if it did I’m not sure I would have felt safe leaving the RV on the side of the road – locked or not.
I know it wasn’t funny at the time … but I really got a good laugh at times… right near the end when you blew on the rim… still laughing. Glad you made it safe. Can’t wait for the next Alaskan video!
OMG, best video ever! I am still laughing over Jason blowing that dirt back into his own face! “Let’s go have a drink!” Hahaha!!
LOVE your pictures of Chicken. We went to Anchorage a couple of years ago but didn’t have time to explore beyond a two hour radius. We can’t wait to go back to Alaska again. I really enjoy reading your blog – we are not RVers (yet…) but we are avid road trippers and love seeing our country by way of asphalt. Thank you for writing!
I agree with Jason Murray. This IS your best video and now my favorite too. So much information and it’s appreciated. Thanks also to the aforementioned Jason Murray for his tips. It’s all a journey and learning experience so thanks for being our guinea pig!
Bummer about the tire. (sigh, oh well) Chicken looks cheesy!
Two standout quotes:
“Now we’re cooking with Crisco.” Jason
“Just finish up so we can go get a beer.” Nikki
Oh my Lord. Jason, normally Nikki is the star but not this time buddy. You stole the show! You were cracking me up the whole time. Love how self deprecating you can be. And, you’re such a dude, “I didn’t read the directions.” Ha!
You stated in the RV that you had no option but to keep driving but…you could have just parked and locked the RV and taken the car, grabbed a patch and possibly some gas. Just sayin…
Maybe this is just the former Spec Ops in me but we had a saying, “Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.” That includes getting to know your gear. We always perform Op-checks and drills when not under pressure so you feel no pressure when actually under pressure. Also, another saying, “Two is one. One is none.” For all essential and emergency gear carry a backup. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have a squirt bottle with soapy water as part of the tire kit (to spray on the tire). What if you had two or three punctures (from other, smaller screws) but couldn’t tell because the first was so loud? Under differing circumstances when the hole is small and less noisy it can be a pain when in the dark and you’ve got your ear damn near pressed on the tire trying to find the hole. Sudsy bubbles are easy to spot and hear.
Another tip, put together a spreadsheet of ALL gear and equipment which requires maintenence. This will become your PMS–Preventative Maintenance Schedule. Trust me, PM is much better than CM (Corrective Maintenence), as I’m sure you know.
Lastly, this is a top contender for my favorite video. It is not edited too much and we get to see most of this debacle–warts and all. Jason, you are in top form dealing with this pressure. Heck, you even warranted a Purple Heart from it for your “Battle wound”. Nikki plays the good wife in that she isn’t razzing you but offering great commentary. You really are very very fortunate that nail was in a back tire and not the front–and, that it wasn’t a sidewall puncture.
Thanks for the post. Jason, again you cracked me up. Friggin H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!
Probably your best video ever. It’s remarkable how cool, calm, and collected you remained throughout the whole episode. If it was me, the air would have turned blue, and there’s no way that the video camera would have been rolling. Or maybe you just made good use of the delete key on the video editor after it was all over? Kudos to you both for sharing this experience.
I could tell right away that something was wrong with the Viair because it kept running continuously while you were trying to inflate the camera. The RV Geeks made a big deal of its autoshutoff function… Amazing how reading the directions can make a difference! Also, it was very helpful to see the two repair kits in action. Gonna buy one of those “red kits” ASAP. Does it repair more than one flat, or do you need to buy another kkit after the first repair?
Safe travels for the rest of the trip.
Thanks! It takes a lot more than a flat tire to get us all bent out of shape and we try to laugh as much as possible in situations like this. Keeps the stress down and we find it keeps our heads clear so we don’t over think things.
Each one of the red strips is a repair so you can get multiple uses out of one kit which is really nice!
Best repair video ever…way to persevere!!! It is videos like these that help me to believe that I and my husband can do this. We are not handy but will keep trying until we figure it out.