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-   -   Lakeland, FL to Anchorage in a new 2015 Golf Sportwagen (http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=481997)

Mike in Anchorage September 23rd, 2017 23:28

Lakeland, FL to Anchorage in a new 2015 Golf Sportwagen
 
I have no idea if this is of interest to anyone, but it's worth having in the archives, i suppose.

Deciding to sell my '09 JSW TDI back to VW, the hunt was on for a replacement. I've really liked many features on the JSW: panoramic sunroof, heated seats, fuel economy, torque, DSG, etc. And I've recently learned that although each of my 5 bicycles fits somewhat easily into the JSW WITHOUT REMOVING THE FRONT WHEEL, this is an uncommon ability. Even with much larger vehicles.

So back to the original - I wanted another TDI Sportwagen and the deals with the VW financing rebates were too good to ignore. I found a brand new 2015 Golf Sportwagen in Lakeland FL with all of the features I want. A key component is an interior that is NOT BLACK! Over Labor Day weekend, I flew one way to Orlando and picked up the car on Sunday at noon, two days before hurricane Irma was due to hit. I had one bicycle along so that when I was tired of driving I would be able to get on the bike and ride for a bit.

Stayed the first night with a great friend in Gainesville, and the second night with relatives in Knoxville. Then to my hometown in Southern Ohio for a few days to visit relatives. Heading west, I stopped in Ft. Collins to see our son in college there. From that point, it was skedaddle to Anchorage: succeeding nights in Helena, Calgary, Dawson Creek, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, and finally to Anchorage. Some long days in the seat. The car performed beautifully. No surprises except for the first time the auto wipers kicked on and quickly went to high speed in a thundershower in Tennessee.

I'm still converting miles and kilometers and gallons and liters to get an overall MPG or L/100 km figure. It appears it will be in the 47 to 48 MPG range. And I was not traveling slowly. Several days the average speed was over 65 mph or 100 km/hr.

Satellite radio worked pretty well until I was in western BC and in Yukon Territory. Very sporadically in Alaska. Snow was falling near East Glacier [Logan Pass was closed] and just south of Canmore/ Banff. No snow sticking to the roads, but some intense cold precipitation caused me to take it easy and slow down a bit. The lighting package is way better than my '09, so when the sun was setting and I was in the area of bears, moose, bison, etc, I was able to avoid hitting any animals. The sunroof allowed me to note a wonderful aurora show when I got to Dawson Creek.

My last time to drive the Alaska Highway was in 1993 and it's in MUCH better condition now. I set the cruise on 110 much of the time [metric, baby] and that worked well. Pickup on even this new engine was smooth and easy for passing.

That's probably enough rambling for now. If anyone is interested in parts of the trip, I'm happy to answer. I'll be posting perceptions of the car in the MkVII forum.

scooperhsd September 24th, 2017 09:54

sat radio
 
When reception is spotty (or gone due weather) - if you can't get AM/FM radio either - you CAN play MP3's on an SD card. The one in our 2015 Golf works great. I would have suggested it if you would have let us know beforehand ...

Mike in Anchorage September 24th, 2017 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooperhsd (Post 5330920)
When reception is spotty (or gone due weather) - if you can't get AM/FM radio either - you CAN play MP3's on an SD card. The one in our 2015 Golf works great. I would have suggested it if you would have let us know beforehand ...

Thanks. I had some CDs to play and had a couple of SD cards, but was trying to get the most from my "free" 3 months of SAT radio. I knew that once back in Anchorage, I would not be listening to it again. :(

phaser September 24th, 2017 14:23

Mike, enjoyed your trip synopsis.

How much of the Al-Can is still gravel?

.

Mike in Anchorage September 24th, 2017 14:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by phaser (Post 5330993)
Mike, enjoyed your trip synopsis.

How much of the Al-Can is still gravel?

.

That was a shock - exactly none of it. And the curves are long and gradual for the most part. Cruise set on 110 [metric, baby!] a good part of the way.

ZippyNH September 24th, 2017 15:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by phaser (Post 5330993)
Mike, enjoyed your trip synopsis.

How much of the Al-Can is still gravel?

.

Heck even back in 1998 there were only a few miles in construction zones back when I drove it southbound at about the same time if year... beautiful drive...
Just wish I had more time...
Did it in 5 days, Kenai AK to NH....about 5500 miles.

scooperhsd September 24th, 2017 16:46

5 days in a row of 1100 miles each !?!?! - I hope you had other drivers with you....

phaser September 24th, 2017 18:00

More than 5 days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike in Anchorage (Post 5330842)
Stayed the first night with a great friend in Gainesville, and the second night with relatives in Knoxville. Then to my hometown in Southern Ohio for a few days to visit relatives. Heading west, I stopped in Ft. Collins to see our son in college there. From that point, it was skedaddle to Anchorage: succeeding nights in Helena, Calgary, Dawson Creek, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, and finally to Anchorage.

.

scooperhsd September 25th, 2017 07:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by phaser (Post 5331051)
More than 5 days.



.

responding to ZippyNH - 5 days 5500 miles

phaser September 25th, 2017 07:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooperhsd (Post 5331203)
responding to ZippyNH - 5 days 5500 miles

oh... my bad

IndigoBlueWagon September 25th, 2017 07:30

Thanks for sharing this, Mike. Driving to Alaska is on my bucket list, but I've always been concerned that my TDI wouldn't be up to the road conditions. Guess that isn't an issue any longer. Someday...

Mike in Anchorage September 25th, 2017 08:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon (Post 5331211)
Thanks for sharing this, Mike. Driving to Alaska is on my bucket list, but I've always been concerned that my TDI wouldn't be up to the road conditions. Guess that isn't an issue any longer. Someday...

Not in the least. Even in the days of the poorer conditions road, I drove a 1986 Saab down and back - it turned over 100k and 110k miles on the trip. The biggest problem was mosquitos clogging the air filter about a quarter inch deep.

PlaneCrazy September 25th, 2017 08:14

Oddly, I can get my road bike into my Golf hatchback without taking off the front wheel, if I turn the handlebars so the front wheel points up. In my wife's 2017 wagon we can get TWO road bikes in without taking off the front wheels, and we put an old wool blanket between them to avoid scratching them. We do have a Thule rack for the wagon, for those times when we need to carry bikes AND cargo on road trips.

With the mountain bikes, I have to take the front wheel off on the hatch, and on one of the two bikes in the wagon due to the wider handlebars.

A great feature of these cars!

CarlosF September 26th, 2017 11:51

I love reading about road trips like yours. Good on ya. May you have many more enjoyable trips in your future.
When not staying with friends and family, did you sleep in the wagon?

Mike in Anchorage September 26th, 2017 23:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarlosF (Post 5331623)
I love reading about road trips like yours. Good on ya. May you have many more enjoyable trips in your future.
When not staying with friends and family, did you sleep in the wagon?

Mostly hotels. I arranged them online, sometimes only an hour before check-in. In the sparse areas of Canada, it was difficult to make the reservation on-line, but I got to town and started asking around. I did have a tent and bag along in case I got stuck somewhere without a place nearby and I was really tired.

Yes, I really like a good road trip. My wife, not so much - hence my traveling alone.


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