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Open Roads Forum  >  RVing in Canada and Alaska  >  Alaska

 > Just beginning to do homework

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Crowe

Merrimack, NH

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Posted: 08/13/21 02:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a copy of the Milepost and spend some time reading it. We've flown out there 4 times. The first time we used a travel agency to help us. The other three I did on my own. Tours can be awesome as you don't have to worry about anything-you just go. They can also be miserable if it's not what you expected plus you are stuck. "Freestyling" can be awesome as well and the same risks are still there BUT you have a lot more flexibility. I think the first question you need to ask yourself is are you up to driving that far. The second question is can you handle 10 hours in an airplane.


I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be Douglas Adams

RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road.

PartyOf Five

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Posted: 08/13/21 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Google maps said 67 hours from Chicago and 2 weeks felt rushed for us. Maybe you can park this year in Boise or Seattle fully loaded and winterized- or a friend somewhere can check it every so often for you. Then do that much closer to being there next year. We parked ours in Albuquerque over Thanksgiving picked it up the next summer one year for 2 months in the southwest.

Another option is to just park it at Anchorage because fall flights are cheaper and I've met a family that's done that annually and just fly up to go salmon fishing for week.


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CA Traveler

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Posted: 08/13/21 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be prepared: 4 incidents that I was aware of. Met a couple in Dawson Lake that was their 19th day there. Drove over a railroad (I didn't ask how fast) blew the tires (no big deal) and bent the 5er hitch (big deal). One in Watson Lake wanted to leave a roadside decoration - one trailer axle. A tour person spend 2 weeks in Fairbands and of course the tour group waited. [emoticon]A MH in Haines could not get his Cummins fixed, he could drive somewhat - He decided to take the ferry to Vancouver Island - 800 ferry miles is $$$$, but what a fantastic diversion.


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Posted: 08/13/21 09:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Be prepared: 4 incidents that I was aware of. Met a couple in Dawson Lake that was their 19th day there. Drove over a railroad (I didn't ask how fast) blew the tires (no big deal) and bent the 5er hitch (big deal). One in Watson Lake wanted to leave a roadside decoration - one trailer axle. A tour person spend 2 weeks in Fairbands and of course the tour group waited. [emoticon]A MH in Haines could not get his Cummins fixed, he could drive somewhat - He decided to take the ferry to Vancouver Island - 800 ferry miles is $$$$, but what a fantastic diversion.


It’s a beautiful ferry ride


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Scottiemom

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Posted: 08/14/21 05:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We drove from northern Indiana in 2013. We used Mike and Terry Church's book, Alaskan Camping. We followed their suggested "circle tour" route and saw a lot. As someone else suggested, you will also want to order a new Milepost as the data changes every year.

We saw what we wanted in the mainland, then booked (ahead of time) a ferry from Skagway down through the inside passage to Prince Rupert on our way out. That was fabulous.

We started out with another couple and they left when we got to Valdez due to some medical problems. We finished up on our own and had a great time.

It was nice to have fellow travelers during our trek up through Canada, but we had no problems on the entire trip. I suggest getting the guide book I mentioned above and do some reading, then you can decide if you want to go by yourself.

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thomas201

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Posted: 08/14/21 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another vote for Churchs' book. You may also find that as you go North the long hours of daylight make you forget about sleeping. DW and I flew to Fairbanks on Memorial Day and rented a truck camper for two weeks. We had blackout curtains, but we found ourselves only sleeping 3 to 5 hours each "night" and we felt good. Much more time to travel and/or see the sights. If we had planned everything out, we would have lost a lot of opportunities.

Land Yachters

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Posted: 08/15/21 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to all for your input. So the tour is probably out and will use the resources listed for further guidance. I should have been clearer about the timeframe to get out to AK. I was thinking 2-3 weeks each way to get out there and return. No way will I ever budget 300 mi.day to go anywhere. I do 350 max, but try to keep our daily mileage to 250 or less, depending on road conditions.


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older_fossil

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Posted: 08/15/21 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd recommend taking as much of the summer and even early fall as possible. There is lots to see in Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. I'll second getting Mike and Terri Church's Alaska Camping Guide and the Milepost. We've been up three times, in 2005 and 2012 in a class C with friends in their class C, and by ourselves in 2018 in our current Tiffin Bus. We are thinking about going back up while we still know we can. If you are taking your Jeep and are used to getting off the paved roads, there are many great back roads to explore. Depending on current conditions and your own driving comfort, consider driving the Top-of-the-World Highway and/or the Old Denali Highway in your coach. These two roads are gravel/dirt, but have been fine the times we've driven them and offer wonderful scenery.

If interested, you can find the 2012 and 2018 trips in the highlights list in our blog: http://arts-work.blogspot.com/

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Grit dog

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Posted: 08/15/21 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Be prepared: 4 incidents that I was aware of. Met a couple in Dawson Lake that was their 19th day there. Drove over a railroad (I didn't ask how fast) blew the tires (no big deal) and bent the 5er hitch (big deal). One in Watson Lake wanted to leave a roadside decoration - one trailer axle. A tour person spend 2 weeks in Fairbands and of course the tour group waited. [emoticon]A MH in Haines could not get his Cummins fixed, he could drive somewhat - He decided to take the ferry to Vancouver Island - 800 ferry miles is $$$$, but what a fantastic diversion.


How would one prepare for those “incidents”? Bring a spare axle, and maybe a Cummins mechanic with? Lol.
Nice story, but I don’t see the point.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 08/15/21 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, the only reservation (no pun intended) about going to AK next year would be that it will likely be a very popular destination after 2 years of basically being shut down to travelers.
I’d hone in on a couple years form now if you have the time to wait.
That said, it’s not really any more challenge than any other trip imo as long as one isn’t expecting to have the plethora of services at their fingertips like traveling in the L48.
People get weirded out by the distance between services but if you take a step back and realize that everyone that lives there does fine without a mc donalds and a quick mart on every corner it’s not a big deal.

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