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Old 08-08-2019, 07:33 PM   #1
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Alaska

We have had our class A 25.2 Thor MotorHome for a little over a year. Just getting started with retirement plans. Would like to go to Alaska in 2020. We live in Michigan. Anyone done the trip and have some advice for the newbies?
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:54 PM   #2
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We went in 2013, the drive through the Canadian Rockies is awesome! Took the Alaskan Highway up to Dawson and crossed the river to get on the top of the world highway. Once on that road, take your time, it is all gravel and some people FLY down it, if you see someone barreling at you in a cloud of dust pull the the side and hope none of their rocks they are kicking up hit you. We had no problems with cracked windshields or flat tires at all, the key is take your time. Whats the hurry anyway? We found that the last 300 miles through the Yukon was boring, we didnt see a living thing and that includes a bird! BUT Dawson City is by far the coolest town I have ever visited! Dirt roads, old board walks the atmosphere is very soothing. We did all the normal stuff, stayed in Chicken alaska which is the first town you will come to entering alaska from the Top of the world highway, panned for gold there and found a little, Denali, Fairbanks hit em all, but aside from Denali the part we personally enjoyed the most was the Homer Spit. Alaska has some of the largest tidal swings there is and also Bore tides. When we were there I think the tidal swing was almost 28'. Be prepared for going slow though, the roads are a little bumpy, all toll I am sure we did well over 300 miles on gravel roads although some of the gravel roads are better than the paved roads. One thing about alaska, you generally have to backtrack to go to a different place lol. Enjoy yourself and take your camera, we saw a dozen bear in one day going through Canada around Banff. Oh, and there is a coupon book you will come across for different trips and stuff, buy it, it will save you a bunch if you are doing any touristy stuff, some are buy one admittance and get one free.
PS: fill up every time you come to a gas station, its hard telling where the next will be that is open, plus the further north you go in canada the further up the price of gas goes. Dawson was almost $7 a gallon, got to chicken alaskan and we thought WOW we better fill up at $3.25 a gallon! lol forgot we were back in the states. If you come back on the Cassiar highway, the fill up at every station REALLY holds true. You will see people carrying gas cans on top or on the back of their vehicles and it is about 400 miles of nothing but you and the wildlife with the occasional gas station, although Jade city is cool and they let you spend the night in their parking lot for free.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum!
You sure have picked out a memorable adventure!
Take your time, and fill your tanks at every opportunity...

Take lots of pictures for the rest of us!
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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Alaska

Thank you for the information. We have been looking at paying to go with a caravan since it seems to hit all the spots and saves the worry of breaking down alone. Just wondering if you had any type of shield for your MotorHome put on?

Any thoughts on caravans versus going it alone?
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:48 PM   #5
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When my folks took their Class C rig up the Alaskan Highway: they had a heavy-duty wire screen shield (with rebar reinforcements). It stretched from the front bumper: all the way to the roof!
(Sorry... no pictures. )
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerlakebennetts View Post
Thank you for the information. We have been looking at paying to go with a caravan since it seems to hit all the spots and saves the worry of breaking down alone. Just wondering if you had any type of shield for your MotorHome put on?

Any thoughts on caravans versus going it alone?
The only thing I did was I put a mesh screen protector across the grill to keep out rocks. I think traveling in a caravan will be good for you guys, travel will be slower and you will have campgrounds reserved in advance I assume.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #7
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we went in the summer of 2017 without a single reservation and had no issues finding rv parks and campgrounds, when we needed them...otherwise we also stayed at several 'off-grid' parks along the way, one that was similar but did have a 15amp outlet at each site, and stayed at many roadside stops along the way - both Alaska and Canada have a lot of options, and both are very RV friendly. Many Canadian cities have their own municipal or lion's club campgrounds and parks, and there is a vast assortment of different rv parks and campgrounds privately owned, from very small, to very, very large.

13,000 total miles... from GA to Manitoba, across the provinces to Dawson City, Yukon, where the free ferry takes you across the Yukon river, up and around the mountains to the 'top of the world' border crossing(in the middle of NOWHERE!)..to Chicken...and beyond.

My best advice: don't get caught up in the 'need' to do anything different than when you travel in the states, other than really, really pay attention and 'believe' the little red/orange flags on the side of the road - they are placed there to remind you that there will be a 'BUMP' - and, it's true. If you keep you pace slow, and don't try to 'speed' to your next destination, maybe 100 miles per travel day, you'll not have any issues.

Stop for an 'off-grid' campground night at Laird Hot Springs, and walk to the springs for a 'true' hot springs swim/relaxation - it is just amazing.

Travel south of Anchorage to the RAILROAD TUNNEL into Whittier, the prettiest 'post card' port you can ever imagine( the tunnel is 'fun' too!)... and then go a little farther south when you leave to the BYRON GLACIER - one of the few you can easily hike to, thru the woods on a path, and WALK ON! it is simply a crazy good time!


Those are just a few of the highlights, though. You'll make your own.

Take a license plate or street sign from your area and add it to the FOREST of signs(76,000+!) at WATSON LAKE(you'll know what I mean when you arrive there!)...fun.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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You'll enjoy it

We live in Whitehorse, Yukon. We bought our rig in Vancouver last year and drove it the 1500 miles home this spring. I guess a major shakedown trip. We've been back down "south" to Vancouver Island with it in June and will be heading to Homer Alaska this month.
We drive the Alaska highway and the Cassiar highway almost every summer. They're not interstates! But they sure are a lot better than the gravel, twisty, turny roads we first started driving in 1986. The advice others have given is very good. Slow down for those bump markers. Take your time. Enjoy the trip. But remember - they are very long roads with not many people. Lots of mountains, rivers, lakes and trees.
Best advice we give to people thinking of driving the highway - get a copy of the Milepost. It's the best for planning and for the trip.
Doesn't really matter if you're with a caravan. There are big sections of the country with no cell service. So if you want to play it safe, the caravan is the way to go. (And they seem to have lots of fun in the campgrounds too.) If you're a bit more adventurous, do it on your own. Take the side trips to the smaller locations. Enjoy that northern hospitality you find in small towns.
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