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Old 12-04-2019, 11:31 PM   #1
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Alaska

My wife and I are thinking about a trip to Alaska probably 2 years from now. Before I start any planning it seems a good way to start by asking if anyone who has done the trip has any suggestions. We'll be starting in Florida, probably as far away as we could be, but it's where we live so ....



Currently have a 2019 Windsport 33x, and I (not so much my wife) think we should try to trade for a similar diesel, perhaps Palazzo, before trying such a trip.


We have been road-tripping for many years now, longest being a 3 month 12K miles trip last year with a Lance 24ft trailer. Now we want to experience the ultimate trip, hence my asking for any advice. Plenty of time to decide things, would appreciate any input. Happy rv-ing!
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:03 AM   #2
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I'm going to give you a perspective you might not get from others regarding Alaska.
It's far far far too many miles of green walls and blue ceiling and not anything else to see, dotted by the most miserable little towns.

Ultimately there just isn't much there, high priced food and fuel, not the most sophisticated of company or culture.
There's someone on this forum who told of renting what looked like sad ststionary rv's with serious blacktank problems for $350 a night as airbnb. It's kinda the climate we found. Maybe someone will have a link....

We're from the vast vastness of AZ, UT, NM, NV and SE SoCal where counties are often bigger than the state of Maryland, so a long view to the horizon and big mountains aren't a care for us, so it might be us and not Alaska, or it might be we don't do the rose colored thing.

We of course hear and read differently from almost all others, but it just wasn't worth the drive for us.

If someone says it is worth the Travel, get specifics from them.

But

It's almost an obligation to go.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:19 AM   #3
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But you've got to admit: it's the adventure of a lifetime!
I hope that you can make it happen...
... And the diesel RV is probably a good idea...
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:27 AM   #4
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I'm with Ducks on this one. I've read to many comments about horrible roads that tear your RV to pieces. I would drive to Washington and take the ferry to Alaska. Regarding diesel...look into the Super C's. Excellent choice. We were going Palazzo until I read about the cab issues with the mid-range A's. No airbags is huge for me.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:11 AM   #5
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That's why I really appreciate folks on this forum. I always had this sort of picture in my mind, this somewhat verifies it. Second and third thoughts on going or not, but probably not. Az, Ut, Co, Nv are our favourite States to go road-tripping so thinking we'll keep the gasser and return to our favs. Many thanks for your response.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:22 AM   #6
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As an alternative, how about the Canadian Rockies? The Banff area has awesome scenery and not near as far away. The US Rockies are great, too.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:27 AM   #7
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Save the fuel cost, possible maintenance cost and fly instead. Once there rent a car or RV with the additional insurance and let someone else worry about the radiator and windshield damage. Resurrection Bay and Denali are great places to see.

My next big RV trip will be the Mississippi River drive from Minnesota to New Orleans. More to do and not as expensive or risky.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:01 AM   #8
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Not for everyone

We live in the middle of the Alaska Highway trip in Whitehorse, Yukon. It's a long trip. Ducks in right. There are "many miles of green walls and blue ceiling." You're looking at about 1,000 miles of northern wilderness from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks. But there are great views and wonderful experiences along the way if you take your time. (When it comes to "vastness" - Alaskans sell a T shirt with an outline their state and Texas occupying a fraction of it and the saying "Ain't Texas cute!" It really is a different perspective up here.)
I've driven from here to the east coast and back several times. There are always many miles of something that may not interest me. But as Bob says, it's the adventure. I've enjoyed most days on the road. The days I just can't take are those on 8 lanes of interstate! If that's how you roll, don't try the Alaska trip.
The roads are not that bad. I drove over 10,000 miles last summer and did not find any really bad roads. Of course, I can point you to some roads that will "tear your RV to pieces" if you try driving them at 70 mph. The Alaska Highway is a 2 lane, mostly paved highway that's best travelled at 50 to 60 mph. And watch for the maintenance warnings! They mean to slow down!
The towns along the way are small and often predominantly inhabited by "First Nations" people. They certainly aren't big city folk. But I enjoy their company.
Gas prices and food are more expensive than in the lower 48. All of Canada is more expensive. But we're especially more expensive. Right now, our gas is priced a $1.42 per litre. That's just over $4.00 a gallon when all the conversions are done. (I'd be happy to do a price check for you when you get closer to making a decision. God knows what the price will be in 2 years.)
We obviously like living where we do. And we enjoy travelling. The Alaska trip is not for everyone. Do your research. You may decide to go somewhere else. And that's great. Enjoy the trip wherever you go. I asked a First Nation elder one time what his favorite place was. He threw his baseball hat on the ground and said "Under that." Good advice! The best place is where you are. Enjoy it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:13 AM   #9
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I've made three trips on the Alcan, twice southbound and once northbound. Never in an RV however. Last time was southbound from Anchorage to Tallahassee, with 26' U-Haul truck and a Kia on a trailer - does that count?

As others have said - whether you want to attempt this trip is entirely driven (see what I did there?) by your desire, thirst for adventure, and ability to deal with the unforeseen. There are indeed miles and miles of "miles and miles". There are also miles and miles of some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife I've seen anywhere in the world.

It's a long trip. It's an expensive trip. You may see snow in mountain passes any time of year. Services on the road are (at least as recently as '02, my last run) few and far between. But if I had a rig I trusted and a month with nothing else to do? I'd be on the road in a heartbeat.

If you're even only slightly seriously thinking of the trip? First thing to do is pick up a copy of "The Milepost". This is the travelers bible for western Canada and Alaska traveling. https://www.themilepost.com/
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:37 AM   #10
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The mile post publication is a Must from what I have read. There re tons of threads about this on the Escapees forum.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I'm going to give you a perspective you might not get from others regarding Alaska.
It's far far far too many miles of green walls and blue ceiling and not anything else to see, dotted by the most miserable little towns.

Ultimately there just isn't much there, high priced food and fuel, not the most sophisticated of company or culture.
There's someone on this forum who told of renting what looked like sad ststionary rv's with serious blacktank problems for $350 a night as airbnb. It's kinda the climate we found. Maybe someone will have a link....

We're from the vast vastness of AZ, UT, NM, NV and SE SoCal where counties are often bigger than the state of Maryland, so a long view to the horizon and big mountains aren't a care for us, so it might be us and not Alaska, or it might be we don't do the rose colored thing.

We of course hear and read differently from almost all others, but it just wasn't worth the drive for us.

If someone says it is worth the Travel, get specifics from them.

But

It's almost an obligation to go.


From an Alaskan for more than 45 years, Drive east from not on
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
As an alternative, how about the Canadian Rockies? The Banff area has awesome scenery and not near as far away. The US Rockies are great, too.

Ditto Mr. Sunshine here. We also thought about an Alaska trip in our DP Class A; however, already spent time in Banff, Kootenay, and the territory between Calgary and Edmonton. Within Banff is the Bow Valley Parkway-beautiful scenery and we saw a black bear and two adult grizzlies within 100 feet of each other (and the road)! That was 10 years ago but doubt that much has changed.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:07 AM   #13
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I bought my Outlaw 29H last year new and outfitted it for a trip to AK then the East coast from AZ, over 16K miles all together.

Alaska is AWESOME. I loved it and can't wait to go back. I met a lot of great folks there and had great adventures. It's truly the last US frontier. I spent a little over a month there, not NEARLY enough, mostly on the beautiful Kenai peninsula which is kinda where the Alaskans go locally for vacation... Then up though Anchorage to Denali for a bit and N again to Fairbanks and a side trip to the Arctic Circle. Then east to the top of the world highway to Chicken and Dawson City YK and back south through B.C. and Alberta to see the Stampede in Calgary before heading east to Toronto and Maine, south (and another 1.8K side off-road motorcycle trip from NC to NY and back to NC) to FL and west again to AZ.

I personally can't agree with the "horrible roads" comments, I thought they were fine. As far as sophistication of company and culture, who the hell goes to Alaska for sophistication? It's not NYC or Paris and I for one am glad! The AK culture is one of rugged individualism, like that of any frontier state. I love the outdoors & nature, meeting new folks that are have the same values and are self-sufficient and will help one another in need, and I found them there. AZ has a lot of ties to AK as I found out on that trip and since, we're both wildish-west type frontier states. For a few pics you can click the link in my sig.

All I can say is I wish I'd gone to Alaska 30 years ago, I think it's magical.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:25 AM   #14
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Go for it!

I made the trip into Alaska and Canada 4 years ago on my Gold Wing trike with a pop up camper in tow. Had a great time and am looking forward to a return trip next spring with the RV and the GF.

Just be prepared to pay big bucks for petro once you leave the U.S. and do due deligience in your planning overnight stops. Modern campground/resorts as we know in the Lower 48 are few and far between and they ain't cheap nor is food.

One of the best things to remember is their "summer season" runs from about mid-May to mid-September. That being said I'd plan on crossing the border in May. Also make sure you're up to speed on Canada's gun control laws!

Hope you enjoy your trip as much as I did mine!
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanh1 View Post
My wife and I are thinking about a trip to Alaska probably 2 years from now. Before I start any planning it seems a good way to start by asking if anyone who has done the trip has any suggestions. We'll be starting in Florida, probably as far away as we could be, but it's where we live so ....



Currently have a 2019 Windsport 33x, and I (not so much my wife) think we should try to trade for a similar diesel, perhaps Palazzo, before trying such a trip.


We have been road-tripping for many years now, longest being a 3 month 12K miles trip last year with a Lance 24ft trailer. Now we want to experience the ultimate trip, hence my asking for any advice. Plenty of time to decide things, would appreciate any input. Happy rv-ing!

So.... my wife and I have been having the same discussions for the past year. She wants to go to Banff and then onto Alaska from there. We are looking at the same timeline... maybe about 2 or 3 years from now.

I have been against it because it is a long haul but mostly because there is a lot of nothing in places on the drive up. I also heard people comment about bad roads. I told her that the only way I would do it is if we could make the drive up and back with some other people.... a small convoy of a few rigs.

Everyone could go there own way once we got there but it would be better to be with a group on the drive up and the drive back. There is safety in numbers and if / when "stuff" happens, it is good to have a few people around to help solve issues.

That being said.... it is on the table for us and we were going to start seeing if we could find a few people who wanted to make the trek to Alaska and then coordinate driving up and back together.... even though that may be tough to do.

We traded on our Outlaw 29H a couple months ago for a 2020 Magnitude SV34 4x4 w/ the PowerStroke Diesel. When we retire in another 2 years we want to spend 3 - 4 months on the road seeing the west and chunks of the country and we decided that the Outlaw was just not going to be big enough for two of us and the dog for 3 - 4 months.

I also wanted a coach with more power and better fuel economy for traveling the mountain road, towing etc. and having 4x4 does not hurt either. So far we have been pleased with the Magnitude.

We now think we have the coach that could make a trip to Alaska... now we just need to figure out how we would want to do it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:18 PM   #16
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It's a gorgeous state but crossing through Canada is not on my radar. We've toyed with the RV ferry from the West Coast to Alaska, bypassing Canada. We travel "protected" and Canada doesn't seem to respect our right of same. But...it's the horror stories of the road conditions that bother me the most. The F550 chassis would defeat any bad roads. The body of the camper is my biggest concern. The ferry is expensive but...if you add up the cost of fuel and CG's through Canada...it seems like a near trade off. My two labs dictate more of what we can and can't do than anything else out there.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:23 PM   #17
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Alaska

It really is a trip of a lifetime to see Alaska. I totally agree with YukonGrant
about the roads , just take your time and do not worry about people behind you just enjoy the views and there are many. The Milepost and Camping in Alaska are two books that are invaluable for the trip (get them from Amazon).
If you eat out a lot it would be very expensive but grocery stores are easily found and prices are not that much more than in the lower 48.
Private campgrounds are basically parking lots with services but OK, state and provincial parks are great but usually farther away from the towns and cities and no services to speak of but more camping feel. The Reilly campground in Denali is great with huge campsites and a very good dump station and store,it was our favourite National Park campground.
The KOA`s are all good too but expensive but make sure you have cash as some state parks have an envelope system but a real deal at around $20 US
My best advice is start planning a year or so ahead and have an idea what you
want to see and have a route planned somewhat but always be prepared for anything
The extra items we added on were a spare tire and hitch mount, tire repair kit, tire inflator, black out window covers made from reflextrix insulation, and a whole lot of small things and do not forget to buy bear spray, we had it but did not use it but worthwhile as you never know.
Do not miss the trip from Bamff to Jasper and up through the Cassier Highway to Watson Lake.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:36 PM   #18
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I am quite surprised at the negative comments about a trip to Alaska. I suppose the old adage to each thir own fits, but it is my opinion that it would be a trip of a life time. it was for us.
I used to work up there, had the motorhome there a couple times. And BC is almost as beautiful as AK, some might argue more. Yes, there are portions of the road that are poor, but that adds to the adventure. If you are not into adventure stay home...
I never tire of looking at the vast and amasing beauty of AK.......
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:45 PM   #19
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Personally, I worry about those behind us.
I do not force my agenda because I need to see the eagle 100 yards away while I hold up traffic.
I pull over every time it's convenient whether I'm in the motor home or I'm doing 15mph over the limit. If I'm an impediment, I quickly put myself to the rear.

I'm out of their way, they aren't tailgating me wishing to pass.
It works for everyone involved in the traffic.
I'm kinda an everyone type of guy.
I like the term 'mobile chicane©' for those too obtuse to look in a mirror and instigate a cure.

Give me the chance and I'll be last, first, in any situation.

This isn't a reflection on the gentle person who brought this up a post or two above:
It's a toast to those who have situational awareness and are aware that they are the problem.

It gives us all a bad name.
Please be more aware of public sentiment regarding motorhome drivers.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:52 PM   #20
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I would add that in 2017 we drove 12,000+ miles to 'Alaska' and back, from Georgia, and never regretted it for a single moment. These are the things RVing is made for, and going is never going to be something you look negatively on later in life. I just wished we could have stayed longer, and had more time to check out 'all' the things you can possibly see, experience, and enjoy there.

Remember this: the 'ALaska' journey is mostly Canada, not Alaska...it's simply part of the process to 'get there', but it's also part of the enjoyment of the journey. BC and the Yukon are BEAUTIFUL! parts of the puzzle, don't let anyone downplay those - you could easily say that it's not the specifics of 'Alaska' that are the only parts to be interested in, but the whole value of the 'between Florida and the wilds of Alaska' that are just as important.
BC, right out of the U.S. border from the cruise port of Skagway, is just an AMAZING, AMAZING drive that you will NEVER be able to compare to anywhere else in the WORLD! Don't downplay any aspects of the trip, regardless of whether you are in 'Alaska' proper, or are in the Canadian provinces that could have easily been part of the state of Alaska in the first place! We LOVE 'oh Canada!'.

If you're like us, you can experience 'Canada Day' in Dawson City on July the 1st, cross the free FERRY across the Yukon river, and drive up and over the U.S. Border thru Chicken, and eventually down to the 'North Pole'(a real city!) for their July 4th celebration!

I would not change motorhomes just to travel to Alaska, as you'll probably see EVERY different kind and size of travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, motorhomes, and even BIKERS traveling the long road to our great state. It's really amazing and many people don't have any hesitation to just 'go' and not worry about 'what' they are going in...it really doesn't matter.
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