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Old 08-14-2018, 12:23 PM   #1
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Alaska 2019

Looking ahead to next year and was wondering if anyone here is planning on going to Alaska in their RV, has already made the trip and/or has recommendations on best way to travel there and back.

Over the years I have seen ads for Caravans but haven't seen anything this year, but will keep looking.

What parts should one carry; overnights along the way; time involved; etc.

Thanks - Richard
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #2
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I see you are retired Army.
Have you ever heard about S.M.A.R.T.?
It is a national military RV organization out of Florida.
I've been a member the past 10 years.

They have a great deal on their Caravans and they have one planned for June 2019.
They usually only take 20 to 22 rigs and what you pay is no overhead.
This trip is usually 60 days or more.

Here is some contact information.
You may have to join as it is for members only.

https://www.smartrving.org/

The only information I have so far for 2019 Alaska Caravan trip is attached.
You can contact me directly if you need more information or help joining.


These Caravans are much cheaper than any commercial caravans you may find by thousands of dollars less.

John
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2019-06-01_Alaska.pdf (43.5 KB, 30 views)
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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We are planning on a trip to Alaska in 2019, and maybe BIL and SIL but I bet it will be just me and my wife.

We did drive to Alaska for a summer job with the USFS in 2015, but since both of us had been sick and it looked like my DW had a serious health problem I quite a week before I started to work.

We drove up and back faster than we would have liked to and in the end even needed to.

I see no problem with traveling alone, there are so many things to stop and see and so many places to spend the night. We only paid for one night at Laird Hot Springs in BC.

The drive up and back is the most gorgeous, just as is Alaska. Hope you make the trip it is well worth it.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:37 PM   #4
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Richard,

The trip to Alaska is not nearly as daunting as it might seem. We have done it twice. The first thing you will need to get is a 2019 copy of The Milepost book. It will be available early next year. That book is invaluable in answering many of your questions and a got to have for planning the trip. Another handy book to get is "The Traveler's Guide to Alaska Camping". The book includes camping info for most of the Alaska Highway as well as the more popular routes in Alaska.

For us it is about 4200 miles from Albuquerque, NM to Fairbanks, AK, our last trip we spent about 10 weeks. To really have a memorable adventure you need to plan on between 6 and 12 weeks. The Alaska Highway for the most part is a decent paved, 2 lane, well marked road of 1486 miles from Dawson Creek B.C. to Delta Junction, AK. There will be stretches of road construction where the road is gravel. There are side trips - Cassiar Highway, Top of the World Highway and others that are gravel/dirt, but the Alaska Highway is nothing to be afraid of. There are towns, villages, and State/Provincial parks all along the Alaska Highway so getting fuel or camping for the night is easy. With your coach you will be able to plan fuel stops in larger towns so as to avoid the exorbitant prices at the smaller villages/settlements. Make sure all maintenance tasks are current (oil change, fuel filter change, chassis lube, coolant check,so on). You should have newer, properly inflated tires (get your coach weighed with all of the stuff you will be taking in it and inflate tires accordingly). Carry a spare serpentine belt, other engine belts, spare fuel filter(s) as well as the usual RV repair survival items. You may want to consider a roadside assistance policy - I had Good Sam Roadside Assistance and had the bad luck to break down on both of my trips in northern B.C. near Toad River Lodge. In both cases Good Sam had my coach towed to Fort Nelson, B.C. with a minimal amount of effort on my part and no out of pocket cost. Repairs were made and we were back on the road within 1 day.

Caravans are good for folks who like to have everything planned and scheduled for them and like the company of other travelers. I tend to be a bit more of a risk taker and would rather take the money a caravan costs and use it for a halibut or salmon (or both) charter from the Kenai Peninsula or a wildlife cruise from Seward or Glacier cruise from Whittier or accommodate an extra day or 2 at a place you find particularly appealing.

First and foremost make sure you have a good camera or 2 with large memory cards, binoculars, rain gear and lots of insect repellent. Then go forth and have the time of your life - it is indeed the "Great Adventure" :-)
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info. Will be purchasing the books and make plans to go if all medical checks out.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:43 AM   #6
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Wife and I also plan on an Alaska trip in 2019. We plan on leaving Texas on June 1, going through Montana and crossing into Canada there. On the return we plan to cross into Washington State and visit relatives before heading back home to Texas. Total trip looks to be 12 weeks (+/-) and just under 10K miles. We plan to take the advice of other people and put on new tires and have all service work done on the motor home before we leave. We may be accompanied by my brother and his wife. I have planned this for more than five years, so I really hope everything stays in place.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:29 PM   #7
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We made the trip from SC to Fairbanks last year. Trip was great. My impressions: Take your time and enjoy the sights. I put new tires on before the trip, but saved one of the best “old tires” as a spare. I put it under the bed. If you have a flat, you can get assistance but they probably won’t have you tire size. Plan on using the “turn outs” in both Canada and Alaska. They are free and fabulous. Gas and LP is available everywhere, so don’t worry. Walmart in Whitehorse has closed its parking for campers. Too many people have abused the privilege and ruined,for the rest of us.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:26 PM   #8
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We traveled with another couple and spent 3 1/2 months on trip. Left IA the 2nd of May. Had no problems leaving that early although so service facilities were not open but we just never let our tanks get below 1/2. We spent a couple years prior planning it based on what we could find from caravan info and using the Mile Posts from a couple of years. We put 12,000 miles on the MH and 4,000 on a car. We did not always stay together in AK as we had different things to do or see but would meet back up in a couple of days. We both took a flight up to Coldfoot and a van ride back. That was one of the highlights of the trip for both couples. The only time camping was hard to find was the 4th of July at Seward. We ended up dry camping at the high school.

So much to see but the daylight never ends so you pack a lot into each day. Others above have posted many great suggestions.....
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:34 PM   #9
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I do not like caravans....you are on THEIR SCHEDULE! If I'm spending that kind of money I'm not letting anyone telling us who what where when and why! Just me...do what you want...
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wundertaker View Post
I do not like caravans....you are on THEIR SCHEDULE! If I'm spending that kind of money I'm not letting anyone telling us who what where when and why! Just me...do what you want...
Have you ever done a caravan? Cause this is not actually true, at least for Fantasy tours. You do what you want, when you want to. It's your vacation. But they have fun stuff lined up, so it usually is what you want to do anyway. And with people to hang with and help if you have trouble.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:28 PM   #11
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We just returned from a 59 day trip with Adventure Caravans. There are many advantages to a caravan. They handle all campground reservations, trips and outings and some of your meals. Yes you an do as much or as little as you want of the scheduled trip. Several folks did leave the caravan and visit family, or other things. We did many things we probably wouldn't have had we gone on our own. We felt we got a good value for the money spent and would recommend to at least look into what a caravan company has to offer. They are usually at Escapee and FMCA rallies, as well as Quartzsite and many of the larger RV shows like Hershey and Tampa.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:33 AM   #12
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check out this blog go to the end and start reading form the beginning its a pita to read the way but a great story
https://7rwanderers.wordpress.com
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:29 AM   #13
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Alaska 2019 - The Loop

Planning on traveling to Alaska from Florida in May. Going to Arizona first to visit then up to Michigan later part of May first of June to cross the border. Is there a crossing that appears to be have less traffic than another? Has anyone traveled The Loop?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have the Milepost and several other books, but first hand experience can't be beat.

Thanks.

Julie
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:36 AM   #14
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That was so helpful. Hope to visit Alaska in May of 2019.
Thank you.
Julie
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