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Old 02-22-2014, 11:25 AM   #15
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4X4 toad wasn't necessary but gave peace of mind on side trips like up to North Slope.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:39 PM   #16
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The roads are definitely not hazardous as you stated. We've driven worse roads in the lower 48. The main thing is to not rush your trip - allow at least 12 weeks to see everything in Canada and the Yukon, too. There are many wonderful spots before you even get to Alaska.

Get the Tour Saver 1/2 coupon book before you leave (online) and you'll save a lot of money on tours and attractions. One glacier tour will pay for the book. Get the Milepost for the only mapping and siteseeing ideas you'll need. Get Mike and Terri Church's camping book for your accommodations from beautiful boondocking spots, public parks and RV parks. Don't rely on the Milepost for this information.

The only reservations we made were for the July 4 weekend in Palmer, Alaska and for 5 nights in Denali's farthest campground you can drive - Teklanika. Both of those were made only 3 weeks out when we had a better idea of our timing. As it was, we even secured an extra 5 nights in Denali's Riley Creek campground without reservations because we were in the area sooner than our Teklanika reservation date. We were glad to have spent 10 nights in Denali - awesome. We had excellent weather the end of July and saw all the major animals in the park. The RV parks outside of Denali are the pits so we would highly recommend staying IN the park for the best experience.

It would be hard to miss anything because there aren't that many major roads and no, you don't need 4x4 to see the major things. Just get your Milepost and start reading! If you want to drive the gravel roads you can do so without taking your RV. You could even spend a night in a cabin, if necessary, leaving the RV in the RV park.

Personally, we could never take a tour and be so confined on days of our trip. If we liked a place we stayed longer. If not, we moved on. You'll meet up with many of the same folks from RV spots to RV spots. It'll be just like your own little caravan. They're all going to the same places. Get new tires before the trip if they're close to being due, get your RV in good shape and take off. We had absolutely no damage to our motorhome or towed Jeep for the whole trip. Those that have damage are typically driving too fast for the conditions. Have a great trip!
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:14 PM   #17
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We traveled with Adventure Caravans to Alaska on a 60 day trip in 2012. It was fantastic. I have traveled by motorhome for 40+ years and shunned the caravans for all of the reasons that the naysayers have stated. We found that the positives far outweighed the negatives and would not hesitate to do it again. Have a great trip!
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:43 AM   #18
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Wildlife!!!! We constantly saw bears, moose, caribou, buffalo, mountain sheep and goats. Even had a wolf run across the road right in front of us. It was great!!
That is wonderful that you saw such a large number of wild life. Would you be willing to provide me a few more details regarding the time of year you went to Alaska and roads or locations best to view wild life based on your experience?

Twogypsies - Thank you for your very detailed and educational reply. I will definitely begin the research as recommended! Based on the replies it sounds like my mother who did the land and sea tour in Alaska was correct. Her advice was to be sure we put Alaska on our "must do" list!
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:01 AM   #19
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We have done a caravan and a rally with adventure caravans and loved them both. We did Alaska on our own in 2011 and were very glad we did. We probably would only do a caravan again to go to Mexico or South America. But we have been FTing 7 years now and are very spoiled by setting our own agenda and "stay and go" timeframe. You have already been told nearly all I could tell you about Alaska.

Forget the "horror storys" about the roads--they are very old tapes that keep getting repeated in my opinion.

Get the Church book-get the tour saver-get the milepost.

Take your time--plan on spending most of the summer if you can.

Have fun--you'll want to go back as soon as you return--we did and we are!
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:08 PM   #20
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I wagon master on Mexican caravans. They are not for everyone, but they do enable you to see a lot more stuff than on yoru own, In th ecase of Mexico it is also the fear factor and gettign through the paperwork that make caravans not a bad idea.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #21
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The bad roads stereotype must be one of the most over hyped myths about travelling in Alaska. For all the thousands upon thousands who travel those roads most of the year, the amount of actual trouble that comes of the roads is actually very small. I have seen roads in the lower 48 that are far less road worthy than most of the main ones on the way to Alaska. Like any place you drive, you have to be attentive and adapt to those places where conditions may not be so good but that is true of anyplace you drive.

Like some others have said, many of the attractions in Alaska are really not hard to find and enjoy on ones own but there is something to be said about sharing the experience. If you want to do it Caravan style for the tour related aspects of it, then by all means. If you think you need a caravan for the security of the group, you really don't.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:53 PM   #22
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Yeah, like California.
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:12 PM   #23
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NO !!! NE. Ohio pothole city...

Was up in Alaska last Aug. (Fly up to Fairbanks / North Pole area) for 20 days. Apart from a few dips and frost heaves...I saw no trouble....You will get locals...blowing by ya at break neck pace..

Aug. 2013 pics
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:46 PM   #24
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Another place you might want to check for excellent 'to do', 'to take' information is RV.net forums. Go to the Canada/Alaskan forum and at the very top of the page is a 'Sticky' created by JanetRupp who did an excellent ongoing post of those going last summer and she gathered all the hints in one post. Check it out. There's also a group going this summer and the ongoing post is Alaska 2014. You can follow it as they travel this summer.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:54 PM   #25
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Being that I live in Alaska, and have driven most of the paved roads in the last year or so, I can say they are acceptable for RV travel. There are a few rough areas, but well marked. So if you slow down for them you will be fine traveling in Alaska.

Any non-paved roads are rough, but can be traveled by RV. Just have to go slow, and have spare tires handy. The Top of the World highway is one of the worse.

Coming to Alaska, the worst part of the highway is between the Canadian/Alaska boarder and Destruction Bay Yukon. Most of it is gravel and very rough.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:19 AM   #26
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The bad roads stereotype must be one of the most over hyped myths about travelling in Alaska. For all the thousands upon thousands who travel those roads most of the year, the amount of actual trouble that comes of the roads is actually very small. I have seen roads in the lower 48 that are far less road worthy than most of the main ones on the way to Alaska. Like any place you drive, you have to be attentive and adapt to those places where conditions may not be so good but that is true of anyplace you drive.

.
Boy, do I agree with this. I've told many that I think it must be old tapes that just keep getting repeated-with very little basis in fact anymore.

We traveled all over Alaska, all summer, with our fiver, and never had a single issue. We FT, and I can and have found so many roads in the lower 48 that are so much worse than anything we encountered in Alaska, that I can't understand how the horror stories keep going.

If you heard some people tell it, you would think you would need to bubble wrap your entire rig. Its just not true.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:12 AM   #27
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Last summer, the worst road we drove was the South of Dawson, and also in the Destruction bay area. Top of the World was quite good for the most part until we got into Alaska. Most areas 40-45 is a safe speed. Occasionally faster, very often slower, always watching for frost heaves.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:47 AM   #28
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Got to agree. Once you cross state side on the Top of the World, the road does get considerably less friendly. Nothing too drastic but it is such a popular route, you think the State would spend some money on the dang thing!
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