Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-16-2014, 02:48 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 58
Caravan to Alaska



Not exactly sure what happened but I think my "new thread" bombed. So I will try a second time....

I am sure this topic has been discussed to death but since I can't seem to find any words of wisdom I will try to begin a new discussion.

Considering, very seriously, of taking a trip to Alaska in the very near future. I have a 32 foot motor home and more than likely will be traveling solo.

My question is this....is there anyone that can point me in the right direction for a good, reliable caravan group. Not really interested in a group that is overly structured however.

Plus what is a good time to plan on going; what should I plan on for non-caravan expenses; and, the average length of a trip is how long?

I'm open to any ideas or words of wisdom that can come my way.

Thanks so much.
__________________

__________________
iquilt888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-16-2014, 05:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Signal Hill, California
Posts: 3,296
Here is my story: I purchased a "The Alaska Milepost" that is all I needed to have a guide in writing of what to see as I traveled the Alaska highways and byways. I reside in Calif. so I took the Alaska Marine Highway via ferry boats. Caught the first one at Prince Rupert and got off at each port of call spent some time seeing the the stops. Went down to the dock after a few days and caught the next ferry going North etc. At Skagway I followed the Milepost and after about 6o days drove the Alcan home. I saw some "caravans", but they were always regrouping after getting off of the ferries, and I would pass them up and arrive at the CG before they got there. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars and as Frank said "I did it my way". It is the ULTIMATE RV trip in my opinion. Time wise I feel 3 months would be ideal, and I did it as soon as my 3 kids were out of school starting in June and we came home to purchase new school clothes for them in Sept. just before school started. de Sanford PS always fill up with fuel whenever you can.
__________________

__________________
Sanford, Linda & R cats: Molly, Levi, Cody
2011 Monaco by Navistar RV
Good Sam Life Member Good Sam Hams Chapter
deSanford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ramets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Conway, SC
Posts: 2,364
I agree with getting the Milepost, but one I used even more was "Alaskan Camping by Mike & Terri Church." Caravans are for some people, but not for us. We like to travel at our own pace. We left AZ. 1st of May, and crossed into AK. June 1st. As you can see we took our time, there's so much to see, and the journey getting there is amazing. We spent the entire summer of 2012 in AK. and had a great time.
__________________
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
2009 Saturn Vue Towed
Full timed for 6yrs.
Ramets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 07:51 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
My parents have done a number of Caravans (Alaska, Mexico, Nova Scotia) They did their Alaska caravan trip back in 03'. Things they said about the trip were you were on the wagon masters timeline. If one of the fellow RVers broke down it would kind of tie up the whole schedule. Even paying to join a caravan, you still have to get to Dawson Creek at a certain date for the start of the caravan. Then you might end the caravan in Anchorage or Kenai. For about $5000 to $11,000. Buy the Milepost and save yourself $$$. They did say they liked the wagon master and the fellow RVers on that trip, but have been on other caravan's where they didn't like the pace of the trip. To slow...missed stuff they wish they could have seen.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
AKJohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 284
Unless you like traveling with a caravan I would suggest going on your own. The AlCan is a completely different road than it was years ago. It's like a real highway now, not the pioneer road most people think of. There are lots of services available in the summer and since there's only one road it's (nearly) impossible to get lost. The Milepost is a must, cheap at twice the price. There's also lots of good info on the web. Unless you want to go salmon fishing I suggest June as a primo time. It usually doesn't rain much in June (this year being the exception) and it's not quite as crowded as July and August. You'll get to experience the summer solstice at a northern latitude (If someone says, "Hey, let's drink till it gets dark", just say no). Don't be in a hurry, it's a long drive and it will become like a job if your trying to get here quickly. The reason I know that is I've never driven the highway in summer, only in winter and never in a MH. You can make better time in the winter, not much traffic and no road construction. Unless your comfortable driving on ice in the dark for days and days I wouldn't suggest it.
__________________
John and Karen
2012 Thor Challenger 36FD
2013 Fiat 500 Toad
AKJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
TonyDi's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Posts: 10,443
There was a thread on here recently from an RVer who was planning to go to Alaska, but was looking to hook up with other interested parties, and not have to pay a few thousand dollars for a formal caravan. I don't know how the inquiry went but there were several who expressed interest in doing it. You might want to look for the thread or start a new one for yourself.
__________________
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy. TST 507 TPMS
TonyDi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,334
There are several companies that organize and lead caravans to Alaska. Among them are:
Adventure Caravans 844-872-7897

59 Day Premier Alaska

WIT Club

We went with the WIT (Winnebago Itasca Travelers) club in 2007. At that time they only allowed Winnebago products to be at the rallies and on the caravans. Since then they've changed their name to Winnebago Outdoor Adventures. They now welcome any and all brands and models of RVing equipment.

There is some structure to a caravan, however you can sign out at any time for as long as you want to see and go places. The downside of signing out is that any accommodations and/or activities planned for the time you're gone aren't refundable.

Caravans aren't cheap, but we found they were slightly less expensive than taking the same route, stopping at the same campgrounds, and going to the same attractions and activities. As I mentioned we went to Alaska with the WIT caravan in 2007. Last year we went again on our own. We did get to see a little more on our own just because the 2 of us could go places more easily than a group of 40. The downside is making fewer friends and less interaction with other people who enjoy the same lifestyle.
__________________
Hikerdogs
2013 Adventurer 32H
Hikerdogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 74
Smile Went alone

We departed New York on Mothers Day 2010, drove cross country to Montana, entered Canada and had the greatest trip possible. Going alone we were able to go slow and stop when we wanted to view The scenery and wildlife. Every turn or hill is another experience. We did not make reservations in advance since we didn't know how far we were going each Day and had no problems with getting a spot at the campgrounds. This came back to bite us on the way home since we were then in tourist season and the campgrounds were full. There were enough fueling locations that we filled up before we hit a half tank. I agree with Ramets, Mike and Terri's book is a must to read before you set out on the trip. Take your time and enjoy the trip.
__________________
Len & Barb. Big Flats, NY
2006 Winnebago 38J Adventurer/Workhorse W24
2011 Jeep Liberty
LKANER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,559
There's a great forum over at rv.net on Canada/Alaska. In it is an ongoing post titled "Alaska 2015" of those planning to go. The 'chatter' will generate more after January when
everyone is getting into the travel mode. There's also a very helpful 'Sticky' at the top of that forum for hints on how to do the trip - what to take, what to see, etc.

I would suggest 3 things to purchase for your trip: the Milepost, Mike & Terri Church's Alaskan Camping book, which also includes Canada and the Yukon. We used it solely for camping and boondocking hints. Also purchase the 2/1 coupon book, the TourSaver. All are available online.

It's easy to go by yourself and you'll meet up with many of the same folks along your travels. There are few roads and everyone goes to the same places. Consider going by yourself.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
lanerd's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Home in warm Sou Calif for the winter.
Posts: 1,399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post

Caravans aren't cheap, but we found they were slightly less expensive than taking the same route, stopping at the same campgrounds, and going to the same attractions and activities.

Maybe this is true...but you still gotta pay the caravan company for their time and effort. The typical $10 grand cost for the trip doesn't include your fuel and miscellaneous items that you purchase on your own. You will be on a very tight schedule with little or no changes available.

We made the trip alone in '08 (with our brand new DP) and spent about $10k for everything...including fuel, campgrounds, attractions, activities, food, and all the T-shirts we brought home. We left home in mid May and didn't get back until the first week of October. We went about 12,000 miles including coming down on the Alaskan Ferry system from Haines to Prince Rupert with week long stays at Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. We went on glacier tours out of Seward, Halibut fishing out of Homer, salmon fishing in Soldotna. Spent about a week at Danali, Fairbanks, Kenai, Homer, Seward, Valdez, Haines, Dawson City and Whitehorse. We explored the gold dredges in Dawson City, did the Top of the World Highway, panned gold at Chicken, did a day trip to Eagle and had some of the best pastries ever at the Moose is Loose in Soldatna, fish & chips every where (especially in Whitehorse). Other towns we would stay a day or two depending upon their attractions.

Try doing all of that with a caravan.

Since there are limited amount of roads that you can travel, you have very little choices on which way to go. Therefore, we found that we were meeting up with many of the same people at just about every campground we stopped at....some of who are still active friends of ours today.

There are a lot of rv'ers who are making their 2nd or 3rd (or more) trip to Alaska and you'll find that they are a wealth of info. Be friendly at the parks and strike up conversations...you'll be surprised at all the great info you can get from them.

We too mainly relied upon Mike and Terri Church's book much more than we did the Milepost.

Good luck in which ever you choose. Either way it will be a trip of a lifetime for you.

Ron
__________________
Ron, Sandie and Lilly
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH 400 ISL | 2011 GMC Terrain SLT-2
Roadmaster All Terrain | US Gear Unified Brake System | Pressure Pro
lanerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
dennis45's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 6,458
We took a 50 day caravan this past summer with Adventure Treks. Left Dawson Creek June 21st and ended in Prince George, BC Aug. 11Th.
There are pros and cons to everything but we throughly enjoyed our trip. This one is limited to 15 rigs and does not have a lot of the Rah Rah stuf that the larger ones have. Very informal and the cost was considerably less than some others.
There is a trade off also on cost as this one leaves you with more free time to roam on your own and they only have two people per group instead of four or five like the larger ones. Some things you just had to figure out for yourself.

Overall, we enjoyed the caravan very much. The itinerary was great, meeting and interacting with everyone was a highlight of the trip. Being with a caravan takes all the guess work out. Each day you just pull into the designated campground, the trek master tells you which spot and all you have to do is set up and begin happy hour. No finding/bookingCGs, standing in line etc. all the activities were pre-arranged, just walk in and enjoy.
We did all the tourist stuff that the previous post talked about. All included in the price and all we had to do was show up and enjoy.

As far as breakdowns, there were a couple of broken axles on trailers that had they been on their own, would have been much more difficult to deal without the support of the caravan.
The husband of one couple had a medical issue were he could not drive. The wife did not drive the MH but with the assistance of others in the caravan, they got the rig back to Anchorage where they had a friend fly up to drive them back home. On their own, it would have been a real challenge.

So, like I said, each has it pros and cons. For us it was the best. Maybe next time we might go on our own but certainly do not regret going the caravan route this trip.

Adventure Treks - Small RV Caravans
__________________
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 04:01 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
Maybe this is true...but you still gotta pay the caravan company for their time and effort. The typical $10 grand cost for the trip doesn't include your fuel and miscellaneous items that you purchase on your own. You will be on a very tight schedule with little or no changes available.

We made the trip alone in '08 (with our brand new DP) and spent about $10k for everything...including fuel, campgrounds, attractions, activities, food, and all the T-shirts we brought home. We left home in mid May and didn't get back until the first week of October. We went about 12,000 miles including coming down on the Alaskan Ferry system from Haines to Prince Rupert with week long stays at Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. We went on glacier tours out of Seward, Halibut fishing out of Homer, salmon fishing in Soldotna. Spent about a week at Danali, Fairbanks, Kenai, Homer, Seward, Valdez, Haines, Dawson City and Whitehorse. We explored the gold dredges in Dawson City, did the Top of the World Highway, panned gold at Chicken, did a day trip to Eagle and had some of the best pastries ever at the Moose is Loose in Soldatna, fish & chips every where (especially in Whitehorse). Other towns we would stay a day or two depending upon their attractions.

Try doing all of that with a caravan.

Since there are limited amount of roads that you can travel, you have very little choices on which way to go. Therefore, we found that we were meeting up with many of the same people at just about every campground we stopped at....some of who are still active friends of ours today.

There are a lot of rv'ers who are making their 2nd or 3rd (or more) trip to Alaska and you'll find that they are a wealth of info. Be friendly at the parks and strike up conversations...you'll be surprised at all the great info you can get from them.

We too mainly relied upon Mike and Terri Church's book much more than we did the Milepost.

Good luck in which ever you choose. Either way it will be a trip of a lifetime for you.

Ron
Your trip doesn't sound much different than our 2007 caravan with the exception of the Alaskan ferry system. The caravan met in Dawson Creek BC went to all the main land places you mentioned, and ended in Prince George. There were several group dinners, shows, museum tours, gold panning, trips to the glaciers, fishing and a host of other things along the way.

The organized part of the caravan was 8 weeks with an additional 2 weeks on either end to get to the meeting point and return home. Like you we put on a little over 12,000 miles.

The cost in 2007 was about $5,000.00 plus fuel. The cost for the 2014 caravan was slightly under $7,600.00. I think you'll find the Winnebago sponsored caravans are less expensive than those done by commercial travel companies. There is no paid staff. Both the host and the tail ender are volunteers who are paid their expenses only.

Adventure Caravans offers 4 different Alaska tours ranging in length from 19 days to 61 days. They range in price from $1,500.00 to $9,400.00.

There are as many ways to see Alaska as there are people wanting to do it. You can spend as much or as little as your budget can support. The advantage of going alone is that you can take your leisurely time and see everything you wish. The advantage of going with a caravan is meeting people that can become life long friends. The common denominator being that you enjoy the same lifestyle.
__________________
Hikerdogs
2013 Adventurer 32H
Hikerdogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2014, 07:56 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,033
We went this past summer on our own. We departed Indiana just before Memorial Day and spent 58 days in Alaska. We made few reservations and met some great people. We stayed in a variety of campgrounds and had a blast. We could have spent the entire 58 days in Homer. Next time, we will skip many places and just visit Valdez, Homer, and Denali.
__________________
jpharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2014, 08:32 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Ramets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Conway, SC
Posts: 2,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
and had some of the best pastries ever at the Moose is Loose in Soldatna,

.

Ron

Oh man, the Moose is Loose is the reason I put on the pounds while staying in Soldotna for a month.
__________________

__________________
2000 Dutch Star Pusher
2009 Saturn Vue Towed
Full timed for 6yrs.
Ramets is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alaska Caravan Tours? RTinVa Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 28 05-27-2014 05:49 AM
NKK Alaska Caravan Has A Spot Available! GaryKD Newmar Owner's Forum 2 05-13-2014 09:33 AM
Alaska caravan AceJohn6928 Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 21 01-22-2014 08:39 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.