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Old 11-20-2016, 10:39 AM   #1
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Question Alaska

We are thinking on heading to Alaska this spring in our motor home? Can we wing it and get rv spots as we go? Or will we need advanced reservations? Any help would be appreciated. Email us at gunderson060875@msn.com or post on this site but I am not to familiar how this operates.
Thank You very much
Dave and Vickie
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:04 AM   #2
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Wife and I in our Lexi and another couple in their class c are planning a 3 month trip to Canada and Alaska next year. We're cutting west from Va, across USA, and then north up to Canada and into Alaska. Coming back east across Canada, down thru NY at Niagra Falls, and home.
We have no set stops, we're just going to run 250-300 miles a day, stop when we want, stay when we find something interesting. Pretty much planning next days run the night before.
If you know exactly where you will be and when you'll be there, reservations may be ok. But if your just running day to day, I don't see any need for reservations.
Also, what happens if you find an area, town, village that you might want to stay over at for an extra day or two. Or the unforseen breakdown that might put you a day or two behind your "planned schedual".
There are seperate areas in the forum for Canada and Alaska travel. and if you read a number of them, almost all will advise you to just "wing" it.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:33 PM   #3
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We went this year and as long as we stopped by 2 or 3 we always got a spot. Cant say if we wouldnt have if we would have stopped later but the parks did fill up later.Sometimes we did call ahead if we knew where we wanted to stop but it wasnt neccasary.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #4
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Bigger the rig the more you have to plan. We did the trip in a 22 foot rv never planned a stop. Didn't have schedule didn't have to worry about being on time.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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Alaska twice, Newfoundland once, no reservations. Once you get reservations, you are on a schedule. We have gone into places for a day and spent a week. We never travel w/ reservations. I do suggest the Escapee's Days End, if you are in to boondocking. And we have a 40' motor home plus a toad.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:43 PM   #6
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Just made the trip this past summer. No reservations (except near Denali), mostly boon docking and state/city parks as needed. With six of us onboard, we can only boon dock for three to four days before needing services, but had no problems with that.

So long as you keep your next fuel stop and your next water/sewer stop planned, there did not seem to be any need for advanced campground reservations.

Please note that you may not always have cellular/internet access, so you need to plan while you have it, or really master the milepost book.
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
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We dry camped in parks or boondocked in gorgeous areas 90% of our summer trip. Having a big rig was not a problem at all.

With our 40' motorhome we didn't make any reservations for the whole summer except of the July 4 weekend and 5 nights in Denali's farthest campground you can drive - Teklanika. Those were only made about 2 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be in the area.

As it turned out, we were a little early for our Denali reservations so on a whim we boondocked nearby at a lovely spot just off the highway. We drove into Denali early the next morning and easily secured 5 additional nights in the front campground, Riley Creek.

We spent 10 nights in Denali and saw 'THE' mountain 7 of 10 days and saw every one of the big '5' critters of the park - more than once.

If you want to have a relaxing trip, don't make reservations. There are always awesome boondocking spots to stay.

Someone mentioned driving 250-300 miles/day. I would not recommend counting on that much mileage. The whole trip is slow. You could run into many delays - roads, fires, weather, etc. Also, don't make a beeline to Alaska. Spend some time in Canada and the Yukon. Some areas are even prettier than Alaska. Some days we only drove 50 miles or so. Sitesee as you travel. Don't park and then backtrack.

You mentioned going in spring. I don't know what month spring means to you but the best time to cross from the lower U.S. into Canada is about the 3rd week of May.

Purchase online: Mike and Terry Church's book, 'Alaskan Camping' which includes Canada and the Yukon, also. They lived in Fairbanks and traveled the roads constantly. They list every campground, RV park and boondocking spot with good directions, size restrictions, etc.

Also purchase the 'Milepost' which is great for the history and maps. We kept this open every day and read to whoever was driving so they didn't miss a thing.

Purchase the 'TourSaver' 2/1 coupon book before the trip. One glacier cruise will pay for the book and you'll want to do at least one. It includes the popular attractions for your trip.

This trip shouldn't be rushed. Take your time the whole way up. If you can allow 3 months for the trip it would be ideal with plenty of time to see everything.

Go up on the Alcan (Alaskan Highway) and return on the Cassier Hwy with a stop in Hyder, Alaska to see the grizzlies feeding on the salmon toward the end of August.

I'd also recommend staying IN Denali Nat'l Park for the best experience. It's dry camping but very doable with a RV. Take the school bus tour not the expensive bus tour. The school bus drivers are very experienced at spotting the animals and give you a narrative. They stop for you to take photos. Take advantage of the ranger programs offered.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:53 PM   #8
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twogypsies: Lots of good information in their post above. Take you time. Canada (Alberta & British Columbia) are beautiful.

Talk to the locals: On our last trip we met completely by accident the guy who owns the claim that the "Gold Rush" show on National Geographic" was filmed on. He gave us a map and we visited the claim. Most of the stuff was gone, but Big Red and the crew's RVs were still sitting there.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:32 PM   #9
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twogypsies: Lots of good information in their post above. Take you time. Canada (Alberta & British Columbia) are beautiful.
^X2
We shaved a few days off of our AK visit to spend some more time in BC and AL on the way back. Really pretty country and nice people too.

BTW if you should ever need Cummins service in Canada, Cummins of Western Canada in Edmonton is a 5-Star facility!
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