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Old 04-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
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Alaska Trip

My wife and I are planning a trip to Alaska this summer in our motorhome with another couple with their Motorhome.

Any advice from those that have made the trip would be welcomed.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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Have fun, stay in the moment, enjoy the beauty, and i have heard others say, Boondock on the Highway, G
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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Jim, thier has been a lot of Alaska post this winter and early spring is is link to them, might be worth your time to browse through them. Enjoy your trip, take your time, oh so much to see. We are 2 summers away from making the trip ourselves, we are already really looking forward to it.

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Old 04-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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I live in Anchorage, Alaska. Been here since 1964. If you have specific questions or want advice on what to see, feel free to ask. Here are some pages to look stuff up. Some sites you have to reach by ferry, like Tongas. But Chugach is on the road system as well as Denali.

Alaska Campgrounds (private I think), Find Camping - Recreation.gov,

ADA Facilities, Alaska State Parks

We had family come from Holland last year and they rented a MH to travel around the road system. They had a wonderful time. South of Anchorage was fairly busy, as it always is, but lighter than in normal years. Up North of Anchorage they said things were almost deserted, leaving them pick of where to stay. I can't say for sure it will be that way again this year but the economy is still down so I am thinking yes.

South of Anchorage is the prime fishing areas that can be reached by road. During the salmon runs, the sites fill up. Especially in the Kenai river area. Most popular sites then are Russian River, Russian River Ferry, Quartz creek, Cooper Landing. These are state or federal sites with a fee. There are some private ones too but I have not stayed in them. The state/fed sites are well maintained. Many have paved sites. There are outhouses, some have dump stations and potable water, not sure if you can fill from these though. I don't know of any of these that have electric. Most of these take reservations but I think they all have some first come plots as well.

Going North has fewer state/federal sites. Denali has 3 or 4 areas within the park. Pretty much a must see. Fairbanks has been hit pretty hard by smoke from wildfires the last couple seasons. Our family said it was like a very thick fog when they were there, so they just got food and filled their tanks and moved on. Can't say what it will be like this year.

Hope this helps a bit and maybe gives you ideas on questions to ask. If so, I will do my best to help you out.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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I have driven to Alaska three times. The roads are good, mostly paved.
Suggestions ...GO SLOW AND DRINK THE BEAUTY OF THE ALASKA HIGHWAY.
BOON DOCK ALONG THE HIGHWAY. VERY SAFE AND FREE
GO TO DAWSON CITY, ITS WORTH THE TRIP.....
TAKE THE 'TOP OF THE WORLD' ROAD. GO SLOW.
GO DOWN THE 'TURN AGAIN HIGHWAY' TO HANES AND HOMER AND GO TO VALDESE AND FISH FOR SALMON.
ENJOY THE TRIP. IT IS LIKE FINE WINE OR A GOOD MEAL. ''TAKE YOUR TIME AND 'SIP AND TASTE' EVERYTHING OF BEAUTY.
Alaska will be a trip you will never forget. You can travle a million miles going other places and you will forget some but you will always remember your trip to Alaska.
i could write you a book but you will discover all that I would tell you anyhow.
get you a Mile Post and keep it handy ......
enjoy....
Seajay the sailor man
ps .... Willa and I hope to go back this summer sometime in late june or early july.............
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Spent four months in the Pac. Northwest including Alaska last summer. Third time by road and twice by cruise ship. Can't get enough. First thing to do is get a 2010 Milepost. The book covers where things such as fuel, rest stops or pull outs, restaurants etc. are located. It is considered the Bible of the northwest and is accurate but remember that some items may have been sent in for this year's publication as far back as May of last year and is subject to change. Always fill your fuel tank when you reach 1/2 full because if you need to get back, you can. I have never had any problem with fuel. Roads were great except in the area of Destruction Bay last summer. Comming back south, they were much improved. Casiar was like glass. Hear that Top of the World was rough but didn't take it this time. Strongly suggest you read up on where you want to go and when so you don't miss out, particularly if time is short. This year should be good fishing for pinks in Valdez. Limited out for reds in Talkeetna in short order. Kings were really poor on the Kenai last year, hope better this year. Would sign up with guide service if your time is limited for fishing. The earlier in the season you go, the more wildlife you will see along the road. If you plan to go to Denali, suggest you take the trip that goes to the end of the road, particularly if you are going towards September. Bring lots of chips or film for your cameras. Hyder decent area to view Grizzly and Blacks during salmon run. NPS charges fee to go out on boardwalk. If you have National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass this will allow you free entrance to boardwalk. Canada and Alaska have webcams set up along the roads so you can view conditions along various highways on your computer. You may want to check this out from home. My wife did a blog that may interest you re that trip. Here is address Alaska & New England 2009 Hope you love Alaska as much as we do. Drive careful. Email if you have more questions.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikester View Post
Jim, thier has been a lot of Alaska post this winter and early spring is is link to them, might be worth your time to browse through them. Enjoy your trip, take your time, oh so much to see. We are 2 summers away from making the trip ourselves, we are already really looking forward to it.

Spike
Thanks for the help, but the link doesn't work.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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I agree with most of what the others have said. You can not get to Haines on the road to Homer. You get the road there in Canada. No big deal.

Fight any urge to drive up the haul road to the north slope. It is a very long, very rough, very dangerous road. It is used to haul equipment and supplies to the slope. Rental companies in Fairbanks tell you not to take there vehicles there. If I ever decide to do it, I will try renting in Anchorage and driving up. I would never take my vehicle on that road.

If you decide to drive to Valdez, which I would suggest to anyone, consider taking the ferry across to Whittier. Can be a very nice trip and you don't have to back track to Glenallen.

Dawson City in Canada would be a good side trip either heading up or going back home. I would plan ahead, as was said, to make sure you see what you desire and are there at the right time.

Ideas keep popping into my head. I could keep adding on here.

We just purchased a rig after many years without. We plan on touring around Alaska all summer, seeing places we have not been to in years, then drive it to the lower 48 in mid August.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AlaskanRV View Post
I agree with most of what the others have said. You can not get to Haines on the road to Homer. You get the road there in Canada. No big deal.

Fight any urge to drive up the haul road to the north slope. It is a very long, very rough, very dangerous road. It is used to haul equipment and supplies to the slope. Rental companies in Fairbanks tell you not to take there vehicles there. If I ever decide to do it, I will try renting in Anchorage and driving up. I would never take my vehicle on that road.

If you decide to drive to Valdez, which I would suggest to anyone, consider taking the ferry across to Whittier. Can be a very nice trip and you don't have to back track to Glenallen.

Dawson City in Canada would be a good side trip either heading up or going back home. I would plan ahead, as was said, to make sure you see what you desire and are there at the right time.

Ideas keep popping into my head. I could keep adding on here.

We just purchased a rig after many years without. We plan on touring around Alaska all summer, seeing places we have not been to in years, then drive it to the lower 48 in mid August.

Thanks for the good advice. If you think of more we would be interested to hear it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:43 AM   #10
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Just returned from our shakedown trip with the new RV. We went up the Parks highway, been a while since I drove it. We stopped at the South McKinley view pull out, I think that was what it was called, about mile 137 or so Parks Highway. What a wonderful view of Denali, if it is clear. You can see Denali, Foraker and Hunter from there. They have "camp" spots which is just parking in the lot but they have a fire pit and a table behind each one. It was early enough no one was there yet but the gates were open. We took the host spot, it was off away on one end and quieter. The is also a pull out for potty breaks for those driving Anchorage/Fairbanks or reverse. I suggest at least a stop to view if you are on the Parks.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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If you decide to drive to Valdez, which I would suggest to anyone, consider taking the ferry across to Whittier. Can be a very nice trip and you don't have to back track to Glenallen.
I have read that long wheelbase MH could be a problem hanging up getting on the ferry. Any experience with these ports?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:01 PM   #12
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I have read that long wheelbase MH could be a problem hanging up getting on the ferry. Any experience with these ports?
Sorry, I have no first hand knowledge of that. Here is what I found on the Marine Highway website.
Oversize Vehicles
Vehicles 102-107 inches wide will be charged approximately 125% of the fare listed for the vehicle length. Vehicles over 108 inches wide will be charged approximately 150% of the fare listed for the vehicle length. When transporting a towed trailer or vehicle, the overall connected length is used to determine fares.Do not attempt to estimate your vehicle length. Vehicles must be measured and booked accurately to ensure space availability onboard. Vehicles are subject to measuring at the terminal on date of departure and will be charged for the additional length and/or width if space is available. If no additional space is available for vehicles booked incorrectly, the next available sailing may be reserved.
Drivers of vehicles with long overhangs are advised that, due to the large tidal range of Alaskan waters (up to 40 feet in some places), the angle of the transfer ramp may cause damage to undercarriage units such as holding tanks or plumbing. Vehicles longer than 25 feet may have trouble clearing the top of the car deck door at low tide. AMHS is not responsible for damage caused by the angle of the transfer ramp.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:17 PM   #13
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Yes, the angle of approach is my concern. Does it depend on the tides at the time of embarkation? Are some ports better than others?
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:19 AM   #14
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It does depend a great deal on the tide. The low tides are the ones they mention. We do have some big tide changes from hi to low.
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