Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Navigation, Routes & Roads
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 12-03-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
Alaska Trip Planned Next May

I will be leaving CA and traveling to Alaska next May to visit my sons and their families for the summertime. One lives in Eagle River, the other is located in Fairbanks. I plan to change my domicile/residency while there, driver's license and any vehicle that hasn't been switched over to Alaska before I leave. My coach and trailer are licensed with Alaska plates already, coach is R HOME and trailer is R JUNK.

My question to others that have made the trip previously is what publications and resources should I obtain before leaving?

I have already ordered the 10th edition of the Big Rigs Best Bets, the 2010 Woodalls North America Campground Directory and I will drop by the local AAA office and pick up all of the FREE travel books and maps that cover the geographical areas we will be traveling through.

Any and all suggestions would be welcomed!

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
__________________

__________________
Dr4Film 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 12-03-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
lakewoodpaul's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 476
Made the trip twice and hope to go again in 2011. get the book The Milepost, absolutely the best travel guide for the ALKAN and any road in the Yukon and Alaska Its available at amazon or any booksellers.
__________________

__________________
lakewoodpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2009, 11:56 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ding-a-ling's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Zephyrhills, FL
Posts: 935
Yes!

Do not leave for Alaska without having the Milepost book! It is worth it's weight in gold. Get it early enough that you can study and plan out the route you wish to travel.

You'll not be disappointed.
__________________
'14 Winnebago Vista 35F, '14 GMC Terrain
BlueOx Towing Pkg, SMI Stay-n-Play
49 States & 7 Provinces visited in MH | WIT W112365
Ding-a-ling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Centerville, Iowa
Posts: 241
I lived in Alaska for 18 years. May is too early for me. Snow storms and black ice are still comon until the very last week of May. I would wait until the first week of June. Many services don't even open until then. Had some friends drive up last September and they said the roads were in the worst repair they had seen in 30 years. You can bet nothing got repaired this winter. It was so bad they elected to have their vehicles shipped home on the barge to Seattle. They were driving a pick up and car. Motorhome would be another story entirely.
__________________
Mike Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
May & June is the "bug season" Some years are worse than others. Sister-n-law lives in a town (North Pole) about 10 miles SE. of Fairbanks. The first year we went was in June to catch the summer solstice. The more you got into the wild the worse they were (the Bugs). The bugs were everywhere. The past 4 times we have gone up in Aug. no bugs. Lot-S-2 C. You have to stop at Denali NP. There is a federal campground there were I marked out nice sites for larger rigs. Let me know if you want some site #'s. It is a short walk to the Denali Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center in Fairbanks was getting ready to move to a new location when we were up there in Aug. 08'. The old one was just packed with information, so the new one should be great.

Will you be using Fairbanks as your homebase, or will you be traveling around the state camping?

Alaska 08' pixs
__________________
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 12-04-2009, 08:58 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
LindaH's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 1,545
For mile-by-mile directions: The Milepost
For campground information: Traveler's Guide to Alaska Camping by Mike & Terri Church
If you plan on taking any tours: The Great Alaskan Tour Saver -- Many two-for-one coupons for tours...one coupon can save you the price of the booklet.
__________________
LindaH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
lonestarace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 722
spent last entire summer , 2 months in trip to alaska from texas, and back, could not find milepost but borrowed one at every stop from neighbors, like we were the only one's that did not have one...it was very informative and tells you what to see and look out for all along the way, favorite places were Haines, to see bald eagles, it was only accessed from driving thru canada, but well worth the drive, and homer on the spit.. what a cool little town with great restraunts all in walking distance from rv park at end of spit, also if going to denali we made advanced reservation ( 2 days) at riley creek , close to the visitor center and you can check in early for a prime spot since they do not reserve site numbers just the length you need, it is first come basis only, do the white water rafting with Denali Rafting company, Sheila is fantastic, professional FULL time river rafter, travels all around world to raft stage 3 + rapids, do the 2 hour WILD trip, the MILD is not as fun, you can find deals on this in town on the boardwalk at the last minute on the day you want to do it, HUGE discounts and well worth it Also did a flight to Katishna( end of road in Denali, 90 miles in) on Katishna AIR where we flew 1 way into Katishna and took the bus trip out to camp grounds, that way we did NOT have to sit on a bus all day. this is usually not a schedualed thing so call for space available they fly into Katishna usually empty( this is where you might get on) and return their guests on the flight out, they have a lodge at the end of the park rd. enjoy.. lisa
__________________
lonestarace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 09:46 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
RVDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,339
Milepost within the past couple years is all you need. Overly detailed, but handy.

En-route just pull off the side of the road to camp. Yes it is allowed (unless signed). Yes, it is a really wonderful way to really experience the vast magnificence - often all by yourself. By 6pm the "traffic" drops from 1 car every 20 mins to 1 every couple hours - if at all. I did it in a 45'er and towing.

BigRigs Book (I met him up in AK in 2009 gathering the data) isn't necessary up there.

When you ask about road conditions your very next question is to ask what that person has seen in the past. I will use the nothing less that the word "folklore" to describe what you hear about road conditions up there... You need to understand each person's previous experience and perspective.
  • Many folks have never seen a road w/o painted lines and think no lines is a total disaster. Many of the roads are unpainted.
  • Many folks have never been far off of a US interstate and think that any gravel section is nothing short of 4x4 logging road. Gravel up there is gravel but smooth.
  • Many folks are not used to driving on a road heaped up 10ft above the ground (permafrost construction) and are terrified that the ground is always 10ft down.
  • Many folks have apoplexy if there is anything less than lane-width shoulders along the entire road. Many roads up there have no/little shoulder and when combined with above instill sheer terror. But the road is perfectly fine.
  • Many folks can not deal with the concept of 100+++miles to the next town (population 20), being all alone, traffic once every 20mins or so, no cell service, being all alone again, out of touch, unable to get text messages, did I say 100miles to the next town, iPhone doesn't work, and the like and find the "journey" - and hence the roads - to be unbearable regardless of their real condition.
  • Many folks can not deal with a bridge w/o mile-high railings. Many bridges up there have little more than a curb-high "railing."
  • Many folks have never driven off of lower48 mega-wide highway lanes. yes the lanes up there are not the mega-wide ones in the lower48 but with traffic of a car every 20mins or so this is not even anything to think about.
So you see, there are many reasons for someone to "report" a horrific road condition based on their prior lower48 experience. Rest assured, the roads up there though not exactly like lower48 roads but are NOT at all a problem unless you have the phobias stated above. Always find out WHY someone says what they do about a particular road before you simply take what they have to say at face value. I heard so many "tales" about the road conditions up there and when I went on them it is clear folks speak from vastly different perspectives. Hence my use of the term "folklore."

Yes, the northern 1/3 of Cassier is under construction making it (even more) narrow, unmarked, somewhat torn-up but is not at all pounding to your rig. The Pennsylvania Turnpike though wider is far more pounding. The Cassier should not be missed.

A frost heave is NOT a pothole. Slow from 50mph to 40mph and every heave is nothing more than a gentle roller. Unlike a pothole - bang. Go slow. Do 10km/hr less than posted and you'll be fine w/o having to deep scan the road in front of you. You want to see the sights anyway.

Those who complain the loudest about the roads up there 1) drive at or above the posted speed and 2) consider the gap between the lower 48 and AK NOT as a journey but an annoyance.

Enjoy, it is a journey and adventure NOT to be missed.
__________________
2007 and 7/8ths Newmar Essex 4502
RVDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Centerville, Iowa
Posts: 241
I agree but disagree

I agree with your assessment that different people have different views on road conditions, based on their experience.

But I disagree with your conclusion. As stated I lived in Alaska for 20 years and have driven on every road there, in all kinds of conditions. The friends I mentioned lived there for 25 years, also driven on every road there, in all kinds of conditions. They have driven the Highway at least a dozen times. When we collectively say, "the roads are the worst we have seen in 30 years", that is an opinion that comes from lots of experience. When we say, "wait until at least the last week of May", it is pretty good advise from someone who has been there and done that, more than once. Alaskan's will only give you advice once. I made a real exception by stating my case twice.

At the very least, watch the weather and road conditions, thru the month of April and up until the day you leave. Then make a decision based your experience. Hope you have a safe trip!
__________________
Mike Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 10:51 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Doug Sage's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Originally from near Portland, OR
Posts: 699
My wife and I are planning on going back to Alaska next summer. We would be interested in your list of larger sites at Denali.

Thanks.
__________________
Doug Sage
Full timers roaming the good old US of A
2007 Itasca Suncruiser 38J
2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Doug Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
A few years back we drove from Fairbanks to Valdez (366 miles). There were so many places to pull off and just take in the sites and the sounds of nature. This was mid to late Aug. On the way back to Fairbanks (North Pole) we hit snow going over the Alaska Range. Way cool....... As far as road conditions the frost heaves are nothing to worry about. Just a little roller about every 500-1000 feet in permafrost flat areas. If you are up there in Aug. you will not believe all the berries that can be had. Blueberries the size of grapes also cranberries (high & low bush), salmon berries, Rasberries & Rosehips......
High Bush Cranberries
Rosehip
Rasberries
__________________
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 12-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
The Denali NP campground next to the main Denali Visitor Center is called Riley Creek Campground. It has 147 sites ranging from tent sites to larger RV rig sites. They do have sites designated for rigs larger than 31'. Of those I have sites# 22, 65, 98, 105, 116 and 118 down as sites I would like. I'm not sure if you can reserve the site you want. I did see a few 35'+ rigs and many class C's camping. But being mid to late Aug. it was only 1/2 full. Remember 08' had high fuel prices....which kept people away.

They do have more smaller campgrounds inside the park. Two of the other 6 allow RV's, otherwise it's tents only.....

I found a good resource called Alpenglow put out by the Denali Park Service. You can call 907-683-2294 to get a copy. It covers everything camping, shuttle bus service, Visitor Center Info.

Personnally we did the green shuttle bus service. You can only drive your car or RV on the first 15 miles of park roads. To get closer to Denali you either do one of two shuttles to get to mile marker 66 or 90. You really want to go to mile marker 90 if you plan to overnight tent camping.

The tan shuttle buses are narrated tour buses where we saw people packed in like sardines. They are very $$$ with mostly cruise people on them.

We opted for the green shuttle buses. They say these don't offer any narration, but all the bus drivers we rode with talked up a storm and stopped many times for wildlife viewing. These you get off and on where you want. You can get off do a hike or take pictures and catch the next one about every 10- 15 minutes. Besides the main visitor center, there is another one at mile marker 66 called Eielson Visitor Center. It just opened up in 08', fact just about all the buildings looked brand new in the park.

Here are a few stopping points
Polychrome Overlook
Toklat River
Savage River
Park road
Shuttle bus and yes there are no gaurdrails and that is a 1000' drop off.

**one more note** Denali is only able to be seen 25% of the time. By noon the clouds usually roll in blocking the view. Try to catch one of the earlier shuttle buses which start at 6:30am. It will arrive at Eielson Visitor Center by about 10:30 or 11 which is mile post 66. From here if it stays clear you will get a good view. We just missed it. 10 minutes before we arrived the clouds rolled in. You have to make reservations for your boarding time.
__________________
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 12-04-2009, 07:49 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
clubmed98's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Anywhere
Posts: 318
as noted mile post is needed also try "RVing in Alaska and Canada" by Sharlene Minshall..easy read and fun to see if you can follow her tracks. Don't be afraid to take the toad on side trips, and most important take your time if the weather is bad on the coast it is probably good inland so head inland..feel free to look at my sight for ideas..would love to get back up north..
__________________
I didn't survive cancer to die of stress
2009 DADP "4331" Alaska trip site and more
http://mytripjournal.com/Peddy-DickMar2-29667
clubmed98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2009, 11:44 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
lonestarace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 722
doug, we stayed in riley creek size A site, closest to the riley creek, it was in the woods and the furthest loop from the visitor center, , there are 3 loops and diferent sizes scattered on each loop...it was a 5 minute walk on paths thru the woods, we also stayed at savage river we had camp site # 31, it gave us a view of the mountain right out our front window of coach.. we even got on roof in the am to see it until it was hidden...it happens every day, with savage river since it is 15 miles into denali it only has like 30 sites, very remote and very few coach sites, we had hubby take coach there at 11 am to get what few sites here have view of denali...there is a max number of days at denali in most campgrounds, and there is one further into park we saw it but did not stay there I think it required a 3 days stay minimum and we did not want to be committed to a place if it would not work out for us...without prior knowledge of area. good luck and we really enjoyed denali...
__________________

__________________
lonestarace 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 Volcano Poised for Huge Eruption DriVer Just Conversation 2 08-26-2007 02:11 PM
OR FIRST TRIP - this is a long one! Tom Sauls iRV2.com General Discussion 3 07-02-2007 07:59 PM
Big Trip Report - 2005 Itasca Meridian 34H THutch Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 13 10-26-2006 09:43 AM
Alaska Trip - Extra Alpine Parts? Jim & Ingrid McIntosh Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 9 06-30-2006 05:16 PM
alaska trip stankern Northwest Region 6 06-26-2005 06:39 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:11 PM.


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