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Old 01-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #1
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Milepost vs Caravan

We are new in RVing. Just purchased a Itasca Meridian Diessel pusher. Plan is to go to California later this year and then to Alaska in early 2014. Any recommendation on going with an organized caravan group or just follow Milepost log. We like to be free to stay in one place as long as we like, but like the security of being with caravan. We are not a big social butterflies so doing it alone is not a problem.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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Hi Nxkharra,
I think you answered your own question. In a caravan:
1. There is a profit for the company and expenses for the host/co-host build into the price
2. One is expected to buddy up and be at least a minimal social butterfly.
3. Follow the schedule to keep the tail gunner happy.

Based on your OP, consider doing Alaska by yourselves or with some very good friends.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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Wrestled with this question last year. Went on our own, and loved it. I'm not into group activities and spending time with many people. We went where we wanted, and stayed however long was right for us. Never once were we worried or felt uncomfortable by travelling alone. Best trip ever!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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The Milepost will serve you well. Get a copy well in advance of your trip and take time to understand how it's laid out and what information is available to you.

I agree with previous post, you answered your own question with "We like to be free to stay in one place as long as we like". If you breakdown call roadside assistance. While it may not be as readily available as it is on I 80 passing through Chicago you are not venturing back into the stone ages either. We have running water and electricity in Alaska now You will also find most Alaskan's do not not pass stranded motorists in remote areas

My advice assumes you will be traveling mid May through mid September.

Good luck and enjoy the trip.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:29 AM   #5
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Thank you all for confirming my feelings on this.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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We are doing it this year. Just three couples. We have been planing it for almost a year now. We first decided on a route. Once that was determined we started looking for attractions along the way. each couple researched and added things to the route. We then determined the stops. We developed a list of things to do and what campgrounds were available. Then we tried to put time on how many days we might stay. This we will use as a guide line but will keep it flexible in the event we fine other things to see or do. We put no absolute time that we have to be back. The only variable is the weather.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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How about campground reservation? Will there be any issue with not having advance reservation? If you decide to stay in one location more than your plan then the rest of the reservations (if made in advance) are null. Is there an issue with making the reservations just couple of days before getting to the next destination? ok to use cell phone (coverage issue?). How about internet ((coverage ok?). Thanks again for all the great info from all.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:51 AM   #8
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How about campground reservation? Will there be any issue with not having advance reservation? If you decide to stay in one location more than your plan then the rest of the reservations (if made in advance) are null. Is there an issue with making the reservations just couple of days before getting to the next destination? ok to use cell phone (coverage issue?). How about internet ((coverage ok?). Thanks again for all the great info from all.
There will be a few areas going up the Alcan through Canada where cell phone coverage will be iffy. Verizon does better than AT&T, don't know about other carriers.

With Verizon you need to activate your international plan before crossing in to Canada. AT&T will allow you to activate it in Canada.

Internet is available in all the larger cities and quite few of the smaller ones.

Never made a reservation on last four runs. Always found an open site. If you don't mind dry camping lots of opportunities exist.

Biggest hurdle I faced was lack of water on two winter runs, mid November.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:44 AM   #9
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I wouldn't get too caught up with detailed planning. On day 1 head north is as detailed as you want to get, solely because there is basically two ways to get there and at any one time, one of those ways is likely to be out of action for days or weeks at a time - and just that is a good reason to not worry about reservations. Flexibility rules.
May depend on when you go, but we didn't need any reservations and on the four occasions when we needed to stay in a park, we had no trouble fitting in. Rest of the time we boondocked.

As for Milepost. I liken it to a garden shed or lady's handbag. Used to be that it was neat and orderly and you could find what you needed, but over the years more and more "stuff" has been added so that the useful information is now buried under a layer of trivia.
Needs a good clean out to sort out the useful from the clutter.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:32 AM   #10
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We are doing it this year. Just three couples. We have been planing it for almost a year now. We first decided on a route. Once that was determined we started looking for attractions along the way. each couple researched and added things to the route. We then determined the stops. We developed a list of things to do and what campgrounds were available. Then we tried to put time on how many days we might stay. This we will use as a guide line but will keep it flexible in the event we fine other things to see or do. We put no absolute time that we have to be back. The only variable is the weather.
We have had the thought of doing Alaska in our heads every since we started researching our current fifth wheel. Now that I am retired and researching a motorhome this thought has popped back up. What set us back initially was the cost of a caravan plus where they start off at was a huge trip itself from New Orleans. Now I am looking at the Milepost articles to research that option.

Ajm12 - I am curious as to what route you will be taking from NO?
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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All, since joining this forum recently, i have been receiving USEFULL information from all. Some you can not find in other articles. Thank you.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:54 AM   #12
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We did Alaska last year. Spent the entire summer there. Arrived in Palmer Ak. late may. My only suggestion would be to get the Church's book for Alaska along with the Milepost. Church's seemed to be a little less cumbersome, and pointed out boondocking places better. That is if your into that. This was our 2nd trip to the great north..and we're already planning on doing it again in 2014. If you're a fisherperson be sure to be near the Kenai River early to late July for the salmon runs..they are a hoot. Last year they shut down the King salmon fishing due to so few coming up the river. But never fear the Reds will keep you happy. You will definately never forget the drive north, and don't over plan or make a tight schedule for yourselves. Take your time and ENJOY!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:56 AM   #13
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We have had the thought of doing Alaska in our heads every since we started researching our current fifth wheel. Now that I am retired and researching a motorhome this thought has popped back up. What set us back initially was the cost of a caravan plus where they start off at was a huge trip itself from New Orleans. Now I am looking at the Milepost articles to research that option.

Ajm12 - I am curious as to what route you will be taking from NO?
We are going up through Shreveport then Dallas up through Colorado to Montana. The other couple has family there and she was originally from there so we will site there first for a few days. Will cross into Canada east of Glacier National park. Then go the Canadian Rockies.
When will you try to go?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:04 AM   #14
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Ajm12' do you mind sharing your plan route. I am thinking of Milepost Basic Itinerary #4 but concern about missing some to be seen locations.
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