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Old 02-09-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
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How many of you have visited Alaska in your motorhomes? Is the drive as easy as the travel books indicate for a 40' and are there any suggestions anyone has.

We're in the planning stage only, thinking of very late May or early June for departure from Seattle.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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How many of you have visited Alaska in your motorhomes? Is the drive as easy as the travel books indicate for a 40' and are there any suggestions anyone has.

We're in the planning stage only, thinking of very late May or early June for departure from Seattle.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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Although we haven't done the trip to Alaska with a motorhome, the last time we went in 2001, we were pulling a 33' fifth wheel with a Freightliner FL-60.

As long as you drive for the conditions...i.e., go slow when conditions warrant (and they will, because you'll run into frost heaves and construction areas), you'll have no problems. The people who have the most problems are the ones who want to treat the 2-lane road like an Interstate and travel 75 MPH!

My main suggestion is to go slow and enjoy the trip. Allow lots of time for sight seeing and impromtu stops along the way. This will, for the most part, mean traveling without reservations...which, if you stop early in the day, shouldn't be a problem. On our 2001 trip, we traveled with 2 other couples, and would occasionally call ahead that morning to an RV park to make sure they had 3 spaces close together. Otherwise, we made no advance reservations. And that included all the tours we went on. Whenever we arrived in a place that had a tour we wanted to take, we'd go down to the ticket office after setting up in a campground and, in all cases, were able to take the tour by the next day. (Be sure to buy The Great Alaskan Tour Saver which has many two-for-one tours.)
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:01 PM   #4
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Labgords

Here's some info I received from the state of Alaska. They sent my name all around to the other areas and they sent info also.
Fairbanks Visitor info 800-327-5774
Alaska Visitor info 907-929-2200
Customs U.S. 867-474-0307
www.wildlifeviewing.alaska.gov
www.hollandamerica.com (cruis ship)
www.moosecreek.com
IF you get to Skagway make sure you take the train ride.
Try goolgling State of Alaska s/Toby
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Greetings,

My DH and I travelled to AK last year and are doing so again this year. There were larger than 40' rigs all over the place. We found that some places were kind of tight for the bigger rigs, but most of the time we had no problem. We are only 38' but don't think the 2' should make too much difference.

We took about 4 weeks to get there, stopping off in several places to tour and relax, laundry, party, shop, etc.

The roads were not too bad. There is construction going on all spring and summer in various places. Somewhere on the net there are pages for road conditions in Canada and Alaska. I just do a search and find them on the Provincial pages and State pages.

If you get there, look us up at Deep Creek Beach near Ninilchik. We are going to be campground hosts there this summer.

Good luck with the trip.

Suka
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:44 PM   #6
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Joel & Mary: Hi from Tucson. Saw your post re: Alaska trip and just had to jump in. Wife (Lynette), 3 cats, and I just returned from our first Alaska adventure this past Oct. We took our 40 ft. pusher, towing our Honda Element with a canoe on top and bikes inside. Like you guys, we too had read alot and had many questions and, frankly, concerns as to whether our rig would be o.k. to use. Believe me, your outfit sounds like it'll do just fine. Your Jeep is a great tow to have along. Not to bore you with our trip, but simply to give ya an idea of where we took our rig so you can compare....we left Minnesota in late June, drove across Canada, through Saskatoon, Edmundton, and ofcourse picked up the Alaska Hwy at it's start, Dawson Creek. We puttzed around up to Whitehorse, then went N. up the Klondike Hwy. to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory. Everything to this point is all paved (but you may encounter very occasional gravel/construction stretches of 10 or so miles), and plenty of campgrounds, although it is advisable to drive shorter days and pull in early at places you decide to stop. One suggestion, IF you have one of those long mud flaps on the rear of your coach (ya know the ones with coach name on it), DO remove that flap before departing and leave it somewhere. I know, I know this sounds wrong, but those flaps WILL occasionally drag in gravel areas (even campground parking areas) and will spray a shower of rocks onto your Jeep putting little pits in windshields (get a padded cover for that)and pitting front of your toad. Even getting a rock shield on your tow gear won't stop the shower..so take it off. This wasn't my idea, but one of the USEFUL tips given by RV Service people in Whitehorse. Anyway, from Dawson City, we hopped the free shuttle ferry across the river (Yukon River) and headed West over Top of the World Hwy. into Alaska and on into Chicken. NOW...you'll hear ALL KINDS of stories about to take or NOT to take the Top of the World Hwy. All I can say is I'd easily do it again without any reservations except that I'd probably try to pick a good weather window when leaving Dawson City cause this route intails about 60-70 miles of gravel and the area in Alaska up to Chicken is pretty narrow with soft shoulders if it's soaked. Anyway, spend time to see Chicken then down paved hwy. back to Alaska Hwy. and West into Tok. We then went up to Fairbanks, then SW to Denali & Talkeetna, then S. through Anchorage out onto the Kenai Penninsula down to Seward, over to Homer, then N. up through Anchorage again to Palmer, East to GlennAllen and S. to Valdez. Back N. to Tok, then East on Alaska Hwy. to Haines Jct., then South to Haines (our favorite place.) We left Haines taking hop on Alaska ferry across fjord to Skagway, then N. to Teslin, then took the Cassier Hwy. S. down to Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK, then South back into lower 48. In above description, all routes since we departed Chicken AK to Tok (on way into AK) were paved. As mentioned by others, you do encounter dippy stretches where you'll need to slow WAY down (ie. 30 mph) for extended stretches of 5 mi., or 15 mi. etc. but just sit back, enjoy the scenery. OH...also, if you're fussy about campground conditions....PUT THAT ASIDE for this trip cause most are a little rougher than we encounter in lower 48. Treat em as part of the adventure. There is SOOOOOO much I'd like to relate that could be helpful, but this is already too lengthy, so if ya have specific questions, send a PM and we'll be glad to try and answer. Just know this...you're going to go nuts over the scenery....especially on the coast,...and...don't miss Salmon Glacier down in Hyder on your route back. HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP...wish we were returning this summer, but we definitely WILL do it again!! Steve & Lynette
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:38 AM   #7
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We went in 2002 and have a 36'. Just as was aid drive according to the road conditions, some were under "Destruction" when we went, probably;y happens every year.
Best part of the trip wasn't Alaska, it was Banff & Jasper NP's in Alberta, Canada.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #8
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Chicadee,

We are contemplating taking that ferry ride that you took last year. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Suka
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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Suka: Hi. Not certain which ferry ride you are inquiring about...the free shuttle over the Yukon River leaving Dawson City heading West over Top of the World Highway....OR...the little hop we made from Haines over to Skagway??
The free ferry shuttle out of Dawson is simply a rather large, flat, open deck and you simply line up and when your turn comes, you drive your rig with tow attached onto the ferry and they take you across the river. The ferry out of Haines over to Skagway is actually one of the big Alaska Ferry System ships. It cost us $248.00 (total) for our 40' motorhome/Honda Element toad/and two adults. Might sound high BUT...otherwise we'd have had to return North up to Haines Jct. (look at a map), then drive East through Whitehorse to near Watson Lake..then South to Skagway..a distance of about 350 miles...because of this time and distance, the ferry hop over to Skagway was our choice and it was a fun little trip. When in Haines we stayed at the "Hitch-Up RV Park" and were scheduled to load onto the ferry at 4 or 5 A.M.!! the next day so we drove over to the ferry terminal the evening before we left and spent the night in the BIG ferry terminal lot along with others boarding in the morning. The tow car could NOT be attached when loading so when time came to load, I drove the coach on and Lynette drove tow car with canoe on top. Ya drive down (or up depending on tide) this long ramp and in our case entered ship through huge doorway in rear side of ship and simply let the crew guys direct you. If you follow their directions, it all goes very smoothly although one does wonder how it'll fit...BUT IT DOES VERY EASILY. A little while later Lynette came onto the car deck with our tow car and we both then when topside for the trip. We left our 3 cats in the motorhome for the approx. hour long trip across. Hope this is helpful. Steve & Lynette
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Chickadee,

That is a big help. We are thinking about going from Skagway to Haines by ferry. I can see where that would save quite a bit of time and money considering the drive.

Thanks for the information.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:34 AM   #11
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Very cool posting; thanks a lot. DH and I want to see Alaska next summer by RV with the kids(have already done a cruise there).

We were wary of going due to previous posts, but yours gave us another push!

Thanks!
Amy
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:17 AM   #12
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Hello Amy: By all means....DO take that Alaska trip...especially with kids....it's something they'll remember there whole lives. OH...and really try to get in some gold panning. Stop at WalMart, outfit yourselves with those knee high rubber boots, buy a few of those plastic gold panning pans and ask locals where ya might do some panning. Someone will even show ya how and it's GREAT FUN wading along streams, sifting out pans of gravel, and....AND....with luck...seeing those little gold flakes in the bottom of your pan.....WHAT A HOOT!!!!. Have fun. Steve & Lynette
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:52 PM   #13
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Gold Panning sounds like a great idea. We took the girls panning the last time, but they were so little, I'm sure they don't remember!
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
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Want to thank all who have entered this discussion with very helpful information. Joel and I really appreciate the info and are continuing to plan our trip. We're currently thinking of leaving the Seattle area the last week in May or first week in June, depending upon the weather in the "great state o AK".

Thanks again, and if any of you have specific campgrounds you liked, pls pass them on.
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