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Old 09-02-2020, 10:51 PM   #29
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Assuming borders open and we can travel into Canada and to Alaska I think it would be best to be calling ahead and/or checking on web sites for every attraction you plan on visiting. Just because the political folks say it's open won't mean locals may or may not agree.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:31 PM   #30
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Even in normal times small businesses, including fuel stations, close every year. It's a hard life to make a living up there.

RE: the virus.... I really believe that if the borders are open next summer that attractions will be open. They can't afford to stay closed.

As stated, the Milepost is never current for that type of information. Purchase it for the maps and history; not for campgrounds and fuel as they may have closed permanently.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:02 AM   #31
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This has been asked many times with the same replies.
It's cheaper to do it on your own.
You can do everything a caravan does if you do the research.
A caravan does not have a mechanic to fix your RV but with 21 or more RV's, someone is likely to be able to help.
A caravan will have all your campsites scheduled and reserved. Most of these campsites will be gravel parking lots with 30 amp service.

If by yourself summer is a busy time along the ALCAN and you may not find a campsite unless you book well in advance.

A caravan is on a schedule and you can't stay longer at a great place.


With all that being said I loved our SMART caravan. We enjoyed the people, the evening games and dinners. The caravan folks know what you want to see and do and have it all arranged. It will take a lot of research to get it right. Let them do it.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:40 AM   #32
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If by yourself summer is a busy time along the ALCAN and you may not find a campsite unless you book well in advance.

The caravan folks know what you want to see and do and have it all arranged. It will take a lot of research to get it right.
Well.. have to disagree. As I stated above, we didn't make any reservations except for the July 4 weekend and for Denali's Teklanika campground and only then a short time prior while we were traveling. We spent 10 nights in Denali where we saw the animals constantly. The caravans stay outside the park for a couple days on a gravel parking lot.

If you pull in by early afternoon you'll get sites.

As far as seeing things with a caravan, they don't do any more than a normal tourist would do. I've looked at the itinearies. They hit all the popular spots but if you have time there's a lot more to see.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:58 AM   #33
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I've made the trip from San Diego to Alaska twice, both trips by motorcycle. Have thought about going again in my RV, haven't done it yet. Just one thing I've noticed over the years is that traveling in a group tends to limit your interactions with the locals. People are often reluctant to engage with a group but if you travel alone or with one or or two other individuals you'll find people more likely to talk with you. At least that's been my experience. Some people may prefer to avoid interacting with the locals (I got to where I tried to avoid it when I had to travel to or through places like NYC, where the only people who talk to you are the ones who want money or something else from you), but to me meeting the locals is one of the primary reasons for traveling (except in a few uncivilized areas as noted above).
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Old 09-04-2020, 01:38 PM   #34
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It always amazes me the confidence some people have in speaking about things they've actually not done. I cannot tell you about going to Alaska by myself. I am a single, middle aged woman who works full time as a pediatric subspecialist. I do not have the time to plan out such a trip, do not have someone reading navigation instructions or tips out of the Milepost as I drive alone, nor the confidence and mechanical skills to go to Alaska without any one else.

What I can tell you about is my trip to Alaska last summer as part of the Fantasy 60 day tour. Every single day was amazing. It was the best thing I've ever done.

I got to Coeur d'Alene on my own, though driving in the lower 48 with good cell service along the major routes doesn't intimidate me. Met up with the 23 other rigs. I was not the only solo person. We had 15 fifth wheels, 3 travel trailers, 6 class As. People from PA to FL to CA.

Fantasy has a lot of buying power due to how many caravans they run. They can buy the tickets to the activities for less than what a random person would pay. When you add up all the tickets, campgrounds, and meals the cost is nearly the same. Could you spend less by not camping in a campground on your own? Of course. As one of my friends pointe out, you pay up front and forget about it. If he'd gone on his own, it's likely he'd have skipped some of the museums or such because he'd look up the cost and decide it was too much at that moment. At the Sea Life Center in Seward, we got to meet birds in person in a classroom--an activity not available to the general public. So there are some things we did that you simply cannot do on your own.

Fantasy does not want nor encourage people to travel in large groups from point a to point b. You could leave a campground as early as you wanted and pull into the next as late as you wanted. The only time limit is you have to leave the overnight campground by their check out time.

There are some group activities on some travel days, like stopping at the Athabasca glacier while traveling from Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, but most of the time you just take off and do whatever you want on a travel day. If there was a group stop, they would tell us what time we needed to be at the stop--up to you to show up on time. I typically went with friends who drove in front so I didn't have to navigate. But, there were times I just did my own thing. It was easier to follow someone, but not impossible to navigate alone if you paid attention to the trip directions. We'd stop at scenic views along the way, visit museums, restaurants, etc if we wanted to. There are a few caravan companies that do have their group travel together, but that is the exception and not the rule from what I understand.

Having said that, Fantasy is very clear that this is YOUR vacation and your trip. If you don't want to do the activity they arranged (I did not go river rafting in Denali as a close friend died rafting in Colorado a few weeks before our group rafted) you don't have to do it. Your ticket is included already, but there might be times you'd rather go do something else. Or go visit a friend or relation who lives near where you are. I met my aunt, uncle, sister and BIL in Wasilla one day for breakfast as they happened to be visiting Alaska at the same time. Sister and BIL could have joined me no cost--they don't care who is in your rig. But they wouldn't be allowed to do some of the group activities or such without paying towards it.

If you want to go off to the Northwest Territories on your own, have at it! You can catch up later. Again, it's your vacation.

Twogypsies said in a comment early on that if you break down the caravan won't wait for you. This is not true in some ways. My friends broke a spring hanger on the Glenn Highway. I waited with them until the Tailgunners were close, then gave them my generator (it was really hot) and headed for the campground. The tailgunners stayed with them until a tow truck got there 4 hours later. They had to sit in Glennallen for 3 days to get it fixed, but then they caught up to us in Homer. I mean, I guess technically we didn't wait for them, but the Wagonmasters and tailgunners are responsible for getting people sorted out on the trip, and they did a great job helping my friends out and keeping us all updated. You aren't alone in a big wilderness.

The small places we stayed at had some real characters. It was a real pleasure to meet the people who run Chicken, and Lauren, the guy who runs the place at Destruction Bay. My favorite activity was meeting Manuela, the owner of Muktuk kennels. She fed us a delicious lunch and I loved seeing all the dogs and learning about dog sledding.

By the time the trip ended, there were ugly tears as we said goodbye to the people who had become family. Every single person was fun to be with. I loved the camaraderie of the campfires and all the shared experiences. I had trailer brake issues--the guys fixed it. One guy's class A had a belt break in the engine--they all fixed it. We all had such a great time together that I had a reunion in Tennessee in April planned with 22 of the 24 rigs planning to be there. Until something called Covid derailed it. We still email and text each other all the time. I get to see some of the Midwest crew periodically. Every single person says even a year out that they don't regret a thing. I would pay it all over again. No one in the group wishes they hadn't done it. In fact, at least half of us are planning to do another Fantasy tour next fall, to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. And a bunch are in talks to do the Fantasy Canadian Maritimes trip the next year.

To sum up: I loved every second of my Fantasy Alaska trip. Every part, from not having to do my own planning, to being in the company of others, to the awesome experiences I got to do, to making life-long friends with people from all over the U.S. My email group for all of us who were on the trip is labelled: Fantasy Family. That's what they are to me. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:41 PM   #35
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DRDIT92: Good report. Glad you enjoyed it. I was just giving another way to do it.
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:33 PM   #36
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It sounds like Fantasy Tours was a perfect fit for you and your needs. Great you were able to do the trip that way and enjoy it so much. I just don't think the tour groups are for me.

Different folks got different needs and wants and that's great.
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Old 09-04-2020, 06:03 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdit92 View Post
It always amazes me the confidence some people have in speaking about things they've actually not done. I cannot tell you about going to Alaska by myself. I am a single, middle aged woman who works full time as a pediatric subspecialist. I do not have the time to plan out such a trip, do not have someone reading navigation instructions or tips out of the Milepost as I drive alone, nor the confidence and mechanical skills to go to Alaska without any one else.

What I can tell you about is my trip to Alaska last summer as part of the Fantasy 60 day tour. Every single day was amazing. It was the best thing I've ever done.

I got to Coeur d'Alene on my own, though driving in the lower 48 with good cell service along the major routes doesn't intimidate me. Met up with the 23 other rigs. I was not the only solo person. We had 15 fifth wheels, 3 travel trailers, 6 class As. People from PA to FL to CA.

Fantasy has a lot of buying power due to how many caravans they run. They can buy the tickets to the activities for less than what a random person would pay. When you add up all the tickets, campgrounds, and meals the cost is nearly the same. Could you spend less by not camping in a campground on your own? Of course. As one of my friends pointe out, you pay up front and forget about it. If he'd gone on his own, it's likely he'd have skipped some of the museums or such because he'd look up the cost and decide it was too much at that moment. At the Sea Life Center in Seward, we got to meet birds in person in a classroom--an activity not available to the general public. So there are some things we did that you simply cannot do on your own.

Fantasy does not want nor encourage people to travel in large groups from point a to point b. You could leave a campground as early as you wanted and pull into the next as late as you wanted. The only time limit is you have to leave the overnight campground by their check out time.

There are some group activities on some travel days, like stopping at the Athabasca glacier while traveling from Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, but most of the time you just take off and do whatever you want on a travel day. If there was a group stop, they would tell us what time we needed to be at the stop--up to you to show up on time. I typically went with friends who drove in front so I didn't have to navigate. But, there were times I just did my own thing. It was easier to follow someone, but not impossible to navigate alone if you paid attention to the trip directions. We'd stop at scenic views along the way, visit museums, restaurants, etc if we wanted to. There are a few caravan companies that do have their group travel together, but that is the exception and not the rule from what I understand.

Having said that, Fantasy is very clear that this is YOUR vacation and your trip. If you don't want to do the activity they arranged (I did not go river rafting in Denali as a close friend died rafting in Colorado a few weeks before our group rafted) you don't have to do it. Your ticket is included already, but there might be times you'd rather go do something else. Or go visit a friend or relation who lives near where you are. I met my aunt, uncle, sister and BIL in Wasilla one day for breakfast as they happened to be visiting Alaska at the same time. Sister and BIL could have joined me no cost--they don't care who is in your rig. But they wouldn't be allowed to do some of the group activities or such without paying towards it.

If you want to go off to the Northwest Territories on your own, have at it! You can catch up later. Again, it's your vacation.

Twogypsies said in a comment early on that if you break down the caravan won't wait for you. This is not true in some ways. My friends broke a spring hanger on the Glenn Highway. I waited with them until the Tailgunners were close, then gave them my generator (it was really hot) and headed for the campground. The tailgunners stayed with them until a tow truck got there 4 hours later. They had to sit in Glennallen for 3 days to get it fixed, but then they caught up to us in Homer. I mean, I guess technically we didn't wait for them, but the Wagonmasters and tailgunners are responsible for getting people sorted out on the trip, and they did a great job helping my friends out and keeping us all updated. You aren't alone in a big wilderness.

The small places we stayed at had some real characters. It was a real pleasure to meet the people who run Chicken, and Lauren, the guy who runs the place at Destruction Bay. My favorite activity was meeting Manuela, the owner of Muktuk kennels. She fed us a delicious lunch and I loved seeing all the dogs and learning about dog sledding.

By the time the trip ended, there were ugly tears as we said goodbye to the people who had become family. Every single person was fun to be with. I loved the camaraderie of the campfires and all the shared experiences. I had trailer brake issues--the guys fixed it. One guy's class A had a belt break in the engine--they all fixed it. We all had such a great time together that I had a reunion in Tennessee in April planned with 22 of the 24 rigs planning to be there. Until something called Covid derailed it. We still email and text each other all the time. I get to see some of the Midwest crew periodically. Every single person says even a year out that they don't regret a thing. I would pay it all over again. No one in the group wishes they hadn't done it. In fact, at least half of us are planning to do another Fantasy tour next fall, to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. And a bunch are in talks to do the Fantasy Canadian Maritimes trip the next year.

To sum up: I loved every second of my Fantasy Alaska trip. Every part, from not having to do my own planning, to being in the company of others, to the awesome experiences I got to do, to making life-long friends with people from all over the U.S. My email group for all of us who were on the trip is labelled: Fantasy Family. That's what they are to me. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


Well said!!! I too am disappointed that there seems to be a lot of people who believe their opinions are the only true and factual ones and that anyone who has a different opinion is wrong or misinformed. Getting the advice of others is all well and good, but we're all adults here and we make our own decisions. Everyone, from newbies to well seasoned RVers, needs to respect that.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:56 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdit92 View Post
It always amazes me the confidence some people have in speaking about things they've actually not done. I cannot tell you about going to Alaska by myself. I am a single, middle aged woman who works full time as a pediatric subspecialist. I do not have the time to plan out such a trip, do not have someone reading navigation instructions or tips out of the Milepost as I drive alone, nor the confidence and mechanical skills to go to Alaska without any one else.

What I can tell you about is my trip to Alaska last summer as part of the Fantasy 60 day tour. Every single day was amazing. It was the best thing I've ever done.

I got to Coeur d'Alene on my own, though driving in the lower 48 with good cell service along the major routes doesn't intimidate me. Met up with the 23 other rigs. I was not the only solo person. We had 15 fifth wheels, 3 travel trailers, 6 class As. People from PA to FL to CA.

Fantasy has a lot of buying power due to how many caravans they run. They can buy the tickets to the activities for less than what a random person would pay. When you add up all the tickets, campgrounds, and meals the cost is nearly the same. Could you spend less by not camping in a campground on your own? Of course. As one of my friends pointe out, you pay up front and forget about it. If he'd gone on his own, it's likely he'd have skipped some of the museums or such because he'd look up the cost and decide it was too much at that moment. At the Sea Life Center in Seward, we got to meet birds in person in a classroom--an activity not available to the general public. So there are some things we did that you simply cannot do on your own.

Fantasy does not want nor encourage people to travel in large groups from point a to point b. You could leave a campground as early as you wanted and pull into the next as late as you wanted. The only time limit is you have to leave the overnight campground by their check out time.

There are some group activities on some travel days, like stopping at the Athabasca glacier while traveling from Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, but most of the time you just take off and do whatever you want on a travel day. If there was a group stop, they would tell us what time we needed to be at the stop--up to you to show up on time. I typically went with friends who drove in front so I didn't have to navigate. But, there were times I just did my own thing. It was easier to follow someone, but not impossible to navigate alone if you paid attention to the trip directions. We'd stop at scenic views along the way, visit museums, restaurants, etc if we wanted to. There are a few caravan companies that do have their group travel together, but that is the exception and not the rule from what I understand.

Having said that, Fantasy is very clear that this is YOUR vacation and your trip. If you don't want to do the activity they arranged (I did not go river rafting in Denali as a close friend died rafting in Colorado a few weeks before our group rafted) you don't have to do it. Your ticket is included already, but there might be times you'd rather go do something else. Or go visit a friend or relation who lives near where you are. I met my aunt, uncle, sister and BIL in Wasilla one day for breakfast as they happened to be visiting Alaska at the same time. Sister and BIL could have joined me no cost--they don't care who is in your rig. But they wouldn't be allowed to do some of the group activities or such without paying towards it.

If you want to go off to the Northwest Territories on your own, have at it! You can catch up later. Again, it's your vacation.

Twogypsies said in a comment early on that if you break down the caravan won't wait for you. This is not true in some ways. My friends broke a spring hanger on the Glenn Highway. I waited with them until the Tailgunners were close, then gave them my generator (it was really hot) and headed for the campground. The tailgunners stayed with them until a tow truck got there 4 hours later. They had to sit in Glennallen for 3 days to get it fixed, but then they caught up to us in Homer. I mean, I guess technically we didn't wait for them, but the Wagonmasters and tailgunners are responsible for getting people sorted out on the trip, and they did a great job helping my friends out and keeping us all updated. You aren't alone in a big wilderness.

The small places we stayed at had some real characters. It was a real pleasure to meet the people who run Chicken, and Lauren, the guy who runs the place at Destruction Bay. My favorite activity was meeting Manuela, the owner of Muktuk kennels. She fed us a delicious lunch and I loved seeing all the dogs and learning about dog sledding.

By the time the trip ended, there were ugly tears as we said goodbye to the people who had become family. Every single person was fun to be with. I loved the camaraderie of the campfires and all the shared experiences. I had trailer brake issues--the guys fixed it. One guy's class A had a belt break in the engine--they all fixed it. We all had such a great time together that I had a reunion in Tennessee in April planned with 22 of the 24 rigs planning to be there. Until something called Covid derailed it. We still email and text each other all the time. I get to see some of the Midwest crew periodically. Every single person says even a year out that they don't regret a thing. I would pay it all over again. No one in the group wishes they hadn't done it. In fact, at least half of us are planning to do another Fantasy tour next fall, to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. And a bunch are in talks to do the Fantasy Canadian Maritimes trip the next year.

To sum up: I loved every second of my Fantasy Alaska trip. Every part, from not having to do my own planning, to being in the company of others, to the awesome experiences I got to do, to making life-long friends with people from all over the U.S. My email group for all of us who were on the trip is labelled: Fantasy Family. That's what they are to me. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
As I posted earlier on this thread, I've done this trip twice on my own and enjoyed them both.

This post is the best promotional piece ever. If I were able to do it again I would certainly consider doing with Fantasy. Fantasy should ask permission to use this. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-13-2020, 10:05 AM   #39
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Fantasy Alaska Tour

Also signed up for Fantasy ultimate Alaska tour for 2021.Coming from PA. Have never been to Alaska & never done a tour before.We are about 2100 miles from Coeur D'Alene ID, giving us 2 weeks to travel there basically taking RT 90 across & stopping at Mt.Rushmore. What are some other not to miss places of interest along the way? Anyone have any good campgrounds? Have been to Yellowstone previously been to Yellowstone, thinking of visiting Glacier.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:07 PM   #40
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We’re doing the same thing in June heading out from southern nj to lake Louise and then to Dawson’s creek to meet up with our tour. Gonna do the Canadian Rockies since I’ve been to glacier np a few years ago.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:12 PM   #41
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Make sure you have a plan B!

If you are planning to go to Alaska next summer, I suggest you also have a plan B. It would not surprise me to see the border closed even then. The only way it will be open is if there is an effective vaccine and the rate of infections is way, way down.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:27 PM   #42
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Does the ferry allow you to take a small travel trailer ? My thought was ferry north and then drive south. Best of both worlds maybe .
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