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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Topic started by: steelmooch on September 03, 2017, 10:51:32 AM

Title: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: steelmooch on September 03, 2017, 10:51:32 AM
Hello, all...and thanks for your time and consideration. 

We're hopeful that the board might please share some experiences and provide some recommendations about how to narrow our research moving forward. 

We are Western PA travel trailer campers who are working toward a summer trip to coastal Alaska. 

We're able to spend about 2 weeks in the Juneau/Skagway/Klukwan/etc (interior corridor), plus or minus a few days. 

We initially looked into some "cruise" options, but it was quickly apparent that, even with a 1-week itinerary on a "moderate" cruise line, an interior cabin, airfare all the way from PIT to SEA, and limiting ourselves to "reasonable" land excursions that people typically do while they're there (such as excluding anything in a helicopter), our party of 4 would easily need a budget bumping from 4 digits into the low 5 digits, which is more than we are able to spend without significant buyers' remorse. 

We've been looking at flying into Juneau (or another city) and renting an RV, and I'd appreciate your thoughts/experiences with that.  I'm seeing a lot of nice, small motorhome options that certainly aren't cheap ($200-$300/night), but it looks like a viable option for us.  Travel trailers are also available for less, but when paired with a rental tow vehicle, seem to be fairly on par with the motorhomes price-wise. 

Our goal is to see some towns...to see some wildlife...to get some culture...kind of an all-around experience without any needs or requirements that are too specific or intense in any one theme/area. 

Is this "what people do" when coming all the way from the East Coast with a desire to RV Alaska?  Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.  :)

Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: mrschwarz on September 03, 2017, 02:29:50 PM
When we have been there, we have seen quite a few rental motor homes, so I am assuming a lot of people do. The major city in Alaska is Anchorage, not Juneau. In fact, Juneau is not accessible by road from the rest of the state. If you were to rent there, you would need to ride an expensive ferry to see anywhere else!

You may want to look at flying into Anchorage and touring the Kenai penninsula. There's quite a bit going on there in the summer, with towns like Seward, Homer, Ninilchik, Kenai City, Whittier, etc.

Another thought would be to fly into Fairbanks, tour the area, go up to the Arctic Circle, head south to Denali and end in Anchorage.

There are a lot of options. You just need to be aware of the scale of things up there and the distances involved. Have fun planning!
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: SeilerBird on September 03, 2017, 02:34:39 PM
If you want to take a party of four from the east coast to the most expensive place in the US to vacation then be prepared to spend some money. It will not be cheap no matter how you do it. Personally I would wait till the kids are grown up so it was only two people.
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: Oldgator73 on September 03, 2017, 02:54:52 PM
I lived in King Salmon, AK and my wife and kids came up to see me. We flew from King Salmon to Fairbanks and took the train from Fairbanks to Anchorage. We rented a car and drove to Seward. I chartered a boat and we went Salmon fishing. You could do Alaska in a car. You also have to consider your gas price too. Might be cheaper than an RV if you book your rooms on Hotels.com or similar site.
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: steelmooch on September 03, 2017, 07:14:35 PM
If you want to take a party of four from the east coast to the most expensive place in the US to vacation then be prepared to spend some money. It will not be cheap no matter how you do it. Personally I would wait till the kids are grown up so it was only two people.

Tom...classic.  :)  Wait a few years and cut the kids out of it.  Fiscally effective, yet shrewd...haha.  Thanks for offering your take and have a nice evening! 
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: steelmooch on September 03, 2017, 07:16:06 PM
When we have been there, we have seen quite a few rental motor homes, so I am assuming a lot of people do. The major city in Alaska is Anchorage, not Juneau. In fact, Juneau is not accessible by road from the rest of the state. If you were to rent there, you would need to ride an expensive ferry to see anywhere else!

You may want to look at flying into Anchorage and touring the Kenai penninsula. There's quite a bit going on there in the summer, with towns like Seward, Homer, Ninilchik, Kenai City, Whittier, etc.

Another thought would be to fly into Fairbanks, tour the area, go up to the Arctic Circle, head south to Denali and end in Anchorage.

There are a lot of options. You just need to be aware of the scale of things up there and the distances involved. Have fun planning!

Michael - amazing insight re: Juneau.  It reveals my ignorance and that I'm in the early stages of planning...but so helpful.  Thank you greatly...I didn't realize the "ferry"/"access" issue that's in play.  Thanks and happy travels. 
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 04, 2017, 08:28:49 AM
Michael gave good advice - The Anchorage-Kenai itinerary is what I would recommend if on a fly-drive vacation. A Denali visit is reasonable from Anchorage as well, if you have time. The Kenai has scenery, wildlife, and pleasant towns like Homer & Soldatna. Several small villages as well.

We toured Alaska in 2002 and spent a full 3 months there - lots of see and do if you like scenery, wild life and fishing. Distances are long and highway travel often slow compared to the lower-48. You are more likely to be driving at 40 than 65, so plan for shorter distances than at home.
Title: Re: RVing Alaska - Hoping for Some Advice
Post by: steelmooch on September 07, 2017, 09:09:26 AM
Thanks, Gary!  :)  We appreciate your feedback.  Take care!