Going to Alaska

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

dcrbtt

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Posts
143
Location
California
From southern California to the top of Alaska, with my (not yet purchased) 30' Class A towing a car.

What are some of the do's and Do avoid's?

 

djw2112

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Posts
1,014
Location
East Texas
Hi,  I have never made the trip myself but a friend of mine has a long time ago.  The two things I remember him telling me is to ALWAYS carry extra fuel as there are extremely long stretches with no services at all.  And also to drive extra careful as there are many challenges along the way that you may not expect.    I am sure there are those on here that have made the trip that can elaborate in more detail. 

I know there is probably no more beautiful place but I also know you are driving into a place where mothernature and the wild are a much bigger impact than any other place as well. 
 

missnmountains

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Posts
65
We do the trip every other year on the even years. My main advise is plan on taking your time and drive slow up the alcan.

Here is a list of the best or necessary stops:

Dawson Creek (mile zero)
Ft. Nelson
Liard Hotsprings
Watson Lake (sign forest)
Whitehorse.
Tok
Stop at Delta Junction for your picture at the end of the Alcan.
Fairbanks (We stopped going in 2018)
Denali
Wasilla (Anchorgage)
Homer (Awesome Fishing)
Seward
Valdez.

Maybe catch Glacier National Park on your return.

I would plan at least a month.

In 2014, we started from Colorado and traveled to Southern California and up through all of the state. We crossed into Canada from Washington up through 100 Mile House to Dawson Creek.

There is lots to see, hike, tour, etc so take your time.

Ken
 

AStravelers

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Posts
1,590
Location
San Antonio, TX
From southern California to the top of Alaska, with my (not yet purchased) 30' Class A towing a car.

What are some of the do's and Do avoid's?
Buy the RV by March and learn the in's and out's of the RV.  If you haven't owned and used an RV in the past you lots and lots to learn.  An AK trip is not the place to learn. 

You need to spend a minimum of 2-3 weeks in the RV before leaving.  It doesn't have to be all at one time.  You can spend it in chunks of time.  Even having the RV sitting in your driveway and staying in it works. 

It is really helpful if you learn how to dry camp in your RV before leaving for AK.  Dry camping is living in the RV w/o connecting to electric, water or sewer.  There are lots of nice places to dry camp or boondock (boondock is to park your RV in a place that does not have designated campsites, i.e out in the boondocks). 

For info and tips on living in your RV, click on the "home" button in the upper left of this website and browse back through the "Newcomer", General info" and some of the other sections, looking for topics about living and traveling in your RV.

Plan for at least 2 months (4 months is much better) from the time you cross into Canada from Washington until you cross back into the lower 48.  Lots of driving, which is much more enjoyable if you can limit your travel days to 100-200 miles.  Better yet to plan on staying 2 or more days at each stop before traveling.

Blogs of Alaska trips:
In most of these blogs the writers do lots of dry camping or boondocking.

General info about many, many things to consider:  https://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal/2019/02/alaska-rv-trip-planning-overview.html

Index page for our blog of our 2016 trip to AK:  http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2017/01/alaska-trip-index-april-26september-6.html

Additional Blogs:
http://ramcquade.com/?m=20150510
http://lakeshoreimages.com/15trip/day008.html
http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-602970
http://coolrvers.blogspot.com/2011/06/border-crossing-to-cache-creek.html
 

Utclmjmpr

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Posts
5,617
Location
Cedar City, UT
Been there many times,, make sure you have WINDSHEILD AND ROAD SIDE INSURANCE.  As others have said,,know your equipment well and add extra battery capacity.>>>Dan
 

AStravelers

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Posts
1,590
Location
San Antonio, TX
Rene T said:
I've never been but it 1 month really long enough?
No.  It is 5 days for really fast exhausting travel to the AK border, 7 days for pretty fast travel and 10-14 days for enjoyable travel to the AK border.  Once in AK you can only get a very quick highlight view of the places to visit in 14 days.  Mean while you have spend a lot of time, energy and money to just get to AK to only stay for a couple of weeks.

If someone only has 1 month to visit AK, fly to Anchorage and rent a RV for a month. 
 

missnmountains

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Posts
65
Rene T said:
I've never been but it 1 month really long enough?

That is why I said "at least". We actually spend 4 to 5 months. But I have noticed quite a few that take a month spending 3 to 4 days at the major destinations such as Fairbanks, Denali, Homer, Seward, and Valdez.

My point is you have to take your time. I have seen 5th wheels, truck campers, and motorhomes destroyed on the Alaskan Highway. People in a hurry tend to drive way too fast for the road. In particular from Whitehorse to the Border.

Ken
 

Jeff and Anita

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Posts
176
Location
Oceanside
We are going to AK this summer also. Coming from So. Cal as well. We went 10 years ago and spend 100 days on the road. That includes our driving to the Canada border. It's about 1300 miles just to get to the Canadian Border from So. Cal. We live in the San Diego area. That's a lot of driving and miles. Fairbanks is about 2000 miles one way once you cross the Canadian border without any side trips. Be sure to pick up the Milepost 2019 edition before your trip. Take your time and enjoy. I agree if you only have a month fly to Anchorage and rent a RV for a month.
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,693
Speed is your enemy up there.  Alaskan roads have what are called "Frost heaves" which are caused by freezing and ice during Alaska's harsh winters.  If you hit a frost heave at high speed you actually can go airborne which is really hard on a vehicle's suspension if you slam down too hard.  They're hard to see and sometimes you hit one unexpectedly so you need to drive at Alaskan speeds which are slower.  You may drive 350 miles a day in the Lower 48, but you shouldn't even attempt that many miles per day up there to avoid vehicle damage.

Road conditions vary by year.  The road construction "season" has to be crammed into a few summer months so you'll likely encounter long stretches of construction.  That can mean long delays.

There are more fuel stops these days than a couple of decades ago, but it's still a good idea to purchase the latest Milepost which lists most businesses and points of interest.

Going to Alaska is an adventure with lots to see and do so the longer you can stay, the better.  Every little town along the Alcan seems to have a museum and they seldom duplicate contents.  One stressed the gold rush and some of the letters written home were fascinating.  Whitehorse had a couple of neat museums, including one about Beringia when there was a land mass between North America and Asia.  Whitehorse also is where we tasted a lovely jelly made with Fireweed. And, of course, the glaciers are amazing.  A tour of the Columbia Icefields Parkway in Canada is a fun adventure.  Also, British Columbia has a variety of timber-related factories with tours, and the largest aluminum smelter in North America can be toured.  There are interesting native cultural places to visit and you should see a wide variety of wildlife.  Oh yes, if you like fresh salmon and halibut you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!

ArdraF
 

Drifterrider

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Posts
155
Just emphasizing what ArdraF said.

purchase the latest Milepost

Gas stations might be in existence but out of business.  Speed limits are lower than in the US and the days are longer (more hours of sunlight) so it is easy to "over drive" because it is later than you think.

Know your MPG and plan for a station to be closed.  You will find at least one that is closed/out of business and it will be the one you need.

Canadians do a good job of marking frost heaves with orange flags.  If your section of road has so many of them it looks like a parade route, go SLOWLY so as to not damage your coach.

Relax, have fun, take your time. 
 

AStravelers

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Posts
1,590
Location
San Antonio, TX
About gas or fuel.  Remember people live and work in the cities and towns along the AK Hwy.  They have to have fuel for their vehicles so in all the major cities and towns along the way you will find fuel, year around. 

Just remember....Fill up in every city/town along the way even if you have 3/4 of a tank, fill up before leaving for the next town.  The biggest distance I see is about 320 miles from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake.  However there are several smaller towns in between. 
 

nibroc

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Posts
231
Location
the 'ville
....agree with jeff and anita....fly there and rent an rv ----no bother with passports or break downs on the way .... ;D
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
123,912
Posts
1,257,916
Members
129,727
Latest member
JWC
Top Bottom