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Old 07-18-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
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Alaska - 2020

So we've made the decision to address my bucket list trip to Alaska. As of today the only decision is we are going. Exact dates, route, specific destinations, how much time there, etc. still need to be worked out. There are a couple "must see/do items" that need to be worked into the plan. Denali is a MUST, and if at all possible go north to Prudhoe Bay. My thought is head out from Virginia sometime early to mid May. With about 10 days travel each way to the Alaska border, we'll probably spend 4 to 5 weeks there, but even that is still undecided.

There are only the two of us and we'll be making the trip with our 2012 Voltage 3200 toy-hauler pulled by my F450 diesel truck. And, most likely we will be taking our Can-Am Spyder trike along for doing local travel/site seeing. Although, I have also considered instead to take the ATVs or our John Deere Gator to do some off road site seeing.

With about 9 months lead time to complete the plan, make necessary arraignments, and prepare the Voltage and F450 for the trip, I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations for things to consider. We've got several books on RV'ing Alaska and a couple of videos that we will watch several times that will help. But, suggestions from those that have done this trip will be very helpful. A couple of specific things we know we need to decide soon are:

1) Should we try and go with an organized group or travel independent? I've not been a fan of groups in my other travels as sometimes it limits destination choices and time spent at various locations.

2) Should we book campgrounds in advance, or wing it? Will booking in advance force you to keep on schedule to the point you end up missing things? Can you book just several days advance between in-state destinations? We can operate self contained for periods of time if necessary.

Although suggestions on specific thing to see and places to visit are welcome, at this point I am more interested in the mechanics of the trip. My truck is equipped with world-wide capable ham radio, so we should never be completely cut-off. But, other than the normal things for camping (camera, fishing poles) what more specific things should we take along? What spare parts for the Voltage should be have? Tools? Assuming a "spare" fuel tank in the bed of the truck is also a good idea?

Let me here it... the must have, must do, nice to have, the good, the bad and the ugly...Ö.
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Old 07-18-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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WOW, That sounds like one heck of a trip. I would say also not to miss the things the Pacific Northwest has to offer on your way up there. Are you thinking of going NORTH from where you are to hit the Trans Canada Highway to Alaska or routing through the US? Are you thinking of blogging and letting us know how you're doing? When I stayed in Seattle, I thought about driving to Alaska just because, on the Sea and Sky Highway- wow, it's a long way!
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:10 PM   #3
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WOW, That sounds like one heck of a trip. I would say also not to miss the things the Pacific Northwest has to offer on your way up there. Are you thinking of going NORTH from where you are to hit the Trans Canada Highway to Alaska or routing through the US? Are you thinking of blogging and letting us know how you're doing? When I stayed in Seattle, I thought about driving to Alaska just because, on the Sea and Sky Highway- wow, it's a long way!
Probably go west to the Dakotas or Wyoming then head into Canada. Any blogging and photos will mostly be on Facebook as that's where we keep up with family and friends theses days.
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Prudhoe Bay! WOW that is an ambitious trip I am jealous.


Be sure and send us lots of pictures! And dash cam always running and recording. For all the moose that cross your path


Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
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Yeah.. this was one of trips I had on my bucket list before I had my spinal injury a few years ago... but, I'd only intended on taking the RV as far as Fairbanks, and then riding the motorcycle up the Dalton to Prudhoe. As such, I did quite a bit of research on routes & options.

Here are my thoughts... pick & choose what you will from them.

1) Weather: Depending on how it goes next year, I feel your intended route via the Dakotas & Wyoming/Montana may be a bit ambitious that soon. Most of the passes were still closed around here in mid-May this year.. and many were still closed right into the fist week of June. But, as always, weather is unpredictable... so who knows what'll happen next year.

2) My intended route was to travel the west coast one way, and along the ALCAN the other... I just wasn't sure which one I'd take going north, and which I'd take on the return. The ALCAN route would be the one requiring less logistical planning, but would be the more remote.... while the coastal run would require occasional ferry-hopping, but whose locales would have more services available if needed.

3) I'd mentioned that I'd planned on taking the rig only as far as Fairbanks for one simple reason: there are virtually NO mechanical services available north of Fairbanks should any issues arise. And even for the very few that are, if a critical part is needed, one could be stuck there for weeks waiting on it to arrive.

4) Group travel vs. Going it Alone: This is only something you can decide. Going alone certainly gives you more options... but traveling in the group not only provides a measure of physical security in a remote environment, but the availability of physical help & advise if needed.

When I was considering going in 2015... I was planning the trip with a bunch of folks from the Facebook group called "Motorcycling RVers". About 25 of us were initially interested, and began throwing out ideas & desires of travel for the following year... but it became apparent early on that there was going to be very little agreement between us on various issues. I think eventually 5 or 6 did make the trek, but I lost interest and never followed up.

My biggest concerns were twofold: first was a major mechanical breakdown, resulting in being stuck there for extended periods & completely blowing my budget. The second concern was that I'd have to plan on completely replacing just about every suspension component on the rig when I got back... as by everything I've ever heard or read states that those unforgiving roads just trash everything. How accurate those accounts are, I have no idea.... but in the end, I decided it just wasn't worth it at the time.

So that's about all I've got. Personally, I'd love to go some day... but I'm not sure I'd go alone. I'd feel much more comfortable with a small group for the reasons listed.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:05 PM   #6
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Did the trip on my then brand new Ultra Classic Harley 13 years ago. Great trip. Make sure you hit Skagway. Roads chewed up one tire. Roads then were a little tough, cracks and stones. One big issue is oncoming traffic throwing up rocks. My windshield and fairing took a beating. We went as far as Fairbanks, where roads started to get really sketchy. Gas was 50-75 miles apart. Lodging (not an issue for you) was pretty poor. Only regret was not toughing it out the last little bit and hitting the Arctic Circle. Considering that we only initially intended on riding thru Canada and "touching" southern Alaska for bragging rights, I'm glad we pressed on and did the trip. Water up there is amazing. You'd think you're looking at emeralds. Bring another RV and MONEY!
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:29 PM   #7
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Is it possible to tow an RV to Alaska and have something livable left when you arrive?
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:54 PM   #8
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Is it possible to tow an RV to Alaska and have something livable left when you arrive?


Apparently it is because it's done many thousands of time every year.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:56 PM   #9
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I know this post is several months old but since this is a 2020 trip hopefully this will help.

My best friend moved over a year ago from North Texas to Anchorage Alaska. He bought a new RV here in TX for the trip. They bought theirs with a cold weather package which included some extra insulation under the RV to help retain heat.

They set off and basically went the scenic route going from Texas thru New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and then thru Canada.

Even being a new camper and a relatively new Honda Pilot they planned for and experienced some mechanical issues. I helped mount a spare tire which they ended up needing. They had an issue with the rear axle bearing on their Pilot as well which caused them to stop for a day while repairs were made.

They also took a generator to run a/c and a space heater in case they needed to stop along the way. In Alaska especially it is not uncommon to pull off the road and boondock.

I know they packed a set of tools and extra parts for the RV that might be hard to find on the road.

They only pre-booked camp sites at the busier parks or places they really wanted to see and had little trouble finding spots along the way. This gave them some flexibility as well if they needed a down day or wanted to add a detour to their trip.

My buddy is a CHL holder and getting a handgun through Canada is a bit of a process if not outright prohibited depending on the type. As such, he bought a cheap one for the trip and sold it in a pawn shop prior to crossing the border rather than messing with it. Just something that people might forget or not think of.

Before they left they had given me a map of the trip along with intended stops and general timeline. A few times they had some spotty data signal and would call for directions or to check on things for them such as weather/camp availability/etc. Point being brief someone on your trip who can assist remotely if you run into any complications.

They arrived no major issues and the camper is still in good shape and still gets used regularly touring Alaska.
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