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RVing to Alaska
If you asked most RVers to name that one must-see destination, you’d probably hear Alaska come up quite often. With its majestic mountains, awe-inspiring glaciers, and lush forests spread as far as the eye can see, it’s no wonder our 48th state, which was appropriately nicknamed The Last Frontier, attracts millions of visitors each year. In fact, according to the state’s Division of Economic Development, Alaska had nearly 3 million visitors in the fall/winter period of 2014-2015. And with only 4 percent of these visitors traveling by highway, an Alaska RV trip might be one of the most enjoyable ways to see this fairytale destination.
To RV to Alaska is to live one of life's greatest adventures, one that only a handful of people ever get to experience first-hand. That’s why it’s important to do your research so that you can make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Ready to RV Alaska? Here is some useful information to help get your trip planning underway.
RV Alaska Itinerary
Whether you plan on RVing Alaska for a week, a month, or even longer, you’ll want to craft an itinerary for the duration of your trip. This will not only help make sure you’ll hit up all the landmarks and national parks on your to-do list, it’s also a great way to help you figure out what to pack and how much money you’ll need for food, attractions, and parking. An itinerary will also keep you from getting lost or running out of gas on the open road -- two things no RV traveler ever wants to experience.
Luckily, there are countless sample itineraries to help with your RV Alaska trip planning. This 5-day tour by Travel Alaska, for instance, explores Prince William and the Southcentral Coast. It starts off in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, where you can visit Lake Hood, the world’s largest and busiest floatplane base. From here, you can take a charter flight to the Denali National Park and Preserve, famous for its wild bears.
On day two, head to Whittier, a quaint seaside town located amidst the mountains of Prince William Sound, but not before driving through the 140-acres of parkland dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
On day three, take a ferry over to Valdez, where you can witness Columbia Glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America, as well as enjoying kayaking in the fjords.
Then it’s off to the fishing community of Cordova on day four. Here, you can check out Childs Glacier, the Million Dollar Bridge, and the Cordova Historical Museum.
Finally, on day five, take the ferry back from Cordova to Whittier, and travel 50 miles down the scenic Seward Highway down to Hope Highway, where you visit the historic Gold Rush era town of Hope before continuing to Porcupine and staying the night at a campground located on a bluff above Turnagain Arm.
RV Alaska Blogs
While perusing sample itineraries can be a great way to get acquainted with Alaska and all it has to offer, blogs are another way to read about first-hand experiences from RV travelers just like you. Because Alaska is a favorite destination among RV enthusiasts, you can find a wealth of information online about the best campgrounds, most scenic routes, and all the off-the-beaten-path spots that are must-sees.
Gone With the Wynns, a blog by Jason and Nikki Wynn, a couple of self-proclaimed perpetual travelers, has a very helpful post called, “Planning the Great Alaska Road Trip by RV,” which includes the couple’s Rocky Mountain driving route, as well their bucket-list sights and activities, and a list of the big questions they had before embarking on their journey. They also filmed a series of videos for their YouTube channel documenting the adventure!
Winnebago Life, meanwhile, has its own must-see list, titled, “Alaska: 10 Things You Have to Do,” which includes warming up in Lizard hot springs, salmon fishing, and crossing the Arctic Circle.
You’ll also want to check out RoadTreking, which outlines all the things you don’t want to do during your RV trip through Alaska.
RV Rentals Alaska
You don’t need your own camper to experience all the perks of traveling Alaska by RV. Companies like RVShare make it easy and affordable to book RV rentals in Alaska, even if you’re brand-new to RV travel. Simply browse through the wide selection of motorhomes, easily connect with your trusted dealer to iron out the details of your trip, complete your online reservation through the company’s safe and secure system, and you’re all set!
Regardless of your budget, you can rest assured you’ll find the perfect Alaska camper for you and your group. This well-maintained 2002 Nash N20, for instance, rents for just $100 per night. Complete with bathroom, and dining and living space, as well as a Bluetooth-enabled stereo, TV, and outdoor shower, this camper sleeps five passengers comfortably, providing all the essentials for your RV adventure in Alaska.
If a little luxury is more what you’re looking for, this 2012 Forest River 390BH sleeps six passengers and includes a large master suite with plenty of space to relax after a long day of exploring. Additional sleeping areas include two bunks, each with their own entertainment system. There’s also a kitchen, bathroom, dining area with foldout table, and living space with slide out for additional room to hang out.
RV Alaska Ferry
With many of Alaska’s seaside towns surrounded by water, you won’t always be able to take a highway to the next stop on your RV itinerary. Luckily, the Alaska State ferry system can accommodate RV's of all sizes and combinations. This makes it easy to explore the many seaside fishing villages without having to leave your camper behind.
You’ll need a reservation before boarding the ferries, so be sure to plan ahead. Prior to making your reservation, you’ll also need to measure your vehicle's total overall length, height, and width, as this is how fares are determined. You can visit Alaska Ferry Vacations for information, including maps, schedules, and run times.
RV Anchorage, Alaska
No trip to Alaska is complete without a visit to the state’s largest city, Anchorage. Besides offering a wide range of outdoor sights like the majestic Lake Eklunta or the Flattop Mountain Trail, Anchorage is also known for its thriving cultural scene with several museums that celebrate Alaska’s storied past.
Anchorage is also home to many well-equipped RV campgrounds. The popular Golden Nugget RV park, for example, is "Big Rig" and caravan friendly, and offers on-site bathrooms with free hot showers. The park is also close to a public playground, a bus stop, bike trails, grocery stores and restaurants.
Now that you know all the ins and outs of RVing through Alaska, it’s time to rent your camper and hit the road!