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Helpful Ideas for Alaskan Travels

JANETRUPP
Explorer
Explorer
What Not to Miss -

ALBERTA

Icefield Parkway - Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Mile "0" Signpost - Dawson Creek, Alaska Highway
Liard Hot Springs - Alaska Highway (historic mile 497)
Dease Lake (Cassiar Hwy) drive Telegraph Creek (not suited for large RVs)
Atlin – south of Tagish/Whitehorse area
Salmon Glacier - end of the road past Stewart BC & Hyder AK

YUKON

Frantic Follies Show - Whitehorse
Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ – Whitehorse
Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre – Whitehorse
Dawson City Museum – Dawson City
Top of the World Hwy - Dawson City
Keno City Mining Museum – Keno
Watson Lake Sign Post Forest
Wildlife Gallery – Yukon Motel, Teslin
Kluane Museum of Natural History – Burwash

ALASKA

Barrow – north Alaska, fly-in only
Chicken - Tisha's School House via Taylor Hwy or Top of the World Hwy

SOUTHEAST ALASKA
White Bus (Lunch) – Hyder via Cassiar Hwy B.C.
Skagway AK - drive south of Whitehorse YT
Haines AK - drive south of Haines Junction YT
Wrangell Jet Boat Tour - LeConte Glacier Ferry (ferry or fly-in)
Ketchikan - Deadliest catch Tour (ferry or fly-in)
Juneau - glacier helicopter & dogsled-on-glacier tour

FAIRBANKS & AREA
Santa Claus House - North Pole AK near Fairbanks
Knotty Shop – Mile 332 Richardson Hwy near Fairbanks
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center

ANCHORAGE & AREA
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center - Downtown Anchorage
Alaska Native Medical Center - Anchorage
Crow's Nest (meal Captain Cook Hotel)
Simon & Seafort's Saloon - Anchorage
Charter Plane - Anchorage/Chugach Mountains
Alaska Native Heritage Center
Moose Tooth Pub -Anchorage

KENAI PENINSULA & AREA
Seward
Kenai Fjords Boat Tours – Seward
Seward Silver Salmon Derby - Aug 10-18 Kenai Peninsula
Alyeska Tram & Resort - Girdwood (dinner is great here-Seven Glaciers)
Winner Creek Trail at Alyeska, near Girdwood
Double Musky (Dinner) - Girdwood
Pratt Museum – Homer
Homer High Rd Drive
Halibut Cove in Homer - Dinner at Saltry
Community of Hope - Between Anchorage and Seward
White water Rafting - Hope
Williwaw Campground (Chugach National Forest) - Portage Glacier
Glacier Tours – Glaciers

DENALI & PARKS HWY AREA
Denali Park Bus Tour
Denali River Rafting - Rafting (mild to wild)
Mary's McKinley View Lodge (view and dinner) – Trapper Creek
Drive Denali Hwy between Cantwell & Paxson
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Talkeetna Sightsee Flight- Mt Mckinley/Denali

EVENTS
Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival – June 7-9, Whitehorse YT
Chickenstock Music Festival – June 14-15, Chicken AK
Atlin Arts & Music Festival – July 12-14, Atlin BC
Dawson City Music Festival – July 19-21, Dawson City YT
Alaska State Fair – Aug 22 – Sept 2, Palmer AK
108th Annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game - June 21, Fairbanks






Packing Ideas:

Milepost
Travelers Guide to Alaska Camping - Church
Toursaver Coupon Book
Binoculars
Camera
Extra batteries
Kindle- Books-Audio Books
CD's and DVD's
Special Food Likes
"Roll Call Alaska 2013" signs
Walkie Talkie
Deet
Fishing Gear
Puppy Documents
Passports
Raingear
Mud Boots
Fishing Gear
Tarps
Window Bug Cleaner
Black-out Curtain or sleep masks- Window coverings
Prescriptions or special meds ie: Prilosec, Tylenol PM
Debit Card and Credit Cards
Canadian Coins
Sign for the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake - Nails and Hammer
Maps/ GPS
Books/ Magazines
Cell Phone/ Internet
Smart Phone/ Tablet apps for Camps/business and fuel
Spare Parts -Fuel Filters, Engine Belts, Extensions for E,W,S and Cable
Tools
Fuses
Gorilla Tape
Reflectors
Velcro
Evaporated Milk
Vehicle Insurance Documentation
Extra Air Filters
Cell phone amplifier / external antennas
Personal Locator Beacon
Bear Spray
Cash
Non-beef pet food in orginal containers





Things to do before leaving

Turn off water to house.

Set yard sprinklers (we have 2 meters, one for house and one for lawn, I’ll be shutting off the one for the house)

Turn off water heater

Put Saran wrap on toilets, on drains in sinks, bathtubs, showers, make sure to do kitchen sink (make sure to fill trap first)

Set AC in house for 85 to 90*

Stop newspaper

Stop mail (in our case we are forwarding it to UPS store and they well mail it to us where we ask them)

Set up auto billing for monthly ocurring costs and have electronic billing. (Utilities)

Get lawn care service if needed

Talk to lawn service to make sure they don’t leave any receipts on the front door

Talk to the police to see if they have a vacation watch

Neighbor across the street is going to place their trash cans in our drive once in a while and make sure no fliers are left on our front entry.

Set timers to turn on and off lights and radio in room that has the blinds closed

Unplug all electrical appliances (TVs, coffee pot, toaster, clocks that are plugged in, chargers, cable boxes, DVD players, Surround sound amps, printers, shredder, electric blankets, mirror, plug in flashlights, night lights, table lamps unless used with timers, night time reading lights, sewing machines, refrigerator in garage)

Drain coffee pot

Shutoff ice maker and empty the ice

Turn the refrigerator in house up a couple degrees. (empty contents except condiments)

Turn off gas to fireplace

Suspend trash service.



******These lists were a great help to all of us that traveled this year. Hope it helps all future Alaska bound RV'ers. Thanks again to everyone that contributed to making these lists and our travels wonderful.*******
Loving our life. Life is too short to complain,go live it to the fullest
Coachmen Concord 2018 Class C with 2 slides
2012 Equinox tow
92 REPLIES 92

PA12DRVR
Explorer
Explorer
FWIW, in Alaska, generally the only reservations you'll need are for whatever time you'll be in Denali.

However, if you are going to be in a "town" location (Fairbanks, Los Anchorage, Homer, Talkeetna, Seward, shoot...Glenallen, Girdwood, Kenai, Slodotna) on the road system over the 4th of July, you'll want reservations then as well. I would recommend avoiding Seward and Talkeetna during the 4th. Talkeetna is crowded just on general principles and Seward has the Mt. Marathon race during that time. FWIW, other than possibly flying to my cabin, the 4th and it's related weekend is a good time to mow the lawn, stay at home, smoke a brisket, etc. The Alaska recreational population is always out in force over the 4th and "campgrounds" near to any population center tend to get pretty busy.
CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN

Wadcutter
Explorer III
Explorer III
We might have crossed trails with nrbsr last year. We left central IL May 16 and spent nearly all summer in AK and Canada. Mostly AK. Like nrbsr the only reservations we made were at Denali and we didn't make them until a couple of days before getting there. We didn't want to be locked into any schedule. We stopped when we wanted to explore an area and when we were ready to see something different we moved on. Sometimes we moved 300 miles in a day, sometimes only 50. If we were driving along and felt like stopping then we stopped.
We watched the weather to pick our leave time. We ran into snow in WY, MT and a bit in southern Alberta but nothing heavy. In southern Alberta a lot of the lakes were still frozen over. Lake Louise was still frozen. But the advantage of leaving early was we had very few crowds anywhere along the trip. By mid/late June we noticed the steady of campers heading north. We beat the caravans. By end of June a lot of the commercial campgrounds were getting pretty full at night. Still lots of dry camp to be found tho.
We're planning on returning in 2-3 years. We've already decided to leave home about the same time or maybe a week earlier depending on the weather along route. But we definitely want to leave early and avoid the crowds.
Camped in every state

nrbsr
Explorer
Explorer
We did it last year and our only reservations were for Denali. We used Church's book and the Milepost to plan our stops. Besides occasional boondocking we tried to end the day at provincial or state parks, usually about $20 a night. Nearly all dry camping but water and dump facilities were usually available.
We tried to travel with an empty black tank and a full fresh water tank. The wife and I could stretch our 40 gal water out to 5 days with 2 showers each but we were definitely looking for water on our 5'th day.
Norb
Upstate NY
Grand Design Imagine 2800BH

roadtrek44
Explorer
Explorer
My wife and I drove to Alaska 3 years ago and making a return trip this year. Difference is we have since purchased a Class B RV and of course this time will be camping. Traveling early June to mid-July. Question: Are reservations necessary ahead of time for campgrounds along the Alaskan Highway?
Thank you for any and all advice!

Powerstroke2000
Explorer
Explorer
Grit dog wrote:
swind wrote:
I am planning to take a RV trip to Alaska via Canada Yukon in 2017 summer and fall starting from VA. I am going to be there for a over 9 months. Any advise on the tow behind vehicle? How useful it is or not?
Thank you.


If you want to get off the beaten path on wheels I'd say it would be very useful. Not a lot differnet than anywhere else you go though.


Much depends on what you can afford, and where you might possibly want to go! A car with 'all wheel drive' may be good if the areas you go are not too bad, but a Jeep or similar vehicle with 4 wheels drive (plus Jeeps can be towed 4 wheels down behind a motorhome) would work best in all conditions. There are many vehicles that 'can't' be towed, so do your homework on which will work for you, and you should be good to go! I'd also add some kind of device to keep the rocks, dust/dirt/rain from consuming your tow vehicle as well.
2008 Tiffin Phaeton 36' Class A Diesel

Grit_dog
Explorer III
Explorer III
swind wrote:
I am planning to take a RV trip to Alaska via Canada Yukon in 2017 summer and fall starting from VA. I am going to be there for a over 9 months. Any advise on the tow behind vehicle? How useful it is or not?
Thank you.


If you want to get off the beaten path on wheels I'd say it would be very useful. Not a lot differnet than anywhere else you go though.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Explorer III
Explorer III
To tag onto the reccomended repair shops, S&P auto in Eagle River is great.
I'm a skeptic, to put it mildly, about repair shops and typically do most all my own work.
Had occasion to use S&P a couple times when we lived up there for a diagnoses and also a major repair and both times were quality work, exceptional service and fair prices. The owner is the kind of guy who reccomended I buy my own parts (because I was putting in aftermarket parts, partly) becasue "I could buy them cheaper than he'd have to charge me." That's fair I'd say.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

ppine
Explorer
Explorer
For a lot of visitors Alaska is about cruise ships, the State Ferry, or driving the highways to get there and Milepost. To me the essence of Alaska is the bush, not the transportation to get there.

ppine
Explorer
Explorer
I have made more than 10 trips to AK and am planning some more. The people are a great resource in Alaska and a lot of fun. It is easy to find places to camp everywhere if you know how to boondock. Take advantage of every opportunity to get on the water. Bring binoculars, because wildlife are always around. Plan on some hikes off the beaten path. There are a lot of fun obscure towns.

I will never get to most of the tourist attractions on the lists above. To each his own.

2gypsies1
Explorer
Explorer
How long is your RV? For 9 months a toad would be great especially if you have 4x4.
Full-Timed for 16 Years
.... Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 40' 2004 Newmar Dutch Star Motorhome
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

swind
Explorer
Explorer
I am planning to take a RV trip to Alaska via Canada Yukon in 2017 summer and fall starting from VA. I am going to be there for a over 9 months. Any advise on the tow behind vehicle? How useful it is or not?
Thank you.

ppine
Explorer
Explorer
Read the Milepost and then go do your own trip. You are not going to miss anything.

Kidoo
Explorer
Explorer
mabynack wrote:
Donh1 wrote:
I'm new to this but I have an important thing that is a must do before leaving home. Make yourself very familiar with your jack and spare tire. If you have aluminum rims be sure that they are properly greased between the rim and Axle. The aluminum and steel tend to corrode together and are almost impossible to get off at roadside. The best thing to do is to physically satisfy yourself that you are able to do the tire change both for your truck and trailer. You may discover that you will need an extentsion on your lug wrench just to undo the wheel nuts. Better to sort this out in your driveway rather than on the side of the Alaska highway.


One of my tires leaked down while in my driveway. I decided to pull the tire myself and take it back to the tire store rather than drag the FW. The store is on a narrow side street with a very small parking lot.

I couldn't get the lugs loose. I was a mechanic for many years and I'm a big guy. I used an impact wrench and when that didn't work I tried a breaker bar and a three foot long pipe. I bent both the pipe and the breaker bar. I finally gave up and took the FW back to the shop. I can't believe they managed to tighten the lugs that tight without damaging the stud.


I bought a Torque Multiplier, cheap and well worth the money. I easily unscrew my 22.5 wheel nuts torqued to 500 Lbs on my motorhome, I mark it and I can torque it back to original until I can get to a shop for a torque wrench. I also bring a spare tire chained under the MH. These tires can easily, well sort off, be installed with the wheel on the MH, they use big pry bars with lots of lubricant and just get the tire off, tire on. If it is the inner tire on a double wheel, you have to remove it obviously. If it is the out tire on a double wheel, you run your inner tire on a piece of wood thick enough to raise the outer wheel the replace the tire without removing the wheel, for the front one, I use the front MH jacks.

https://www.amazon.com/Tenive-Saving-Torque-Multiplier-sockets/dp/B015PFORAS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1482277201&sr=8-2&keywords=torque+multiplier+lug+nut+wrench
Monaco Cayman 34 2003, Cummins 300HP
Bigfoot 2008, 10.4, F350, 2006, Diesel 6.0, Black, 4x4, long box, Air lift, Rancho 9000, Rear sway bar.

ppine
Explorer
Explorer
I have been to Alaska more than ten times, but have never driven there. Once I flew to Anchorage and rented a truck and camper for a trip to the Interior. Then we spent our time in Alaska instead of getting there. I really like the State Ferry compared to a cruise ship.

mabynack
Explorer
Explorer
Donh1 wrote:
I'm new to this but I have an important thing that is a must do before leaving home. Make yourself very familiar with your jack and spare tire. If you have aluminum rims be sure that they are properly greased between the rim and Axle. The aluminum and steel tend to corrode together and are almost impossible to get off at roadside. The best thing to do is to physically satisfy yourself that you are able to do the tire change both for your truck and trailer. You may discover that you will need an extentsion on your lug wrench just to undo the wheel nuts. Better to sort this out in your driveway rather than on the side of the Alaska highway.


One of my tires leaked down while in my driveway. I decided to pull the tire myself and take it back to the tire store rather than drag the FW. The store is on a narrow side street with a very small parking lot.

I couldn't get the lugs loose. I was a mechanic for many years and I'm a big guy. I used an impact wrench and when that didn't work I tried a breaker bar and a three foot long pipe. I bent both the pipe and the breaker bar. I finally gave up and took the FW back to the shop. I can't believe they managed to tighten the lugs that tight without damaging the stud.