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Old 04-21-2016, 07:03 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
WOW what a great thread and thanks to all the comments and real world dollars figures.

One question that goes with last post was reduce speed 15%.. what is speed limit on or in canada for RV's? How about on the Alaskan Hiway. (I know KPH or MPH)

Plus I would believe you will be pulling hills/mountains as well so not trying to be the first guy to the top will help with MPG as well.
On most hwy's in Canada the speed limit is 100KM per hour or (62MPH). Some 4 lane highways might slightly higher than that, but generally 100KM is a good rule of thumb.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:42 PM   #72
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It's been 45 years since we camped the highway in a VW pop-top camper when it was 1,200 miles of gravel. We would appreciate advice from recent travelers as to wether campground reservations are necessary. We do prefer hookups but will have a generator. Great thread. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:19 AM   #73
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Parks?

We were there a year or so ago with a caravan, but traveled the area a lot on our own. The campgrounds are generally minimally developed with a few exceptions. We had no problems always finding a spot, and usually used free dry camp areas for scenery, etc. it is easy to find dump stations and fresh water. The parks often do not have sewer hookups. Even if you have recent reservations be sure to recheck since ownership changes very frequently and records are poorly kept often.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:06 AM   #74
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We were there a year or so ago with a caravan, but traveled the area a lot on our own. The campgrounds are generally minimally developed with a few exceptions. We had no problems always finding a spot, and usually used free dry camp areas for scenery, etc. it is easy to find dump stations and fresh water. The parks often do not have sewer hookups. Even if you have recent reservations be sure to recheck since ownership changes very frequently and records are poorly kept often.
Thanks, good to know, we appreciate the feedback. We plan on leaving Portland mid to end of June and except for reserving Washington CGs, we will wing it.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #75
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Follow-up: How much it actually cost

I'm the original poster for this thread and had promised that if we went, I'd let everybody know how much we spent. Well, we went and it was absolutely fabulous. We had a fantastic and unforgettable travel experience. The final tally for the actual trip (not including prep expenses) was...$5,800 for 45 days. That was 10,787 miles travelled, which comes out to about $129/day on average or roughly $0.54 a mile. The biggest expense by far was fuel at roughly $2,400 US. We saw a ton of stuff and met a ton of wonderful people. Saw a lot of Airstreamers too, including the Alaska caravan strung out between Willow and Denali on August 9. (So much fun waving to y'all, and chatting with those of you we met in campgrounds too!) We consider ourselves very lucky to have hit it in a year when the currency exchange rate with Canada was extremely favorable and fuel prices (in our case diesel) were so much lower than in recent years. So there you have it. Worth every penny.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:42 PM   #76
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Glad you had a great time. I've been following this thread and I got some good information from it. We left the last week of May 2016, drove 13,538 mile round trip, no flat tires, no chipped/broken windshield, tons of beautiful scenery, several thousand photographs, met really nice people, saw 17 bear in 1 day in Canada, 2 herds of buffalo, moose, elk, deer, fox, cranes, otters, orcas, whales, puffins,.... It was a great trip. We returned home after 11 1/2 weeks. Our trip went up through Canada (Calgary/Banff Ice field Parkway) via the Top of the World Road, in and around Alaska, back through Canada Western route and entered the USA in Washington. We drove highway 101 out and around Olympic National park. Staying on the coast road through Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Then turned north and went to Crater Lake National park for a few days before setting a route back to Kentucky. Other than getting caught in a freak hail storm close to Cariboo Canada (minor damage to front end cap of AS), All went very well. We did not start wearing summer close until the day after we left Crate Lake due to it being in the low 60's during the days and as low as 38 degrees over night, at Crater Lake. I would go again, but not go north of Anchorage and spend more time at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. The Oregon coast has stunning scenery. We took 8 days just to drive the 363 mile long coast road, We never drove faster than 65 MPH at anytime and stopped whenever we wanted. Fuel was the biggest expense. We camped in parking lots, along side of the road or free public campground about 50% of the time to save money that we spent on rafting trips, boat rides, and tours, like the Denali end of the road bus ride. Even now, my wife and I talk about places went went and thing we saw. My recommendation is, make a plan and GO, as soon as you can!
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:16 PM   #77
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I am thinking of driving from Texas to Alaska. Is April 15th too early to consider driving up? I'm a little concerned with the possibility of Snow (I appoligise for using that 4 letter word!) I'd like to make the Valdez STOL Competition. I need to make some Hotel reservations in Valdez. I've been looking for an Airstream to make the trip, but if I don't find one that's fine. I was actually planning on a month to a month and a half round trip, which is do-able, but if it is two months that is fine. I wasn't really planning on staying anywhere for more than a couple of days. I have my travel plan layed out, other than I really haven't made any plans, other than stopping at the North Poll Alaska. If you saw me you would understand, I kind of look like that round fat guy with a grey beard. Ho Ho, Ho!

I usually start a trip with the first and last night reservation other than that, I wing it. I spent a month in the U.K., I had a hotel for the first and last night, and a rent car. I never had to spend a night in the car, for the most part I had a nice room in a B&B or hotel. The first night was in a dump of a hotel near the Airport. I hadn't even thought of getting any medical insurance for the trip.

I figured it would cost $10 to $20 K for the trip. Truthfully, I need to look into the insurance part of it, I hadn't even thought of Medical, and definitely not recovery insurance. Other than that, I was planning on hitting the road in Mid April, to head up to Valdez for the last weekend of April. If I Croke on the side of the road just bulldoze me and my truck in the nearest creek bottom!

As far as driving, I've driven from Dallas to Travers City Michigan non stop for my Nephews wedding on a Friday, then turned around and drove back for work on Monday. I will be solo driving it, my wife has no interest.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:35 AM   #78
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We just got home from a 14,000 round trip from NJ to Alaska. I haven't tallied up all of our expenses but the onboard computer in our truck ( '15 Ford, F-350 w/ 6.7 diesel towing a 30' AS) told me we used 1100 gal. of diesel. We have a 50g Titan fuel tank so I was able to be selective where I fueled up but prices fluctuate a lot. I still have not done the $ conversion factor either but you will see upwards of $1.06 (c)/liter. Alaska is a little cheaper but we did see $3.07/gal in Valdez. Lots of free overnight camping along the way but expect a full hook-up campground in Canada around $35 (c). Provincial parks with no hook-ups in the $15-20 (c) range. Fuel availability along the route is good. Roads are good ( with some long gravel repair sections ). A great trip, DO IT.

You can roughly calculate a 25% discount in the currency conversion so these prices aren't as high as the might seem.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:06 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by tsunami View Post
... We left the last week of May 2016, drove 13,538 mile round trip, no flat tires, no chipped/broken windshield, tons of beautiful scenery, several thousand photographs, met really nice people, saw 17 bear in 1 day in Canada, 2 herds of buffalo, moose, elk, deer, fox, cranes, otters, orcas, whales, puffins,.... I would go again, but not go north of Anchorage and spend more time at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Fantastic trip. Since the title of the thread is "Cost of Trip to Alaska?," would you be willing to share how much you spent?

Just an aside for those who might be interested--we found Wrangell-St. Elias National Park almost entirely inaccessible, as it is wilderness. We found out pretty quickly that in Alaska "wilderness" meant "you can't easily get there from here." From the NP brochure: "At 13.2 million acres, itís the same size as Yellowstone Nat. Park, Yosemite Nat. Park, and Switzerland combined!" The Malaspina Glacier is the size of Rhode Island. The park is huge. Ways to see much of anything of substance in the park are to take a flightseeing tour, be into serious wilderness backpacking--we're talking days of bushwacking here, or doing a multi-day wilderness river trip. Even then you'll only see a small fraction of what is there. At the park visitor center there is a small gift shop and exhibit area, and a theatre where they show a movie about the park. In another building is a cultural museum of the regional aboriginal peoples where we learned about fish wheels and potlatches. There was a very nice display of native artwork. Overall, we found the visitor center a disappointment--a long drive out of our way for basically 1-2 hours of movie and museums. The mountains were best viewed in the distance from the road. We decided not to go to the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark as it was an expensive 2-day (or very, very long 1-day) round trip bouncing around in a bus. I would consider doing Kennecott on a future trip, although I doubt we'll repeat Alaska. (Too may other places in the world to visit, so little time .)
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:38 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Paul Zmann View Post
I am thinking of driving from Texas to Alaska. Is April 15th too early to consider driving up? I'm a little concerned with the possibility of Snow (I appoligise for using that 4 letter word!) I'd like to make the Valdez STOL Competition.
The following link will give you the average weather conditions for April in various parts of Alaska with links at the bottom of the page for sunshine, precipitation, and snowfall: https://www.currentresults.com/Weath...ture-april.php. It took us 10 days of all day driving from New England to reach our first tourist stop in Alaska (Skagway). From Texas, I expect it to be about the same, maybe a little shorter. Realize that the roads in Canada and Alaska are different from here. The Trans-Canada and other Canadian highways are not like our interstates. I think the maximum speed limit we experienced was 100 km/hr (~62 mph). Canadians have not made huge investments in bridges and overpasses so there are traffic lights and speeds drastically slow for every little town, which of course you pass through. You cannot make the miles driving like you do in the lower 48, especially in the western US. Furthermore, as you move farther north, there are extensive areas of road construction/repair with significant delays while you wait for a pilot car to escort you through, or if you're very early in the season, I suspect there will be extensive unrepaired road damage from the winter weather which you'll somehow have to navigate around. When you think of Canadian highways, think "Route 66," not "Interstate." The Alaska Highway is much the same--a 2-lane highway that is hilly and curvy. At least the Alaska Highway is completely paved, but it goes right through every town and burg along the way as do all the other major highways in Alaska. There are many, many marked bumps and dips that can be anywhere, but if you don't slow down for them you will hit your head on the roof of your vehicle and knock your teeth out while simultaneously destroying your vehicle's suspension. Plan on some extra time and expense due to delays and you will be fine. Hope this is helpful. Good luck finding an Airstream and enjoy your trip!
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:48 PM   #81
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Thanks all for the detailed reports! Glad it worked out so well for everyone.
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