We're hoping to sell our house this Spring and go on a long road trip.
It's always been my dream to drive to Alaska. As we're currently living in Austin, TX, that's a long journey.
This is where we can use all the help we need!
Airstream: 1995 Sovereign
21 feet (with solar panel on the roof)
TV: Jeep Commander 5.7L HEMI 4x4 (avg. 12 mpg towing / 18 mpg not towing)
We have some experience with long road trips (up to 3 months), but now we're potentially shooting for 1 year!
In 2010, we drove from Austin to San Francisco, and in 2011 we made it all the way up to Canada (Banff/Jasper/Vancouver). (my previous employer allowed longer vacations, including unpaid)
Over the years, we've done many trips and have visited every state (many multiple times) in the western US (west of the rockies), from south to north. We love nature & wildlife and are not big fans of cities or tourists
We're both in our late thirties and feel that we're sick of living in Texas, have no children so now is the time to relocate to a (mountain or ocean) town/city ... but before we do so, take a long roadtrip with our dog and potentially 2 cats (who can join us or stay at my wife's parents house in San Antonio, TX).
My career is in IT (I'm currently IT director in a healthcare organisation) and my wife is a piano teacher. This basically means she can take vacation at will, where I'm limited by the 10 vacation days my company offers ... which doesn't leave much room for travel, which brought up the idea of taking a long vacation on our own!
Plus, as a 'semi-pro' photographer, I would love the opportunity to take pictures of the great places and have time to do so, as opposed to for example, flying to Yellowstone for 3 days and seeing the highlights under less than ideal lighting conditions...
So ... we're planning to list our house around Spring break, hopefully sell by April and start the journey.
Initial plan is to drive up through the rockies (denver -> jackson hole -> glacier) into Canada, through Banff -> Jasper, into Alaska.
We'll be on a limited budget so we plan on taking 3 to 4 months to get to Alaska, limiting the amount of fuel and hopefully being able to take advantage of long term discounts (week or month) at campgrounds.
1) We're looking for any advice regarding nice campgrounds along this route. We love national / state parks, especially if they allow us to stay for a week to longer.
Do parks allow to be a camp host for a few weeks, or do you have to sign up for the entire season?
Any other interesting ways to make some money (or at least a free stay) along the way? We're not interested in cleaning toilets ..
2) Boondocking is definitely an option; maybe for 3-4 days at a time in a nice mountain area. Any advice on locations is welcome.
3) Once we get to Fairbanks, Alaska; we're looking to go up the Dalton highway to the Gates of the Arctic for a few days. Can we take our Airstream or should we leave it behind in a Fairbanks RV park for a few days?
4) After Fairbanks, we're looking to head south to the Kenai peninsula and possibly Kodiak Island. Any experience/advice on taking the AS on the ferry to Kodiak Island? Better (cheaper?) to leave it behind and just sleep in a hotel for a few days on the island?
Once September comes around, we're planning on starting the journey south, by following the coastal route through Canada. Hopefully, by the time the freeze and the snow arrives in the north, we'll be in the coastal area of Washington, Oregon or northern California.
Lots of questions and undoubtedly many more to come ... thanks for any advice!