Alaska 2022

Wife and I are in the Midwest (Southern WI). Hoping to go to Alaska next year (May?-Oct? as allowed). Any others interested in a small (3-5 sprinter) caravan. We are retired and would like to find some others to travel as a group. Hopefully one member who has done it before. We travel one day sight see one or more days if in a good location. No objection to multiple days travel as long as its leisurely. We mostly stay in campgrounds but boondocking is OK as we have generator, solar and Lithium batteries. We tow a Smart Car for sightseeing and emergency travel. You don’t have to be from the Midwest I just thought that would make it easier. I think a group of Class B’s would be cool but not a requirement either. Group consensus will determine route, schedule etc. I will compile a list if others are interested and post it so people can form their own groups if there is enough interest. How should we make contact? Email, text, PM...
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
From experience, don't bother to go after Labour Day. Most if not all tourism experiences are closed for the season. Harsh weather may occur along the inland routes that will close roads indefinitely.
 

borabora

Well-known member
Mid May to early June is the best time in my opinion. Fewer mosquitos, people and generally better views. Only the bears aren't quite awake yet. You'll be driving through the Yukon and in my opinion there's more to see and visit there than in many stretches of Alaska.
You may want to rethink towing a car as many sections of road will be under construction and you will drive many miles of gravel which will chew up your tow. There are also several optional gravel roads where you might be for a hundred or more miles and towing your car will dissuade from doing those worthwhile drives. Invest in the Milepost guide book.
When I do these trips I don't do them to spend with other people so I am not a candidate to join the caravan but enjoy!
 
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Kajtek1

2015 3500 X long limo RV
Don't take the toad. It will get beaten up on gravel on very long construction sites.
Personally I don't think making caravan to go there will be convenient. Roads are difficult, so everybody will have different speed that he/she will be comfortable with.
Than emergency braking to take a picture of bear will add additional stress. We counted 22 bears on the highway.
The smaller ones would run away once you slow down, the big ones not.
Don't forget long zoom to catch bold eagles.

 
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Mein Sprinter

Known member
I agree with borabora and Kaitek1, regarding Caravans. Been to Ak twice in our 2010 Sprinter, even to Inuvik, NWT. Do it alone...towing a Smart car might not be too bad but still there w-i-l-l be hardship in regard go towing anything on these long stretches. Caravans...!!?? listen what Kaitek1 has to say :2cents:., he's right on!

Make sure that you can cross into Canada. Am aware that you can provided you zoom through Canada (with a timed decal) without any side trips unless they have finally opened up.

Good Luck and Godspeed....











Cheers...
 

Roamers

2020 4X4 170 Crew
I agree that you need to be careful selecting Caravan mates. When traveling with others, we typically have designated daily endpoints with individual flexibility in between.
 

Kajtek1

2015 3500 X long limo RV
You don't need campgrounds on your way there.
BC does hassle tourists a bit and all the rest areas close to bigger city have "no overnight parking", due to campground owners in the city forcing the law ordinance to fatten their wallets. Each visitor center has dump station and fresh water faucet and once you reach Yukon- plenty of areas to stop overnight and rest areas with overnight staying can be cleaner than paid campgrounds.
Just plan the fueling stops in advance. Gasbuddy doesn't have too many reports so check it over several days to get glimpse where you can fill without paying high prices.
Now taking a picture who will definitely tell the location is not always easy, but I think this one does the trick.



That lot of tourists don't do their homework and can be for big surprise
.
 
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I have been reading all the posts I can find about traveling to Alaska. Definitely getting Mileposts. Undecided about Toad. If with a small group it may not be necessary. That’s why I’m planning now for next year, or later as Covid allows. We originally wanted to go this year but Covid pushed that back. If we have to delay it longer we won’t be happy about it but that just gives us more time to plan and find a compatible group. We are also planning a Northwest US trip later this year and it may be a chance for the group to get together for a few days somewhere to hash out some details. Thanks to everyone trying to help. I thought I would get more responses of people who are thinking of going. May be just didn’t post this in the right spot.
 

VWbrad

New member
We (my wife and I) plan on going next summer at the end of June, after she retires. We have never traveled with a group, very independent like to travel at our own pace. It sounds fun but are more into off the grid / boon docking / over landing with 4x4 Sprinter.
It would be nice to meet up and camp with a group of forum members for a few days.
We are heading up to Idaho this summer from NY
I’ll be following this post.
 

aksotar

2017 4x4 144 Cargo
Only essential travel is allowed across the border, no recreational travel is allowed yet...
you can tow a vehicle if you want but it will get trashed on long gravel and bumpy/pot holed roads..
there is plenty of traffic in the Summer (when the border is open) if you are worried about break downs as the reason for a group and/or toad...
the first mosquitos were out a week ago, get the current Milepost....
5 species of Salmon run throughout the Summer but the best time for fishing is mid July...
all the Ntl Parks you can drive to here will be crowded...
 
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Kajtek1

2015 3500 X long limo RV
I don't see much sense of toad behind Sprinter in the first place, but not only it will get trashed on towing, but campgrounds in prime Alaska locations have very small sites, so you'd have to park it outside.
I was there in 2019 and was arriving to campgrounds in early hr to catch a spot. Later in the afternoon you could forget about finding camping.
How RVing will look in 2022 we can only guess, but judging with much more RV bought in last year, it will not be easier.
Choose the route carefully. "end of the road" in Homer usually is on everybody's list.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
You probably will quasi caravan with new found friends. We took our time in Canada from Banff to Jasper and varied what we thought we would do to what we did because once we got there we changed our minds many times because of new discoveries. Once you get to the Alaskan Highway at Dawson Creek, BC there is a campground there and it is recommended you stay and move on in the morning. There you might find fellow Class B travelers. Get acquainted. You don't have to travel together as you may meet up again on a further campground. We did so with two other Class Bs. One went straight through. One diverted to Dawson City at Whitehorse and we diverted to Skagway, AK and took the ferry across to Haines and back up to the Alaskan Highway. When we got to Delta Junction at the end of the official Alaskan Highway one week later we three met up again amazingly within the hour at the welcome center. There are other campers you will see along the way several times and trade many ideas. The one that went to Dawson City, Yukon on the way up convince us to come back on that route. We learned about Skagway to Haines from another camper. Once in Alaska sometimes you will see others from the trip up but it is a big state with lots of places to go and as I mentioned, you learn on the way and change your itinerary often. We met people who caravaned so it can be done but it is not necessary.

The beginning at Dawson Creek, BC

Begin Alaska Highway.jpeg

The welcome center at Delta Junction, AK one week later. Mosquitos were not that bad. :)
Mosquito Attack.jpeg
 

tinman

Well-known member
We drive up to YT most years, varying the trip up and back between the Alaska/AlCan Highway and the Stewart-Cassiar route. End of May is a good time most years, although we have been bushwhacked a couple of times with local road closures due to flooding and slides. Not usual, but always possible. Bugs aren't bad yet, tourist traffic not as heavy as later and we generally see quite a bit of wildlife on the Alaska Highway. If you do want to include the Dempster Highway to Inuvik and Tuktoyuktuk be sure and check for the opening of the river ferries. Otherwise I'd echo what others have said here regarding towing, side trips, and guidebook. If you're travelling through Canada's national parks, you'll need campground reservations, and the demand is very high. The online system opened up in mid April, and my randomly assigned position in line when the clocked ticked over was about 18,600. Don't count on boondocking in the parks. We all hope that by 2022 things will have returned to some semblance of normal. Safe travels.
 

hoosierrun

Active member
I agree with borabora and Kaitek1, regarding Caravans. Been to Ak twice in our 2010 Sprinter, even to Inuvik, NWT. Do it alone...towing a Smart car might not be too bad but still there w-i-l-l be hardship in regard go towing anything on these long stretches. Caravans...!!?? listen what Kaitek1 has to say :2cents:., he's right on!

Make sure that you can cross into Canada. Am aware that you can provided you zoom through Canada (with a timed decal) without any side trips unless they have finally opened up.

Good Luck and Godspeed....











Cheers...
Wow! we made the same trip in 2018 all the way to Tuk. Risky trip, but we had the adventure of a lifetime. We drove an LTV Serenity towing our RAV4... and yes, the front clip on the RAV was beyond repair with all the stoned out pock marks (just replaced it). We now use a stone guard. I know where to boondock now. We had new tires and fortunately no flats. I carried an unmounted tire on the roof of the RAV. We stopped to help a couple of people with flats and other problems. We got the same pictures of those Arctic Moose!
 

tinman

Well-known member
A bit of pretty much irrelevant history. My first trips up the Alaska Highway were in 1965 and '66, riding my thumb. It was a much different road then, all gravel, lots of twists and turns. Vehicles were less sophisticated and reliable, tires not as good, so it was a bit of an adventure. With Alaska having become the 49th state in 1959, the trip was something of a pilgrimage, and there were annual Wally Byam caravans of Airstream trailers. I don't recall the exact numbers, but they took over schoolyards and fairgrounds and set them up as mini trailer cities. One can assume that there were a few tires, windshields, and gas tanks sacrificed to the cause. In comparison, a caravan of a few Sprinters is probably not such an overwhelming concept.
 
We (my wife and I) plan on going next summer at the end of June, after she retires. We have never traveled with a group, very independent like to travel at our own pace. It sounds fun but are more into off the grid / boon docking / over landing with 4x4 Sprinter.
It would be nice to meet up and camp with a group of forum members for a few days.
We are heading up to Idaho this summer from NY
I’ll be following this post.
We hope to go to Seattle late summer. What’s your time frame? Maybe we will see you on the way there or back.
 

AK_Sprinter

New member
I just drove up the Alcan from Seattle. Just so everyone is aware, the Canadian border is currently closed to all but essential travel. I'm an Alaska resident returning home, so they allowed me through. Other "essential" reasons include military families transferring to/from Alaska, people moving to/from Alaska, and people traveling to jobs in Alaska. Leisure or tourist travelers are currently not being allowed across the border. If you are trying to cross in one of the above "essential" categories, you will need to be able to provide documentation at the border. It is entirely up to the individual Canadian Border Services agent whether or not to let you across. If they let you across you must travel by the most direct route, and are given a specific time frame to make the trip (usually about 5 days). All government parks and campgrounds are closed. No unnecessary stops are allowed. Awhile back some Alaskan students were returning home from college in the lower 48, and they stopped to do a hike. They were busted and fined $1,500 each. The Canadians are taking the current Covid19 situation very seriously! The current restrictions will end when the Canadian government decides the Covid19 situation is under control. I don't expect that to change before fall, at the earliest. Hopefully the border will be open in 2022. There is a Facebook group Driving the Alcan - Alaska Canadian Highway which has excellent real time info on the current situation.

Regarding the trip itself, the road is generally in excellent shape. A little bit of slide activity has caused some broken pavement between Prince George and Chetwynd, but the rough spots are well marked. The only really bad section is the 100 mile (160 km) stretch between Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek. On that stretch just slow way down and enjoy the scenery. There will be construction along the way, maintaining highways up there is a constant task. I think I had to wait for pilot cars maybe 4 times on the whole trip. (There is an old joke that in the Northland we have only two seasons. We have 9 months of winter, and 3 months of construction!) I saw lots of people towing various rigs behind their RVs, so I think your Toad would probably not be a big deal.

Fuel is not a problem, just use some common sense. When traveling away from town in Alaska and other out of the way areas I generally try not to get below about half a tank. That way I have a comfortable margin in case of unusual circumstances. For the most part that was easy to do on the Alcan. Make sure your rig is in good shape before the trip. Repair options are somewhat few and far between on that road, and if you break down you could be looking a a BIG towing bill.

The Cassiar Highway is another great trip, though in the current Covid19 situation the Canadians don't want you to use that route. It is much more remote than the Alcan, with far fewer options for fuel and services. In years past I've driven it a couple of times. When the border situation gets back to normal, a great trip would be to go up the Alcan, and spend some time touring around Alaska. Then, with that experience, you might want to consider returning south via the Cassiar. For either route, by all means buy a copy of the Milepost, as it has great info on what to expect on the road.

Here's hoping the border gets back to something resembling "Normal" soon. I want to take my van south this fall. But in the current situation, I'm not counting on it.
 
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