Question: Dear Luise: Have you ever taken any Alaskan Trips in a Motorhome? If so, can you tell us whether it is best to go with a group as opposed to going solo? What experience, if any, have you had camping outside of parks and campgrounds alone? This is all in the planning stage and we’re wondering where to begin. Bev
Answer: Dear Bev: No, I have never made that trip. Do you belong to a camping club like the ones that the manufacturers organize, or the Good Sam Club or Escapees Club? I would start there where I could get in touch with people who have done it before and want to go again.
The web is going to be another major resource for you. There are endless sites that offer you the kind of information that I don’t have available. Some people take their RVs on the ferry, others drive their rigs up the Alcan Highway and still others fly up to Anchorage and then rent a unit after they get there.
No I don’t recommend what I call “rogue” camping. Years ago it was safe to pull off the road into a pretty spot and camp solo, but unfortunately, it no longer is. Beside the social concerns of crime, there is the threat of a breakdown or medical emergency. Create a support system and don’t stay far from its boundaries, please.
If you are interested in using the ferries, you need to research that well in advance. You don’t just drive up to the ferry terminal and drive on. Reservations must be made, often a long time in advance.
On your first trip, create a tight structure in one of the ways I have suggested. There is so much you don’t know and need to learn. Be willing to be a greenhorn about everything from visiting Denali National Park and Mount McKinley to buying DEET Mosquito Repellent. Then, after you get the lay of the land, locate favorite campgrounds, and make some new friends, you may want to return with a smaller, more intimate group who share more specific goals.
When you are checking out groups, think about hobbies like fishing, photography or square dancing. Focusing on special interests may suit you to a “T”. Again, the web is a great source for such information as are the clubs that sponsor such pursuits.
A lot of the fun is in the research and planning of an Alaska trip in a motorhome. Have a ball! Blessings, Luise