Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Is it possible to do RV one way and cruise one way to/from Alaska?

Is it possible to do RV one way and cruise one way to/from Alaska?

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 08:20 PM
  #1  
Suzanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Is it possible to do RV one way and cruise one way to/from Alaska?

How realistic is this...we would like to rent an RV (probably in Seattle) and drive the Alaskan highway all the way up to Alaska and, spend a week or so and then take a cruise back. Anyone done this? Or for that matter, can anyone relate their driving the Alaskan highway experience and/or recommendations? How long did it take you? Thanks!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 11:08 PM
  #2  
Utahtea
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Suzanna,

In 1992 we drove the Alaskan Highway with our suburban and towed our 24 ft. travel trailer. It was one of our best adventures. I've been wanting to do the trip again. We drove all the way up to Fairbanks, then down to Denali and then to Seward before heading home.

We had 5 1/2 weeks and we spend two of them in Alaska and I wish we had more time. We took our time driving up because the Alaskan Highway it's self was part of our destination. From Washington to the Alaska border we spent 7 days on the trip up. We spent two weeks in Alaska and we spent 11 days coming back from Alaska to Washington. We were from California so the other days were spent coming and going from there.

I don't know if you rent an RV in the US if they will allow you to take it into Canada or up to Alaska. It also cost more to rent from one location and drop it off in another location. I do know you can rent RV's in Alaska but that's not what you wanted. You might check into renting an RV in Canada.

If you do drive the Alaska Highway then get the current edition of the "Milepost". I had that book on my lap the WHOLE trip. It's a fantastic guide that is updated a couple of times a year.

Utahtea
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 02:12 AM
  #3  
x
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It could be done providing you find a renter who will allow you to drop off the RV in Alaska. I find that unlikely. Such a trip would require a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 03:44 AM
  #4  
BB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Suzanna,
Two years ago, we cruised north from Vancouver and then rented an RV in Anchorage and drove around. I agree with x, I doubt there will be one-way RV rentals. We had trouble trying to find a car rental agency that would allow us to drive from Seattle to Vancouver on a one-way trip. However,the trip was fantastic. Search on the forums for Alaska and/or RV and you'll find a lot of information. Whatever you do, be sure to buy the "Milepost" guidebook before you drive anywhere in Alaska.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 06:10 AM
  #5  
John
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Look here: http://www.alaskarv.com/index.html

They apparently have a deal with Holland America for loop trips, also offer "a limited number" of one-way rentals, with a $500 drop fee.

My gut says you might also enjoy just using a "normal" car or SUV, staying in motels or packing a tent, then take the Alaska Ferry back (or vice versa). The car/SUV would be much easier to manoeuver and way, way cheaper than the RV. It's really worth doing the math on this one. BTW, the Alaska Hwy is not especially convenient to the northwest, as you have to swing pretty far east to pick it up. Handier to Edmonton than Seattle.

 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 06:21 AM
  #6  
kkj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Try contacting Cruise America. They do one way RV rentals and will rent for Canada. I don't know if they can do what you want but they are worth a try. I don't have their web address or phone number handy, but they should be on the web.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 08:04 AM
  #7  
Utahtea
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I might have been wrong. I checked Cruise American's web site:

http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rv_rentals/faq/default.asp

From the web site:

"Are we allowed to travel into Canada (or vice versa)?

US registered RV's may enter Canada and return to the US and Canadian registered RV's may enter the US and return to Canada without problem. One way rentals between the two countries are not allowed. Canadian residents are not allowed to rent a US registered vehicle in the US and enter Canada."

We used Cruise American once about 9 years ago and was very happy.

Utahtea
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 03:08 PM
  #8  
Suzanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Appreciate the responses, folks. With regard to the comment on using a regular car, that sounds OK, but I wonder is this a very mountainous drive? (i.e. difficult to do in an RV). Also, how far apart are motel facilities? We are definitely not rustic campers. Sorry if these questions sound stupid, I'm just starting my research. Thought I'd start with this forum. It is true you should have a short wave radio in case you run into trouble? Which time of year is the best time to go? I'd love to see the Aurora Borealis.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 03:29 PM
  #9  
John
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
They're not stupid questions.

The Alaska Hwy is somewhat mountainous in parts but not so bad that you need a special vehicle to navigate. Most RVs rent for astronomical amounts per day and per mile, often not cost effective vs. car + motel + cafes, depending on your tastes. Services are frequent enough that you don't have to prepare excessively. The highway is paved, so the old problems about windshields and tires are less an issue now. Someone has already suggested the Milepost, which is useful for planning your route and stops. Basically it's just a long road trip through rural and sometimes wilderness-y areas, not something you need to prepare for like your name is Adm. Peary.

As to when to travel, generally speaking the earlier in the spring/summer you go the higher risk there is of poor road conditions (potholes and other leftovers from the winter.) In high summer the issue is road construction, just like everywhere else. Bugs are a nuisance until late August. If it was me I'd plan on heading north as late in the summer as possible, maybe even around the first of September, and I'd drive northbound rather than southbound, so that you're not constantly driving into the sun. The later in the year will also increase your chances of seeing the Aurora - remember, in the land of the midnight sun (or at least midnight twilight) the faint Northern Lights tend to get drowned out easily.

One thing I'd note from your post is that a week is really not enough time IMO to see much of the state, especially if you've already invested that or more getting there. If your time is limited to just a couple or three weeks including a cruise, then I'd recommend you seriously consider dropping the Alcan idea and just fly to Anchorage, rent a vehicle, and explore the state on your own.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 03:39 AM
  #10  
Suzanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks John, very good advice indeed. I wonder if there is enough beautiful scenery on this long drive up to warrant the time it takes to do it? Perhaps we should drop the RV idea altogether and just "cut to the chase", as it were. Looks like I have a lot of research work ahead of me.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 09:05 AM
  #11  
suzanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Even if you travel just in Alaska check out the Milepost.

http://www.themilepost.com/

Utahtea
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 12:39 PM
  #12  
Suzanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanx, Utah, I have bookmarked the site and it will certainly help us plan our trip.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 07:11 AM
  #13  
steve
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Rented an RV in Anchorage from Great Alaskan. They would allow you to go into Canada, but warned that if you had a mechanical problem, it might take a week to get any part shipped to you (Problems with customs).
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 05:49 PM
  #14  
Connie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The RV rental places in Anchorage sometimes are looking for people to drive a new RV up to them.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
DSKP
United States
12
Mar 11th, 2017 11:16 PM
SAnParis2
United States
12
Jun 27th, 2011 12:09 PM
viktoriaB
United States
11
Aug 27th, 2009 02:28 PM
MollyJones
United States
29
Dec 26th, 2006 12:18 PM
areinert
United States
7
Jul 2nd, 2003 05:31 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information