RV'ing...What was your experience?

Old Jul 25th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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RV'ing...What was your experience?

We're still in early planning stages for RV or car trip in Alaska next May or June (rental). Would love to hear about your RV trips...
What size was your RV?
Did you have slide-out? If so, could you have lived without it?
How was parking if you went to restaurants, etc?
What did you consider drawbacks to rv'ing vs travelling in a car?
Do you think you saved money over renting a car?
Would you do it ,again?
Thanks for all view points!
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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We absolutely loved our RV vacation in Alaska. Your many people are you traveling with? What ages? How many days will you be in Alaska? I'll reply more later with more details of our experience. (I'm on vacation at the moment and don't have access to my Alaska info.)
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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AJ--It will be just my husband and me on the trip. Details are still rummaging around in my head. Depending on whether or not we do a cruise, the road part will probably be at least 1and1/2 weeks, hopefully. We'll most likely travel from Anchorage to Homer, and other places in between. We've always thought an RV would be fun, but I want to know the actual "nuts and bolts" of doing this in Alaska. Please tell me about the downfall of this type of trip, if any. I want to know if you felt you were held back from doing anything in particular just because you were in a motorhome. Did you rent? What size did you have? If it was 25' or smaller, did you wish you had a larger unit? Did you eat in restaurants occasionally, and were you able to park most places easily (not talking about campgrounds)? Thanks for your opinions.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 11:23 PM
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You can find answers to all these questions and more on www.rv.net click on forums..
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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We are leaving for our 4th Alaskan RV trip in 2 weeks. Prior to our first trip, I had had all the same fears as you do. Luckily for us, I opted to rent from Great Alaskan Holidays. They run a great service and provide very good quality amenities. This summer we are going to travel with another couple that has never been to Alaska and we found by RV'ing, you get a more of a feel of the true Alaska. However, if you are not into the outdoors, you might be better off in staying in hotel. If you want to compare the cost of a RV vs car/hotel, take into consideration that a RV only gets 10 MPG however, however you will save on food costs as you can stock up before leaving Anchorage. If you do opt to do the RV, acquire the Traveler's Guide to Alaskan Camping: Alaska and Yukon Camping with RV or Tent book from Amazon. The guides are pretty honest with their info.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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I appreciate your responses. Especially interested in the guide; I've never heard of it, but I will definitely look into it. We will also rent from Great Alaskan Holidays if we RV. I've heard nothing but good about them. A few questions for you, please...What size unit are your renting? slideout? Have you always been able to go wherever you wanted in your RV, or have you been restricted because of the "bulkiness" vs being able to maneuver and park in a car with ease? And do have any favorite campgrounds? We would probably prefer full hookups, if possible, but if not , are most campground showers pretty clean? These are all the little things that I think about. Thanks.
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Old Jul 28th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Because there are so many RV's on the road in AK, parking lots usually allow a special section for the RV's so maneuvering such a large vehicle doesn't cause too many problems. My 2 favorite campgrounds are Savage River in Denali and Quartz Creek in Cooper Landing. This year we are going to stay in the Whittier area to do the glacier & Grandview Train tour. Most of the Federal Campgrounds do not have full hock ups, but the RV have generators which work quite fine. There is a water holding tank so filling up with water becomes an issue. But with the book I recommended, the guides list the places where you can fill up with water and dump the holding tanks, which makes getting water very convenient. We prefer the more spacious, landscaped government camp sites versus the stone parking spot in commercial campgrounds. Most campgrounds will have some kind of pic on the web, so just do a lot of research and you can make your decision a little easier.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 05:31 PM
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I notice that you have two posts about RVing in Alaska. Since your other post has more activity, I'll answer there.
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Old Aug 26th, 2009, 10:11 PM
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We bought a 16 ft camper just to take to Alaska - a 5 wk trip & we enjoyed every day. It's tight living but you can do anything if you know its not forever. We got 17 mpg on the whole trip. We paid between $0 to $36 a night for camping and we ate out about 5 times - all wonderful meals. We learned groceries/gas are much cheaper in larger towns so stock up then. We are there to see/do as much as possible so oatmeal & fruit in the morning holds us very well & since we eat that at home, our bodies like it too. We pack a light lunch in a small cooler because we usually stay several days in one spot & tour around in our pick up. We try to eat healthy (most of the time) & that's hard to do in restaurants. Love our own bed & pillows - the bed stays up all the time & we sleep like rocks. Would we do it again ? Oh yes ! We're thinking of taking another big trip next year (Oregon/Washington) then maybe selling it.
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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I'm cheating by answering your quiry as we're rvers.

You might get some ideas by going to www.cross-country-trips.com. The writers are experienced rvers who rented a unit in Alaska and their report has a number of useful tips. Also the book Mileposts gives mile by mile info on the roads - it is avialable at major bookstores or online. It is updated every year so road conditions, etc are up to date.

We travel for periods of six months or so in a 26' motorhome with no slides and the marriage has survived.

An advantage of the rv lifestyle, that you cannot put a price on, is the people you meet. You don't sit down and chat with people at the motel - at the rv park you may meet people from all over. Also, with a motorhome you are more independent than with a car as you do not have to search out restaurants or rest rooms or even motels.
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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Hokeypokey and RV Traveler-- Thanks for the good advice! We just reserved a 25'motorhome for the first two weeks next June. Really excited about this! I will check out the "cross country" website. I love to read about everyone's RV experiences! Thanks,again!
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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We rented an RV (the only time we've ever used one) for our Alaska trip a few years ago. It was great! I can't remember the size we got, but there were five of us (husband, me, three kids). After a few minutes, my husband got the hang of driving it pretty well.

We went during the first week of June. The first night we thought we were going to freeze until my husband figure out how to turn on the heat. We mostly stayed at camping places that had plumbing and electricity. Finally, I think it was the last night, we stayed at a camping facility where we had to use our showers/bathroom in the RV, but it was fine.

Our experience was great, and we would definitely do it again. We found that most places in Alaska were set up for RVs, and we had no problems finding places to park. The hardest part was parking close enough to the "dump station." There were times when we had to reposition the RV to get close enough to hook up to it, and during one of those times my husband ran over our just-used small grill (which still had hot coals in it). This was one of our funniest (to me and the kids, not to my husband) memories of the RV.

Be sure to get a copy of the 2009 or 2010 Milepost. It will give you lots of information. Have fun!
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