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Have you ever dreamed of going to Alaska? Want to do the perfect Alaskan RV vacation? Carefully planning your dream Alaska RV vacation will give your family more to enjoy your trip. Traveling by RV gives you more versatility in the destinations you choose to visit. The secret to traveling in with an RV in Alaska is it gives you the option of stopping almost anywhere. I mean anywhere, it simply gives you more time to enjoy your journey.

Keystone Canyon-Lowe River View
Keystone Canyon-Lowe River View

Preparing your dream Alaska RV vacation starts with carefully researching the RV companies. After reading many reviews and testimonials, we decided the best choice was Great Alaskan Holidays. I always say you get what you pay for, and they did not disappoint.

Select an RV that suits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as the size, amenities, and features you require for your trip. Take into account the road conditions, fuel consumption, and availability of RV services in remote areas. Renting an RV from a reputable company is often a convenient option.

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Glacier Pond at toe of Worthington Glacier
Glacier Pond at toe of Worthington Glacier
To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” John Muir

Renting an RV with Great Alaskan Holidays for Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

Alaska is a destination that will take more than a week to see all the sites. I would recommend renting for 10-days minimum if you can stay longer than do so. On this trip, our itinerary for Alaska was 10 days. We rented a 24 ft. Chateau model Winnebago RV for our trip to accommodate three adults.

Our next trip, 2021, will only be the two of us and feel the 22 ft. Winnebago with pullout is ideal. Using an RV is idyllic because you can camp anywhere there is a wayside or pullout along the highway.

Brooks Bear on the Trail to the Falls
Bear at Brooks Camp Katmai National Park

How Long do I Need for My Dream Trip?

Alaska’s peak travel season is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is relatively warmer and the days are longer. However, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (May and September) to enjoy fewer crowds and potentially more affordable prices. Plan for a duration of at least two to three weeks to fully experience the highlights of Alaska.

Richardson Hwy Willow Lake with Mt Drum, Mt Sanford and Mt Wrangell
Richardson Hwy Willow Lake with Mt Drum, Mt Sanford and Mt Wrangell

Ultimate Planning Tips-Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

  1. Do you need RV insurance? Check with your insurance agency.
  2. Shop around for the best prices. Remember, cheaper is not necessarily better. You get what you pay for-read reviews. 
  3. Some National & State Parks have maximum RV height and length restrictions. Check before you go.
  4. The gas prices are higher in Alaska. Yes, they produce it but they do not refine the oil so it is more expensive here!
  5. Don’t spend all your time driving, take time to enjoy the trip. Check the distances-Anchorage to Denali is a long drive.
  6. This is not a cheap vacation, campground fees, dump fees, diesel, and per mileage will add up. Consider unlimited miles.
  7. When you do your walkthrough, take a video. This way you can dispute any charges that may occur to damage that was not your fault.
  8. Make reservations for National Park campgrounds months ahead, the sites go quickly. (Denali reservation) Most state campgrounds are first-come, first served-Campgrounds list.
  9. Cell Service and Wi-Fi are scarce, so plan accordingly so bring a map or GPS.
  10. Plan your route before you leave. Construction happens in the summer for most Alaskan roads. Be prepared for delays.
Exit Glacier View Rv and Us
Exit Glacier View

Arrival- Great Alaskan Holidays Facility Begins Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

Planning our Alaska dream RV vacation started with a flight to Anchorage, Alaska. Most flights from the west coast arrive late in the evening.

Planning your dream Alaska vacation
Great Alaskan RV Rental

They picked us up from the airport within 15 minutes of calling the shuttle service. When making your RV reservation, you can select the time of arrival for your flight; then choose whether to overnight (the price is worth it). You can save money on your Alaska Dream Vacation if you take a later orientation time. A contact person from the RV company will outline instructions for your late evening access to the RV. They provide shuttle rides from the airport. It is nice to get settled in early rather than dragging luggage to multiple destinations.

The staff was helpful from the very beginning of the planning for our trip. I felt they went above and beyond to make sure they accommodated us.

Denali Mountain-Talkeetna
Denali Mountain-Talkeetna

RV Orientation-Scheduling your Alaska Dream Vacation

Scheduling your orientation early will get you on the road quickly. We scheduled early (7:30 am) so we would not lose any time on the road. The orientation begins with a 30-minute video introduction before the paperwork review and information session.

Everything was clean and in good shape, black and grey tanks were empty, the water tank was full, batteries charged, propane ready to go, gassed up, all the equipment was in good shape.

Planning -Optional Equipment? What do I Need for Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation?

You can purchase optional equipment with the rented RVs like a BBQ, inverter or coffee maker. However, the standard equipment includes bedding & linens, kitchen & dining supplies for two people. We opted for the barbecue, chairs, and inverter. Also consider opted for the full gas tank to start, (unlimited mileage). It is important to note that gasoline is expensive in Alaska.

Great Alaskan Rv Rental at a Campground in Alaska
Great Alaskan Holidays-Kasilof River Recreation Area-Sterling Highway

Orientation takes approximately one hour with the Great Alaskan RV and is very thorough. We started our Alaska dream vacation, hitting the Seward Highway out of Anchorage and headed toward Seward, following the Turnagain Arm. The RV center is near to the highway and the airport.

Returning to the RV was just as easy. We pulled in at the allotted time, got our stuff out, and turned the keys in. A staff member did an inspection, came back and said we were ready, and they shuttled us to the airport. They released my deposit within 48 hours.

Alaska Railroad Beluga Point
Alaska Railroad Beluga Point

What to Bring on your Dream Alaska Vacation

Provisions for your dream Alaska RV vacation require proper packing. Packing for a long trip, you will need to consider the time of year and how much weight. Since we are avid anglers, we had to think about the weight of all the additional supplies in our luggage. The weather can be so variable from location to location. You will need a well thought out plan. Just remember it can snow in July. See our packing list.

Alaska’s weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers, rain gear, and sturdy footwear. Bring insect repellent, bear spray, and camping essentials. Familiarize yourself with RV maintenance and emergency procedures, as well as any special considerations for driving on Alaskan roads.

Kenai Lake Morning Reflection
Kenai Lake Morning Reflection

Planning your Dream Alaska Vacation Finding Resources

To help with planning your dream Alaska RV vacation; I would recommend purchasing the Milepost magazine. This legendary Alaska trip planner makes planning so much easier. The information in this guide is well worth the price and will help guide you. There is a great deal to see along the road. The Milepost highlights all the interesting things to see, including lodgings, recreation, sightseeing attractions, and services.

Tip: for groceries and gas visit a Fred Mayer Store (skip Walmart)

Sutton Lakefront Cabin View
Sutton Lakefront Cabin View

Alaska has limited campground options, and reservations are highly recommended, especially during the peak season. Reserve your campsites well in advance to secure a spot at your desired locations. Consider a mix of private campgrounds, state park campgrounds, and public land boondocking options to diversify your experiences.

Eklutna Lake-Chugach State Park
Eklutna Lake-Chugach State Park

They allow you to camp anywhere in Alaska. It’s so outstanding to just pull over when you get sleepy and camp for the night. Along all major highways, the turnouts/waysides are available for overnight. Most state campgrounds have some sites that can be reserved through recreation.gov. The sites are reasonably priced. We mostly stayed in state parks or the national parks. There are plenty of private campgrounds that range in price. Be sure to do your research first. I found using the Milepost and TripAdvisor I could find great campgrounds.

The many waterfalls of Keystone Canyon Valdez

Consider the Spring Adventure Package For Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

If you want to plan the trip of a lifetime, take advantage of the Spring Adventure Package in early May. It is a trip from the Winnebago factory in Iowa to Anchorage, getting new rentals to their headquarters in Anchorage. The trip is an excellent value for the package including: a brand new Forest River Motorhome, a 12-Day Rental, and 4,200 Free Miles. You can add additional days onto the package at a reduced rate. This is a trip we plan to take advantage of soon.

Glenn Highway Eagle Nature Center
Glenn Highway Eagle Nature Center

Places to Visit-Sample Itineraries Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

For our first trip, we broke our trip up into two separate parts. The first is to head south to the Kenai Peninsula, following the Seward Highway first to Seward backtracking to Homer. We proceeded north on the George Parks Highway to spend some time at Denali National Park.

Denali Boreal Forest

Whether you have two weeks or a month will dictate what you can see in Alaska. Just remember, the distances between areas are long, sometimes more than a day. If you have two weeks, you can easily see three National Park-Denali, Kenai Fjords, and Wrangell St Elias. We base the sample itinerary on our 10-day adventure.

Alaska is known for its abundant wildlife, including bears, moose, caribou, and marine mammals. Plan your itinerary around prime wildlife viewing opportunities, such as Wrangell St Elias, Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, or the Arctic Circle. Always prioritize safety and follow recommended guidelines for observing wildlife in their natural habitats.

While it’s essential to have a well-planned itinerary, leave room for flexibility and spontaneity. Alaska’s beauty often lies off the beaten path, so be open to exploring lesser-known areas, taking detours, and embracing unexpected opportunities.

Kenai River View
Kenai River View

Places to Visit – 10 Days in Alaska on Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation

We visited the following locations in on our first trip to Alaska:

  • Parks Highway- Look for moose, stop in Wasilla at the Iditarod Kennels and take a photo at the south end of the Hurricane Gulch Bridge.
  • Seward Highway – stop at Beluga Point, look for whales, Alyeska Tram, or stop at the many waysides to take great photos. (Seward Chamber of Commerce, Girdwood Chamber of Commerce)
  • Fairbanks– pan for gold, take a tour of downtown or a riverboat ride
  • Denali National Park reserve a campsite inside the park, takes a park tour, visit the Sled Dog kennels and drop into the visitor center. (Denali National Park or Denali State Park)
  • Talkeetna – self-guided downtown tour, river walk, step inside historic Nagley’s and eat lunch at the Talkeetna Roadhouse.
  • Palmer/Anchorage – spend some time at the Alaska Marketplace, Alaskan Cultural Center and the Mat-Su Valley Visitor Center
  • Kenai Peninsula (Turnagain Arm, Anchor Point, Homer & Seward)- Take a tour on Resurrection Bay, stroll the Homer spit shops, go halibut fishing or a kayak in the bay. Take a bear viewing tour with High Adventure Air in Sterling!!
  • Valdez- Valdez serves as the gateway to the majestic Prince William Sound, which is known for its breathtaking fjords, glaciers, and marine wildlife. Visitors can take boat tours or kayak through the sound to witness its stunning scenery and observe wildlife such as whales, sea otters, seals, and seabirds.
Nenana River-Parks Denali Highway View
Nenana River-Parks Denali Highway View

Note: Since our last trip in 2023, we saw Great Alaskan RVs travelling the McCarthy Road in Wrangell St Elias.

Planning Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation -Additional RV Resources

  • Good Sam Club – is the largest RV membership club in the world. Offers discounts on RV parks and other related discounts.
  • Escapees RV Club offers a wide range of services, including magazine, mail forwarding, RV camping resources, and seminars.
  • Harvest Hosts -Members can visit and stay at any of our stunning locations completely free! Destinations include wineries, local farms, breweries, golf courses, museums and other attractions.
  • Passport America — It offers 50% off camping at many of the resorts in all areas of the country.
  • Boondockers Welcome — It gives travelers the opportunity to stay free in the driveways and on the land of individuals across the country.
Chena River Fairbanks
Chena River Fairbanks

Planning Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation – Helpful Visitor Information

Planning your dream Alaska RV vacation is an exciting endeavor that allows you to explore the breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and unique culture of America’s Last Frontier. Here’s some helpful visitor information to ensure you have a fantastic and memorable trip:

  1. Travel Seasons: Alaska has distinct travel seasons. Summer (June to August) offers the best weather and long daylight hours. Winter (September to May) is less popular because of cold temperatures and limited services.
  2. RV Rental/Ownership: Decide whether to rent an RV or bring your own. Rental options are available in major cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks. If bringing your own, ensure it’s suitable for rugged terrain and varying weather.
  3. Itinerary Planning:
    • Route: Research and plan your route. The Alaska Highway (Alcan) is a popular route, along with the Seward Highway and Denali Highway. Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Alaska Public Lands Information Center
    • Destinations: Highlight must-see places like Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park.
    • Activities: Include wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and exploring charming towns like Talkeetna and Homer.
  4. Campgrounds and Parking:
    • Campgrounds: Alaska offers many public and private campgrounds. Reserve spots in advance, especially during peak season.
    • Boondocking: Research boondocking (primitive camping) options, which are often more remote but offer a unique experience.
  5. Supplies and Services:
    • Supplies: Stock up on essentials, groceries, and camping supplies before venturing into remote areas.
    • Fuel: Fill up your tank whenever possible, as gas stations can be scarce in remote regions.
    • Dump Stations: Locate RV dump stations along your route for waste disposal.
  6. Permits and Passes:
    • Alaska State Parks Pass: Consider purchasing an annual pass for access to state parks.
    • National Park Passes: The America the Beautiful pass grants entry to national parks and federal recreation sites.
American Bald Eagle @ Anchor Point Beachfront
American Bald Eagle @ Anchor Point Beachfront

Final Thought on Planning Your Dream RV Adventure

Alaska is a vast state with diverse landscapes and attractions. Start planning well in advance to ensure you can secure campground reservations, permits, and necessary documentation. Research the regions you want to visit, popular RV routes, and must-see attractions to create an itinerary that suits your interests and timeframe.

Bridal Veil Falls cascading down the towering walls of Keystone Canyon
Bridal Veil Falls cascading down the towering walls of Keystone Canyon

Planning Your Dream Alaska RV Vacation with Great Alaskan Holidays is simply the best RV rental company if you want to see beautiful Alaska! Our RV was everything we hoped for, and we had no problems at all. Extremely efficient, friendly, and great customer service, checking in and checking out. We definitely will rent with the Great Alaskan Holidays again on our next visit to Alaska.

Planning your vacation to Alaska?? Which way will you travel? Send us a comment on your plan for your dream Alaska vacation in the comments below!