Caravans to Alaska

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3 years 11 months ago #13837 by baker464b
Caravans to Alaska was created by baker464b
I am curious if any of the members of this website are familiar with caravans going up to Alaska. Some of the commercial sites can run up to $10,000. Is there a place to find out about military (former and active ) members starting a caravan going up to either Anchorage or Fairbanks. I am looking for suggestions on what caravans can do for me, and what people have done in the past. I am open to any reasonable suggestion(s).

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3 years 11 months ago #13840 by wb4zit
Replied by wb4zit on topic Caravans to Alaska
Have you looked at SMART (Special Military Active Recreational Travelers). I think their last Alaskan caravan ran $7100 for a 2 person coach and $5300 for a 1 person coach for an 81 day caravan. That included camping fees and any tours the hosts had arranged.

"Caravan costs include camping fees, and any other attractions, tours,
meals, etc. that the Wagon Masters have planned for the Caravan."

Mel
'05 Dutch Star & '11 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Mel Linville
US Army MSG (Ret)
'05 Dutch Star DP & '11 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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3 years 11 months ago #13843 by larryf
Replied by larryf on topic Caravans to Alaska
Unless you absolutely need or want to go with a caravan, don't. Make the trip yourself. We're currently in Fairbanks, AK and have been all around Alaska (well, the parts you can drive to). We left the lower 48 over 2 months ago and have about 2 months left before we re-enter the lower 48 again.

While caravans take much of the planning out of your trip, they also greatly restrict you. We like the freedom to go where we please and stay as long (or as short) as we want. I don't like being "required" to stay at a certain RV Park for a certain period of time. We recently spent 2 weeks in Homer touring and fishing. With a caravan, you would be limited to a few days. We've been in Fairbanks for 5 days now and will be heading to Denali National Park next week. We're taking a River Boat cruise today, and will be going to the Arctic Circle for a day tomorrow. Before we leave Fairbanks, we're going Chena Hot Springs and the "Ice Museum". We'll spend a week in Denali before heading to Valdez, then back to Tok and into Canada. We'll also visit Skagway, Stewart, Hyder in Alaska, then stop at Lake Louise and Banff in Canada before entering Montana.

Traveling through Canada and Alaska is a breeze. The only reservation we made was for the Denali National Park campground. Since leaving Washington state 2 months ago, we've spent less than $5000 on diesel, gas for the Jeep, dining out, groceries, halibut fishing, tours and entertainment, and for camping (although, we rarely use RV Parks).

We do maintain a personal "blog" of our travels. You can read about our adventures (including this Alaska trip) at http://www.Happy-Wanderers.com . Many photos, a detailed log of where we've been and what we've seen, as well as our expenses are there.

If you do decide on a caravan, S.M.A.R.T. is your best choice.

Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website
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3 years 11 months ago #13850 by Travman100
Replied by Travman100 on topic Caravans to Alaska
Several years ago we went on our own to Alaska and went at our own pace and had a great time. I personally don't see the value of paying others to do what I can do for myself. An alternative to paying someone to organize a caravan is to advertise that you would like to have others join you on a caravan, I've seen posts on some of the RV sites where people have done this. You might be able to have company that way, if you think you would prefer to travel in a caravan. Do it as an informal group rather than pay others for something you can do yourself. Use that $7,000 to spend on yourself. ;-)
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2 years 6 months ago #15143 by bill6750
Replied by bill6750 on topic Caravans to Alaska

baker464b wrote: I am curious if any of the members of this website are familiar with caravans going up to Alaska. Some of the commercial sites can run up to $10,000. Is there a place to find out about military (former and active ) members starting a caravan going up to either Anchorage or Fairbanks. I am looking for suggestions on what caravans can do for me, and what people have done in the past. I am open to any reasonable suggestion(s).

You probably have already went to Alaska, but I am writing this anyway. In 2007 Jean and I drove our 40' MH to Alaska and had no problems at all. We were all by ourself and went where we wanted to and done what we wanted to. We have sold our house now and are free to travel now. We are taking our 14 model MH to Alaska again in late Apr. 2017. We plan to stay the summer and come back late Sept. It is easy to do and anyone can do it. You don't need to pay someone else to do it for you. Any questions please e-mall me.

Bill & Jean
Bill Retired US Army,
Viet Nam Vet, 24th Evac. Hosp.
Jean Retired from DOA
2014 Tiffin Phaeton, 40'
2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 in Toe

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2 years 6 months ago #15145 by Travman100
Replied by Travman100 on topic Caravans to Alaska
The problem with going with a caravan is you are on a schedule and the costs are astronomical, even the military affiliated ones that I am familiar with charge you thousands of dollars. Check SMART, I believe theirs is in the neighborhood of $10,000. High because they book you for dinners and campgrounds and you are paying for those who organize and run the show, not what we enjoy!
We went on our own and had a great time, stayed in an area as long as we wanted and moved when we wanted and not on someone else's schedule and the bonus was the cost was half what SMART would have cost us. If you want to pay someone else to do what you can do for yourself then go for it but it isn't necessary.

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2 years 6 months ago #15148 by larryf
Replied by larryf on topic Caravans to Alaska
I agree with traveling on your own. We made the trip to Alaska last year in our 40' motor home. Forget all the horror stories. Driving to most of Alaska is the same as driving in the lower 48. We also don't do caravans, due to the strict schedule you need to maintain (and the cost). For our 4 months trip, we only had one reservation for an RV Park - and that was in Denalli. Otherwise, we always found free or inexpensive places to stay. Other than checking out the military campgrounds, we stayed in a commercial RV park for only 2 nights the entire trip. We spent less than $9000 for the entire trip (May - Sept). This includes fuel, camping fees, entertainment, dining out, groceries, fishing charter, etc. Everything but our usual monthly phone, TV, insurance, and mortgage.

Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website
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2 years 6 months ago #15153 by grdscd
Replied by grdscd on topic Caravans to Alaska
I agree with Travman and LarryF, no caravan. When we went we found a friend that was interested in going about the same time. Nice to have another vehicle to travel with. Saved many $$ and got to see more and stayed when and where we wanted. Did not make any reservations during the whole trip. However you go, it is a great trip to take, have fun.

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