RVing Alaska Recap
Our Route Starting at Dawson Creek
We really enjoyed the drive to Alaska. We were filled with excitement from our curiosity and anticipation. We spent a couple months preparing the truck and Grand Ginger (our 37′ Grand Design Reflection travel trailer) for the journey and wanted to know if the upgrades were really necessary.
The drive from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks took us 7 days. The time seemed to fly by with the sun not setting until 11pm each night. We would drive into the night thinking it was dinner time only to find out it’s 10pm already. This served as an advantage and was fun to experience…until it wasn’t. By August, we were ready to get back to our regular sleeping hours.
Here is a breakdown of our route on the Alaskan Highway
Night 1: Dawson Creek, AK – Mile “0” RV Park
Night 2: Dry camped just north of Fort Nelson
*Lunch at Liard Hot Springs (must stop)
Night 3: Watson Lake, Yukon – Downtown RV Park
Night 4: Whitehorse, Yukon – Walmart Parking Lot (That no longer allows overnight parking)
Night 5: Destruction Bay, Yukon – Dry Camping
Night 6: Tok, AK – Tok Village RV Park
Night 7: Fairbanks, AK – Rivers Edge RV Park
KYD Season 5 Alaska Route
Below is a map of the entire Alaska route, including only major destinations. As mentioned in the video, we are not the “conquerors” and as a result, we did not take the Top of the World Highway, Chicken (the town) or the 100-mile gravel “scenic route” to Denali. We much preferred to stick to paved highways that delivered us to where the adventure started.
If you click the map below, it will open in Google maps. This route started at “Mile 0” in Dawson Creek, BC and ended in Vancouver, BC. There are a few destinations not included such as Talkeetna, Ninilchik, Coopers Landing and Skagway. The best way to see all the destinations we visited is to watch the Alaska Series Playlist which will play the entire season in order.
KYD Fuel Log
If you’re an accountant or going to audit these numbers, you will find some holes, but it will give you a good idea of how much it costs in fuel to drive to Alaska. The fluctuation in MPG has a lot to do with how much we drove in a certain destination without towing. We get between 18-20 MPG on our 2017 Ford F250 4×4 standard bed 6.7L Diesel Truck and 10MPG when towing.
KYD RV Park Lodging Log
We mentioned in the video that RVing Alaska can easily cost you $0.00 if you’re set up and accustom to dry-camping. There are dry-camping options everywhere. Taking this approach will help offset the fuel cost or give you a budget for activities. For us, our RV lodging budget is $50 per day and we found Alaska to be roughly the same as the lower 48. As we mentioned in the video, we’re partial to RV parks over state parks and dry-camping because we essentially have four adults (when it comes to water, dishes and electrical) and we don’t like being limited to a location for just 2-3 days. We have found that we’re more productive and it’s easier to focus on videos, work and school when we have full hook-ups.
Below is a link to our lodging spreadsheet. This will show you our location, where stayed, the cost and if it rained that day. In the green shows our average monthly RV park cost and what we spent per month. If you click on the spreadsheet, you can see the entire PDF file. July was a bit more expensive because we stayed 7 days at Baluga Outlook RV Park in Kenia, AK at $88 per night. We stayed longer than expected here because of the dip-net fishing and to make time for our bear experience with Talon Air Services. The regular rate of this RV park $55 per night, except during July during dip-netting.
*To see the entire sheet click the sheet above and a PDF will open.
RV Alaska Gear
If you click on any of the images below, you’ll be redirected to our Amazon Page Alaska category. These are the items we felt were particularly helpful during our trip. A waterproof jacket is essential for Alaska. Don’t skimp on your rain gear! The Kuhl jacket below is one of my favorite jackets now and has a great spot for your phone that keeps it dry. There are also links to Tricia’s favorite Alaska boots and the infamous #AlaskaHat
As you know, we’re promoters of a second spare tire and the BAL hide-a-spare is a simple upgrade to towable RVs to keep an additional tire hidden with easy access. We also added the product we used to blackout our bedroom windows. We were excited to install it and even more excited to take it off!
We do have an Amazon affiliate account and do receive a small commission if you use our links, but you will not pay any extra and everything is private. We use the money we make from Amazon to buy more gear that we can share on the channel and review. If you do use our Amazon link, we get credit for what you purchase within 24 hours.
RV Alaska Top 5 Questions (Were the RV Upgrades Really Needed?)
The video below answers our top 5 questions about Alaska. This is the first of three Q&A videos about Alaska to help you plan and prepare for your Alaska adventure.
1. How are the roads to Alaska?
2. How bad were the mosquitos?
3. What’s the cell coverage like?
4. How are the RV parks? Especially without reservations.
5. Were the upgrades really necessary?
Adventure, Tours & Guides
Some of the comments below asked about the cost of the activities. Good call. Going to Alaska can be a once-in-lifetime trip and making a budget for some activities can make it a lifetime memory.
Just as Trish said in the video, close your eyes and get in touch with your mental image of Alaska. Based on that image, prioritize your time and activities around that image so you leave feeling great about the time and money you spent in Alaska.
Some of the comments said, “How many days do I have dry-camp in order to do this??” That’s a great approach. In Valdez there is a wonderful area to dry-camp by Valdez Glacier. Stay there to create the budget to go out on the Lulu Belle or tour Valdez Glacier.
If we were to go back, we’d bring blow-up paddle boards or kayaks so we could explore more ourselves on the water. We could have also hiked Exit Glacier without a guide, in Seward.
Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum in Fairbanks is $10 for 13 and above and $5 between 6-12
Riverboat Discover Tour in Fairbanks is $64.95 each. Very touristy with lots of people, but very informative and well fun.
Bear Viewing with Talon Air Service is $395 each. Expensive, but not compared to the other flight/fishing options and SO much value.
Denali Flight Tour with Alaska Floatplane is $220 each. The best way to see Denali as only 25% visitors get to see it.
LuLu Belle Boat ride in Valdez is $140 each. This is an exceptional experience and a great way to see Columbia Glacier
Valdez Glacier Guide is $35 each
Seward Ocean Excursions is $150 each
The Saltry in Homer is $60 each for the ferry + lunch
The Alaska Railroad to Anchorage (fares vary depending on location) Trish paid $200 from Seward to Anchorage for a Gold Ticket (so she could record the ride). The standard fare was $100. This was an Amazing ride and a great way to see the Kenia Peninsula.
KYD Best Of Alaska
Below are some of our favorite places in Alaska. It’s hard to pick a single place as Alaska is so vast and different. Each destination has something unique that makes it special.
Favorite town (and best food): Homer, AK
Best RV town: Seward, AK
Best bear viewing (for free): Haines, AK
Most beautiful: Valdez, AK
Best town to view Denali: Talkeetna, AK
We’d love to hear from you if you have more ideas or feedback. Because of spam, all comments are held in a review queue until approved so it won’t show up immediately, but we check comments weekly and approve.
Thanks for being part of the KYD Community! We’d love to get to know you more and meet for KYD Coffee ☕️. If you’re looking for a smaller community and even more content, learn more about the KYD Insiders.
Elaine Magliacane says
Did you keep a log of the cost of your ‘side’ activities, the boat rides, glacier tours, air plane rides, ferry boats and fishing trips. I’d be curious about those costs for you two.
Elaine- Thanks for asking. I was inquiring about the same info. Marc did a great job on the lodging and fuel costs and made our decision to go in 2020 a “GO”! Just need to know how much “FUN” money we need! lol
Okay, I just updated the blog 🙂
Glenn Bevin says
I know this is much after the fact, but I am now able to contemplate an Alaskan trip. Did you folks consider taking the ferry from Bellingham to Homer? I have been told that the best way to see the inside passage is via the ferry.
I just replied to this question in another comment 🙂
Doug n Tina says
Great details!!!! Thanks so much for making a detailed report. Both the speadsheets and details on cell coverage were exactly what we were looking for. Big questions were answered here that we couldn’t find elsewhere. We couldn’t go this last summer, however watching your family experience Alaska was like the next best thing. My be next summer for us. ☺
Roy Alberts says
Thank you Marc and Trish for all the great videos and information. For anyone wanting to travel to Alaska all the have to do is go to your website!! It’s sad that most people will only get to see this great and wonderful country we have through videos. I have traveled a little in the United States that’s going to change next year! I am excited and nervous bot there is so much to see and many wonderful people to meet, I feel i will never be alone.
Thank you again for all you do, keep up the good work!!!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together!!! We are in the process of planning our Alaska trip for next summer (it will be our first time) and this is EXTREMELY helpful! We’re actually going to rewatch the KYD Alaska series to write down all the cool tours and adventure companies you guys used…. unless you have a spread sheet of that too? ????
Norris Klesman says
On your comments about lodging costs, you misspelled Kenai. You might want to correct it.
I’ll update. At the time, it was more notes.
rick deason says
Love all of your trips! You two do a great job of the vlogs, and I enjoy your enthusiasm, it’s contagious. I spent a year in Alaska at the very end of the Aleutians courtesy of the USAF. II was glad to leave, never wanting to return to or anywhere near Alaska. However your trip has sufficiently influenced my change of heart.
I’m a seasoned Mexico traveler and Your Mexico trip was delightful. Sorry about your loss of Maddy,, (unsure of the spelling).
Thank you for sharing all of your rving adventures……my2cents, rick
Elizabeth LaRose says
Excellent videos and information about Alaska and Rving.
Would like to know the cost for you extra activities, fishing derby, airplane flights etc. These are all activities we would like to plan for in our budget.
Again excellent presentation.
Great question. I should update the blog, but we need to get started on next week’s content already! If you add everything up, this is going to sound like A LOT… but in some cases (not all) we get discounts in exchange for the videos. We try to do as much as much as possible to really show off each destination. If it was not for the videos, we’d probably pick 1 or 2 epic activities and then focus on free stuff. Unfortunately, free stuff doesn’t always make great videos. If we were to go back, we’d bring blow-up paddle boards so we could explore more ourselves on the water. We could have also hiked Exit Glacier without a guide.
Bear Viewing with Talon Air is $395 each. Expensive, but not compared to the other flight/fishing options and SO much value.
Denali Flight Tour is $220 each. The best way to see Denali as only 25% visitors get to see it.
LuLu Belle Boat ride in Valdez is $140 each.
Valdez Glacier Guide is $35 each
Seward Ocean Excursions is $150 each
Salty’s in Homer is $60 each for the ferry + lunch
Ronnie Hendrix says
Thank you guys for all the detailed info! We have a new Sprinter class C. I’m concerned about the tire situation… It doesn’t have a spare!!! Not sure how to navigate that! I know you took extra spares, etc… You only had one flat, is that right??? On the way back down?
Doug Randolph says
I have been following your adventures for 2 years now, an wait, every Sunday for the next video. I have an interest in working remotely from the road. What equipment is needed. I would hope that you could put together a video on this subject. A lot of us might be able to make the plunge if we could count on the extra income. Thanks Marc and Trish.
I love watching all your videos but Alaska especially. My brother worked a 6 month job in Haines at the American Bald Eagle Foundation in 2001. My family & I visited for a week & I loved it. I hated to leave & was pleasantly surprised to hear Trish talk about the emotional connection to Alaska. I felt the same way & when she mentioned that, I was like “yes” someone understands how I felt. Lol. Definitely plan to visit Alaska again!!
“Marc says” @ 3;15 am? (Get some rest)
Thank you for all the efforts you both make to be thorough, prompt and informative. As much as I’m sure you both enjoy the hard work and everything that is gained, take care of yourself and get some rest. We will all still be here and many more will come.
Ya’ll (can you tell I’m from Texas?) lol, have been so amazing to your audience and catering to all our needs/questions. Thank you again and again for such a wealth of information and content while keeping it real.
I’m a widow (sounds like I’m so old) with a 10 year old (not so old) lol, with full time RV’er goals in the works. Starting with what I have and not waiting.
Calling ourselves “B R Family” (Braidyn, Rosemarie & family)
I have 7 kids-5 boys & 2 girls. I only have the 10 year old left in the home so we will be the primary full time RV’ers, however the others will join us from time to time for some of our journeys. Class C RV, solar, self composting toilet, new flooring & fresh white interior paint as well as (I’m predicting) new tires, and other updates to hit the road, (boon-docking goals).
Beverly Sargent Noble says
I wanted to comment on why I believe you are so successful in your efforts to create this experience. You present yourselves as emotionally honest people, who are open to whatever the possibilities may be, rather than making judgments about the people and places you see. In all of your videos/podcast/blog presentations, you offer support to others, and it appears you take the responsibility for sharing your experience to the benefit of others very seriously. Thank you!
Keith Card says
We hear there is lots of dry camping in Alaska, what about Canada?
Pete Acevedo says
What a great series this season was and I really appreciate all the great insight and information. We will be doing this trip in the end of May of 2019 and will be using all the resources provided. Again great job with the videos and I just need to ask one question? What is next for you guys?. It seems like you have covered all the States and now Alaska, Will you take your show and videos to Europe or somewhere on a boat. Great traveling and following along your videos.
Todd Brunermer says
I feel guilty for asking this since you’ve been so diligent in putting together all of this info. Did you keep a log of your food expenses? Mainly food for the RV.
Gordon McLeish says
Your average MPG and average PPG for the entire trip need to be calculated using your grand totals, not the average of your daily calculations. Your avg MPG is higher at 11.91, and your avg PPG is lower at $3.68.
Thank you for the great videos!
Julie Shaw says
This blog with videos is like the perfect Christmas gift to us, as Alaska is on our bucket list.
We just purchased our first Ginger (not to copy you, but named after my favorite “Best friend” horse
when I was 16.)
We have done a few weekend jaunts and have planned for a month in Arizona starting in February.
But our dream is to take Ginger all the way to Alaska and this information you have with be invaluable to us
as we make our own pilgrimage to one of the last frontiers. My grandfather had homesteaded where Fairbanks is now, but came back for health reasons and passed away shortly after. Sure wish my grandmother hadn’t been so quick to sell, but she felt the trip up there contributed to his early death.
Anyway, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU SHARE TO HELP US NEWBIES LEARN HOW TO TRAVEL WELL.
Ellen Wilson says
I’m positive you’ve had this question but I must ask again…. we missed your t-shirt sale last spring but I’d sure like to have one. Are there any left? Will they be available again?
Louis Best says
Love to watch your stuff and can’t wait for the next one. Getting ready for my Alaska trip in June, it is my last big trip with my daughter as she completes HS next year and then off to College and the real world. After watching what you guys did to your rig to get ready, I liked some of the upgrades and I followed suite. I’ve lived in Alaska before and know the roads can be less than perfect. Have safe travels to you and your family and also to all of your friends that you have made and will make on your journeys. Great stuff
Followers since day 1 and we are 4-year FTers ourselves. We’re doing AK this summer. Curious about two “Gallons Added” column in your spreadsheet? Looks like majority of fill-ups you log two separate entries. For what?
We are headed to Alaska this summer. Do you think taking a tour/hike at Exit Glacier was worth it, or would be more fun to do it without? Why? 5anks so much for your thoughts!
New to RV but did some motorcycle runs from Texas to California and Hyder Alaska. Did you come back through the Frazier River Canyon? Your trip blew me away and was hoping you had a segment on Frazier River coming back from Alaska to Victoria.
Wayne LeBlanc says
Good Afternoon! I am in the process of planning a lengthy trip to Alaska, approx. 2 months. There will be five couples with two fifth wheels, two trailers, one motor home. We will be leaving from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Our route is: Edmonton-Grande Cache-Grand Prairie-Dawson Creek-Fort St. John- Fort Nelson-Lliard-Watson Lake-Johnson’ Crossing-Whitehorse-Destruction Bay-Beaver Creek-Delta Junction-Fairbanks-Cantwell-Anchorage-Glen Allen-Tok-Beaver Creek! We will return to Edmonton on the same route. I found it very interesting that you didn’t make any reservations, we prefer to stay in RV Parks with some services. Note: We will be leaving on the 10 June 2022. (A year late due to Covid). Any advice?
Debbie Brown says
Hi Marc and Trish,
Really enjoyed watching your Alaska videos. We are going on a 48 day RV tour to Alaska leaving Dawson Creek on June 20th, 2022. Your videos gave us ideas of things to do in the towns where we have 2 and 3 days there. We have not bee on a trip of this length. It will be new to us. What kind of meals did you cook that were easy? I like to plan some meals but I am looking for ideas. We like to BBQ, but looks like it rains often so I need some meals for indoors. Our trailer is smaller than yours (18’8′), so we do not have lots of cooking space. I will be buying a good waterproof jacket. Which brand jacket did Trish have? Thank You for the great videos.
Hello. First off, we are really enjoying your videos! We just ordered our dream Airstream. We are planning a trip to Alaska next year. A little daunting doing the planning. We noticed you started off in Scottsdale. We live in Prescott. We would love to know the route you took to Alaska. Maybe your stops along the way too? Thank you! 😊