Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Paid Caravans to Alaska Worth it?
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 > Paid Caravans to Alaska Worth it?

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precioustime

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Saw this offer to rvers for 20 rvs to travel to Alaska, guides included, sites all paid for. Length of trip is around 30 days for $10,000 per rv with 2 people only. They worry about all the planning and tours. Anyone done this.? Is it worth it.

PA12DRVR

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One would need to see how the numbers add up and what one gets for the $10,000. Does that include park fees? Excursion fees? , etc, etc?

In full disclosure, I've never done an RV caravan, nor have I driven from Miami to Alaska. I have made the drive a couple of times from Port St. Joe to Seattle and Alaska...and have driven from points south (Dallas, Houston, Denver, Great Falls, Seattle, Idaho Falls, Alamagordo, Durango) to Alaska over 25 times.

Yes, it would be great for someone else to do the planning and reservations, but then you're locked in to that itinerary and schedule. Strictly for me, unless the $10,000 was a UUGE bargain (i.e. park fees, that sort of thing), I wouldn't do it.

For the price of a couple hours searching this forum, you can probably build a pretty good list of where to go and what to see on the route from the NW, through Canada, and in Alaska.....assuming the travel restrictions are eventually lifted.


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GordonThree

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Phew good for them that people pay that price. Do they include a driver, or at least chef for breakfast and dinner?


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

These are some examples of the guided tours, duration, cost, and amenities. I haven't done any, but some do look interesting. You could "shadow" one of the Alaska tours (there are 2 annually) and just pay your own way, if you were so inclined. The link is a subset of the WITclub.com website for Winnebago Owners, and has listed some prior tours. FYI.
https://wgoadventures.com/archive/
EDIT: Just noticed the prices are gone as the events are over. Sorry. Some of the ones we looked at a few years back, were in line with those mentioned.

* This post was edited 07/07/20 11:03am by MDKMDK *


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Acdii

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Posted: 07/07/20 10:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can see a caravan for traveling through Alaska, some roads get pretty rough, and having buddies along in case of a breakdown is a plus, but $10,000? That seems pretty steep.

schlep1967

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Posted: 07/07/20 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it expensive? I did a google search, Alaska Caravan, and checked it out. The price I saw was just over $9,000 and the trip was 60 days and 5,000 miles. If you and your spouse do an Alaska Cruise and land tour you are looking at $10,000+ and not seeing half as much and done in less than 20 days.
Can everybody afford it? Nope. But for those that can, it looks like it is probably one of the best ways to see Alaska.
Of course you don't have to put fuel in the Cruise ship. And they feed you three to six (or 10) meals a day.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 07/07/20 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What else is included?

20 rigs at $10,000 = $200,000

30 days at say $50/night: campgrounds could maybe justify $1500 per rig (and is probably a high estimate).

Say 2 wranglers getting $10k each is only $20k ($1000 per rig)

With $10k, I can cover the campground costs or save some by boondocking where it makes sense. I can pay for a $200 tour every 3rd day and still have $7k to call for service if I break down (For anything major, you are still going to pay for service if you break down on the paid caravan).

I suppose there may be some camaraderie but I've been on enough tours that I know it's really hit or miss if I want to be around a random group of people.


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Posted: 07/07/20 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've made the trip multiple times by myself or "leading" someone else up and back. When I've done it I kept track of all my expenses (fuel, meals, camp fees, extras, etc) and I can typically do a round trip spending most of the summer in Alaska for a little over %5000. (I have to admit that my camping fees while in Alaska are nothing though as I camp in a friend's backyard.)

I've talked to a couple of people who have done the caravans and the $10,000 price is pretty typical. What I found interesting is that at the stops they make they have one or two pre-arranged side trips you can make to "see the sights". While that sounds nice I was amazed at what the organizers has selected for some of these side trips. Certainly not the ones I would have taken and many of the better sights didn't seem to be on their list of approved/pre-paid sites. So while traveling in a caravan may offer some peace of mind (at a price) it also might be very limiting on what you can see and do.

As for finding camping spots along the way, that's never been a problem for me and I don't make reservations ahead of time. Now once you're in Alaska it could be totally different, especially if you want a spot to stay on the Kenai during the summer fishing season.

And, there's a lot of traffic on the Alaska Highway in the summer months. If you get in trouble and need some help someone will always stop and offer assistance.

junmy3

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Posted: 07/07/20 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have some friends that took a caravan to Alaska and enjoyed it. A couple years later they went back on their own.

DW and I went to Alaska the year I retired in 2012. The whole trip was 114 days and the cost was just about $10,000. Gas was the biggest expense, but the price of gas is lower than when we went. We still keep in touch with a few of the folks we met on the trip. For us the cost of going with a caravan is not worth it, but we know there are people that enjoy going with others.

Have fun whatever you decide.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 07/07/20 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Edited, no I would not find the value in that.

* This post was edited 07/07/20 02:42pm by Grit dog *


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

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