Show #3: Great Alaskan Holidays and RV travel around the 49th state
A half-hour went all too quickly for last week’s Alaska On the Go Show with my guest Bob Johnson from Great Alaskan Holidays. Johnson is the marketing director for this Anchorage-based company that has been renting and selling RVs for 35 years, and he said the 2020 spring, summer, and fall season is looking great for those interested in road tripping around the Last Frontier.
Why is RV travel such a popular way to see Alaska? Our 49th state highways may be few, but the scenery and wildlife within their boundaries (and sometimes beyond) is richly diverse. Plus, there’s the added bonus of unpacking once and settling in on what we call a “cabin on wheels,” for a week or more of experiencing the unique activities Alaska has to offer on the road system. With the independence of road tripping coupled with the convenience of a kitchen and sleeping area all rolled into one place, RV travel is a bundle of travel convenience and affordability.
Bob Johnson and I covered a lot of ground in our 30 minutes together, so buckle up and take note of the following information that may help in your family vacation planning.
What kinds of RVs does Great Alaskan Holidays rent? A variety of sizes and floor plans, in fact, designed to fit one to eight people of various sizes and ages. Aren’t sure what your family needs? Johnson recommends browsing the website for floor plans, and, if local, bring the family along to test out a coach to see how everyone fits. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, Johnson adds, because with 13 different configurations and a variety of coach sizes ranging from 22-32 feet, there a lot of options.
Speaking of coach length: Don’t be intimidated by a longer vehicle. RV travel is meant to be comfortable, and today’s coaches are made for easy driving and maneuverability, despite what you may have heard. All Great Alaskan Holidays rentals require a safety orientation an full walk-through with staff to make sure you’re comfortable with mechanics of everything from toilet to batteries, and all the driving in between.
Where can an RV go? Good question, says Johnson. All the paved highways of Alaska are accessible for Great Alaskan Holidays coaches (Glenn Highway, Parks Highway, Sterling and Seward Highways, Richardson too). The gravel Denali Highway is also permissible, but one must adhere to the 25 MPH speed limit and take great care while crossing this breathtaking stretch of road. Read more about our RV travel experience on the Denali Highway HERE.
Take note of what is included. Renting an RV is less about loading up your own stuff and more about making travel easier, especially for out-of-town visitors. Things like bedding, pots, pans, cups, cutlery, and the like are all included; camp chairs, grills, and such can be added for a small fee. Check out the entire list HERE. Note: Before heading out, pick up a copy of The Milepost, the “bible of north country travel and a fascinating read.
Watch the Great Alaskan Holidays website for shoulder season specials, resident deals, and excellent bargains on sale RVs that have been lovingly maintained for rentals and now make up the sales fleet.
Bob Johnson suggests families thinking about an RV trip for the 2020 spring or summer season book soon, as many popular dates will soon be sold out. He also tipped us off to fall rentals after the Labor Day weekend, noting that September’s glowing colors and blue skies have been the norm for a few years.
P.S. I’m away this week at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show in Denver, Colorado, but the Alaska On the Go Show will return February 5th at 3 p.m. on KONR-LP 106.1 FM, or streamed live at www.outnorthradio.com.