RVing Alaska is one of the best ways to experience The Last Frontier. In this guide we’re sharing all of our tips to RV in Alaska!
In the summer of 2022 we traveled to Alaska in our self converted 2019 Mercedes Sprinter van. And it was hands down the BEST adventure of our lives!
For over 2.5 months we road tripped all around the state, seeing glaciers from our van window, experiencing national parks, going for epic hikes, and so much more. In our opinion, RVing is the ultimate way to experience Alaska!
However, as a huge and remote state, it can be a bit daunting to plan an Alaska RV trip. But we’re here to help! In this guide we’re sharing everything we learned while RVing Alaska. We’re covering why you should RV in Alaska, the optimal route, best time to go, all of the logistics, and more!
Whether you explore in your own RV or a rental, we hope this guide helps make RVing Alaska a bit easier, so you can worry less about logistics and spend more time enjoying this jaw dropping state. If you’re like us, you’ll be planning a second RV trip to Alaska before you even leave!
Looking for more things to do in Alaska?
- The ULTIMATE 10 day Alaska road trip (3 itinerary options!)
- How to spend 7 days in Alaska (4 Itinerary Options!)
- The ULTIMATE guide to driving the Alaska Highway
- The 24 BEST hikes in Alaska
- The ULTIMATE Summer Alaska Packing List
- Things to do in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (The largest in the US!)
- 12+ FUN things to do in Valdez, Alaska
- 8+ EPIC things to do in Hatcher Pass in Alaska
- The ULTIMATE guide to visiting Denali National Park (Mile 0-43)
- 8 things to do in Kenai Fjords National Park
- Watch all of our Alaska vlogs
- Read all of our Alaska guides
Why RV in Alaska?
There are many ways to experience Alaska. You can fly from the lower 48 and rent a car, go on an Alaskan cruise, hire a tour company, or do what we did and drive yourself and explore by RV!
Each option has its pros and cons, but in our opinion, RVing Alaska, whether it’s your own or a rental, is the BEST way to experience the state. And here are a handful of reasons why!
You’ll have the ultimate flexibility
RVing Alaska offers the most flexibility. If you were to fly into Alaska and stay at hotels or Airbnbs, you’d likely need to book them in advance. This means that if the weather isn’t ideal or you want to change plans, it would be harder to do so.
But when RVing Alaska, you can have a lot more spontaneity. You can alter your schedule, adjust your route, or add on new destinations more easily. This flexibility was a huge help for us during our visit to Alaska because of one big factor: rain.
During our summer in Alaska, it rained a lot. It was supposedly a much rainier summer than normal. But because we were traveling in our van and weren’t tied to any lodging bookings, we were able to adjust our route and plans to maximize our good weather days.
You may be thinking, “but what about campground bookings?” We will share more about this in a bit, but Alaska is super boondocking friendly. As in, you can sleep out in nature or in roadside pull offs (without services) pretty easily. This means that you don’t need to book campgrounds and can truly just move around freely and on a whim.
It is a cheaper way to experience Alaska
Alaska is not a cheap place to visit. The groceries are slightly more expensive, tours can be pricey, and lodging can add up very quickly.
By RVing Alaska, you’re able to combine two of the biggest vacation expenses into one: lodging and transportation. You won’t need to book a rental car and a hotel because you’ll be traveling in a home on wheels!
For those who are bringing their own RV to Alaska, it doesn’t get much cheaper. You can boondock for free every night, making your lodging totally free. All you’ll really have to pay for, besides normal daily necessities, is fuel!
If you do not own an RV and plan to rent one in Alaska, we will warn you that RV rentals can be expensive. But when you think about the money you’ll save on hotels and a rental car, it will likely be cheaper, or at least the same cost. And the additional benefits will make it worth it!
You can enjoy the comforts of home
Our favorite thing about van life is that we always have our home with us, no matter where we go. And this was a huge perk when RVing Alaska!
During our 2.5 months in Alaska we were able to sleep in our own bed, use our own cooking supplies, and have a consistent bathroom to use. We could be out in the middle of the wilderness and take a shower in our van if we so desired. It gave us the perfect mix of adventure and the comforts of a home!
No constant packing and unpacking required
Another huge perk of RVing in general, but especially when in Alaska is that while you may physically move daily, your belongings don’t have to.
To experience Alaska properly, you will have to road trip. Which means you’ll stay in different towns every couple nights. If you were staying in hotels the entire time, you’ll have to constantly unpack your suitcase and repack it.
But with an RV, you can have all of your belongings organized and in one spot the entire time!
Your furry friend can join you
We love adventuring with our pup Kona! But due to her size, she cannot go on a plane with us, so our only option to explore with her is a road trip. In fact, we built our van solely so that we could travel as a family!
By RVing Alaska, we were able to bring Kona with us. And she had one heck of a time! She got to go on some tough hikes, swim in alpine lakes, camp in the backcountry, and even explore a national park!
We will say though, while Alaska is very dog friendly, a couple popular spots are not. Specifically, Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. For these, she either napped in the van while we went on short hikes or we had to board her. So keep this in mind if you do bring your furry friend to Alaska!
You can visit remote areas and enjoy seclusion
There are some areas in Alaska that may be harder to visit, due to a lack of lodging or other infrastructure. But with an RV, they are still a possibility!
For example, when we entered Alaska, one of the first things we did was drive the Denali Highway. This remote, unpaved road takes you through mountains and wilderness. It has boondocking along the way, but no other real amenities, making it a great spot for our van!
There are various other areas like this, where there aren’t hotels or many options to stay, but plenty to see and do. And without an RV, they may not be possible to the average visitor!
What type of RV is best for RVing Alaska?
An RV, which stands for “recreational vehicle,” encompasses many different types of rigs. From a self converted Sprinter van (like ours), to a huge Class A, truck camper, and more!
And any type of rig would be great to RV in Alaska. In fact, we saw just about any type of RV imaginable, from small teardrop trailers to crazy Unimogs!
However, while it is possible to have a great time in Alaska in just about any rig, different types will have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each!
Motorhomes (Class A, B, or C)
Class A motorhomes are basically a mansion on wheels! These will provide you with a lot more space and are a great option for families.
However, due to their size, you’ll have a more difficult time finding parking and boondocking spots. But it’s not impossible! We met some travelers with a Class A (towing a Jeep) and they managed to boondock almost their entire trip. So it is doable, you may just have less options.
One big perk of the Class A though, besides the space inside, is that since you’ll likely have a tow vehicle, you can use the tow vehicle to get around, while leaving the large motorhome at a campground or boondocking spot.
Class B (+ converted vans)
A Class B or converted van is in our opinion, the ideal way to experience Alaska. Especially for couples or solo travelers!
You get to have the amenities of a home, but in a smaller, easy to maneuver package. A Class B RV will fit in most parking spaces, can drive windy mountain roads easily, and access boondocking spots.
Our van is considered a Class B and we had zero issues with it in Alaska. The only downside we can think of is that if we found a sick boondocking spot, we had no way to “hold the spot” whenever we went for a hike or headed into town. So we would sometimes lose a good spot if someone else came along while we were gone.
Class C motorhomes are a bit bigger than a Class B, but have the similar benefits. You can drive and park in town, while also accessing boondocking spots. They tend to be a bit clunkier than a Class B though!
We saw TONS of these in Alaska, especially with rental RVs. My parents rented a Class C on a trip we took with them in Wyoming and Idaho. And it was a great middle ground between a Class A and B. You get a more spacious bathroom, dining area, and space to walk around inside. Plus there is usually enough space to sleep 4-6 people!
Travel trailers and fifth wheels
A travel trailer or fifth wheel is similar to a Class A in that it’s a bit more spacious and also gives you the option to explore by vehicle, leaving your trailer at a campsite.
However, the downside of this setup is that you have a much longer rig to navigate around. And if you want to visit somewhere while towing your trailer and there isn’t large enough parking, things could get tricky.
While you can boondock with a trailer, it really depends on the size of the spot and accessibility.
Similar to a Class B or van, a truck camper is one of the most versatile options to explore Alaska! Especially if it’s 4×4 (more on that in a bit)!
With a truck camper you can drive through towns, park easily, and depending on how capable the rig is, be able to access some of the best boondocking spots.
The only downside to a truck camper is that it may be less spacious inside than a Class B or van. You also run into the same issue where you cannot hold a boondocking spot easily.
Renting an RV for your Alaska RV trip?
Don’t have an RV of your own? You can rent one in Alaska! We saw tons of rental RVs while road tripping around the state. And there are many options as to where you can rent from!
- Outdoorsy, which is like Airbnb for RVs. You’ll have a variety of rig options to choose from!
- RV Share, which is similar to Outdoorsy.
- Cruise America
- Great Alaskan Holidays
- GoNorth Alaska has a variety of rig types as well
A rental will be at least $200 per day, but you’d be paying even more for a hotel. Keep in mind you’ll still need to pay for food, gas, and propane. Some rentals do have additional fees for bedding, towels, and kitchenware.
When my parents rented an RV in Idaho, they ended up buying some cheap bedding and towels at Walmart, which was more affordable. You can then donate it before flying home!
Also, make sure to check with your insurance before renting an RV, to see if you’ll need additional coverage.
Do you need 4×4?
While 4×4 could help you access more remote, epic boondocking spots in Alaska, it’s not required. Our van is RWD and we had no issues visiting the most popular road trip spots in Alaska! Good tires and suspension will be to your benefit though!
When is the best time to RV in Alaska?
While you can technically RV in Alaska anytime of year, the prime time to visit is the summer! We recommend arriving in Alaska in early to mid June and leaving by early to mid September. If you’re curious about our exact dates, we arrived in Alaska on June 10 and left on August 27.
During this time, the days are long, trails are mostly snow free, and the weather is comfortable (highs in the 60s-80s). This sets the stage for loads of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, exploring national parks, and so much more. Just be prepared for some rain though!
If you decide to visit in May, keep in mind that some services may not be open or available. There could also be a slight hangover from the previous season. We saw snow in early June and many areas might still be dead looking.
The end of August marks the start of fall, which means that you can experience fall colors into early September, but your risk of an early snow storm is higher. Many services at the national parks, as well as seasonal businesses, may begin to close around this time as well.
Logistics of RVing in Alaska
One of the most difficult things about RVing are the logistics. The daily question of where to get water, where to sleep, how to find internet, etc, can be a bit draining. And the last thing you want while in Alaska is to be worried about these things. The whole point is to explore its beauty!
While Alaska is a very RV friendly state, it is more remote and some of the logistics can be a bit trickier at times. Below are some of the major things you’ll have to think of on a daily or weekly basis, plus our tips for each one!
How to find camping
While in Alaska you have a couple camping options. You can either pay to camp at campgrounds, which will have amenities, or you can boondock (dry camp) for free.
If you choose to pay to camp at a campground, you will have a variety of options in all of the popular tourist areas. The prices will range depending on where you are and what type of site you want.
A common question we were asked is if you need to book campsites in advance. From our experience, many of the campgrounds in Alaska had availability. If you want to camp inside Denali National Park, we’d suggest booking far in advance, but for other areas, you’ll likely find a spot available if you want to book more at the last minute.
Alaska is known for being one of the best states to boondock. It’s very realistic to spend an entire summer in Alaska and not pay for a campsite. There are many forested roads, public land areas, and pull outs to stay at. While in Alaska we boondocked for 90% of the time. And that is what we personally recommend!
We use a handful of apps and websites to find free camping options, including Campendium, The Dyrt PRO, RV Parky (for parking lots), and Freecampsites.net. But we found that iOverlander was one of the best options in Canada and Alaska.
Want more insight into how we find free campsites? Check out our detailed guide to free camping to learn which tools we use, rules to follow, and other tips!
Where we camped
Below is a map with every spot we stayed while in Alaska, which you can save to your Google Maps to access on the road. For many of these spots we stayed multiple nights, sometimes in a row and sometimes off and on. As you click on each spot, we’re sharing some of our thoughts, plus links to read reviews.
Make sure to check recent reviews, as we cannot guarantee that all of these spots are still legal or in the same condition as they were in 2022.
Since you’ll be traveling in a home on wheels, you’ll likely want to cook some meals while in Alaska. We highly recommend getting your groceries in Anchorage. You’ll be able to find multiple large grocery stores, plus Walmart and Target, which will offer the best selection and prices. Costco is another amazing place to grab some groceries in Alaska. We went a couple times to stock up on snack items and other products that we use often.
The smaller towns in Alaska do have grocery stores, but they will have much higher prices and much less to choose from. We went to the grocery store near Denali National Park and it was a bit of a struggle to find what we needed. Instead of buying what we wanted for specific meals, we had to make meals based on what they had to offer.
Where to do laundry
Depending on how long you’re RVing Alaska, there is a good chance you’ll need to do laundry. Oftentimes campgrounds will have a laundry facility and those are usually the cheapest option. But if you’re boondocking, you’ll have to use a laundromat.
We visited Quantum Laundry Lounge in Anchorage several times and it was our favorite laundromat we have ever been to! It was always very clean, not busy, and you can pay by credit card or an app. But what made it extra awesome was the coffee bar inside! We don’t understand why more laundromats don’t do this…it’s genius!
They also have pretty good Wi-Fi. We even uploaded a YouTube video while doing our laundry! We will say though, it was probably a bit pricier compared to some laundromats, but we were fine paying since it was so nice.
Where to find internet
Since we are self employed and rely on the internet to make a living, having the internet was crucial for us in Alaska. And while the towns and cities had decent cell service that we could use for our hotspots, oftentimes once you head out of town, the cell signal dwindles.
We made it work, but unfortunately our need to stay connected meant we couldn’t stay in as remote of areas or had to drive a lot some days to find internet.
If you’re like us and also need the internet, below are all of the options for staying connected while RVing Alaska.
When we visited Alaska in 2022, Starlink did not have any coverage north of central British Columbia. But now, Starlink has expanded their coverage and includes Alaska!
We purchased Starlink Roam in early 2023 and as everyone has said…it’s a game changer! We’ve been able to work in places with absolutely zero cell service, but with Starlink we have fast, reliable internet.
We cannot wait to go back to Alaska with our Starlink someday. It is going to make exploring the state (plus the remote drive up) so much less stressful for us!
Ever since we hit the road we’ve had hotspot plans with both Verizon and AT&T. These both came in handy during our time in Alaska. Of course, you need a cell signal for these to work, but if you do have service, they work well!
Libraries and coffee shops
One of our go to spots to work while on the road are libraries. They are free and usually have pretty good Wi-Fi. During our trip we worked at libraries in Anchorage, Wasilla, Homer, and Valdez.
Coffee shops are another great option for Wi-Fi on the road. We worked at Kaladi Brothers in Anchorage many times!
Dump stations and water
Since Alaska is so popular with RV travel, you won’t have trouble finding dump stations or places to fill your fresh water. iOverlander is a great resource to find potable water and dump stations if you don’t plan to utilize campgrounds.
Many gas stations in Alaska will have potable water and/or dump stations. And they are often free! We filled up water at the Speedway near Girdwood many, many times.
Although we have a shower in our van, we try to limit using it, as it takes a lot of power to heat up the water and the showers have to be VERY short. While in Alaska, specifically Anchorage, we went to Planet Fitness often to not only work out, but get a shower in too!
One concern we had when driving to Alaska was being able to find fuel along the way. We brought extra fuel tanks, but thankfully it was never an issue!
Both on the Alaska Highway and while in Alaska, we found plenty of gas stations and never risked running out of fuel. For reference, our fuel tank is about 24 gallons and we get 19-21 mpg.
However, it is wise to never go lower than half a tank and fill up when you have the opportunity. Even if there are plenty of stations, the next one down the road might be unexpectedly closed, out of fuel, or have some other unknown issue.
Tip: To get an idea what fuel prices are in an area and to find fuel stations, use the GasBuddy app. This app may not be accurate in remote areas, as it’s more user generated, but we have found that it helps with finding stations and saving money in most places around North America.
Planning your Alaska RV route
Now for the fun part of RVing Alaska: where to go! In this section we’re sharing what the standard RV route tends to be for Alaska, plus how we modified it for our own trip. We’re also giving some insight into how much time you need to RV in Alaska!
Standard RVing Alaska route
It’s no secret that Alaska is a MASSIVE state. But only small parts of it are accessible by vehicle, making planning a road trip slightly easier to manage!
Above is what we like to call the “standard RVing Alaska route.” It visits the most popular areas accessed by roads and combines Southcentral and Interior Alaska into one big loop! And what is fun about this route is that since so many RVers do it in this order, you’ll likely see the same people multiple times. It was fun having this unintentional “RVing Alaska” community along the way!
Here are the major spots to visit:
- Arrive in Tok, the first town you’ll come across when entering Alaska on the Alaska Highway
- Denali National Park
- Hatcher Pass
- Kenai Peninsula, including Homer, Seward, and Kenai Fjords National Park
- Valdez (accessible by ferry from Whittier or driving from Anchorage)
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
- Drive back to Tok and leave Alaska
To get to the rest of Alaska, like the Southeast Portion and Inside Passage, you’ll need to utilize ferries.
Our RVing Alaska route
While we mostly followed the standard RVing Alaska route, we did make some modifications based on weather and our interests. Here is our rough itinerary!
- Arrived in Tok
- Drove the Denali Highway (instead of visiting Fairbanks)
- Denali National Park
- Homer and Kachemak Bay State Park
- Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park
- Hatcher Pass (we pushed this to later due to snow levels where we wanted to backpack)
- Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
- Drive back to Tok and leave Alaska via the Top of the World Highway
How long should you RV in Alaska?
In our opinion, 2-2.5 months is a great amount of time to RV in Alaska. It will give you the ability to see all of the spots above at a leisurely pace. And if you’re working full time like we are, you will have enough time to both work and play.
However, we realize not everyone is able to work remotely or travels full time and will not have that much time to spend. So here are some tips on how to plan your RV route based on shorter time frames!
Only have one week?
If you only have one week in Alaska, we recommend sticking to the Anchorage area, plus the Kenai Peninsula. This will give you the chance to experience a lot of the state’s most EPIC scenery, but without days of driving.
Here’s a quick sample itinerary:
- Day 1: Anchorage
- Day 2: Day trip to Hatcher Pass
- Day 3: Drive to Seward
- Days 4 & 5: Kenai Fjords National Park
- Day 6: Visit Hope and/or Whittier
- Day 7: Back to Anchorage
Check out our guide on how to spend 7 days in Alaska (with 4 itinerary options!)
Have two weeks?
If you have two weeks in Alaska, you will have the ability to see a lot more, but will still have to pick and choose a bit. Here are a couple quick sample itineraries:
- Day 1: Anchorage
- Day 2: Drive to Denali National Park
- Day 3: Denali National Park
- Day 4: Talkeetna
- Day 5: Hatcher Pass
- Day 6: Hike near Anchorage
- Day 7: Drive to Homer
- Day 8 & 9: Explore Homer
- Day 10: Drive to Seward
- Day 11 & 12: Kenai Fjords National Park
- Day 13: Visit Hope and/or Whittier
- Day 14: Back to Anchorage
- Day 1: Anchorage
- Day 2: Day trip to Hatcher Pass
- Day 3: Drive to Seward
- Day 4 & 5: Kenai Fjords National Park
- Day 6: Visit Hope and/or Whittier
- Day 7: Drive to Valdez
- Day 8 & 9: Valdez
- Day 10, 11, & 12: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
- Day 13: Drive back to Anchorage
- Day 14: Explore more of Anchorage and return home
Don’t try to do too much
There is SO much to do in Alaska. And it can take a while to drive around. Make sure to plan a realistic timeline and not squeeze in too much. Otherwise, you’ll spend most of your time driving and have less time to actually get out into Alaska’s beauty.
COMING SOON: Check out our detailed itineraries for Alaska, including multiple options for 7 days and 10 days!
Before you go: preparing to RV in Alaska
A big key to successful RVing in Alaska is to make sure you’re prepared beforehand. Driving your own RV to Alaska? Here are some things to think about before hitting the road!
Make sure your RV is ready for the journey
Your RV is going to be conquering thousands of miles of driving. So make sure to take the time to ensure it is ready for the long, and sometimes bumpy, journey!
You’ll want to perform any maintenance services needed like oil change, change filters, and top off fluids before leaving the lower 48. It will be harder to find these services as you make your way up the Alaska Highway. And it may be more difficult to get services done while in Alaska.
We also suggest checking the tread on your tires and making sure that your suspension can handle what’s to come. While the roads in Alaska are mostly paved, there are sections of the Alaska Highway that may not be.
Lastly, check the AC, heater, refrigerator, awning, plumbing, electrical, and any other components in the living space.
Know the rules to cross the border
The two main routes to get through Canada to Alaska are the Alaska Highway and the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. Most people try to blaze through the Canada portion of this trip, but if you have the time, we highly recommend spending as much time as you can in Canada, there is so much to see and do!
Read our full guide to driving the Alaska Highway and our guide to driving the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (coming soon!)
Regardless of which way you go to Alaska, you will have to go through at least one border crossing (two for US citizens). Here are some of our tips to make sure you’re prepared!
Get familiar with what you can and cannot bring into Canada
There are rules and restrictions for food, drugs, alcohol, and weapons. You can find the rules for the US here and the rules for Canada here.
We find the food rules to be a bit confusing, so we just try to always cross the border with no eggs, produce, or meat. As for weapons, bear spray IS allowed to be taken over the border, since it’s an animal deterrent. Pepper spray (to use on humans) is NOT allowed.
Make sure to bring your passport! We also have NEXUS, which helps speed up the process. However, there was no NEXUS line at the Alaska border.
Know your travel plans
While we have had a few exceptions, most border agents are a bit intense. We always get a bit nervous crossing, but here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly!
- For US citizens, know how long you’ll be in Canada. If you’re a Canadian citizen, know how long you’ll be in Alaska. They don’t care about exact dates. General time frames work!
- Be concise with your answers.
- Have your documents ready when it’s your turn.
- Declare what you’re supposed to. You’re legally required to and can get in trouble if you get pulled over and they find it later.
Crossing with pets
If you’re bringing a pet, you will need to declare them at the border. You’ll also need to make sure you have a copy of their rabies vaccination and that you only bring dog food in its original packaging, which has to be less than 20 kg (44 lbs). We have never been asked for the vaccination record, but it is required to have it on hand.
Change your speedometer
Canada uses kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. Make sure to change your speedometer so you know what speed you’re going! That speed limit sign you see for 100 is NOT in mph. 😉
Check road conditions
Here are some common road hazards you might encounter as you RV around Alaska.
A common joke is that in Alaska there are two seasons…winter and construction season.
You’re likely to encounter at least one section of highway under construction in the summer. These sections can be as small as a few feet or as long as many miles. And oftentimes in these stretches that are under construction, traffic will be reduced to one lane. This can lead to long wait times, so make sure to plan for a bit of extra time than Google Maps may tell you.
We suggest keeping these sites bookmarked for updates on road conditions and construction projects: 511 Alaska, DriveBC and 511 Yukon.
In Canada and Alaska the extreme winter weather causes frost heaves in the road, which are like speed bumps in the middle of the highway. As you can imagine, hitting a speed bump at 60 mph will not be good for your vehicle. Frost heaves are a big reason for lots of construction. They are sometimes marked with an orange flag, but not always. So stay alert and watch for these!
We personally did not find the frost heaves to be bad, but we had upgraded our suspension on our van and drove slowly. We know some RVs find them very unenjoyable though!
Besides frost heaves, other common hazards on the road include potholes and soft shoulders.
There is a high chance you’ll get some sort of windshield damage. If that is a concern, increase your glass policy with your auto insurance beforehand.
You will likely see lots of wildlife along the highway, so make sure to stay alert and slow down if you notice any near the road.
Download offline navigation
You may not have cell service for multiple days on the drive up to Alaska, as well as during some stretches of driving in Alaska. We highly suggest downloading offline maps (both Google Maps and AllTrails maps) as well as any documents you may need.
We kept our itinerary on a Google Sheet, so we made sure to have that downloaded, plus the routes for any hikes we wanted to do.
Want to get 30% off an AllTrails+ membership? Click this link or use our code aplusk30 (you must redeem this code on the website, not the app)!
We use AllTrails+ on every single hike and it is the most helpful hiking tool out there! Some of the features we love are offline maps (so we can navigate even without cell service), wrong-turn alerts, and its 3D maps feature, so we can get a feel for trails before we hike.
What to bring to RV in Alaska
Besides the essentials, like clothing, toiletries, and cooking supplies, there are a handful of items we highly suggest bringing to RV in Alaska.
To see everything we recommend to take to Alaska, check out our Alaska Packing List (with printable checklist!)
Emergency roadside kit
It’s always a good idea to carry a roadside emergency kit. This is an item you hope to never have to use, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Besides a roadside kit, other items we suggest bringing are a fully inflated spare tire, spare parts, tools, and an adequate jack.
Before going to Alaska, we bought a Boulder Tools tire deflator so we could deflate our tires a bit before driving bumpy, gravel roads. After a few minutes of getting the hang of how it works, Adam really liked how easy it was to use. It definitely helps make the ride smoother to take some air out!
Portable air compressor
We also bought the Viair 88P portable air compressor to be able to air up the tires after deflating. It takes less than 10 minutes to air up all four tires.
Tire patch kit
We planned to drive many gravel roads in and near Alaska, including the Denali Highway, Top of the World Highway, and Dempster Highway. So we bought a tire patch kit just in case the rough roads caused a tire issue. Thankfully we never had to use it!
If you’re planning RVing Alaska when snow may be present, you will want to carry tire chains. We carry these chains, but haven’t had to use them. Be sure to buy the appropriate size for your tire size!
If you want to sit out and enjoy the beautiful Alaska scenery from your RV, pack some camping chairs!
Another item that can make camping in Alaska even more enjoyable is an awning! Don’t have an awning installed? Get a MoonShade! We recently added this portable awning to our van and can’t wait to use it in Alaska in the future.
If you want to get a MoonShade, use our code aplusk for $30 off!
Satellite communication device
We never go on an adventure without our Garmin inReach Mini. This is a satellite device that allows us to contact family, see GPS, and has an SOS button in case we get hurt. It has come in handy several times on our adventures, mostly to text family (not for SOS reasons thankfully)!
This was especially handy in Alaska when going for hikes or spending multiple days in areas without cell service.
If you haven’t heard, the common joke is that the state bird of Alaska is the mosquito. We personally didn’t find the mosquitoes to be bad in Southcentral Alaska. Although, we did hear they are more common in Fairbanks and more inland, which we can confirm from our time in Tok and Denali.
In order to not have a miserable time swatting mosquitoes all day make sure to bring bug spray with DEET! We also bought a Thermacell for when we sat outside and we think it helped!
Electric fly swatter
Another key item to have with you for your RV trip in Alaska is an electric fly swatter. Not only is it a ton of fun to use, it’s also very effective. If a pesky mosquito or fly gets in your RV, this thing will do the trick!
Since it hardly gets dark in the summer in Alaska, you will want to ensure you have a way to block out light in your RV to sleep. We have blackout covers on all of our windows, plus a curtain, and it keeps the van nice and dark at night!
If you’re renting an RV and don’t know if you’ll have blackout curtains, an eye mask is a good idea!
The Milepost is known as “the bible of North Country travel” and is a large, annual travel guide to all of the routes to and in Alaska, with mile by mile descriptions and information about lodging, where to eat, things to see and do, and tons more.
Anytime you mention RVing Alaska, you will be told to buy The Milepost. In our opinion, while The Milepost is useful, it is also very overwhelming. It includes much more information than we felt we needed.
However, we’d still buy it again and suggest you do the same. It did give us a handful of ideas of things to do in Alaska. But there are many other helpful resources out there, like *cough* our website *cough*. We have a HUGE guide to driving the Alaska Highway, plus lots of Alaska guides that we hope help you plan your time in Alaska!
Ready to explore Alaska by RV?
Pin this guide to RVing Alaska to plan your epic adventure!