We are not going to cop out. There are probably some RVs or trailers that are better than others for this trip. You will get mixed responses from those owners who have done it and survived. The best trailer or RV to use is probably the one you own right now. Just watch out for rough roads as tires can blow on you.
This trip can be made by used or new RVs or trailers. There are some rough roads that you have to watch out for but there are plenty of gas stations so you won’t run out of fuel. Take the RV or trailer you are comfortable driving or towing, as well as living in.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can make this trip safely and enjoy the view. Just plan on bringing a couple of extra tires just in case as the roads can get rough in spots.
Yes, you can but you should check for current laws governing crossing the border. Since Covid hit, both the Canadian and American border stations were given new laws to follow for entry into their respective countries.
One law change is that you need a passport for every member of your family. This one you should double-check this to make sure you do not need one for small children. This goes for both border crossing stations.
The other thing you should be concerned about is the condition of your RV or trailer. Like many campgrounds that have the 10 or 15-year rule, make sure your RV is in very good shape if it is older than 10 years.
Canadians do not want junk RVs or trailers left in their country. Before going on this trip, assess your RV or trailer from the customs and immigration officers’ eyes. Look for things that may be enough to deny you entry and fix them.
There are other little details you need to worry about and we will cover as many as we can in the next section.
As you know by now, you can drive your RV through Canada to Alaska. The border stations are used to seeing American travelers with their coaches and trailers. That is not going to be a problem.
Here are some tips to be ready for when you make this trip:
1. All legal, road-worthy vehicles can drive to Alaska. Motorcycles, cars, trucks, motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers (just have them in good shape)
2. Gas is sold in liters and the Canadian gallon is 1 quart larger than the American gallon. It takes about 4 to 5 liters to make up a Canadian gallon.
3. Driving laws are different in Canada make sure to research them before you drive to the border. Also, speed limits are listed in kilometers not miles but 80 kmh equals 50 mph. 60 mph equals 100 kmh approx.
We suggest you contact the CAA or Canadian Automobile Association to get the current driving laws and other road information. It may be a good idea to become a member in case your American Roadside service has no Canadian outlets or partnerships.
4. Do not bring your guns, Canadian gun laws are very strict. It may be impossible for you to bring any handguns into the country, even if you are simply driving straight through to Alaska.
You may be able to get certain rifles into the country but make sure to have proper paperwork along with you. Don’t take any chances on this issue.
5. There are several wilderness only areas. What this means is that you need to plan your trip carefully so you do not run out of gas at the wrong spot. Also, these areas do not have any cellular service. Bring a satellite phone if you can for emergencies.
Also, some of the Al-Can highway is still gravel, make sure you have good tires on your RV or trailer. Bring a couple of spares just in case. Also, some of the paved areas are very rough due to the harsh winters in that region.
6. If you are bringing your pets, make sure to bring their vaccination certificates and records.
Yes, as long as it is legal to tow, you have insurance and it is in good shape you can tow your 5th wheel through Canada to Alaska. One thing we did not mention above is that if you have a felony record somewhere in your past, you will probably not be allowed to enter the country.
If your name is similar to a known criminal, it may be a good idea to bring a recent criminal records to check with you to prove your innocence. Make sure it is notarized so there are no questions at the border.
Also, if you are traveling in the Spring and it is warm where you leave, winterize your trailer. It may be Spring up north but that does not mean it will be warm. Many travelers have reported 3 feet of snow when they went and many of the campgrounds were still closed.
Due to geography, the northern regions of the continent do not act like the southern regions of the continent. Prepare to be cold and make sure to bring warm jackets just in case. Summer may be warm but not as warm as say Idaho or other American states in the lower 48.
1. Make sure to have good tires on your 5th wheel and tow vehicle- rough roads can make short work of cheaper tires.
2. Make sure your trailer is prepared for cold weather- the north rarely gets as warm as the northern states and most certainly not as warm as the southern ones.
3. Watch your speed- not just to avoid speeding tickets but to protect your 5th wheel and its features from damage. The roads can be fairly rough after a hard winter and there should still be sections that are only gravel.
4. Look for RV discussion forum threads or websites about towing a trailer to Alaska- there will be good information on those websites that should help you avoid other RVers' mistakes. Getting enough information will help you enjoy your travels more.
5. You won’t see a lot of the state- there are only so many roads throughout the state so your viewing, while spectacular, will be limited. Other ways to see the state will be by dog sled, snowmobile, boat, hiking, or by small plane.
6. You can’t get to Juneau from here- Fairbanks, Anchorage, & Seward are all linked by roads. However, to get to Juneau you need to travel by boat or by plane.
7. Watch out for bears- make sure to have bear-proof containers for most of your food items. When you camp in the wilderness you will run into wildlife and they will investigate when they smell food. Bring some bear spray along for the ride just in case.
Also, when you see a moose on the road, don’t run into it. These animals have been known to ruin a vehicle when someone hits them. The moose usually just gets up and walks away.
8. Bring extra tires, first aid kits, extra cans of gas, and other essentials- the wilderness areas are large and you will need solutions just in case something happens as you drive.
9. Traveling in ‘fringe seasons’- those seasons are Spring and Fall and this can be quite dangerous as the weather can change at any moment and without notice. Plus, campgrounds and other traveler services may be closed at these times.
10. Be over-prepared for medical emergencies- hospitals will be few and far in between. Make sure you have bandages, medication, etc., just in case. Towing service will be as sparse as well. Make sure to have a good jack on board, just in case.
11. Be prepared for delays- sometimes the salmon run may stop your journey for a little bit. Alaska is different from other states so be prepared for all delays no matter how unique or weird. Put the extra time in your schedule.
12. Be prepared to be disconnected- you can easily go 400 miles without seeing people, and attractions, and internet or cell phone connections. This is what wilderness traveling is like so make sure you have thought of everything and prepare for the loneliness.
This will depend a lot on your tow vehicle if you want to tow a trailer. A 1/2 ton is not going to work if you want to pull a 5th wheel. The bed is usually too short and the weight of the 5th wheels should be too much for this vehicle. Even smaller 5th wheels may be pushing the limits.
If you are using a car or SUV, then your trailer should match the weight limit your vehicle can safely tow. That means you are looking at towing a teardrop or similar trailer.
With the bigger trucks like a 3/4 or 1 ton you have lots of options and different RV owners have reported great experiences no matter which trailer they owned. For self-drive RVs, the Class A models may be good but they may also have trouble with the mountain inclines.
Class C and B options would probably be better with their gas mileage range and smaller designs. Length will be an issue and some campgrounds may not accommodate long Class A rigs.
The best thing to do is to do some research on the campgrounds where you can stay along your route. Also, watch the time of year as it has been reported that April is about a month too soon to go to Alaska.
Sway will be your biggest issue and going with a shorter trailer may be better than going with a longer one. The shorter the self-drive RV will be better than the longer ones. The roads to and through Alaska can be tricky.
This is one of the alternatives you can choose to do. The other one is flying to Alaska and renting an RV for your stay. But that is another issue as it does take away the adventure of going by road or ferry.
The ferry trip provides you with views of Canada and Alaska that you will not see when you drive. The inside passage is supposed to be a grand sight to see as your float by. It is worth the expense and going by ferry can spare you any hassles the border stations may bring.
It is worth exploring this option as you can take the ferry to Juneau, then on to Seward and after you have finished your exploring of the state, drive home through Canada. You can get the best of both travel options. Or do it in reverse- drive then take the boat home.
Also, that website provides you with information on campgrounds, etc., in the Yukon. It is worth looking at even if you drive both ways.
If you want an adventure of a lifetime, then explore this travel option. Just make sure to pick the right time of year and make your reservations well in advance.
Then plan your trip carefully and over-prepare as it is a very remote journey for the most part. If you plan well, you should have a good time and be able to return home safely.