Renting an RV in Alaska
For quite a while we had talked about taking a trip to Alaska. For me it would be a bit of a homecoming after having been stationed in the Air Force in Fairbanks and for my wife and my twins it would be a fun trip. Our first thought was that we would drive our 40' Berkshire up the AlCan. When we started to get serious about the trip we realized that this wasn't a likely scenario. It was going to add about two to three weeks onto our trip. I didn't feel I could take that much time away from my work and my wife's work. The second major consideration was the wear and tear on our rig. We didn't want to take the chance on damaging our unit and I know the AlCan can be a very unforgiving road at times. Our third consideration was the cost. We figured that it would cost us close to $5,000 to drive to Alaska and we were able to get airfare for each of the four of us for $600 round trip from Buffalo to Anchorage. The decision was made to rent an RV in Alaska.
We searched the internet and determined that our best choices would be one of three rental companies. Those were Great Alaskan Holidays, ABC RV Rental, and Clippership. We decided on ABC. We booked in January to take advantage of the early booking discount and to be sure we would have a unit when we went in July. As it turned out, this created a rather unique situation. When business turns out to be slow in June, July, and August, the rental companies start to drop their rates. We still got a good deal from ABC, but we could have perhaps negotiated a better deal by waiting. At the same token, we may have then scheduled a trip with no RV for us on the other end. We have no regrets about the early booking. My conservative CPA mentality wouldn't allow me to make a commitment on the air without the RV waiting for us.
The RV was a 2012 Four Winds bunk house Class C. It was nice enough, but it was a rental and had some issues. I should add that ABC bent over backwards to make sure our experience was a positive one in every way. Now to put things into perspective, most RV rental customers have absolutely no experience with an RV. In many instances they are from other countries and do not speak any English. That means that there are some folks out there who aren't familiar with the concept of emptying gray and black water tanks. We had no issues like that. It was a little different going from a 40' A to a 30' C. There was an adjustment necessary for all of us. Luckily we are still speaking to each other at the end of the trip.
Would I go this route again? Absolutely! It was fun and an adventure. Most of us are familiar with the lifestyle and can easily handle the little annoyances that comes with any RV. We spent two and half weeks in our little home on wheels and had a blast. If you don't have the time to take your unit up to Alaska or if you are concerned about damage, then take a real good look at renting a rig in Alaska. It's fun and worth the expense from my perspective.
2011 Berkshire 390bh