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If you’re heading to the land of the midnight sun, this guide to Alaska RV rentals and RV parks in Alaska is essential!
Driving to Alaska in an RV with our kids was one of the most incredible and memorable experiences of my life. It’s an experience that my kids still talk about even two years later. We were able to see so much breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife during our time there. We loved having the freedom of an RV, even though I think our family needed a bigger one!
I’m happy to have Kayla and Bill from The Wandering RV help us out with learning all about Alaska RV Rental essentials and RV parks in Alaska!
A Complete Guide to Alaska RV Rental and RV Parks in Alaska
Are you itching for a new adventure?
Does the phrase “Land of the Midnight Sun” spark interest?
If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, you’re in for a treat.
Today, we’re going to talk about Alaska! More specifically, how to rent an RV in Alaska, where to set up camp in Alaska, the best time of the year to visit, and what we recommend you do (as well as don’t do) while you’re there.
Whether you’re traveling alone or to Alaska with kids, I know you’ll have the time of your life!
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
How to Rent An RV In Alaska
I’m not sure if this will come as a surprise to you but… Most, if not all, RV rental companies are in Anchorage, Alaska. Which means, unless you drive your RV into Alaska, you’re going to have to make a pitstop at Anchorage.
If there’s one thing I promise, however, it’s that Anchorage is a beautiful destination. The locals are incredibly friendly, the food is amazing, and there are tons of things to do before (or after) you rent an RV.
You’re also able to go through peer-to-peer RV rental companies, such as Outdoorsy, to find the perfect RV rental.
When renting from Outdoorsy, you rent from the direct owner of the RV. I think this is the best way to rent an RV – mainly because you can ask them any questions you have and they’ll, most likely, have the answers for you!
Plus, renting this way is less expensive. The cost to rent a peer-to-peer RV is only $100 to $150 per night on average, with some cheaper and some more expensive depending on the model, age, and type of RV. It’s like the Airbnb of the RV world.
We wrote a guide to renting an RV with tips and tricks to help you learn more about how the whole process works and how to make the most of it!
Campgrounds In Alaska & Best Time Of Year to Go
Now that you know how to rent an RV for your great Alaskan trip, it’s time to figure out where to stay (as well as the best time of the year to plan your trip).
We wanted to give you a few choices when it came to staying in Alaska, so we decided to give you our top 5 campground recommendations.
If none of them speak to you, check out Alaska.Org to find the campground that’ll suit your needs!
RV Parks In Alaska
We recommend staying at one of these five RV parks in Alaska, if not all! Alaska RV parks offer something special, especially in the summer. You’ll usually have breathtaking scenery, a great community, and hours and hours of daylight!
Each of these Alaska RV parks offer something special:
1. Anchorage Ship Creek RV Park
Located just a few blocks from downtown Anchorage, Anchorage Ship Creek RV Park offers a variety of activities and culture. You’re able to see where the locals do a majority of their fishing, as well as rent a bike to sightsee. This campground is handicapped-accessible and offers full hookup options, showers, laundry rooms, and more.
2. Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Denali Grizzly Bear Resort is a family operated resort filled with tent sites, cabins, a hotel, and RV sites. This resort is known for being a tranquil spot, where you can see wild animals roam in their natural habitat. The staff at the front desk can help you plan your trip depending on what activities interest you (such as rafting, flightseeing, and more).
3. Knik River Public Use Area
The Knik River Public Use Area is a great place to park your rig if you’re looking for an abundance of hiking trails while learning about the wildlife surrounding the area. The best place? It’s free to stay here! Just remember to be courteous when staying overnight and make sure you pick up your garbage!
4. Quartz Creek Campground & Boat Launch
Whether you’re looking for a place to cool off on a hot day or relax in the sun, Quartz Creek Campground & Boat Launch is the place for you. They have a sandy beach for you to chill out on, 45 RV sites, and offer horseback rides for those who want to view the scenic trails.
5. Tenderfoot Creek Campground
Looking for a place that has mirror-like water, rainbows, and more? Tenderfoot Creek Campground may be your new favorite destination. You’re able to explore historic gold rush mining sites, hike, kayak, fish, and more!
Best Time Of Year to Rent an RV in Alaska
Now that you know how to rent an RV in Alaska as well as RV Parks in Alaska to stay at while you’re there, let’s talk about the best time to actually go to Alaska!
Peak season is between mid-June to mid-August, with temperatures ranging anywhere from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
That said, June 21st is the longest day of the year – which means the sun shines for 22 hours in Fairbanks, 18 in Southeast, and 9 hours in Anchorage!
Check out the Daylight Hours Calculator to find out when the sun will rise/set while you’re on holiday.
Temperatures start to drop in September about 10 degrees and continue to drop until May. While I wouldn’t recommend going to Alaska during these months, if you’re a snow lover and can handle the temperatures, it might be worth it! There would certainly be far fewer tourists around. But, be aware…
Temperatures can drop to -50 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do In Alaska
Regardless of when you visit Alaska, know this:
You’ll have an amazing time. Pictures can’t compare once you’ve seen Alaska for yourself.
That said, we wanted to give you a “Do & Don’t” list to help you while you’re on vacation.
Do in Alaska
- Bring your camera with you everywhere you go. The wildlife you see in Alaska will be incredible, you won’t want to miss your shot to, well… take a shot!
- Explore the towns. Go to museums, learn the history, and partake in live events.
- Pick up local maps when you stop for gas. Which reminds me…
- Get gas whenever you see a station. Gas stations can be few and far between, so take advantage of that pump when you see it.
Don’t do in Alaska
- Be too worried if you have to park your RV on the side of the road for the night. Most people don’t mind if you pull over to rest, so long as you leave enough room for them to drive past your rig.
- Plan too much. Go to Alaska with an open itinerary. You’ll find so many things to do when you get there!
- Plan on seeing the Northern Lights if you go during peak season. You’ll really only see them if you go in or after September.
Let us know when you plan on going to Alaska and what you’re looking forward to doing the most! And what activities you do – fishing is a popular choice.
If you’re planning to RV in Alaska with a dog, be sure to read this guide to Dog-Friendly RV Travel
If you’ve already gone to Alaska, what was your favorite part of your trip? Let us know in the comments below 🙂