Some Advice on Driving in Alaska.
Some of or roads are scenic and serene, others are highly congested and the driving
conditions are very dangerous. We will talk a little about some of the more troubled areas and
how you can avoid their pitfalls.
Also we have added a section of the Yukon
Campgrounds and RV Parks to better understand the services offered in this region of the Alaska
Driving in Alaska
Special Notes: As the Alaska & Alaska
Highway gas prices
have been bouncing up and down and travelers will need to be more diligent in planning their
choices of destinations and most importantly places to stay. We find that making prior reservations
at the most well known campgrounds and RV parks is highly recommended to avoid spending needless
hours on the road in search of an empty campsite.
- Plan on stopping around 4PM to avoid the after 5 rush. Evenings are known for RV's pulling
into the campgrounds in search of a site for the night. Wait too long and you may be heading
for a Walmart parking lot or looking for that wide empty spot along the road. Boondocking
in Alaska is legal in most of the pullouts provided along the roads and highways.
Now that the much anticipated Alaskan camping season is arriving and the shock of these
ridiculously high gas prices are pretty much getting digested with the aid of mass doses of
Pepsid AC, I figured it must be a good time for a refresher course on some sure fire ways to
get better gas mileage during your vehicle during your Alaskan vacation. So at this point, let's
take a moment to look at the areas under our control that directly correspond to saving money
when driving in Alaska and along the Alaska Highway.
First, The Obvious
- We have all heard it before, running the correct tire pressure saves fuel and this is a
good time to check on this. Look at the sidewalls of the tires for the correct inflation pressure.
Inflate the tires to the upper limit for maximum efficiency.
- Ensure that all your RV is running at it's optimum efficiency. Dirty oil, clogged air filters,
warn plugs or plug wires and poorly tuned engines all increase your fuel costs. By keeping
your RV well tuned, you can cut your fuel consumption by up to 10 percent.
- Front End Alignment or wheel alignment can drastically effect your fuel usage. Have this
checked at the beginning of every year or if you begin to feel under or over-steer problems.
- Be a smooth driver: Not maintaining a relatively constant speed and braking hard decreases
your gas mileage. Use your cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed
and take it slow and easy on starts and stops. Keep your speed under control as RV’s
with their large frontal and trailing areas create an enormous induced and parasitic drag,
thus they use more fuel at higher speeds where these factors have their most influence.
Avoid Quick Starts and Stops. Both rapid acceleration and deceleration waste gas, anticipate
ahead and accelerate to speed slowly and smoothly. Also, slowly come to a stop at stop signs
and turnoffs because that’s just as bad for your gas mileage.
Caution Advised When Driving
Roads that have a past history of dangerous driving conditions include:
- Seward Highway — One of the most scenic roads in Alaska is the Seward
Highway but it's also the most dangerous too. Driving too fast, crossing the centerline, passing
in corners, sleepy drivers and impaired driving are all too common causes for traffic
fatalities along this highway. The Seward Highway is a road that
leads people to places and activities that initially brought them to Alaska. That is, if you
we it to your destinations. Public safety officials now agree that the Seward Highway is Alaska's
most dangerous highway of all.
- Sterling Highway — A continuation of the same problems that plagues
the Seward Highway. This road is the main link between Anchorage and Homer.
Parks Highway — It's a long drive between stops and there
are lots of animals in just that place where you least expected to see them. There is also
lots of great scenery to distract you making this drive one we like to forewarn people about.
The Parks Highway runs 323 miles from the intersection with the Glenn Highway
about 35 miles north of Anchorage through miles of wilderness including Denali Park to
the city of Fairbanks Alaska in the Last Frontier's interior region.
- Glenn Highway — between Anchorage and Palmer especially at rush hour
or anytime the fog limits visibility. The Seward Highway and the Glenn Highway are the only
routes in or out of Anchorage and the traffic on weekends is bumper to bumper for up to a
hundred miles in either direction. Patients get short and poor judgment is all too common.
Not allowing time for dealing with this congestion has taken the lives of hundreds of people
over the years.
Also see the Alaska RV Park Definitions list to better understand how to use this site.