RV tours–planned group caravan trips to specific locations–can be a great way to explore a destination without having to worry about the logistics of trip planning. But are they worth the expense?
The answer might be “yes” for several reasons. An experienced guide or “wagon master” handles everything like route planning, campsite reservations, day trips, and evening activities for you. With a tour group, you may get a vastly greater local knowledge than while passing through an area on your own.
Typically, the tour group assembles at a given rally location and travels together from location to location. A bit like you might envision a boat cruise, only traveling over land in RVs.
For many people, this is a good option for “bucket list” destinations like Alaska, Baja, or out of country, where you may want the guidance and safety of traveling in a group.
Although you may find shorter duration tour adventures, many RV tours involve multiple weeks. It is common to see tours that last 30-60 days, not including the time it takes to get to the initial rally location or home from the final destination.
For locations that are outside of the contiguous 48 states, however, the longer trips allow you to experience more of what those locations have to offer. The tour company will have key connections to reputable places and adventures that you may not find traveling on your own, which can enrich the experience of your travels.
Spike Fortier, owner/operator and wagon master for Alaskan Discovery RV Tours, has been planning and leading 37-day tours through western Canada and Alaska for over 25 years.
Alaskan Discovery Tours provides helpful features like a traveling mechanic and ongoing commentary on the history and geology of the areas (via radios so you can ask questions as well).
Spike and his team incorporate 118 different fascinating speakers, tours, and events along the way, including some very captivating people in the area.
Roughly 80% of his clientele are either retired or full-timing who have the AlCan Highway and Alaska on their bucket lists and appreciate his companies vast experience traveling “where the good road ends.” Spike’s vast knowledge and connections of the area make for a truly unforgettable travel experience.
Look for these things before booking with an RV tour company:
- Company BBB membership and rating
- Years of service (both company and trip leaders)
- Group size (tours should be limited to best enhance travel logistics and tour experiences)
- The possibility of date changes
- Types of activities included
- What costs are included in the package vs. what you are responsible for on your own
- Cancellation policy
- Pet/children policy
- How are mechanical issues handled (is there a pre-trip mechanical check?)
- Amount and location of “free” time to explore on your own (are options and suggestions for side trips provided?)
- Other previous traveler’s experiences and reviews
Jack Clem says
We were on the tour pictured above. It was worth every penny we paid. Truly the way to enjoy Alaska.
What time of year did you go?
June 1st tour
Crystal Barros says
What a great idea! I instantly recognized that mountain because I grew up at the base of it! So fun to see “my mountain” on this site.
Thomas Keevin says
Best time of year to go
stu johnson says
while I have not been on a tour with Spike, I have been on an Alaska tour with another company.
It was the best vacation we have ever had. There are those who talk negative about an organized tour , but they have never been on one. How would they ever know. Yes they are pre-planned, they have to be. I believe that any tour you select will be the best tour you will ever have.
G. Taylor says
We did a 40-day East Coast tour in 2017. It was great because I never would have planned such a trip on my own (and I do all our planning). Started in Maine and ended up in St. Augustine – went into New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. with bus tours so we didn’t have the inconvenience of trying to get around on our own in those very busy cities.
Wayne Abney says
Your East coast trip is exactly what I have been thinking about for summer 2021 or 22. Would mind stating the tour company you used? Thank you.
Thomas Peterson says
I like that you mentioned that an RV tour is great for “bucket list” destinations like Alaska. I have been wanting to go on a nice road trip with my family to see some of the beautiful sights in the world. Maybe we’ll have to consider Yetti Distributors and maybe I’ll be able to find an RV camper that works for us.
Christie Abbott says
This never occurred to me! What a cool idea! Any recommendations?