When asked our opinion, “What’s the best way to explore Alaska?” We say by motorhome! If you’re not driving your own motorhome there are no shortage of rental options in Anchorage.
What are the benefits of renting a RV versus renting a car and staying in hotels?
- Saving Money: Yes, RV rentals cost more than cars but you also don’t have to pay the ridiculous summer rates for hotels. You can also cook your own meals. Eating out for every meal adds up. Just like everything else, restaurants are more expensive in Alaska.
- Only unpacking your bags once: Tell me that doesn’t sound appealing.
- Flexibility & Mobility: Go where you want when you want.
Anchorage will most likely be the launching point of your Alaska vacation. Anchorage is a full service city, so you will be able to hit some of the big box stores and stock up on supplies for your trip.
There are a several options for renting motorhomes in Anchorage. Both have their pros and cons.
- Large Companies: There are a few of these in Anchorage, such as ABC Motorhome & Great Alaskan Holidays. They have large fleets and rental options. In my opinion, the best part of renting from these folks is their support if something goes wrong. If your RV breaks in the middle of a trip they have the ability to get your RV fixed or might even just provide a replacement if they have one in stock.
- Medium Businesses: Most of these businesses most likely purchased their RV’s used from the larger RV rental companies. You can expect these RV’s to be a little older, higher miles, and showing some age. You will probably get a little better deal with these guys.
- Small Businesses: These are the Mom and Pop small business owners who are just as likely to have purchased their RV from the larger rental companies. Many work from their homes and have only one or two motorhomes in their fleet. You’re usually going to get the best deal when renting from these small businesses and you can find them advertising on Anchorage Craigslist. The biggest downfall to renting from one of these business is their lack of inventory and support staff if your RV seriously breaks down.
I strongly recommend reading this article from the Alaska Dispatch News before renting a motorhome in Anchorage.
Money saving tips: Find out what is and isn’t included in your RV rental. Many companies charge for things like linen packages. You could bring some from home and check them as luggage for about $25. You could also go to Fred Meyer and buy some linens and mail them home or check them as baggage.
In conclusion, if money is not an issue we recommend renting from the larger companies; Great Alaskan Holidays & ABC Motorhomes. The main reason for this recommendation is their motorhomes. Their fleet is new and large, they have great customer service, and if something mechanical happens they have the ability to get your vacation back on track.
If you want to save a buck and you’re not driving across the entire state, visit Craigslist and rent from a small business owner. You’ll be supporting an entrepreneur (and their family) and most likely you will have a great problem free trip!