How to plan an RV trip to Alaska with RV Trip Wizard.

Easy Planning with RV Trip Wizard

In our group, traveling to and from Alaska, we chose to use RV Trip Wizard software because it has great features. Planning with RV Trip Wizard is easy. You can use RV Trip Wizard on any computing device, including your phone. And RV Trip Wizard software is powerful. The more information you include during your planning the more detail you can get out of RV Trip Wizard.

RV Trip Wizard works on all computers and tablets.
Easy Planning with RV Trip Wizard 5

All of the planning for our RV trip to Alaska and multiple revisions were made using RV Trip Wizard RV route planning software. Each member of our group had their copy of the software and each time a change was made they could then send copies out to the different group members and then discuss the changes. The fact is that the RV Trip Wizard route planning software made planning our trip much easier than it would have been without it. I will discuss later how to use RV Trip Wizard and how you can use it to plan any RV trip. I will also tell you how to get a discount on RV Trip Wizard.

Who did the planning for our epic RV Trip to Alaska?

I am going to say right up front, that I didn’t do most of the planning for our trip to Alaska. I am also not an RV Trip Wizard expert. My friend Dave is the expert and I have put his video at the bottom of this post.

This photo is again from K'esugi Ken Campground viewpoint. It is a seperate photo but at the campground you loose some size perspective that you get with the normal picture taken from Denali Viewpoint South.
This photo is from the K’esugi Ken Campground viewpoint of Denali. It is an example of the many spectacular views we had on our trip through Alaska. Two things contributed to making this photo possible. First, we had a good plan and second, we had enough time built into our schedule to wait for the clouds to disappear.

We have been on the road full-time for six years. During that time I have used multiple different route planning solutions. None of them equals the power of RV Trip Wizard. Here is a link to the home page of our blog. Our blog is dedicated to helping others by sharing things we know and learned while on the road. FoxRVTravel Full-time RV Travel Adventure

If you want to go directly to the list of all our articles here is a link. FoxRVTravel Search All Posts

I have companion articles that I am working on that are linked to this article. The first one is in this link How to Plan (and Take) an Epic RV Trip Across Canada to Alaska

How to plan an RV trip using RV Trip Wizard for first-time users.

After subscribing and entering the RV Trip Wizard program home page in the upper right corner enter the trip planning system by selecting the red “Go to Planner” button. If you haven’t already subscribed to RV Trip Wizard you will need a trial subscription to the program. If you only want to try RV Trip Wizard you can get a seven-day free trial. When subscribing to RV Trip Wizard, don’t forget to use the discount code ( TIGNER25 ) to get 25% off your subscription.

From the home page of RV Trip Wizard, in the upper right corner of the home page press the red “Go to Planner” button.

RV Trip Wizard opening the planning tool
RV Trip Wizard home page, upper right corner. Press this red button to enter the planning tool. This button is available when you recently logged into the site. If not logged in recently then use Go To Planner.

The planning tool will open with a new set of buttons allowing you to open a new trip using the “Create Trip” button or “Open Trip” button for a trip already created. In the next picture, you can see that for this version of RV Trip Wizard, I already have one trip created the indication is the red #1. In my normal working copy of RV Trip Wizard, the number is much larger because all the revisions from our friends are included in the planning software.

RV Trip Wizard start a new trip
RV Trip Wizard “Open a Trip” or Create Trip” buttons.

Select “Create Trip”, and this will open a new dialogue box so that you can give the trip a name, and start date (don’t worry if you are guessing you can always change these things later).

RV Trip Wizard Create a new trip dialogue box
RV Trip Wizard “Create a New Trip” dialogue box

This will open a dialog box that starts with “Choose your Starting Location” From here enter the start city, either from your location or type in a start city (I typed in Great Falls Montana), or choose a starting location from a map.

Choose a starting location
The RV Trip Wizard Start “Choose your Starting Location” dialogue box allows you one of these three methods. As you can see, I have typed in Great Falls Montana for this tutorial. Great Falls was where we met all our friends to start our trip across Canada.

The next dialog box allows you to set “Trip Settings”. This includes “General Information”, “RV Information”, “Route and Driving preferences”, and “Expenses. I entered our RV Information for size and weight and selected “Avoid tolls” and “Avoid ferries” under Route and Driving. You can change these settings later as well.

Trip settings dialogue box
RV Trip Wizard “Trip Settings” dialogue box

Start to plan an RV trip

Finishing the “Trip Settings” will open a map and visitation sequence on the next page. Here is where you can start planning your route. Before you start planning you might want to select the tool icon (it looks like a wrench) above the visitation sequence and explore the settings.

Great Falls Map and Visitation Sequence
RV Trip Wizard “Planning and Map View Page with Visitation Sequence

To plan an RV trip I recommend first selecting a start location and then next adding an end location. Or you could plan an RV trip step by step without first identifying an end location. If you are making a round trip I would specify the furthest point you intend to travel as your end location. Then create a new second trip for your return route. By identifying both the start and end location this allows the Trip Wizard tool to supply you with a proposed route.

To enter a location in your route use the search box (top center) and type in the destination. When found, use the “add to trip” button to place the destination in the visitation sequence. When you are planning your route to Alaska I recommend using Tok Alaska as your end location. I also used Tok as the starting point for my RV trip through Alaska.

Add to Trip dialogue box
RV Trip Wizard “Custom Stop” dialogue box. When you press “Add to Trip” Tok will be added next to your trip. Since it is the only location other than the start location it will automatically be the second location in the visitation sequence.

This next dialogue box will accomplish the same thing as the previous one except that I made the routing to a campground giving me additional options. Notice the number of nights setting. You can add nights to a stop in multiple ways.

Add to your trip dialogue box.
RV Trip Wizard “Add to your trip” dialogue box identifying a campground in Tok as my destination.

Map view from Great Falls to Tok including a green Driving Range Circle, more on that later.

Great Falls to Tok map
RV Trip Wizard Map, mine shows the route from Great Falls to Tok.

This visitation sequence (to the left of the map) will then calculate the miles from Great Falls to Tok Alaska.

Visitation sequence Great Falls to Tok
RV Trip Wizard “Visitation Sequence” from Great Falls to Tok.

Using tools

One of the first things you might want to change would be miles to kilometers because nearly all of this route will be in Canada. This setting was selected under the “General” tab under “Trip Settings”. To change to kilometers at this point select the wrench icon and then “Trip Settings”. “Trip Settings” is the same “Trip Settings” that we encountered when first “Create Trip”

Trip tools found by selecting the wrench icon.
RV Trip Wizard “Trip Tools” is found by selecting the wrench icon. The “Trip Tools” option includes several items that I cut out of this picture that you can use later such as to share your trip.

When planning an RV trip to a distant destination I recommend not selecting campgrounds until later in the process after you identify the cities you intend to travel through and stop at. This allows you to get a general idea of your route. You can always go back and add more detail to your trip.

The RV Trip Wizard driving radius circle

You may have noticed the green circle surrounding Tok on the map view. This is a straight-line distance circle. Based on the location that you have selected in the visitation sequence box. You can change this circle to a free-form smart circle by choosing the “Map Settings” button above and to the right of the map and selecting “Driving Radius”.

Basic line of sight Driving Radius Circle
RV Trip Wizard Basic line of sight Driving Radius Circle

You can turn “Driving Radius” off or select “Advanced Radius” which calculates driving times based on speed limits.

Advanced Radius based on Tok
RV Trip Wizard Advanced Radius is based on Tok as the starting point for this picture.

Change the size of the driving radius in the “Map Settings” section. You can even create three different driving radius circles. Play with the driving radius to match the driving radius to your desires. Or, you may want to turn it off and on frequently while planning your route. All these options are under the “Trip Settings” and “Map Settings” dialogue box.

Three circle Advance Radius based on Great Falls
RV Trip Wizard Three-circle Advance Radius based on Great Falls.

Adding a stop

At this point, we only have the beginning and the end of our route sequenced into Trip Wizard. To make the route planning tool useful, you are going to need to add (and remove) stops along the route. Adding a stop is nearly identical to the sequence we used to put Tok as the final destination. The only difference is that you will need to select a previous location (in our case Great Falls) to put Edmonton between Great Falls and Tok.

As a review, type Edmonton in the search box then after the dialogue box opens select “Add to Trip”.

Add new stop Edmonton to route.
RV Trip Wizard “Custom Stop” dialogue box. Add a new stop in Edmonton to the route. After selecting “Add to Trip” this will open a larger dialogue box where you can select to add Edmonton after Great Falls in the visitation sequence.

Go ahead and add Whitehorse as another stop along your route between Edmonton and Tok. Don’t forget to add Whitehorse after your stop in Edmonton.

At this point, your visitation sequence should look like this.

Visitation sequence including Great Falls, Edmonton, Whitehorse and Tok.
RV Trip Wizard “Visitation Sequence” including Great Falls, Edmonton, Whitehorse, and Tok.

You can re-order stops

The easiest way to re-order stops is in the visitation sequence. You can drag and drop by placing your cursor at the far left side of the stop in the visitation sequence and then drag the stop to a new position. The route on your map view will automatically change.

Planning an off-route detour

You don’t have to plan your RV trip using my method of selecting a starting point and an endpoint. Instead, you could plan it step by step without first identifying the destination. The advantage of using my method is that you will have a quick very direct (perhaps not the most direct) route to your destination. If you want you can use the RV Trip Wizard direct route it doesn’t mean that you can’t deviate from the direct route.

So far we have only added stops along our route between Great Falls and Tok. This might be a good time to introduce a detour to an off-route destination. We didn’t go to Dawson City on our trip but you would add Dawson City to your route the same way you added Whitehorse. This will redraw your route between Whitehorse and Tok to include Dawson City.

Including Dawson City in our route
RV Trip Wizard “Map View” Including Dawson City in the route

There is a reason that this created an out-and-back route to Whitehorse. There is a ferry crossing across the Yukon River at Dawson City to go to Tok. At the very beginning of this tutorial, I selected avoid ferries. To get from Dawson City to Tok it involves a ferry. The only way to avoid the ferry is to return to Whitehorse. Since we are talking about crossing the Yukon River it might be closed in May as well. Make sure to anticipate these possibilities when planning your route.

Editing a stop

As you scroll over the location in the visitation sequence one of the three slideout buttons is shaped like a pencil. Select this slideout button and a dialogue box will appear where you can add all kinds of information to that stop. In the upper left corner of the dialogue box is an icon that looks like a padlock. Selecting this allows you to lock the location dates you have selected for this location. I recommend using this lock function when you have a reservation at a location so that the dates cannot be accidentally changed.

Function of the lock button on the edit stop dialogue box to select dates.
RV Trip Wizard “Edit Stop” dialogue box. The function of the lock button on the “Edit Stop” dialogue box is to select dates. I use this feature when I have a reservation.

Stay the night

Locking the dates as in the edit stop function described above is only one way to change the dates. When you first add a stop to the visitation sequence one of the options will be to identify the number of nights you want to stay at that location. You can also change this in the “Edit Stop” dialogue box (upper right corner), add a number in the night text box, and press save. This will add nights to your visitation sequence.

Number of nights on the edit stop dialogue box.
RV Trip Wizard “Edit Stop” dialogue box. Number of nights selection.

As you add nights to your visitation sequence the arrival date will change at your destination. Unless of course, you locked your destination date. Then attempting to add nights to your visitation sequence can create an error that will need to be resolved.

Overlapping dates error
RV Trip Wizard “Overlapping Dates Error.” This happened because increasing the number of days at a location (stop 2) overlapped the dates locked in a stop after stop #2.

Deleting a stop

Changing or deleting a stop is just as easy as adding a stop. Scroll over the visitation sequence box this will bring a slideout box out to the right side of the stop that has three options. The trash can is for deleting the stop. The lock symbol means to lock the stop to the route and the pencil icon means to edit the stop. You can also delete the stop in the “Edit Stop” dialogue box.

Be careful with the lock button

I mentioned the lock button briefly before. If you can’t change the nights or delete the stop you may have the lock engaged.

Multiple routes

I recommend that you divide your routes into smaller sections. A really good way to do this is to create multiple routes in RV Trip Wizard. In our example, our first route is from Great Falls to Tok. Then starting in you could create a route from Tok to (as we did) going to Homer. A good third route would be from Homer back to Tok. One benefit of multiple routes is that you use the same roads going to and from places like Homer which require traveling both north and south on the same road. When this happens the map looks a little confused.

Revisiting the Trip Settings

I zipped right past the trip setting (twice) in this tutorial. Return to “Trip Settings” and explore how powerful RV Trip Wizard can be. In addition to avoiding locations too small for your RV, RV Trip Wizard can even alert you when your travel leg exceeds the available fuel in your RV. RV Trip Wizard is a very powerful tool.

Wait there’s more

How was that for an infomercial talk? When you subscribe to RV Life Pro you get RV Trip Wizard, RV Life Safe RV GPS, RV Life Maintenance, RV Life Master Class, and RV Life Campgrounds.

Video about RV trip planning

Dave Tigner has lots of helpful hints about RV trip planning and RV Trip Wizard in the following video which is part one of several videos he has on the subject.

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Special Deal on RV Trip Wizard: Even though I am not an affiliate of RV Life our friend Dave Tigner is affiliated with them. Dave is in the video included in this article. You might have even seen Dave at the Quartzite RV show presenting Trip Wizard at the RV Life booth. If you use the discount code ( TIGNER25 ) you will get 25% off the price of Trip Wizard and Dave will get a small commission on the purchase.


RV Life Trip Wizard make sure to use the discount code ( TIGNER25 ) for 25% off the price.

Tigner Adventures Website

Tigner Adventures YouTube Channel

FoxRVTravel Full-time RV Travel Adventure

FoxRVTravel How to Plan an RV Trip Across Canada to Alaska

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