There is a lot to be said for caravans. We puzzled over that question for our 2014 trip. We finally decided on a Fantasy Tours FMCA Trip. It was more expensive than we thought we could do it for by ourselves, but Fantasy took us on side trips we would never have done ourselves. Those side trips made our overall adventure worth every penny. They always got us into the best places. Their caravan is what I would call “loose”, yes they schedule the trip, but on days you are to travel you depart the CG when you want, there is a Wagon Master that leaves about 9:00 AM, the Tail Gunner usually about 2 hours later, if you want to leave any other time or take any other route just let them know. The driving legs are normally 2 - 5 hours, depending upon the destination. You get a day by day itinerary, including suggestions for side trips that is a result of their trip the prior year and updated by any earlier trips that year. They know where to get the best price on fuel (we even got some discounts because we were in a caravan). There is no formal line of coaches, just a group of folks headed in one direction over several hours.
One thing we found about the Milepost, it was written and check the prior year, my estimate is that about 15% of the time a fuel stop or restaurant would not be open this year so watch your fuel, we normally drove on the top half of the tank and fueled just before we stopped for the night. The Fantasy folks drove the trip the prior year so they were familiar with the itinerary, they also run multiple caravans each year and the Wagon Masters talk amongst each other during the trip with updates like fuel stops or restaurants not open this year, etc.
One thing you will discover quickly is frost heaves, they are inevitable. If you see an orange cone or flag on the side of the road SLOW down. The highway department does a great job of marking them, you just need to slow down. If you don’t the first time, you will the second! Have you ever seen a 33K coach go airborne, I have.
it is a beautiful trip, the wildlife is amazing. At the campfire each night we would discuss what everyone had seen that day. Most days over half the group saw a bear, but the moose and wolves is what everyone was really looking for. I took a picture of a black bear with all 4 paws in the air pouncing on a salmon at Stewart/Hyder. We never would have stopped there, Fantasy knew where we should be and when we should be there.
Make the trip, enjoy the trip, plan ahead, carry a few spare parts (all your belts, including serpentine, anything that is unique to your coach/toad, if you use DEF be sure to carry some, one of our group ran out and the fuel stop they were at did not have any, so they had to drive their toad 100 miles to get some) and you will have the trip of your life. Through the Fantasy caravan we made several life long friends that we travel with long after the caravan ended.