Total Distance from Runde’s to Kenai, Alaska … 3642 miles.

Bob and Debora Jameson of Kenai, Alaska purchased an Express Sunseeker RV from Runde Auto Group earlier this summer. (When we looked up Kenai on Google Maps, we found out that it’s actually closer to Russia than it is to East Dubuque.) Their salesman was Dave “Soup” Smith up at the Runde PreDriven store in Hazel Green and the following is their own account of their Runde experience …

“Typically found on the top of everyone’s bucket list, Driving the Alaska Highway is typically one of the top ten things to do before time runs out on our abilities to travel in such remote regions … we just purchased a larger motorhome from Runde Chevrolet and will be driving it back to Alaska taking our sweet ole time in doing so. We plan to sample a few of the alternate routes along the way, visit the top tourist destinations and explore the many RV campgrounds available along the Alaska Highway in 2010.

It was around noon on a pleasantly warm mid-morning spring day that was highlighted by a gentle breeze whispering off the Mississippi River as we arrived in Dubuque Iowa from our home in Alaska. East Dubuque, our destination, is located across the river in Illinois from the Dubuque Iowa.

I was searching the internet looking for a relatively specific motorhome when we ran across one at a Chevrolet Dealer in Iowa. The listing was about as close to what we were looking for as we had found, a chevy chassis powered by the powerhouse 8.1 liter V-8 in a 29 or 31 foot Class-C motorhome. We chose this particular layout for it’s semi rugged functionality and it’s excellent ability to pull a boat over long distances of winding hilly road. Alaska can and does take here toll on recreational vehicles so we were looking for something that was easy to maintain and didn’t cost us an arm and a leg in the initial purchase.

The search on Google for just such a vehicle came up with just two vehicles that fit all our criteria. The first was in Illinois and an identical one in Florida. Both hade very low mileage, around 20,000 miles, but the Illinois one had very few hours on the generator as well. Seeing that the asking prices were similar, we next looked at the maintenance histories as well as the logistics of driving the motorhome back to Alaska. As the Illinois unit belonged to the service manager at Runde Chevrolet, we felt that it would be in excellent mechanical condition.

Aerial view of Runde Chevrolet

We made the decision to purchase the Illinois unit after speaking to the salesman at Runde Chevrolet. OK, laugh if you will but the salesman at Runde seemed honest and truthful. He was up front with information and didn’t seem to be trying to convenience me to purchase the unit but rather just stuck with the facts. My gut feeling was proven correct as when we picked up the motorhome, all was exactly as described and in some instances even better. I have nothing but praise for the entire staff at Runde Chevrolet and wish to tell everyone that the pride of the heartland is alive and well at Runde Chevrolet.

So now it’s off to see how this thing performs on a zigzag course that will lead us to the Alaska Highway far to the north of our current location.

At about 5pm we dropped off the rental car at the Avis car rental in the Dubuque Iowa airport. The folks at Runde were kind enough to deliver the motorhome to us here.” guestimates that the travel time between Kenai, AK and East Dubuque, IL is 63 hours, 49 minutes while the distance is a mere 3642 miles. We'd like to thank Bob and Debora: 1) for making the round trip from there to here and back again, 2) for buying at Runde Auto Group in spite of the long distance factor, and 3) for their kind words to Runde Auto Group. If you're possibly interested in driving the Great Alaska Highway someday and would like to follow their trip updates on their website you can do so at:

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