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Camper van

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Camper van


We're coming from England to Vancouver for 2 weeks: 27 May-11 June. We're 2 adults and a 5 year old who really, really wants to go in a campervan (RV) - at least for one of the weeks. Has anyone got any experiences of using one of these?

Also, any ideas for itineraries. I don't want to spend days driving but would like to see as much of a variety as possible. I've gathered that Tofino might be good as well as Vancouver itself. But I'm also intersetd in the Rockies and lakes - or rather, hiking in areas where a 5 year old could easily cope.


Calgary, Alberta...
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1. Re: Camper van

Hello 3ofus,

If you wanted to do a circle tour that started and ended in Vancouver, you technically could include the Rockies. However, it would involve a lot of driving and being on the go most of the time. It's difficult to visualize, without having been there, how big British Columbia is.

If you want to visit Tofino, a decision I warmly endorse, then I think you might be better off confining yourself to the west coast. You could include a mountain experience if you visited Whistler. So in that case you could do a 2 week circuit of Vancouver - Whistler - Vancouver Island - Vancouver that would allow you to follow a sane pace and smell the roses, so to speak.

An excellent forum where you can get information from people who use RVs (recreational vehicles) is the Open Roads Forum at http://www.rv.net/ . I have lurked on that forum a couple of times, and some of the people who post there are very experienced.

Another website that might give you some useful information is Go RVing Canada at http://www.gorving.ca/ .

To get a sense of distances and driving times, you can use




I understand that reservations are not necessary for the ferries that connect the smaller islands amongst the Gulf Islands to the east of Vancouver Island. However, if you want to take a vehicle on one of the major ferries that connect the mainland with Vancouver Island (e.g., Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo or Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay) reservations will save you from waiting in line for hours. BC Ferries' website is http://www.bcferries.ca/ .

Tourism British Columbia has a good website at http://www.hellobc.com and, in case you do want to check it out, Travel Alberta has a website at http://www1.travelalberta.com .

During the dates that you'll be here, Vancouver temperatures could be anywhere from 7 deg C at night to 24 deg C during the day (although a night time temperature of 11 deg C and a daytime temperature of 17 deg C would be more typical).

You have a better than even chance of experiencing rain in Vancouver.

Whistler could have greater swings in its temperatures. Its nights would average 7 deg C, but could be as low as 0 deg C. It days would average 17 deg C, but could be as high as 28 deg C.


Vancouver Island...
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2. Re: Camper van

You'd enjoy an RV rental for a week for camping in the mountains or Vancouver Island(including Tofino), there are wonderful parks to camp in, sometimes easier to find a park to camp in than other accomodation. Plan carefully and don't try to cover too much ground to avoid driving constantly. You might want to travel to a city closer to the area you plan to camp for a week, pick up the RV, camp, then drop off the RV again. Might be advisable to make camping reservations where they are available, but the really busy months are July/August. Provincial parks at www.bcparks.ca, national parks at www.parkscanada.ca

London, Canada
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3. Re: Camper van

We rented a RV last summer from GoWest. We are a family of four from Ontario and had an awesome time. My husband did all the driving took a bit of time getting used to but it was fine. We spent 4 days in Whistler then took the ferry over to the Island and did a whole tour of the island.....Victoria , Tofino (I was disappointed), Telegraph Cove (which was awesome have to go whale watching for sure) Campbell River all the way up to the tip. Spent 3 weeks doing this and then back to Vancouver for a couple days of site seeing.

Rv was great...all the comforts of home except for a small shower....nearly impossible to shave your legs....all in all a unforgettable experience...we love the west and want to go back again....even saw a bear in Whistler...

campbell river, can
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4. Re: Camper van

If you are heading to the Island, or over any of the mountains, you will be driving pretty much most of your time. But it can be considered part of the adventure since it is sooo beautiful. I would suggest chosing a few destinations and then stay for a few days at each main stop to enjoy the area. On Van Isl. you can get to the city of Victoria and surrounding areas like Sooke, or Saanich.(reccommned) Also there are many Islands like Hornby, Salt Spring, and Gabriola Island, to enjoy. White Rock is beautiful as well. It is on the main land and Powell River on the sunshine coast is ideal. There is a great drive from Powell River to Vancouver involving two Ferry rides, and it is very picturesque. I have been to all these spots plus more, but this gives you a circle to travell. Vancouver, to White Rock, to Victoria & area then up to Comox across to Powell River and then through the main land back to Vancouver. Great trip! If you do go up to Comox go to Mount Washington too, it is close. There is a camp groundfor rv's up there aswel. Have fun.