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Touring British Columbia in an RV

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Touring British Columbia in an RV

We will be touring British Columbia in September this year. We arrive in Vancouver and pick up our RV on 1st September and have it for 21 nights dropping it off in Calgary. We love cycling, canoeing horse riding and natural beauty ie. rivers, mountains and uncrowded beaches.

We would appreciate recommendation of appropriate camp stops to head for. Should we cross to the island immediately and go up the east coast of the Island rather than travelling up the mainland Sunshine coast to Powell River? Is there a circular route of the Island you would recommend?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Touring British Columbia in an RV

Welcome to the forum, LorettaBarnett ~

First things first, Sept 3 is Labour Day weekend here. On the 4th the schools go back in for the year. So that weekend is particularly busy on the ferries. If you decide to take your RV on the ferries, you will definitely need to make a reservation.

You could easily spend 10 nights on Vancouver Island. It takes 4 hours to get to either Nanaimo or Victoria by land/ferry from Vancouver. It takes 7 hours to drive the only N-S Hwy 1 from tip to tip. It takes 3 hours to drive the only E-W Hwy 4 from Parksville to the Tofino area. There is no circle route of VI. September would be a great month to head for the North Island (Telegraph Cove) to take a grizzly tour by boat over to Knight Inlet on the mainland, to do some sea kayaking and/or whalewatching. If you came back from the Island via the Sunshine Coast, you would need an overnight there somewhere along the way.

British Columbia will hold 4 UKs quite nicely.

Tofino/Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park is a great place for 3 nights of so.

Out of Port Alberni, you could take a day trip on the MV Frances Barkley out into Barkley Sound. You would have to stay in PA the night before the 8h30 am departure.

Close to Cowichan and Cobble Hill you will find wineries. Lots to do on VI.

It's neither here nor there really if you go to the Sunshine Coast first or after VI. You just might want to watch how much you want to see and do where, so you can plan your itinerary properly. You could make a circle route out of the Sunshine Coast, cross over at Powell River to Comox/Courtenay and down Island to Victoria, then cross over to Vancouver from there.

You will need perhaps 2 nights to cross the province to the Rockies. And the general rule of thumb for the Rockies is about 7-8 nights, with the last night in Banff for easy driving the 2 hours to Calgary the last day of your trip.

Here is some information about parks in BC:




Again, where you find the greatest number of things to see and do that appeal to you will determine your route. That takes a bit of time to develop and when you do have a tentative itinerary, it would then make sense to suggest camp stops to go with it.

On each and every forum, you will find to the upper right, Top Questions, often with valuable information for that location. In he TQs for the British Columbia forum, you will find information about routes to take between Vancouver and Calgary. In the left sidebar you will find Things to Do, including tabs for Attractions and Tours. Here is our excellent online tourism guide (linked above already) that will provide you with great information for your trip.



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2. Re: Touring British Columbia in an RV

September will be getting quite cold at night in the Rockies in an RV. Here are the average weather statistics for Banff:


Nanaimo, Canada
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3. Re: Touring British Columbia in an RV

Sounds like a great trip to me, 21 days rving in BC. Nice.

Can I suggest you do a bit more research on sites like the ones Mufti mentioned and the ones below. Get a feel for what you're interested in doing and you would like to go and then come back with an itinerary and it will give the volunteers on here a better idea of what you're after.






Here is a Circle Tour offered by BC Ferries. Have a look at the itinerary and disregard the accommodation info. Spots to camp will be a long the way.


Happy Planning!

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4. Re: Touring British Columbia in an RV

I just bought a paperback book called "Camp for free in BC" at Costco (but have seen it elsewhere since). It lists all the free campgrounds all over BC and some that you have to pay for. All are 2 wheel drive accessible, and it says if it's picnic only, small RV or Motorhome/5th wheel accessible. Can't wait to try some of the places myself!!

As mentioned the Sept long weekend will be rediculous on the ferry but after that you should be good. The kids here are back in school, so your caming competition will be down - especially weekdays. The weather is also very nice in Sept as a rule.

5. Re: Touring British Columbia in an RV

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