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first time in a rv

posts: 13
first time in a rv


I have booked a holiday to Alberta this July/August

I will be travelling with my wife and two children(8 and 12) it is our first time in a rv and our first time to Canada.Our rv is booked for 10 days starting in Calgary and finishing in Vancouver.Could somebody please suggest a sensible route that would allow us to appreciate the natural beauty of Alberta,I would like to visit Edomonton(shopping) but I don't want to be continually on the road

Kind regards


Calgary, Alberta...
posts: 3,861
reviews: 3
1. Re: first time in a rv

>>>I will be travelling with my wife and two children(8 and 12) it is our first time in a rv and our first time to Canada.<<<

A fabulous forum for people who use RVs is the Open Roads Forum at www.rv.net . The people who post there know everything there is to know about RVs and the various campgrounds in different areas.

>>>Our rv is booked for 10 days starting in Calgary and finishing in Vancouver. Could somebody please suggest a sensible route that would allow us to appreciate the natural beauty of Alberta, I would like to visit Edomonton(shopping) but I don't want to be continually on the road<<<

You could try something like this (subject to confirmation or contradiction by the folks on the Open Roads Forum -- in the event of disagreement between them and me, listen to them).

Day 1 - Land in Calgary, take delivery of RV, and spend the night just outside of Calgary.

Day 2 - Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. I bet your kids would love the dinosaur skeletons, the interactive displays and a guided fossil hunting walk. Drive on to Edmonton and spend the night there.

Day 3 - Explore Edmonton. Overnight in the Edmonton vicinity again.

Day 4 - Drive to Jasper. The campgrounds in the Rocky Mountain national parks all used to be available on a first come first served basis, which was tricky during the busy summer season. However, Jasper National Park now has insituted a booking system for four of its campgrounds. From what I've been able to tell on the Internet (without having experienced it myself), the best campground would be Whistler. Information suggests it has good facilities, and is close to Jasper townsite (for grocery shopping, etc.).

Day 5 - Explore Jasper's environs.

Day 6 - Drive down the Icefields Parkway (Hwy #93) to Lake Louise. If you stop at the scenic lookout points, this will take the better part of a day. Camp in the vicinity of Lake Louise or else in nearby Yoho National Park.

Day 7 - From your base in the Lake Louise / Yoho area, visit Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Takakkaw Falls (but I don't know the size of your RV, so I don't know if you can actually reach Takakkaw Falls) and Emerald Lake.

Day 8 - Drive west to Salmon Arm and then south to Kelowna on the shores of Lake Okanagan.

Day 9 - Drive to Vancouver in the morning. Look around Vancouver in the afternoon.

Day 10 - Look around Vancouver.

To be honest, I think your plan is fraught with challenges. It would be an ambitious itinerary even if you were not camping in an RV. However, you will be camping, so will need to stock up with groceries, will need to wash and dry your breakfast dishes and stow everything away before you can set out for sight seeing on any given day, etc. This will slow you down compared with a family who are doing the same thing by car and staying in motels, hotels or B&Bs.

Finally, I don't see how you can keep up a sane pace of travel, do justice to the Rocky Mountains, and do justice to the delightful city of Vancouver, which deserves more time. At the very least, I would highly recommend eliminating Edmonton so as to devote more time to Vancouver. I think it would be a terrible shame to see Edmonton at the expense of a reasonable amount of time in Vancouver. Because it's wedged between mountains and ocean, Vancouver is one of the most scenic cities in the world. It also has heaps of things that are fun for kids.

This would be a better itinerary IMO.

1 - Land in Calgary, and camp nearby.

2 - Banff

3 & 4 - Jasper

5 & 6 - Lake Louise / Yoho

7 - Kelowna

8, 9, 10 - Vancouver

That said, it may be tough to tear your kids away from Kelowna, because there are beaches and other amusements there.

You might be willing to sacrifice some of what Vancouver has to offer in exchange for some family fun in Kelowna. In that case, you might consider 2 nights in Kelowna and 2 nights in Vancouver.

Hope that helps.


posts: 13
2. Re: first time in a rv

thanks Judy

I hope i have not biten off more than I can chew but in for a penny!

I neglected to mention I have two days in a hotel in Calgary prior to the open road and three days in Vancouver after to recover from the driving.So pointers to how to fill my time in these two wonderful sounding cities would be gratefully received.

Any ideas

regards Werdna

Calgary, Alberta...
posts: 3,861
reviews: 3
3. Re: first time in a rv

In Calgary you could spend a day in the downtown core. I have described a walking itinerary of Calgary on my personal web site at


For your second day you could choose one of the following:

* Heritage Park (pioneer village)

* Calgary Zoo

* Canada Olympic Park, where you can experience the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge even in summer

* Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. (I mentioned this place in one of my other posts. In that instance I suggested you see it en route to Edmonton. However, it can be done as a day trip from Calgary.)

Alberta, Canada
posts: 1
4. Re: first time in a rv

Glad to see that you are not going to skip Edmonton. It is a beautiful city with a great river valley and fabulous shopping. Whyte Avenue, West Edmonton Mall and whatever festival (Klondike Days, Fringe, Heritage Days are all coming up- Edmonton is the festival city) that is on at the time would be great attractions! Have fun!!

Moose Jaw, Canada
posts: 304
reviews: 31
5. Re: first time in a rv

Hi there,

Consider this route,

Calgary - Edmonton - Jasper - Kelowna or Penticton - Vancouver.

This will give you a few less stops, but you will get to see much more in the end. The drive from Calgary to Edmonton is not the most exciting, but it is a good hiway, and will let you get used to driving the RV. The trip is only about 3.5 hours, so you can put in a stop at Drumheller if interested.

The Edmonton - Japser leg is again about 4 hours, and the road is good. There is tons to do in the Jasper area, spend as much time here as you can.

The Jasper to Kelowna or Penticton day will be a longer drive, about 7 hours, but again the road is good and driving will be easy.

You will notice that I have skipped Banff in this route. That was intentionally. I find the town of Banff to be less interesting than Jasper and much busier. There are some great sites in the BAnff area which you will miss with this itineray, but I dont know that they are better than the Jasper ones - especially when you consider children.

If you choose to go a more southern route and take the Banff to Kelowna route the driving is a bit harder. The road is still good, but there are more sharp corners, big hills, and in general you will have to pay more attention to the task of driving. There are some great scenic views however. It completely depends on how you are wanting to spend your time. I like the Kelowna to Jasper drive via Valmount much more, it is much easier for the driver, and there are still great scenic points, especially if you have not been to the Rockies before.

When RVing you can still stop at all the Restraunts you want, so if you dont want to do breakfast in the RV - just hit a local coffee shop or restraunt. That mini fridge is nice for some fresh fruit and cold drinks thought.

Let me know if you want some suggestions for things to do in Japser.