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RV Trip - July 2008

Solihull, United...
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RV Trip - July 2008

i've already posted this under Canada but got no replies :( so i thought i'd be a bit more specific this time round.....we're getting married in the Rockies in July 08 and are then planning on spending the rest of our trip RV-ing through the Rockies and then over to Vancouver.

We've already booked our flights and the wedding but apart from that we're flexible;

29.06 - arrive in Calgary - overnight in hotel (any suggestions, nothing fancy but relatively central so we can explore a bit of the city)

30.06 - pick up RV, best deal so far looks like canadream. where to next for the night?

01.07 - booked in at Bear & Bison in Canmore for 2 nights, with the wedding on 2nd somewhere spectacular, its just the two of us (plus the necessary commissioner etc) so if you know of any truly wondeful places up to an hour from Canmore please let me know.

03.07 - start the real RV tour

16.07 - return flight from Vancouver - is it best to drop the rv off a day or so before?

in terms of what we'd like to see - we want to enjoy the natural beauty of the area but don't want to spend all our time hiking. we had a 5 week trip to NZ 4 years ago and loved every minute as we were able to do different activites in so many of the places, the scenery was also beautiful but varied.

do you think its worth stretching the itineray to go over to Vancouver Island aswell? We would definitely like to see some of the BC coast not just the mainland but don't want to spend too much time behind the wheel.

our interests - short hikes (not hardened walkers but we could cope with a four hour trek)

kayaking/canoing - again not something we do every day but we could manage half day tours etc.

adrenaline sports - anywhere amazing to do a tandem skydive / bungee / zip wire (just me not my boyfriend - someone has to take the pictures apparently!)

we also like a but of culture and history (but not vineyards)

any advice would be most gratefully received

Thanks x

p.s. i have a wealth of knowledge and tips for anyone considering a trip to NZ

Kananaskis Outfitters
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Wild Current Outfitters
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Pure Outdoors
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Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
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1. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

30.06 - unless things run really late, plan to spend the night at the Tunnel Mountain campground in Banff. If things do go late, then go to the Calgary West RV park or Calaway Park campground on the west side of the city. This could also be your first chance for an adrenaline fix; there is a zipwire off the top of the ski jump tower at Canada Olympic Park on the west side of Calgary.

01.07 - be aware that this is Canada Day, a national holiday; camgrounds will fill up very quickly (quite possibly days in advance), and tourist spots will be extra busy. Reserve your campsite! For some thoughts & suggestions on weddings in Banff, check out Inside Banff: Weddings in Banff here at TripAdvisor:


For culture and history in the Banff area, you can take in the Banff Festival of the Arts, the Cave & Basin National Historic Site (birthplace of Banff and Canada's national parks), and don't forget to explore the abandoned mining town of Bankhead. (For more info on Bankhead, see Inside Banff National Park: Free Activities here at TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g154910-c52636/Banff-National-Park:Alberta.html). The Whyte Museum and Canada Place are also worth a visit.

I'll try to post more info for you later on.

Norfolk UK
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2. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

Hi Pippie77

We had an RV trip this July from Vancouver across the Rockies to Edmonton and then back to Vancouver. It was a wonderful experience but having travelled 3600km we were absolutely shattered.

We used Canadream and would probably use them again. The midi RV we had was about 5 years old and was beginning to show signs of age. As it is the two of you, I suppose you will opt for the smaller one which appeared much newer. We unfortunately had mechanical problems with the RV and because there are such great distances between depots or garages, we found ourselves hanging around. I suppose though that would be the same with any RV company.

Obviously for us, the Icefields Parkway was a must, going between Banff and Jasper and even though it was peak season and a tourist mecca, we were surprised how few people there were about, no traffic jams to speak of and always easy free parking and picknicing areas. Canada really does gear themselves for RV parking, even in Edmonton. Petrol is half the price as in UK, in total we spent about £400 for our vast mileage.

The best campgrounds we went to were run by BC campgrounds, and for £6 a night they really are a bargain. Look on their website, many are pre bookable which gives peace of mind in the peak season. They have toilets, some are pit ones though but don't let that put you off, even I used them! All immaculately kept and the wardens give excellent service.

Also use the Parks Canada campgrounds. These are more commercial but no where near as bad as the UK ones, still very much in the spirit of the beautiful area. These were more expensive at about £15, but certainly not a rip off!! These can also be pre booked.

I must say that we would like to have visited the Island but I hear that it is such a wonderful area that to go for a short while would not do it justice. So I expect another trip to Canada for us is in order!

I assume that you are returning your RV to Vancouver. We stayed our last night at Parkcanada campground at Delta which is about 10 mins drive from Canadream depot. It is not a pretty site, but a good stopover to sort out the RV before returning it to the depot in the morning. Canadream then gave us a lift to Vancouver where were picked up a hire car for the rest of that day before our flight home. In hindsight we would have been better to leave our luggage at the airport and got public transport to the city. Whatever you do you must make time to see Vancouver.

It is so difficult for me to tell you what you must and mustn't do as the Rockies are so vast, so keep reading the forums and I suggest you pick up a Rough Guide to Canada, we found it invaluable.

Do contact me again if you need anymore info, otherwise have a wonderful wedding and trip.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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3. Re: RV Trip - July 2008


Yes, getting any vehicle serviced in the Rockies can be an interesting experience. In my (fortunately limited) experience, mechanics go above & beyond for tourists; but RV mechanics are more scarce than auto mechanics, and parts can be slightly harder to obtain as well; with a breakdown in either case, you may have to wait overnight for the right part to be couriered to your mechanic, unless it's a very common & straightforward repair.

(I experienced a worst case scenario myself some years ago, when my RV trailer axle broke just outside of Wawa, Ontario; through a combination of luck, goodwill, and good connections, it only took 3 days for a new axle to be fabricated in Calgary and then couriered out to the local RV mechanic, who was just about to start a 2-week heavy equipment reapair contract in a remote logging camp...)

It's part of the geographical reality of Canada: our population is smaller and more thinly spread out than in the UK, Europe, or even the east or west coast of North America. When you're travelling on the highways, you will occasionally notice a large sign warning you that it is over 100 km to the next gas (petrol) station. That sign is no joke! It's an indicator of just how widely spread out our population can be in some places.

Solihull, United...
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4. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

Thanks both of you for your advice - the zipwire definitely sounds like a good way to get the trip started.

Canadream are looking quite good pricewise but i'm concerned about breakdowns etc, (I know they can't be avoided) I guess I'm comparing to our experience in NZ - the oldest van you get given is 12 months so there are rarely breakdowns with the big name rental companies, still we will just have to keep our fingers crossed and if we do break down we'll be surrounded with beautiful views!

Thanks again

sydney Australia
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5. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

if you have time to see vancouver, i would drop off the RV early. there are a number of options in vancouver, so you can see lots on hop on hop off buses and take tours over to vancouver island.

vis a vis the island. if you would prefer to see the nature, and not the city, then perhaps wait until you can come back.

the rockies is so gorgeous and you could easily spend a long time there and travelling to vancouver.

I second the icefields parkway, and the glacier. it is an awesome experience.

I also loved Maligne lake, and malighne canyon, both closer to jasper then banff.

we stayed in town so cant help you at all with RVing or places to stay.

in vancouver, Stanley park is worth a whole day if you like nature. you can walk right around the park and that takes a few hours, stop off at the aquarium or take a horse and carriage ride, which tells you lots about the park and its history. you stop off at various points.

another place in vancouver is the suspension bridge, and also grouse mountain.

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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6. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

I wouldn't worry yourself too much about breakdowns. I think they are pretty rare. I can't remember ever seeing a rental RV on the side of the road, broken down, in all of my travels. I'm sure it happens occasionally, as has been stated above, but as I said I wouldn't lose any sleep worrying about it. If you are booking with a reputable well known RV company you likely won't have a problem.

7. Re: RV Trip - July 2008

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