Early planning stages, input invited ref a family touring holiday over there?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by toastmuncher, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. toastmuncher

    toastmuncher I be new round here! Ello

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    Looking at Easter 2013, contemplating renting a motorhome so My wife, young son and I can see a bit of your fine country. I know little of your geography, though have maps at hand, open to recommendations, suggestions and advice. I guess we will be looking at a 14 day, maybe 21 day holiday.

    A few years ago we researched coming over to live, that is still in MY mind, but your temparatures SCARED the wife, this may be a chance of showing that we NEED to relocate. :wink:

    Anyone care to fire some info my way? :ear

    Dont worry, not looking to 'crash on your couch', just need some 'insider info'.
    #1
  2. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Easter might be a bit early in the season for touring around in a camper.
    #2
  3. shuswap biker

    shuswap biker Been here awhile

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    +1, you would probably OK to see the west coast (Vancouver and Vancouver island) but the rest of Canada is a bit of a crap shoot, and travelling through the rockies and other passes in BC/Alberta you would most likely be in winter conditions.
    #3
  4. jasonmt

    jasonmt Been here awhile

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    As above, the Victoria Day/May Long Weekend is generally regarded as the "start of summer"; we have a annual May Long off-road riding trip that we have been doing for quite a while but we keep our final destination pretty flexible as snow in the foothills and mountains is not out of the norm still at that time of year.

    Between the fact that Easter is pretty early in 2013 and your wife is already wary of the weather/temperatures I would be trying to arrange the trip for a June-August window if you want to show her things in the best light, at least from my Alberta/BC point of view.

    While I like living in Edmonton for the most part BUT in the early springtime, after the snow has melted, but before things have turned green and the streets have been cleaned it has a "Siberian Industrial Gulag" look and feel to it.
    #4
  5. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Had to look up the dates for Easter...March 31st. :eek1

    Yes pretty early altough I was riding my bike in the Kootenays shortly after that this year, there was plenty of snow left at higher elevations and I did encounter such on the road at 5,500 ft much later in April. Looks ugly too as it is sort of covered with dirt, wife may not like that. And most of the camping facilities may not be open yet altough most of the local HotSprings will let you park and keep you warm.

    I'd say come a little later but if you want to rent an RV, the best is probably in Alberta, looks like some outfits like "Drive Canada(?)" have them available by the hundreds.:1drink

    Later in April....really good time to see the wildlife, the family would like that.:clap
    #5
  6. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Big country over here. 8000km from east to west and that is straightlining it. Three months might get you seeing a fair chunk but three weeks would only get a look at a small section. Maybe refining your parameters might gain you some info you are seeking.
    #6
  7. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Pretty much agree with what everyone else has said, Easter is a little earlier than I'd do it if I were you.

    I'm an ex-pat Brit, been over here for 20 years but go back to Blighty every year to see family. I can give you comparisons between the two countries if you like, PM me any specifics you're interested in.

    Cheers.
    #7
  8. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Been to Chepstow a couple time, consider your weather to be comparable to Vancouver. As said earlier, this is one huge chunk of land, 3 time zones, rain forest, desert, open plaine/prairie, sub arctic boreal forest, lake region, etc,,. One trend that is fairly constant in western Canada is that the seasons are late in arrival,,,,spring shows up late April/early May, summer early July, fall starts early October, etc.

    There are motorhome rental companies that rent vehicles with the ability to drop off at the other end, pick up in Vancouver, drop off in Halifax if you like. http://www.fraserway.com/ It's possible that the early start you are thinking about may mean a cheaper rental package as most of these units sit in winter storage waiting for the May 1st weekend.
    #8
  9. toastmuncher

    toastmuncher I be new round here! Ello

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    Thanks to everyone so far, I am working nights so research has been a little sketchy, looking at the maps, we are thinking possibly the width of ontario. Maybe fly into winnipeg and run across to torronto or ottawa, again you guys are my tour guides. I had a possibility of work a few years ago at the correctional facilities at Kinston ONT, so, given that would have been a possibility I guess it makes sense to try and see that area, there are a LOT of Jails in that area. I have guessed the distance at 1200 miles? Maybe in three weeks that may be a relaxing run, we are looking at this van, but, need to contact Fraser RV for a few ideas.
    http://www.fraserway.com/content.asp?nav=139140&cpid=27420&

    Any significant sights worth seeing in that area? I really appreciate the effort you guys have put in so far. Thanks. :clap
    #9
  10. DOGSROOT

    DOGSROOT OUTSIDE

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    Here's a possible alternative: try navigating the Trent-Severn Canal.

    No traffic.

    Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful canal trips in the world.

    You'll see a lot, and meet nice folks, AND avoid the big cities, which are an expensive pain in the arse.

    It's not far from Kingston.

    Houseboat rentals available, relatively cheap, and they give you a one hour training and set you loose.

    These things are dead easy to pilot.

    Sat Nav and charts.

    It's both quaint and adventurous.

    Google it and see for yourself if its something for you.

    I would imagine your wife would prefer it to puttering about endlessly on our vast, boring highways.

    They have propane heat, and of course hot water.

    Stay for free w/ power hookup at the locks.

    Easter may be feasible.

    You could also share w/ friends to defray some of the costs, and share the adventure.

    The GF and I took our two dumb hounds on a Thanksgiving getaway and we loved it.

    Your kids will never forget it!

    PM me for any que you might have; we could set up a Skype call if its easier.

    Cheers,

    DR


    PS We went w/ these guys, as they were dog friendly:

    http://www.happydayshouseboats.com/index.htm
    #10
  11. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    In Kingston myself. Early April can be either 25c or -15c, as others said: crapshoot.

    Especially driving north of the lakes, if you're crossing from winterpeg.
    #11
  12. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    I'll chime in with the "Easter is too early" crowd.
    The Trent Severn at Easter? I don't think so. Nothing will be open yet.
    Crossing Ontario by RV would also put you firmly in the nothing open situation as
    most tourist facilities such as campgrounds wouldn't be open yet.

    It's about 14 hours of travel from Thunder Bay to Toronto and it is some of the most
    beautiful highway Canada has but it is a bit bleak that early. The up side would be
    the lack of bugs. My British relatives seem to swell up like a football around mosquitos
    and blackflies:lol3
    #12
  13. toastmuncher

    toastmuncher I be new round here! Ello

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    Upon closer investigation, I may plump to take us on the the half term which is last week of may first week of june. I may need to plan a slighty longer route, maybe starting at edmonton or calgary perhaps? Again, three weeks seems to be possible, any longer might be tricky for us. I am a correctional officer so leave can be a problem.

    We have a huge canal network here, my Dad loves canal holidays, we would like to see a bit of your country so its not for us, though I appreciate the input guys.

    I may forward a link to this thread to the RV firm to see what they can offer in terms of advice.

    Keep it coming fellas. Oh, 'bugs', we are NOT keen on all that and both of us tend to get into a pickle when attacked by midgies and mozzies!!! :lol3
    #13
  14. toastmuncher

    toastmuncher I be new round here! Ello

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    You were recommended by a chap on the ADV Rider forum, we are looking at either a three week holiday from the end on April, Easter time, or last week of May and first two of June next year. It will be for my wife, 8 year old son and I, and we are looking at a run from Edmonton/Calgary to Toronto, what would be the closest we could get to a run like that and, roughly, what would it cost to hire an RV? Ideally we dont need anything huge, but would LIKE for all three of us to ride up front so we can all have a good look around. Here is a link to the thread you were recommended in.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19924849&posted=1#post19924849
    I can call you if needs be as wed like to get some solid facts upon which to draw up a budget, rough mpg figures and gas/diesel prices would also be a huge help if poss.
    Many thanks
    Alan Oakes
    #14
  15. frazman

    frazman Post***ern Redneck.

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    Not to mention the lake effect snow squalls. Dangerous driving.

    Surprised no one has mentioned the east coast yet. Mid prairies to Central Ontario would not be on my top ten list of drives in Canada.

    Halifax to Ottawa is about a 16 hour drive, and there's lots to see in between - Cape Breton, Gaspe, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, St. Lawrence Seaway. Could make a VERY good three week trip and even in April, wouldn't likely be as bleak as Edmonton to Toronto. Plus there's the possibility of dipping down to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York.
    #15
  16. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    If you want to show wifey the nice parts of canada that time of year come west.
    #16
  17. toastmuncher

    toastmuncher I be new round here! Ello

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    approx 1000 can $ per week, hhhhmmmm. Is that a lot for an RV?
    #17
  18. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    That's typical... may get closer to 800 if you can find a deal. Picking up at one location and dropping off at another will cost you as well. Get a quote for a class b van as well.

    If you're willing to go west to Calgary I'd recommend starting in Vancouver. If you don't have that much time or not going west, spend a week or so in Ontario then trek east to Nova Scotia's south shore and Cape Breton Ile.

    I took a month to drive a 30fter from Halifax to Victoria a few yrs ago. Nearly every campground we stayed at had European visitors in rental motorhomes. It's nice to see you guys over here and sharing stories with a beer while the kids roast marshmellows.

    Good luck.
    #18
  19. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    :lol3Rental motorhomes, my kids call them Road Cows.

    It's because they wander at low speed and often change direction without warning, they can often be found in
    herds near National parks or other tourist attractions.

    For the price of fuel and given your travel date I think you could rent a passenger van and stay
    in lower priced hotels for the same money as camping.
    We travelled to Ontario 2 years ago and stayed in hotels while on the road for less than it would have
    cost us in additional fuel towing our really small trailer with our 6 cylinder Toyota.
    #19
  20. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Don't feel limited by the size of our country, there are still reasonably priced flights across the country, you could do both coasts that way and avoid a lot of driving.

    If you choose something else than the RV/cows....check these guys out, consistently have way better prices on rentals than any of the big outfits.With the right credit card you can save even more "extra charges" on insuring the rental vehicle.

    http://www.discountcar.com/


    There may be work everywhere soon in your trade, looks like they want to build more jails, I saw the "against" signs locally recently.:eek1
    #20