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Old 01-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Alaska/BC suggestions

Good morning all! I am exited to say I now have an official retirement date 06/28/2013!! Yay!!
Anyway, our retirement appreciation trip has been planned for the first half with an FMCA Fantasy RV tour of Alaska for 48 nights. I would love some suggestions on where to go after that. The tour ends in Smithers,BC. I am thinking Prince Rupert, Prince George, Whistler, Vancouver island, Seatlle area for about 3 to 4 weeks, then down the coast to NAPA area and finally LA area where our daughter lives. Big undertaking and very nervous as this is first extensive trip. Worried about 42ft mh with toad on ferries, etc.

Any input would really be appreciated
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:08 AM   #2
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Alaskan Ferries are expensive for large vehicles but if you cost out what the diesel cost would be versus the ferry you may be able to justify the additional cost.

I have driven up and back twice now and one of these years I want to do the ferry but without the coach. I'll will use an airplane for the return trip.

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Be sure to see the Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.

The Butchart Gardens - Home
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #4
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Good for you. Hope you enjoy your retirement. As far as being concerned about your rig on ferries. All the ferries I've been on are straight on and straight off. No turns , very uneventful. I wasn't on the Alaska Ferry but have been on numerous ones including one to Newfoundland. I only take them when I have to. I prefer to drive and see all the sights I came to see. We went to Alaska in 04 and never considered the Ferry. The drive up the Cassiar Highway in BC , the Top of the World Highway from Dawson City and the Yukon Territory should be on everyone's bucket list IMO.

You'll have a great time whichever you choose.

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Old 01-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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Your trip wounds fantastic and your planning places right on! We've done them all but we drove to Alaska. However, you can easily do Vancouver Island by leaving your rig in a RV park in Port Angeles, Sequim or Port Townsend, WA areas on the Olympic Peninsula and do either a day trip without your RV or even an overnight. That's what we do. There's no need to take your RV. If you're a member of Escapees (highly recommended for full-timers), they have a park near Port Townsend and you would be able to leave you rig there overnight. It's very easy when getting off the ferry to catch the public bus which goes out to Buchart Gardens. For a day trip you'd have enough time for the Gardens and also for walking around the scenic ferry area of town. Happy retirement and good travels!
Some addt'l thoughts on ferries: some folks with big rigs have difficulty with dragging depending on the tides. You'll also have to turn your propane off and pets stay inside the RV.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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If you do decide to put you rig on one of B.C Ferries, you'll save money by having your wife drive the toad on by itself !
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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From Smithers, I would head over to Prince Rupert and hop onto the BC Ferries to Port Hardy on the northern end of Vancouver Island. The Island Hwy is excellent all the way to Victoria. We especially like the Port McNeil area and our favorite RV Park/Marina is Alder Bay Resort just south of Port McNeil off of Telegraph Cove Road. The U'Mista Native Cultural Centre is probably better than the Provincial Museum in Victoria, and don't forget about the Seasmoke Whale Watching in Alert Bay. Traveling south you can opt to go over to the Wild West Coast via Hwy 4 at Parksdale to Tofino/Ucluet. The road will take your breathe away but worth the diversion. Finally in Victoria metro area, West Bay RV Park is the place to stay and take in the sights, i.e., Burchart Gardens, Provincial Museum, High Tea at the Empress (Jacket & Tie Required), and often overlooked, Parliment when in session (it's a hoot). Then it's onto Port Angeles via the Coho Ferry and Hwy 101. Unless you are in a hurry, then head to I-5 via Tacoma, otherwise do the Olympic Peninsula via US 101 to Astoria Oregon. Salt Creek County Park (Clallam County) 13 miles west of Port Angeles (US 101 & State Hwy 112) for a knock out views of the Strait of Juan Defuca ship traffic is a must see. Lake Quinault Lodge for breakfast is a must do. Well, you get the idea, roads less traveled.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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chillin47, If you go to our blog you will see our 2012 trip form NY to Alaska. We spent approx. 2 month in Alaska and traveled down the Inter Coastal Water Way form Haines to Prince Rupert. We then drove to Seattle and turned west through the Columbia River Gorge. We have 39 foot Itasca Meridian towing a Jeep. We drove the two vehicles onto the ferry separately with no problems. The ferry crew were very helpful. You can see pictures of the ferry in the blog. If you have any questions you can contact us through the blog.

www.RVGR8escape.blogspot.com
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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Awesome information! Thank you all so much for your input.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RV735
chillin47, If you go to our blog you will see our 2012 trip form NY to Alaska. We spent approx. 2 month in Alaska and traveled down the Inter Coastal Water Way form Haines to Prince Rupert. We then drove to Seattle and turned west through the Columbia River Gorge. We have 39 foot Itasca Meridian towing a Jeep. We drove the two vehicles onto the ferry separately with no problems. The ferry crew were very helpful. You can see pictures of the ferry in the blog. If you have any questions you can contact us through the blog.

www.RVGR8escape.blogspot.com
Thanks so much! Sounds like we will be taking similar route. Can't wait to read about your trip
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JohnQ
From Smithers, I would head over to Prince Rupert and hop onto the BC Ferries to Port Hardy on the northern end of Vancouver Island. The Island Hwy is excellent all the way to Victoria. We especially like the Port McNeil area and our favorite RV Park/Marina is Alder Bay Resort just south of Port McNeil off of Telegraph Cove Road. The U'Mista Native Cultural Centre is probably better than the Provincial Museum in Victoria, and don't forget about the Seasmoke Whale Watching in Alert Bay. Traveling south you can opt to go over to the Wild West Coast via Hwy 4 at Parksdale to Tofino/Ucluet. The road will take your breathe away but worth the diversion. Finally in Victoria metro area, West Bay RV Park is the place to stay and take in the sights, i.e., Burchart Gardens, Provincial Museum, High Tea at the Empress (Jacket & Tie Required), and often overlooked, Parliment when in session (it's a hoot). Then it's onto Port Angeles via the Coho Ferry and Hwy 101. Unless you are in a hurry, then head to I-5 via Tacoma, otherwise do the Olympic Peninsula via US 101 to Astoria Oregon. Salt Creek County Park (Clallam County) 13 miles west of Port Angeles (US 101 & State Hwy 112) for a knock out views of the Strait of Juan Defuca ship traffic is a must see. Lake Quinault Lodge for breakfast is a must do. Well, you get the idea, roads less traveled.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:53 AM   #12
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Thanks to you all for your input, invaluable information for us. One other concern I have is the weather. As I said, we finish the Alaska tour on September 2nd. Is the month of September ok weather-wise for the BC exploration? When should I consider heading South to LA area?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chillin47 View Post
Thanks to you all for your input, invaluable information for us. One other concern I have is the weather. As I said, we finish the Alaska tour on September 2nd. Is the month of September ok weather-wise for the BC exploration? When should I consider heading South to LA area?
September is probably the Best Month weather wise, and financially, i.e., reduced ferry rates and RV Park rates (off season). And the kiddies are back in school meaning less competition for the best spots to park and stay awhile.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #14
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Hi, we have an Allegro RED motorhome. The brochure says it is 101 inches wide. We have booked the Alaskan Ferry for its 39 foot length and 101 inches. We can fold the mirrors in but the mounts stick out an inch or so one each side. When you booked were you able to travel at 101 inches wide or did you have to pay the 125% upcharge for a wider vehicle? Thanks for the help
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