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Old 03-03-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Help - Aussies in a 45' RV Travelling V'couver to Banff

Hello fellow RV'ers

Just needed some advice about a trip we are planning for June this year.

We are renting a 45' American Eage RV from Seattle and are planning to travel West Canada for 3 weeks.

Our rough itinerary is a few nights in Vancouver, then onto Kelowna for a couple of nights then onto Banff/Canmore for about a week, when we head back via the same way, staying at some different places. We will be hiring a car in Canmore for the week, so we can get around a little easier and do day trips to Calgary, Lake Louise etc.

Now our biggest thing, apart from driving on the "wrong" side of the road is having to plan a trip on a road we have never even heard of...!!!

Our biggest question is which highway should we take from Hope, BC to Kelowna? I have read on a number of forums that the Coquihalla Highway should be avoided in a 45'er and that we should stick with Highway 1. We thought that if we took highway 1, we would turn off to Highway 97 just after Kamloops and into Kelowna that way

Whilst we have drived 40'ers here in Australia and we actaully sell caravans (Trailers), so we are well used to driving/manourvering large vehicles we want to enjoy our trip and be able to relax and take in the views...! ESPECIALLY in someone elses BEAUTIFUL RV'...!!

We understand that its going to be "hilly" but just wanted suggestions on which people think is the easier route....even if it is the longer one. We understand that Kelowna is a popular spot for RV'ers so can't be too "treacherous" but we're just hoping for some hints from people who have "been there, done that" in a similiar size vehicle.

Some one also suggested Radium Hot Springs. Don't know if its easier to do a day trip from Canmore or if we should stay there a night on our way back to Vancouver/Seattle.

Look forward to any suggestions...or any other ideas.

Cheers
Sue W
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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I have driven the Coquihalla Highway east to west and found it quite windy (strong west to east wind). Some fairly steep grades. Came back on 3 to 97. Basically two lanes and probably slower, but found it easier drive. Actually the Coquihalla Highway is probably more scenic going east to west. I would recommend that you stop at Radium on the way as you can use 95 and 93 to reconnect to your route.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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Highway 1 north from Hope to Lytton is the the Fraser Valley through which the Fraser River flows. It is a beautiful drive and I would certainly go that route rather than the Coquihalla which is not nearly so scenic. Hwy 1 is mostly single lane but is a major truck route so would be no problem for you. We use it regularly with our 38' and tow car.
From Lytton continue up to Cache Creek then pick up Hwy 1 east from there to Kamloops.

You MUST drive the Icefields Parkway - hwy 93 north from Banff to Jasper - one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Would be a good trip to do in your rental car so you can stop more easily for photo ops.

Just allow plenty of time to cover the kms that you plan to do the most common thing we hear from foreign visitors is that they underestimate the amount of time it takes to drive 300km through the mountains compared to on a straight road and don't manage to keep to the schedule they have planned and therefore miss out on those lovely long lunch stops overlooking a lake or the scenic photo stops.

Have a great trip!
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:36 PM   #4
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Here is another route for you. From Hope BC take highway 3 Crowsnest to Penticton BC. Then hi way 97 to Kelowna. Hi way 3 does have a few steep climbs but no worse than the coquihalla. Do plan to have a stop at Hope slide to view the remains of a rock slide. When you leave Kelowna travel to Vernon then take 97C to Sicamoose. Stop at Sicamoose for ice cream There rejoin hi way 1 Trans Canada to Lake Louise. If you can plan a stop at Lake Louise. For a nice slower drive to Banff take the Bow Valley Parkway. I have driven these routes with my RV without any problems.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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Highway 1 north from Hope to Lytton is the the Fraser Valley through which the Fraser River flows. It is a beautiful drive and I would certainly go that route rather than the Coquihalla which is not nearly so scenic. Hwy 1 is mostly single lane but is a major truck route so would be no problem for you. We use it regularly with our 38' and tow car.
From Lytton continue up to Cache Creek then pick up Hwy 1 east from there to Kamloops.

You MUST drive the Icefields Parkway - hwy 93 north from Banff to Jasper - one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Would be a good trip to do in your rental car so you can stop more easily for photo ops.

Just allow plenty of time to cover the kms that you plan to do the most common thing we hear from foreign visitors is that they underestimate the amount of time it takes to drive 300km through the mountains compared to on a straight road and don't manage to keep to the schedule they have planned and therefore miss out on those lovely long lunch stops overlooking a lake or the scenic photo stops.

Have a great trip!
Watch the advertising,I got an Infraction for posting my info for our campground. Rules violation.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:18 AM   #6
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Thank You

A big Thanks to all who have posted there ideas for our itinerary...!
We are taking note, and assume these little spots will make sense whilst on our trip which is now only 8 WEEKS away...!!!

We are now confident that we will be able to take the Coquhilla (?) for at least part of the way so that is a great relief and we are really looking forward to visiting some of the beautiful places that have been suggested.

We will definitely post details of our trip on our return, so that we can help any other prospective overseas tourists who are "silly" enough to take on a 45' RV on the "opposite" side of the road...!

Cheers
Sue W
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #7
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You're a braver man than I, Gunga Din. Driving a 45-footer on the "wrong' side of the road isnn't something I'd tackle. Converting from the UK to the wrong side after we emigrated was tough. I still don't have a motorcycle, even though I drove test for Norton. If you pass close enough to visit Anacorets on your way back, give us a PM. We're about 21 miles wast of I-5 at SR 20.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:47 PM   #8
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Watch the advertising,I got an Infraction for posting my info for our campground. Rules violation.
Was it because as you said you posted an information link to your own camp ground?
Open Roaders posted a link to a campground they would be staying in which is not one they own.

***As pointed out in a later post I misunderstood what I read when making this post.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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When I used to live in Australia (I am a native Californian) I used to say the other side of the road. For a real treat though you have to go and drive in the US Virgin Islands where the steering wheel is on "our" side, and you drive on "your" side.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:07 PM   #10
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Was it because as you said you posted an information link to your own camp ground?
Open Roaders posted a link to a campground they would be staying in which is not one they own.
I think you misread OPEN ROADERS post.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:53 AM   #11
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You're a braver man than I, Gunga Din. Driving a 45-footer on the "wrong' side of the road isnn't something I'd tackle. Converting from the UK to the wrong side after we emigrated was tough. I still don't have a motorcycle, even though I drove test for Norton. If you pass close enough to visit Anacorets on your way back, give us a PM. We're about 21 miles wast of I-5 at SR 20.
Braver or "Sillier". We sell caravans (think you call them trailers) so are well used to driving vehicles of that length and we have owned 2 of our own 40'rs here so not worried about the length or backing. Yes it will take some time to get used to being on the opposite side of the road, but we will hire a car for a couple of days prior to get our bearings and with "both" of us driving (one from the backseat ) we should be fine....! Have to keep thinking we only live once and sometimes you just have to "throw" yourself into the deep end...!

If you hear on the news that an Aussie couple create havock in Canada in an RV early June you can think of us...!!!

Will keep your offer in mind...thanks...!!

Cheers
Sue
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Bob View Post
When I used to live in Australia (I am a native Californian) I used to say the other side of the road. For a real treat though you have to go and drive in the US Virgin Islands where the steering wheel is on "our" side, and you drive on "your" side.
Now that would make for a real "brain teaser"...!

Yes l do say "other side" as in my earlier posts l said "wrong side" and was corrected that its us Aussies that drive on the wrong side

Cheers
Sue
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:32 AM   #13
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Those "British".. We in Europe and our desendents in the USA drive on the RIGHT side of the road (but mostly in the USA on the left lane....)
Now, the oposite of RIGHT is wrong, so, you are driving (in AUS, JAPAN, UK etc) on the WRONG (aka left) side. Sweden was brave, they saw the light and went to the right side.
Rumors have it that the UK will convert to driving on the right side as well,
Starting 1-4-2012 the lorrys (18 wheelers) start on the right side. If it sucsedes
the orther cars will follow the change next day.
Greetings, and Ausies: Have a Great trip there.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:50 AM   #14
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I think you misread OPEN ROADERS post. Here's the relevant quote.


Just allow plenty of time to cover the kms that you plan to do, we own an RV park
I stand corrected with a reread I some how combined the OP with the post in question for lack of a better reason

The situation has been corrected I owe you a soft drink (hard if needed) if we ever meet
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