Camping & Sightseeing on Vancouver Island? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-20-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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This will be our first time in Canada. We are coming to get our 19' Bigfoot from SoutherwesternRV in Victoria on Vancouver Island and wonder what campgrounds and activities/things to see people would recommend? First night will be in or around Victoria, then we really only have one extra day and night before we need to head back (it's a 3-4 day drive home). We'd prefer to camp on the inland side of the island.

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Old 07-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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Aww, looky! Val's avatar is a pic of her Bigfoot!
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:16 PM   #3
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If you're on the Island, you have to hit Pacific Rim National Park/Torfino; luckily Cathedral Grove is on the way. Little Qualicum Falls would make a good campground. Could be busy this time of year.
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:41 PM   #4
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This will be our first time in Canada. We are coming to get our 19' Bigfoot from SoutherwesternRV in Victoria on Vancouver Island and wonder what campgrounds and activities/things to see people would recommend? First night will be in or around Victoria, then we really only have one extra day and night before we need to head back (it's a 3-4 day drive home). We'd prefer to camp on the inland side of the island.

Val, depends on how many amenities you like to have. generally our provincial parks in BC don't have water/power hookups, and most have outhouses, but the campsites are nice and big, almost always well-shaded, and level.
some nice ones on the lower part of vancouver island. if you like having showers, check out Gordon Bay on Cowichan Lake or Rathtrevor Beach near Parksville. If you want to go a little bit further and don't have to have showers, Englishman River falls is very pretty and has lots of walking trails up and down the river -- two sets of falls to see.
You can book sites at most prov. campsites now on-line. http://www.discovercamping.ca/

A nice private campground in Nanaimo is the Living Forest Campground. http://www.campingbc.com/
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:45 AM   #5
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since no planned dates were issued, I can only add this tidbit of info on things to do.

In downtown Victoria July 20th, the better part of ALL downtown Victoria will be set aside for for car lovers as Victoria plays host to Deuce Day. This is an annual tribute to Henry Fords (argueably) best car, the 1932 Ford. Special parking has been alloted for the planned attendance of over 200 1932 Fords in all their various configurations. ANY and ALL other types of cars are welcome to attend by pre-registeration. We plan to attend with our 1937 Plymouth P-4 Touring Sedan. This event features a caravan of car minded people (leaving Toronto last week) coming from as far away as Australia to attend this special event.
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:38 AM   #6
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I strongly recommend Goldstream Provincial park for camping. It is very close and convenient to Victoria (10 miles). Beautiful, well maintained campground with spectacular trees, lovely wooded sites and walking trails.

http://www.goldstreampark.com/park.htm

Two 'must see' sites are the spectacular Butchart Gardens and the Royal BC Museum with its superb 'First Peoples' exhibit! Also, spend a leisurely hour having lunch and people-watching on the festive waterfront.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:31 AM   #7
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Aww, looky! Val's avatar is a pic of her Bigfoot!
Shucks... didn't feel right to have anything else! We are even more excited after meeting many of the wonderful folks in the Fiberglass RV Forum. We are so impressed with the quality of people we spoke with, the clever modifications and talented restorations a number of people have made to their FGs, and the highly organized coordinators of this fabulous event! We could only be there Sat & Sunday, and just got home to AZ a few hours ago, but next year, we look forward to being there with our 19' footer and having our name tags changed from "wanna-be's" to "1988 Bigfoot 19."
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:58 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone... we have some great ideas now to follow up on. We were in OR this Sat & Sunday for the Rally, so missed the Deuce Day event, but were thrilled to meet many of this forum's members in person--what a terrific group of people!

We will be arriving August 5-6 (depending on how accurate Mapquest's driving time estimate is for AZ to Vancouver Island). We can hardly wait! Will spend this week tearing down a stucco facade in front of our carport that would otherwise prevent us from parking our trailer... it's like getting the bedroom ready for a new baby!

Canada, here we come!
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Canada, here we come!
I also will echo a vote for Rathtrevor Beach at Parksville. I haven't camped there; we rent a vacation condo and there is no better beach for kids than Rathtrevor. When the tide is out, there is about 1 km of wet sand between the beachhead and the water, with small tidal pools that are warm. Lots of little crabs, snails, etc. Awesome for sandcastles... Then when the tide comes back in, the km of beach disappears leaving 1km of shallow warm water to swim in...

There is an RV park right in the city on the beach that is basically a big field stacked back to back with RV's and about 6 million kids. Not my sort of camping. Just outside of town, on the south, is a fruit stand, behind which appears to be a nicer RV park with some long-term pad rental units and short term camping. It's in the trees and looks nicer but you'll have a longish hike to the beach or will be better off driving.

I used to live in Sidney and subsequently, am all Victoria'd out and now you couldn't pay me to go there. But you do need to see it at least once.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:29 PM   #10
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Oh, we want to avoid noisy and crowded, so I think we will head out of Victoria as soon as we pick up the trailer and head for quieter and less dense surroundings. No parking lot-style RV parks for us! Thanks for your input!
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:24 PM   #11
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I'm thinking Goldstream will be your best choice the first night, as you will have had a busy time already to get to the Island and all. It will keep you in close proximity to get your ferry back to the mainland also. With your limited timeframe, Rathtrevor might have been a bit too far up island anyway.

A note of caution, the 1st weekend in August is a holiday/long weekend for most of Canada. Looking at the Discover Camping website that looks after BC campground reservations, I see the reserved sites are all taken for this weekend. They never book all sites, 75/167 sites are only reservable. When you get to the island, it might be best to go to the campground to claim a site, even before heading to the RV dealer. Also, I have experienced times when the BC parks are full, and they usually will let people into 'overflow areas', so hopefully that is the case at Goldstream too.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:40 PM   #12
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Yikes... what timing on our part. Thanks for the heads up... guess we will have to see what we can get once we get there!
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:46 PM   #13
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Val, I see everyone suggesting things all over this island and you have only a day or two. Brace yourself gal - Vancouver Island is approximately the size of England! Do you think you could see that in a weekend? It is about 300 miles north to south and 100 miles wide.

I suggest for this visit come see Victoria and let it go at that. Then come back for a week or so later.

In an earlier note I suggested you go see Lake Louise over in Banff but that too is a long way from here. You need to make plans to come back once you become familiar with the new trailer.

The picture was taken in the Japanese gardens at Hatley Castle here in town.

Good luck with all you encounter.
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:12 PM   #14
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I'm thinking Goldstream will be your best choice the first night, as you will have had a busy time already to get to the Island and all. It will keep you in close proximity to get your ferry back to the mainland also. With your limited timeframe, Rathtrevor might have been a bit too far up island anyway.
Ferries run from Nanaimo and Duke point back to the Mainland in case you do get up toi Rathtrevor. No need to backtrack all the way to Victoria. But with limited time, there's all kinds of stuff available in Victoria. On a longer stay (three weeks) you can do the Island justice.
cheers
ian
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