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Old 02-25-2018, 11:30 PM   #21
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Name: Barb
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Camping Season in Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by theresa p View Post
Hi! Like you, we also plan a trip west this summer and here's our take on things. National Parks and Provincial parks are hugely popular in the areas you intend on visiting. Weekends will definitely be busy and reservations then are almost mandatory, from what I've been told. Thru the week will be better, but you'd have to pretty well show up to claim a site very early, which may not work into your style of travel.
For us, we will plan day trips into those areas (luckily for us, we've been there before, even though it was a number of years ago) and find camping sites outside of the parks. Our hopes are that that will make our lives less stressed.
Hi Theresa, Anytime from mid-May through to the end of Sept. we have good weather. September is great since the kids are all back in school so it's not so busy at the campgrounds, sight-seeing places or on the highways. The rains don't arrive until mid-October or later.
Are you going to make it over to Vancouver Island? I'll be here later in August after I wander back home from the Boler 50th Anniversary Gathering in Winnipeg. You're welcome to come and stay here.
Barb
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:00 AM   #22
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david I saw this in Alaska also matter of fact the first boondockers I ever saw were parked on the sams parking lot in anchorage. I was amazed cheap camping at its best!




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Old 02-26-2018, 12:58 PM   #23
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Canadian camping

Ron - My granddaughter and I went to BC to provencial parks in summer and found great camping but not in provencial parks near towns. We pulled into one park early one Friday afternoon to find this park full and no other campgrounds in the area. We were told to camp in the parking lot and were charged a full fee for the night! There was a day use area across the road, but were advised we would be ticketed and would be forced to leave - so no options.

We did find a city campground in a small town - what a nice surprise to have the place all to ourselves on the edge of a lake!

I'm heading to the Banff- Jasper areas this summer along with millions of others, so I'm researching for local camping possibilities outside of the parks - just in case. When you treat grandkids to camping adventures, you only have the summer/no school months to travel.

Enjoy your journey. The Kootenays and Rockies are so spectacular.

About the money - I was in Quebec last August, shocked to find the 15% surcharge tax on everything. Be prepared for an 11-15% tax (provencial + federal taxes). I always take a base amount of Canadian currency before I go north, and exchange for more Canadian currency during my travel in Canada, as needed. You don't want to pay the exchange charge from US$ to Can$ before you go and then pay another rate exchanging back to US$.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:47 PM   #24
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I usually spend quite a lot of time camping in both Banff and Jasper in the summer months. It seems that in the last 10yrs, both of these parks have become extremely busy, which is really degrading the quality of that experience. In order to ease the congestion and improve your overall experience, I would recommend that you plan your trips for the shoulder seasons or the winter when the parks are much less crowded.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:05 PM   #25
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we have camped in Canada quite few times camped in Europe 4 times we carry very little cash c/cs are accepted everywhere now. all the figuring is done and we don't worry about carry money.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:16 PM   #26
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For those who are interested in going to Banff, Lake Louise and Columbia Icefields. The government campsites are generally full weekends and long weekends but Sunday night to Thursday night are pretty good. The other thing a lot of folks will do is stay in Canmore which is five minutes from Banff National Park. In Canmore is Spring Creek Campground. It is near the cute town of Canmore which has a very similar feel to Banff. The Campground is on par with the Federal Government Campgrounds. Also, near Calgary (1.5 hr) I would recommend Bow RiversEdge Campground In Cochrane. A very nice campground in a cute town with all amenities. Another nice Campground is in Okotoks which is lovely! Right on the Sheep River and paved pathways for walking and biking. Lions Campground Okotoks. Its sad but a lot of the other campgrounds are sad and overpriced.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ron H. View Post
Hi all... I'm sure this has been addressed already, but I can't find it.

I am planning a 2-3 month trip beginning mid-July this summer where I will cross into Canada from Montana. I will be going to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. My question is, is it real difficult is it to get a camping site without reservations? I want to be able to travel at my own pace stopping and going as I see fit. I'm mainly interested Provincial Parks, National Parks, or places such as National Forest if that kind of camping exists there. Electric hook-ups are good, but I have no problem boondocking either.

Any advice offered is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hutch
We have traveled across from Montana at Glacier National Park into Canada and went clear to Alaska in 2008. Also went from city of Vancouver all the way to Alaska in 2015. Never had a problem getting a campsite. Twice we had to accept the overflow areas but that was wonderful. One was along a stream with an awesome sunset in the crotch of the mountains, not seeable from the campground sites and the other one was in the parking lot at Liard Hot Springs which put us about 1/4 mile closer to the hot springs. We pulled into one Provincial Park near Johnson's Canyon that said full but we asked and they gave us an empty handicap site for one night. Most campgrounds are dry camping but some have dump stations, water and showers. Especially in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Prices are about $18-24 per night. If you want electric you may have more problems getting a site and you'll pay quite a bit more. We spent 77 days and 80 days traveling and never had any reservations. We wanted to travel at our pace and did so. We never stopped until about 5:00PM. Canada does not allow camping in wide pull outs or the forest unless in campgrounds. By mid August we were seeing fall foliage colors so September may be iffy for the weather. Weekends in the popular areas are a little more difficult for sites but they can be gotten. We never stayed in a commercial campground. They were quite a bit more in cost.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:29 AM   #28
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Name: Morgan
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We thought we were going to drive back across the continent on the Trans-Canadian Highway a couple of summers ago, taking in Banff, Lake Louise, and the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, among other things. Three things turned it into a no-go for us.

1. Our phones didn't work in Canada, and we got a pay-as-you-go Canadian phone to use. That was fine except for:
2. My CC company had a snit because we'd crossed into Canada. Perhaps because I'm from up by the border and was used to going back and forth (prior to 9/11), it never occurred to me that people such as credit card companies would think that going to Canada was odd, so I hadn't warned them. They shut off my card. Because my phone didn't work in Canada, I never got any messages from them giving me the super duper phone number I was supposed to call, and my attempts to reach them (on a weekend) were stymied by its being the weekend.
3. Stupid, stupid, stupid we forgot to look at a calendar, a Canadian calendar, and didn't realize we were starting out by trying to find a camping site on a major holiday weekend when everybody and his sister had them reserved already.

We had enough Canadian cash to get us a little way. We managed to find a site after explaining our American ignorance of their civic holiday, paying in cash and giving our promise to vamoose earlier than their normal checkout, so the people who had reserved it starting the next day would not be inconvenienced. Still not knowing that the credit card company, which had been able to connect the dots all the way across the US was suddenly unable to comprehend where we (and not just our card) were, we kept trying to get money. Finally gave up, and made a dash for the border. No better luck there as the card company had cut it off for everywhere. No messages showed on the phone, and I still couldn't get through to the number I had. We were fortunate enough to find National Forest land where we could camp for free that night and the next. Still no luck with the card on Monday, but I got through to the card company, who sounded kind and informative, but gave me bad advice which got me nowhere; however, eventually something pushed the message the fraud squad had sent Friday through to my phone, I called that number instead of the one my card (and the people I'd spoken to had) said to use, and was able to get my card back up and running.

It was NO FUN AT ALL. Tell your CC company you're going to visit our Canadian cousins. Ask them for a number you can call to give them your Canadian phone number if you need to get a Canadian burn phone like we did so that you can receive any calls they attempt to send you. Call your American phone's voicemail to check for messages if you have CC problems, since you most likely won't get notices of same while in Canada. And arm yourself with Canadian cash, and with traveler's checks as well.

I hope you have much better luck on your trip than we had! It's a beautiful country, and the people are generally wonderful! I fondly remember a trip across (and back) on the TransCanadian Railroad when I was a girl, and had wanted my husband to have a chance to see it too. Maybe someday. Having learned how not to do it, and with a Casita, it may be more doable.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:11 AM   #29
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Name: bob
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Missouri
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never a problem

morgan our experience just the opposite we have never had a problem in many trips to Canada and 4 trips to Europe. I think as you did I warned the c/c companies we would be traveling out of the country and they said no problem thanks for letting us know.

since I play the points game all our expenses are put on a c/c I warned them of that but our limit is pretty high so we were in no danger of running over.

funny though some people seem to get all the problems and troubles and the rest get none!

don't give up

bob
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:25 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
I went to the Canadian Rockies last July. I didn’t have any problems finding campsites but I had to bypass a lot of places where I wanted to stop because the parking lots were jam packed and I was towing my Escape. I traded U S money for Canadian with no problems but changing back was an issue. No bank on either side of the border would trade unless I had an account with them which, of course, I didn’t. When I got back home I exchanged the Canadian for U S with no problem. Never had that issue before.
I attempt to use up any remaining Canadian funds on gas before crossing the border back into the USA. Yes, gas is more expensive, but you can fill up a really odd amount and use up loose change. Imagine having $17.43 left in Canadian funds. Easy enough to use it for gas. Sure, gas in Canada is more expensive, but it is a good way to clean out remaining currency.

Invariably, I forget and end up with a bag of Canadian money, mainly change, saving it for the next trip (and then forgetting it of course). Oh well, best plans and all......
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:38 AM   #31
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Name: bob
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reading her post

in further reading her post I think one real upsetting factor was her cell-phone wouldn't work.

on vacation I don't turn ours on don't care if it works or not I am amazed how little it takes to ruin a vacation even to a cellphone. we have tablets and use free wifi to keep in contact to the extent of my wife s mom passing away while we were in England the last 2 days of our vacation. try to get your plane tickets changed sometime!

I have had some real amazing things happen to us to me getting my wallet stolen on the subway in rome to flats no spares the list goes on and on. one time crossing into Canada with our tent I thought the border guards were going to tear our car apart looking for I don't know what but I am very glad I had nothing illegal in our car!

take a moment consider really hardly any cash in rome you know no one and trying to figure this out? we forgot we had travelors insurance just what was needed and for situations like this.

we got new c/cs wired to us and off we went again driving all over Europe like we had good sense!

all these thing minor glitches and sort of enrich the experience. get out there have fun!! take some risks it will all work out!

bob
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:52 AM   #32
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Name: bill
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I've always used my ATM card as a backup. Yes, there are fees, but its the easiest way to get a few hundred dollars in local currency.

A lot of people don't realize that since the credit card companies take all the fraud risk, they freely will kill your credit card if they think something is unusual. I used to do a road rally, with lots of bonus stops. Many of the bonuses were verified with small credit card purchases along the way. We were also covering large distances, so they would see charges in many states across the country in a single day, all small amounts.

Invariably, by day 2 my credit card would be cancelled. Back then, they would call my home land line, and since I was not home, I never got the message. I started using two cards, I would switch from card to card every purchase. Still wasn't fool proof, but it did work a lot better. I also notified the credit card companies, sometimes that helped, sometimes it didn't. I would think the fraud department stuff is automated.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:11 AM   #33
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Name: bob
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never a problem

bill that is weird we have never had that problem even using our card in Europe we use one mainly because we get better points. when I had my wallet stolen we called in to cancel the cards when we got back one was still open and there had been not attempt to use either one. a little odd I thought!

bob
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:23 PM   #34
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Name: Jann
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Originally Posted by MurrayC View Post
Hello Ron
We do have some beautiful camping up here.
Check out "Recreation sites and trails". These are the no fee campsites.
They have outdoor toilets, firepits and a picnic table. NO FEES.
Our provincial campsites are also well maintained and have full hookups.
Come and Enjoy. Don't forget your fishing rod.
We never found any provincial park with hookups except the expensive ones in Jasper and Banff. All others did not even offer electric and we stayed in a bunch of them. I doubt that since 2015 they have put full hookups in them. The big campground in Banff had very nice dump and water for you in a central area and good showers. But not at each site. So please name the ones with full hookups so we'll know the next trip this summer.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:48 PM   #35
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Name: Jann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron H. View Post
Hi all... I'm sure this has been addressed already, but I can't find it.

I am planning a 2-3 month trip beginning mid-July this summer where I will cross into Canada from Montana. I will be going to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. My question is, is it real difficult is it to get a camping site without reservations? I want to be able to travel at my own pace stopping and going as I see fit. I'm mainly interested Provincial Parks, National Parks, or places such as National Forest if that kind of camping exists there. Electric hook-ups are good, but I have no problem boondocking either.

Any advice offered is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Hutch
Take the obvious thing-passports and your birth certificate in case you would lose or have your passport stolen. Don't try to take any weapons including bear spray or any illegal drugs. If you are on prescriptions leave them in the original bottle. Don't try to joke or visit with border security. Only answer any of their questions and be polite. We've crossed the border numerous times in several places and never had a problem. Get a free Canadian Insurance card from your car insurance company for your tow vehicle and trailer. Call your credit card companies and tell them the states you are visiting and that you are going to Canada. Take plenty of cash and stop in the first town you come to at a bank not a credit union(they make you jump through hoops and banks just do it) and change some for Canadian money. Don't overdue it but we figured at least $500. When we went $500 US was right at $600 Canadian. The bank will charge you less than $5 for the exchange. Call your cell phone company and have them allow you to use it in Canada even if you use a computer or tablet. Using your cell phone allows you to make emergency calls home, to call for help in case of a breakdown, etc. We have an answering machine at home and we called it for messages in case of a family emergency. Our family knew to call it and leave a message. If you need groceries the Real Canadian Super Stores are good and have great food except dairy and meat costs a lot more. If you see a Safeway use them. Their dairy and meat products are about what the US costs. Obey the speed limits. They are in kilometers and are quite different than ours. We found a list of what they were and wrote it on a little paper attached to our dash with kilometers next to mph. The little numbers on your speedometer may not be easy to see like on ours wasn't. Remember the date you cross the border because they will ask you when you leave or if you go across again anywhere. We wrote it down on our second trip and put it in a handy place like the paper with the speed limits.
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:50 PM   #36
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Extra Extension Cord for Ontario

During our cross country trip last year we found that an extra extension cord came in handy. In many Ontario Provincial Parks it looks like the power posts were added as an after thought. The posts are located between the camp sites or at the front by the road. This can easily be 50 ft away. My brother in law refused to buy an extra 30 amp extension so he could not run his Air Con and used all of our cords just to run his stuff.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:18 AM   #37
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I think that it is because we live so close to each other that we often overlook the subtle differences. We travel to the U.S. almost every winter and pop in most summers. We discovered so many of the same issues as Morgan noted a long time ago. Most recently the biggest issue has been my email provider locks me out because I am always using public wifi (this happens north and south of the border). I had to set up an app to confirm it is me!
We are different countries and even slightly different cultures and of course we need to go through a few steps these days to make our experience seamless, but don't let that stop you.
Please, come North. Enjoy our varied landscapes, our different cultures from coast to coast to coast. Canada is gorgeous and mostly sparsely populated (outside of Victoria, Southern Ontario and Quebec). You can enjoy our diverse cities with their own cultures (yes, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa (in the winter?), St John's NFLD are so much more different than anywhere else in North America). In Canada, you can experience absolute wilderness where you know that there is nothing but wild between you and the horizon. The Yukon, Northwest Territories and Labrador are true wildernesses in a sense that is hard to express and if you love mountains, all three of these have them in abundance.
Our Rockies are stunning and well developed with fantastic trails of all abilities and loads of experiences including any sort of camping style you are looking for - some of which you will need to preplan for.
Driving the Trans-Canada is a real opportunity to discover how much of Canada really is small town and rural. It is very different from our larger population areas. Many small towns have small unsupervised minimal campgrounds that are great places to stop as your are hauling east or west. If you are American and visiting, rest assured, you often aren't very far from the border or border access in case you need to head home in a hurry.
If you need help, just ask people, if you are unsure of something and even look slightly confused, don't worry someone will likely offer help. I love travelling the U.S. because it is different than home but I love travelling Canada because it is so different. For me travelling is all about experiencing the "different".
Happy travelling and come to Canada, we like to entertain guests.
Jay
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:52 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I attempt to use up any remaining Canadian funds on gas before crossing the border back into the USA. Yes, gas is more expensive, but you can fill up a really odd amount and use up loose change. Imagine having $17.43 left in Canadian funds. Easy enough to use it for gas. Sure, gas in Canada is more expensive, but it is a good way to clean out remaining currency.

Invariably, I forget and end up with a bag of Canadian money, mainly change, saving it for the next trip (and then forgetting it of course). Oh well, best plans and all......
Just a tip here for any Americans heading home (especially any attending the big Boler 50th in Winnipeg). If you are heading down MB75 to meet I29 at the border and want to spend your last Cdn cash for gas, stop at the latest in Morris. I've encountered people in our border town looking for gas to get rid of their $$ without luck since we have no public gas station just a Co-op bulk station.

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Old 02-28-2018, 12:21 PM   #39
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Jay,
You need to work for the tourism board (if you don't already).
When I first started thinking of a trailer, it was with the idea of a retirement filled with endless summers among trout streams in the US Rockies that were only brief fly-in trips to date. As I cruise this and other RV sites, I notice a lot of Canada descriptions that bring back fond memories of a childhood Centennial year trip from BC to Montreal, and a couple of later trips to points east. And another recent thread had me checking out the Bruce Peninsula.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...nto-84141.html
Definitely expanding the map. Hope I'm able to expand the time to match.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:42 PM   #40
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No Bob, I don't work for tourism , I just really love travelling. After a backpacking trip across Europe in my 20s I realized I did not know my own country. Since then, we have spent most summers since doing just that. Now, with our Boler, we get to enjoy it in a whole new and way cooler way.
BTW - theBruce Penninsula is is quite pretty and is home to 1: the Bruce trail - one of the longest continuous trail systems and 2: there is a ferry from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island the world's largest fresh water lake!
Have a great trip!
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