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Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

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Ukiah, California
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Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Hello,

I am looking for specifics as to length of grades and steepness of grades from Calgary to BC on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1. Is it 2 lane at times or 4 lane the whole way?

I would like to make the trip at the end of June, pulling a 30 foot (9 meter) 5th wheel with a Ford F350 diesel. If anyone is familiar with both Hwy 1 through the Canadian Rockies and Innerstate 80 through the CA Sierras, that would be a helpful comparison; as I am very familiar with driving over I-80.

Would it be better to make the trip in early Sept? At that time I would make the trip from BC to Calgary.

Thanks for your advice!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

End of June should be good. Keep in mind that July 1st is a national holiday.

Country Wife should be along shortly - she's an RV person and will be able to advise, but I don't think you'll have any major issues. This is a major transportation route and there are lots of RVs. However, it is 2-lane much of the way, although there are usually passing lanes on uphill sections, or at least pull outs.

Keep in mind that you should be making your RV reservations now for this extremely popular route.

Calgary
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2. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Key grades will be west from Golden for about 25 km. Will be multi lane for the grades.

Then another key climb up to Rogers Pass . Probably the toughest with limited lanes through the avalanche sheds. Downhill from Rogers Pass also requires vigilance ESPECIALLY about 3 km down at Illicillewat Campground . Do not underestimate this turn.

I also pull a 30' fifth. Feel free to query further.

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Welcome to the TripAdvisor forums, Marti!

My fifth wheel is only 22' and my tow vehicle has a gas engine, so Kottbullar's experience is probably a better match than mine.

Make sure to go down the hills in the same gear that it took to climb them (in other words, use your engine to brake, not your brakes).

Empty all your tanks (water & waste water) before you drive in the mountains, it will lighten your load & make your life easier.

If you have a CB radio, you can use it to let the tractor trailers know that you are about to pull over to let them by; this gesture is much appreciated.

You can see the Rogers Pass area and the Golden area on Google Street View; just drag the yellow "peg man" down to the dot on the map.

Rogers Pass: https://goo.gl/maps/cztv6

Golden: https://goo.gl/maps/CUgPh

Steep hill just west of Spiral Tunnels viewpoint & Kicking Horse Pass area: https://goo.gl/maps/ZBWGx

I mention this one because more than once I have had to pick past accidents with tractor trailers here; there is a sharp turn just before heading downhill if you're westbound. Meanwhile people can be doing silly things in the passing lane and the road also goes over a railway overpass, which can have black ice on it in the early morning. Yes, even in summer.

Calgary
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4. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

I forgot the Spiral Tunnels.... good catch ....

Kamloops, Canada
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5. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Not exactly certain where you will be travelling in BC but my two cents to add. Your vehicle is more than enough to work the hills of BC. One part of the vehicle that I really do preventive maintenance on is the radiator. Flush coolant and pressure test the hoses as per vehicle manual. I live in the southern interior of BC where temperatures in the summer can get over 100F. I have seen numerous vehicles on the side of the road overheated and some on fire. Working the truck on steep climbs can be very taxing.

Keep an eye behind you as vehicle volume can build on some of the two lane sections and people do take chances, pull over and let the idiots pass. End of June is the start of summer holidays and the roads will be packed, especially on the weekends.

Lots of stations with diesel but you will be shocked at the prices, welcome to Canada. Here is a web link to get fuel prices as you travel.

http://www.bcgasprices.com/

Enjoy your trip :0)

Ukiah, California
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6. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Thank you for your helpful advice. We look forward to seeing the Canadian Rockies!

Ukiah, California
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7. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Thank you. We are looking forward to the trip!

Ukiah, California
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8. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Country Wife - Thank you for the links to the google maps. These are very helpful, and look like it will be reasonable to navigate the grades.

Edited: 20 April 2014, 02:25
Ukiah, California
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9. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

Mooseboy - No worries, driver's are just as crazy in CA. But we'll take note of your advice. Thanks for the heads-up on gas prices. With the current exchange rate, you gas/diesel prices are only about $0.40 more than we pay locally.

Greater Sydney...
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10. Re: Pulling a 30' 5th wheel over Canadian Rockies Calgary-BC

G'day Marti,

A design fault by TA having a Reply button on every post which leads to new posters believing they are replying directly to another. It is easier to just reply once at the end responding to all of the prior posts.

Edited: 20 April 2014, 03:33