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Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

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Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

Hi to all,

My husband and I will be going on a 6 week trip throughout the West (both US and Canada) starting June 19th. I need some information about driving the Trans-Canadian Hwy 1 out of Lake Louise over the Continental Divide into Golden BC, then on to Glacier NP and Revelstoke NP. After that we will proceed to Kelowna, then through the Okanagon Valley to Osoyoos and back into the US. I would like to know if there are any steep descents that could burn out the brakes, or steep climbs that could overheat the engine. The grades in Alberta and Banff NP sound manageable. I have no information about the descent into Golden and the rest of the drive in British Columbia. If anyone is familiar with this route in terms of driving conditions for heavy vehicles (our Rv is 24 feet and approximately 11,000 lbs), I'd appreciate any information.

I was able to get two paperback books for the US called Mountain Directory East and Mountain Directory West (these are subtitled, Locations and Descriptions of over 400 Mountain passes and steep grades in Eleven Western States) but I haven't found anything comparable for Canada.

Thanks in advance for any information. I don't want to seem like a wuss, but as the saying goes, "You can go down a mountain 1000 times too slowly, but only once too fast."

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1. Re: Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

I would say there are plenty of steep hills both up and down that could easily cause issues. However, it seems that half the vehicles on that road in the summer are RVs, so they obviously are able to make it and many of them seem huge. There are several passing lanes where the slower vehicles move to the slow lane and it seems that everyone makes it through without too much difficulty. Just make sure you have everything tuned up and take it easy.

Have fun!

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2. Re: Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

Yes BC has steep terrain throughout a lot of the province. As mentioned earlier a ton of vehicles travel throughout without issues. Key issues you must have ready for your vehicle.

>Properly maintained: brakes checked lately, engine coolant changed recently, transmission serviced recently, engine cleaned to keep heat properly dissipated...the list can get extensive

>What you will find in BC: passing lanes for slower vehicles to use(and please let people pass when you have a parade of vehicles behind you), rest stops for you and your vehicle, alternative routes, Okanagan(Okanagon=Washington state spelling) temperatures will probably reach high 90's to low 100's when you will be there(hence proper coolant as I have seen vehicles burnt due to overheated motors), lots of travelers starting the last week of June(kids out of school), narrow highways in places but very passable.

VERY good road site for you


Lots of info on road conditions, highway cameras at critical areas of the province, weather links, trip calculators.

I have a 28ft travel trailer that has seen the Rockies in Canada and the US many a time, vehicle issues..none to date.

Hope this helps, enjoy your vacation in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

You are using major thoroughfares that are heavily used by large trucks and RVs every year. While I have certainly seen vehicles pulled over to the side of the road (not that I've driven that way too often), I would expect that any significant problems on the main highway through the province that created issues for the provinces main source of income would have been re-engineered. If you were planning to head south from Revelstoke into the Kootenays along minor roads, then I might be more concerned, but your route keeps you to the main highways. Take your time. Pull over to give your RV a chance to cool down after a long climb or a steep decent and you should be just fine. Plenty of scenic reasons to stop along that route, so you'll have no shortage of temptations.

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4. Re: Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

Thank You to all for your replies and the useful website. I will be printing up this page. Thanks again and happy traveling to all.

5. Re: Need Advice about driving an RV thru Canadian Rockies

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