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Vancouver Island August 2013

Hastings, Minnesota
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29 posts
14 reviews
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Vancouver Island August 2013

We are planning to visit Vancouver Island in August and appreciate any advice or info anyone might have to share. We will be traveling from Minnesota to Kelowna BC to visit a cousin first and then the three of us will travel on to Vancouver from there. We will be using our 29' fifth wheel to stay in for the bulk of the trip. Would it be best to stay in a hotel on the island or pay the ferry fee for the fifth wheel and camp? The ferry fee on the BC Ferry website is just one-way, right? So it looks like it would be around $450. for ferry fees. Any suggestions for campgrounds, must see's, etc?

We have just started the planning for the trip...can't wait to see this beautiful area!

Rita

Ucluelet
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159 posts
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1. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

How many nights were you planning to spend on Vancouver Island? If only a couple of nights, I would ditch the 5th wheel and stay in motels/hotels. If more than 4 nights, you may enjoy having your camper. Comox Valley, Victoria, and Ucluelet/Tofino area are my favourites. I live in Ucluelet. I don't camp, but here's a link to campsites in our area:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154942-i477-k6066…

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Whether or not you take the 5th wheel will depend on how much time you are planning on the island. The ferry fare to Vancouver Island is one way, so you have to pay again for the return trip. If you are going for a couple of weeks, then its starts to be worth while with the savings in accommodations. If you are going for less than that, then you might just want to take the truck across and stay in motels/hotels. However, you might want to research those costs before you make a final decision. $150 - $200 a night is not unusual for the very popular destinations and resorts in places like Victoria and Tofino.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Your $450 one way fare calculation seems steep.

You will pay $15 per adult, $50 for a vehicle under 20 ft, then an additional $6 (rounded up for tax) per foot after that first 20 feet. I don't know how long your rig is altogether (29' trailer + tow vehicle), but I'm sure you're still only in the $150 to $200 range for your ferry fare. When we traveled with our tent trailer I think it was $136 one way for the vehicle (around 37' total I think) plus the four of us. A bit steep for a weekend trip, but quickly pays for itself if you are staying for a week or more.

bcferries.com/files/…BCF_Fares.pdf

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Oh, and your camping in the nice RV parks will run you around $50 to $60 per night. In unserviced sites in parks you will pay around $25 to $30 I believe.

Canada
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for Vancouver Island
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5. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

We have a 30' 5th wheel and total 50' with the truck. Our ferry cost one way was appx $260 including the two passengers. I agree with the other posts - if you are only on the Island a day or two then leave the 5th wheel someplace (but there will be a fee for that, and you will want to leave it someplace safe), but you really should spend at least a week on the Island and more if you have your own accomodation - in my opinion.

Provincial parks run about $20 - $25 per night with no hookups. Depending where you would travel and want to stay, the fees vary in RV parks. The Thunderbird RV park in Campbell River is very nice and right on the water where you can watch the cruisse ships go by. http://thunderbirdrvpark.com and $35 per night north side - it's better than the south side for $3 more per night. In Cowichan, the Osborne Bay RV Park is also nice and right on the water and also $35 per day. http://www.osbornebayresort.com/

The Quatse River Campground in Port Hardy is nice - especially if you get an open riverside site. Some of the sites are too shaded for my liking. There is a nice campground at Telegraph Cove as well. I am not familiar with the campgrounds in Tofino as we have not RVd there.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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6. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Hi wamram ~

Would you consider going into your profile and adding a general location? You have said MN in your post, but in general, it helps the destination folks on any forum get a sense of any cultural/geographic/regional differences that they might want to mention to help you out.

Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

http://www.islandrv.ca/index-2.html

This is just one company that rents trailers. You may consider using them to save you the ferry cost to bring yours over. I have no idea how much they charge though.

I know of a family that travels here every summer from Calgary. They actually drove south to Washington State and came to Victoria that way to avoid the cost of B. C. Ferries. They saved quite a bit of money. Of course, our ferries are much nicer!

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Not anymore Joan. The US ferries have upped their rates and their schedule is less frequent and the ferry is older. Not really much in it anymore.

Qualicum Beach...
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9. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

Hi Rita

Vancouver Island has an amazing variety of things to do, places to see and explore. I have found a really good resource for finding interesting and sometimes off the beaten track places to go is the VancouverIslandBeyondVictoria.com blog. There is so much more to the Island than Victoria and Tofino, which seem to be the the only places many people think of when discussing the Island. The Cowichan Valley is one of our favourites, especially with an abundance of wineries in the area. The Comox Valley is a foodie heaven with the most amazing farmer's market and probably one of the best restaurants on the island - Locals Restaurant in Courtenay. For something really different head north to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and take a whale watching trip on a sailboat or head over to Port Alberni and catch the MV Francis Barkley to Bamfield in July to take in the Bamfield Music Festival - a feast of International musicians gathered in this remotest community for 10 days, the beauty of Barkley Sound inspiring a burst of creativity that is hard to describe. If you can watch the sunset over Barkley Sound while listening to a Spanish guitar piece without becoming emotional then your heart was left behind in the city you came from. Last time I was in Bamfield the fishermen out of one of the fishing lodges were back at the dock after just three hours with their daily limit of salmon and halibut filled.

Did I mention the steam train trip out of Port Alberni up to the old MacLean Mill, a fully operative old style steam powered sawmill complete with old vehicles abandoned in the bush and a sawyer aged 80+ named "Soup" Campbell who goes snowboarding when the mill is closed in the winter. Take the road least trodden and you will find more to do, see and eat than you ever dreamed of. I came here for a vacation 30 years ago and have lived here for six years and still have so much to discover. The website I mentioned is a good starting point to find what you can do here. Good luck and enjoy your vacation but do try to get off the beaten track and explore places other than the "old faithfuls" - Victoria and Tofino.

10. Re: Vancouver Island August 2013

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Removed on: 11 February 2013, 17:24