View Full Version : BC Canada

24-06-2014, 21:57
Does anyone have any recent experience of camping in British Columbia? We are off there at the end of August and will be hiring a small RV (about the size of our PVC) for 3 weeks. Each time I look something up I find more costs! To camp in a national or provincial park: Park entrance fee & campsite fee, then extra for chemical disposal, EHU, firewood, fishing, etc etc. From what I can gather Private sites are even more expensive. Need to find some of the cheaper sites (but they don't have facilities) and know where we can boondock (wildcamp). Our son lives over there but he has a pick-up type truck, and spends most of the time on the logging tracks heading for places to snowboard and climb. We are not allowed to use these roads with the hired van.
We have a plan, although like here we will go where the weather is best, and intend to spend time on the coast and Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Valley, and the Rockies and their foothills. Roughly 3,500 Km in total.
Any suggestions of free/cheap legal places to camp - general or specific - would be most welcome.

Tony Lee
24-06-2014, 22:29
We drove up and back through BC on our trip to Alaska a couple of years ago.

As far as I could figure out, boondocking was/is illegal throughout BC, and even the gravel dumps and quarries were chained and posted no trespassing - but regardless, we always overnighted outside of any organised campgrounds (included a couple of Walmarts though) and had no problems with anyone in authority. You will be travelling almost out of season so less likely to strike problems if you boondock.

We never pay for dump points and water - well, VERY rarely anyway. There are US web sites with lists of paid and free US and Canada dump points by state. BC has dozens of free facilities and a heap more at under $5. All campgrounds would have dump points and it is rare that paying customers get charged for using them

There are also sites with lists of free or very low cost boondocking spots and they have places in Canada as well. One I use shows about 30 free sites in BC.

Your main problem will be most US hire RVs really aren't set up for boondocking, especially if you need to run the furnace much because they have small batteries and power hungry appliances - eg furnace fan draws up to 8 amps. Many have generators which cost extra if you actually use them, but smaller vans may not even have that luxury.

Yes, Canada is an expensive place, but I guess you would be used to coping with that.

25-06-2014, 06:59
A couple of years ago we had a 3 week RV trip in America and Canada.

We flew into Seattle where we have family and spent a few days with them before embarking on our trip. We hired a small A Class (31foot) from Seattle and drove over the Cascades and up through Dry Falls and into Canada. Whilst in Canada we went to Banff, Jasper, Hope, Kamloops, Whistler, Vancouver etc.

We stayed on campsites all but one night. The prices ranged from $10 to $40 per night if memory serves me right. We booked into a few campsites in the more popular places such as Banff and Jasper the rest we just turned up, this was the end of May beginning of June. There was loads of places where you could possibly pull over and wild camp but we were not looking for those. The water and waste tanks are massive on the RV's meaning you could in theory go quite some time without needing any services.

Canada is a vast place with many small unpaved routes that we were prohibited from using by the RV hire company. Looking on the maps these would most likely give the best wild camping sites.

One thing I do clearly remember is how expensive it was to hire the RV. The whole trip including flights cost us 8,500, however, it was by far the best holiday we have had. We did Texas last year for two weeks and loved that as well. We are looking into the possibility of buying an RV in either America or Canada but that is the topic for another thread.

25-06-2014, 10:14
We did it about 13 years a go, what a fabulous time.

Used mainly forestry basic sites except Whistler, Jasper and Banff.

One thing to remember, facilities like supermarkets are few and far between, so stock up when you get the MH and keep replenishing. Some general stores had almost barren shelves!!

Met some great people en-route, but it is a massive country with long distances between civilisations ( "just down there" in Canadian talk can be 15-20 miles!!)

Would love to go back

25-06-2014, 10:37
We did it about 9 yrs ago, we don't remember the "extras" mentioned by the OP.
I think we paid a few dollars for logs for the fire pit on one or two occasions but that was about it.
In most of the forestry camp grounds they operated on an honesty box system just in case the warden did'nt put in an appearance.
We paid nothing extra for emptying our tanks & refilling with water at any campgrounds.
We did no wilding as we didn't have a van back home at that time & wasn't even aware of the possibility !
It was certainly what turned us on to motorhoming and to this date it's still our most memorable adventure.
You'll love Vancouver Island, we stayed on a site near Tofino & cycled in. Wonderful!!! In fact Joanne's just got the photo album of this trip out & we want to do it all again now. I just loved driving that RV with its 4.5 litre Ford V 10 engine:cool:
Mind you it was two dollars to the pound back then so it all seem'd quite affordable.
You must go:have fun::have fun::have fun:

25-06-2014, 16:05
[QUOTE=bluejet;433863 Wonderful!!! In fact Joanne's just got the photo album of this trip out & we want to do it all again now. :[/QUOTE]

I have done the exact same thing today. I had actually forgotten how stunning it was.

25-06-2014, 20:55
Thanks, guys. I am amazed at the response to my post, and that I have obviously sparked some very happy memories. Lots of useful thoughts and suggestions and I'd love to see some more pictures if anyone can be bothered to post them, particularly of the areas we will be going and campsites or boondocking spots.

We have been in Vancouver and Victoria before - but we were on business there, and the only time we had off was a wet weekend on the island. It might as well have been the West Coast of Scotland.

Will stock up in Vancouver - or possibly start off by going into Washington State where things are cheaper, to stock up. We will be in WA after our BC trip and have a week booked (self catering) on the coast (Birch Bay) and one in the Cascades (Lake Chelan), so any general information on WA would be great, Topher.

Tony Lee, do you have the websites you mentioned for disposal and boondocking. I have had a quick look, but haven't found anything yet.

Another question - What is the best way to get wifi. Was thinking of a local sim card, but our son (who lives out there) said it would be seriously expensive. Any thoughts?