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Old 01-23-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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2006 28' Safari SE
Santa Barbara , California
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Need info about cable tv in Canada

Hello out there...
We are planning our first big trip in our airstream...coming to Vancouver Island fro Santa Barbara, CA this April thru June. Wondering what the cable TV situation is up there and also what GPS system people have used to roam about. We have a 28' safari and are very excited about this trip. Any info will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much!

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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If you already have cable in your trailer and a GPS, they will work exactly as they do in the USA.

While on the Island, be sure to drop in on the Hell's Angels National Headquarters in Burnaby, BC (just kidding of course. Their HQ isn't open for visiting.)

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Old 01-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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A GPS will work anywhere as long as there is sky above. What maps are installed are up to the manufacturer. Most Garmin nuvi models sold in the US come with detailed maps for North America but a few models omit detailed maps for Canada and Alaska. A check of the website for your make/model should indicate what map sets are included. Or use your GPS to create a route to Calgary, then zoom in on the destination and see if all the streets are shown or only the major roads.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:08 AM   #4
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Google Maps is also a good source for routing. Although not set up for a finite address it will show pics of intersections to turn at and so on.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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What you really need to be aware of is your phone usage. The roaming charges are very high so check with your provider before you make a call. This also applies to your personal computer should you bring one.

We went to Kelowna for just a few days and used my iPad to do some searching and look at some maps. When I returned home my bill was about double what it is normally. When at the AT&T store I mentioned this to one of the salesmen and he asked me how high? I only pay $58 a month normally and this one was about $100. I wasn't complaining, just telling this guy that I had learned my lesson. He said that he has seen bills in the $600 range from folks vacationing in Canada.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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I'm on my way into Canadia even as we speak. First stop will be to get Rogers SIMS for the iPhone and iPad. I'll be doing a lot of going in and out of Canada now, so I figure having the SIMs will be worth it. Can't believe they're charging that much for the SIM though - I'm so spoiled by PAYG in the UK now. But at least Canada HAS PAYG - we're so not consumer driven in the US.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Check the leads on this thread.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
I'm on my way into Canadia even as we speak. First stop will be to get Rogers SIMS for the iPhone and iPad. I'll be doing a lot of going in and out of Canada now, so I figure having the SIMs will be worth it. Can't believe they're charging that much for the SIM though - I'm so spoiled by PAYG in the UK now. But at least Canada HAS PAYG - we're so not consumer driven in the US.
I use my cell phone so rarely that I use PAYG too. It works well for me since Henri the Airstream and I are in the same calling area. When I'm out of the area (but still in Canada) I can use my Bell Calling Card on my cell. This hooks me into the plan I have at home, which gives me a good amount of free LD time to all of Canada and the US.

Thankfully I have that card, because when I step out of my "local calling area" and forget to use it, the LD charges are, shall we say, "interesting"?

I'm on Rogers too. Don't know how it works out in Western Canada, but here in the East, Rogers seems to have better coverage wherever I happen to go. However, I understand that Telus dominates in the West.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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The SIM is overpriced for sure but a better option then receiving a roaming bill at the end of the month. A friend of ours got a $1000 bill when returning from a trip in the US...that was only a couple weeks! You can also check with your provider for a out of country package. We used this option in Hawaii and it was great. Also, like Aage mentioned, a calling card is also the cheapest way to go if you are only checking in with family etc and are typically not tied to your phone.

Out west you get good coverage with both Rogers and Telus. A lot of the mountain passes will have no service - cell or GPS. If you're planning on visiting the west coast of the island be prepared to have no reception for hours.

A few not to miss island highlights are Victoria, Goat on a roof, and Tofino. Give us a shout if you have any questions about the island at all!
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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I have checked the data plans for an iPad2 through Verizon in Canada and the rates are very, very high. I understand it is possible to get a non-Verizon Canadian plan for the time you are in Canada to save money, but really know nothing about that and that may not work on an iPad, only on a cellphone.

For cellphones, Verizon has a US and Canada plan to save roaming fees and it is much more reasonable. A decade ago, cell service was very poor in northern Canada and Alaska, but by 2010, it was much, much better.

Many campgrounds in remote areas have wifi—it is often satellite and costs them a lot, so as a courtesy is a good idea not to download movies and play games on the internet when there. These remote campgrounds often have better wifi than in the US and a higher percentage of them have it.

If you use GPS on an iPad with a data plan, you may well be getting big bills in Canada.

We have used an ATT phone card in Canada, but found the charges were six times as much as in the US and so we stopped doing that a long time ago.

I expect these companies rip off Americans in Canada because they can get away with it and people on vacation will spend more because it is a vacation.

Also, pay as you go plans sometimes do not cover roaming charges and the money goes very fast that way. Pay as you go also may not connect to other companies, so you are not endangered by roaming fees, but do get coverage in some areas, especially in the west.

Our cellphone worked well in western and northwestern Canada, but I don't know about the rest of the country where Rogers rules. In the past, Rogers would not work with anyone else and large areas were dead to everyone who had other companies.

Back in time there was one phone company. It was regulated so that just about everyone could afford service. Service was good and was simple to understand. Now we have a myriad of companies, hardly any regulation, high costs and confusion abounds. Even farther back in time—a century plus, some cities had two phone companies and businesses had to have a phone from each because the two systems weren't connected. All the options make us think we have advanced, but in some ways we have gone backward.

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Old 01-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #11
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Hi Gene,
Welcome soon to Canada. Can you not get a magic jack for your computer? It is really cheap and pretty much available anywhere. I have a friend who has it and loves it. $19.95 or something per year.
I have a personal wifi transmitter (called a MiFi) from Rogers Wireless so I can go out into the boonies (anywhere within 5mi. of a cell phone tower) and still have internet. It works on the 3G network. Technically I live in the boonies (ie. 2km outside of the city limits of our CAPITAL city) so no cable or high speed. The only way I can get internet is with the dreaded dial-up, the MiFi or spend big bucks on a satellite setup like Xplornet but then I can't travel. I had a Rocket stick, actually two, but they both kept heating up and didn't have the juice to penetrate my extremely insulated house walls.

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