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Old 06-30-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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British Columbia Tips for Visitors.

Everyone at some time will visit this Province as a destination, or passing through to travel the Alaska Highway.
This is an updated info site for information on RV travel in Beautiful British Columbia.

British Columbia - Driving in BC

The information includes towing/braking, insurance, and other good information.

Not all rest areas have RV sani-dumps, but many Canadian Tire Stores and Co-op outlets have free sani-dumps with water.
Happy Holidays
Dave
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info.

This canuck did not know about the Canadian Tie/Co-op sani-dumps - heck, I'm even a Co-op member.

I hope our fellow Airstreamers will discover the wonders of our province.

Here is a photo from the Porteau Cove campsite, north of Vancouver along the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

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Old 06-30-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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British Columbia RV Info

There are so many places to boomdock here in the west, that we only CG when we need services or are meeting someone that is not familiar with the area.
You have a dump at the rest stop going east on #1 at Cole Rd, just east of Abbotsford. No water there.
Canadian Tire that I have used, Courtenay, Dawson Creek, both have water. Easy access and lots of room.
Not all CanTire stores are equipped. Depends on local bylaws. Eastern Ontario now have them at many of their new stores.
It would be nice if they put out a RM map like Wallyworld with the info on the back.

Dave
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:56 AM   #4
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Now I learned something while reading the info from BC. All motorcycle riders / passengers must wear a helmet in BC unless you are a Sikh and wear a turban. They even cite the length of the material that forms the turban. I guess they figure it provides adaquate padding in case of a collision. Go figure.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:02 AM   #5
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Abuse

Then there are those who abuse what is there free for your convienence.

CLOSED

Location: Canadian Tire (Millwoods)

Address:2331 66th Street
Edmonton, Alberta, CDN, T0B
Driving Directions:
Notes:reported 2008-06-23 this location has been shut down permently do to abuse
Water Available:
Season / Operational:
Dump Station User Fee: Free




Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
There are so many places to boomdock here in the west, that we only CG when we need services or are meeting someone that is not familiar with the area.
You have a dump at the rest stop going east on #1 at Cole Rd, just east of Abbotsford. No water there.
Canadian Tire that I have used, Courtenay, Dawson Creek, both have water. Easy access and lots of room.
Not all CanTire stores are equipped. Depends on local bylaws. Eastern Ontario now have them at many of their new stores.
It would be nice if they put out a RM map like Wallyworld with the info on the back.

Dave
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
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Make sure your cooling and braking systems are in top condition because while the hills are not any steeper than other places, they are a lot longer (as in miles longer) and a lot more frequent. It's worth the trip though, BC has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world............Phil
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgr32e View Post
Make sure your cooling and braking systems are in top condition because while the hills are not any steeper than other places, they are a lot longer (as in miles longer) and a lot more frequent. It's worth the trip though, BC has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world............Phil
Boy, you've got that right.

For those travelling from Vancouver to the interior of the province, there are two routes. The Fraser Canyon and Coquihalla Highway. The Coquihalla Highway is two-hours shorter, but there are some pretty long pulls uphill. Not impossible, as long as your TV is in good shape. The Coq summit is 1,244 m (4,081 ft).

The Fraser Highway has one main pull at Jackass Mtn. (6581 feet).

Going downhill is another thing, but there are lots of runaway lanes.....just in case.





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Old 07-25-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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A tip for those travelling into British Columbia through the truck crossing near Blaine on #543 off off I-5.
49.001928,-122.735353 - Google Maps

If you want to use the tax duty free outlet, there is lots of parking in their lot. Do not follow the trucks. Do not park in picture #2. The tax free outlet entrance is just beyond the truck turnoff to the right in picture #3.
If not using the duty free outlet, stay in the left lane for passenger vehicles which includes all RV's including motorhomes.
The signage is not that great and you don't want to get into the actual truck lane. If you enter the duty free lot, don't go out the other side into the truck lineup, but return out where you entered to the passenger lane.
We found the many border crossings had no standard when it comes to signage. Rule is to stay in the passenger lane but watch for height restrictions as some lanes will not take large trailers or motorhomes. A few actually have an RV lane.
Dave
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for starting this thread. If all goes as planned, we'll be pulling an Airstream from Anchorage to Seattle, starting the last week of August into the second week of September. We haven't planned the route yet (other than 'just heading south'), so this information and pictures will be a great resource.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #10
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Of all the border crossings in the last few years, we had no trouble until this June at Hill Island
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=44.3484...num=1&t=h&z=12
entering the USA . NY state border patrol were extremly rude, and we were not allowed back in the motorhome until cleared.
They put us and the unit through the xray building and then proceeded to search the complete unit with the dog, (blood all over the counter, leather couch, and God knows where else.) I assume the dog had a cut on the paw or jaw. We were so happy to get out of there after being released 2 hours later, that we did not notice the blood until our first rest stop.
Because of this holdup, we missed the hockey #6 game on the TV.
When we exited the Xray building, I heard the message on the radio to look above the kitchen cabinet area. I had stored my new label maker up there and I guess it showed up as a DANGEROUS WEAPON!
If you have a choice, I would say, avoid NY state border entry, especially at this location.
Dave
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:54 PM   #11
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I have recently learned that you need a special endorsement on your B.C. driver's licene if your trailer is over 4,600 kg or 10,140 pounds.

I am curious about those visiting B.C. with a trailer over this weight if they are coming from a province/state that does not require this endorsement.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #12
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We just returned from rescuing a trailer from Alaska and we used the BC/US crossing at Abbotsford/Sumas following the recommendations from PBEAR SAILER and a woman we met at a campground who was from Vancouver. It was an easy crossing, customs agents polite, and very little traffic. There was an RV lane which we used, three automobile lanes and one truck lane. The most vehicles we saw in line was three. It helps to have your passports in hand and know the license number of your Aistream.

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Old 07-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Of all the border crossings in the last few years, we had no trouble until this June at Hill Island ...
...entering the USA . NY state border patrol were extremly rude, and we were not allowed back in the motorhome until cleared.
They put us and the unit through the xray building and then proceeded to search the complete unit with the dog, ...
Dave

Got a similar treatment at that same crossing a couple of years ago (everything but the dog). I think I angered the border crossing gods by inadvertently going about 9 inches past the stop sign. After he yelled at me, I was sent to the X-Ray Building.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #14
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Last week we crossed from New Brunswick, Canada to Calais, Maine. The border guards were very nice and it was an easy crossing but they asked to enter our AS to check. They were in there several minutes and came out with 2 lemons from our refridgerator. For some reason they are very strict about citrus fruit entering US from Canada. Go figure. These lemons had come from home and traveled into Canada with us but were not allowed back into the US. Could it be that they did not have a passport ????? Still it was an easy crossing. We've never had a delay or any problems crossing to / from Canada.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #15
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What will we have for lunch?

Sometimes I think it depends on what the inspectors want for lunch!
In your case they probably wanted lemon for their pan fried fish that they got off a traveler previous to you.


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Last week we crossed from New Brunswick, Canada to Calais, Maine. The border guards were very nice and it was an easy crossing but they asked to enter our AS to check. They were in there several minutes and came out with 2 lemons from our refridgerator. For some reason they are very strict about citrus fruit entering US from Canada. Go figure. These lemons had come from home and traveled into Canada with us but were not allowed back into the US. Could it be that they did not have a passport ????? Still it was an easy crossing. We've never had a delay or any problems crossing to / from Canada.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:37 PM   #16
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BC is a place we have been to many times and it is a great place to visit, as is just about any part of Canada except one province where English is nearly prohibited (the people are nice there though).

Rant begins:

The fruit problem with US customs is crazy. We have been in Canada about 8 or 9 of the last 11 years, and in 2010 we found that the US Fruit Police had taken over Homeland Security. For some fruit (who knows from time to time which fruit?) if it doesn't have a US label or a label from certain countries (I think Chile is ok) they will steal ("confiscate") the fruit. They miss a lot because our fridge is usually so packed they can't find everything. I trust Canada to be just as careful about fruit imports as the US, and maybe more so. The fruit in Canadian stores looks better than the fruit is US stores.

With 4 border crossings, the fruit police stopped us twice in 2010 and went through the trailer. Not too many years ago, they let you watch them inside, but no longer. Who knows what they are doing with your property? The bloody paws story in post #10 shows contempt for visitors, but they treat US citizens just as badly. Court decisions and recent laws have eliminated almost all 4th amendment constitutional rights at the border and 100 miles in from it. I am not saying all liberty has been eliminated as some do, but I am saying they can do just about anything they want at the border. Fear has been used to create this situation. Since the border agents have to prove they are doing something, fruit has become a priority. It is a typical case of picking on something inconsequential because they don't know what they are doing. It is like running speed traps rather than helping people or looking for bad drivers; it is so much easier to sit in a car with a speed gun.

Canadian border agents are friendly and we have had only one stop in scores of crossings since 2000. That was inexplicable (no trailer then) and they wanted to look at our ID's (before passport time) and run it through the computers. The guy inside told us it was because we said we were going to Alaska and down-and-outers go there—he was joking, I think, because we had a brand new 4Runner and my wife looks normal (oh, maybe it was me). The agent that sent us inside seemed to be new, uncertain of herself and trying to show she was extra careful. So I think part of the problem is new hires on both sides who feel they have to be tough and push people around a bit. In the past few years there have been thousands of new hires on the US side. They don't even know how to say "hello", "how are you" or "welcome home".

When we entered the US in past years they asked us if we had bought anything and how much. Customs has always been pretty easy going, but some people go over the limits and duties have to be paid. In 2010, no one asked us about what we had bought except for fruit. I imagine a lot of stuff gets in without paying duties. Customs and immigration have been merged into one agency and the immigration agents' attitude (bad, very bad) has been adopted as the standard.

I think the result of this is that travel between the US and Canada has been affected negatively. On our last trip, as we approached a US border station, we wondered what we would be put through that time. We heard stories from other travelers that were similar. Who wants to go through this? It is sad that fear and distrust of our neighbors has led to this and the US attitude only makes it worse.

I hope Canadians keep coming here because the border agents are not typical of the rest of us and I would eat your fruit. Rant completed.

Yes, BC is nice.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:15 PM   #17
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British Columbia Video Information

Plan your route now while you have time to research where you might want to go.
This site, among many others, might be of interest to those heading to the NW.

Travel Videos of British Columbia


and many more.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Thanks for starting this thread. If all goes as planned, we'll be pulling an Airstream from Anchorage to Seattle, starting the last week of August into the second week of September. ...
Dave-We completed the Anchorage to Seattle trip. Thanks again for the link in the original post, it was a wealth of information. In fact, we used much of the information found here. Other than one small glitch (a transfer case that slipped out of gear, putting the TV into neutral, and plummeting down on long, steep downward grades. In retrospect, not that small.), it was an amazing journey. The border crossings were quick and uneventful.

Fly at Night was spot on about the hills in Fraser Canyon. Fortunately, we had the TV repaired before we got there. I now have a profound respect for Hensley hitches. Some of the sights there were unlike anything we've ever seen.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #19
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Brake Check

If you have lived in the flat lands of major river drainage areas of central North America, you need to rethink your driving strategy before heading into the Rocky, Monashee, and other mountain ranges of the west.
, .
This type of sign is posted at the "MANDATORY TRUCK BRAKE CHECK" pull-outs on mountain passes.

Why would you stop there if you are pulling a travel tailer????
Well, if that brake controller wire does not have a good connection, I will guarantee that you will wish you had stopped and taken the time to ensure all systems were working as they are designed.
BC09k59 Trans-Canada Slow Highway, Golden BC 2009 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The height of the pass has little bearing on the grade % one might encounter or the sharpness of that corner at the bottom of that grade.

On those sharp corners, many times there are no dividers to separate the traffic, so always be alert for the other tourist that has misjudged his speed and is unable to stay in his own lane.

This is all beautiful country to look at, but remember, your driving is #1. Let your partner take the pictures.

Dave
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #20
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Border Patrol Fruit Sniffing Cat

I posted this a while ago in another thread but could not resist doing it again.
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