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Old 07-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Duluth to Vancouver via Trans Canada highway

We're thinking of taking our Safari 25 to Vancouver via the transCanadian highway in mid-August. What's the road like over the Rockies? Anyone done this recently?

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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The TCH #1 or #16, to Vancouver is not problem. Some of it is still two lane. What time frame are you traveling, as its hot on the prairies at this point. Start early and stop early to avoid driving into the evening sun.

A nice overnight stop is at Virden Manitoba, at the Lions Campground here.
http://goo.gl/maps/j7LZ


Have a great trip.

Dave

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We're thinking of taking our Safari 25 to Vancouver via the transCanadian highway in mid-August. What's the road like over the Rockies? Anyone done this recently?

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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Eck', I see you have a Ford 150. That could mean different engines, rear ends, transmissions, tow package and heavy duty packages, all of which will affect how the truck tows over mountains. However, I don't see a lot of complaints about 150's of all types being a problem towing over the Rockies.

First, Duluth was hit by bad floods a couple of weeks ago with much road damage. Check that out before you go there.

If you go to Calgary, I recall the ascent to Banff and Lake Louise areas are pretty gentle, 4 lane highway, from the east. Going down the west side is steep and you'll need to brake a lot and downshift. We haven't ascended the east side to Jasper, but the west side is also steep. There are other routes, but we have no experience with them. The TCH actually is two different highways, 1 and 16.

It will be hot in the prairie provinces. From Duluth you can go NW to International Falls and cross the border there and drive along the shore of Lake of the Woods to pick up the TCH. Or, follow the Lake Superior coast to Thunder Bay, Ont., and then head west. Either way is scenic, although I like the route along Lake Superior. Not too long after you enter Manitoba, you will see your last naturally growing tree for a long time. Quick, easy route west to Calgary or the northern route.

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Calgary and the surrounding area can get some pretty fierce thunder/hail storms this time of year.

My friend was stuck to the jetway at Calgary International yesterday while hail the size of golf balls pelted the aircraft. Flight was delayed so they could inspect for damage. If they're worried about hail damaging a Boeing 737, imagine the number it could do to an Airstream.

Rogers Pass is very scenic. You can take the Coquihalla/Fraser Canyon/or Hope-Princeton into Vancouver. I like the Fraser Canyon route. It's not very busy since they took the tolls off the Coquihalla.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #5
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We've done the Trans Can many times, all the way to Nova Scotia. It's a great cruise. If you can, put the trip off for a while, so as to leave eastbound in late Sept./ early to mid Oct. The fall colors are incredible that time of year! My tip-off, when west in the Rockies, is to head east when the aspens turn in the high country.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Beautiful drive... made by 1000's of RV's a week... drive it all the time and you just want to make sure your rig is in good shape and your trailer brakes are setup well... just like anytime you are towing in the hills. Coming down into Revelstoke and Golden are long grades... easy, but long...
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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I remember traveling west out of Banff to I think it is Golden. Isn't that the route the railroad took? Where the trains actually cross over themselves by going into tunnels in the mountains. With the steep grade they actually had to daisy chain the tracks down the mountain.
Good advice not to drive into the afternoon sun across the prairie. And there is a lot of it from Manitoba thru Eastern Alberta.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
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We drive to Vancouver from southeastern BC several times per year, and can also vouch for the southern route on HY 3. You leave HY 1 at Hope, BC, then head through Princeton, Osoyoos, Grand Forks, Castlegar, Cranbrook BC and then over the front range of the Rockies, and then you hook up with HY 1 again near Medicine Hat, AB. Unless you have a particular reason to go through Calgary, we would avoid it due to traffic congestion. The southern route takes you through the Okanagon wine country and very close to Waterton Lakes NP.

There are some passes to contend with, most notably just east of Osoyoos, and the Kootenay and Crowsnest passes, but millions of RVs cross them safely, and the scenery is super.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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One of my favourite boondocking campsites is on Hwy 3. Bromley Rock.
Bromley Rock Provincial Park, Similkameen River Swimming Hole, Beach and Pool, Inner Tubing
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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We always get to Calgary during rush hour and it is monumental. Last time we compounded it by going through during the Calgary Stampede. They keep building new expressways, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. We've been doing the same thing in the US for decades and it doesn't help here either.

You will survive it, but you will never be the same. This makes it hard for me to appreciate that Calgary is a nice city, and it is. We stayed there for a day in 2006 and it was good. Usually we are driving through. Plan your route carefully because we found signs to be lacking and it was easy to miss turns. Maybe we don't understand Canadian sign language.

We've been living in the boonies so long big city congestion is frustrating. Others may have different experiences and past performance is no indicator of future events.

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Old 07-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
One of my favourite boondocking campsites is on Hwy 3. Bromley Rock.
Bromley Rock Provincial Park, Similkameen River Swimming Hole, Beach and Pool, Inner Tubing
Thanks for the tip! We've driven by it but not stopped in, and it really looks inviting.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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I agree with pretty much everything posted in response to your questions - and would add an additional attraction that is a bit off your route - but not a lot - and is well worth your time if you can take a day and night to enjoy it ....

The International Peace Gardens sits directly on the Canada/US and North Dakota/Manitoba Borders:

International Peace Garden United States and Canada

I have never seen reference to this posted in AirForums before - perhaps this is because it is a little awkwardly placed for most major routes - but this (the Gardens and the Peace exhibits) can be described as nothing less than spectacular. The park is located directly on the Border between the U.S. and Canada Border Crossings - and it has a very nice campground - which - if you are to do the gardens justice - you will need for at least one night.

If you have never seen them - and will never get the opportunity to see them in the future - then I promise you that the time you take to see them on this trip will be well spent.

Have a great trip - and if you do get to see them - then tell us about your visit.


Jay
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