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Old 01-25-2015, 01:14 PM   #15
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Are reservations generally necessary in July? Our idea is to make a few reservations at special RV parks, but to generally go from day to day to keep flexible. Is this reasonable? Thank you. Jack and Kay
We did end up going to NS, PEI & NB this past summer from mid-July to mid-September and found that virtually every campground had plenty of availability. I think that the economy in Canada (and the price of gas last summer @ nearly $6/gallon (Can$)) kept a lot of people home. We even felt sorry for some of the campground owners. This year the price of gas should be lower but the Canadian economy is not recovering as fast as in the US (and of course, low oil prices are not helping them) so I would think that the reservation situation should be similar to last summer. I would make reservations only at a "must stay" campground during a holiday weekend. Remember that Canadian holidays don't always track with US ones.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:02 PM   #16
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Walt is correct about the cell coverage. A mapping system that has the data built in is essential if you wish to rely on GPS navigation, otherwise it's back to paper.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #17
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We did end up going to NS, PEI & NB this past summer from mid-July to mid-September and found that virtually every campground had plenty of availability. I think that the economy in Canada (and the price of gas last summer @ nearly $6/gallon (Can$)) kept a lot of people home. We even felt sorry for some of the campground owners. This year the price of gas should be lower but the Canadian economy is not recovering as fast as in the US (and of course, low oil prices are not helping them) so I would think that the reservation situation should be similar to last summer. I would make reservations only at a "must stay" campground during a holiday weekend. Remember that Canadian holidays don't always track with US ones.
Last time I looked, I.e this morning, the economy was doing just fine and gas is down to 85 cents a litre in places. Camp grounds in Ontario are already booked solid for the long weekends in spring. I'd book.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:08 PM   #18
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I go to Atlantic Canada two or three times a year and have never experienced the issues that Walt found. The highways are excellent, including going to Cape Breton, (down with the causeway), other than the road to Meat Cove, my GPS (Garmin) worked just fine as did the one in my Jeep but I keep them up to date, and I have not experienced a lack of cell coverage. (Telus) The access to fuel, including diesel, is the same as the rest of Canada which is the same as the US, except diesel is more readily available in Canada. Fuel is way more expensive but we do have an $.82 dollar these days. There are no issues on trying to find a campground except on long weekends, but most campgrounds save a few spots for those of us that don't plan. This summer may be different due to the dollar. I do reserve at Shubie when in Halifax. In short, if you just travel like you normally travel, everything should turn out like your normal trip! Jim


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Old 01-25-2015, 03:17 PM   #19
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Last time I looked, I.e this morning, the economy was doing just fine and gas is down to 85 cents a litre in places. Camp grounds in Ontario are already booked solid for the long weekends in spring. I'd book.
While perhaps not clear, my comment regarding ample camping opportunities in Canada and not needing reservations pertained to the Maritime Provinces. That part of Canada is fairly far from major US and Canadian population centers and makes a "short trip" that fits in the typical working family's schedule too much of a stretch. As a result, that part of Canada just doesn't draw the volume of campers that areas closer to major population centers do.

I'm glad to learn that gas in Canada is now down to $0.85 a liter. It was about $1.50 last year.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:24 PM   #20
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On Friday the Canadian dollar dropped more than 4 US to about 75.5 US. Canada exports a lot of commodities and they have dropped a lot—it is more than oil; other minerals also. But it isn't only Canada's dollar, the US dollar has continued to rise against major currencies. It is cheaper to travel to Canada than it has been in a decade and I hope this lasts for a while.

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Old 01-25-2015, 03:31 PM   #21
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The ONLY downside we found to traveling in Canada vs. the U.S. was the lack of nearly ubiquitous internet access for ourselves via our phones or hotspot. Our Verizon phones were on a plan that gave us unlimited text and 1,000 minutes per month of phone usage while in Canada (and Mexico) but no internet. Consequently, we missed the easy access to internet coverage from the car to, for example, use Allstays to find a campground. That meant that we had to get our internet research done at a campground before we left (we actually found that most CG's in the Maritimes had pretty good internet coverage) or go to a Tim Hortons, McDonalds or other similar establishment to use their wifi. We were surprised (shocked?) at how dependent we have become on our ubiquitous internet access through out the U.S. and how much we missed it! This was very frustrating because we knew that pretty much everywhere our phones had 3G and LTE coverage (which was most everywhere) there was wonderful internet bandwidth that we could not access without paying an arm and a leg for it.

This is not a technology issue but rather a billing or corporate policy issue. I wish that there was a reasonably priced internet plan for short-term cross-border travelers as there is for phone and text. Our Canadian friends find the same situation when they travel in the U.S.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:09 AM   #22
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This is not a technology issue but rather a billing or corporate policy issue. I wish that there was a reasonably priced internet plan for short-term cross-border travelers as there is for phone and text. Our Canadian friends find the same situation when they travel in the U.S.
Yes sad but true. We Canadians have the same issues. I took out a 100GB add on to my plan last October and used it up in 3 days! After that I just turned the phone off and went old school.. That is where it helps that you did your homework ahead of time and have directions and maps printed out. It might cost a couple of trees, but there is nothing more aggravating than being lost. And when out east the name stay WiFi places a far and few between. If you're in Quebec you have the additional language barrier, which is frustrating enough. Also, I am not aware of any government run parks that have WiFi. And those at most camp grounds are so poor that they are virtually useless (that goes for both sides of the border).
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:50 AM   #23
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Also, I am not aware of any government run parks that have WiFi. And those at most camp grounds are so poor that they are virtually useless (that goes for both sides of the border).
You are correct about the government run parks in Canada (and the U.S. as well) generally not having wifi, although Fundy NP did have wifi by the camp office if you didn't mind huddling around an outside picnic table with the other addicts. For a variety of unimportant reasons, we stayed mostly in private CG's while in the Maritimes last summer and found that most of them did have pretty good wifi. In the U.S. we have our Verizon mifi hotspot that works very well unless we are really "out there."
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #24
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Cell Phones in Nova Scotia and PEI

What is the most reasonable way to obtain a cell phone in NS and PEI ? Our US plan is not a good option due to cost. Thank you. Jack
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:11 PM   #25
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Bob, we have the successor to mifi, though I think it is the same thing with a different name (and quite expensive)—a box that is really a cell phone for data only and it sends out a wifi signal to our laptops and iPad so we can access the internet anywhere Verizon has cell towers or an agreement with another company.

Does that work in Canada? How much more does Verizon soak you for that? Over the last 15 years, cellphone coverage in Canada and Alaska has increased substantially and our cellphone worked better each time we went north. Canadian campground in the far north mostly had better wifi than many campgrounds in the US. But we didn't have the Verizon data system yet, so I don't know how well it works in Canada.

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Old 01-26-2015, 05:15 PM   #26
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Bob,

Things seemed to have changed a lot in the cross border telecommunication fileld since I had all the trouble the winter of 2011 in your country. ( AT&T would not accept payment from a Canadian based credit card for an iPad plan)

Now 30 day 'pay as you go' type plans are available in both countries.

I bought one in Fargo, N.D. last October and another one in Erie, PA in December from AT&T.

In Canada you could have purchased a 30 day iPad plan from BELL for $15/20/35/45, depending on how many GB you want.

30-Day Pass for iPad & iPad mini from Bell Mobility

From ATT I bought the basic $30 plan that they offer. It was more than enough coverage. The only place I found NO SERVICE was occasionally in remote Virginian Appalachia.

There might be some spotty coverage in Eastern Canada as well, but not along the main highways.

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Old 01-26-2015, 05:46 PM   #27
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Bob,

Things seemed to have changed a lot in the cross border telecommunication fileld since I had all the trouble the winter of 2011 in your country. ( AT&T would not accept payment from a Canadian based credit card for an iPad plan)

Now 30 day 'pay as you go' type plans are available in both countries.

I bought one in Fargo, N.D. last October and another one in Erie, PA in December from AT&T.

In Canada you could have purchased a 30 day iPad plan from BELL for $15/20/35/45, depending on how many GB you want.

30-Day Pass for iPad & iPad mini from Bell Mobility

From ATT I bought the basic $30 plan that they offer. It was more than enough coverage. The only place I found NO SERVICE was occasionally in remote Virginian Appalachia.

There might be some spotty coverage in Eastern Canada as well, but not along the main highways.

Sergei
Thanks, Sergei! I'll give Bell Canada a call next time we plan to be over the border.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:19 PM   #28
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We were on PEI, Cape Breton, and Fundy in September. We did reserve ahead. On PEI we stayed at a very nice campground right on the Gulf of St.Lawrence in Darley. The campground had several kilometers of very nice beach associated with it. We swam and paddled kayaks directly from the campground. Interestingly the CG seems to place all Airstreams in one location. It was really fun to meet others and get ideas of places to visit. The fort in Louisburg, NS was not on our itinerary but we made a trip based on recommendation from another Airstreamer. Really glad we did! I would highly recommend it. Like gator.bf we also took the ferry to NS instead of going back across the bridge. In september it was full and we booked ahead. If you go to Fundy we must have stayed at the same CG as gator.bf @ Hopewell Rocks. We walked on the floor of the bay at low tide and paddled our kayaks through the arches and around the teapots at high tide (47') just a few hours later. We also had a diesel and really no problems finding fuel. But I would recommend that you use a credit card does not charge a foreign surcharge fee for each transaction. We mistakenly used the wrong card and racked up more fees than we wanted to! Have fun. I would go back in a heartbeat, but this year heading to Idaho for 6 weeks.
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