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Old 05-23-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
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Vancouver Island camping?

Can anyone who has camped on Vancover Island and around the Vancover area give me some pointers as where to go, and what to expect, and favorite camping spots? Basically, I need to know as much as you are willing to share. I'm all ears! Will be heading that direction late summer and early Fall.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:35 PM   #2
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Beautifull area, I grew up around there, but have not done much camping. There is a forum member from that area; hopefully he'll chime-in. Perfect time to come up!
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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When we were on Vancouver Is., we didn't have the trailer. But, places to go: Victoria, the provincial capital is a delightful small city and the Butchart Gardens are a great place to visit. Drive over to the Pacific coast and Tofino. Tofino is pretty ritzy, but the entire island varies in expense and there are some really good restaurants. Strathcona Provincial Park is beautiful also and a place to explore if you are so inclined. There are some demanding trails along the Pacific coast, too demanding for my knees, but I imagine hiking there would have been something I would have done years ago. We drove up to Port Hardy to see that part of the island. There's a park on the northern tip of the island, but when were there, it was really windy and we didn't go see it. Though rain is reputed to happen all the time, the weather was nice when we were there. In our trips to the northern Pacific coast—any where from north of San Francisco to Alaska—it either rains all the time, day after day after day, or it's sunny or partly cloudy. Can't explain that other than there are rainy seasons and sometimes we select them. We spent a week on the island.

Vancouver seems like a great place to live if you're into cities—like NYC, it appears lots of people walk and take public transportation. A lot of young people and amazing diversity. We're not into cities anymore, so we just drove around for a couple of hours and moved on.

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
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Thanks, also do you guys know if a ferry ride is a must to get to the island, and if they take trailers on them. I looked at a map but I can't see if there are any bridges or tunnels to the island.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
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Yes you have to take a ferry and they do take trailers.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'm really looking forward to the trip.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet-Puf View Post
Yes you have to take a ferry and they do take trailers.
Bluto,

We have been to Vancouver Island a couple of times, but not with the trailer. A very nice place--I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

The ferry trip is probably longer than you think--if I recall, it's more than an hour. Here's the web site for BC Ferries - BC Ferries - British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. - Experience the Difference .
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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RV folk live by ocean tide changes up here when taking the ferries, get a tide table book, available all over. You don't want to board or embark on a low tide; you'll bottom-out on the ramp connecting the dock and ferry.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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I have not been there for a few years but this is one of the best places I have ever been. Fantastic Whale watching and the grizzley bear tour is great.

Telegraph Cove: Telegraph Cove Resort North Vancouver Island Whale Watching, Salmon Fishing and Camping

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Old 05-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #10
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I live in Victoria, you will enjoy your trip, my favorite spot is Tofino as previously mentioned, the important thing to know is that if you are planning on stayying in Tofino I reccomend you reserve a spot especially during the summer monthes as it is usually booked solid. Crystal Cove is a beautiful campground, the provincial campground Green Point is also nice. I don't know what your trip plan is if you are planning on seeing the rest of B.C. or just parts of Vancouver Island. I hanve camped throughout B.C. mostly in a tent, but I can steer you to whatever you are looking for.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:52 PM   #11
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I'm heading over there on Monday. The ferry ride is 1 hour 35 minutes. I recommend making a reservation during the summer months, or you could be waiting a sailing or three. This link will be helpful to you:

http://www.bcferries.com/

You can depart from Tsawwassen, which is South of Vancouver, or Horseshoe Bay, which is just North of the city.

There is camping all over the Island. Provincial parks as well as private. If you belong to AAA, you can pick up guide books from them that describe the camp grounds and their amenities. Tofino is a great place, but a bit of a zoo during summer. I recommend camping near Ucluelet, which is 20 minutes South of there and much quieter (not mention more reasonably priced). If you come to Vancouver, there is Capilano RV on the North Shore, which is 5 minutes from downtown across the Lions Gate bridge. If that's too busy for you, there are several RV parks in the suburbs, but are a quick drive or skytrain ride to downtown. There are also loads of Provincial parks in the region that offer a variety of amenities. I recommend that you pop into AAA and pick up some maps and books and spend a bit of time looking them over to figure out what interests you. If you're into fishing, mountain biking, wine tasting, theatre, these interests can help you determine where best to go.

Here's a glimpse of the ferry ride if you take the Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo route:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ial-32745.html
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:04 AM   #12
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There is also a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor to Sidney, B.C. on Vancouver Island and a private ferry http://mvcohoferry.com that runs from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria. I would suggest you go by way of Anacortes or Vancouver and return by way of Port Angeles or visa-versa. The Olympic Peninsula is a beautiful place to visit and give us a yell when you pass through. Also there is the Airstream Land Yacht Harbor near Olympia.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:30 AM   #13
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Smartstream, the link you posted doesn't work. I believe this is the one you are referring to:

Black Ball Ferry Line - Welcome Aboard!
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #14
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I don't know exactly how to say it but, all I can say is all of you are great!
Every single post has good info that I find very helpful in planning out my trip. I had no idea that it was such a special place. Now I'm chomping at the bit to go, although it is several months away.
I intend to enter Canada from Idaho from the crossing near Bonners Ferry and take route 3 west to Hope and then to route 1 to Vancover. On the way one place that I want to visit is Manning Prov. Park near Hope. If you guys have other suggestions on the route while in BC and other good parks to visit while there please speak up.
This trip will be a long one and I don't want to miss anything along the routes I've chosen. I want to see as much ocean and mountains and forests as possible. I'll probably mix up the camping with site seeing but will stay most of the time in the Prov. Park system when available and venture out from there.
Not sure about the return yet. Maybe I'll just stay in Canada if I can't figure out a good way to get back here again. Ha, ha!
One question I have is about the ferry ride. Do you stay with your vehicle when it's on the ferry? I have a dog and don't want to leave him alone and wonder how that works.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:10 AM   #15
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You don't have to stay with your car. You can wander all over the ferry. There is a restaurant, gift shop, large outdoor decks, etc. Dogs are restricted to the vehicle deck, but you can take him out to walk around and enjoy the view from the front or rear of the main vehicle deck. There is also a pet are where you can sit with your dog. This is rather small and kennelish, so I just take my two out onto the vehicle deck for walks and to meet with other dog people.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #16
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Good to hear that either is possible. I was thinking about taking an Amtrack train ride in the states lately but they have no provisions for pets, not even a kennel on the trains. So I didn't make that trip. I am glad to see that the ferry companies in Canada have thought about the needs of their customers. This will work for me.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:33 AM   #17
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Thanks for the correct link Cameront.

Bluto don't forget that after June 1, you will need a passport for travel to Canada. An Enhanced Drivers License can also be used. We have them in Washington but I don't know about Texas.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #18
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Bluto, there are many national parks in BC as well. One is even named Glacier National Park and is hundred of miles away from the Glacier NP in Montana. You can spend a lot of time in BC, then even more in Washington and Oregon. After you make this trip, you'll come back to see more.

There are different ferry lines—Black Ball and BC have been mentioned. I'm sure Cameron knows all there is to know about pet policies, but better check before you leave to make there are no changes. Ferries in other parts of Canada and US require pets to stay in cars and give you short periods to walk them periodically, but those are ferries that have much longer trips (Alaska state ferry, Newfoundland-Nova Scotia), so that is a different situation. You will have to find out whether you will be required to close your propane tank valves and make sure the fridge is cold enough for the trip. Again, on these shorter trips it probably makes no difference. I think the Port Angeles-Victoria run is 90 minutes.

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Old 05-24-2009, 05:41 PM   #19
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Smartstream, I forgot about the passport regs. I'll make sure I have mine on hand. That would be a disaster if it was over looked.

CrawfordGene, The ferry experience will be all new to me and I'm looking forward to it. It's a good idea for me to check ahead, never thought about the propane tanks and fridge. Since I know the names of these ferry lines now, it will be easy enough to check that stuff before hand.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:45 PM   #20
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If you don't have passports, it should take about 6 weeks to get them, I believe. There's a gov't website explaining it all. You can print out the form or get it from a post office nearby. Many post offices will take the photos, or AAA (costs more if you're not a member), and all will provide really bad pictures just like on your driver's license.

The fridge should stay cold for quite a while and a few frozen gel packs in them would insure it. The more packed with food they are (as long as there's some air circulation), the colder they stay. This is more of an issue if you were going from Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, because that's a 5-6 hour trip plus loading and unloading, but it's good to be aware of all options.

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