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Old 05-14-2017, 11:53 PM   #1
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Campground on Van Island?

Any recs for campgrounds on Van Island? I'll be there for a week in early July. Have a 24ft Motorhome, towing a Jeep Wrangler.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:09 AM   #2
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Are you planning to stay on the East side and/or venture over to Tofino?
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:35 AM   #3
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Are you planning to stay on the East side and/or venture over to Tofino?
I think Tofino is a must. Was just looking at Crystal Cove. On the East side, I've been looking at Living Forest, which looks really nice.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:11 AM   #4
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Vancouver Island RV Parks

I have lived on Vancouver Island for 29 years.
From 'end to end' it is Very scenic and offers a great deal to RV'ers.
A week won't give you much time to take in many of the sights of the Island.

My favorite RV park is Pacific Playgrounds <link.
It has so much to offer including a marina, hiking areas, and a wonderful long sandy beach and much more.
It is a little over 1 hours drive from the ferry landing in Nanaimo.

Victoria (at the southern end) is a Beautiful City with many RV parks to choose from. You could easily spend a week in the Victoria area and only see a fraction what it has to offer.

Nanaimo (1 1/2 hr drive north of Victoria) has Living Forest RV Park that is very popular with travelers... as well a very nice city .

Tofino is absolutely a fabulous place !

It all depends what you like to do... hike, surf, boating, fishing, bike... ??

If you have more time it would help to make the ferry fare more cost effective and get to see "more" of this wonderful Island....
A week is not enough

Your timing in June would be good as the BC Ferry's have a rate that is saving for RV's >>> Link <<< called 'Size up the savings'.... where you will pay half price for your RV over the 20ft mark.

Hope this helps

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Old 05-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Islander View Post
I have lived on Vancouver Island for 29 years.
From 'end to end' it is Very scenic and offers a great deal to RV'ers.
A week won't give you much time to take in many of the sights of the Island.

My favorite RV park is Pacific Playgrounds <link.
It has so much to offer including a marina, hiking areas, and a wonderful long sandy beach and much more.
It is a little over 1 hours drive from the ferry landing in Nanaimo.

Victoria (at the southern end) is a Beautiful City with many RV parks to choose from. You could easily spend a week in the Victoria area and only see a fraction what it has to offer.

Nanaimo (1 1/2 hr drive north of Victoria) has Living Forest RV Park that is very popular with travelers... as well a very nice city .

Tofino is absolutely a fabulous place !

It all depends what you like to do... hike, surf, boating, fishing, bike... ??

If you have more time it would help to make the ferry fare more cost effective and get to see "more" of this wonderful Island....
A week is not enough

Your timing in June would be good as the BC Ferry's have a rate that is saving for RV's >>> Link <<< called 'Size up the savings'.... where you will pay half price for your RV over the 20ft mark.

Hope this helps

Islander
This is really helpful. I can probably swing 9-10 days. I'm sure that's not enough either but I have to get over to Jasper by July 14th, so I'm factoring a 3-day journey there (which may be overly generous but I'm trying to go at a snails pace).

I booked a few days at Living Forest so that I have something. I'll check out Pacific Playground as well.

Any recs for Tofino area? Also, is the 4 a good road for Motorhome travel?

I'll be coming over from port Angeles and probably leaving out of Nanaimo -- do you have a recommendation for the shortest ferry crossing out? The thing I dislike the most is having to leave my cats on the car deck for the journey, so want it to be as short as possible. I think PA to Victoria is 90 minutes.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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alexisc....

I have not towed my RV to Tofino area.
The Hwy 4 is a good road mostly 2 lanes with some passing lanes.
It has some steep grades and tight turns thru the hills.
I have heard from other RVers that they found it quite tight and some didn't like the steep grades...but perhaps it was due to the size or length of their rigs.
There are several camping and RV parks in the area. link

Totally understand about leaving your pets on the car deck.
We always ride below with our dog in our rv when travelling on the BC Ferries.
The newer ferries are smoother and quieter than the older ones.
Any ferry with "Coastal" in front of it's name is newer. See the schedule for times the newer ferries run and plan your time.
Crossing time from Duke Point Nanaimo is 2 hrs or 90 min. The 90 min ferry out of Departure Bay will put you into traffic where the other one is a southern route and better traffic and easier in an RV.
Hope this helps

Islander
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander View Post
alexisc....

I have not towed my RV to Tofino area.
The Hwy 4 is a good road mostly 2 lanes with some passing lanes.
It has some steep grades and tight turns thru the hills.
I have heard from other RVers that they found it quite tight and some didn't like the steep grades...but perhaps it was due to the size or length of their rigs.
There are several camping and RV parks in the area. link

Totally understand about leaving your pets on the car deck.
We always ride below with our dog in our rv when travelling on the BC Ferries.
The newer ferries are smoother and quieter than the older ones.
Any ferry with "Coastal" in front of it's name is newer. See the schedule for times the newer ferries run and plan your time.
Crossing time from Duke Point Nanaimo is 2 hrs or 90 min. The 90 min ferry out of Departure Bay will put you into traffic where the other one is a southern route and better traffic and easier in an RV.
Hope this helps

Islander
The road is nice, but the drivers are impatient. Have not towed a trailer there, but it gets pretty windy close to the coast and everybody is on your rear end, motorcycles, cars and 18 wheelers. We're heading to comox valley this summer with our trailer and staying at miracle beach. There's a mini golf and go-karts right by. We'd like to go to Tofino or Ukey, but not sure we'll take our trailer.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander View Post
alexisc....

I have not towed my RV to Tofino area.
The Hwy 4 is a good road mostly 2 lanes with some passing lanes.
It has some steep grades and tight turns thru the hills.
I have heard from other RVers that they found it quite tight and some didn't like the steep grades...but perhaps it was due to the size or length of their rigs.
There are several camping and RV parks in the area. link

Totally understand about leaving your pets on the car deck.
We always ride below with our dog in our rv when travelling on the BC Ferries.
The newer ferries are smoother and quieter than the older ones.
Any ferry with "Coastal" in front of it's name is newer. See the schedule for times the newer ferries run and plan your time.
Crossing time from Duke Point Nanaimo is 2 hrs or 90 min. The 90 min ferry out of Departure Bay will put you into traffic where the other one is a southern route and better traffic and easier in an RV.
Hope this helps

Islander
Thanks for the tip on the newer ferries. Do they let you ride below? I thought they required people to leave the car deck?
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:18 PM   #9
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I've stayed in the vehicle before. I'm not aware of a rule stipulating anything else
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:50 PM   #10
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We went to Ucluelet - Tofino last year in May with a small trailer and highway 4 is OK for all kinds of vehicles but there's a section where you must be careful as there are tight turns and hills. Large commercial trucks service both communities and use the highway with no problem. There's also a Parks Canada campground within the Pacific Rim National Park but I'm not sure of their facilities. We camped at the Bella Pacifica campground and RV park but didn't like it that much as it has small sites and was a bit crowded - it does have all the amenities though. Crystal Cove might be better but we didn't check it out.

BC Ferries still allows people on the lower car deck during the trip, as far as I know but they plan to prohibit that in the near future and I don't know when they'll start enforcing it. You have several choices from the island to the mainland and options to get to Jasper. Victoria (Swartz Bay) to Vancouver (Tsawwassen) is 95 minutes and connects to the Trans Canada highway via the Lower Fraser Perimeter Highway (17) but expect traffic. Nanaimo Duke Point also connects with Vancouver (Tsawwassen) but the crossing time is longer: 2 hours (but if you are in the Nanaimo area, it will be a lot faster than going to Victoria and take the ferry at Swartz Bay). There's also Nanaimo Departure Bay to Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) that is 100 minutes and connects you directly to the TC Highway 1 but you have to endure the traffic through Vancouver; as well from Horseshoe Bay there's also the option of taking highway 99 (Sea to Sky, very scenic highway in the Coast mountains) via Whistler and Pemberton that will get you to Cache Creek (turn right on highway 97) where you connect to the TC highway 1 to Kamloops and east.

Have a nice stay on the island and a good trip in our province!
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:15 PM   #11
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I agree with TAQUILK that if your in a hurry to get Jasper is to take the Ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay and take HWY 99 north along the beautiful drive to Whistler and Cache Creek to Jasper, less traffic. I have stayed in Crystal Cove and it is a nice site with a beautiful beach you can walk to and close to Tofino. Have a nice stay in B.C. and the cats to.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:35 AM   #12
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Yes the route via Whistler thru to Lillooet is very scenic and only enjoyable for the passengers unless you pull over on the side. IMO

It is 'very hilly and curvy' .... just so you know.

BC ferries would prefer you enjoy the trip aboard on the upper decks, but until they start allowing me to bring my dog above the car deck I will be staying in the rv below for the trip....and I don't think that rule will change any time soon.

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Old 05-22-2017, 10:17 AM   #13
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I agree with TAQUILK that if your in a hurry to get Jasper is to take the Ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay and take HWY 99 north along the beautiful drive to Whistler and Cache Creek to Jasper, less traffic. I have stayed in Crystal Cove and it is a nice site with a beautiful beach you can walk to and close to Tofino. Have a nice stay in B.C. and the cats to.
I've driven the Whistler route to Jasper before (in my car). It was gorgeous but I think I want to do a different route -- also, a little governed by campground availability in Jasper, I'm planning to go to Yoho first now for a few days and then driving up the Icefield parkway to Jasper with a 1-night stop over at Athabasca Glacier.

How was the drive out to Crystal Cove and did you tow?
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:20 AM   #14
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Thank you "Taqulik" and "Islander" for the information.
My brother and I journey to Gold River with our trucks and two boats. We then boat out to the beach at Friendly Cove. Our first trip is on June 3. We do have ferry reservations for the lower deck. We have been told that the speed limit (120) on the freeway is the highest in BC.
Last year we went to Tahsis (one time), but would not recommend the two 18% grades on the dirt road to anyone. "Beautiful BC"

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Old 05-22-2017, 10:28 AM   #15
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Yes, the speed limit on the Island Hwy. (in areas) is 120... but for those that do not know... that is km , kilometers, not mph
I do not know if it is the highest for BC Highways.

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Old 05-22-2017, 10:31 AM   #16
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I've stayed in the vehicle before. I'm not aware of a rule stipulating anything else
Ah, gotcha.... looks like the rule is for US-based ferries only then.
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