A 10-day Tour in a C-Class Motorhome Exploring British Columbia’s Coastal Mountains
I’ve always wanted to go exploring in a Motorhome from Vancouver to the Cariboo and to see some of the Coastal Mountains en route. So, we took a circle route that started out east on Hwy 1 and ended up back on Hwy 99 to Vancouver. In between we followed scenic Hwys 3, 5, the Fishing Hwy 24 and 97. This is part 1 of 2 that took us on our journey.
This trip was booked in 2019, postponed, and rescheduled 4 times due to the Covid pandemic, so to finally make the trip a reality was more than joyous. The other thing that I was extremely excited about, was knowing that I was taking this trip with my adult son, a videographer, which meant great photos to record great memories.
The first morning we made our way out to Delta, BC in the rain. It was our first stop of the trip – to pick up our Motorhome rental unit from Fraser Way RV Rentals on Cliveden Avenue.
We were greeted by the most knowledgeable young man, Lucas. Lucas gave us the rundown of the rental process, which is not that daunting after all. Then he took us outside to meet the 22’ foot home on wheels. For such a compact unit, it packs nicely. The outside of the unit had eight lockable doors to the storage areas, and we were able to store two bundles of firewood, table, chairs, an extra propane tank, propane firepit, camera gear all in one cubby. Another storage area was great for groceries until we arrived at the first destination and could move things around.
Our next stop was at Save-On-Foods to pick up the food perishables that we didn’t pack ahead of time.
It was a wet ride to Camperland RV Resort at Bridal Falls on Hwy 1 where we had pre-booked our first night. We backed the unit into the treed site, hooked up to the power, water and sewer and hunkered down in the unit for the night listening to the rain pelt down. Just when we thought it was over – nope here comes another wave of rain harder than the last.
Morning came, and we had a slight reprieve from the rain, so we put out the awning to at least get one photo of our stay. Packed up and headed east.
Day 2 started with a 50 km drive to The Hope Slide on Hwy 3 which was noted as the second largest recorded landslide in Canada and happened in 1965, and even after all the years that have passed, you can still see the magnitude of the slide. Well worth a stop to investigate.
Another 50 km drive took us to Manning Park, where we joyfully watched the ground squirrels bobbing in and out of the numerous holes in the field in front of the resort. Managed to get this little one who was quite interested in the camera.
From Manning Park, you take the turn off right across the highway from the resort and drive up the twisty road to Cascade Lookout. The area was a buzz. Whiskey Jacks above and the cutest little chipmunks scurrying at our feet. The views are just breathtaking – well worth the drive.
Driving west back from Manning Park we took the turn-off to Hwy 5. Our next destination for the night was Moonshadows RV Park and Campground in Merritt (160 km from Manning Park). Stopped in the office, had a chat with Carol. She told us all about the Coldwater River that the park sits beside and that Moonshadows RV Park is one of the parks that country music fans flock to in the summer for what was once called The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, now known as Rockin River Country Music Fest. You can hear music from Legends like Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina. Carol told us thousands of camping chairs take up residence in the river for the entire weekend – I guess this is what makes Country Music so “cool” in Merritt!
If you want to visit during that time, I suggest calling Carol now to see what’s available as it fills up fast – so fast that they have to open an adjacent field just for the tenters. We were able to go out for a short walk before the mosquitoes came out for their nightly visit. The next morning, we had our breakfast at the campsite picnic table in the sun before heading out. Please note that our trip was five months before the devastating floods that swept through Merritt.
Day 3 and 4: We drove north on Hwy 5 another 90 km to Kamloops. Stopped in town long enough to get a few supplies and see some deer making their way through downtown. We took the Paul Lake exit off Hwy 5 to head to Pinantan Lake Resort some 25 km off the main highway.
As you drive down the road into the resort you are greeted with an old world look of antiques and some rustic buildings. We set up on one of the lakeview sites that overlooked a huge field where children were playing soccer. There was a communal firepit, washroom and laundry facilities. Later that evening, as the night drew in, we played a game of night bocce with a glow-in-the-dark Playboule Bocce set. In the morning we ventured around the property, taking photos and flew the drone for an ariel view.
Want to read more? Watch for our 2nd blog that continues into the Cariboo, along Fishing Hwy 24, south on Hwy 97 to Cache Creek, Lillooet, then Hwy 99 to Whistler and home.
For camping in this area and throughout BC go to the Camping Map
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5 BC Places to Visit for Outdoor Fun and Winter Camping
If you thought that camping and RVing was devoted solely to those months without snow, you would be wrong. British Columbia is fast becoming a destination for RVing and camping, particularly with those who live in colder climes. Here are five fun things to do and places to camp in BC’s winter months.
Winter Activities On British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast
From the artistic community of Gibsons northeast to the harbour village of Lund, mountains meet the sea along the Sunshine Coast, a mainland area uniquely only accessible by ferry, boat or plane. Winters are typically mild and range from 2 to 10ºC (20 to 50°F) during the day. In lower elevations, rains keep the flora and forests lush, while higher areas see snow.
There’s plenty to do both inside and out if you’re RVing here in the winter. Make sure to get out on the water and head up some slopes. You will be rewarded with majestic views and an excellent chance of seeing animals in their natural environment. Read more.
Five Spots to Ice Fish and Camp this Winter in British Columbia
Ice fishing is often overlooked as a winter activity, especially if you live in southern B.C. But fishing opportunities do not stop when the temperature freezes – they only get more exciting. Ice fishing is a very social sport and requires only a limited amount of gear or experience. The entire lake becomes accessible without the need of a boat and you don’t need the often complicated casting techniques required in other fisheries. It’s as simple as drilling a hole and dropping a line. Try some winter camping while you’re at it; there are many parks open year-round close to great hard water lakes. Here are our top 5 spots to try ice fishing this winter with RV spots close by. Read more.
Winter RV Adventure for Camping Newbies at Sunshine Valley & Manning Park, BC
If only we had known how amazing RVing in the winter is, we would have taken this trip a long time ago! Our journey started in earnest on a Wednesday morning when we had made arrangements to pick up a rental RV from CanaDream. We had already checked in online five days before, uploaded required documents and information, paid our deposit and reviewed demo videos so we knew all about the RV we were renting before we arrived. Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff who checked that all of our details were in order and then my husband and I did a thorough walk-through of the unit. Read more.
5 Ways to Enjoy Winter in Wine Country, Okanagan, British Columbia
As cooler temperatures emerge, and the snow blankets the vineyards, the valley transforms from a sun-soaked paradise to the ultimate winter destination. From champagne powder to frozen waterfalls to theatrical sleigh ride shows, the winter can be a magical time to explore the Okanagan. Read more.
Vancouver Island, BC Off-Season Adventures
‘Canada’s Mediterranean’, is how I like to refer to Central Vancouver Island. It offers more year-round outdoor recreational opportunities in mind-blowing scenery than I’ll ever have time to enjoy in one lifetime. But I’m trying – and the best part is that so many activities are absolutely free!
To get you started let me give you just a couple of very different ‘cool season’ activities on different parts of the Island, along with two fantastic year-round RV parks located close to each mini adventure. Read more.
For places to camp in BC in the winter go to winter camping.
Share your BC travel and camping photos using hashtag #campinbc
It’s always a great day to #CampinBC
Tips to Prepare Your RV for Winter Camping in BC
Imagine waking up surrounded by glistening snow, where the outdoors beckons you to do some cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, maybe ice-fishing, or just a walk in a stunning winter wonderland. Kids can build snowmen, make snow angels and toboggan. And where a cup of hot chocolate never tasted so good.
Just because winter is approaching doesn’t mean that you have to take a hiatus from camping in British Columbia. For instance, did you know that there are some 150 campgrounds including a few BC Parks sites and select private campgrounds/RV parks open year-round? You just have to prepare for your camping trips so you keep warm and cozy and that your RV is prepared for winter conditions.
A friend and newbie to winter camping told me last year, “If only we had known how amazing RVing in the winter is, we would have taken this trip a long time ago! The first morning we woke up to the soft sound of snow tinkling on the roof of the RV. Our bed was toasty as we sank deeper into the flannel sheets, and stared out the window to a winter wonderland. It was breathtaking.”
Does that make it sound like fun?
So here are some tips to help keep you safe and sound.
You do need to ensure that your pipes and holding tanks will not freeze. This is what Canadream RV Rentals had to say about winterizing the RV.
There are two types of RV you can use in the winter – winterized (no water with all pipes and holding tanks drained) and a winter unit (allows for water usage). If you are going to a destination with electricity hook-up, you can use a winter unit, where an arctic pack will heat exterior tanks so you can have running water. Units also come with a furnace which runs on propane and you will need an electrical heater as well. The temperature inside needs to be kept at a certain level to prevent freezing.
If you are renting an RV in the winter for the first time read our blog First Time RVing In Winter – What To Know About Renting An RV.
Go RVing also provides some tips for camping in winter including:
- Always have enough bed quilting and winter clothing around so that everyone can easily live through a furnace failure even if stranded by weather for several days.
- Park your RV in the sun whenever possible. You’ll be amazed at how much a good winter sun can heat up your RV.
- Park your RV on support boards. These boards will prevent your RV tires from “sinking” when the ground thaws.
- If electricity is not a problem, use electric blankets at night to save on propane. Also, using a small space heater will also save on propane and wear and tear of the furnace.
- Make sure you insulate your hose and use heat tape that can be crossed over itself, as this will provide the most efficient seal. (Note: you can also buy a heated hose.)
- If you have a motorized RV, check your batteries for water level and periodically start your engine to keep everything in good running order.
- To keep your RV battery charged, consider getting a solar panel system or an inverter
Now that you’re all set to experience winter camping this year, here are some blogs and ideas for keeping you camping throughout the fall and winter.
Go to our Winter Camping Map to find out where you can camp in the winter.
Post your BC travel and camping photos using the hashtag #CampinBC
It’s always a great day to #CampinBC
Exploring Four of the Best RV Parks in the South Okanagan, British Columbia
On a crisp, sunny morning last spring, I headed to the Okanagan from Coquitlam to attend the Interior RV Consumer Show in Penticton. I make this trip annually to distribute camping directories for British Columbia but this year decided to take my time and explore some RV Parks in the southern region of the Okanagan Valley.
My destination on the first day was Osoyoos. I headed through the Fraser Valley on Hwy 1 to Hope then took the Crowsnest Hwy (Hwy 3) which is a gorgeous scenic drive over mountain passes and along rivers into the lush agricultural lands of the Okanagan with an abundance of orchards, vineyards and more.
Along the way it’s worth taking a break at Manning Park. In the picnic area you’ll see marmots scurrying in and out of underground burrows and bold whiskey jacks looking to share any snacks you are eating. Further on is Princeton which has several family style cafes, pubs and bistros to suit everyone’s taste. I recommend a stop here if you are wanting refreshments.
On your way to Osoyoos you will pass through the quaint mining town of Hedley and the self-described “fruit capital of Canada” Keremeos. April is a little early to buy local fruit but the many fruit stands are open and worth a visit. Leaving Keremeos you head southwest to Osoyoos passing through Oliver. Check out the blog Take a Break Along the Crowsnest Hwy for more things to see and do along this route.
I arrived at my first overnight stop of Nk’Mip Resort in Osoyoos. This is a popular RV park with some 350 sites including 120 lakefront sites on the beach, 30/50 amp service, tent sites, convenience store, marina with equipment rentals, boat launch and more.
This resort is a wonderful spot to stay as it has so much to offer. In addition, the Restaurant at Spirit Ridge serves fabulous food, then there is the Solstice Spa, Desert Cultural Centre, Nk’Mip Cellars, Vineyard & Winery, Sonora Dunes Golf Course. And it’s only a short 2 km walk or drive to the main street in Osoyoos.
After a good night’s sleep, I left Nk’Mip to head back to Penticton. Before leaving Osoyoos I decided to try the local neighbourhood café, JoJo’s, which is situated on the main street. What a great find. They make everything from scratch and if you are craving a muffin, cookie or eggs benny this is the place to go.
After enjoying a tasty breakfast I headed to Gallagher Lake Resort in Oliver. They have several lovely camping cabins near the beach and over 140 campsites. There are many amenities available including RV hookups, a convenience store, laundry, plus for the energetic – tennis, pickleball, volleyball court, and for the less strenuous – horseshoe pits. The campground is right on Gallagher Lake with their own private sandy beach.
Whilst in Oliver I also dropped in on The Orchard at Oliver, an RV park & motel. The campsites are set in a beautiful orchard and is a great place to relax and take in the laid-back atmosphere that is the Okanagan. You can also try something different and rent one of their rustic cabanas.
After leaving Oliver, I stopped for a quick snack in Okanagan Falls at Tickleberry’s. I had never visited before, so it was a special treat. This is a family-run business known for its delicious homemade ice cream of over 50 flavours, homemade fudge, chocolates, kettle korn, and a wide range of gifts and local crafts to purchase. This is a fun experience and well worth the stop.
The last campground I visited on this trip was Barefoot Beach Resort in Penticton. This is a fairly new resort opposite Skaha Lake offering Yurts and tenting sites. Each yurt comes with a deck, two chairs and BBQ and lovely landscaped grounds. You can also enjoy the Barefoot Beach House Restaurant and Beverage House, relax on the roof top patio and enjoy fresh, Spanish-inspired cuisine, with a frosty margarita in one hand and some fantastic food in the other. They also offer a juice bar, second scoop ice cream and a rental hut and beachwear for all your needs.
From Barefoot Beach Resort I headed to the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre for the Interior RV Show. It was a whirlwind visit to the South Okanagan and next time I shall visit longer and take a few side trips to local wineries.
Winter RV Adventure for Camping Newbies at Sunshine Valley & Manning Park, BC
If only we had known how amazing RVing in the winter is, we would have taken this trip a long time ago! Our journey started in earnest on a Wednesday morning when we had made arrangements to pick up a rental RV from CanaDream. We had already checked in online five days before, uploaded required documents and information, paid our deposit and reviewed demo videos so we knew all about the RV we were renting before we arrived. Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff who checked that all of our details were in order and then my husband and I did a thorough walk-through of the unit.
For information on renting an RV check out the blog First Time RVing In Winter – What To Know About Renting An RV.
From the lot we hit the highway (under a torrential downpour) and a couple of hours later, arrived at Sunshine Valley as the rain turned to giant snowflakes. Despite our worries about driving the unit in the snow, it handled beautifully. Our guess is it’s so heavy it crushes down the snow – whatever the reason, it performed well on both bare and snowy roads for the whole trip.
We soon found out we were one of only a few campers! Yes, the site was dotted with RVs, but these were ‘weekend guys’ – members who leave their unit up year-round to visit on the weekends like a cabin. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me! Meanwhile we pretty well had the place to ourselves.
Once we pulled into our spot and my husband hooked up the power, we pushed a button to send out the slide-out and began to set up our new home. Here are some of the items we quickly realized we should have brought. Perhaps this list will help with your planning!
Some RV Packing Extras (Forgotten by Some Novices)
- Electric kettle (unit comes with a stove-top kettle but electric would be easier)
- A snowy shoe/boot mat (for at the bottom of the stairs)
- Slippers (this isn’t a tent – you do a fair bit of walking around inside!)
- Frying pan
- A flat, small baking sheet and aluminum foil
- Extra cutlery (there’s exactly enough for 4 people)
- A small drying rack (unless you have a family member who loves to dry dishes!)
- Oven mitts
- Dishwashing gloves as the water can get nice and hot
- Toilet paper (one-ply) – one roll was provided
- Swim towels (you get lovely shower towels in the unit, but some microtowels are helpful)
Having set up our beds (our daughter immediately chose the alcove above the driver) we hit the (indoor) swimming pool and hot tubs and began to plan the next day’s activities. Our new winter camping adventure had begun!
The next morning we woke up to the soft sound of snow tinkling on the roof of the RV. Our bed was toasty as we sank deeper into the flannel sheets, and stared out the window to a winter wonderland. It was breathtaking.
My daughter and I stirred first and prepared a batch of wake-and-shake pancakes and some berry sauce. We woke up my husband with a hot coffee, ate breakfast, and they headed out to the lodge for a swim and a shower while I tidied up and battened down the hatches for our planned day trip.
The roads looked nicely plowed, and Manning’s toboggan run and skating rink were open, and so we drove out of the park and up the highway to this gorgeous alpine resort. At first we weren’t sure about our choice not to bring a second vehicle, but the RV crushed any snow in our way and powered up the hills no problem.
Another perk of bringing the RV? Sheer convenience at Manning Park. We decided against ice skating (our daughter’s not really sure on her skates) and threw on our snowsuits for some toboggan runs.
Once we were tired and ready for a meal we stopped into the lounge for some pub fare. The great thing about having the RV right there was we were able to change into comfortable clothes very easily. Once our bellies were full, we headed back to the RV resort for naps, more swimming, dinner, and a movie.
It was the perfect day trip and a great way to round out our visit.
New to winter camping? Check out the following blog.
Share your BC camping and travel photos using #CampinBC
It’s always a great day to #CampinBC
Honeydew and Pikas: Traveling with (Potentially) Carsick Kids
Now, if you don’t have small kids, or you’re the type of parent who has already nailed this, please feel free to skip ahead.
But if you, like us, have children with cast iron stomachs, or are just generally not used to traveling long distances with them, here is what not to do. (Spoiler: our daughter threw up). We’ll call it, “don’t do what the W family did”.
- Allow your child to skip breakfast because they are excited about the big trip.
- Feed your child a large juice and part of a fast food hash brown just before hitting a very twisty highway.
- Place a laptop in their lap to watch a movie while the road winds around mountains and valleys.
- Sense your child is unwell and respond by feeding them large amounts of ice-cold honeydew.
- Feed your child breakfast!
- Throughout the trip, offer small amounts of liquids, fruit, and clear foods. (Consider how tough something might be to clean if you see it again.)
- On twisty stretches, play games like “I Spy”, listen to books on tape, or tell stories instead of pulling out the laptop – save movies for straighter stretches of road.
- Be prepared to pull over IMMEDIATELY if your child starts throwing up.
- Try not to panic (this is hard if motion sickness is an uncommon experience in your family).
- Keep your sick child hydrated with water.
- Have lots of double-bagged garbage bags at the ready.
- Keep a bag with wet wipes and a change of clothes very handy. (This is just good practice for all parents, on any trip).
- Have one family member clean and comfort the child, while the other (or others) wipe down the seat repeatedly, and thoroughly, with wet wipes.
- Once at your final destination, immediately remove the car seat and sponge-clean it, leaving it outside to air dry. Do not submerge the straps. Keep a copy of your carseat info handy (or Google it) for recommended cleaning: the way you clean the seat effects its ability to keep your child safe.
Well, gentle reader. Have you made it this far? If so, you’ve figured out why the post is called “Honeydew”. But you’re probably wondering about the pikas.
On this same road trip, we discovered a great pit stop for road trippers of all ages: Manning Park. It has plenty of parking, nice vistas, clean washrooms, a general store and restaurant, and … pikas!
Pikas are a reward for the road-weary. They are giant ground squirrels also called “whistling hares” because of the sounds they make when you approach their burrows.
They’re absolutely adorable. And a great way to take a break and compose yourself. Especially after a honeydew incident.
So as a reward for making it this far, I give you, the Pikas of Manning Park:
Published: August 7th, 2013
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