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> Overseas Visitors Touring Usa/canada 2012, Any advice welcome
movannernz
post Oct 28 2011, 09:14 PM
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Hi everyone, enjoying reading all the posts re. caravan parks. We have just booked a Roadbear C19 to tour for 64 days, picking up and dropping off RV in Vegas. Dates travelling 4th May to the 7th July '12. Plan to do Western US and some of Western Canada. Are we able to buy a Passport America pass, if yes, should we buy it from the first campsite we use? I have downloaded the PA brochure in PDF form. We are a bit concerned about having to prebook places as we like to tour and not be committed to booking ahead for sites. Is this going to be a concern? We do try to avoid busy places as much as possible as we like the peace and quiet of the countryside. Any itinerary ideas would be good and perhaps National parks that are stunning but less visited.
Also looking forward to meeting all you RVers! rolleyes.gif
Look forward to some help.
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pianotuna
post Oct 28 2011, 11:38 PM
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Hi movannernz,

You may find these urls a help in cutting costs for campgrounds.



http://www.bandofboondockers.com

http://freecampsites.net

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&....052246&z=6

http://hasbeenthere.com/2010/12/05/boondoc...aces-park-night

I'd pick the top ten items you wish to see and then plan a route.


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Hutch333id
post Oct 29 2011, 01:23 PM
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Hi Moveannernz,

With your reference to 'caravan parks' my initial thought was that you're coming from the UK but I'm guessing that with the 'NZ' at the end of your name you're a Kiwi? Anyway, by arriving in early May I don't think you'll have too much of a problem accessing any site as the US schools don't close until late June and most families don't start their vacation until schools are closed. As for western Canada, some sites in BC and Alberta might not be open until mid to late May due to the weather (we often have a wet snow fall in AB late May). It might be in your best interests to book a location for the holiday long weekends. In AB we have the Victoria Day May long weekend on 5/21. July 1st is also a holiday in Canada and July 4th in the US.
From my limited personal experience I have to recommend Spokane RV resort at Deer Park, WA and the the Polson KOA in MT. For Alberta, if you're coming to Calgary, try the Bow River campground in Cochrane. It's about 35km from Calgary but much nicer than any site nearer. Also, Coyote Creek RV resort in Sundre and Tunnel Mountain at Banff. Frome here you can visit Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield glacier (where you can ride a huge bus on the glacier). East Glacier National Park, MT (Two Medicine Lake) is a must too. The 'Road to the Sun'is an absolutely stunning journey.



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2013. 28 nights camping and 4350 km
2014. 29 nights camping and 3300 km ......so far
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movannernz
post Nov 1 2011, 01:43 AM
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QUOTE(pianotuna @ Oct 29 2011, 06:38 PM) *

Hi movannernz,

You may find these urls a help in cutting costs for campgrounds.
http://www.bandofboondockers.com

http://freecampsites.net

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&....052246&z=6

http://hasbeenthere.com/2010/12/05/boondoc...aces-park-night

I'd pick the top ten items you wish to see and then plan a route.


Thanks Pianotuna for the links will now check them out, much appreciated, many thanks
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movannernz
post Nov 1 2011, 02:11 AM
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QUOTE(Hutch333id @ Oct 30 2011, 08:23 AM) *

Hi Moveannernz,

With your reference to 'caravan parks' my initial thought was that you're coming from the UK but I'm guessing that with the 'NZ' at the end of your name you're a Kiwi? Anyway, by arriving in early May I don't think you'll have too much of a problem accessing any site as the US schools don't close until late June and most families don't start their vacation until schools are closed. As for western Canada, some sites in BC and Alberta might not be open until mid to late May due to the weather (we often have a wet snow fall in AB late May). It might be in your best interests to book a location for the holiday long weekends. In AB we have the Victoria Day May long weekend on 5/21. July 1st is also a holiday in Canada and July 4th in the US.
From my limited personal experience I have to recommend Spokane RV resort at Deer Park, WA and the the Polson KOA in MT. For Alberta, if you're coming to Calgary, try the Bow River campground in Cochrane. It's about 35km from Calgary but much nicer than any site nearer. Also, Coyote Creek RV resort in Sundre and Tunnel Mountain at Banff. Frome here you can visit Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield glacier (where you can ride a huge bus on the glacier). East Glacier National Park, MT (Two Medicine Lake) is a must too. The 'Road to the Sun'is an absolutely stunning journey.

Thanks HUTCH333id for the advice, we are planning to get to Canada later than sooner because of the weather, thank you for the info. As for being a kiwi, we live in NZ as we are keen flyfishers, both born in UK and have Aussie citizenship!!! Back to the planning.
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RFCN2
post Nov 4 2011, 10:35 PM
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Movannerz - Know what I have seen in your posts the general route I would suggest is - Vegas - Death Valley - hit the eastern sierra for early season trout should be great that time of year - too early to go north from there or west over to Yosemite - so turn south east to the Grand Canyon and S Utah parks of Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Mounument Valley. Do not bother with reservations at any of these places. No worries till school lets out in June and then only worry weekends and in super busy Parks. From Monument Valley go north through Arches Park and then over to Grand Teton and Yellowstone - with your size camper you can stay in Yellowstone do that for sure. Colter Bay RV park is super just south of Yellowstone and into Grand Teton - And just west of Yellowstone you are in fly fishing heaven - Henry's Lake, Madison River, Firehole river (inside Yellowstone) - From there I would go north to Bozeman, Flathead Lake area - Then drive south of Glacier Park to the east side go stay at Many Glacier in Glacier - Then up to Waterton Park just north of the border - stay at RV park in the shadow of the Prince of Wales hotel - one of the World's most scienic spots along with Many Glacier - Then north and into Canadian Rockies and the Icefields Parkway - Over to Vancouver and Victoria - Take ferry south to Olympic Pennisula and by all means fish the wonderful streams and rivers in this area. Stay on Ocean in Washington State - Then drive south along the coast and Just stay the whole way along the wonderful coast route - stop in Oregon several places - jog over to see Crater Lake - go down highway 101 to redwood parks - go back to coast and go through Menacino - go through San Francisco through town and down 101 to 17 and cut over back to the coast - go down hwy 1 through big sur - stay at big Sur - stop at maybe Cambria on the coast - The if you want to see LA go south to it and then east to Vegas.

Sounds like a great time


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movannernz
post Nov 5 2011, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE(RFCN2 @ Nov 5 2011, 05:35 PM) *

Movannerz - Know what I have seen in your posts the general route I would suggest is - Vegas - Death Valley - hit the eastern sierra for early season trout should be great that time of year - too early to go north from there or west over to Yosemite - so turn south east to the Grand Canyon and S Utah parks of Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Mounument Valley. Do not bother with reservations at any of these places. No worries till school lets out in June and then only worry weekends and in super busy Parks. From Monument Valley go north through Arches Park and then over to Grand Teton and Yellowstone - with your size camper you can stay in Yellowstone do that for sure. Colter Bay RV park is super just south of Yellowstone and into Grand Teton - And just west of Yellowstone you are in fly fishing heaven - Henry's Lake, Madison River, Firehole river (inside Yellowstone) - From there I would go north to Bozeman, Flathead Lake area - Then drive south of Glacier Park to the east side go stay at Many Glacier in Glacier - Then up to Waterton Park just north of the border - stay at RV park in the shadow of the Prince of Wales hotel - one of the World's most scienic spots along with Many Glacier - Then north and into Canadian Rockies and the Icefields Parkway - Over to Vancouver and Victoria - Take ferry south to Olympic Pennisula and by all means fish the wonderful streams and rivers in this area. Stay on Ocean in Washington State - Then drive south along the coast and Just stay the whole way along the wonderful coast route - stop in Oregon several places - jog over to see Crater Lake - go down highway 101 to redwood parks - go back to coast and go through Menacino - go through San Francisco through town and down 101 to 17 and cut over back to the coast - go down hwy 1 through big sur - stay at big Sur - stop at maybe Cambria on the coast - The if you want to see LA go south to it and then east to Vegas.

Sounds like a great time


Gee, thanks for that itinerary which will be very useful. We are just awaiting delivery of a good physical map for planning, so will be able to mark out your suggested route on it. I shall research parks etc. in the New Year as we are just getting ready to head to the South Island, to fish until Xmas, in our campervan.
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Jerry S
post Nov 5 2011, 09:38 PM
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I like RFCN2's routing and it looks quite "doable" in 9 weeks. I do want to reiterate the warnings about the timing of your trip. I have not been to the Canadian Rockies in over a decade so I do not know how "safe" it is to visit Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, etc. in June. I do know that Yellowstone and Glacier are still "iffy" weatherwise well into June. Last year, both parks had periods of closures as late as mid-June.

An aspect of your original post that I have not seen addressed is you desire to "avoid busy places" and go to "less visited" parks. While the places RFCN2 noted in his suggested tour may be less busy in May or June than they would in July or August when families are vacationing, they still draw good crowds in the "off season". You don't want to come half way around the world and not go to Zion or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone or Lake Louise because it might be crowded. With 9 weeks to play with, maybe you can spend 2 days a week at a secluded National Forrest campground to get your quiet and solitude. There are plenty of these kinds of campgrounds close to many of the big National Parks.

Enjoy your planning and next year's trip.
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movannernz
post Nov 5 2011, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 6 2011, 04:38 PM) *

I like RFCN2's routing and it looks quite "doable" in 9 weeks. I do want to reiterate the warnings about the timing of your trip. I have not been to the Canadian Rockies in over a decade so I do not know how "safe" it is to visit Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, etc. in June. I do know that Yellowstone and Glacier are still "iffy" weatherwise well into June. Last year, both parks had periods of closures as late as mid-June.

An aspect of your original post that I have not seen addressed is you desire to "avoid busy places" and go to "less visited" parks. While the places RFCN2 noted in his suggested tour may be less busy in May or June than they would in July or August when families are vacationing, they still draw good crowds in the "off season". You don't want to come half way around the world and not go to Zion or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone or Lake Louise because it might be crowded. With 9 weeks to play with, maybe you can spend 2 days a week at a secluded National Forrest campground to get your quiet and solitude. There are plenty of these kinds of campgrounds close to many of the big National Parks.

Enjoy your planning and next year's trip.


Thanks Jerry S, we do appreciate that the weather could be a problem in some places but will take it in our stride. I do think we might overdose on parks though and get "parked out". If that is at all possible! We will bring the thermal gear in case of cold temperatures. Best solitude for us is flyfishing on a beautiful river. Looking forward to writing some reviews on CP's too from an overseas tourist's viewpoint. Cheers.
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BC Wanderer
post Nov 6 2011, 10:04 AM
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QUOTE(movannernz @ Nov 5 2011, 09:07 PM) *

Thanks Jerry S, we do appreciate that the weather could be a problem in some places but will take it in our stride. I do think we might overdose on parks though and get "parked out". If that is at all possible! We will bring the thermal gear in case of cold temperatures. Best solitude for us is flyfishing on a beautiful river. Looking forward to writing some reviews on CP's too from an overseas tourist's viewpoint. Cheers.


I live in Calgary which is just east of the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. The weather in June is usually warm (by our standards). High temps in the 70s are the norm with cool evenings. http://www.canadianrockies.com/TravelEssen...WeatherClimate/

If you plan on staying at one of the few FULL SERVICE RV PARKS it would be very wise to reserve. Tunnel Mountain is the only Full Service in Banff and Lake Louise Trailer Park is the only one in Louise. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/visit9.aspx

If you are into fishing there are a few Provincial Campgrounds right on the Bow River that I suggest you check out. http://www.bowvalleycampgrounds.com/ These "Camp Grounds" have limited services but are ususally very quiet. I would use one of these as a base to visit the Banff area. I find Tunnel Mountain to be Busy, Expensive, and unless you have a tow vehicle, remote. For visiting the Lake Louise area, Lake Louise Trailer Park is okay. Jasper has options as well http://www.canadianrockies.net/jasper/jnpcamp.html (and traveling the "Ice Fields Parkway" from Lake Louise to Jasper is amazing). From Jasper, the Yellowhead Highway is your route to the West Coast and Vancouver. Check out Barkerville http://www.barkerville.ca/ on your way to the coast.

You might want to download Google Earth to plot your Journey. I think it would help you grasp the magnitude of your planned travel. I have visited all of the places that have been mentioned in this thread...but not during one trip. You will have an amazing trek.
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movannernz
post Nov 6 2011, 12:34 PM
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QUOTE(JDOLLEN @ Nov 7 2011, 05:04 AM) *

I live in Calgary which is just east of the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. The weather in June is usually warm (by our standards). High temps in the 70s are the norm with cool evenings. http://www.canadianrockies.com/TravelEssen...WeatherClimate/

If you plan on staying at one of the few FULL SERVICE RV PARKS it would be very wise to reserve. Tunnel Mountain is the only Full Service in Banff and Lake Louise Trailer Park is the only one in Louise. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/visit9.aspx

If you are into fishing there are a few Provincial Campgrounds right on the Bow River that I suggest you check out. http://www.bowvalleycampgrounds.com/ These "Camp Grounds" have limited services but are ususally very quiet. I would use one of these as a base to visit the Banff area. I find Tunnel Mountain to be Busy, Expensive, and unless you have a tow vehicle, remote. For visiting the Lake Louise area, Lake Louise Trailer Park is okay. Jasper has options as well http://www.canadianrockies.net/jasper/jnpcamp.html (and traveling the "Ice Fields Parkway" from Lake Louise to Jasper is amazing). From Jasper, the Yellowhead Highway is your route to the West Coast and Vancouver. Check out Barkerville [url=http://www.barkerville.ca/]http:
/www.barkerville.ca/[/url] on your way to the coast.



You might want to download Google Earth to plot your Journey. I think it would help you grasp the magnitude of your planned travel. I have visited all of the places that have been mentioned in this thread...but not during one trip. You will have an amazing trek.



Excellent information, have used Google maps to work out mileage/kms, we have purchased 6000 miles and can pay for extra used on return of vehicle if required. Much appreciated.
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jim crowl
post Nov 10 2011, 06:00 PM
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Welcome!
I'm not sure of your specific interests, but even though you plan your route in advance, it's sometimes useful to visit the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Information offices in towns that you visit. They have information on local festivals, sites of interest, and sometimes even discount coupons for attractions, restaurants etc. You can usually pick up brochures on attractions in other parts of the state.

My favorite part of Canada is the National Parks area in Alberta and BC. Everyone wants to visit Lake Louise, but its one small part of the several scenic parks, and contains most of the tourists. There are wonderful trails where you can get away from the crowds, even in the summer. The area south of the Parks is quite enjoyable too. Radium has nice Hot Springs as well as a great Bavarian restaurant. There are many other relaxing hot springs, my favorites: at Ainsworth, on scenic Kootney Lake, and Fairmont. Fort Steel is a restored 1800's Western townsite along the river. During the summer an acting company in historic costumes does skits at the various restored buildings.

Drive down the coast from BC into Washington and Oregon if you get a chance. I've had some great seafood at family style restaurants along the coast, some with their own fishing boats. There are lighthouses, covered wooden bridges and all sorts of interesting sites in rural Oregon.
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movannernz
post Nov 19 2011, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE(jim crowl @ Nov 11 2011, 01:00 PM) *

Welcome!
I'm not sure of your specific interests, but even though you plan your route in advance, it's sometimes useful to visit the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Information offices in towns that you visit. They have information on local festivals, sites of interest, and sometimes even discount coupons for attractions, restaurants etc. You can usually pick up brochures on attractions in other parts of the state.

My favorite part of Canada is the National Parks area in Alberta and BC. Everyone wants to visit Lake Louise, but its one small part of the several scenic parks, and contains most of the tourists. There are wonderful trails where you can get away from the crowds, even in the summer. The area south of the Parks is quite enjoyable too. Radium has nice Hot Springs as well as a great Bavarian restaurant. There are many other relaxing hot springs, my favorites: at Ainsworth, on scenic Kootney Lake, and Fairmont. Fort Steel is a restored 1800's Western townsite along the river. During the summer an acting company in historic costumes does skits at the various restored buildings.

Drive down the coast from BC into Washington and Oregon if you get a chance. I've had some great seafood at family style restaurants along the coast, some with their own fishing boats. There are lighthouses, covered wooden bridges and all sorts of interesting sites in rural Oregon.


Thanks Jim, have noted all your recommendations.
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Kirk
post Nov 23 2011, 08:05 PM
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Let me add a few suggestions to the route already in the mix. First, you can get a lot of information about the National Parks and National Monuments by plugging them into the internet or from the NPS website. Even if you can't get a campsite inside of the major parks, all of them have numerous commercial RV parks near them so that should not be a major problem. You don't say just what sort of things interest you, but most of the itinerary suggested is pretty much what I might do, but I would add Antelope Is. State Park just to the north of Salt Lake City.

After you leave Glacier NP, you may want to travel west to see Mt. Rainier Natl. Park. From there you should go south and see Mount St. Helens NP, the big volcano that blew up about 30 years ago. Once you leave there you should go over along the Oregon Coast and follow that south, visiting a few Oregon Lighthouses as this is some of the most spectacular coast in the world. It would then be a fairly short run down to Redwood Natl. Park.

Leaving the redwoods you should probably plan to make a quick stop to see San Fransisco if the city is of any interest and then make a trip to see Yosemite Natl. Park. Between this and your return to Vegas would make it handy to make a stop at Joshua Tree Natl. Park.

With what amounts to two months to travel in, you will have a very full itinerary. The trip which I have just outlined will require the driving of more than 4,000 miles or 6575 kilometers. If you are to cover all or most of the suggested itineraries then you will have a very long days or very short stops. To see the Grand Canyon requires several days. The same is true for Yellowstone and at least two for Glacier. You may need to plan this to have somewhat fewer places to visit and less time driving, or you can make some long driving days between stops.

Traveling with the RV you can expect to average around 50 mph or 80 kph. that means that you will have about 13 days of just driving, if you travel for 6 hours each travel day.

You can do this but you need to realize just how much travel we are suggesting.


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movannernz
post Nov 24 2011, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE(Kirk @ Nov 24 2011, 03:05 PM) *

Let me add a few suggestions to the route already in the mix. First, you can get a lot of information about the National Parks and National Monuments by plugging them into the internet or from the NPS website. Even if you can't get a campsite inside of the major parks, all of them have numerous commercial RV parks near them so that should not be a major problem. You don't say just what sort of things interest you, but most of the itinerary suggested is pretty much what I might do, but I would add Antelope Is. State Park just to the north of Salt Lake City.

After you leave Glacier NP, you may want to travel west to see Mt. Rainier Natl. Park. From there you should go south and see Mount St. Helens NP, the big volcano that blew up about 30 years ago. Once you leave there you should go over along the Oregon Coast and follow that south, visiting a few Oregon Lighthouses as this is some of the most spectacular coast in the world. It would then be a fairly short run down to Redwood Natl. Park.

Leaving the redwoods you should probably plan to make a quick stop to see San Fransisco if the city is of any interest and then make a trip to see Yosemite Natl. Park. Between this and your return to Vegas would make it handy to make a stop at Joshua Tree Natl. Park.

With what amounts to two months to travel in, you will have a very full itinerary. The trip which I have just outlined will require the driving of more than 4,000 miles or 6575 kilometers. If you are to cover all or most of the suggested itineraries then you will have a very long days or very short stops. To see the Grand Canyon requires several days. The same is true for Yellowstone and at least two for Glacier. You may need to plan this to have somewhat fewer places to visit and less time driving, or you can make some long driving days between stops.

Traveling with the RV you can expect to average around 50 mph or 80 kph. that means that you will have about 13 days of just driving, if you travel for 6 hours each travel day.

You can do this but you need to realize just how much travel we are suggesting.


Thanks Kirk, we have a lot to think about before we leave, we are not interested in cities, like the quiet life, enjoy walking but nothing too strenous, fishing, viewing wildlife, flora and fauna, photography and meeting folk along the way. Do not want to be racing from A to B, so will have to pick some parks and miss out others. We appreciate we will not be able to see everything along the way. At home here we freedom camp most of the time ( boondocking in your country, I think) so do not have an endless supply of money for the trip so will be doing some sort of a budget. It will also depend on the exchange rates too. Have pre paid for 6000 miles so it sounds like we have allowed ourselves enough mileage. Must now go and see if we can catch another chinook salmon! Thanks again for your comments/suggestions.
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