Thursday, 12 May 2016

Kettle River BC Roadtrip

Kettle River from Railway TrestleLooking to explore British Columbia but are looking for something off the beaten path? Why not try the exploring the Kettle River area?  The Kettle River is tributary of the Columbia River, and is 282 kilometers long.  It starts at in the Monashee Mountains at Holmes Lake and flows south Midway, British Columbia. There are many tributaries, including Rock Creek and West Kettle River. The river goes United States through Washington state hooking back north into British Columbia, before flowing back to the United States again.

The highlight of Kettle River is Kettle River Recreation Area. With over 179 hectares to explore, this area is jammed packed for family fun and and activities. One the most popular attractions is the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), abandoned part of the Canadian Pacific Railway which has been converted to bike trail.
  • Bike in the wilderness  
  • Go swimming in natural pools
  • Go tubing down the Kettle River
  • Go canoeing 
  • Set up your campsite. 
  • Go Fishing
Rock Creek Canyon Bridge, British ColumbiaThere is much to see of this region just by travelling with your motorhome down Highway 33. See serene valleys, farms, streams and forests. There are numerous small communities to stop by including Carmi, Beaverdell, Westbridge, Rock Creek and Midway where the Kettle River veers into the United States. Here are some of the highlights you can see from the British Columbian end of the of the highway.
  • Conkle Lake Pronvicial Park is peaceful place to go camping and great location for rainbow trout fishing. Take Rhone Road before Westbridge and then take the forest road.
  • Crowsnest Highway - This the highway that connects BC to Alberta, and was once part of the historic Dewdney Trail. 
  • Midway - the start of the Kettle Valley Railway
  • Ferry-Midway Border Crossing - for those wanting to explore the United States you can cross over here. Open 09:00 to 17:00. 
  • Boundary Falls - a 12 meter waterfall near the eponymous town. 
  • Christina Lake - this where Kettle River loops back into Canada then back to US. Its tributary feeds Kettle River.
  • Gladstone Provincial Park. Just north of Christine Lake, which has 39,387 hectares waiting to be explored!
Getting There From Vancouver:
Christine Lake
Its about 5 hour drive :
  1. Take Kelowna-Rock Creek Hwy/BC-33 S to Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W 6 min (6.7 km)
  2. Follow BC-3 W and Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 W to E 1st Ave in Vancouver. Take exit 27 from Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 W 4 h 50 min (440 km)
  3.  Continue on E 1st Ave. Drive to Howe St
For those who want to keep your driving to a minimum, you can also fly from Vancouver to Penticton (50 mins). From Pentiction its only 1 and a half hours:
  1. Turn left onto Airport Rd
  2. Continue on Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W. Take Hwy 97/Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N to Airport Rd 1 h 24 min (106 km)
  3. Take Kelowna-Rock Creek Hwy/BC-33 S to Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W 6 min (6.7 km)

Looking to stay at and around Kettle River? Check out Kettle River RV Park. They have 46 sites, 16 of which pull thru sites, 4 of which are 100' long and have 50 amp service as well as 30 amp. They have plenty of amenities for those that wish to camp there. Its The RV park is situated between the beautiful Kettle River and Highway 3.

Living the 'Cana'dream - all inclusive deal!

For those who just read our border crossing post, here's a great deal for your Canada/USA camper journey!

Book a CanaDream ROF (MH-B or MH-A) by 31 May 2016 for Vancouver return travel, to enjoy this cheap rate. You must pick the vehicle up from 24 May and drop it off no later than 11 July 2016. Offer includes: 2400 kms mileage allowance per total rental duration (Extra payable at 0.37cents per km), all convenience kits, extra driver and US travel supplement. A great packaged special! This deal is only available if selected during the booking process online prior to your departure. Please note there is a max rental length of 21 nights.

Booking valid from 04/28/16 to 05/31/16
Travel valid from 05/24/16 to 07/11/16

Coupon Terms and Conditions

  • Special cannot combine with long term discounts.
  • A longest rental length of 21 days.
  • Special offer is valid for: Run of Fleet (ROF).
  • Available for these pick up locations: Vancouver, Vancouver Intl Airport.
  • Available for these drop off locations: Vancouver, Vancouver Intl Airport.
  • Special cannot combine with any other special offers.
  • The supplier reserves the right to withdraw the offer from sale at any time.
  • Normal terms and conditions apply.
  • Offer is subject to vehicle availability.
  • Offer applicable for new bookings only.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

British Columbia Border Crossings

Travelling between USA and Canada does not have to be stressful if you are prepared. Here are our top 5 tips for making your Border crossing easier with our RV Rental.

1. Check and see if you are allowed to take your rv rental over the border! While most companies in both the United States and Canada allow this, some don't. Others may have a surcharge. Read all the fine print. You don't want to get a double whammy of getting into accident AND getting an additional fine if you break your rental companies contract.

2. Have your documents.
As obvious as this sounds, nothing spikes the ire and suspicion of border guards when you come unprepared! Though citizens of the United States do not need a passport or a visa, they will need to bring proof of citizen and/or photo id. Also its not just about personal id, make sure you have all your vehicle's documentation including proof of insurance! If renting and in doubt, the rental company should walk you through all the vehicle's documentation.

3. Plan your crossing off peak times - know your border wait times! 
Avoid travelling around times around popular public holidays in the US or Canada. Here are the dates to remember:

  • March / April: Easter Holidays
  • May: Victoria Day (Canada)  Memorial Day (USA)
  • July:  Canada Day and July 4th USA
  • August: Canadian Civic Holiday 
  • September:  The Labor Day Long Weekend (US & Canada)
  • October – Canadian Thanksgiving / U.S. Columbus Day
  • November – Veterans (USA) Remembrance Day (Canada)
  • November – U.S. Thanksgiving and Black Friday

June - September average nearly 3 million border crossings per month; so take special time to prepare for summer travel! For more information you can visit the official border USA border site which updates its wait times by the hour:

4. Know your crossings

Below are the British Columbia Border Crossings - check this page for more information about border crossings for other Canadian Provinces.

Border Canada road / Highway United States Name Hours
British Columbia–Washington

Boundary Bay 56th Street [Delta] Point Roberts 24-hour service year round
Douglas BC 99 [Surrey] Blaine - Peace Arch 24-hour service year round. No commercial vehicles.
Pacific Highway BC 15 [Surrey] Blaine - Pacific Highway 24-hour service year round. Commercial vehicles use.
Aldergrove BC 13 Lynden Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Abbotsford-Huntingdon BC 11 Sumas 24-hour service year round
Chopaka Nighthawk Road [Cawston] Nighthawk Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Osoyoos BC 97 Oroville 24-hour service year round. Canadian port of entry closed holidays.
Midway Dominion Street Ferry Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Carson BC 41 [Grand Forks] Danville Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Cascade BC 395 [Christina Lake] Laurier Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Paterson BC 22 [Rossland] Frontier 24-hour service year round
Waneta BC 22A [Montrose] Boundary Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Nelway BC 6 [Salmo] Metaline Falls Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
British Columbia–Idaho

Rykerts BC 21 [Creston] Porthill Daytime-evening service year round (2nd Sunday March–1st Saturday Nov. (MST=PDT)
Kingsgate BC 95 Eastport 24-hour service year round. Canadian port of entry closed holidays.
British Columbia–Montana

Roosville BC 93 [Grasmere] Roosville 24-hour service year round

5. What you can and can't bring.

Going into the USA:

  • No Meat Products can be brought from Canada without Permit
  • One Liter of alcoholic beverage can be brought in if over 21
  • Vacuum sealed and canned goods generally admissible

For a complete list of do's and don'ts, visit:

Going into Canada

  • 1 carton of cigarettes/50 cigars/14 ounces of tobacco permitted
  • 1.5 liters of alcohol
  • Gifts up to the value of $60 per gift
  • Firearms - allowed with non-resident fire declaration. 
  • Certain firearms restricted (pistols/revolvers)
  • Personal protection devices like mace/pepper spray are no permitted

For more on firearms, see:

Finally, remember that border crossings are just part of the adventure of travel. If you do a bit preparation, they can even be fun!