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(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)


Just one hour into my first campervan roadtrip, I immediately get why there are over two million RVs on Canadian roads, and why campervans can make a perfect road trip. My family is seated comfortably, gazing out of large windows at plentiful mountain views. The small, compact vehicle is fun and easy to drive, and there’s enough space for everything we need, including comfortable beds, a hot shower and the kitchen sink too.

Heading into the Rockies for our weeklong adventure, we overnight in full-service campgrounds with easy pull-ins. RVing offers a liberating freedom I haven’t felt since backpacking in my 20s, when everything I needed was on my back. Decades later, my pack has evolved into a self-contained campervan, accommodating a family of four.

Traditional RVers are now being joined by younger travellers embracing the freedom of #vanlife, and families pursuing affordable holidays in fully-equipped, modern motorhomes. Debuting in Canada with campervan and RV rentals from Vancouver and Calgary, Germany-based rental giant roadsurfer has made it easier for everyone to hit the road.

Known for its vehicles’ exterior colourful signature wave design, roadsurfer has a fleet of over 7,500 vehicles across Europe and the U.S.—having pioneered a hassle-free platform to inspire campervan newbies and veterans alike. With brand-new Class C RVs and smaller Class B motorhomes, most vehicles have beds, kitchens and bathrooms.

roadsurfer also offers the opportunity to drive one-way between Vancouver and Calgary, giving you more flexibility and time to explore the wonders of Western Canada.

Here’s a weeklong bucket list itinerary to start your engine:

Calgary to Vancouver

Pick up your vehicle in Calgary, and head west to the snow-capped peaks of Banff National Park. You’ll need to take the Parks Canada shuttle to the famous Moraine Lake, and while it does get quite busy at Lake Louise, there’s oversize parking at the equally gorgeous Bow and Peyto lakes. You’re on your way to Jasper on Highway 93, also known as the Icefields Parkway, and the most scenic drive in Canada. Pull over to explore the Columbia Icefield and incredible views from the Glacier Skywalk.

Spending the night in Jasper, I found the RV community welcoming and a resource of handy advice for first-timers like myself. I’ll never confuse grey water with black water again! My kids instantly made friends, and neighbours shared road stories under the stars.

From Jasper, continue west on Highway 16, keeping an eye out for Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies. Turn on Highway 5 towards Valemount, continuing south into the beautiful B.C. Interior. This is spring/summer road-tripping nirvana: smooth asphalt meandering through rugged landscape, eclectic communities and several provincial parks. Spend a night along the way to soak it all in.

The Open Roads are Peachy

Peachland, Summerland—these two town names reveal what to expect as you continue south. Highway 97 reaches Osoyoos, a semi-arid region of wineries and warm lakes, before veering west on Highway 3 towards the mountain forests of E.C. Manning Provincial Park.

West of Osoyoos, find Spotted Lake, revered for dozens of multicoloured, mineral-rich pools. Wherever the road leads you, relax knowing your bed, bath and kitchen follow you all the way.

Both routes above converge into Highway 1 shortly outside the town of Hope. Brake for a stroll through the Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Park, blasted into solid rock from a now defunct railway. Then head west to the coast, perhaps spending a final night at the base of Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, before entering the fertile Fraser Valley and the final stretch to Vancouver.

You could pick up your roadsurfer in Vancouver to drive this route in reverse. Either way, veteran and first-time RVers can expect the best of Western Canada, and a lifetime of memories.

Insider Tip

My top suggestion: rent bikes at the trailhead of the Myra Canyon outside of Kelowna for an easy out-and-back ride along a flat, decommissioned railway line, crossing 18 spectacular wooden trestles.

Travel Planner 

DREAMSCAPES readers receive a special 10 percent introductory booking discount. Use code DREAMSCAPES10 (valid until Dec. 31, 2024). For reservations see roadsurfer.com

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