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Life on the road
Wednesday February 17, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI is in the middle of a 12-day, 5-resort ski road trip in the Canadian Rockies. Time to look at life in the RV.

It's 10m long, has a 6.8 litre engine and a 200 litre fuel tank.

It weighs in at 6,577kgs and that's before the fuel and water are added.

Canadian ski road tripOur home















I can report that the fridge can take several dozen cans of beer plus a few bottles.

And 12 eggs.

Taking no chancesTaking no chances















Though sadly the fridge was not quite large enough for items of salad and fresh vegetables.

Mid-way through the trip, as I write this post, we had lightened its load.

Canadian ski road trip Thirsty work














There's a double bed in the back, two people can sleep in the compartment above the driver and if push comes to shove the small dining table and chairs can be stored to create a bed. 

With 6 people it would be a squash - for the two of us, myself and my fellow ski writer, Alf Alderson, it is positively luxurious. 

There is plenty of room for our skis in the back.

Skis in the backThe ski room















Regular readers will know we started in Vancouver and headed up to Sun Peaks - first though was the tricky business of taking the handbrake off and adjusting the mirrors.

400 kms to go on the first day and I couldn't even get the small bungalow on wheels out of the RV compound.

But we made it in the end.

The journey to Sun Peaks took 7 hours - a blink of the eye in Canadian terms.

British Columbia is huge.



For some reason countries are always compared to Wales by us hacks and not wanting to break with established journalistic tradition I can report that British Columbia is 50 times the size of Wales. 

First night we had the glamorous address of Parking Lot 4, Sun Peaks - see here for my second post from Sun Peaks.

We passed two pleasant nights - except for our neighbour who insisted in having his noisy generator on all night long.

We didn't need one as our RV had some sort of heating system running off a battery.

There are two types of people in an RV - those that delight in all its gadgets and systems and those that remain somewhat baffled by the control panel and just assume it will all work with a bit of positive thinking.

I belong firmly in the latter camp while Alf, a seasoned RV man, hovers in the first.

He delighted in keeping an eye on battery level, the water reservoir and the like. 

Alf taking his responsibilites seriously Alf taking his responsibilities seriously















He preferred the on-board toilet facilities while I preferred to park the beast somewhere near a hotel so I could use its facilities.

The downside is the early morning walk in the snow - the upside is that it will be Alf, and Alf alone, who empties the waste.  

Apparently that moment is not far off.

So, what about the inside?

Welcome aboard.

Sadly I lost the call on the master bedroom and Alf made it his own.

I had a shelf above the driver's cab, but once in it was snug.

And warm.

My bedroomMy bedroom















The master bedroomThe master bedroom















The kitchenThe kitchen














The dining roomThe dining room














The bathroomThe bathroom















By Day 6 we had become experts at arriving in a ski resort, missing the turning for the Parking Lot or hotel car park and then having to do a 3-point turn.

Not so easy in a 26-foot motorhome with many blind spots and no reversing camera.

No special license is required and the trick is to do everything slowly and remember it is heavy.

It struggles slightly heading uphill (must be the weight of items in the fridge) and when going down you can feel the weight behind you. 

Again the fridge contents are to blame.

Petrol is cheap in Canada at under 50p a litre - half its price in the UK.

Canada ski road trip Filling up















Perhaps the greatest advantage of the RV is the freedom and flexibility it provides.

We encountered heavy snow as we ended the 600kms and 10-hour drive from Sun Peaks to Red Mountain. 

Snowing heavily Snowing heavily



















We were quite prepared simply to pull over and ride out the storm - we had some pasta and a full fridge (well almost full). 

We made it through but we had no concerns about the heavy snow.

Then there is the option of pulling up, staying at the base of the lifts and being there for first tracks. 

Like these guys we encountered at White Water.

Canada ski road trip Canada ski road trip















You get a snap shot of real life in Canada.

From where people live.

Canada ski road trip Canada ski road trip















To Canadian road views.

Canadian ski road tripHe's a lumberjack














And Canada itself.

Canadian ski road tripBritish Columbia, Canada















Canadian ski road tripBritish Columbia, Canada















Perhaps the finest spot on our BC road trip so far was crossing the Upper Arrow Lake by ferry as we headed towards Revelstoke.

All aboardAll aboard














Beautiful British ColumbiaBeautiful British Columbia















Now every self-respecting RVer knows it is possible to have too much of a good thing so we opted to spend a night in a hotel in Nelson near the ski resort of Whitewater.

Well deservedWell deserved















The next morning the error of our ways was obvious to see. 

The 3-point turn that we had mastered ended up being an 18-point turn.

Canada ski road trip Canada ski road trip















But we got out in the end.

Its size is also a slight problem when trying to park - it usually occupied at least two spaces. 

Sometimes more.

Canada ski road tripCanada ski road trip















And then with an RV you can invite guests over to stay.

My 21-year old son, Alex, is living in Banff and working as a ski instructor as I posted earlier.

We are about to go heli-skiing in Revelstoke and it seemed rude not to invite him over.

After all there is plenty of room and a spare bed.

Our Canadian ski road trip is turning into something of an adventure - and all thanks to our mode of transport:

Canadian ski road tripCanadian ski road trip















On the road againOn the road again















I could get used to thisI could get used to this
















See here for the latest post from Red Mountain and the day in Whitewater, where the snow was just as deep will be posted shortly. 

There is a slight delay from Whitewater as the small powder resort has no telephone signal or wifi. 

Effectively cut off from the outside world.

And then of course there is the little matter of heli-skiing before we head on to Kicking Horse.


CanaDream offers a winter RV that  can accommodate up to four adults and two small children from $121 per night plus tax or $1694 plus tax for a 14 night trip.

This includes kits (dishes, pots, pans, bedding) that is normally an extra cost in summer, an additional driver (in summer $5.00 per person per night), free use of generator (a charge in summer) and other items designed to make the winter ski experience in an RV comfortable and cosy. 

CanaDream is the only RV company in Canada able to provide Guests with an RV built to withstand the Canadian winter.  These RVs enable Guests to use full facilities (including shower, sink and toilet) in temperatures as low as -30C).

For more information on British Columbia then see the web site of Destination BC.

For more details on the resorts James is visiting then see here:

Sun Peaks -  see here for further details about the resort   

Red Mountain - see here for further details about the resort  

Whitewater - see here for further details about the resort

Revelstoke - see here for further details about the resort  

Kicking Horse - see here for further details about the resort

Air Canada offers more daily flights from the UK to Canada than any other airline, with 63 non-stop flights scheduled per week to seven major Canadian cities. From London Heathrow, the airline operates daily services to Vancouver during the winter season. 

Air Canada operates new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its flights from London Heathrow to Vancouver - this aircraft features a new Premium Economy option for those looking for more comfort and space, complementing International Business and Economy class.

Return Economy flights from London Heathrow to Vancouver start from £591.05 (1 November - 12 December 2016, incl. taxes). Find out more at or call Reservations on 0871 220 1111.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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