We got home from our 59-day RV trip around British Columbia and western Alberta on June 23rd. We’ve already been on another 5-day outing to Kluane Lake, which allowed me time to finish off my blog posts from the big trip, and now I want to finish off the story of the big trip by giving you a global look at it, including a summary of costs that may help you with RV trip planning. I posted summaries like this for the 2016 trip (56 days in BC and western Alberta), and the 2017 trip (61 days, with a Vancouver Island focus).
We travelled 4,891 miles (7,871 kilometers) in the motorhome, another 3,023 in the Tracker. The map below shows our basic route – click on it to open an interactive version in a new window.
The RV & Toad
We still love our motorhome, but will make some changes when we buy another one some day. Before leaving in April, I stripped the carpet out and laid vinyl tile – we’re very happy with that big change. As well as having no carpeting, the next motorhome will have an Arctic package with double-glazed windows. Other than those 2 things, we would buy the same rig again (though GM no longer makes an RV chassis).
The motorhome is a 2007 Fleetwood Terra LX 31M, a 31-foot-long Class A with 2 slideouts. It’s on a Chevy Workhorse chassis, powered by an 8.1-liter Vortex gas engine, with an Allison automatic transmission with overdrive. You can see a full tour of it as well as a discussion about our lengthy shopping process here. The photo below was shot along the Alaska Highway on our first day of this year’s trip, April 28th. I bought the kayak last Spring, and although I don’t use it as much as I thought I would, it’s great to have it when I do want it.
The total spent during the 59 days was $10,185.77, with fuel making up 41% of that.
Fuel costs were much higher this year due to much higher pump prices. We spent $3,599.35 for 2,627 liters (578 Imperial gallons, 694 US gallons) of gas for the RV, which got 8.5 miles per Imperial gallon. We also spent $565.18 for 417.7 liters of gas in the Tracker, which got 20.4 mpg. The average price of gas was $1.363 per liter, with the lowest being Airdrie, Alberta, at $1.234, and the highest being Dease Lake at $1.619. That average is 24 cents per liter higher than last year.
Two propane fills for the furnace and stove cost a total of $70.90.
We stayed at rest areas, pullouts, and parking lots for 18 nights – costing a total of $0
We stayed at Municipal campgrounds for 4 nights, costing a total of $133.50.
We stayed at Provincial Park campgrounds for 6 nights, costing a total of $147.00.
We stayed at a National Park campground for 3 nights, costing a total of $125.60.
We stayed at commercial campgrounds for 27 nights, costing a total of $1,029.34.
The total cost for 58 nights accommodation was $1,426.44, an average of $24.59 per night.
Attractions and tours: $287.35
I spent $246.75 in Calgary to rent a motorcycle for a day, plus $43.86 for 29 liters of gas for it.
We spent $1,107.44 on restaurant meals, $203.26 on beer and wine, and $972.65 on groceries for meals we cooked ourselves.
We spent $857.62 on repairs and maintenance – $188.09 for a failed electric control module that I replaced myself, $214.20 for slide maintenance at a shop, $199.85 for an oil change on the RV, and $255.48 to replace failed sway bar links on the Tracker. For $99.99 I added a tool set that won’t leave the RV, another $99.99 got a vacuum, and I spent $67.19 for an inverter to charge the laptop, and $13.85 for a little clock.
I spent about 130 hours writing 43 blog posts with over 1,160 photos (of the 5,295 photos in my folders after editing). The first post of the trip was on April 28th.
As usual, the list of memorable places and events during the trip is lengthy, but family time was what made this one very special. Camping at New Denver with one of my sisters and her husband, attending all of the events surrounding my twin grand-daughters’ high-school graduation in Airdrie, and camping at Cochrane and a day in the Rockies on motorcycles with my son are the things that will make this trip unforgettable.
I spent more time than ever at my 6 main target areas – the Fraser Canyon, the Kootenays, Crowsnest Pass, the David Thompson Highway, Tumbler Ridge, and Stewart, but in every case, this has just whetted my appetite for even more.
We had a few campground reservations, but really didn’t need to make any – no campground we went to was anywhere close to full. We averaged 133 km (83 miles) per day in the motorhome, our lowest yet by a small margin. The slower we get, the better the trips are – over and over again, we still said “I wish we could stay longer…” While we also averaged 51 km per day in the Tracker, those are wandering/exploring miles so don’t count in the same way.
Although I’ll be back into BC at least a couple more times this year (to Stewart and Muncho Lake, I hope), we’ll be in the Yukon for most of the rest of the summer.