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Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Dec 21, 2011.
seems like a success story there Sly
Here's an informative article that popped up on the Globe and Mail about winter tires:
Good article !!
I notice in Google maps that our route from Vncouver to SP it shows that BC-1 E/Trans-Canada hwy shows "partial road toll"
do we need to be prepared for this?
That will be the toll at the new Port Mann bridge.
It will just get added to your rental cost afterwards as an "adjustment"
Give them a "heads up" about it when you pick up the car though.
We talked about this in SP thread. Port Mann Bridge is tolled. Take southern route out of airport via Langley. This will bypass bridge.
So it's 99 south. 91 south 10 East, then onto Trans Canada.
how much is a toll?
(as opposed to a troll)
last time i paid a toll was crossing sydney harbour bridge - i had to throw some coins in a basket, woulda been in 1994
Sorry Gareth, apparently that was too 20th century for the new bridge so there is no way to pay the toll when you cross. Adds to the rental as MS said. If you are driving directly from the airport to SP then Astro's 99/91/10 route to Hwy 1 is a good alternative and avoids the hassle of sorting out a toll payment weeks after you crossed. It involves no bridge crossings, and bridges are often a problem in metro Vancouver (although it does mean using a tunnel that can be as much of a bottleneck as a bridge on its day).
we are staying at the Landis suites for a few days
They normally add on more than just the toll don't they? ADmin fee etc. Check with your car rental.
So coming from downtown. Straight hwy 1 drive, the Port Mann is almost a must, any other route is needless dinking around off to the side of the highway.
yeah that's what I assumed.
Given the total cost of the holiday, I'm really not fussed about a few extra $ in tolls
Besides which, it's a magnificent new bridge, barely a year old. Just hope it's not icing up and dumping chunks of frozen destruction on the traffic below like it did a year ago!
(Only happened just the once so far).
The only sad thing about that bridge is that it broke the world record that the Sydney Harbour Bridge had held for years.
Oh and the ice. Watched a video - yikes.
Had to check wiki to find out what record you meant there:
It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 meters (160 feet) wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver.
New Port Mann is 10 lanes and they still couldn't make one of them a cash toll stop n drop.
Snowstorm blankets much of southern Quebec, Sunday was also the deadline for Quebec drivers to install their winter tires.
4 hour road closure between Revelstoke and Banff today. Part of the travel experience driving in winter.
Ouch have had that before. On our last trip it was 2 days.
This thread has been a great read.
I am going to borrow my son's car(4 cyl FWD) and do a detour from Whistler to Silver Star, mid January, to catch up with some friends for a week. I was planning to go via the inland route, not through Vancouver.
Wondering if I should be reconsidering this.Pretty sure he has the less than ideal All Weather tyres.
If you are not familiar with the Pemberton road it can get tricky in winter. I'm not sure it is anywhere near ploughed as often as the major routes as well.
@shrimp On a clear day you only save 55 mins via Pemberton, as opposed to Vancouver. I suspect with snow on the road, you could add an additional 1/2 hour to the Pemberton route. So you may only save 20mins.
Not worth it IMO.
Stay off the Duffey Lake route if you don't have reliable vehicle with winter tires. Serious road through serious terrain. Not the place to learn winter driving.
Top drive from Banff to Salmon Arm today. A few photos attached.
Great photos. Isn't Canada just a postcard view almost everywhere you go?
And it looks like you got the drive in much better conditions to mine just over a week ago.
Last week we had road closed for 3 hours due to an accident. Snow, fog, ice, mad truck drivers for 5 hours. I was very tense by the time we arrived at Banff.
Beautiful one day ugly the next!
Great views. I've been there in summer and winter and photos never really capture the spectacular heights and sights.
But you drove right past some pretty good ski resorts - Norquay, Sunshine, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke.
Not tempted to break the driving and stop in for a day or two of skiing?
Skied Lake Louise, Sunshine and Norquay. They all need more snow. Lake Louise was jumping with the World Cup border cross FIS event. Spent the night at Revelstoke but did not ski. I know we should have but can only fit so much into a trip.
Any recommendations on what car to buy? Heading over next year with the other half, budgeting about $5500 Australian for a car.
Have seen some pretty cheap SUV's like a Ford expedition. But plan to use it to travel from West coast to East Coast, in the Winter and the 2 years we plan to be there!
Expedition is BIG, like a Chevy Suburban. Fuel costs will be formidable for an 8 seater like that. No point for just a couple. A smaller SUV like a Ford Escape or Toyota's RAV4 would make more sense. They cost less when new, so used versions will drop into your price range with less wear and tear on board.
I haven't felt the need for SUV myself, we've had minivans when kids were smaller and then small 4 cyl FWD hatches since then. Current ride is a Pontiac Vibe, which is a badge engineered Toyota Matrix. Both vehicles are based on a Corolla platform, just a hatch rather than a sedan. Both versions sold in the hundreds of thousands across the US and Canada. Vibe ended production when GM dropped the Pontiac brand as part of its reorganisation in 2009, despite being the largest selling model of the entire GM lineup. Anyway, there's a lot of those on the road so you could find something 5-6 years old in your price range. 1.8L FWD, nothing special, but comfortable on the road, good on gas, never had problems in the snow since we fitted winter tyres as soon as we got it. The Pontiacs had a few more goodies than the Toyotas for the price range, like electronic traction control.
Thanks for the info, really helpful. I am not a big fan of the Escape, but the Explorer maybe? Its still a big car but not as big as the Expedition i think. Anyway have a few months to think about it!
I forgot there was another big Ford SUV in the lineup for a while there, the Excursion. That one is based on the F250 (3/4 ton) truck chassis whereas the Expedition is slightly smaller as it based on the F150 (1/2 ton) platfortm. The main difference is less cargo space behind the third row seat in the Expedition, but both are large, heavy vehicles madefor transporting a family (or a soccer team). Ford dropped the Excursion in 2005.
Explorer is smaller for sure, more appropriate for a couple. Look carefully and pick your year, some have evil reputations. Get hold a book called Lemon Aid by Phil Edmonston. You want the "Used Truck and SUV" version, there is a revised edition every year. This guy has been writing the series for 40 years and it's the definitive source for real info on the specific problems that used and new vehicles run into. There's also an excellent section on buying a used vehicle regardless of make and model. $30 spent on this book could save you a vast amount compared to repairs on a dud vehicle.
Thanks for the feedback.
I have done a fair bit of winter driving in the European Alps over the years, but take your point about the need for good winter tyres, I would be a fool not heed local knowledge, so the Vancouver route it is.
These photos were taken yesterday driving from Banff to Calgary. Headlights were probably folk coming up from Calgary for the day as it was quite early.
Conditions don't look so good for driving but the snow is great for the resorts in the area.
Agree Chunky. We will be heading up to Sunshine Village on Tuesday so happy to get get more snow.
So if you're being cautious with the conditions yet find there is traffic building up behind you, do the right thing and let them past as soon as possible. It's safer for you and them. Now I get that if the road surface has you spooked, then pulling over into the deep unknown glunk on the shoulder is even less attractive. That's fine, you don't have to pull onto the shoulder. Just wait for a straight stretch, ease over as far right as you can, get on the brakes a bit and hit the right blinker. Don't actually stop, just chug along slowly at the edge of the lane and let everyone past. Only takes a few seconds and no one has to take any risk. I do this myself when in my cumbersome RWD work van and amazingly I feel no measurable loss of manhood.
We arrived in Nelson a couple of weeks ago for a 3 month stint. I wanted to say that Sly's advice has been awesomely helpful - thank you very much, sir!
We however did not take the bit of advice where you said to buy a sensible hatchback. We ended up with something slightly larger:
I'm doing up a blog on the car portion of our trip over on pistonheads. It's got some info on the process of buying a car in Alberta (actually quite easy!) if anyone's interested,and also the adventure of our drive.
Great report mate. We would never have that many lollies on the dash. +1 would eat them all Nelson is a nice little place. Some really good snowmobiling just passed Whitewater too.
Good report and glad to hear you made it OK. You do know you painted yourselves into a bit of a corner with that rushed purchase and travel schedule, right?
What a cool truck 15l/100 seems pretty good for such a behemoth ,I used to get 17l/100 out a v8 jeep grand cherokee which is much smaller .
@ Chunky ,when you hired your suv ,did it have winter tyres or 4x4 ?,last time I hired an suv over there it was a 2wd version with all seasons.
It had winter tyres but I was lucky. Vancouver hires in the past I haven't been able to get them before. In the Kamloops hire I was able to get the hire with winter tyres with no issues. Looks like they had more there to cater for the local conditions.
We figured it out! We were due in Nelson on the 3rd, but if we couldn't buy the car in time or we were delayed because of weather it wasn't too big a deal. But it all worked out in the end - I was sort of surprised.
The crappy tyres was a weird one. They were all seasons with 6mm of tread left and all the Calgary locals were telling us that there would be no problems with them and we'd be fine but they were terrible! I guess Calgary folks drive on the flats a lot and forget about the mountains.
Guy who is selling the truck will tell you anything, but Calgary folks in general should know better. Those who ski (maybe 10% of Canadians in general) would be used to heading into the mountains, but the rest of the city folks are obviously prairie dwellers that never leave their flat straight multilane freeways and suburban streets. Those red Alberta plates are like a big warning sign to BC drivers: red means 'can't handle corners'!
Biggest problem with all seasons is the rubber compound. Below +7C it hardens in the cold and pretty soon the tread pattern has no effect because the rubber won't flex and grip.