It really depends on what else you want to do over the winter.
On Vancouver Island you can golf year round, Kayak - just dress for the weather, fish, hike, visit wineries, just about everything you can do in the summer. The days are just cooler, damper and shorter.
Snow is a rare thing and because many locals cannot drive well in it, it is best to avoid the roads. My son's university in Nanaimo closes if there is snow, because the campus is built on a hillside and there are stairs running up and down. They cannot keep the clear of snow and it is a safety concern.
Recent trip costs.
OP asked for recent trip costs for comparison.
DS and I drive to Saskatchewan from Vancouver Island at the beginning of June. We drove in the Santa Fe, spent a couple nights with family and three nights at a Monastery ($180 per night 3 meals included).
Other than the Monastery, we had 4 nights in motels (3 Travel Lodge, 1 Holiday Inn Suites) Hotel costs were $99.00 to $129.00 for the Travel Lodge with a free breakfast and $200.00 for the Holiday Inn. We did not prebook any of the accommodations. All were clean and comfortable.
It cost between $50.00 and $60.00 per tank of gas and we got 600 km per tank.
If we had taken Mobi (27 foot class C), the ferry would have cost $45.00 more each way. It costs over $100.00 to fill the fuel tank, but I only get a bit more than 300 km on a tank. So fuel costs would have been 4 times as much.
One last important point. The trip we took required long days of driving. I find it more tiring to drive a motor home than the Santa Fe. My son has not yet driven the motor home and he needs local experience before driving long distances on strange roads.
For this trip I think money spent was about the same. The increased fuel consumption balanced out against the hotel costs. The days at the Monastery were set and would not have changed even if we did have the motor home.
It was a holiday, eating out is part of the fun of travel. We did not eat a single meal in a chain restaurant. We did travel with lots of healthy snacks, water and juice.
We have done to trip to Calgary from home in the motor home several times when we had more time for our holiday.
You may have already been, but the Steelhead Provincial Park at the West End of Kamloops Lake at Savona is a beautiful small campground.
If it just off the Trans Canada Highway, so not good if you plan to take the Coquihalla.
I am looking to buy a new to me daily driver that I can potentially tow flat.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but the top three contenders are:
I am looking at models that are 2-3 years old with under 30,000 miles. Basically lease returns.
Long term reliability is more important to me than gas mileage.
I may consider a Kia or Hyundai. Anything by Ford is out, due to the terrible local dealer.
Fire away with your suggestions and criticisms of my choices.
We will not be camping this trip, just a road trip with my 19 year old son the first week of June.
We will be mostly staying with family, so it just is not worth driving the motor home if we are only going to spend one or two nights sleeping in it.
We will be traveling between Vancouver, Calgary, Humbolt SK and all the way East to Whitewood, before heading back to Vancouver.
I do not need any suggestions on the route to Calgary from Vancouver, we do that trip every couple years.
Ideas of places to check out between Calgary and Humbolt and Whitewood would be appreciated. We have been to Drumheller, but ds was only 2 at the time, so he may like to see it again.
First Nations interpretive centres, historical sites, nice day hikes and of course great restaurants - do not have to be fancy, just good cooking all would be appreciated.
Thank you for all the replies and feedback. It sounds like this product could work well for us.
Where we would be using it the sites are not close together and I would be mindful of neighbours. I am looking for a way to top up the batteries if there is too much shade from trees or a couple days of rain reduce the efficiency of the solar panel.
The vast majority of our camping is done where there are no hook-ups. It is expensive to run the engine on a Class C just to charge the batteries.
We have a 27 foot Class C. Measures at 27 feet bumper to bumper. No slides, have had up to 5 adult sized people sleeping in it at once.
I can park it in two parking stalls end to end. This means I can easily park at grocery stores and have even parallel parked on a city street where there were two empty spaces. You do have to be very aware of overhangs, posts and tail swing when parallel parking.
The wife has put the most miles on it and can do all the tasks involved with set up, take down, filling and dumping of tanks.
This year our son will drive Mobi for the first time. His daily driver is a Suzuki Swift, so it will be a much bigger beast for him to drive.
I fully understand that the Yamaha and Honda generators are the Gold Star for Rvers.
We have been RVing for 8 seasons without a generator (Solar is great), but friends bought Champion 2000 from Costco last year. The price looks good to me and the Db do not seem to be too far off a Honda of the same size. 58Db.
The friend's genny did not seem loud to me. Certainly not as loud as a construction genny.
Please share your thoughts.
I will not be running AC of the microwave, just keeping the batteries charged when we are camping in the trees (most our camping is in Foresrty Sites).
Jumping onto this topic.
For those who know the region around Butte, how necessary is it to have camping reservations in May or June? We will not be going to the National Parks, but will be driving south from Calgary.
At this point I am not sure if we will be driving the RV (27 foot class c) or tenting. With the price of fuel rising again and the poor Canadian Dollar, I think tenting is more likely.
Is there RV parking in Butte? At 27 feet Mobi fits in two parking stalls.
Either way we are low maintenance campers. If we have the RV, hook-ups are nice but not necessary. We can dry camp for up to a week before needing to dump the tanks and refill the water. We do not need 'resort' style places, although they are nice once in awhile.
If we are tenting, showers are nice, especially when camping with a teenaged boy.
The reason for the trip is so my son can visit with a high school friend for a few days. I plan to relax, but if there are some easy hikes (safe for a woman on her own) or First Nations Cultural Centres, I would love to hear about them.
You do not have to drive as far as Cathedral Grove to see big trees. The Cowichan Valley is home to huge maple trees, you will find giant cedars and firs at Bright Angel Park with its own small, not too high (free) suspension bridge.
The Cowichan Valley also offers many wineries, golf, whale watching, beautiful hiking, a great out door museum for the train buff in the family. The BC Forest Discovery Centre is an outdoor forestry museum with a steam train.
The food available in Cowichan Bay is quite extraordinary. Local ice cream local cheese, local wine, fresh crab yum.
Victoria is a great city. Beacon Hill Park is beautiful as is Butchart Gardens. You have not said how old your son is. He may prefer Beacon Hill Park with the playground, water park and petting zoo.
A walk on the Breakwater is always a good thing. Stop for a snack at the Breakwater cafe at the beginning or end of your walk. If the tide is out and you are nimble walk on the outside of the breakwater instead of the top.
I know you said you are afraid of heights, but the view from the top of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver is spectacular, especially if you are there to watch the sun set.
Granville Island is in Vancouver and the place to find all sorts of great eats int he public market, as well as theatres, artists shops and more. It is worth a trip just to watch the buskers.
China town in Victoria or Vancouver is worth a visit. Victoria's is the oldest in North America. Vancouver's is larger and really interesting.
Stanley Park is a must see in Vancouver, there is an Aquarium, a walk all around the park and beautiful views.
If you want a nice tall suspension bridge go to Lynn Canyon instead of the Capilano Suspension Bridge. http://lynncanyon.ca/information/ It is free.
Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver are all quite pricy for hotels, especially in the summer. One I like in Vancouver that is relatively reasonable is the Blue Horizon on Robson Street. Big clean rooms with really comfortable beds. If you get a room on an upper floor, the views are great, although you may feel more comfortable on a lower floor.
If you are in Vancouver the last two weeks of August check out the PNE Pacific National Exhibition. Like a state fair there are rides, animals, free (and paid) concerts and of course food.