I am in New Brunswick heading to Quebec and have 2 questions about the roads/highways given that I drive a class A motor home with a toad.
1) If I crossed at Campbellton, NB and drove counter clockwise around the Gaspe Peninsula would I encounter roads that are too narrow or rough or low bridges? Is it as beautiful a drive as it looks on the map?
2) As I head down the river, after stopping near Quebec City for 2-3 nights, I want to head west to and not visit Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto. I have been to each of these cities many times and now want to avoid the big cities and the traffic. We will be seeking out National Parks and Provincial Parks all the way to BC.I will gladly accept any and all comments, suggestions about highways, traffic avoidance, etc. Thanks.
It maybe difficult to avoid those cites to cross Ontario, since most highways connect to them.
You can sort of detour around Montreal, then head west on the 401 and perhaps get off near Belleville, take Hwy 62 north to Hwy 7, west on Hwy 7 through Peterborough, continue west to Hwy 12 and go north to Orilla, then north on Hwy 11 to North Bay and Hwy 17 west to get you out of province.
Another option is continue north on Hwy 62 past Hwy 7, past Bancroft then go west on Hwy 60 through Algonquin Park. This will be the more senic route. Roads are little twisty turny, but it's beautiful country.
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One scenic option is to go north and bypass Montreal, pick up hwy50 or the smaller 148 along the Ottawa river through some small towns like Lachute, Buckingham, through Gatineau and Gatineau park. Continue up the 148 towards Shawville to cross into Ontario, then through Algonquin Park. Pick up Hwy17 through North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie. Lots of beautiful provincial parks along the way, you may want to call ahead for avialability. From there, you can continue north around the lake to Thunder Bay or cross into Wisconsin for the southern route around the lake. Either way it should be a beautiful trip. Enjoy.
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We drove around the Gaspe peninsula (clockwise) a few years ago and I don't recall any roads that were too low or narrow but there are some roads that were not in great shape and I suspect it's worse now. If you drive into Quebec city (I haven't in years and never in a mh), I suspect there are some old, low bridges.
As far as bypassing the traffic, if you just want to make it through the quickest way possible, I suspect that you're better off just staying on the highway and trying to avoid rush hour. When crossing Montreal, you might be better off going through south on the 20 (I think it's the 20). For Ottawa, as long as it's not prime traffic time, it shouldn't really be an issue (the city is not that big). For Toronto, you'll probably hit some traffic any time but I'm not sure if there's a better alternative.
I have never driven the Gaspe although friends with RV's have. The hwy 132 is the only one around the Gaspe and Semi trailer trucks use it all the time so you should be OK. Ask at a local gas station before you start the drive if you want. Remember this area is very French and you may find in some of the smaller towns English is spoken in a very limited way. If you do not speak French get a Berlitz French English dictionary and make use of it. The French Canadians appreciate it when you make an attempt to speak French even if it is poorly.
If scenery is your desire and not speed go across the St. Lawrence at Quebec City onto hwy 40. It is not as fast as hwy 20 but it takes you past lots of old towns and is a much more interesting drive.
For Montreal Hwy 40 onto hwy 640 will take you around West of Mtl. Then onto hwy 15 towards Mirabel Airport and onto hwy 344 to cross the Ottawa River at Hawksbury onto Hwy 17 past Ottawa, Algonquin Park and west into Manitoba where you pick up Hwy 1 (Trans Canada Hwy).
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Eastern Alberta are grain fields and fairly flat. The Cdn. Rockies start west of Calgary and from there to Vancouver the scenery is outstanding.
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We did the Gaspe peninsula last year in a class A with no problems.
We also were surprised at how bilingual that area was.
In the tourist attractions they would greet us in french and when they realized we spoke english they would switch. The first settlers were mostly english from the isle of Jersey.
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1) Again, transport trucks deliver goods along these roads!!!!
& in Quebec there is a construction holiday, where all construction workers are off in the last 2 weeks of July. Just about every town/village along the way has a municipal picnic ground, which may really be a campground. AHEM, with that what do you think about the area being suitable for larger rvs??????
2) Travelling further west. Of course, you're going to go north, at least as far as the Trans Canada, highway 17. Why ever would you remotely consider going through southern Ontario. Very different type of trip, that one. Still further north there has been a big forest fire up around Timmins. I wouldn't go that way right now. Wait a month for that route.
Thanks for the input so far. Need to study this some more.
However, Little Kopit I need to remind you that transport trucks ride right up the butt end of a motor home on a road in disrepair and don't feel the bumping, grinding, headaches and non-enjoyment that we as RVers do. Guess the suspension system of a high end Bob Tail or an 18-wheeler tractor is different. That's why an RV forum to ask road suggestions is better than asking a trucking forum.
Re the routing hwy 17 looks like a good option as I lay out the provincial maps side by side and fill up a picnic table at the campsite. More work to do.
Last summer, road construction work continued through many of the sites during the normal vacation period (last two weeks of July) due to the urgency of required repairs. Actually much of the vacation period was split up over a 4-5 week span instead of the traditional 2 weeks and it looks like the same will occur again this year.
Many of the road construction sites now have weight limitations on them which has driven the large trucks onto a variety of roadways to get around or through Montreal.
I now avoid the major arteries like the plague!
Depending how serious you want to avoid Montreal and Toronto, you could take highway 20 west to highway 30 (before Montreal) then go west to the 15 which leads to I87 in NY. From there go south to Albany and take I90 west to Buffalo. It will add a couple hundred miles to your trip but it is a nice drive and will bring you cheaper fuel prices.
* This post was
edited 06/16/12 06:01am by PackerBacker *
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