Slightly off topic, but one more (hopefully final) question:
Do you have any tips on what is restricted to take across the border into Canada, primarily related to food? I've reviewed the website regulations, but any tips would be appreciated. We are currently planning on taking the typical foods, meats, vegetables, apples, etc.
A point of caution about Takakkaw Falls. The road has one set of tight switchbacks. Vehicles longer than 7m are told to back up (or down) the short middle leg (in the style of narrow gauge railway switchbacks)
Thanks for the heads-up, just my kind of road. Wow, the mountains look spectacular - also, looked at a number of related videos and this is a must see park. Thanks for the tip!!
Saw someone else mention this, I completely forgot....Yoho National Park. Take a drive up to the waterfalls!
Mike: good hearing from you again, and thanks for the reference to YOHO, etc. Until the posts here, I had never heard of this place. But, it looks spectacular, we'll definitely spend some time in this area.
OK, I think I've digested all your comments - and they have been very helpful. Here's what We're plotting as a general itinerary. However, we often take roads less traveled where the winds and the whims blow us.
So, this is the general route:
- Enter BC at Porthill, then to Creston
- route 3A up Kootenay Lake, stopping at various recommendations
- ferry to Balfour
- north on 31 Kaslo then 31A & 6 to Nakusp, stopping at various recommendations
- route 23 to Galena Bay, ferry to Shelter Bay, then to Riverstoke
- Then west on Rt. 1 to Kamloops -
- Then north to Prince George - BUT out of Kamloops should we take Rt 5 & 24 to 93 Mile House or should we take Rts 1 & 97 to 93 Mile House?
- Then from Prince George take Rt 16 to Jasper
- Then Ice Rt 93 - Road Parkway & glaciers
- Then possibly to Banff (crowds...?)
- Then backtrack to Rt 1 to Golden
- Then Rt 95, either crossing the border at Roosville or swinging east over to Waterton and crossing Chief Mountain and then home (near Bozeman, MT)
So, what do you think? Other than what's been mentioned before any particular sights / things to do on these routes?
Again, I truly appreciate the comments you'all have offered, very helpful!
We are heading north from Montana into British Columbia for about a 2 week trip, just wondering around enjoying the Northern Rockies. Our general destination is Jasper Park, though we are looking for any tips or advice on things to see and do that you might recommend in and around the central / east area of BC. We are perhaps typical truck campers: prefer to avoid large crowds, no commercial camp grounds, and looking for interesting sights or activities. I'd be particularly interested in recommendation of any fishing tips or outfitters in the region.
Thanks in advance for any help.
2002 Nothern Lite 10-2000
2008 Chev 3500 SWR Durmax
A word of caution, drove the road from West Yellowstone to Bozeman yesterday and there is a lot of road construction complete with pilot cars and delays. You may want to go through Ennis as an alternate route.
That's exactly right - they are advertising this construction as a 15 minute delay, but it will be much more, depending on traffic and how you hit the one-way cycle.
If you go through Ennis (down the Madison River valley) you will go through the Quake Lake area & monument to get to West Yellowstone. Be sure to stop and review the Quake Lake visitors center, very interesting geological event.
You may want to consider going in the north entrance at Gardiner, ie. through Bozeman on I-90, turn south on Rt. 89 at Livingston, then to Gardiner.
In any case, as others have said, be prepared for crowds in the park. And, if you plan on staying in a campground, be sure to have reservations.
Wow, thanks for all the advice. I hadnt even thought about a horse ride. Good tip. Great, chinese drivers on winding roads. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
To be clear, the trailheads I mentioned are not places where you will find outfitters to go on a trail ride. You need to set that up before hand. The trail heads are just the place where you begin a ride. If you want references for trail rides, PM me and I'll give you some guidance.
A couple of thoughts:
We were just in the park about a week ago and were surprised by the change in tourists. A large number +50%? or more seem to be Chinese. At least that was our non-scientific impression. This was particularly noticeable in West Yellowstone. For a "cultural experience" go to the supermarket in West and watch the tourists, quite and experience. WATCH OUT for Chinese drivers... wow, apparently there are no rules in Beijing!!!
Also, the Buffalo were caving in the Madison valley, about 10 miles east of the West entrance, along the river. The cows were crossing the river at various places, with their calves - a real spectacle.
A couple of other tips. If you are looking for a free tank dump spot in Belgrade, (just outside Bozeman), go to Rocky Mountain Supply (aka Cenex) gas station and do a fill up. The dump is free.
Also, if you want to overnight, you might enjoy going up Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman and staying at a camping spot up there. There are reserved spots or you can boondock along the road. The view is pretty spectacular at the reservoir.
Also, if you head to West Yellowstone from Bozeman, via Rt. 191, and want a place to stay overnight, you might try the many trail head parking areas just off the highway (some in the northern corridor of the Park. I can't recall, but they might say No Overnight Parking, but I wouldn't get too worried about that. One that is way off the road is on the west side of the highway, just north of the Park boundary, called Bacon Rind. That would be a good boondock place. Lots of horse outfitters travel out of those trailheads and leave their rigs there for days.
(PM if you have questions / need more info.)
After driving about 2,000 miles on the new puck inserts, I'm really pleased with the results from a handling standpoint. I can't tell if I have changed the wear pattern on the tires. But, I will go to an alignment shop and see if I can set the caster & camber to a medium point with the truck loaded & unloaded.
Having the overload springs now taking a load as a result of inserting the pucks, the truck handles amazingly well with a fully loaded camper, pulling a boat with about 300# of tongue weight & 18" extended hitch. I notice a bit of knocking when I go over curbs & really rough pot holes at slow speeds - just when the camper sways from side to side a good bit. This knocking is of no concern to me.
I'm using about 40 psi in the air bags to keep the height of the rear fender well at the same height as the front fender well +/- 1/2 inch.
At about 500 miles I jacked up the camper to see how much wear was taking place on the pucks. They looked good, no compression, cracking or other noticeable wear.
Before you take the plunge into a TC, you might want to consider renting a TC and/or Class C, B or A RV's. I've not owned anything other than a Northern Lite TC. I purchased it specifically so I could pull a boat trailer with ease, have good maneuverability, and can boondock (off grid) for extended periods. If you are looking at a Lance/Truck combined purchase, ask to take it out for a weekend to see how you like it.
In Montana I take my camper off the truck every fall. Each spring is a "puckering" experience getting the thing loaded. It's not the jacks that trouble me - it's the 3/8" clearance between the camper and the truck box (2008 Chevy 1 ton, Duramax). Getting that thing aligned property can be tricky. I simply allocate 2 hours of uninterrupted time and feel good when I finish early.
Jacks are a mechanical device that can / will give problems. You can search this forum for Happijac and Atwood to see what folks say about them. Eventually... most (all?) jacks will require some kind of maintenance.
Also, while considering a TC (or perhaps any camper) keep in mind that you now are in the business of knowing how to operate and maintain a 12 volt electrical system, fresh water system, sewage system, heater system and other incidentals, not to mention truck suspension & tuning. The good news is that virtually any question can be addressed, and likely resolved, in this, and other, forums (this forum holds an amazing wealth of knowledge). If you are not electrically or mechanically inclined, you will likely need to rely on a local dealer for support, as questions or problems arise.
Have fun on your quest for the "perfect" camper.
And, fire away with more questions.
I had the Nylon spaces at first but they split after about 400 miles. So then I simply went to the Tractor shop and bought 4of 3" tall cone shaped bump stops.
G'Day mate - great idea. Good to hear that the folks down under have similar problems. I'm going to stop at local tractor dealer tomorrow and see if they have a similar bump stop. I want it to contain an imbedded nut like what you described. In my case I think I want to limit the height to 7/8".
Thanks for sharing your solution.
IMO only thing that will cure your tire wear issue is to get more weight forward on the truck so that the front axle is seeing close to normal weight.
How would you recommend that I move weight forward? The camper is flush with the front of the truck box. Other than mounting my DW as a hood ornament, I can't see a way of increasing the front end load.
This post is a continuation of my earlier post relating to inserting spacer blocks between my upper spring pack and lower overload spring.
As a follow-up to my earlier posting, I traveled about 800 miles with the initial 1/2" puck inserts as shown in the previous post. And, just like someone mentioned, YUP, because I didn't have them bolted onto the overload spring, I lost one. I was going over some extremely rough roads east of Glacier Park, MT - really, really rough frost heaves and broken surfaces.
So, when I returned I replaced all the bolts with stainless and drilled & tapped them for a 5/16 securing bolt. I applied medium grade loctite to the 5/16" bolt as a shake proof restraint. I also added an additional 3/8" plastic insert to the puck, giving it 7/8" overall puck height. This is about the same spacing when the camper is not mounted on the truck.
Here's how the puck set up looks now:
After talking to an suspension shop and an alignment shop, they both pointed out another problem resulting from my previously sagging rear end. The front tires have abnormal wear on the outside edge, indicating the camber is improperly adjusted. This is apparently caused by the truck not being level, after only 20,000 miles.
To determine if the truck is level, I'm now measuring the height of the wheel well to the ground, front and rear. With these 7/8" insert pucks the truck is within a 1/4" of level, with about 15 psi +/- in the air bags. That puts the truck suspension strongly in the overload spring and it has raised the rear end significantly. Unfortunately, I don't have a before & after measurement of how much lift I got with the puck inserts. But, I do know that the truck rear end is about 4 - 6" higher.
So, I'll run the rig set up like this for a while and see how it works.
By the way, the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic seems to be holding up very well. However, Interstate Plastic in Boise recommends Ulta High Molecular Weight (UHMW) plastic for this application. They say the HDPE can crack at temperatures below freezing and that UHMW is a tougher material. If I see problems with the HDPE pucks I'll change over to UHMW material.