We had big plans when we arrived in Vancouver. Find a minivan, buy it, build a bed for the van and transform the minivan into our campervan! But first, we needed a base in Vancouver. We were lucky to stay with a lovely family at their AirBnB home that had a garage filled with tools to build our campervan bed. It was also one of our first very comfortable rooms in a long time which made us feel really pampered. The room came complete with a bath tub, full kitchen and even a huge TV above our bed. When travelling for a while, these normal modern comforts become so luxurious and we fully enjoyed our home in Vancouver.
And then one day, there it was, our Dodge Grand Caravan for a great price on Craigslist. We went to view the van and as we have found out in Canada things go fast with cars, so half an hour after viewing the van, we were signing our names on the dotted line and getting our license plates. Excited with our new van, we started the transformation from minivan to campervan and within a couple of days, we said our goodbyes to Vancouver and our AirBnB family and headed to Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island is a popular island off the coast from Vancouver that is small in size (for Canadian standards) but large in its diversity of nature and flora and fauna. With our new campervan, our new home changed from hostels, homes and motels to campgrounds and parking lots. Vancouver Island had some extremely beautiful campgrounds ranging from sites where you park beneath huge trees covered in moss, or cliffs overlooking the beach to spots next to the river where curious dears come up to check you out. One thing we soon learned was that showers were not always available in the cheaper campgrounds or in provincial parks. Water is sometimes only available by pumping up water at the pumps and toilets are usually long drop facilities. Sites must be kept bear-proof and all garbage bins are bear proof as we are in bear country. However, this all was not a problem as the surroundings were beautiful and we even saw our first bear in the wild. Our AirBnB in Vancouver was € 32 per night (we had a good deal as we stayed longer than a week) and on average the campsites on Vancouver Island were € 16 per night.
Vancouver – AirBnB
Victoria – Thetis Lake Campground
Pacific Rim – Pacific Rim Campground
Campbell River – Parkside Campground & RV Park
Strathcona Provincial Park – Ralph River Campground
Nanaimo – Jinglepot Campground