Canadian Campers - planning for 2020/21!

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by musika, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. musika

    musika Everybody wants to be a cat.

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    This is a very, very early post. We have just recently become campers (bought our Rockwood Mini Lite TT earlier this summer with huge thanks to the disboards on towing advice). We're going to be replacing our TV next year with something a bit bigger. So by the time we go we'll have 2 years of camping under our belts and good experience with what we're towing.

    We have kind of a half wild idea of driving down to FW and making a huge road trip out of it. Our kids (age 6 and 3 current, would be 8/5 or 9/6 at time of travel) are pretty good car travelers (they can do up to 5 hrs at a stretch now so imagine they could handle a bit longer as they get older).

    The only downside... we're in Nova Scotia. Google maps tells me that we're 30 hours door to door (which of course means more like 40hours+ when towing and border crossing).

    Can anyone from the East Coast comment on how do-able this is? With kids in tow we'd likely use campsites over Wal-mart parking lots to let them run around a bit. And we'd probably stop a bit to see the sights along the way. So... 2.5 weeks maybe? We'd like to have at minimum 4 park days and an off day at FW.
     
  2. mickeyfan0805

    mickeyfan0805 DIS Veteran

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    It looks like you are talking about roughly 2,000 miles, plus the boarder, each way. Forty hours is probably a reasonable estimate (depending on boarder, traffic, and how you handle meals, you might even do better). We tend to make pretty good time (averaging 55-60 miles per hour including stops, while others get closer to 50). I'd suggest you are talking about 50-60 hours of travel time each way. All in all, you are probably talking about 3-4 days of travel time each way.

    So...

    Is it doable? Sure. Do you want to? Your call. For us, I wouldn't do a trip like that without 2.5-3 weeks available. I would take a week to get there (making interesting stops along the way), spend a week to ten days there, and then buzz home.

    We've had similar dreams of taking our trailer out to CA from WI. That trip is 2,100 miles each way and we have said we would need at least 3 weeks to make it worthwhile.

    With all of that said, if you DO decide to do it - you won't regret it. We are 1,300 miles away and, before our trip last fall it seemed like an eternity away. Now that we've been there, it's nothing and I'm constantly itching to go back!
     
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  4. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

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    musika,

    You might want to pick the brain of one of our Canadian DIS campers, @Boomer1 (Krista). They live in New Brunswick, CA not far from Bay of Fundy and drive down 1-3 times a year usually in the late fall-winter-early spring time (they are into farming/agriculture). They store their camper near WDW and have it pulled and set up at the Fort before they arrive after driving down so they may not be able to help with the towing angle from CA but sure could with the drive from CA angle. I don't know - maybe in the past they towed all the way from there.

    Another Candadian DIS camper is @CDNCruiser (Gary). I don't know where they are in CA but they recently sold their Class A rv but used to take it to the Fort regularly. Recently they have rented trailers that are set up by trailer rental companies that tow it and set it up at the Fort.

    All I've heard is about when you go through DC or Baltimore or somewhere in there, propane tanks are not permitted in the tunnels that are part of the interstate. So you have to go around/take an alternate route to stay above water/land.

    Good luck!

    Bama Ed
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  5. CDNCruiser

    CDNCruiser Recreation Professional

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    Hi muskila,

    We live in Kingston ON, and we've made the trek to Fort Wilderness many times in our motor home. As Bama Ed says, we sold it last year and now we drive down in our SUV and stay in a rented trailer.

    I don't know where you are in NS, but checked the route from Truro to Fort Wilderness. It's about 1,950 miles and it looks like a tough route. It would take you through Boston, NYC, Washington DC and Baltimore. Traffic is nasty in all of them.

    If I were doing that drive I would leave I-95 at Amesbury MA and take I-495 to I-84 just west of Boston, then follow I-84 to Scranton PA and turn south on I-81.

    Take I-81 all the way to Wytheville VA and then take I-77 south to Columbia SC. From Columbia it's a short trip east on I-26 to I-95 near the SC coastline. Just follow I-95 south to I-4 which takes you to WDW.

    The diversion to bypass Boston, NYC, Washington DC and Baltimore will add about 100 miles and could add about 90 minutes to your trip, but it will eliminate a lot of traffic and congestion. I suspect it will actually save you time and reduce your stress level !!

    We live just a few miles from the northern end of I-81 and we always follow the I-81 - I-77 - I-26 - I-95 route.

    There are very few big cities along that route, and some beautiful scenery, particularly through he Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    If you want to read about a few of our trips to Fort Wilderness you can find some stories and pictures here: http://carol-anne.ca/

    Follow the link to 'The Disney Room' and there are links that take you to all of our trips since 2005.

    Happy Travels!

    Gary Cruise
     
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  6. Boomer1

    Boomer1 DIS Veteran

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    Hi musika,
    Ed is quite right. We live 5 minutes from the NB/NS border and towed down at least once a year(usually during Christmas break) for several years. At that time the kids were still in school so that time worked for our family. Not sure where you are located in NS, but you are probably looking at 35+ hours of towing. Our kids were/are great travellers and amused themselves with movies/ portable game systems/music and as they passed through the teen years - sleep. As we travelled during the winter months we stayed in hotels on the way down, generally we were only overnighting for 2 nights and this was easier than setting up/ tearing down and de-winterizing etc.
    Now that the kids are all adults and mostly out of the home, DH and I drive down. We follow the I-95 predominantly and this can be scary at times with the traffic, especially when towing, but well worth the reward. Near Baltimore you must either turn off your propane tanks or bypass the tunnel, we always just bypassed the tunnel, found traffic was less.
    Our experience taught us that Cracker Barrels are good places to stop to eat, as they have RV parking. When we towed with a diesel TV we had to be careful to insure we knew where the best gas stations were with diesel and able to maneuver around the yard/pumps. Most stations that serve transport trucks have lots of space.
    We have many great family memories of our drives to WDW. The kids learned how to read a map and know the eastern seaboard States better than most.
    Good luck with your planning.
     
  7. musika

    musika Everybody wants to be a cat.

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    Thank you all for the thoughtful replies! I am going to read and digest and will likely be back with more questions :)

    For those familiar with NS, we are in the Halifax region, so about 2 hours ish to the NB/NS border.
     
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  8. michelb

    michelb Mouseketeer

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    FWIW, we've had a variety of motor home that we've driven down from Ottawa to Orlando every winter since 2007.

    We used to stop at campgrounds along the way but several years ago realized that it's not only cheaper but much easier to stop at Walmart or Cracker Barrels (I think we've tried a few other places but basically just go to those too 99% of the time). The biggest thing for us, is that it's easy to find one near the hwy so we can just drive until we start getting tired and then find the nearest one - campgrounds tend to be quite a bit further from the highway so it takes a lot more time and planning in the evening and in the morning. Also, we often do want supplies so stopping at Walmart is very convenient as one of us can go shopping while the other puts the kids to bed (Otherwise, we are likely driving from the campground to Walmart anyway!)

    We're in Ottawa so it's quite a bit closer than you (Google Maps says it's a bit over 22 hours although I tend to drive 63-67 mph which is probably below the limit in many states so our actual drive time is likely more than Google reports). We will typically leave late in the afternoon (typically on Thursday) to drive for 4-6 hours, then do a good 12+ hours driving the next day and then have maybe 6-8 hours the following day. I do all the driving (my wife doesn't like driving the motor homes and now that we have a DP, she doesn't even have the license to drive it (in Ontario you need a straight truck (e.g. dump truck / fire truck) license to drive most large DPs)) so that does limit how much we drive a bit in a day. That said having done more driving that that in a day, you end up so tired that it's not safe and it takes you a few days to recover anymore. But basically, you can probably do 3 solid days or do it like me in 3.5 days which I find works well because you do get to benefit from those partial days.

    The one other thing that we do that may not be an option for you but that works well for us is that we actually leave the RV in Florida for the winter. We drive down in the fall, spend a week or two and then put it in storage there and fly back home, then we fly down at XMas, take it out of storage for a few weeks and then fly back home and then we fly down again at Spring Break or Easter, take it out of storage, spend a week or two and drive back to Ottawa. This is tougher with a trailer since you need the tow vehicle but might be feasible. (i.e. you might want the tow vehicle at home during the winter which means even if you leave the trailer in Florida, you'll still have to drive the tow vehicle home and then back in the spring). But if you want to be able to fly down once or twice in the winter, I'd be surprised if you couldn't rent a suitable tow vehicle there (particularly if you have a bumper pool - 5th wheel might be tougher although I'd be surprised if you couldn't rent something or at a minimum find someone to move it for you (actually, if that works for you, I think it's quite easy to find someone to tow the trailer from storage to campsite and back again)).

    Hope this helps,
    Mike
     

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