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  1. Default February & March - Vancouver to Toronto (Return)

    Hi everyone,

    We couldn't find a similar thread, so hopefully you fine folks here can help. :-)

    My wife and I are planning to take a road trip from Vancouver, B.C. to Toronto, ON to visit her family. We will be going in a new Dodge Ram 4x4.

    Neither one of us has ever driven clear across Canada (or mountains) in winter conditions.

    Is this doable? Safe? What do we need to outfit our truck with in terms of tires, chains, etc? Is there any way we can get away with our factory all-season tires and snow chains, or are winter tires mandatory for crossing the Rockies, prairies, and down through Northern Ontario?

    NOTE: Going through the U.S. isn't an option. It has to be Canada. As much as we'd rather it not be the case.

    Thank you in advance!


    BTW, just in case I ask "dumb" questions, I am a Florida boy - I don't know anything about snow. :-P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike & Jenn View Post

    BTW, just in case I ask "dumb" questions, ......
    There is no such thing as a "dumb" question. The only dumb thing to do is to not ask a question. It is by asking questions that we learn.

    Lifey who has never stopped asking

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default fine

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Certainly this trip is doable and safe, as long as you practice some common sense. Simply put, if you get into conditions that are beyond your ability to drive because of your lack of experience in winter conditions, stop, and let the plow crews do their jobs. Chains and Winter Tires certainly can help get you through heavy snow, but even they are only as good as the drivers ability.

    In any case, you should make sure you know to install chains before you need them, and that means practicing before you leave.

    The Trans Canada route means you should plan to take at least 6 days for the trip in good weather. Out of curiosity, why is traveling through the US not an option? I'm guessing a lack of passports?

  4. Default


    I've driven in snow before but not THIS kind of snow. :-) Our plan is definitely to pull over, not drive in storms, and just take it easy. We're leaving ourselves plenty of time just in case we have to spend an extra day waiting for roads to be drivable. My wife says there are parts of Northern Ontario which may be snowed in for a day or two while crews work through it. But of course the Trans Canada should be better than the side roads.


    Is our timeframe (Feb & March) notably worse weather-wise than it is right now, or would a "practice drive" to say Kamloops or Revelstoke this month give us a good idea of whether or not we want to make this trip by truck?

    Yeah the U.S. thing won't work because of immigration. If I leave the country before my application is approved, I am at risk of being denied reentry. The actuality of this was tested a few months ago, when we accidentally crossed the border into Alaska (it's REALLY easy to miss the border crossing up there!) and by the time we realized we had left Canada and turned around, we were far enough out that Canada wouldn't let me back in. They held us for hours, searched our vehicle, and both my wife and I had to endure interviews to prove we were legitimate. It was actually quite scary, because they very well could have sent me out of Canada and then my wife would somehow have had to get home from the Yukon herself -never mind the stress of them sending her husband away! I have a feeling much of the reason they let me back into the country was because they didn't want to leave my wife and our two dogs stranded.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default practice never hurts

    Well, its never a bad idea to practice your driving skills. However, there's also the fact that the weather will be what it will be. Yes, there is a reasonable chance that you will see some snow at some point during your trip, but that doesn't mean you're going to see a major snowstorm. Sure, if you hit a major snowstorm, any part of your trip could be delayed for a day or two, but you really won't know what you'll be seeing until you are on the road. Trying to guess or overthink things today really won't do too much good for your actual trip.

  6. Default

    You're right, I'm sure. :-) We'll just enjoy the trip out in Feb. I hear the Trans Canada is maintained quite well with many plows and much de-icing.

    Thanks again for your time!


  7. Default Block Heaters

    Do most hotels in frigid areas have plug ins in the parking for engine block heaters? If not, what do people do to ensure their vehicle will start in the morning?

    With our trip across Canada likely taking us into -30 degree territory or colder, we're anticipating having to plug in at night.



    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-22-2009 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Please keep all questions about this trip in one thread.

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