Both my parents got their Canadian visas sometime in June, and bought airplane tickets to come visit me and my brothers Philip (21) and Savva (17). It has always been my dad’s dream to rent an RV and ride around North America with the family. Originally, we have planned to go from Vancouver to Montreal, but didn’t book an RV from a company that allows one-way trips in time, and decided to go around BC and Southwestern Alberta instead. The last time we have gathered together as a group was 5 years ago, in 2009, so we were all pretty stoked to finally go on a vacation together.
We have rented a Winnebago Villa, a 32′ RV with a 30 amp hookup, 200 l. tank (about 25 l/100 km on a highway), 6 sleeping spots (although, it’d be a nightmare sleeping on the reclining sofa for more than 1 night), a full washroom with a shower, TVs in the master bedroom, the top front by the driver’s seat, and a tiny personal one (with wireless headphones) in each bunk bed, and a kitchenette with a microwave, a gas stove and a fridge.
They have arrived on the 2nd of July, spent a few days in Vancouver and left to Kelowna on Monday, July 7th. I wasn’t very keen on spending 3 days there because, face it – Kelowna isn’t the most exciting place, so I have taken my 2 weeks off from July 9 to 22 and met them on the 9th.
I have noticed, that the campgrounds (and the businesses we have dealt with) generally have three approaches to the customers:
1) “Give me your money and f*ck off”;
2) By the book – e.g. being honest and reliable, but only following pre-cited rules;
3) By the case – e.g. treating each customer individually, according to the situation;
I will note, whenever I had enough interaction, which of the three approaches was utilized.
Day 1 – July 9
Hiawatha Campground (Rating: 4/5)
I woke up at 7, thinking the bus was at 8.30 – turned out to be an hour later time at 9.30. Great, I thought – more time to spend with the girlfriend and the dog!
At 9 am I got into a cab and got to the station just on time, and realized I forgot to pack the sunscreen, my flip-flops and an AUX cord.
The day before I bought a Greyhound bus ticket to Kelowna. $50 (after taxes) online versus $73 buying at the station – not a bad discount for only a few minutes of your time.
I got on the express bus, 9.30 am to 3.10 pm. By the time I got to Kelowna it hit me: I could’ve ridden my bike the entire trip – that would’ve been a journey and a half. I have weighed a possibility to return back and meet them in Osooyoos the next day, but decided against it because the bike wasn’t ready for a far journey: it had no windshield, chain was loose (I couldn’t tighten it myself because of a stuck bolt) and it needed an oil change fairly soon. And, most importantly, I would miss out on spending the quality time together with my family.
I met with the relatives, who were staying at Hiawatha RV park. We spend a little time on the beach, went out for a dinner at a local restaurant, then we took a stroll to check out my youngest brother’s place, and took a cab back. Sleepytime!
Hiawatha Park review (4/5):
We had a spot with full hookups and a very slow wifi. The campground was clean and taken care of. The park has the leafy trees all over, and the spots are just next to one another. I haven’t used the washrooms, but my mom is telling me they weren’t the cleanest. Unfortunately, I cannot rate the RV park any further, because I arrived late, and haven’t spoken to anyone but my family there.
Keep in mind, there are only 2 campgrounds in the area, and the other one had much worse reviews.
We have paid $61 per day + GST. The spot was large enough to host a 32″ motorhome without a problem.