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RVing message boards => RVing outside the USA => Topic started by: RockeyRocket on April 23, 2016, 04:14:40 PM

Title: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: RockeyRocket on April 23, 2016, 04:14:40 PM

We are planning a trip to L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland this summer, probably late July.  The run will be up the west side of the island.  We will most likely be back in the US by Civic Day so that Canadian holiday will not be an issue.  My big question is what is the traffic volume and campground availability is during this time of year?  I just hate making reservations because it really cramps schedules and forces one to be at a particular place at a particular time.  I will, however, reserve the ferry ride up and back.  Also, how is diesel availability on Newfoundland?  Finally, is it worth buying a burner phone for the trip?

Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: SeilerBird on April 23, 2016, 04:32:15 PM
I have traveled extensively in the US but not in Newfoundland without reservations and never have any problems finding a site. What I do is always stay a week and always travel from campground to campground on Sunday morning. People usually go camping on the weekend. If they want a three day weekend then they take off Friday. If they want a four day weekend then they take off Thursday and Friday. And even though everyone says they hate Mondays they all want to be back at work on Monday morning which means leaving Sunday morning to get home. So the campgrounds always are almost completely empty on Sunday around noon. I always had my pick of the sites on Sunday mornings. I hope that works for you.
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Mudchucker on April 23, 2016, 08:54:30 PM
We've done nova Scotia and newfoundland a few times, never made a reservation. ..with so many places to dry camp  we've always found a spot to park , campground  or otherwise
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Betty Brewer on April 23, 2016, 09:32:55 PM
We spent a the month of  July 2008   in  Newfoundland.  We did not make many  reservations too far ahead but we did watch the  schedules of Caravans traveling in large groups as they tend to swamp an RV Park when they arrive. A phone call a day or two in advance gave us the availability we were seeking.  So yes a phone was a good tool.
the trip remains my all time favorite  RV trip.   Look in Library under trip  Reports for our  itinerary.  Brewers Maritime Trip 2008.

Have fun and  enjoy the cheaper fuel prices than we paid!
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: RockeyRocket on April 24, 2016, 09:29:13 AM
Thanks to all who have replied so far.
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on April 24, 2016, 08:14:40 PM
     RESERVE the FERRY!  While you likely won;t run into difficulty in booking camping a da or two in advance, the ferry crossings are usually heavily booked well in advance.

Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: RockeyRocket on April 24, 2016, 09:46:44 PM
@ Betty--Your travelogue will be quite helpful for our trip.  I will be reading in more detail later.

@ Ed--Reserving the ferry is a given.  Getting caught off or on the island with no way to go forward throws a wet rag on the trip.  That said, you are from NS and I am still looking for a feel of traffic volume on the island in July.  Is the run to L'Anse aux Meadows like driving from Boston to Cape Cod on a Friday night (solid stop and go traffic), like a run across US Route 2 in North Dakota and Montana on a late weeknight (go, Johnny, go!) or something in-between?  Can I count on a consistent 50 to 60 mph run outside of towns, or at bare minimum, at least a run at the posted speed limit?

Thanks, again.
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on April 25, 2016, 06:56:21 AM
    I don't know your itinerary, but the run from Channel Port aux Basque to St Anthony is 2 lane limited access road until Deer Lake, about 260 Kms, or 175 miles, from there up it is mostly rural road, where you will see lots of tourists, few local on the road.  You likely won't be driving the speed limit as you will want to sight see.
   As for Route 2 midweek I can only guess, since we've never travelled on it, but I do recall going miles without seeing another vehicle in Montana.  OTOH, you won't have bumper to bumper travelling at 75 to 80 MPH on the break down lane as we've encountered heading to the Cape on a Friday night.  The biggest impediment to traffic is that you will need to be vigilant about moose, particularly at dusk.
   You mention travelling through NS, unless you are taking the CAT Ferry from Portland ME to Yarmouth, you will also be travelling through New Brunswick, and if you've never been, add PEI.  If you want to skip see those Provinces, it is virtually all 4 lane limited access from Houlton ME to the ferry terminal in North Sydney, and you won't encounter much by way of commuter traffic.
   If you are really into Viking Settlements, read up on the newest find announced within the past month.  It is not too far from the ferry terminal after you hit NL.  I don't think there is much to see there yet, if ever.

Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: RockeyRocket on April 25, 2016, 07:35:26 AM
Thanks Ed,

Thats the info I was looking for.  I will probably shoot for L'Anse ASAP then take my time to sightsee on the return to the south.  This way we also have a feel for the countryside and some good ideas of where to spend time and what to skip.

As far as PEI, I will take a pass.  Everybody I have spoken to says stay clear in the summer because it IS like traveling from Boston to Cape Cod on a Friday evening; oversaturated with tourists and traffic.  Not my style.  I will keep it on my bucket list for an off-season visit.  I do not mind driving and it really is not a long haul from the Lower Hudson Valley to PEI so if I miss it now, it is not like I will never get another chance at it.  Besides, we would rather spend our time off NL around the NS side of the Bay of Fundy.  Not nearly as crowded and a much more interesting geologic/geographic feature.

Also, AFAIK the CAT went belly up several years ago and no longer runs.  That was my first choice to get to NS and I was both surprised and disappointed to learn of its demise.  There is zero info on the internet about it other than some historic footnotes.  If you know differently, please provide a link.

Thanks, again.
Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on April 25, 2016, 08:53:00 AM
     The company that has run the ferry service for the past couple of years went bankrupt after the NS Government pulled their funding due to their incompetence.  The previous operator of the CAT was awarded the rights to run the service, and they acquired a 10 year lease on a catamaran that was owned by the US Navy and had been used inter island in Hawaii.  They commence service mid June, here is their website.  There is a string detailing a lot of the background that you can search:
On second thought, here is a link to that string:,91650.msg827526.html#msg827526

Title: Re: Need Advice on Visiting Newfoundland
Post by: Marsha/CA on April 25, 2016, 01:51:41 PM
You might want to read several of the "blogs" from members who have traveled to Newfoundland.  We went several years after Terry and Betty and found several places they stayed were closed.  We checked with the campgrounds a couple of days before our arrival and did not have a problem getting a campsite.  We made very few reservations.  Campgrounds are not like they are in the U.S.  Not as fancy and usually only 30 amp; sometimes we only have 15 amp, but it was enough to keep the batteries charged. 

What we did with our trip was to read nearly all of the blogs on here and then made a list of the things, and the routes we wanted to see/travel; then basically created our own itinerary.  You can check many of the sites on the internet.

The traffic was very light on the island and we had no trouble at all with our 36' coach and tow car.  When we went, the ferry was still functioning so I can't give you updated info as to how it is now.  But if you have pets, they are allowed to stay in the RV (or could at that time)  The boat trip from Port aux Basque is much shorter than the one out of St. Johns returning to Nova Scotia.  Because we have pets, we elected to disembark in Port aux Basque traveled all over the island and then return to NS via Port aux Basque instead of St Johns.  We loved Newfoundland so much we stayed longer than planned, meaning we were there close to a month, if I recall.  Make your return ferry as soon as you know you will be returning.

You are making me want to go back!!!