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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 17 Jan 2018
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Smile Canada, USA and Mexico

Hello all,
we are getting closer to our leave date of April 2019 and before we get started, we would like some information, yes we have tried the search tool but there is too much information if that is such a thing?

Our plan is to arrive in Canada by air in mid April and ride across Canada to Anchorage before heading south in to USA, We have no time constraints other than visa allowances and we will be self sufficient.

Can anyone tell us what motor insurance is needed in Canada and the USA and can we get one policy to cover both countries?

Can we be pointed in the best direction for information on weather conditions, ( what we could expect at what times)? also fuel stops and campsites, distances and repair/service locations?

What would residents recommend we take with us as we intend to camp where possible, weather permitting. ( we have camped all over Europe but never in really cold climates )

We understand that we need medical insurance but where is the best place for getting it as this will be (hopefully) the start of a much longer trip.

We would also like info on places to visit, places to avoid and are open to any suggestions as this will be a once in a life time trip. (hopefully!!!!!!!)
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Old 17 Jan 2018
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You will likely find the weather conditions unpleasant that early in the Canadian "spring". I ran into snow flurries 2 or 3 times driving my Unimog camper across Canada from Alaska May 5 thru 18 2016. Why don't you wait till about May 20 to start your trip?
Be sure to stop at Liard Hot Springs on the Alaska Highway about mile 475 (roughly).
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  #3  
Old 21 Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
Can anyone tell us what motor insurance is needed in Canada and the USA and can we get one policy to cover both countries?
For insurance Canada/USA I found the following companies:
Motorcycle Express - Ship Your Bike
International motor insurance and frontier insurance for travelling with your own motorcycle through the USA or Canada

But you will find a few more using a search engine.

I'm planning to visit West Canada and Alaska in summer 2018.

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Wolle
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  #4  
Old 22 Mar 2018
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Where are your flying into? As for fuel, unless your doing some of the Great Trail sections your unlikely to have issues finding fuel stations.

There are many campsites across all provinces. The app Camp & Tent has some good information. For Quebec the site https://www.sepaq.com/ has all parks (note the site is down right now), for Ontario the site is Ontario Parks these are the provincial parks. The national parks can be found at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/index

I’m happy to help with info through Quebec and Ontario.

Cheers.
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  #5  
Old 22 Mar 2018
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iOverlander.com is a pretty good resource for travelers with about 8000 entries across North America
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  #6  
Old 23 Mar 2018
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northern Ontario: be aware : long,cold, food is yack,weird opp

I rode across Canada countless times since 1972. Riding across Canada before june is risky. I rode it again last year end of May. Northern Ontario north of Sault St-Marie is dam cold and it'is a long 3 days journey.

Motel are expensive north of Sault St-Marie. We got one for $60. in Sault-st-Marie. Wawa, White river, Marathon, nipigan or Kenora it's $100 and up for a bunkhouse.

But there is a good hostel 30 minutes before Thunderbay. There is a bike friendly camping when entering Manitoba.

**Stop to eat at Tim Horton's in Wawa is a must, have a good chilly soup. It will warm you up, and order a couple for take out because I don't know any good place before thunderbay***.

** Between Sault-St-Mary and Thunderbay the Ontario Provincial Police has long crow, over 110 be carefull specially White River and Wawa**.
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Old 31 Mar 2018
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Travelling the Alaska Hiway

The best (detailed) source of information I've found for western Canada and Alaska is "The Milepost". It has detailed descriptions of every mile(pretty much) of western Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories) including sightseeing, where to stay, where to eat, camping information, etc. It's updated annually and when you buy the book you also get access to all that information on-line and you can download a pdf version so you don't have to tote the book around. WELL WORTH IT! You can google Amazon and buy the book on-line.
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  #8  
Old 4 Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
Our plan is to arrive in Canada by air in mid April...
Where will you be arriving? Mid-April is pretty much the start of the riding season in Toronto, so, no problems there, but it might be a wee bit early if you are arriving further north (e.g. Montreal or Winnipeg).

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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
...and ride across Canada to Anchorage...
Uh, if you are arriving in Canada at Toronto or Montreal, the first 1,000 miles of your ride will be mostly northward, and it might get kind of cold. I live in Toronto, and have ridden cross-Canada many times. I would not plan to ride from Toronto or Montreal out to the prairie provinces prior to May 1. Toronto weather is similar to the weather in (for example) the middle of France or Germany. But, the southernmost highway you can take across Western Canada is at almost the same latitude as Moscow, and has similar weather.

By itself, the mid-April arrival is not a problem, but I suggest you plan to not "head west" until May 1. There is plenty to see and do in Southern Ontario and Quebec between mid-April and May 1.

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...before heading south in to USA...
Give some thought to taking a ferry south from Anchorage to Vancouver or Seattle. There is only one road between Western Canada and Alaska, and unless you want to see the same 800 miles of (very lonely & desolate) road in both directions, riding north then taking a ferry south might be far more enjoyable, and no more expensive (no more expensive because you will have to travel quite far east in the process of getting from Anchorage to either Vancouver or Seattle).

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Can anyone tell us what motor insurance is needed in Canada and the USA and can we get one policy to cover both countries?
There is an insurance treaty between Canada and the USA, such that insurance sold anywhere in either country must meet minimum requirements for all Canadian provinces and all US states. So you will likely only need one policy for your entire tour.

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Can we be pointed in the best direction for information on weather conditions, ( what we could expect at what times)...
No, not really, simply because the land mass of Canada and USA is just too big to generalize. The distance between one end of Canada to the other end is greater than the distance between Yorkshire and Kenya. The weather variations are similar.

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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
...also fuel stops and campsites, distances and repair/service locations?
Don't worry about fuel stops, there are only 2 or 3 places along your route (to Anchorage) where you will need to pay attention to the distance between fuel stops, and at those places you will find very conspicuous signs advising you that it is (for example) 113 miles to the next fuel stop.

As for camping, that is usually administered at the Provincial level in Canada, and the State level in the USA, so go visit the various province and state tourism websites.

For repair & service: What kind of bike do you have? If it is a common brand such as Honda, BMW, etc., don't be concerned, if it is an exotic brand such as Ducati, you might need to do a bit of research ahead of time.

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What would residents recommend we take with us as we intend to camp where possible, weather permitting. ( we have camped all over Europe but never in really cold climates )
Warm clothing, a waterproof tent, and a credit card for those days when the weather is crappy and you don't want to camp.

Quite seriously, I suggest that you not plan on camping in Canada prior to June 1. There might be a few days in late May that are very nice & warm, but there is an equal chance of below-freezing temperatures overnight in late May, especially in Northern Ontario and across the Prairie provinces. Also, very few Canadian campsites open for the season prior to June 1 at the earliest.

Better to plan on staying in motels overnight until June, or AirBnB, or similar.

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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
We understand that we need medical insurance but where is the best place for getting it as this will be (hopefully) the start of a much longer trip.
If you buy the insurance in North America, you will need to buy two policies, one for Canada and one for the USA. I suggest you investigate buying medical insurance from a UK-based insurer... not only will that be a heck of a lot easier for you to research, but it will probably be less expensive, and you will be able to tailor the insurance policy to suit your exact needs.

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Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
We would also like info on places to visit, places to avoid and are open to any suggestions...
I'll make you a deal: I plan to tour the UK & Ireland in late May this year on my moto (a ST 1100) - let's meet up for dinner in your town, you tell me what is worth seeing in the UK, and I will tell you what is worth seeing in Canada. Send me a private message via the PM system here on the HUBB, we can exchange contact info that way.

Michael
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  #9  
Old 22 Apr 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talkingmonkeys View Post
Hello all,
we are getting closer to our leave date of April 2019 and before we get started, we would like some information, yes we have tried the search tool but there is too much information if that is such a thing?

Inline responses below.

Our plan is to arrive in Canada by air in mid April and ride across Canada to Anchorage before heading south in to USA, We have no time constraints other than visa allowances and we will be self sufficient.


We started our RTW trip in June 2014. Like you, we considered riding across Canada but on researching discovered that there wasn't too much to see. We also considered leaving earlier than June but weather up north is the limiting factor. We flew into Anchorage, went north, then headed south (currently in Colombia). I would recommend a USA B2 visa. These last for 10 years and give you 6 months maximum on any single visit.


Can anyone tell us what motor insurance is needed in Canada and the USA and can we get one policy to cover both countries?


We got our insurance through Motorcycle Express and paid $272.90 USD incl. $60 USD fees for a 6 month policy.


Can we be pointed in the best direction for information on weather conditions, ( what we could expect at what times)? also fuel stops and campsites, distances and repair/service locations?


Weather is so unpredictable. We had high 20's centigrade to low single digits when in Alaska. It rained a lot. Coldest place we camped was Yellowstone NP at -6 centigrade. Hottest place was Death Valley. No idea how hot the thermometer melted :-) The only place you'll need extra fuel are roads like the Dalton Highway. Use the Milepost as your guide. Campgrounds are common, be bear aware when camping.



What would residents recommend we take with us as we intend to camp where possible, weather permitting. ( we have camped all over Europe but never in really cold climates )


Canada is expensive, we camped 100% of the time. We have a complete list of all our camping equipment and clothing at Bike and Kit Lists - Two Brits and a Triumph Tiger 800 Round The World What we carry, we're 2-up is good for both hot and cold climates. I don't think you need anything special , maybe bear spray?


We understand that we need medical insurance but where is the best place for getting it as this will be (hopefully) the start of a much longer trip.



We recently purchased a policy from Navigator Insurance in the UK. Covers us for riding the bike. They sell an 18 month policy which works out really cost effective. Whatever you do make sure you READ THE POLICY and fully understand what's covered. I have a list of what to look out for Practical Info - Two Brits and a Triumph Tiger 800 Round The World



We would also like info on places to visit, places to avoid and are open to any suggestions as this will be a once in a life time trip. (hopefully!!!!!!!)


So many places and it depends on what sort of things you like. We're all different. We learnt some time ago that if someone recommends a place to visit then ask why. Just because they like somewhere doesn't mean you will too. If you like the outdoors we would recommend the National Parks annual pass, a bargain at $80 USD for 12 months. We visited 11 national parks on our trip, hardly went to cities, and had a great time.

We have a blog with, hopefully, lots of useful information, including costs at Tiger 800 RTW - Two Brits and a Triumph Tiger 800 Round The World If you need anything, just shout :-)

Saludos
Steve and Janette



PS If you go, be prepared to fall in love with Mexico. We did and spent about a year there and will definitely return.
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  #10  
Old 7 Aug 2018
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Canada

Don't come before June! Lots to see in Eastern Canada (Newfoundland, Cape Breton, etc.) You should visit Quebec City. Southern Ontario is mostly covered with big city urban life. Northern Ontario is beautiful. One of my favorite areas is Killarney Provincial Park near Georgian Bay. The prairies have a reputaion for being boring. Much of that is deserved as it is filled with many empty, flat miles. You have to be adventurous and get off the main highways to find anything interesting. Heading NE from Winnipeg or Regina would be a good idea. British Columbia is amazing! Gas won't be an issue unless you get a long way off the beaten path. All the province have provincial campgrounds. These tend to be busy, booked and relatively expensive. Private ones are very similar. When you get to British Columbia message me if you want more detailed local info.
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2018
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hi, so sorry that we missed this post! we would have loved showing you parts of the uk, I hope that you had a brilliant time. we have since posting this have changed our route and are now leaving on the 2nd march 2019 and heading to spain and the rest of Europe before heading to Argentina. thanks for all the advice and information that you posted.
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