Expedition truck tour. Help needed.

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Livelifefullon's picture

Cameron sturgess
Keswick ontario
Expedition truck tour. Help needed.

Thanks for being added to the group. We have spent the last year building out a truck. It started as a dump truck that we drove from Keswick to Surrey where we had an insulated box with an articulating subframe Installed. Then drove it back to keswick and built out everything else. Just as we wrapped the build up COVID hit.

We are considering coming out west to see vancouver island. We would prefer to boondock and take backroads or logging roads mostly. We have heard horror stories about out of province cars being vandalized because they are not welcome.

Is it acceptable for out of town people to tour the island ? If so we would welcome some suggestions of places to see. The truck is a fuso 4x4 and weighs 13000 lbs. it runs on 37s super singles and has lots of clearance but it is NOT a rock crawler :). It is very capable off road but we are 11 feet tall so low brush doesn’t work either.

We both love the water (we live on lake simcoe). I kiteboard, we both mtn bike and Love hiking. Any suggestions or recommendations from the group would be really appreciated. If there is anyone who wants help with their build please let me know. I have lots of experience building out a truck. Thanks. Cameron , Corinne and Windy (our German shepherd dog).

fx4's picture
fx4

Jonathan
Victoria

Very impressive vehicle, but it's far too big for most of our back country camp spots. You'd be stuck traveling main logging roads, and camping at rec sites (some free and some paid).

I doubt your vehicle will be vandalized, but if you're camped at a free rec site that is full, there may be some animosity.

Your best bet is to buy a back roads mapbook, and plan your routes and camping destinations with that.

Good luck.

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Alex
Duncan

Keswick!? Seriously?! I grew up in Keswick! Now live in Duncan, which is kind of the Keswick of Van Island, for better or for worse 😂 I love both places though.

Fx4 is right about vehicle size. Most of the real 4x4 trails on the island are tight even for my 4runner. But there’s a huge variety of logging roads that you can get really far on.

If you’re respectful and safe (wear masks, avoid crowds, etc) I think you’ll be fine. People on the island are pretty chill as a general rule :)

The backroads map book is the best resource, for sure. You can buy the physical book or download the maps on Gaia.

Send me a PM if you’re coming through Duncan. I’d love to see that rig!

Cheers

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fx4

Jonathan
Victoria

I think Wellend Ontario has more of that Duncan vibe.

Livelifefullon's picture

Cameron sturgess
Keswick ontario

Thanks for heads up. I do have backroads maps as part of Gaia maps. It’s just hard to tell which trail is overgrown vs a wide logging road. Appreciate the guidance.

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fx4

Jonathan
Victoria

You will basically only be able to drive on "main" logging roads. example: Gordon river main, Bamfield main, Jordan river main, Granite main, ect.

Pretty much all the rec sites are on main logging roads, or just off of one anyways.

Livelifefullon's picture

Cameron sturgess
Keswick ontario

Thanks. That helps a lot We will stick to the mains

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fx4

Jonathan
Victoria

When you get close to coming out here let me know and I will recommend some rec sites for you.

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Seth
Lantzville

I spent so many summers in Keswick on the lake and still go back to visit when I'm in Ontario. Welcome to the island (when you do get here).

I think the size as mentioned will be a problem also for turning around should you hit an obstacle. A lot of the roads (which usually start as logging roads) can change here because of weather, logging companies or time. Still, a good amount to explore.

Awesome and unique rig man though. Will probably be great for everywhere in between here and there. One thing you could do is buy something while you're here to get further in but obviously it's an extra cost and such but definitely a way to see more here.

And for the record, anything north of Victoria reminds of Keswick. Lots of pick up trucks, mix of rural/water, and good times.

Feel free to drop me a message too if you work your way up the island. This an awesome place!

Livelifefullon's picture

Cameron sturgess
Keswick ontario

Thanks for all the comments and help You guys are awesome !!

frostyfriday's picture

Dennis
Vancouver Island

Hi Cameron,

Have you left for Vancouver island yet?

I own a Mitsubishi Delica L400 that is slightly lifted and has good off-road tires, so like you, no rock crawler but plenty off-road capable. (Though I have taken her some pretty crazy places like some of the trails at Browns camp in Oregon). Though recently we have changed gear a bit and have been using a hybrid electric towing a small camper. We still go off-road though not as gnarly as before! It has been a very interesting change of pace, though we will likely go back the other way once a more capable hybrid electric appears on the scene. We love the electric but our ground clearance is miserable and we really miss the Delica when a little ditch in the road put an end to our exploring!

I think you will have a blast on the island. As far as nasty people messing with your rig, I think that is unlikely on the island but don't leave her unattended in the big city like Vancouver. There are a-holes all over the world these days. I think because you may be sleeping in your rig, it is very unlikely you will be messed with. Usually someone dim witted enough to mess with someones car is also a bit spineless and not willing to run the risk of someone suddenly jumping out the back of your rig and walloping them! You also need to do your part and keep away from people so as not to spread covid.

Though there are some places that will be closed to you because of your height, most will be fine.

There are many interesting places you will be able to visit that are out of the way and on dirt roads. Most are fairly wide roads. I sometimes tow my 10' camper into the craziest of places and she is wide and tall ( though not as tall as you) and has crappy ground clearance. It is not often that I have to back back down a road to turn around. Of course some of the roads do get narrow with bush at time but as long as you don't mind a few scratches, you'll be fine, its mostly just brush and small limbs that you will be brushing past. My Delica is one giant scratch from front to back! Most of these roads were used by logging trucks at some stage which are way bigger than your rig.

There are lots of places to just park and camp too. Nobody will bother you so long as you are not an ass and follow the rules and don't go places you obviously shouldn't.
There are a good few really good windsurfing/kiteboarding sites on the island. One in particular is along a narrow (wide enough for you) rough road with limited parking at the end where guys camp. It is amazing. I forget the lakes name right now but could find out if you PM me.
The further north you go, the more rugged and less populated the backcountry.
I too highly recommend buying a backcountry map book. It is worth it's weight in gold to show you interesting places/campgrounds etc.
Island people are friendly but of course you should be acting like a responsible Canadian and keeping out of the remote villages/towns, cleaning hands and wearing a mask when you get gas or perishable supplies. Some of these areas a remote and so medical services are a big issue for locals and you don't want to be the idiot who brought the virus to them!
If you come out this way, I'd love to meet up with you. My wife an I could give you many tips. We just did a return trip to the Bella Coola area. We didn't go all the way to Bella out of respect for the locals who are very remote. Taking Covid there would be very bad. We also drove from Saskatchewan a few months back when we picked up our camper. Alberta can be a pain. They seemed not keen on out of towners so we just drove all the way through their province. Id love to see what you did with your rig.

Hey what gas milage do you get out of that rig when driving at a sedate 80 or 90km/hr?

There is much to see in the rest of BC too as I am sure you know.

Have fun.

Dennis

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