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The following is a list of frequently asked questions about RVing in British Columbia:
Q.What taxes will I have to pay on my RV site?
A. Allaccommodation in British Columbia, including sites rented in RV parks, iscurrently subject to a 12% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) until March 31, 2013.From April 1, 2013, only the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% will becharged on overnight campsite rentals.
Q. I live in the US and would like to bring my RV into British Columbia and leave it there for the summer season. What are the laws around this?
A. You can temporarily import a recreational vehicle to British Columbia for your personal use, however if you plan to leave it here between visits you must have first reported to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and obtained a Form E99, CBSA Report. The form must be displayed on your vehicle and be easily available to prove that you brought the RV into BC legally. For more information on Canada customs regulations call 1-800-461-9999 within Canada or 204-983-3500 outside Canada or visit www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
Q. What are the RV towing regulations in British Columbia?
A. Mostrecreational vehicles weigh less than 4,600 kg and can be driven by a driverwith a passenger car driver's license (Class 5 or 7 in British Columbia). Anair brake endorsement is required if the trailer has air brakes. For moretowing details, visit www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/towingrv.
Q. Where do I dispose of the grey water and sewage (black water) from my RV holding tanks in BC?
A. Sani-stations are found at various locations throughout the province, including campgrounds, RV parks, some gas stations and RV dealerships. For a list of places to dump go to www.sanidumps.com. RVers are asked to respect the environment by disposing of grey water and sewage in the proper fashion.
Q. Are campfires allowed in British Columbia RV parks?
A. Campfires are allowed in most BC RV Parks, however occasionally campfire bans are implemented in extreme dry weather conditions. For information go to www.bcwildfire.ca. The smoke from campfires pollutes the environment therefore we suggest you limit your use of campfires to cooking and warmth. Do not leave campfires unattended.
Q. Do RV parks have pet policies?
A. Mostcampgrounds allow pets (dogs) however they are usually required to be on aleash at all times. Some campgrounds provide off leash sections for pet owners.Pets should not be left at the campsite unattended. Campgrounds may havespecific pet policies. Please check with the campground before youarrive.
Q. What animal wildlife will I encounter?
A. British Columbia is fortunate to have an abundance of wildlife and many animals can be seen from the provincial highways. Black bear and deer will often come down to the roadside to feed on new grass and berries and drivers are advised not to stop or get out of the car. Mountain sheep, moose and other wild animals can also be seen in different regions of the province and at different times of the year.
Q. What are the driving conditions like?
A. During the summer, provincial highways in British Columbia are kept in good condition, however in the winter, snow and ice is prevalent in many areas of the province and while they are generally kept clear, the mountain passes will require chains. For information on road conditions 24-hours a day, check the Drive BC website at www.drivebc.com. The website also includes links to various other information sources such as Inland Ferry Schedules, BC Ferries Waits, Border Crossing Times and Major Incidents and Road Closures.
Q. Do I need to make a reservation for BC Ferries?
A. Reservations on BC Ferries are available but not required. For information on schedules, rates and reservations call BC Ferries at 1-888-223-3779 from within BC or 250-386-3431 from out of province or visit www.bcferries.com.
Q. What are the Driving Licence Requirements?
A. A valid out-of-province driver's license including an international driver's license can be used in British Columbia for up to six months.
Q. Are there any toll highways or bridge tolls in British Columbia?
A. There are currently two tolled bridges in British Columbia. The Golden Ears Bridge which spans the Fraser River and connects Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge to Langley; And the Port Mann Bridge which spans the Fraser River along Highway 1 between Coquitlam and Surrey as drivers enter or leave Metro Vancouver. An electronic tracking device captures the vehicle as it crosses the bridge. The toll charge depends on vehicle type and size. There are no tolled highways in BC.
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Background Photo Credit: Thompson Okanagan Tourism Assn - RV 1