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RVing at Nitinat?

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by Pavel » Sun May 05, 2019 7:05 am

I’m thinking to rent an RV trailer to convince my wife to go to Nitinat Lake this Summer. Is it possible to bring an RV (trailer) to Nitinat windsurf campsite? If so, any size limitations? How bad is the road there?

Any info would help.

Thanks,

Pavel
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by Slappy » Mon May 06, 2019 7:16 pm

I took a pickup bed RV in years past and it went okay. Lots of shaking of the contents along the way though. You'll want to go slow pulling a trailer RV obviously but the road isn't too bad (I haven't been in a couple years though).

The RV still didn't make my family like Nitinat though :(
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by LeopardSkin » Mon May 06, 2019 8:27 pm

Isn't there a motel there that has a high WAF?
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by Brian C » Tue May 07, 2019 5:55 am

I have been going to Nitinat with my family for years, and can offer some advice:
The road is gravel past Youbou (at the west end of Lake Cowichan). It is a mainline logging road and the conditions vary a lot depending on recent weather and when it was graded last. It’s always a rough ride though, so a truck is preferable to a trailer for the drive in. I used to tow a tent trailer there but I had to allow extra time and drive less than 30 kph on the gravel.
It usually takes about 75-90 minutes on the gravel but allow two hours for a first-timer with a trailer. The alternate routes along the south shore of Lake Cowichan or via Port Alberni take longer and are also rough.
The camping is very rustic but in a beautiful forest on the water’s edge. Young kids love it there because the beach and forest are a huge natural playground, but older kids and non-sailing partners often hate it. If you decide to go, be sure that your trailer has a fridge (you have to take all your own food), and a toilet (because the outhouses are often in bad shape). Only go if the forecast is calling for several days of sunny weather and it is going to be hot in Port Alberni, to generate the thermal wind. Rainy days at Nitinat are pretty brutal. Also, only plan on being there a few days if it’s your first trip and you are with a non-sailor. After, go somewhere warmer and more touristy, like on the east coast of the island or inland. Finally, avoid holiday weekends because they are overcrowded.
Don’t bother with the motel. It isn’t at the beach and isn’t very nice.
Despite all these warnings, we still find it a magical place and try to go every year. I am lucky though - my wife sails too!
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by Pavel » Tue May 07, 2019 8:16 am

Thanks for the replies. It sounds like it might be easier for me to sneak out of the house and just sleep in the truck. A bit of a hassle to bring the family. How bad is the motel? Is there a restaurant in it?

Thanks

Pavel
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by Michael » Tue May 07, 2019 9:02 am

Pavel wrote:Thanks for the replies. It sounds like it might be easier for me to sneak out of the house and just sleep in the truck. A bit of a hassle to bring the family. How bad is the motel? Is there a restaurant in it?

Thanks

Pavel


Hey Pavel, there are a few threads on Nitinat on BWD...

Motel
http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8364

This is the 2018 road report but I'm sure they will start 2019 one soon.
http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9088

This is the campsite development thread.
http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9411

Here is one on windfest, I'm posting this because if you go I would avoid this weekend.
http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9411

Also there is China Creek near Port Alberni which might be an alternative. I've never been, I've heard the campsite is nice but I think the wind is lighter. Dave C36 has been, he might be able to give you some insight into camping and sailing there.
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by Slappy » Tue May 07, 2019 11:44 am

I don't think your family would enjoy the motel.

My family's issue with Nitinat is the temperature. Typicality it's about 22-24 degrees, sunny and 20 knots of wind. There is very little sheltered beach in the sun. This means they have to choose between wearing a sweater and a jacket on the beach in the sun or a sweater and a jacket in the shade of the forest.

I did go one time when we had 30 degrees and 18 knots of wind though (without my fam). It was very very nice that trip and most people would have enjoyed it then but those aren't the typical conditions.

Those are days that it's also 30 degrees in Tofino so they are rare but you could cherry pick for those conditions and they'd have fun. (But not as much fun as Tofino on those same days)
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by Pavel » Tue May 07, 2019 12:41 pm

Definitely sounds like something my wife would absolutely hate...
Thanks for the detailed info.

Pavel
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by Whalepuke » Mon May 27, 2019 8:01 pm

Ditch your wife and go alone. You will have a much better time!
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by C36 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:49 am

S33 - windsurf – Nitinat (2019 July 5)

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Just. One day turn around at home to retool the van (toys for Ethan), stock up on food and pay bills. Late afternoon arrival at the lake just in time to tour the ‘improvements’ before the late start for the wind kicked in. Seems the ‘improvements’ include pay-for-use WiFi in the campground (was able to upload pictures from my campsite). Had our choice of prime sites as the weak forecast for grey, cool and damp looks to have kept most away. Only about four out on the water at once. Ethan launched, rode, worked kite in light air and self-landed in the cove. He was frustrated by the light wind, but it was a successful session in my eyes. Much to my surprise I was able to get 6.1/116/34 going thanks to the larger fin (silly me left the 6.9 at home). Seems Ethan is getting heavier (as he keeps growing) and I am getting more efficient. Dinner on the beach. One guy out on the lake well into the evening twilight on a foil. Fun to get wet and a bonus session as I thought there was no way it was going to happen when we had rain in the City that morning.

Gallery (if you want to view as a slideshow, hit the "slide show" icon top right - it looks like a screen)
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