The Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground is situated in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, at 8765 Cariboo Place. Conveniently close to Vancouver and to the national highway, it is a large park and offers a wide range of facilities. Some aspects of it are awesome, while some aspects are very poor. This review attempts to cover all aspects, so you can decide for yourself whether the pros outweigh the cons. We intend to publish similar reviews for all the parks we visit. We also invite readers to submit their own reviews. Share your knowledge, and help us to create a large collection of in-depth reviews to help others in the RV life! Please contact Maggie for more details.
As they say, location, location, location! The location is certainly the selling point of the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park. It is close to Vancouver, and it is easy to get to downtown Vancouver from the park via public transport or vehicle. It is also about 0.7 km/0.4 miles from a giant Costco, for those wanting to shop. Also, you can go on lovely hikes or bike rides directly outside the park, as it is close to the Brunette Forest and to Burnaby Lake.
This map shows where the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park is. You can zoom this map in and out, and also change it from Map view to Satellite view.
Sites at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
There are many 30 and 50-watt sites, plus a campground for tents. The sites are one of the worst things about this park. Most of them are simply too small. It is often hard to get your trailer in or your slides out, and you usually have to park your truck separately, in the car park. This is compounded by the fact that the park is very large, and you get zero personal attention. So basically, the staff appear to assign you randomly to whatever site works for them, and leave you to struggle to get into the spot. We arrived with a driving instructor who had 30 years’ experience, and he battled for 20 minutes to get us into our site, before I suggested we try a different site. The second one was only slightly better.
Several times we witnessed people arrive and really struggle for ages to get in. Occasionally they would switch sites. There were never any staff helping. But of course, other campers always came out to help.
We stayed in two different sites in the month we were there. The one in the middle was much quieter, but close to impossible to get into. Bear in mind that we were driving our long-bed Ford F350 truck and 30-foot fifth-wheel trailer, which together measure 47 feet. People in smaller RV vehicles usually do fine.
The second site was on the edge of the park, close to the visitors’ parking and the railway line. This one was extremely loud with sirens and trains. The entire trailer would often shake at night as trains went by, and we would have to pause our movie because we couldn’t hear it. The first time a train went by, I thought we were having an earthquake!
On the plus side, most of the sites have privacy hedges around them, and you can usually see a lot of green out of your windows. Certainly a saving grace at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park is the generous amount of hedges and trees. Also, the roads are quite wide, so once you are out of your spot, driving around is easy.
Bike Trails and Hiking at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The Burnaby Cariboo RV Park is right on the Central Valley Greenway (CVG), a cycling route that connects Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. You can read all about that cycling route, and watch a video about it, here. If you are a keen cyclist, this park would be great, because you can cycle all the way to downtown Vancouver from it. Or cycle a shorter distance to visit the interesting city of New Westminster with its beautiful quay-side attractions next to the mighty Fraser River. This map shows the CVG. Note that Main Street-Science World is the beginning of downtown Vancouver. This map also shows some of the Skytrain routes you can use to get around.
The part of the CVG closest to the park runs through a lovely forest next to a river. Although it is only about 2 km to cycle that route and return, it is quite beautiful, and a great place to take your kids for some safe cycling in nature. You can access that trail without even leaving the park, through an exit close to the RV wash station. We rode that trail a few times while we stayed at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park, and enjoyed it every time.
This is a map I recorded of one of our bike rides along this trail, next to the Brunette River. The route starts and ends at the RV Park, on the left.
You can of course hike that trail as well. Plus, there is a really wonderful hike that starts just down the road from the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park. This hike is through a nature preservation area next to the Burnaby River and Lake. You can hike as far as you like on this trail, although most families will choose to go a short distance and then return. If you are very fit, a hike around the entire circumference of the lake will take two or three hours; it is about 10 km (6 miles). Unfortunately, bikes are not permitted on this trail. Here is Maggie headed towards the Burnaby Lake Trail with our dogs, Billy and Ripley.
This is a map I recorded showing how to walk to the Burnaby Lake Trail from the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park. That day we just walked a short way and returned, because one of our dogs, Billy, was still recuperating from knee surgery.
Public Transport near the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
There is a bus stop very nearby. Also, the nearest Skytrain station, called Production Way-University, is a 15-minute walk away (1.45 km/0.9 miles). This is really excellent, as the Skytrain will get you to downtown Vancouver, as well as take you all over Greater Vancouver. The Skytrain is an efficient service, with trains running every few minutes. It is crowded at rush hour, but comfortable the rest of the time. Some trains are air conditioned and some are not. Theoretically most of the trains have air conditioning, but in reality, on many of the older trains it just does not work well, if at all. If you want good air conditioning, wait for a train that has a 3-digit number starting with 3 on the front (such as 316). These are the newest trains, and their air conditioning usually works well.
This map shows how to walk to the Skytrain from Burnaby Cariboo RV Park. Also on this map, you can see where the Costco is.
If you have mobility issues, there are also options to catch a bus to the Skytrain, but I did not try that option. Google Maps will be able to show you which bus to catch. Vancouver buses are very accessible for those with disabilities. The Skytrain is totally accessible. Note that you can take bikes on the front of most buses, and you can take bikes on Skytrains if it is not peak hours.
Accessibility and Availability
This RV park is close to the national highway, and easy to drive to.
We were told (but were not able to independently verify) that this park is usually fully booked for July and August every year, and that these months book up two years in advance. So if you plan to visit this park in summer, be sure to book early. On the other hand, we were able to book the month of June just three months before. And we could have booked for September just three months ahead, if we had wanted to.
General Atmosphere at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
Most of the people you will meet walking around this park are quiet adults. You will seldom see children playing, unless you go to the tiny kids’ park – the roads are not really safe for children to ride their bikes. There were a large number of Europeans, particularly Germans, there during the month of June, and apparently this is usual. Many were making this their first stop on an RV journey across Canada, or up to Alaska. Everyone we met was polite; some were even friendly. We made friends with two different couples while we were there. At a rough guesstimate, about 20% of the residents were full-timers, who tended to keep a very low profile.
Noise Level at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The park has the usual quiet hour times, and these were respected the whole time we were there. In an entire month we never had a time when any noisy neighbors disturbed us. We never witnessed any bad or disorderly behavior. We spent a lot of fairly peaceful time in the tiny space outside our RV.
Unfortunately, the proximity to major roads and a busy railway line means that it is very noisy both day and night.
Staff at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The staff were impersonal at best; downright rude at worst. You can really tell that you are in a huge, impersonal park, and that the staff does not have to bother about keeping customers happy, because of the premium location close to Vancouver. There was one exception – a young, ginger-haired man who was friendly and kind to both of us. However, he was a new employee – let’s just hope he stays that way.
But back to the rest of the staff … as an example, we initially made a reservation on the phone for 30 days – no problem. Yet when Maggie walked into the office and asked to book for 13 days later that year, she was told that “We are not a long-term storage facility.” What?! All I can say is that it is a very good thing I was not with her, because she is way more polite than me – if it had been me, my reaction may have been such that we would have been thrown out that day. By the way, the staff member who said this is a thin blonde German woman, famous throughout the park for being monumentally unfriendly. Actually, “unfriendly” is not the word used to describe her, but I cannot repeat the noun that is used, as this is a family blog. I had a disturbing incident with her myself, when I purchased some groceries, and she managed to process my payment without ever once looking at me. Instead, she kept her gaze firmly on a woman six foot behind me. In my many decades of being a customer, I have never felt so utterly invisible.
Value for Money at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
It is not cheap; however, for what you get, the price seems fair, and quite typical too.
Wi-Fi at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The Wi-Fi is excellent most of the time (Friday night excepted), but complicated and limited. Essentially you can have up to 4 hours a day for free, logging in for 2 hours or 30 minutes at a time. Once you are online, you can stream movies or music, upload videos, etc. However, it is really annoying to be almost finished a movie and then have your time run out. It was also difficult for us because we need the internet for our blogging. The result for us was that we ended up on two occasions buying all-day Internet, at a cost of US$25 per week.
Another drawback of this system is that the internet is offered through a third-party service, TengoInternet. Each time you use it, you have to log in. Because of this, there was no way to use our Apple TV, so when we did stream movies, we had to do it on a computer, not our TV. First World problem, I know, but this park charges top dollar, and we could not even use our TV most of the time. This was made worse for us by the fact that some of our neighbors had cable and 167 channels, but we did not. It seems that some sites have cable, and some do not. They don’t mention this when you book.
Cable TV at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The website simply says, “Cable TV sites,” which of course made us think that all the sites would have cable connections. To make matters worse, one cannot even choose a site with Cable. When we tried to book a site for a future site, we wanted to request a specific site that had both cable and was easy to park in – but we were told that we were not allowed to choose a site, as that was “not our policy.” That was the final straw for me – I am never going back to this park. Almost all parks let you choose your spot – in fact, you kind of have to, usually, when you book on line. What kind of “policy” ignores the wishes of the paying customers?
Cellular Reception at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
Our phones are on Fido, and we found our cellular reception to be excellent.
Washrooms at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
The washrooms are older, but well-maintained and always clean. The showers are free and unlimited, and you get to shower and dress in complete privacy. The water pressure is very good in the washrooms near the office, and quite weak in the washrooms near the camping area. You have no control over the temperature, and on a few occasions they were way too hot – close to unbearable. However, most of the time, you could have a decent shower in the washrooms near the office.
Facilities at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
There is a very nice indoor heated pool, with a hot tub. There is a very basic gym, plus a games area, a rooftop sunroof, and a very small, basic kids’ play park.
There is a large, airy laundry room, where you operate the machines with loonies and toonies (Canadian for one dollar and two dollar coins). The laundry was on the expensive side, we thought, particularly the dryers. Other than that, it was fine.
There is also a dump station, and a place to wash your RV (although we thought it might not be high enough for our 13-foot-3-inch-high rig).
There is a very well-organized recycling and garbage station, including a large composting bin. We thought it was great that we did not have to throw all our organic waste into the garbage.
The office is open from early till 10 at night, and includes a shop that sells a good variety of basic groceries at reasonable prices. Although the office closes at 10, we were told that you can arrive later than that. There are no gates, and if you phone to say you are arriving late, they will leave a note saying what site you should use.
Guest Parking at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
There is very good, ample guest parking conveniently located. It is basically the same car park as is used by most of the campers, as most sites do not have enough space to park your tow vehicle. Guests must get a pass from the office, which is open and staffed all day to 10.00 p.m.
Bottom Line on the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground
It is hard to sum this RV Park up. On the one hand, it has an unbeatable location for those wanting an affordable base from which to explore Vancouver. And all the facilities you need, as well. On the other hand, it has narrow sites that are hard to park in, and strangely rude or indifferent staff. Plus it is very noisy. If you have a small rig, you only have to deal with the staff attitude and the noise, so it probably remains a good bet – especially if you don’t care about indifferent staff. And also if you are lucky enough to get a site in the middle of the park, where there is less noise. If you have a large rig (30 foot and over trailer, for example), you may battle to park, and you will likely have to use one of the sites that is close to the parking lot and/or the railway line, so there will be a lot of noise. Weigh up these pros and cons, and decide if this is the RV park for you!
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