Book Reviews and Testimonials

RV Canada and the Polar Bear Dream Testimonials:

“RV Canada and the Polar Bear Dream is the most intriguing book I have ever had the pleasure of
reading.  Barb has the ability to engage her readers, taking them along on her
journey over every mile and bump in the road.  I felt as though I was sitting in
the sunshine with her feeling the breeze on my face.  Once I headed out on this
journey I could not stop reading.  I needed to know what was around the next
bend in the road.  Barb and Dave are truly courageous people.  I can’t wait for
the next publication.  Thank you for the fantastic read. ” Mary-Lou Bates, Surrey, BC

“This is your best book to date and I very much like the presentation of your
excellent photos with the framing,shading & accentuation!”  Fred Kobsted, Kobsted Photo, Powell River, BC

“I am proud of you for your book, RV Canada and the Polar bear Dream. You wrote it with love, commitment and on-going determination.Sometimes I have shed tears.My hope for Brent remains strong.’

Heather Dyble, author of “Meet It and Beat It” Powell River, BC


Review of RV Canada with Boo the Menopausal Van: Have a Fun Working Vacation

 by Barbara Rees

RV Canada with Boo the Menopausal VanAs Dr. Seuss says, “Oh, the places you will go.” That quote about sums up Barbara Rees’ book, RV Canada with Boo the Menopausal Van. The Rees’ “dime and a dream” mode of travel takes them from Powell River, British Columbia, to Newfoundland and back. This is the “Geriartic Gypsies’,” as Barb and Dave refer to themselves, third cross-Canada trip.

Their RV is a 27-foot trailer, pulled by Boo, the menopausal 1992 Ford van, so called because she is unpredictable and frequently overheats! Though they have a pension, they will be selling items—Barb’s first book, brandied blackberry sauce and Dave’s driftwood plus other items to cover expenses. This means stopping at farmers markets along the way; some they’ve sold at before, others they’ve heard of or are told about in their travels. Often they get down to their last pennies before finding a market. Focused on their dream and their goals, they always do get enough to continue in spite of unexpected repairs for the temperamental Boo.

This book is a travelogue for the backroads across Canada. Each town has a unique feature. What Barb’s trip reminded me was a trip on Route 66 in the U.S.: lots of kitschy icons along the way. In Parkside, for example, you’ll find the world’s largest lily. Sara, the giant camel, can be found along the highway near Glenboro. A giant 30-foot nickle is a prominent tourist draw in Sudbury. Outside Kenora on Highway 17, your eyes will be drawn first a giant yellow spider made from a VW bug and then, a few miles later in Kenora, to a giant muskie. In Shediac, the world’s largest lobster stands 16-foot high and weighs 90 tons. What fun to see and photograph these oddball roadside attractions!

We get a peek into small town Canada life, like Miramichi where the bartender at O’Donaghues Pub actually leaves the bar to go down the street to the liquor store to fill a request for Irish Beamers cider! (The liquor store didn’t have it so he made them a Blue Dublin instead.) In Newfoundland, we learn that a tickle is a narrow passage of water, not something that makes you giggle. Along a river in Newfoundland, car after car pulled up along  the banks, people set up chairs and got out their coolers to watch five fly fishermen dancing their lines across the water. That was the local entertainment for the day!

Barb’s book is a lesson in frugal RVing. A list of markets in the Resources section will help you plan a similar trip, as will the other tips for how to have a fun working vacation. She lists the visitor centers, a treasure trove of information, and which often have a sani-dump.

Interesting statistics, facts and tidbits are scattered throughout the book. For example, they calculate that by making a thermos of coffee everyday for Dave and tea for Barb rather than buying it, they saved over $1000. They also mention facts like hours of sunshine in various areas or key features of a location. Did you know that Manitou, the Lake of Healing Waters, is five times saltier than the Dead Sea? That means you can’t sink!

I found RV Canada with Boo the Menopausal Van inspiring. Always upbeat in spite of moments when Boo breaks down or money is getting tight, Barb reminds us to appreciate all the wonderful things and people around us. It is also a model for RV travel. By taking backroads and taking time to meet local people you add so much more to your travels. Rather than simply passing through, you make a connection and get a flavor of the local character. You can get that flavor by reading Barb’s book, or use it as a guide to making your own travels more fun and meaningful.

Barb is also the author of RV Canada on a Dime and a Dream. Both books can be purchased at Barb’s Web site,

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream
Gary Roen Book Review

In diary form the writer tells the story of her husband and herself and how they drove their RV from one side of Canada to the other. The trip began in Powel River and concluded in Halifax. Along the way they sold items at farmer’s markets and flea markets to make some money. There are lots of travel hints on how to save money and lots of interesting people Rees met along the way. She also deals with repairs to the engine and how complicated they sometimes can be. “RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream” is a fun excursion throughout the huge country to the north that most Americans know very little about “RV Canada On A Dime And A Dream” is also a fine resource to learn about Canada.

Gary Roen
Reviewer Go to Reviewer’s Bookwatch, open up Gary’s Bookshelf


RV West: A magazine for RV’ers and travellers in general has posted the review of my book on their site.

RV Canada travel books, free-lance writer/photographer