5 Tips for an Unforgettable RV Trip
BY Dick Snyder | September 22nd, 2021
Post-pandemic nomads of all age groups are discovering the joys and convenience of RVs, with the industry enjoying quite the boost due to the rise in work-from-home — or work-from-the-road — flexibility. If a permanent vacation with full connectivity to your work commitments sounds good, you might want to join the estimated 2.1 million Canadian households who own a RV, a growing number that is currently being driven by the under-55 set.
Lifestyle choice is key to this growth, according to GO RVing Canada, which estimates that the industry generates $3.4 billion in tourism annually. With prime leaf-peeping season coming up fast, now’s the time to plan a Canadian adventure. Modern RV options are surprisingly easy to handle and have all the amenities and conveniences of home. Even better, RV excursions can be more than 20 per cent less costly than conventional vacations. Whether you buy or rent your first RV, here are some tips to ensure a successful adventure.
1. The Most Important Tip for Your First RV Adventure
Stick close to home. A one-night or weekend excursion in your own backyard will let you acclimatize — and figure out your RV’s turning radius. You don’t want to be halfway across the country before discovering you forgot your laptop, or left the dog at home by mistake. Do visit a local RV park, so you’ll know what to expect and what you need to bring in terms of hookups, patio furniture and other supplies. Then: make lists. Lots of them. And don’t forget the corkscrew.
2. Plan Your Trip Online
There are more than a few blogs and online resources to help you plan your trip — and avoid rookie mistakes. The national RV sales and rental outfit CanaDream offers clients access to special offers from tourism and attraction partners across the country, with an easy-to-navigate map that shows nearby options — everything from whale watching to helicopter tours to zip lining. The GO RVing Canada website has extensive FAQs on how to get started in RVing, along with detailed trip guides created by Canadian adventure guide and Amazing Race Canada host Jon Montgomery, which cover B.C., the Prairies, the Maritimes and Toronto. Be careful with mapping apps, which can often underestimate the time it will take to get to your destination. Consult multiple resources, if possible.
3. Pick the Right RV and Accessories
Many RV sales and rental companies have useful online tools to help you pick the right RV. Most important: don’t pick one that’s too small. It might be rated for sleeping five, but a family of four could find themselves cramped. Visit the lot and see for yourself. Depending on your plans, companies can also help outfit you with all the accessories you need, from bike and kayak racks to ATV trailers to plumbing and electrical supplies. Don’t forget a few beach chairs — and a wine chiller and champagne.
4. Choose Your Level of Isolation
Looking to disconnect from your digital universe? Go deep into some of Canada’s wilder provincial and national parks, where the internet dare not roam. Need to check in every day? Stick close to the major cities and highways. Looking for friends and companions? Hang out in some of the bigger private RV parks, where neighbourly camaraderie is a way of life — and a good way for newbies to learn from veterans. RV parks are usually geared to kids, with lots of fun things to do like zip lining, climbing, water parks, etc. Be sure to book ahead.
5. Last, But Not Least: Arrive While it’s Still Light Out
This is a top tip on every blog geared to RV neophytes. You’ll need to unpack, figure out your hookups, get the lay of the land, light a campfire, find the showers and the beach … or make friends with the neighbours. Also, you should avoid driving at night, just to stay safe from wandering deer, moose and bears.
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