Not all who wander are lost.
We live in a vast, beautiful country. From coast to coast, Canada offers adventure right at your doorstep. As summer approaches, what better way to explore your own backyard than packing up the family in an RV (recreational vehicle) and hitting the open road?
In this blog post, we walk you through what to consider when planning your RV trip, items to pack, and some safety tips to keep in mind and make your next RV adventure one to remember!
Planning your RV trip: Where to go
The first step on your adventure is to actually plan your trip. There are online resources available to help you create an itinerary depending on where you wish to explore.
- Go RVing Canada provides a host of itineraries that allow you explore all that Canada has to offer, including our gorgeous national parks. This site is also a great resource for finding dealers who sell and rent RVs near you.
- If you’re travelling in a specific part of Canada, many provinces have extensive travel sites to help you plan. For example, Northern Ontario Travel provides an interactive RV Trip Planner, including an interactive online touring tool created by the Government of Ontario.
- With a simple online search, you can find a host of RV Trip planning apps.
Things You Need to Know Before Renting an RV for the First Time
If you’re renting and RVing is a new to you, here are some tips to consider:
- RV rental insurance can fall under your car insurance, however there are coverage limits (in the event of a total loss, some policies may only cover between $50-75,000) and weight restrictions. It’s best to contact your broker to understand the coverage you have prior to renting, or purchase insurance through the RV rental company to ensure you have the coverage you need.
- Book in advance. There is more demand for RVs than supply, especially if you’re planning a trip during peak season.
- Get to know your RV. Pay attention and learn about all of it’s features. Ensure the rental company teaches you how to turn on pumps, lights, and open the awning. Before leaving the lot, take some time to explore and ask questions.
- Purchase road-side assistance so that you’re not left stranded with a flat tire, or worse!
- Choose the size and type of RV that best suits your needs. Bigger isn’t always better. Ensure you feel comfortable driving and parking it.
Checklist: What to pack on your RV trip
Bring the comforts of your home on your next adventure. Now that your trip is planned, here is a complete checklist of items to pack for the journey ahead.
||Kitchen & Cooking Supplies
||Clothing & Bedroom Items
- Fire extinguisher
- Water hose
- Tool Kit
- Road Flares
- Trash and recycling cans / bags
- Duct Tape
- Extension cord
- Phone chargers
- Cash and credit cards
- First-aid kit
- Bug spray
- Medications and prescriptions
- Water bottles
- Cutting board
- Utensils/cutting knives
- Can opener
- Tong and skewers
- Dish soap
- Camping griddle and pie iron
- Bowls, plates and cups
- Paper towels
- Garbage bags
- Plastic wrap
- Zip close bags
- Dish towels
- Can opener
- Disinfecting wipes
- Matches and lighter
- Food storage
- Batter mixes
- Vegetables and fruits
- Butter or margarine
- Condiments, including mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish
- Grill meats, like hotdogs, burgers, brats, etc.
- Drink mix packets
- S’more ingredients
- Freeze dried meals
- Salt, pepper, herbs, and spices
- Baking items, including flour, cornmeal, sugar, etc.
- Canned foods
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Snacks, including crackers, chips, pretzels, etc.
- Cooking spray or oil
- Rain gear
- Shoes, including sneakers, hiking boots, sandals, etc.
- Bathing suit
- Sweatshirts and jackets
- Pants and shorts
- Short and long sleeve t-shirts
- Clothes hangers
- Alarm clock
- Sewing kit
- Sheets and blankets
Note: Pay extra attention to the “essentials list” because many of these items will help you if a problem arises while on the road.
RVing with pets? What you need to know
Pets are part of the family and they deserve to come along for the ride. However, when including pets in your travels, consider the following points to ensure a fun and safe RV Adventure for all.
- Buckle up: keep safety top of mind by placing your pet in a crate or seat belt harness while driving. If you use a crate, ensure it is secured and won’t slide while on the road.
- Remember to pack the necessities: leash, toys, litter, food, brush, waste pick-up bags, crate/bedding, and medication.
- Pets love exploring. In case your pet seizes an opportunity and makes a run for it, ensure they’re wearing the proper ID tag.
- Pack your pet’s information, including vaccination records (some camp grounds request this), proof of ownership, and pictures of your pet. These items will help others identify your pet if they run off or is lost.
- With so much driving, make time to stop and stretch your legs, and your pet’s too! Ensure they get frequent walks while on the road and when at a camp ground. They’ll be a happy camper, and you will too!
Fun activities to do when camping
Your bags are packed and you’re ready to explore! The journey is definitely the reward but having some fun activities planned for when you arrive at each destination will help make more cherished memories.
Here are some ideas:
- Enjoy time by the water: swim, build a sand castle, play water sports, fish
- Go for a hike
- Plan a scavenger hunt
- Games: pack outdoor games and board games, including a deck of cards
- Play hide and seek, tag and Red Rover
- Learn about Geocaching and discover some in each location you visit
- Create a shadow puppet performance
- Have a campfire, make s’mores, and tell ghost stories or sign songs
Additional safety tips to consider when RVing
Taking the time to practice safety will ensure a fun trip for all. Be mindful of some of the follow trips as you take in the sights, sounds and experiences.
- Adjust the convex wing mirror to increase your field of vision for your blind spots and down the sides of your RV.
- While parking at a store, use a couple parking spots at the back of the parking lot, if there are no RV or truck parking spaces available. This will allow for the room needed to make wide turns. Also, if a parking lot is too small, find space to park on the side, off the road.
- Be mindful of your RV’s electrical load. Unlike our homes, RVs are not wired to run all appliances and electronics at once.
- Clean up all trash and left over food to prevent a visit from wildlife.
- Plan ahead – check for weather and road conditions (including road closures and construction). This will help you plan our route accordingly and avoid unnecessary risks or lost time.
Insurance for your RV
Your RV is your home on wheels, so it's important to protect it like you would your house. Whether you own a RV or you’re renting one, consult a BrokerLink insurance advisor to ensure you have the right coverage for your next great adventure.
Contact BrokerLink today, and get the insurance coverage you need for your RV:
RV Camping FAQs
Do I need a special license to drive an RV?
To drive an RV, you usually only need a regular driver’s licence. Do your research to check what the regulations are within your province.
Where can I store my RV during the offseason?
Space permitting, you can park your RV at home. Additionally, some dealerships offer storage facilities and some facilities throughout Canada are dedicated to RV storage.
What are three tips for winterizing an RV?
- Winterize your water system. Frozen pipes could crack and damage them. Consult your RV owner’s manual to ensure you are following the proper steps.
- Remove the batteries and store in a warm, dry place. Avoid storing batteries on a concrete floor, concrete will drain your battery.
- Coat the exterior of the RV with a quality wax or protectant. This will protect it from the elements.