RV Owners Tips
Winter RVing in British Columbia is something that all RVers and campers should experience. Imagine waking to a wonderland of snow outside while being warm and cozy inside. After breakfast strap on the snowshoes, hit that favourite ski hill or cross-country trail, head to a beach for a magical shoreline hike or catch dinner while you ice fish on a frozen lake.
Indeed, winter camping comes with its own unique challenges and safety considerations, so you’ll need to prepare the RV for various conditions before embarking on a trip. Many manufacturers are building RVs that are for all-season use. These units are designed and constructed to handle inclement elements and boast features such as heated underbellies, better insulated walls and roofs and below-floor heating ducts. Read the RV manual for manufacturer’s tips and info on the unit’s cold weather functions befor...
Knowing where everyday and essential items are and maintaining order in an RV – whether it’s rented or owned – will help to maximize free time while camping and eliminate unwanted stress.
The secret to good RV organization is to make the best use of the unit’s space. Take stock of what you have and need, declutter if necessary, try to multipurpose some items and designate a place for most everything.
RVs have more wall space than floor space so think vertical and utilize unused areas, such as behind cabinet doors. Walls can be used to peg, tack and stick things. Stack what and where you can in cupboards and use bins and racks to separate and contain items to keep them from sliding around or spilling over when on the road.
Here are some handy suggestions to get your RV organized:Kitchen Get a washable dish drying mat or...
Having and using an RV arrival and departure checklist is essential for novice campers, but it’s also recommended and useful for seasoned RVers. Haven’t we all seen a motorhome or trailer on the highway with something dangling or leaking from it that shouldn’t be?
A comprehensive set up and tear-down list makes for better organization and improved safety. While the steps will vary whether you own or are renting a motorhome/camper versus a trailer, many guidelines are the same. Of course, hitching and unhitching a trailer comes with certain safety rules to follow.Set Up
Upon arrival at the campground confirm that the site you reserved has the required necessities. Find a level spot to park the unit; verify the distance to any hookups and make sure that there is space for any slide-outs and awnings. Look out for any obstacles such as large rocks o...
Winter can be a magical time to explore British Columbia and try new activities. Thankfully, there are many campgrounds and parks – both private and public – open in the ‘off-season’.
It’s true that winter camping comes with its own unique challenges and safety considerations for campers and RVers. If heading out in an RV there is winter camping trip prep to follow. For renters, note that a number of RV companies and dealers do rent out motorhomes and units in the winter. Make sure that the RV has double-pane windows, a high efficiency furnace, an interior winter cab blanket and comes with insulated a...
Whether you own or rent a motorhome or trailer you will need to clean it as you camp and at the end of each trip. The best advice is to tackle it from the top-down and to work in sections. A useful tip for RV owners is to take the time to look for any maintenance or moisture issues as you clean. If you are renting you will not be required to wash the exterior, but you will be expected to tidy the inside and to drop it off in the condition it was at the time of pick-up.Interior
A spring clean will certainly be more thorough than a good cleanse at a trip’s end. Below are some helpful suggestions for both.The Essentials: Multi-surface cleaner and/or biodegradable dish soapWindow cleaner or vinegar and water solutionVacuum with attachments (generally not included in rentals)Broom and dustpanPaper tow...
RV tire failure is dangerous and can cause a lot of damage to the unit or trailer. The main reasons for this are low pressure, overloading, overall wear and the age of the tires, and punctures.
According to the Canada Safety Council under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. Low tire pressure can lead to blow outs, skidding, hydroplaning and vehicle control issues. In RV season, check tire pressure once a month. For an accurate read, do this in the early morning or three hours before driving to ensure that the tires are cool; use a tire gauge – don’t simply rely on an automated system.
Modern vehicles have a dashboard warning symbol for low-tire pressure, though this is not mandatory in Canada like in the United Stat...
Important considerations regarding first aid for camping are to be prepared, have a plan and be aware of your surroundings.
When it comes to first aid kits you can purchase ready-made ones and/or add to a kit or assemble your own. Make sure the kit itself is in or has a waterproof pack and note that most purchased kits in Canada do not come with pharmaceutical products.
Pack the kit accordingly for where you will be camping, how many campers will be on the trip, and if the kit will be in your backpack (thus a weight consideration). Invest in a first aid booklet and learn basic CPR. The Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance offer a variety of emergency courses, including wilderness first aid.
If you are new to tent camping and RVing, consider yourself inexperienced or haven’t been since you were a child you may be nervous or hesitant about it, particularly if you are trying this as a family.
Before you decide where to go think about your goals for the trip. Is it simply to figure the camping thing out and spend quality couple or family time together at a campground, or is it also to explore the park surroundings, visit local communities and attractions or to try a new watersport or activity?
Here are some top camping tips for novices and first-t...
Driving a motorhome or camper van is different from a car, truck or SUV. Depending on the size it can handle like a big rig truck and pulling a trailer behind a vehicle requires practice and teamwork. Know the overall size and weight of what you are driving and/or pulling as this may affect where you can travel.
Important considerations are to keep the RV between the highway/road lines (closer to the centre line is advised) and use gradual acceleration and braking.
If you are renting an RV and rental time permits and the dealer allows it, take a practice drive before leaving the lot. If you own an RV or trailer, take it out for a ‘reminder run’ before setting off on your trip. Find a parking lot to practice maneuvering and backing it up.
Other tips for safe RV travel:Plan your trip wisely and allot time for fuel, bathroom/food and oth...
With springtime, fast approaching it’s time to start getting your RV ready. Whether you are doing it yourself or having a reputable company do it for you, many things need to be checked to help ensure your RV season is off to a great start. If you are going to have a company do it for you, book early as dealerships and mobile companies book up fast and you do not want to be disappointed.Things to consider for the start of the season Batteries Check the electrolyte levels of your batteries and top up with distilled water if necessary.Charge up your batteries and have them tested to make sure they will work for the season.Reinstall your batteries, watch the polarity, hopefully you marked the cables or took a picture to ensure proper hook up. Summerize Flush the entire system; do not forge...