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...
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.
Obey the RulesContinue Reading
When it comes to driving an RV from mid-fall to early spring in British Columbia there are winter tire and chain requirements (see web link for provincial laws) to abide by when wintry weather can occur, particularly in the mountains. The province’s main roads and highways are kept plowed and salted during the winter so are drivable; however, when extreme weather conditions occur in the high mountains, chains are required.
According to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure “drivers of recreational vehicles must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to April 30. For select highways not located through mountain passes an...
While many RV fires can be avoided or reduced by regular maintenance, the vehicles we use for recreation and camping can themselves be fire risk factors. Fire is a leading cause of RV loss and incidents can occur when the unit is moving or parked. Ensure traveller safety by following these fire safety guidelines.Causes & Caution RV fires are often caused by wiring problems or electrical shortages and can be attributed to: bad batteries/poor battery shortage, wired/electrical appliances, refrigerators, generators, air conditioning, propane fittings and motor issues.Be aware that electrical RV fires can still occur when all systems have been powered down and the RV is stored. Be conscious of any batteries in use.Fire risks while your RV is on the move include dry wheel bearings or low pressure tires causing friction, chains dragging and...
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...
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are fun to drive for many and allow riders to access off-road trails they might not easily reach on foot.
With these vehicles often in contact with vegetation, heat and sparks from mufflers and exhausts can pose a fire threat. Here are some tips for fire smart ATV outings:Ensure your ATV has a spark arrestor (mesh screen inside the muffler) to trap any escaping sparks. An ATV may have its spark arrestor removed for horsepower gain.Inspect the ATV, in particular the engine and muffler, for build-up of grass and other debris that may dry out and be easily ignited.Carry fire suppression equipment, such as a fire extinguisher or a collapsible pail and shovel to extinguish any fires that might occur.Don’t ride or idle in tall grass and avoid tinder dry areas.Stay informed about fire bans and possib...