Five minutes into an instructional video for first-time RV drivers, panic starts to set in. COVID screen fatigue and my middle-aged brain have clearly wreaked havoc on my ability to absorb new information. Happily, in-province travel restrictions in Ontario have been lifted, so now watching and understanding this package of clips is the last requirement for my highly anticipated summer vacation: a 12-day RV experience from Toronto to Thunder Bay in early July. (The required video viewing is part of CanaDream’s rental agreement.) I focused as best I could on the video and then asked some travellers who are already initiated into the RV club for their advice on my freshman adventure behind the wheel.
Linda and Clark Miller have spent the last 20 years travelling around North America, including a memorable trip up Ontario’s Highway 11 a few years ago. Back then they didn’t worry about making reservations. This year, the RV veterans were shocked to discover how many campgrounds and RV parks were already sold out by March. “Canadians have embraced RVing,” says Linda. CanaDream’s Toronto Station manager Tim Gogol agrees that demand is up. The company has 3,000 reservations this summer, compared to an average of 2,000 in past seasons.
“Definitely make reservations,” adds Clark. “Worst case, you can always try boondocking – staying overnight in the parking lot of a big box store. Just remember to always ask the store manager. They rarely say no, but it is polite to ask.”
The route is also important to plan out ahead of time – and not just because of the destination. Andrew Penner took his four boys on a ski safari in an RV last winter along the Powder Highway in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies. He admits he was nervous driving such a large vehicle, but says within a day, he felt totally comfortable piloting a 28-foot Maxi-Motorhome through the twisting mountain highways. He did avoid busy streets and suggests it is wise to have your route mapped out, highlighting convenient places to pull in. “Also plan your meals,” he says. “Be properly equipped with the ingredients you need. Once you are parked and set up, you don’t want to have to take the RV out on a quick errand.”
Check out the full article from The Globe And Mail here.