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6 Tips for preparing for your first trip in your RV

Embarking on your first trip in an RV is an exciting adventure that opens a world of possibilities for exploration and travel. However, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.   

Many RV renters are first-time campers and don’t have experience yet. According to Outdoorsy, 66% of Canadian RV bookings in 2021 were made by first-time renters. A study by Kampgrounds of America indicated that more than half a million Canadian households went camping for the first time in 2022. The same study showed a shift in age to a younger demographic, with more Millennials and Gen Z heading for an outdoor adventure.   

If you’re looking to rent an RV, CanaDream has a fleet of over 1,300 RVs that include maxi travel campers and maxi plus motorhomes. CAA Members save an extra 5% on Canadream RV Rentals.  

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a complete novice, these six tips will help you get ready for your first RV road trip. 

Take a shorter road trip before the big one

Go on a run-through trip to work out the kinks and gain some experience. Take all the time you need to practice parking, driving up and down hills, and switching lanes safely. Camp for a night or two close to home to confirm if you’re missing any essentials.  

These shorter test drives will also alert you to what needs to be fastened in the living area and kitchen, or secured in locked drawers of your RV before you head out onto the road. You don’t want dishes flying across the room if you come to a sudden stop! 

Get travel insurance

Travel insurance becomes even more critical when planning an RV trip across Canada and potentially crossing the border into another country.   

Emergency medical treatments outside of Ontario can be extremely costly in the event of unexpected illness or injury. CAA’s emergency medical travel insurance lets you travel confidently, knowing you will be protected 24/7 wherever you wander. Plus, Members save up to 20%.¹ 

Perform a thorough inspection and maintenance check

Maintaining an RV
AleksandarNakic | iStock

Perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle before departing. Check the tires for wear and tear, ensure all lights function correctly, and inspect the brakes. Verify that your RV’s fluids, such as oil, coolant, and transmission fluid, are at the appropriate levels. You’ll also want to ensure your propane tanks are full and in good condition and examine underneath the vehicle for any damage.   

If you’re not confident in your mechanical skills, consider having a professional inspect your RV to catch any potential issues before they become problems on the road. 

Remember your toolkit

It’s hard to anticipate something like having your side view mirror get so loose it no longer provides any help with lane changes, but these things happen. You should prepare for the unexpected instead of relying on finding a stranger on the road who has a wrench you can borrow to tighten said mirror, for example.   

Bring a toolkit. Your kit should include Allen or hex wrenches, pliers, duct tape, scissors, rubber bands and zip ties. You’ll also want to pack items like repair sealant, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, a tire pressure gauge, and thermal blankets. 

Stock up on essentials

Mystockimages | iStock

Packing the right items for your RV trip can greatly enhance your experience. Make a checklist of essential items to ensure you remember everything.   

Some must-haves include; bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, toiletries, dish soap, garbage bags, first aid kits, tools, and camping gear. Make sure your pantry is stocked with ingredients for meals and snacks. Bring things like board games, books and laptops for entertainment.   

Additionally, consider the specific needs of your destination. From weather changes to varying campsite amenities, you may need to bring different necessities depending on where you’re headed. Remember medications in case anyone gets sick, and bring an extra supply of prescriptions that you take daily, if any. Pack extra water, food, and fuel if you camp in remote areas. It’s also a good idea to bring a GPS or a reliable map to navigate unfamiliar territories.

Documents and money

Confirm that you have everything you’d typically bring while driving and what you’d need for travelling. You should have proper RV documentation, license, ownership, insurance, emergency telephone numbers, cash, credit cards, and anything else you may need in case of an emergency. 

Protect yourself from the unexpected, wherever you go. CAA Travel Consultants are happy to help you with your travel insurance, and you can book an appointment online. They’ll answer all your questions and get the best travel coverage for your budget. 

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.  

  1. Applies to CAA Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by Membership expiry date). Up to twenty percent (20%) savings applies to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies. Subject to change without notice. Excludes Visitors to Canada Insurance. CAA Everyday, Classic®, and Plus® Members save 10%. CAA Premier® Members save 20% at CAA Stores or by calling 1-800-267-8713. CAA Premier Members save 10% and earn 10% in CAA Dollars® when booking online.

®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association.

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