If you've ever toyed with the idea of an RV vacation but hardly know where to start, help is at hand. Go RVing Canada, a year-old association of recreational vehicle manufacturers and dealers, now offers a toll-free number that consumers can call to obtain a 12-page brochure on how to choose and use RV covers.
Go RVing Canada says this is all to the good because until now there hasn't been much Canada-specific information about taking up RVing, despite the fact there are more than two million RVers in this country.
So what does the term "RV" cover implies?
Motorhomes, travel trailer RVs, truck campers, fifth-wheel trailer RVs and folding camping trailer RVs. In the motorhome category alone, there are three classes: camper vans, mid-size "mini-motorhomes" and behemoths measuring up to 42 feet. The brochure doesn't cover prices, so I asked Go RVing spokesman Louise Morel about that.
"They run the range," she said. "You can get a pop-up tent camper for as little as $ 5,000 new or you can probably get a real nice motorhome for $ 250,000."For that you get your dream home on wheels. Central vacuum, furnace, air conditioning, automatic trash compactor, automatic ice maker, queen-size bed, full shower, tub, anything."
Despite the cost, various studies show that in the long run, RV vacations are cheaper than any other type of holiday. One study indicated a family can get 30-80% more vacation for its money by traveling in an RV. You're self-contained, campground fees are lower than motels, hotels or resorts and you save a bundle by making your own meals. "Now if you're renting an RV," Morel said, "they're not cheap to rent. But if you're a family of four or two couples, on a per-day basis it's still cheaper than most resorts or driving and staying in motels." In fact, if you've never tried RVing before, the association recommends strongly that you rent one first to see what it's like.
You need to figure out which type of RV covers best suits you, and then you have to get used to driving it. But Morel said that's much easier than you might think. "Probably within an hour you'd be down pat. You have to compensate going around corners, you have to compensate as far as braking goes, and parking is the one you want to go out and practice in the parking lot for a while." Nowadays, most of the big motorhomes come equipped with cameras in the back and a monitor in the front so you can see what's happening behind you.
Other futuristic technology is found in modern RVs. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association in the U.S. says popular features include a dedicated spot for a computer and small direct-broadcast satellite antennae, some of which even work while on the road so you won't miss that big game.
Even folding camping trailer RVs and truck campers have refrigerators, air conditioning and external showers in addition to stoves and heaters.