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Jul 15, 2021

10 min. read

Heading into the great outdoors with a well-equipped recreational vehicle (RV) is the camping equivalent of “taking it all with you.” Here’s what you need to know before escaping to the great outdoors in your RV.

If you’re looking to rent an RV, CanaDream CanaDream has a fleet of over 1,000 RVs that includes maxi travel campers and maxi plus motorhomes. CAA Members can save five percent off the vehicle rental charge and receive a free additional driver when booking.

RV packing list

Before hitting the road, here are some essential packing lists.

Everyday items that will be used in your RV:

  • Pillows, bed sheets and blankets (enough for each person)

  • Bowls, plates, bowls, cups and utensils (one set for each person)

  • Cutting board

  • Can opener

  • Knives

  • Scissors

  • Skillets, pots and pans

  • Tongs, spatulas and skewers

  • Matches and lighters

  • Towels

  • First-aid kit

Include some household cleaning supplies to keep your space tidy.

  • Dish soap and sponge

  • Dish towels

  • Disinfecting wipes

  • Paper towels

  • Garbage bags

Make sure your fridge and pantry are well stocked with snacks for the drive and ingredients for meal preparation. Some staples to keep on hand are:

  • Canned foods like beans

  • Dry foods like cereal, pasta, pasta sauce or pancake mix

  • Bread

  • Peanut butter

  • Butter or margarine

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Grill meats like hot dogs or hamburgers

  • Snacks like chips or nuts

  • Cooking oil or spray

For entertainment, consider:

  • Books and magazines

  • Board games

  • Playing cards

  • Laptops or tablets (don’t forget the chargers)

  • Camping chair

  • Flotation devices

For your RV, include items like:

  • Electrical adapters

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Emergency road kit

Safety check

Double-check the safety condition of your RV before rolling out.

  • Ensure tires are properly inflated and lights are in working order.

  • Top up engine fluids and check the oil level.

  • Make sure that there is sufficient propane in your RV and that tanks are in good shape.

  • Inspect the underside of your RV for any leaks or other damages.

Water supply

Bring a garden hose for the fresh water connection at your campsite.

RVs generally have on-board storage tanks for clean and dirty water, meaning campers can enjoy a morning shower even if their chosen getaway spot is in a remote area. Staying at a site without water services is called “dry camping.” If this is in your plans, RVers should remember to fill their trailer’s fresh water tank at the beginning of their trip.

Locate dumping station locations along your route where you can dispose of the dirty water in your RV waste tank during your trip.

Power at your campsite

Many campgrounds catering to RV travellers have plots with electricity available, fresh water and septic hookups. These are commonly called “three-way” sites. If your RV is so equipped, look for facilities advertising 30-amp electrical hookups. This amount of power is sufficient to operate several electrical items at once without plunging everyone into total darkness.

Popular RV Parks in Canada

Many RV parks have play areas for the little ones, laundry facilities and public restrooms. The most popular ones will also have amenities like a pool, games or organized activities. The Muskoka area is home to 4 Seasons Tent & Trailer Park, a 100-acre spot with all these features and beautiful scenery. Down east, Hidden Hilltop Family Campground in Nova Scotia is a surefire winner. To the west in Nanaimo, B.C., check out Living Forest Oceanside Park.

Road Ready

Before you head out, be sure to upgrade your CAA Membership to include coverage for your RV. Plus and Premier Members can extend their coverage to include motorhomes, campers and select trailers with Plus RV or Premier RV.

You can also download the CAA Mobile App™ in case you need roadside assistance during your trip. From a mobile phone, Members can visit CAA SCO, call *222 or text "Rescue" to *222247. (Note that standard message and data rates may apply.)

You can also use the app to find deals and track savings from CAA Rewards® partners along your route.

Image credit: pchoui/iStock

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