RV Rental Planning
RV rentals are popular because of ease, comfort, and affordability. Many of us would agree that renting an RV in Canada is definitely an exciting vacation. Sometimes we forget that it’s a good idea to plan an RV rental trip before setting out to explore Canada.
Though it’s completely up to you, here are some additional plans you may want to make with your RV in Canada:
- Go fishing, golfing, rafting, swimming, hiking, rock climbing
- Go wilderness camping
- Travel to a sporting or special event
- See museums, landmarks, or shows
- Visit Farmer’s or Flea Markets
- Make a few trips to see your family and friends
There’s nothing worse than forgetting something that may have proven itself to be valuable. Here is a checklist of some things you may want to remember to bring:
- Depot phone number and paperwork
- Batteries/Media/Media Players
- Tool kit
- Nature guides/brochures
- Cooler for food/drinks
- Toilet paper
- Water hose
- Cell phone/Phone card
- Garbage bags
- Bottle/Can opener
- First-aid kit
- Board games/Playing cards
- Insect repellant
- Road/City maps
- Lawn chairs (portable)
- Small BBQ/Fuel
- Road flares
- Life Jackets (if you plan on boating or aren’t a strong swimmer)
- Rope, cords, wires
- Sporting equipment
TIP: You don’t want to go overboard. Verify the weight of your load with the weight label on your RV rental in order to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum capacity.
RV Beds & Seating
When choosing your RV rental, you should think of who will be with you on your trip. You should choose an RV rental that accommodates adults, children, or both adults and children. You may need extra beds every now and then if you’re expecting visitors at your RV site. You may also require an RV rental that suits those with disabilities or special needs. If you are the type that desires privacy, you should also take that into consideration before renting your RV.
Storage in an RV can sometimes be tight. Keep this in mind when choosing your RV rental. You should think of whether or not you’re packing for extended periods of time, how many people there, how much they are packing, and how much food and clothes you will want/need to take. You should also allocate room for any toys, games, and sporting equipment.
The RV rental you choose should also match up with your requirements for RV camping. You should plan out whether or not you will stay at RV campgrounds with utility hookups and washrooms, etc. or RV campgrounds that are in more remote locations.
An RV renter should also think about the kitchen they will need on their adventure across Canada. A larger RV rental will have a spacious kitchen with a fridge, stove, oven, and microwave. There will also be more counter space, cupboards, and a dinette suited for more people.
If you are going to be bringing special equipment (bicycles, skis, etc.) with you, you may need carrying racks and extra storage. Not having some of these things planned out ahead of time can put a damper on the activities you planned on pursuing while on your RV rental vacation.
One common thought that comes to an RV renter’s mind is that they may need a special driver’s license in order to operate an RV. To clarify, a large number of recreational vehicles (RVs) do not require the RV operator to obtain a special license.
Driving an RV is also not quite as complicated as many people believe it to be. If you were to ask an RV renter what they thought of the experience, a majority of them would say it was fun and easier than they thought it would be. Our RV rentals are newer, therefore, they all possess automatic transmissions, power steering, and power brakes.
The MOST important aspect of driving an RV is to drive it safely. It is imperative that the RV operator becomes accustomed to the weight, size, and visibility demands of the RV as these details are quite different from the family sedan. Keep in mind that this is not difficult, it is only different than what most people are used to. Here are some pointers that will assist you in becoming a safe RV operator:
Most RVs are taller than passenger vehicles so you should learn about road clearances, service station canopies, bridge heights, and you should also watch for low hanging obstacles such as trees branches. Your owner’s manual or Canada RV rentals are the best sources for helping you determine the maximum road height of your RV. You could also check the specifications on our RV rentals page if you have rented an RV from Canada RV Rentals. Once you know, post the height somewhere on the RV or in the RV tow vehicle so it will always be handy for reference.
The additional weight and size of an RV makes it less maneuverable than a passenger vehicle. A safe maneuver in your family sedan may be dangerous in your RV rental. Because it is heavier, the RV may not stop as quickly and you will need more following distance. Defensive driving in an RV requires making changes slowly, braking gradually, and being familiar with its handling characteristics.
Most RVs are heavier than passenger vehicles and require greater braking distances. You must allow more time for the vehicle to slow or stop. If you are towing an RV you must also worry about brake fade. Brake fade can happen when the brakes are overheated from prolonged use or the brakes are out of alignment. To help avoid brake fade on downgrades, use the lower gears to allow the engine to help slow the vehicle.
An RV is naturally slower than passenger vehicles. It takes longer to climb a hill in an RV because it’s heavier than a passenger vehicle. Keep this in mind, practice good manners, and observe the law by using turnouts when there are five or more vehicles behind you that wish to pass. The drivers behind you will be able to see ahead more easily if you try not to drive next to the center of the lane. If you are travelling with other RV owners in a caravan, be sure to leave enough space between your RV and the RV in front of you for other drivers to enter when they want to pass.
Always wear your seat belt when driving the RV. The number of people in your RV must not exceed the number of seat belts in the RV. Riding in a place which is not equipped with a seat belt increases the danger of injury in case of an accident. In addition to seat belts, defensive driving can minimize the risk of accidents.
RVs & Weather
Bad weather conditions including winds, fog, snow, and ice, are hazards to all drivers. An RV renter has an advantage over other passenger vehicles because of the added weight over the drive wheels. This gives the vehicle better traction in bad weather. However, its added weight can also make it more difficult to move if it gets stuck. Schedule your trips to avoid bad weather conditions as much as possible.
Before you start driving your RV rental, sit in the driver’s seat and adjust all of the mirrors for best visual road views. Make yourself comfortable and always stay calm.
When reversing your RV rental, ask someone to stand outside the vehicle to and direct for the driver. This prevents the driver from hitting any obstacles not seen in the mirrors. If another person is not available, the driver should inspect the area behind the vehicle before reversing.
RV Touring in Canada
Some online resources for your Canadian RV rental vacation:
- Canada Online – Travel Information
- US Department of State – US Travel Information
- Crossing the border to Canada
- Government of Canada Information – Travel & Tourism
- Canadian Tourism Commission
- Government of Canada – National Atlas of Canada
- Google Local (find locations, businesses, driving directions)
- Highway Forecast
- The Weather Network
- Environment Canada
Claim a Visitor’s Refund
There is a GST tax refund for visitors to Canada.
GST (Goods & Services Tax) is charged in all provinces on consumer goods. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland it falls under the name Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Accommodation and goods that can be taken out of Canada are eligible for a refund. However, services like car rentals and the taxes on meals are ineligible as are the taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.
To get your refund, you’ll need to fill out Form GST176 “Visitor Application for Refund”. Also, the goods have to leave Canada within 60 days of your receiving them.
For more information call (902) 432-5608 or visit the Canadian government website. You can print the required form there.