Western Canada is one of the best places in the world to go for RV camping. With multiple national parks, thousands of protected areas and provincial parks, and some of the most stunning landscapes and scenery you will find anywhere in the country, RVing through Western Canada is not something you will want to miss.
Whether you prefer to explore the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, go fishing in crystal clear lakes, or take a trip to the Pacific Ocean, you can create unforgettable memories when you camp or RV in the area. With your stability pads ready, RV loaded and family ready to go, here are 5 of the best Western Canadian accommodations and camping areas:
Located in the Okanagan Valley, Shuswap Lake is an excellent place to go camping in Western Canada during the summertime. Whether you want to swim in the lake, rent a kayak and explore the water, or just relax in the summer sun on the sandy beaches, Shuswap Lake is a great destination for relaxation and unwinding. Since it’s located in the Okanagan, you’re close to wine country and wonderful cities and communities like Oliver and Enderby. For camping, the Shuswap Lake Provincial Park has a lot of sites and is recommended in the area.
If fishing is something you are passionate about, camping near the Campbell River is highly recommended. It is touted as the salmon capital of the world and lives up to its name. No matter what time of year you visit you will be able to catch stunning fish. There are a lot of places to stay on the Campbell River including the Elk Falls Provincial Park, home to a huge waterfall.
The Moutcha Bay Marina is also a popular choice since it is located at the start of the Nootka Sound. The Campbell River Fishing Village is another option if you would prefer to be close to the city centre and want a lot of amenities close by.
E.C. Manning Provincial Park
E.C. Manning Provincial Park is a popular family destination because it is only a few hours away from Vancouver. Situated in the Cascade Mountains, it is a park that can be accessed throughout the entire year. There are many outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, or fishing—many people visit this park because it is part of the Pacific Crest Trail. In the center of the park is a ski area and resort as well, making it a great place for RV camping during winter if you would like to ski.
Tofino is a popular town located in Western Canada and is known for being one of the best places for surfing in British Columbia. There are a lot of accommodations for camping in and around Tofino that give you great access to hiking trails near the ocean, going on whale watching (or bear watching) trips, or catching a few waves. Crystal Cove is one of the most popular RV camping destinations in Tofino but you may want to consider nearby areas like Ucluelet as well.
Haida Gwaii is one of the most breathtaking places on earth and highly recommended for any camping trip. With a temperature rainforest scene, the huge trees and surreal scenery are worth a trip to the area themselves. There are also beaches to explore, islands to hop, and thousands of years of local culture to be immersed in. There are many places to find accommodation in Haida Gwaii including the cities of Masset and Queen Charlotte. Misty Meadows Provincial Park is one of the best RV park camping grounds in the area.
Taking a vacation for the holidays is something every family wants to do, but it’s no secret that trips over the holidays can be very expensive. If you and your family plan on taking a trip for an upcoming holiday, whether it’s simply a long weekend or weeks long, you may want to consider camping with an RV. According to PKF Consulting—a research firm for tourist activities—going camping with an RV can cost just 25% of what an all-inclusive vacation costs with traditional expenses. Here are a few reasons why camping is a better option financially than other types of trips:
Eliminate The Need For Hotel Costs
Perhaps the most prominent cost of going on vacation over international holidays is with actual lodging itself. Staying in a budget hotel is not only an unpleasant way to spend your vacation—especially if you are traveling with a large group—it can still cost hundreds of dollars over a long weekend. If you are staying at a rental property or even a mid-range hotel for a long holiday such as Christmas, your costs will be in the thousands.
By camping and taking advantage of an RV or motorhome, the amount that you have to pay every night is minimal, and at times even free. Campgrounds only require a minimum fee for overnight use so every night you use your RV you are saving the entire cost of a hotel. With high quality RV parts and accessories such as RV leveling pads, you can effectively park on just about any terrain even with inclines.
Cut Expenses By Making Meals Yourself
No matter how long you and your family are taking a vacation for, you’re going to have to eat. While a single meal doesn’t seem like much of an expense, once you multiply that by every day you’re gone and again for every person traveling with you, the costs quickly begin to skyrocket. Fast food is an option to keep costs down, but that grows old quickly and can still add up.
By camping, whether you have a motorhome, RV, or trailer attachment, you have the ability to cook meals wherever you are, whenever you want. Not only are home cooked meals great when you’re going on a trip, the cost of groceries is significantly less expensive than paying to eat at a restaurant every meal.
Travel By RV Is Less Expensive Than Other Forms Of Transportation
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of traveling for any vacation is the cost of traveling itself. If you are traveling by public transportation, such as a plane, you are not only paying a lot of money for your tickets but you are forced to use taxis or car rentals while out. These costs can take up a huge portion of your trip’s financial plan, especially considering how unpredictable they are. Car rentals may have mileage caps, taxis may get stuck in traffic for extended periods of time, and you could encounter unexpected costs that eat into your budget.
If you go camping in an RV, you only have to deal with paying for gas and RV parts and accessories for your motorhome. Things like pads for RV leveling are a one time cost and being in an RV allows you to travel wherever you want without having to stick to crowded places because you need a taxi.
Camping Provides Enriching Experiences With Minimal Costs
Whether you’re taking an extended weekend trip or a week-long holiday, one thing that camping (especially with an RV) provides s the fact that you can have a great vacation without paying a lot of money for the experience. Tourist attractions such as amusement parks have extremely high entry fees, snacks and drinks inside are extremely expensive, and they are usually extremely crowded so you can’t do much anyway.
With camping, your wheels take you across the open road to explore what nature has to offer. Visiting national parks to get close to nature and see the wonderful things the world has to offer have very small costs and the potential for lifelong memories are unlimited. If you decide to take an RV out and go camping, don’t forget high quality stability pads for the hydraulic jack on your camper. This makes sure your RV is level at all times no matter where you are.
Whether you are a first time RV user and want to see if the lifestyle is for you, or you have bought a motorhome and want to hit the road full time it is important that you keep safety in mind at all times. To make sure that you and your family stay safe when your wheels hit the road, here are a few things to keep in mind from essential RV parts and accessories to general tips:
Perform A Safety Check Before You Depart
No matter how experienced you are, having a safety check before you leave is one of the most efficient ways to prevent accidents. Since many accidents are caused by simply forgetting something, such as leaving steps attached or a hatch unlocked, taking a step-by-step approach will help stop common oversights:
Check your tire pressure before every trip, and examine your tire tread for any wear and tear.
Check batteries for any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Do a brake test for both your parking brake and air brakes.
Check for fluid leaks under your RV or motorhome.
Make sure you have RV leveling pads.
Check your jacks and hydraulic jack.
Examine your oil and other fluid levels.
Disconnect all of your water, sewer, electricity, phone, and TV attachments.
Check your safety cables.
Make sure all doors are latched closed.
Make sure no burners are turned on, including the oven.
Take Corners Using The SAFE Method
Driving an RV or motorhome is not the same as driving a standard car, truck, or SUV especially when you go around corners. Due to the RV’s extra height and weight, it is recommended that you take corners using the SAFE method:
Slow down before the turn. Don’t try to slow down while in the turn. Slow down first then accelerate while turning.
Arc into the turn. Because your vehicle is longer you need to arc into your turns, but be careful with your signal lights so you do not confuse traffic behind you.
Finish your turns fully. Make sure that the rear of your RV or motorhome is past the pivot point before you straighten out.
Experience matters. The more you drive your RV, the better you are going to be. Don’t give up and keep practicing.
Use Proper RV Leveling Pads When Parked
Making sure your RV is level not only keeps you and your belongings from rolling around, it is necessary for things like an absorption refrigerator to work properly. To keep your RV level it is ideal to use a high quality synthetic RV leveling jackpad or level pads for your wheels. Without pads for your jack or wheels you could sink into the ground and get stuck, and wooden pads can break and splinter or cause damage to your tires.
Synthetic outrigger pads or RV leveling pads should be considered essential RV parts and accessories because they are as strong as steel to support even the largest RVs, they are light weight so they are easy to use, and they last for years and years without any signs of wear and tear.
Be Aware Of Your Height and Width
An extremely common RV accident is due to not remembering how tall your vehicle is. While it seems like a simple thing, hundreds of accidents happen due to this every year with RVs hitting bridges or an overhang. A great way to stay reminded of the height of your RV is to simply write it down on a sticky note or piece of paper and tape it to the dashboard. Every time you see a clearance sign you can glance down at the dash and make sure your motorhome will fit as a safety check.
You should also keep in mind that most RVs are much wider than a traditional car or truck. Many RVs are at least 8.5 feet wide, only 1.5 feet thinner than a 10 foot highway. On a traditional road that gives you less than a foot of room on either side of your RV so make sure you take extra care in traffic or on single lane bridges.
While a lot of people think that an RV or a motorhome is something to be used in the summer months, taking your RV out during the winter to see the wonderful winter scenery can be just as rewarding if you prepare properly. Because temperatures can get so cold during the winter, especially if you are traveling in areas like Canada, making sure that you winterize your RV and have necessary winter RV parts and accessories is important to prevent any damage and keep you warm. Here are a few tips to help you get your wheels on the road during winter in your RV or motorhome:
Create An Enclosure Around Your Holding Tank And Sewage Tank
The obvious issue with RVing in winter is the fact that temperatures can get so cold that it can freeze the water in your vehicle. This can be especially problematic for your holding tank and sewage parts. To make sure your holding tank doesn’t freeze, it’s recommended that you build an enclosure around it to keep it insulated and warm.
Building an enclosure is as simple as creating a frame around your tanks and using standard fiberglass batting as an insulator to keep the cold from getting in. By using 2 40-watt light bulbs inside the enclosure you can provide a heat source that keeps everything inside the insulation warm without using too much power.
Keep Everything Insulated And Replace Hoses If Necessary
In addition to keeping your holding tank from freezing, you also have to make sure that your RV or motorhome pipes don’t freeze up. In the sub-zero winter temperatures, water will freeze and quickly expand which can result in your pipes bursting. To prevent this, having foam insulator tubing are essential RV parts and accessories to keep with you. Make sure you are using proper RV leveling techniques as well to prevent nay water from standing in your pipes. If necessary, keep a tap dripping during the coldest nights as the small amount of movement can keep the water freezing within the pipes.
Have Quality RV Leveling Pads
In addition to having all of your pipes and tanks insulated so no water is able to freeze, you need to make sure you can properly level your RV. As mentioned, RV leveling can keep water from standing in pipes but it can also prevent other problems as well. If you park your RV at night when the air isn’t too cold, your hydraulic jack could freeze in the ground if it sinks in overnight.
Using a high quality RV leveling pads or a jackpad will prevent you from sinking into the ground. If you use professional grade jackpads designed to work with jacks on big equipment like a crane outrigger, you also eliminate the risk of your RV leveling pads cracking in the cold or sticking to jacks as you try to remove them before departing.
Have Backup Heating Sources Available
Obviously having a quality furnace available to keep your RV warm during the cold winter nights is preferred, but having backups is extremely important in case something goes wrong. If you are in areas where temperatures can get below zero, having space heaters that can draw power from your RV’s electrical supply can keep everyone warm.
In addition to spare emergency heaters, make sure you stock plenty of extra blankets. Electric blankets can be plugged in before sleeping to keep the bed warm, and extra blankets will keep everyone insulated through the night, even if the furnace stops working. Make sure you have enough blankets for all of your guests when you are packing up.
A Few More Tips
The biggest priority for winterizing your RV is to have all sources of water well insulated to prevent freezing. This includes your water tanks, sewage system, and all of the pipes. In addition to that, there are a few more things you can do to make sure you are ready for RVing in winter:
RV antifreeze can be added to potable water as long as it is the type designed to be human friendly. Having it on hand in case things get very, very cold can keep your potable water from freezing up.
Insulating under your RV is a great way to keep pipes warm because the heat from your RV’s floor will be trapped under the motorhome. Cutting out Styrofoam blocks that are the same height as your RV’s floor to the ground will create a great barrier from the cold.
Make sure that your RV has proper tires. The right wheels will give you traction even if the ground is frozen and prevent you from getting stuck.
Avoid wooden RV leveling pads. If your pads are made of wood, even the smallest amount of moisture can freeze in the wood making them expand and much more likely to crack and cause splinters.