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RVing for Beginners

RVing for Beginners

From where to rent or buy your RV to where to camp and what routes to take, this is your one-stop shop for navigating the world of RVs online.

There was a time when finding out everything you needed to know about RVing was done by word of mouth. Asking someone at a dealership, or someone you knew who’d done it before; heading out and making connections, and asking questions as you went. All of this still happens, but technology has changed that initial research period substantially. 

Now, with tons of information at our fingertips, the question isn’t where to get information, but which to trust. We’ve gathered up some of the basics from some of the most trusted sources in the world of RVing. If you’re just getting started, you don’t have to do it alone—and you don’t have to navigate an overwhelming amount of advice alone either. Here’s to getting over the obstacles and out on the road!

With So many Types of RVs to choose from, Which one is right for me?

You’re likely hearing talk of models, sizes, and classes being thrown around. They’re certainly not all the same: the smaller “Class B” options can move you through cities, but the luxury of the big rigs is hard to beat. One of the first things you need to figure out is which is the best type of RV for your needs. Go RVing Canada's side-by-side comparison is the simplest start.

Where can I find An RV Rental in Ontario?

If you’re looking for RV rentals in Ontario, this tool allows you to search various ways. Find rentals by province, or enter your location and how far you’re willing to travel to rent.

Where can I find an RV for Sale? 

If you’re ready to buy an RV, or start exploring the option, Go RVing provides a province-wide list of dealerships across Ontario. You can also visit the Ontario Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association to find out about upcoming RV shows or for RVs for sale, visit their page, www.rvsforsaleontario.ca.

Do I Need A special RV License?

Formal info about the 2011 changes to RV driver licensing can be accessed through Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. Find out what you need to know about weights and licensing, as well as Ontario’s Safety Towing Checklist and Test Service Centres.

Where to Find RV Parks in Ontario

The easiest way to begin researching camping options in Ontario is through Ontario Parks. Their reservations site will let you input the size of your RV or trailer, and choose specific parks and campsites, or give you options based on your requirements and preferences. Some parks offer trailer storage on site; this page will give you the info you need to inquire about rates.

If you’re looking for camping options outside of the parks system, this Camping in Ontario site will allow you to search the private and family-run campgrounds and RV parks throughout the province. You can find KOA campgrounds here by selecting “RV sites” in the filter options. RV Park Reviews have many Ontario campgrounds on their list.

Using Ontario's RV Trip Planner

The 21-day route on Go Tour Ontario's RV Trip Planner

If you’re looking to hit the road, but not looking forward to plotting routes and checking out maps, you don’t need to. Go Tour Ontario is an interactive resource that will give you info on 7, 10, 14, and 21-day tours in the province. Select “RV” as your travel type and enter the length of your trip—you’ll be given not only the route, but other important information such as cell coverage, construction, gas, food, tourist sights, parks, and (though you’re unlikely to need it in particular) lodging.

Get to know Ontario

Ontario is organized into distinct tourism zones, each offering unique scenery, lakes, wildlife, and tourist attractions. Before you head out—or while on the road—familiarize yourself with these 15 areas and find what’s best suited to you. 

Maximize your access to Canada’s natural sights

The gorgeous Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park in Northwest Ontario

With Canada’s 150th anniversary year and the many promotions surrounding it now behind us, Canadians and visitors to the country are looking for new ways to gain access to the many natural wonders this country has to offer. Parks Canada has introduced the Discovery Pass, which gives unlimited access to 80 of its locations—including parks, marine conservation areas, and historic sites—for one price. Passes are good for a full year and there is pricing specific to families, adults, and seniors. 

Make friends along the way

You’ll make friends along the way regardless, but there are going to be nights you want to know you have a place to park and will be glad for the company of other RVers. Boondockers Welcome is a membership-based resource (as they say, a membership costs less than a night of camping) that provides a database of members who invite you to park and stay on their property for free.

"Moochdocking" is the best way to travel on a budget and meet friendly people

How Can I Find a Dump Near Me?

Sanidump has an easy online tool that lets you search for dumping stations wherever you are. 

How Can I Find RV repair Near me?

While there will be times you’re best to go with a pro, if the D.I.Y. spirit moves you—and it’s safe—you can look here on RVers Corner to find basic RV repair tips and take things into your own hands. If you're stuck and need some help right away, contact the nearest RV dealer. If they can't help you themselves, they'll be able to recommend the best local mechanic.

Travel on a budget

One of the web's most valuable sources for affordable RV lifestyle tips, Frugal RV Travel, demystifies road adventures for the more frugal adventurer. Marianne and Randy took their first trip by RV in the year 2000, both in their late 40s at the time, and have been going—and sharing their wealth of knowledge—ever since. Why not make your adventure an affordable one? 

Considering long-term travel? 

One popular article on Frugal RV Travel, not specifically about money, is this invaluable resource on the emotional challenges of the RV lifestyle. Think you have what it takes? You may, but there are sure to be challenges along the way. Read this to plan proactively to get the most out of extended time on the road. 

Try something new

Harvest Hosts offers self-contained RVers free overnight stays on the grounds of participating farms and wineries in exchange for their patronage at their food and wine shops. This unique RVing experience is also membership-based, with hosts across North America, including several in Ontario.

Dig deep 

Travelling with a house on your back has been an adventurer’s rite of passage for a long time. These historical photos will take you back to how RVing was done in its earliest incarnations. 

Join the club(s) 

Good Sam offers discounts and services to RV owners in Canada and the US. Good Sam Club is an organization of RV owners, that helps folks living on the road make the most of their time and resources. Good Sam Service offers roadside assistance, motor home financing, insurance, travel assistance, and more. 

Motor Home Travel can set you up with rentals, new and used sales, service and parts. They also run the Recreational Vehicle Management Program, which creates opportunities to make rental income on your motorhome. 

You’re all set! This lays a good foundation in the basics to help any first-timer enjoy the adventure and community of the RV lifestyle. Now get out there!

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