(NC)—Across the country, the Victoria Day long-weekend tends to be the official launch of summer. It's the time of year when everyone throws off their winter coats and quickly dons shorts and tees, even if Environment Canada warns of -5 C with blowing snow. Regardless, Canadians everywhere are itching to get outside and get away.
For a growing number of Canadians, that means hitting the road in a recreational vehicle. There's a wide assortment to choose from these days – everything from expensive bus-like motor-homes, to towable travel trailers, to camper vans, to relatively inexpensive pop-up camping trailers. Recreational vehicles are growing in popularity mainly because they're fun, and provide a greater sense of freedom and adventure compared to standard holiday trips.
Although you don't need a special license to drive most recreational vehicles, it isn't the same as driving the family car. The experts advise the following:
• Be cautious and allow more time to brake, change lanes, turn and merge into traffic
• Be sure your vehicle can handle the trailer you are towing. Most SUVs, light-duty trucks and full and mid-size family cars can pull an RV trailer, but be sure to check the maximum weight and factor in any of your belongings inside the trailer.
• Use the right trailer hitch, connect brake and signal lights and make sure they are synchronized with your vehicle.
• Be aware of the height of your vehicle. You wouldn't want to ruin your vacation by getting your RV stuck or damaged by a tree branch or sign.
• If you've never pulled a trailer before, you'll probably find that backing up is the biggest challenge. If possible, get some practice with the help of someone experienced with trailers before heading out on your holiday. And always ask someone to stand outside the vehicle when reversing to avoid any obstacles not seen in your mirrors.
Whether you own or rent your mobile vacation home, it is important to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage before heading out into traffic.
They suggest that you contact your insurance company with all the details well in advance of your vacation. Recreational vehicles are manufactured by many different companies with a wide assortment of extras and options, all of which should be taken into account in the insurance coverage.
Basically, your RV insurance policy protects you from financial and other losses that may result in the event of an accident or other unforeseen event. It will typically cover three main areas: damage to your vehicle and trailer including your personal property in the unit, public liability and medical coverage.
With the proper insurance coverage, and a sensible, safety-first approach to driving, an RV holiday on the open road could provide a wonderful adventure and memories that last a lifetime.