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At a whopping 7,821 kilometres, the Trans-Canada Highway is one of the longest in the world. Although we tend to crowd ourselves in urban pockets, there’s so much more Canada to explore! If you’re craving more time with nature, a winter road trip may be the perfect remedy.
What’s the best way to take a road trip? With your trusty RV, of course! Besides a solid mode of transport, it’s also vital to properly plan your trip and prepare your ride. Here are four recommendations on how to traverse the nation safely during our signature season:
1. Plan it Properly
Road trips are a team building experiment, or a solo experiment if you’re going it alone. They require planning, decision-making and problem-solving. The comfort of technology may not always be available, and you shouldn’t rely on it. In fact, one of the outstanding things about road trips is that they give you distance from what you know to be normal and with that, can come profound perspective. Plot your route out in advance, check the weather forecast, book your accommodations and print this information out before you depart. Research how long it will take you to get from each point to the next, and plan your trip accordingly.
Here are a few questions to answer in your research:
- What are the must-dos or must-sees on your list?
- Where do you intend on sleeping?
- How much would you like to spend?
- How much driving are you (and your fellow travelers) comfortable doing each day?
As always, it’s important to practice defensive driving, and allot yourself more rest time than you think you need. Shave two hours off of how much you think you can drive every day – driving for long periods is more draining than you may think!
2. Prep Your Ride
Before you leave, you’ll want to feel safe knowing that your vehicle, whether it’s an RV or a car, is in tip-top shape. Take a look at the following:
- Is your windshield wiper fluid tank full? Do you have a spare tank in the trunk?
- Are all of your lights working?
- Are your windshield wipers operating well in wintry conditions?
- Is your battery fully operational?
- Are you up to date on your oil changes?
- Is your roadside assistance membership up to date?
- Do you have a car emergency kit?
Be sure that your vehicle is road trip ready, and don’t forget to prepare or re-stock your car emergency kit.
If you own an RV or have decided to rent one for this adventure, be sure to bring your insurance papers or, if you’re renting, to purchase RV insurance.
3. RVing Recommendations
If you’re taking a mobile home cross-country or even part-country, make sure you have sufficient non-perishable food, clothing and warming supplies to tide you over in case your battery dies or there’s inclement weather that leaves you stranded. To avoid using the heater at night, you can use electric blankets or a mini-heater to save on energy.
If you’re concerned about your battery draining, you may want to think about investing in a solar panel system or an inverter. There are plenty of in-depth guides available on how to RV in the wintertime, specifically – these tips from GoRVing.ca are a great place to start.
4. Plan Some Time Apart
Acknowledge you and your traveling buddies’ need for private time while on the road, and book that time in purposefully. Perhaps at one stop, one person wants to go to the museum while you’re eager to scout the national park. There’s no wrong choice, and you don’t have to do everything together. In fact, it’ll imbue the ride with excitement when you reconvene and share your different experiences.
Congratulations on deciding to explore Canada a little more, and have an incredible trip.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.