RV Choices, Buying or Renting
There are so many RV choices available for the consumer today in Canada. For many people it can be a bit overbearing, and right down scary when you first start looking. We hope that the information below will help you lift a bit of the stress that comes with picking out your RV.
If you are renting a unit for a Canadian holiday you will find information below of great interest and will help you in selecting the right unit.
One thing we can say from our own experience is, before you go and buy an RV, go out and rent a few different units and see what appeals to you and fits the type of camping you will be doing.
Selecting The Right RV
With so many choices out there, what unit should you pick? This really depends on three factors:
- What type of camping do you have in mind
- What driver's license do you have
- What is your budget
Let's have a closer look at all three of these factors. We will also talk a bit about the buying process.
What type of camping
We explore back country where you could not go without having a four wheel drive. So for us a truck and a modest sized (28 ft 10 inches or 8.8 meters) 5th wheel trailer works very well. Many of the campgrounds we camp in would not lend itself to a large trailer.
If you will be spending a lot of time on the road, we can not emphasizes enough the importance of having a good, strong tow vehicle that will handle the load going up and coming down mountains and hills. Check out our "One Year Truck Review" on our blog.
If you plan to just go to the beach and camp there for a few weeks, then there is not really a need for a big truck. You then can get a motor home or a travel trailer that can be towed by a smaller vehicle. Likewise, if are going down south, like Arizona or Baja California for the winter then a larger trailer or motorhome might be a better choice.
In our province of British Columbia, Canada, we have been told that if you tow a trailer weighing more then 10,141 lbs or 4,600 Kg, you are required to have a "heavy trailer" endorsement on your license.
Likewise if you have a large 5th wheel trailer, large travel trailer or motor home with air brakes, you will need an air brake endorsement on your license
If you have a larger unit and don't have the appropriate license, your insurance may not cover should you have an accident.
Keep in mind that the weight of your RV changes all the time. If your trailer weighs 9,000 lbs when you buy it, by the time you have loaded it up with all your food, gear, propane, bikes, lawn chairs, filled the water tank and more, you will more then likely be way over 10,000 lbs. It is not the empty weight that applies, it is the total weight of the trailer when you are towing it that counts.
Make sure to find out the requirements in your province, territory or state. If you come from overseas, you should have an International Drivers License.
The rules for towing, is different in different provinces. For example in some provinces you can pull a boat behind your 5th wheel trailer or travel trailer. In British Columbia, this is not allowed. It is your job to find out the rules of the road where you are traveling.
What is your budget?
What we did was to check several dealers to see what unit we were interested in. Once we had decided on a specific unit, in our case Rockwood 8265WS, then you can follow up with a lot of research on line
We even thought of going down to the USA to purchase a unit. We looked at all the costs involved in going down to pick up the trailer and to bringing it into Canada and then we went to negotiate with the closest dealer here in Canada.
It took us several months of negotiations but in the end it all came together, and we ordered our new trailer here.
The RV Buying Process
New or used, just like when you go and buy a car or a truck, and you have agreed on a price, there are sometimes some extra "fees" added to the contract. Not all dealers do this, but it is common and most of us get a bit miffed, and especially yours truly. Some of these fees can be up to $1,000.00.
A good way to avoid all this frustration is to first of all find a sales consultant that you feel comfortable with, make your intentions know. Then when you start negotiating, tell them that the price you are offering for the unit is "on the road" and ready to go, including any and all fees except applicable taxes.