With days getting longer and more time to soak up some sun, this year’s summer getaway is just right around the corner. And if you’re looking for fun, new ways to travel, adventures on the open road might just be what you need.
These days, RVs and motorhomes are becoming even more popular, especially since a lot of us have spent the last two years cooped up indoors. Being out on the road—and living on it—means there’s a destination at every mile of the journey, lined with countless sights and interesting stops. It also means saving yourself the stress of hotel bookings, meals, and timed departures because you have your entire house with you on wheels.
But before you load up the RV and get ready to live on the road, there are a few things you need to take care of. Whether you’re departing from Thunder Bay and exploring all of Northern Ontario, or you’re planning an even longer trip coast-to-coast, don’t leave home and step into your motorhome unprepared. Stay safe on the open road with RV and motorhome insurance, and these safety tips.
The first step of preparing your RV for the open road, make sure it’s in prime condition. Start by checking and topping up on fluids. Book an oil change, and top up on brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power-steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Depending on your destination, gas stations and auto shops may be far and few between—and the last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere due to a vehicle emergency.
While we’re on the topic of fluids, make sure to fill up the tank. It’s best to keep your gas tank at least half full at all times, especially when you’re venturing into a remote area well outside of Thunder Bay. Also, remember that the farther you are from populated urban centres, the fewer gas stations you’ll find and the longer it takes for roadside assistance to reach you.
No one likes dealing with a flat tire, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory, like the side of a sparsely populated and poorly illuminated road, with nightfall fast approaching. It might sound like a horror movie, but it’s a very real danger.
Before leaving, make sure to test your RV’s tire pressure and tread depth. Consider having your tires rotated if you’re approaching the end of the recommended rotation period. And most importantly, make sure spares and tools are in place in case you need to change a tire yourself.
Flash all your vehicle’s lights as part of your pre-departure check and ensure they’re working. Check your headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, and other lights in your RV or motorhome. And throughout the trip, pay attention to the warning lights on your dash and attend to the problem when any of them light up.
Since you’re travelling on an RV or motorhome, make sure there’s a place to charge your devices. More importantly, pack spare batteries and a portable charger, and download offline backups of maps ahead of time. Taking these precautions can keep you from getting lost when travelling in remote areas with limited service.
A long road trip can do a number on your RV, so it’s best to keep it clean and your view as clear as possible at every turn. Before leaving, do a deep clean of your motorhome, especially the windows. Pack a container of glass cleaner and paper towels to periodically clean the windows, especially when driving on dusty roads for days at a time.
Travelling by RV requires packing a lot more types of supplies compared to flying or taking the train. Since you’re driving and living in your vehicle, you’ll need to stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, warm blankets, and even pet supplies if you’re hitting the road with your furry companion. Emergency supplies are even more crucial for your vehicle, like jumper cables, flashlight, car jack, tire iron, and a road flare kit; and yourself, such as a first aid kit to tend to injuries.
There’s indeed a lot you need to pack in your RV, but you also need to travel light. It’s tempting to just pack your entire house with you but resist the urge. Instead, pack weather-appropriate clothing, toiletries, and sports gear smartly. Ensure that these can be stowed away safely inside your RV without blocking the rearview mirror and causing blind spots.
If you’re using a rooftop cargo carrier, keep it securely attached and the items inside securely stored. And most of all, if you’re having trouble packing bigger items like a paddleboard, consider leaving them behind—an obstructed view is not worth the risk, and you may be able to find rentals at your destination.
Most importantly, before you leave, make sure you’re covered at every mile on the road. If this isn’t your first road trip, it’s worth reviewing your RV or motorhome insurance policy, especially if you’re enrolled in seasonal coverage. And if it’s your first time heading out onto the open road, don’t drive without RV or motorhome insurance.
At PAIB Insurance, our insurance brokers share your passion for the outdoors and adventures on the open road. That’s why we want to help you enjoy your time on the road, and be as safe as possible. Our insurance brokers can help you get the right motorhome insurance coverage, so you’re covered wherever your adventures on the road take you, from Thunder Bay to across Northern Ontario.
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