Should You Rent out a Motorized Rv? How Did We Fare on Our First Ever Rv Adventure?
Returning to the Hubpages after a long time and to answer several questions regarding our recent RV experience, I would start from a short answer to those two questions straight-away: Yes, you should rent out a motorized RV and we fared very well indeed.
Please read on for our full experience and the reasons behind this conclusion.
We rented out a motorized RV from a well known RV dealer for an 8-day whirlwind trip to four national parks in Quebec maintained either by Parks Canada or by Société des Établissements de Plein Air du Québec (or Society of outdoor recreation establishments of Quebec - Sepaq for short) and to a provincial park in Ontario from August 28 to September 04, 2020.
The parks we visited were as follows:
1. La Mauricie National Park between Montreal and Quebec City, maintained by Parks Canada
2. Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, maintained by Sepaq
3. Saguenay – St. Lawrence National Marine Park, maintained by Parks Canada
4. Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay maintained by Sepaq
5. Darlington Provincial Park, maintained by Ontario Parks. We stayed here only for the overnight as we could not have parked the vehicle at our home only 2 hours away for overnight due to city by-laws. Still, we were able to enjoy the park in the wee hours of morning before returning the RV to the dealer.
Why an RV?
There were three options available to us for covering great distances, the farthest point of interest being 1100 km away, for enjoying the great parks of Quebec.
1. Since our two cars are mid-sized SUVs and neither was suitable for a family of 5, we could have rent out a family van or a family size SUV, stayed in operating hotels or inns near the parks (not all were operational during the pandemic), driven every single day into the park for the day use, and used public utilities there if and when needed.
2. We could have rented out a family van or a family size SUV, but instead of staying in hotels or inns, we could have reserved campsites in each park, which was one of our major interests, and used the public utilities in the campsites. This would have required that we carried maximum luggage in the vehicle, including items of personal use and of an all-out camping.
3. We could rent out a motorized RV, reserved RV campsites in the park, and used the RV as a base to put up a campsite and to explore.
We opted for the third option, primarily because during the period of the pandemic, we did not want to stay in hotels, motels, inns, etc. and use public utilities and also because we wanted to set up our tents within the RV campsite
There were 4 adults and a 4-year-old in the entourage and we rented out a 34 feet long RV for spaciousness.
1. During the period of COVID 19, we were sure that we were living under hygienic conditions with almost no interaction with other people, except when at the tourist attractions.
2. We had our home with us with almost all the facilities that you have in your home. This could not be packed in any family van or a family SUV, except by making hard compromises.
Please see the picture below.
3. We used the kitchen, showers, washroom, electricity, refrigerator, etc. just like we would at our home.
4. We easily returned to the RV if we forgot to take anything with us during a hike or while visiting an attraction, for lunch or tea whenever we wanted, and even when the weather became adverse during an adventure.
5. We were able to put up our tents and hammocks on sites where our RV was parked with built-in fire pits and barbeque grills. It was like having a camping experience in the backyard of your home with an added attraction of it being located at a prime outdoors location.
1. 34 feet long RV was a bit handful in the beginning. Needless to mention, we had trouble on first day reversing the big vehicle after making a turn on to a wrong track. My two children acting as spotters to help me reverse the vehicle and I seemed inexperienced for the task. It turned out to be a very stressful exercise. However, this was our only mishap. From there onward, my son as a spotter and I as a driver mastered the art of correct parking, three-point turn, reversing, and all other aspects of driving a large size RV.
2. We were able to take our long vehicle to every major attraction in the four parks, but we could easily see that not all parks and points of interest may be able to offer camping or parking for such a long vehicle (see the picture below). We were indeed saved by free public bus in Tadoussac, a quaint little village, when we wanted to visit some beautiful attractions within its limits. There was always that fear factor that we may not find parking at our next tourist attraction.
3. Compared to our normal vehicles, the vehicle was heavy, the drive was not smooth, it was noisy due to all the stuff it carried, and the passengers (not the driver) got a tad exhausted having to bear all those. This problem can be overcome by driving slowly in the extreme right lane and by taking frequent intervals.
Please read on.
If you want an experience with least troubles then try doing this:
1. Keep the first excursion to only one or two parks for gaining experience of an RV. Keeping the RV parked for an extended period of time in one park while one explores all the features and attractions of that park makes better sense to me.
2. Although a 34 feet long RV offers lot of space, for the first time, take a smaller RV, especially if you have a family that can be managed in that space. Apparently, a friend of mine had three adults and two teen-aged children in his entourage and he managed them well in a 24 feet long RV. However, when we surveyed a 24 feet long RV, it felt very claustrophobic.
3. If at all you want to explore and travel to a long distance attraction, camp at an RV site after following what we call a “4-hour rule”. This basically means that the maximum distance to the next attraction or RV park should be around 4 hours. This will save you (driver and passengers) from fatigue.
4. Keep a track of your (i) water supply, (ii) water use in kitchen, sinks, and showers (called grey water), and (iii) washroom waste discharge (called black water). Of these three, we found managing grey water to be most bothering. Since the use was high or perhaps it was small, grey water storage tank always got filled quickly and the water had to be dumped in the dumping stations every day. The dumping stations are centralized for the RV campsites and the RV has to be driven there, usually a short distance, for dumping both grey and black water. This is not a big issue, is easily manageable, but is still a hassle. By comparison, fresh water intake is provided at almost every RV camp site. Also note that fresh water and black water tanks have greater holding capacity.
In view of our out of this world experience of visiting Quebec in a motorized RV and considering both advantage and disadvantages, we fully recommend renting out an RV to explore the great outdoors.