Western Canada reopens to Camping and RVing: How to Make May Long Plans

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As the country reopens slowly amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the first activities available to families and individuals is camping, RVing, and exploring our provincial and national parks. However, it won’t look like other years.

While the US border is closed to all non-essential travel, travelling between provinces is allowed, but discouraged. If you’re keen on getting out, we encourage you to explore areas close to home and do a thorough check online to ensure you can visit your destination before hitting the road. Before you head out this May Long weekend, call ahead to private campsites if possible and definitely reserve your provincial site.

Some private campsites are giving preferential treatment to first responders and are doing their best to make camping safe for everyone, but some may turn away tenters and only be accepting RVers. Provincial parks are being cautious about how many campers can visit and what facilities are open.

National Parks

Highways through parks are still open, but parking lots, visitor centres, washrooms, and day-use areas are closed until at least June 1st.

Staying Safe in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan has low numbers of active COVID-19 cases and has created strict guidelines to keep it that way. The province has restricted all non-essential travel to and from Northern Saskatchewan and has even set up a checkpoint at Green Lake.

Day Use is Back in Saskatchewan

While it’s possible to get out and explore this May Long weekend, Saskatchewan Provincial Parks will have limitations. Day use is allowed (and encouraged – outside is good for your mental health), but visitors should still continue social distance and sanitization practices. Boat launches and fishing are allowed, making this the perfect year to get your fishing license. Hiking and biking on trails is also open to the public, but be sure to give everyone appropriate space.

May Long Weekend plans in Saskatchewan

This is a great weekend to get the family out for a hike, bike, or picnic. For those with a boat, pack a picnic and get out for a cruise. Take advantage of the lessened restrictions with a day trip, just remember to pack the sunscreen and hand sanitizer!

The Official Start of Summer in Saskatchewan is June 1st

Campgrounds reopen on June 1, but not how campers and RVers will be used to. Each campground will only be allowing 50% capacity to allow for an empty site between each set of campers and must be reserved in advance. Shower and laundry facilities will be closed and washrooms are limited to one household at a time. RVers are encouraged to use their own facilities. Campers are advised to bring their own firewood, as distribution will be closed to the public, along with recreational amenities like pools, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

Alberta Bound for RV Adventure in June

May marked the reopening of parking lots and staging areas throughout provincial parks and public land. This means any dry campers will be able to use the public land use zones (PLUZ) for quadding, biking, hiking, or RVing. However, while those areas are open, facilities like toilets, playgrounds, and picnic shelters are still off-limits.

What does this mean for May Long in Alberta?

Visiting backcountry areas or PLUZs can provide family adventure, but with a reminder to only choose low-risk activities. Boat launches and hiking trails will open for those who are itching to get outside and explore the province, along with golf courses, but washrooms and facilities remain closed until camping resumes June 1st. Be aware, there is currently a fire ban that prohibits all open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes. Propane fire pits and stoves are allowed, as well as cooking barbeques.

Summer Really Begins on June 1st in Alberta

Online reservations open May 14th, with campgrounds open to RVs and tents as of June 1st and will only be available to Alberta residents. Group camping and yurts and cabins do not plan to open at all in the 2020 season. The province intends to keep the fire ban in place to reduce the chance of a forest fire during the pandemic.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi reminds everyone not to overwhelm hiking trails or other communities, “If your favourite hiking spot’s parking lot is totally full, drive to another hiking spot. Be self-sufficient. Take in what you need, take out what you need; don’t expect that you’re going to stop for dinner or so in these towns because they just can’t handle it.”

BC Reopens for Camping, Slowly

As with Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, BC is reopening for day use in time for May Long. Boat launches, beaches, front and backcountry trails, picnic areas, and washroom facilities are ready for people, but keeping it simple and local is the key to keeping everyone safe.

What May Long Weekend Looks Like in British Columbia?

Getting out for the day may be the mood boost you need these days, and it’s a good time to discover more about your own backyard. Premier John Horgan urges people not to travel too far or to visit other communities.

BC Camping and RVing Starts in June

Overnight camping begins throughout the province starting on June 1st, but visitor centres, nature houses, and concessions may not be open. BC Parks has compiled a very useful list of locations affected by COVID-19, so be sure to check here or call ahead before you head out.

Manitoba

Manitoba has fewer cases than the most Western provinces, so their parks are open already, but they are implementing distancing guidelines and banning gatherings of more than 10 people. Campgrounds are not limiting the number of sites that can be booked, but ask that visitors wear shoes or sandals in the showers and bring their own toiletries, including toilet paper and soap.

RVing is Your Best Option for Summer 2020

With your own bathroom facility, a dedicated kitchen, and possibly even laundry, your RV is the best asset you have for getting a vacation this year. Not only will it reduce stress for everyone on board, but it also allows you to get out and get a summer vacation without visiting an airport.

Woody’s RV World is Your Ally

We’re here to answer any questions, make sure you have all the parts, and help you upgrade with any accessories. And for those of you who have an RV that’s been neglected over the past few years, dust it off and bring it in for an inspection before you hit the road for a summer of RV revival.

Buying New vs. Pre-Owned

Posted by | How-To & Helpful Tips

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If you are in the market for an RV the first choice you need to make is whether to buy a new RV or a pre-owned RV. This is often a preference choice if you purchase the RV from a dealership. However, if you buy a used RV from a private party, you could run into all types of problems including appliances that don’t work, an engine that doesn’t run right or has a million miles on it, or the electronics not working properly.

If you purchase a used RV from a dealership such as Woody’s RV World, you have peace of mind that all systems have been checked. Thus, you need to look at other pros and cons of buying new or pre-owned.

New RVs

It goes without saying that new RVs can be expensive. You’ll most likely have a payment on a new RV unless you come into some money or manage to save enough to buy a new RV outright. Unless there’s a factory problem with the systems, which is rare, you know that everything in the new RV works great and will last a long time.

Pre-Owned RVs

Buying a pre-owned RV is better on your pocket. However, if a system is working, most dealerships won’t replace that system. That means it could break at any time. For example, if a hot water heater generally gets a certain number hours; you have that number minus how much it has already been used. In most cases no one knows how many hours a system has been run. If a dealership suspects that a system has been used extensively, it might replace that system to ensure that the customer isn’t back in the shop after the first trip.

The biggest benefit of buying a pre-owned RV is that it doesn’t do as much damage to your pocket as buying new. If you look enough, you could find a pre-owned RV that looks brand new, especially if you aren’t fussy about getting the latest and greatest accessories such as televisions.

When you stop by Woody’s RV World, be sure to walk through both new and pre-owned RVs – you just might find something that works for your family that is pre-owned – you could get a much larger RV for a lot less money.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying an RV

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If you’re buying your first RV, you should ask certain questions before you buy it. Buying an RV, whether under $10,000 or over $250,000 is a huge purchase and you want to ensure that you have something that you like and will not regret later.

Stop by Woody’s RV World with you list of questions when you walk through the models you are interested in. This way, you won’t forget to ask any of the questions you need answers to.

Sizes and Sleeping Quarters

These questions are more important if you have a family with older children or if you plan on long-term traveling. Ask to see the size of the sleeping quarters. If you have have three or more kids and they are older; or if you plan on taking adult friends with you, you’ll want to ensure that a bunk that is advertised to sleep two is actually big enough to sleep two!

Another “size” to ask about is holding tank size. If you are planning on living the RV and many of the places you park of off-grid, you’ll want larger holding tank sizes. And, if you have a group of people or a large family going out for a weekend, you won’t want to pick up everything to go empty the holding tanks every other day. Make sure your RV has large enough holding tanks to accommodate your RV lifestyle.

Utilities

RVs come with either 30- or 50-amp services. If you know your favorite campground offers only 30-amp service, be sure your RV has the 30-amp service. If you most often “dry camp,” then you might want to be sure the RV you choose has a generator.

Ensure you have enough hot water for your intended use. Many RVs have a 6-gallon hot water heater which is plenty. If this is not going to be enough, look for an RV with an on-demand water heater or a larger hot water tank.

Weight

If you are looking at towables, make sure your truck has the capacity to tow the RV you choose. Check the truck’s towing limits and make sure the RV you are interested in falls within that weight limit. Also, keep in mind where you will be traveling. If you get an RV at the top weight limit of your truck’s towing capacity, you may have problems towing it up into the mountains.

Visit Woody’s RV World

If you’re interested in starting the RV lifestyle, come see us at Woody’s RV World. Our wide inventory of RVs and motorhomes is sure to have just the right model for your needs. If you have any questions on driving an RV, we’d be glad to help!

Safe RV Driving During the Winter

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Winter is in full swing and that means the roads may be a little more difficult for your holiday RV travels. These RV driving tips will help you through winter’s tricky driving conditions to ensure you enjoy a safe and fun RV season.

Don’t Be in a Hurry

Give yourself plenty of extra time to arrive at your destination in case a winter storm occurs at some point in your travels. It’s important for RV drivers — whether you’re driving a motorhome or towable — to pull over immediately when winter weather arrives. Do not head back onto the roads until they’ve been sanded or cleared.

Although it might take you longer to get to your destination, you can avoid permanent damage to your motorhome or jack-knifing your travel trailer and putting your family at risk.

Be Aware of Rear Wheel Drive

If you’re used to driving a front-wheel drive vehicle in wintry conditions, you’ll quickly realize that maneuvering an RV’s rear-wheel drive system can feel a bit more difficult. Kick your front-wheel driving techniques to the curb and get used to your old habits of pumping the brakes lightly when you start to slide. Always leave a lot of room between yourself and other drivers, because sliding in a motorhome or with a travel trailer can be very dangerous.

Create a Winter RV Checklist

There are a number of steps you’ll want to take before hitting the road in cold temperatures or winter conditions. Create a checklist to ensure you don’t miss any of the essential winter RV tasks like making sure your fuel tank is at least half full, checking your wiper blades, properly inflating your tires and ensuring you have all of the necessary supplies should you be stopped in a winter storm.

Let Woody’s RV World Ensure Your RV is Winter-Ready

Before you hit the roads in your RV this season, bring your travel trailer, motorhome or fifth wheel by Woody’s RV World in Alberta. Our certified RV technicians will take all of the necessary steps to ensure your RV is safe to hit the road for another RV season.

Fuel Saving Tips

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When you have an RV, you’ll want to do what you can to minimize fuel usage. Whether you have a motorized RV, travel trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler, the weight of the vehicle takes a toll on gas mileage; however, you can change your driving habits to minimize fuel usage.

Buying a New Rig

If you’re planning on buying a new truck to haul the fifth wheel or travel trailer you just bought at Woody’s RV World, be sure to get something that can haul more than your trailer’s weight. While a larger engine does use more gas, it uses less than if you have a smaller engine that has to work harder. Choose a truck that features cylinder deactivation. While it won’t go into Econo mode while you have the tow/haul feature activated, it will while you are not hauling, thus saving gas while you are sightseeing without the RV.

Driving Habits

You can do several things to minimize fuel usage, and you’ll be surprised at home much you can actually save. Use cruise control when you can, especially on the flats. This keeps the engine at the same speed, which minimizes fuel usage. If you’re on the highway and people in front of you are going slower than you are, change lanes if possible so you don’t have to slow down – and you won’t have to take your cruise off and reset it.

When you are approaching a line of vehicles at a stop light, slow down sooner rather than later. It takes more gas to get back up to speed from a dead stop than it does from any speed, even 5 kph. If you do have to come to a stop, don’t take off from the light like you’re at the track and the Christmas Tree just turned green. Pull out slowly to minimize fuel usage.

If you are traveling in the mountains, climb steep hills in a lower gear so the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to pull you up the hill.

Visit Woody’s RV World

If you are in the market for an RV, stop by Woody’s RV World to walk through our floor plans. If you have an RV and are not ready to upgrade yet, be sure to have your RV checked and serviced if necessary before you leave for your road trip.

Budgeting Tips for Your RV Trip

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If you’re thinking about taking to the road in an RV for your next road trip, you may be worried about keeping costs down. RVs make for fairly frugal travel, but expenses can still add up. If you’re worried about your budget, use these tips to keep costs lower.

Utilities

Since you provide your own electricity via generator, you’ll definitely save on that bill; however, you must take into consideration the cost of gas for the generator and the cost of adding amenities to a camp site. You can decrease the cost of electricity by making sure all lights and electronics that are not being used are turned off. You should also turn off the generator if you are not using any electronics.

When possible, open windows instead of using the air conditioning unit or the heat. While the furnace does run on propane, the fan uses electricity. Turn off the hot water heater unless you need it – if you turn it on about 20 minutes before your shower or before you do the dishes, you’ll have plenty of hot water.

Gas

Plan your travel ahead of time. Each night, know where you are going to be driving the next day. Use some of the apps like Gas Buddy to find out where you can find the cheapest gas in your area. You definitely don’t want to drive too far out of your way or your savings are wasted. Top off if you need to – and be sure you top off the cans for the generator.

Dry Camp

Dry camp when you can. You can always find water to fill up the tanks. Many dealerships and national campgrounds have disposals so you can empty your holding tanks. It’s a good idea to fill the water tank and empty the holding tanks whenever you come across a fee-free place to do this as you never know when you’ll be able to get it for free the next time.

Visit Woody’s RV World

If you’re interested in starting the RV lifestyle, come see us at Woody’s RV World. Our wide inventory of RVs and motorhomes is sure to have just the right model for your needs. If you have any questions on driving an RV, we’d be glad to help!

Staying Connected on the Road

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Traveling in an RV means it’s time to minimize and cut back on some of the luxuries of living in a brick-and-mortar home. However, there are plenty of luxuries you don’t have to give up, such as being able to login to the internet whenever you please.

Many travelers assume they won’t have reliable internet access when they hit the road, but it’s easy to establish a hotspot inside your RV, so you never have to lose touch with work or the ones you love.

What Is a Hotspot?

A hotspot is the only way to stay connected to the internet without relying on an RV park, restaurant or other establishment’s unreliable WiFi access. A hotspot can be created from your cellular phone or a specific hotspot device.

How Do I Get One?

Cellular providers Verizon and ATT offer some of the widest coverage across the United States, which means you can enjoy reliable internet access just about anywhere. Travelers can use the PDA.net application to tether a phone to other devices in the room, like laptops or tablets.

Travelers should invest in a data plan of 20 to 30 gigabytes per month for high-speed WiFi access that doesn’t rack up a hefty phone bill. Discuss your hotspot needs with an ATT or Verizon representative before choosing your data plan.

Using Free Public WiFi

Free public WiFi can be extremely useful, because it doesn’t use your allotted monthly data. However, free public WiFi isn’t always as reliable as you need. Boost free public WiFi from campgrounds, RV parks or businesses with a WiFiRanger booster. This device improves the signal of free WiFi spots, so you can enjoy more reliable internet access without using data.

Start Living Life on the Road

Full-time life on the road is one of the most rewarding ways to travel, and having reliable internet access can help you stay in touch with loved ones and make money on the go. Remember to come see us at Woody’s RV World.

Must-Have RV Maintenance Items

Posted by | All About RV’ing, How-To & Helpful Tips, RV Culture

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When you’re traveling in your RV on the open road, you’re subject to plenty of freedom and independence. That independence means that you need to be able to handle problems yourself, if they arise. It’s part of the territory. To that end, there are certain tools that are pretty much required for RV travel. You may never need them, but you could be really sorry one day if you don’t have them aboard.

Tire Gauge

This one’s going to get used frequently. A tire gauge allows you to monitor the air pressure of your tires and to keep them at optimal levels as you travel. Properly inflated tires are more resilient, last longer, and will provide you with better fuel economy, which an RVer can appreciate.

Axe

A quality axe provides a multitude of useful functions around any RV site or campground. From cutting up wood for a fire to clearing debris, an axe is never dead weight. Consider packing it or a hatchet when you go out hiking. If you get lost somehow, it’s among the most useful items you can have.

Multi-bit Screwdriver

Instead of owning a dozen screwdrivers, invest instead in a multi-bit version. The various heads all magnetically snap into the handle and give you all the utility of a drawer full of lesser screwdrivers. No matter what kind of screw you encounter, a multi-bit has got you covered.

Channel Lock Pliers

Channel lock pliers will serve as your go-to tool for all things plumbing-related. From tightening a water hose to turning on a spigot that’s missing a handle, they’ll serve you well any time you need to really tighten something or need a makeshift handle.

Needle Nose Pliers

The pliers to use when something requires a bit more finesse. Needle nose pliers can fit into tight spaces and give you fine control over something too small for your hands to properly manipulate.

Visit Woody’s RV World

If you’re interested in starting the RV lifestyle, come see us at Woody’s RV World. Our wide inventory of RVs and motorhomes is sure to have just the right model for your needs. If you have any questions on driving an RV, we’d be glad to help!

DIY RV Renovation Projects

Posted by | How-To & Helpful Tips, RV Culture

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You’ll find many DIY projects to make your RV unique to your family; and many of them will make camping or RVing more enjoyable. When you can make more room for storage or add some hand made decorations, your RV really becomes your second home.

Sliding Storage

Pass through storage is great, especially when you have a ton of stuff to pack in there, but reaching into the middle can be a chore sometimes. To make life easier, add a deep slide out cargo tray to the pass through storage. You’ll be able to pull the slide out so you can reach everything.

Office Space

If you have a bunk house but no longer use the bunk house because the kids are grown and gone, add a desk in the area. You’ll have a quiet space to use the computer for fun; or if you work while you travel the country, you’ll have a quiet place to work.

Even if you don’t have a bunk house, but have extra bunks in the rear of the RV, you can convert the bottom bunk into an office space. Whether you leave the bunk in place and build a raised platform to fashion a desk or you remove the bottom bunk to make room for a desk, you’ll have a great place to work.

Decorations

If you can’t find any great decorations for your RV and you like the rustic look, make your own wood pictures, frames or clocks. You can purchase clock workings from any craft store, or even complete clock kits with numbers. Use a couple pieces of scrap wood to add a saying or a picture to with Hodge Podge or wood burning. You could even make customized picture frames to make the RV more rustic.

Visit Woody’s RV World

Stop by Woody’s RV World to walk through our many floor plans to pick the right RV for your family. Accessorize it by stopping at our shop to pick up anything you might need to make the RV yours. And, if you already have an RV and are not ready for something new just yet, be sure to give our RV service department a call to schedule an appointment for maintenance.

Getting the Most from Your RV’s Tires

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It’s an easy matter to almost forget that your RV’s tires exist. Most travelers take them for granted, assuming the tough chunks of rubber will roll placidly on forever. That illusion can be shattered in hurry though when you suffer a blowout.

Most unforeseen tire problems can be avoided with just a bit of foresight. You see, tire problems are never actually unforeseen. You can see them miles and miles ahead of time if you’re paying attention and taking proper care of your tires.

If you want to extend the life of your RV’s tires, start paying attention and follow these steps.

Know Your Tire’s Proper Pressure

We’re going to assume that you have tires that are appropriate for your RV’s weight. With that issue put aside, you now need to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. This means that they’re not under-inflated or over-inflated. Proper. Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears here. Just right. To this end, invest in a premium tire pressure gauge that you can trust to give an accurate reading. Reference the data with your tire’s PSI rating (which should match up with your RV’s recommended tire pressure, as we mentioned before) and top off or release air until you’re as close to that mark on every tire. This can be a bit painstaking, but trust us, it’s worth the effort.

Distribute Weight Evenly and Don’t Overload

Don’t try to take everything with you when you hit the road. This is a talk for another day, but it’s relevant to your tires. Tires that are supporting an overloaded rig are more prone to wearing out and suffering a failure. It’s equally important to distribute the weight you are carrying as evenly as you can. Don’t put your pile of bricks (we won’t ask) all on the back left tire; instead, put your bricks evenly around your RV.

Check for Wear and Rotate Tires to Minimize It

Before you hit the road, incorporate a tire checking routine into your pre-launch diagnostics. Look for signs of wear and rot on each tire. If you see damage, make note of it and plan to replace the tire. If you see the wear soon enough, you can safely drive on it until you find a place to replace it. You don’t want this to sneak up on you. You can minimize wear by regularly rotating your tires whenever you go in for maintenance. Just ask the crew to rotate your tires around so that they wear more evenly as a set instead of one tire in particular taking the brunt of the road mile after mile.

Visit Woody’s RV World

Before you hit the roads in your RV this travel season, bring your travel trailer, motorhome or fifth wheel by Woody’s RV World in Alberta. Our certified RV technicians will take all of the necessary steps to ensure your RV is safe to hit the road for another RV season, including checking your tires for wear & tear or improper inflation.