How to get your RV, caravan or travel trailer ready for the road in 7 easy steps
The temperature is finally starting to rise, camping season is just around the corner and the open road is calling! It's time to de-winterize your recreational vehicle (RV) and hit the campgrounds and national parks. But where do you start?
1. Check on your RV insurance
You probably winterized your RV, travel trailer or caravan and put it in storage over the winter. If you suspended your insurance coverage, it's time to reactivate it! To do this, contact your recreational vehicle insurance broker or representative and tell them the date you want to de-winterize your RV and start using it again. You will be protected from that date on and ready to hit the road!
Want to find out if you can get a better rate on your RV insurance premium? Request a quote with Intact Insurance and make sure you're covered for your next adventure!
RV insurance offers liability coverage, which is useful if you are found responsible for any physical harm caused by your RV to a third party. You can also get additional coverage options for several types of travel vehicles, depending on your province. Learn more with our article on getting the right insurance for your RV**.
2. Ask about getting an RV storage credit, if applicable
You may be able to receive a refund for a portion of your insurance premium when your vehicle is winterized and in storage. Ask your insurance company if you are eligible for a discount, and what steps to take. If necessary, put a reminder in your calendar when it comes time to store your RV again. It's an easy step that only takes a few minutes and could save you money!*
3. Check if your RV needs an inspection
Depending on where you were storing it or how well it held up last season, chances are good that your vehicle was exposed to cold, wind and snow. If your RV has been stored for more than a year, it may be time to have it professionally inspected when de-winterizing it. Request a mechanical inspection by a specialist approved by your licensing office, insurance company or provincial transportation ministry and update your mechanical inspection certification. You may be required to present the certificate when you reactivate your registration. We encourage you to check the various rules and conditions required in your province before getting an inspection.
In case this step is not mandatory, you can simply consult your usual garage and follow their advice and recommendations. Finally, if you are aware of the condition of your RV, an inspection may not be essential before getting it back on the road.*
4. Reactivate your RV registration with your provincial corporation or office
On the date when you de-winterize your RV and put it back on the road, you must reactivate your RV registration. Bring your last registration certificate and driver's licence to a service point of your provincial licencing office (SAAQ in Quebec, ServiceOntario in Ontario, etc.) or do it yourself online, if the service is available.
Good to know
In most provinces, you pay for your RV registration for the entire month, whether you are in the middle or end of the month. Have it reactivated at the beginning of the month to make the most of your registration fee. Check with your local registry office to see if this applies to your province!
5. Your RV checklist before you hit the road
You probably winterized your RV to keep it in good condition during months in winter storage. Now, you must go through the steps to de-winterize it before using it again! Before turning on your RV, check to make sure you don't have any flat RV tires after being exposed to sub-zero temperatures. Make sure you properly remove the antifreeze that you put into your RV during the winterizing process and empty the water system and fresh water tank of RV antifreeze. Check your hot water tank, water heater and water pump to make sure they're working. Finally, check your RV batteries to make sure they're not drained, and make sure your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector are working. If everything seems to be in order, you can start the engine and test the RV water system by connecting to a power source, after filling the fresh water tank. Turn on the heating, air conditioning, oven and make sure the refrigerator is working. Is everything in order? You're ready for the next step!
6. Spring clean your RV
Your home on the road deserves a good spring clean, after a winter of sleeping! There will always be a few insects that have made their way inside the RV. It's not a big deal, but they don’t make ideal travel companions either. Vacuum, remove cobwebs, clean the windows, make beds and clean the bathroom. You will enjoy camping season in your RV so much more when everything is in its place!
7. Hit the road in your fresh new RV!
After all this preparation, you are finally ready to make the most of camping season and go on a RV getaway. Maybe it's a weekend camping on the shores of the St. Lawrence River or a multi-week trip to Western Canada? You can find the inspiration you need by reading our article on Canada’s top scenic summertime escapes. There is no limit to your freedom now that your RV is de-winterized! You are protected from glitches that can occur on the road thanks to your insurance coverage. Check out Intact.ca, get a quote and enjoy a competitive premium amount and coverage that meets your expectations. * Take to the road with peace of mind and adventure!
* Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply to all offers. Visit intact.ca for more details. Offers may change without notice. The information that appears on this website is provided to you for informational purposes only. Your insurance contract prevails at all times; please consult it for a complete description of coverage and exclusions.
**Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. Roadside Assistance and Mon RV et moi products are available in Quebec only. Please see intact.ca for more details. Roadside assistance services are provided by an independent third party as part of the Roadside Assistance Insurance endorsement, if applicable.