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On the road, water or land

One might assume that RVs, or recreational vehicles, are reserved for Canadian Snowbirds heading south for the winter, or that houseboats only exist in Amsterdam. Think again. Moveable vacations are a great way to get you and your family exploring more of Canada.

If a cottage retreat is more your style, read on for tips to help you find the perfect cabin for the summer -- or at the very least, the one that appears on the website.

Whether you take your next vacation on the road, by boat or on land, it's time to explore.

"Are we there yet?" is a phrase you don't often hear during an RV trip. That's because it's not all about the final destination -- the voyage is the trip. "You can bring games and watch DVDs -- it's a less stressful way to travel with your kids," says Angèle Lapointe, a representative for Go RVing Canada, a RV advocacy group.

It can also be quite economical. "Taking into consideration hotels, car gas, meals out everyday, you can save quite a bit," says Lapointe.

Your rate will depend on the size of the RV -- how many people it can accommodate-- the season and amenities. Motor homes come in three classes: A, B and C.

Class A is similar to a bus in that the driving cab is part of the vehicle. Class As come in two sizes and are considered the higher-end option; expect nicer fabrics, appliances and more amenities. High season can cost about $370 per night.

Class B homes are similar to minivans and are considered the 'in-between' vehicles in terms of amenities.

Class C homes sit on the back of a van shaft. "It's typically not quite as luxurious as Class A and they are considered the entry-level vehicles," says David Sammut, president of Toronto-based Motor Home Travel Canada Inc.

In the winter off-season, a small Class C is about $100 per night, while summer high season will run you about $200. Gas is not included in the rental cost and you must be 25 or older and hold a full G license.

He adds that first-time renters should visit a dealership to get a sense of the space and amenities in the homes. "It depends on how much space you want and the degree of luxury you want -- the only way you can get a sense of that is sitting in a motor home first-hand," says Sammut.

He also recommends booking months in advance to ensure you get the model you want: "We have overseas guests who start booking in March and April."

While on the road, the Go RVing website has lists of campgrounds and RV parks throughout the country to help you plan your trip.

A boating we will go
"It's like camping on water," says Annemarie Drenth, co-owner of Leisure Island Houseboat Rentals in Lake Temagami, Ont.

The advantage of a houseboat is the chance to explore. "You can go into small coves, hideaway places and nobody even knows that you're there," says Drenth. Lake Temagami has over 1,500 islands and over 4,800 kilometres of crown-owned shoreline that is free of cottages.

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-- Posted July 23, 2010
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