With the freezing cold weather in full-effect here in Alberta, you may be considering travelling south in your RV! Whether you are a long-time snowbird, or taking your first adventure south in your RV, our team has a few tips to share to contribute to a smoother trip.
1. Know how long you can stay in the U.S.
There are VERY strict rules with how many days someone can spend in the U.S. in a given year. Exceeding the allowable time could result in heavy fines, difficulty entering down the road, or even getting banned from visiting the United States at all. If you don’t want to apply for a special visa, keeping your trip to 180 days or less is advisable.
Are you over 50 years old and want to stay in the United States for a longer period of time? Good news! The U.S. Senate has introduced a bill (that will hopefully get passed soon) that may help. The bill, if passed, would allow Canadians who are 50 years or older and who meet certain criteria to stay in the U.S. for up to 240 days in a 12-month period.
2. Make sure that you have the correct insurance coverage.
On the topic of the U.S., Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. However, we’d like to add one more – insurance.
It is critical that you get the correct insurance coverage. You will also want to check with your insurance company to find out if there are any restrictions for longer trips into the U.S. Not having the right coverage so far from home is a hassle that can be easily avoided. Review both your personal health insurance as well as your vehicle insurance prior to travelling south.
3. Make sure that your RV is in healthy condition.
Making a trip South through mountains, hills, bumpy roads, snow, and rain requires you to have your RV in tip top shape. Have a qualified shop (like RV Mobile Edmonton!) inspect the main components of your RV to reduce the chance of breakdowns or troubles during your trip.
A few of the key areas of your RV that should be checked include:
- Brakes and Bearings
- A trailer’s wheel bearings take considerably more stress than a normal car due to load placed on the bearings during sharp turns, when backing up and then sitting in one place for an extended period without moving. Opinions differ slightly but the general rule is 2 years or 3000 km to have your bearings inspected and repacked.
- Roof, Seams, and Seals
- Besides the obvious reasons of wanting to keep water out of your RV, it is recommended to inspect the seams and seals on the roof and sidewall of your trailer. This can help to prevent air from getting behind the trailer shell and causing damage, or driving rain or snow from being forced into the trailer.
4. Take your time travelling.
Although your first instinct may be to hurry up and get to your destination, there may be some benefits to listening to the adage to “stop and smell the roses”. While there is excitement to get to your destination, it is important that you are not in too much of a rush so that you still drive cautiously. Plus, researching your route and hitting unique restaurants and interesting landmarks along the way will make for a memorable trip!
5. Don’t miss out on must-see stops!
Leaving from Western Canada? Here are some must see and must eat stops along the way:
- What do they eat in Idaho besides potatoes? If you are up for a little detour and some BBQ that will change your life, go see our friend Mike in Rigby Idaho. Click HERE.
- What’s a Geyser? Make sure you stop off at the world-famous Yellowstone National Park to see the world’s largest collection of geysers. Water works its way down to 2,000 metres where it hits hot rocks, resulting in hydrothermal expansion. The boiling pressurized hot water and steam are sent to the surface where you can watch the powerful water display from a safe distance.
- If you haven’t experienced Utah’s rugged and breathtaking red-rock desserts, you will want to add this to your list when travelling south. The landscape transforms from hints of pink to the stunning oranges and reds, changing from sand desert, rugged mountains, and canyons. Learn more HERE.
What stops would you add along the way?