Recreational Vehicle Safety & Insurance Tips for the Spring – Know Before You Go (and Tow)

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The spring season marks the beginning of outdoor adventures for many households across B.C. and Canada. Whether your carport parks a recreational vehicle (RV), trailer, or both, you know that being prepared is the most important part of your journeys to come. 

You may have a checklist that includes food, water, clothing, first-aid kits, waste tank cleaning chemicals and toilet paper, but have you taken proper accounting of your insurance and liability concerns? Before you load up your RV and/or hitch up your trailer and head for the wide-open road, please have a look at Park Insurance’s preparedness plan. 

4 Things You Need to Do Before You Take Your RV and/or Trailer Out on the Road this Season

1) Look Into Your Time and Chain Requirements

Even though the spring equinox is nearly here, the weather to and from your destination may pay it no regard. For instance, the spring of 2024 is expected to be a polar coaster in B.C. and across Canada. You may be leaving a warm and sunny Vancouver to find a treacherous path at the Coquihalla Summit as you make your way east. Make sure that you check highway conditions in advance, and plan for both the expected and unexpected. If traveling in early spring, review RV tire and chain requirements, and consider bringing along winter tires beyond the prescribed March 31 prerequisite.

2) Map Out Rest Areas Along the Way 

Rest is essential to recreational vehicle road trip safety. It’s good for the maintenance of your RV and your own health. As the driver, you want to be mindful of drowsiness while at the wheel. The danger of falling asleep while operating something as impactful as an RV cannot be understated. One of the keys to staying awake while driving is taking advantage of rest stops on the road. However, when you drive an RV or tow a trailer, not just any rest stop will do. Every province has a map of rest areas. In BC, this map details those which can accommodate large recreational vehicles and trailers. 

Note: If you plan on leaving your RV while parked at a rest area, apply these tips to prevent vehicle break-ins.

3) Know Your Vehicle’s Towing Capabilities (and Regulations)

If you are operating a vehicle that will be towing an RV or trailer you need to understand its capabilities in addition to provincial regulations. B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act Regulations prohibit the operation of vehicles that are unsafe, improperly loaded, and exceed either the Gross Axle Rating (GAWR) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). 

One of the first things you need to do, is check your vehicle’s manual to verify its towing and hauling capacity. From there, take note of braking requirements. In B.C., trailer loads that exceed 1,400 kilograms (3,086 lbs.) demand that trailers have brakes on all wheels and that a breakaway device must be hooked to the trailer brake system. There are also maximum lengths for towing recreational vehicles. These include 14 metres (45.93 feet) for motorhomes, 12.5 metres (41 feet) for towed RVs, and 20 metres (65.6 feet) for a combination. There are maximum widths to consider too. 2.6 metres (8.5 feet) is the maximum width on recreational vehicles while mirrors can only extend an additional 20 centimetres (8 inches) on either side. View more on RV towing requirements and regulations in B.C.

4) Know the Ins and Outs of Recreational Vehicle and Trailer Insurance

If you really want peace of mind, you need to make sure that you have the right insurance. For motorhomes, the insurance you purchase should cover what is considered “standard equipment” (RV appliances, etc.) and “contents” (dishes, bedding, etc.). However, some items are usually excluded from the standard RV policy, such as bicycles and watercraft. You will want to talk to an insurance broker about your options for such exclusions. 

It is also important to review your insurance coverage before towing a camper or trailer.  Talk to an experienced autoplan broker for details. 

There are also RV and travel trailer insurance options that include (but are not exclusive to) RV/trailer storage, attached accessories, emergency expenses, campsite liability, and much more. View a complete breakdown of recreational vehicle and towing trailer insurance policies. 

Nothing will ruin a springtime RV/trailer road trip faster than an accident or break-in. Make sure that you have full motorhome, RV, and trailer insurance. Contact Park Insurance today, before you hit the road. 


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