5 Steps to Planning a Successful RV Camping Trip

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Summer is here, and it’s time to get outside. And one of the most popular outdoor activities for British Columbians, other than complaining about the weather, is camping.

If you have been bitten by the camping bug, you are not alone. Each year, over 60% of people in BC take advantage of our province’s unparalleled natural beauty with at least one planned camping trip. In total, over a million campers will pass through BC campgrounds, and provincial and national parks.

Is this your first camping season? If so, you may have a few questions about how to make the most out of your camping experience. To help get you going on the right foot, here is a five-step guide to planning the perfect camping trip this summer.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Long before you start booking your sites (more on this coming up), you need to decide what type of camping experience you want.  Tent, trailer, or RV, all are great ways to enjoy quality time outdoors; which one is right for you will depend on your desire for creature comforts, your budget, and how often you think you’ll actually camp.

There are several types of RVs, from 30+ foot Class A motorhomes and smaller Class C campervans, to pop-up tent trailers and travel trailers. These RVs offer many of the same comforts as home and range from basic to luxury. A basic pop-up or folding tent trailer can start at $20,000, and a luxury 33-foot RV can cost over $100,000.

If you are considering investing in an expensive RV, it’s also very important to consider your auto insurance. Recreational Vehicles need their own auto insurance policies. 

Tents are significantly less expensive than RVs but also don’t offer any amenities. Having a bed with a mattress, a bathroom, kitchen, and heating and air conditioning, are essential to some people, particularly for those who plan to spend a lot of time travelling.

Tenting gear such as sleeping pads, bags, and the actual tent can be pricey for higher-quality items. This type of equipment, and other outdoor toys like kayaks, paddleboards, and non-motorized boats, are typically covered under your homeowner’s insurance, not your auto insurance. But if you are unsure, it’s best to check with your insurance provider.

Pick a Destination and Book in Advance

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, camping is extremely popular in British Columbia; if you are planning to hit the road and see where the wind takes you, you may want to think again. Popular provincial and national parks typically book up late spring and early summer for the entire season, particularly for popular campgrounds and those that offer full hookups for RVs. Some parks reserve a limited number of sites for FCFS (first come, first serve) customers, but those often fill up before busy weekend dates as well.

BC also has an extensive network of private campgrounds with various booking policies, so you’ll have to do your research. Some popular campgrounds in Tofino, for example, book up in December for the summer, while others only allow reservations 30 days in advance.

Pack Everything You’ll Need

Make sure you pack everything you’ll need on your trip – but also make sure to pack light. There is nothing worse than driving an hour down an unpaved forest service road and realizing you forgot water, sunscreen, or marshmallows for the kids and having to make the trip again. You also don’t want to overpack because unless you’ve invested in a monster-sized RV, space is limited while on the road, and nothing ever fits back into your car as well on the way home as it did on the way there.

Making a list is the most effective way to pack. There are some great camping essentials lists that you can find online. Think of your first trip as a trial run; you will forget something but take note of what you felt you missed and remember it for next time.

Plan Your Meals

Besides all the laundry you’ll have when you get home, meal planning and prep is the most time-consuming part of packing for a camping trip. However, you don’t want to skip this step, especially if you are not a seasoned camp chef.

Wash your fruits and veggies before leaving and prepare a few freezer meals. This makes for easy dinners and helps keep your cooler cold. Bag salads are a gift; you can mix and shake everything in the bag and save on the dishes. 

Don’t forget to pack Tupperware and food storage bags. No matter the cooler, by the end of a long weekend trip, the ice will melt, and you’ll want to avoid having floating cheese and wet butter.

Have Fun!

The most important step is to remember that camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing, so enjoy exploring the outdoors and making unforgettable memories.


I am a tech writer with over 6 years of experience writing about a variety of tech topics, including software, hardware, and the latest trends in the tech industry. I have a passion for writing clear and concise articles that are easy to understand for both technical and non-technical audiences.

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