This blog post was originally published in Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, Nov/Dec 2016, Vol. 36, No. 3. By Margot Bai, Contributing Editor for CMS for over 10 years.
Do you dream of RVing around the continent on an extended road trip? Have you wondered how you could make this work, whether while working, or on sabbatical or in retirement, part-time or even full-time? The cliché Canadian Rver is the retired snowbird, escaping winters down south in their Class A “bus” motorhomes! But RV life has many iterations and this is perhaps it’s greatest strength: every RVer can create their own version of the lifestyle from type of rig to extent of travel, and means of funding.
With our rental renovation pending for September 1st, we had a little over a week for an official “vacation”. While we so appreciate and enjoy driveway surfing with family and friends, after over a month of social time we were craving some alone time. We also recognized that this was our only chance to go “camping” all year, at least until we head south for the winter. We really enjoyed our stay at Kring Point State Park on the St Lawrence River in NY state last summer. Since Nellie was already an hour east of Toronto, continuing east seemed a logical choice. Using my guide to Ontario Conservation Areas, I found Charlottenburgh Park on the St Lawrence River, just east of Cornwall. A quick call confirmed they would have space for us with no reservation required. At almost 400kms, it was a good day’s haul but the 401 made the trip quick and easy.
We rolled in Tuesday afternoon and found multiple options for camping. Interestingly, with our solar panels, we generally want sites that others don’t: no services and lots of sunshine. Not only are sites without electricity cheaper, they are usually located in quieter and/or more scenic sections of the campground. This time we opted for a site close to the beach: the open spaciousness of the sites in that area did not appeal to others and we basically had the entire area to ourselves. Sweet!
James’ “Freedom Day” was Saturday August 13th, 2016. We had spent the last 3 weeks at Margot’s sister’s place where we were very welcome, but we still wanted to go out and explore. So excited in fact, that we forgot to check the weather before we headed out to Geoff and Viv’s place in Hillsburgh, ON for their pool party.
Well it downpoured just after we left my sister Adrienne’s place and James being on the motorcycle got fully soaked, even down to his underwear! It turns out, there was also a tornado reported that day in York Region (where we used to live). He saw the line of rain ahead and said to himself, “It’s been a long time since I got this wet, so let’s do it!” It turns out getting soaked wasn’t all that bad and was even refreshing given the heatwave of the last 3 weeks!
Our friends Geoff and Viv have a lovely country property outside Hillsburgh with a spacious, level gravel driveway perfect for our rig.
Arriving at Margot’s sister’s house in Brampton that Friday evening, we finally relaxed, sharing Indian takeout dinner with Mel. We cracked open a bottle of champagne, a gift from James’ sister to celebrate a successful move. After dinner, we unloaded Mel’s car, said our goodbyes and started unloading our van stuffed to the ceiling.
Conveniently, Margot’s sister’s family was away on vacation: we had the house to ourselves and we needed it. As we spread out the piles of stuff on the dining room floor, we realized that we still had way too much…
Even with all the advance preparation, the last couple days were a whirlwind. The day before closing, the movers took all our big furniture, while we moved delicate items in our van, up to our rental property for storage. Closing day should have been a simple matter of packing up the rest and cleaning…