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Everything you need to know

General Booking and RV Rental Information

Summary

In order to book one of our units, you must first request to book the dates through the corresponding rvme booking calendar. Next, we will issue an invoice through rvme, typically within 24 hours. Then you will have 5 days to review the invoice and make payment through the website. Once payment is made, your trip is confirmed. At this time, payment in full is required. 

 

Step by Step

Step 1: You will need to register an account at www.rvme.com

Step 2: You will need to confirm your account via the email that is sent to you from rvme. Make sure to check your junk-mail.

Step 3: Log in to your rvme account and find the desired RV. One way is to press "Search" without a date range. This will bring up all of the RVs. If you have a specific dates, then you can search the date range. After selecting your desired RV, scroll down to the "Booking Calendar" and choose your date range, then add the Delivery if required, then add your desired Rentable Items. Then submit the booking request.

Step 4: We will review the request and make any necessary adjustments. If the booking falls in our low season, we will manually add the Low Season Discount and invoice it back to you for review.

Step 5: After the booking has been invoiced back to you, you will receive an email prompt. You will need to Agree to the Rental Agreements prior to making Payment through the website.

Web Links to Each rvme Booking Calendar

Travel Trailers

Forest River 32'        Wilderness 25'

Island Trail 27'      Coachman 30'

Grey Wolf 28'       Komfort 27'

Baja 22'               Lil Jayco 20'

Coleman 28'       Big Jay 28'

Motorhomes

Tilikum 28'       Springer 28'

Keiko 23'       Willy 23'

Luna 23'

Our primary Delivery area includes: Nanaimo, Parksville, Ladysmith and Coombs.
Standard rate for round trip delivery and setup: $155 + GST

Destinations

We mostly deliver to the central Island area but will provide custom quotes for further destinations. Please send us a message if you don't see your desired location on our delivery list, which can be viewed during the booking process on the rvme booking calendars.

 

Target Delivery Times

Drop-off Times: 1 and 3 pm (Typically)

Pick-up Time: 10:45 am (Typically)

The above times work with most campsites, please notify us if you have a request outside of the times suggested. 

 

Drop-off

Includes set up of the trailer.  You are not required to be there in most cases. If you need assistance when you arrive, we will ask you to view our support videos and documents.  You also have the option to reach us by text or phone.

 

Pick-up

The time is chosen, so that we give you enough time at your campsite and us enough time to hook-up and vacate the site before checkout. If you know the trailer will be ready before 10:45 am we would appreciate a message ahead of time (preferably the night before).

We have 2 seasons, a High-Season and a Low Season and each have different minimums.

High Season:

Date Range: June 15th to September 15th 

Minimum: 5 Nights 

 

(3 and 4 night bookings will be considered closer to the actual date or if there is a 3-4 day break in-between 2 rentals)

 

Low Season:

Date Range: September 16th to June 14th 

Minimum: 3 Nights 

We do permit self-tow travel trailer rentals under certain circumstances:

-The person towing must be 25 years or older

-Must have adequate truck and your own hitch with a ball size of 2-“5/16 or 2" (depending on the unit).

-The hitch and the tow vehicle must be rated for the GVWR of the trailer.

-You must have an electric brake controller.

-You must have previous towing experience.

-On the return day, if we have the trailer rented to go out again, we will require it back by 1100 am. If a different time is requested, it must be approved and scheduled.

Each RV is equipped with everyday cookware and an outdoor mat.

Included Items List 
Electric Coffee Maker w/ Filters
Electric Kettle
Standard Kettle
Electric Toaster
1 Fry Pan
2 Sauce pans (Pots)
1 Colander
3 Mixing/Serving Bowls
1 Cutting Board
2 Small Storage Containers
1 Can Opener
1 Juice and 1 Measuring Jug
1 Bread Knife
2 Wooden Spoons
1 Spatula
1 Flipper
2 Small Cutting Knives

1 Outdoor Carpet

Add-on Items

Listed as "Rentable Items" and are available through the booking process on the rvme website.

 

Rentable items can also be added to the booking after the booking has been made.

Rentable Items
BBQ + Sm. Green Propane tank ($30)
Bedding + Towels for 4 ($100)
Camping Chairs ($5 ea.)
Generator + small Fuel can (Not Strong enough for A/C unit) ($60)
Propane Fire Pit and 10 Lb tank ($40)
Dishes ($25)


Dishes List
6 Dining Plates
6 Side Plates
6 Cereal Bowls
6 Settings of Cutlery
6 Mugs
6 Plastic Tumblers
2 Plastic Wine Glasses

We have 3 types of rentals

  1. Delivered Travel Trailer
  2. Self-Tow Travel Trailer
  3. Motorhome Rental
Last day with a Delivered Travel Trailer

Time
Our standard pick-up time is 10:45 am

 

Renter Responsibilities
-Please have all of your belongings and garbage removed
-Please give the trailer and quick wipe and a quick sweep

-Leave the keys where you found them

 

Island RV Responsibilities
-We will complete a deep clean
-We will empty the grey and black tanks

Last Day With a Self-Tow Travel Trailer

Punctual
Please return at the scheduled time. We have standard return times, and we ask that you schedule the time that suits you best. If permitted to return at a time later than our normal, it must also be scheduled and adhered to. We will have staff waiting for your return.

 

Cleanliness
Please give the trailer a quick wipe and a quick sweep

We will complete a deep clean

 

Sani Tanks
We will empty the grey and black tanks

Last Day with Motorhome

Punctual
Please return at the scheduled time. We have standard return times, and we ask that you schedule the time that suits you best. If permitted to return at a time later than our normal, it must also be scheduled and adhered to. We will have staff waiting for your return.

 

Fuelling
The unit must be returned with a full tank of Gas and a full tank of propane. The best place for this is the nearby CO-OP Gas Station on Mary-Ellen Drive. Plan accordingly to complete this task.

 

Sani Tanks
The Grey and Black tanks can be emptied at our location upon return.

 

Cleanliness
The unit must be in clean condition, which includes: removal of all your belongings and garbage, a quick wipe and and a quick sweep. We will take care of the deep clean.

We adhere to the rvme.com cancellation policy: https://www.rvme.com/cancellation-policy 

The cancellation policy will apply to all bookings processed through the website. The tiered approach is designed to allow some flexibility for the renter to cancel a trip in the event their plans change, or an unforeseen event happens. The tiered policy is also designed to protect the listing owners from cancellation revenue loss. In the event of a cancellation, varying percentages of the collected funds will be returned to the listing renter. As it gets closer to the booking a higher percentage will be allotted to the listing owner. The cancellation time frames are as follows:

 

  • If the booking is cancelled more than 30 days in advance, a full refund will be allotted to the listing renter.

  •  
  • If the booking is cancelled 30 days or less, and greater than 7 days in advance, a 50% refund will be allotted to the listing renter. Booking/Insurance fees and Service fees will still apply accordingly.

 

  • If the booking is cancelled 7 days or less in advance, a 0% refund will be allotted to the listing renter.

 

Short Notice Schedule Change

With each booking, the dates are blocked and made unavailable for anyone else to book.
If an early departure is requested during your trip, we will not offer a partial refund.

We do allow dogs, and we have a pet cleaning fee of $75

Unfortunately we do not allow cats because of their nature to scratch furniture. 

Hookups refer to 3 things: Power, Water and Sewer (Sani)

Power

Without a power connection, you will run off of the 12 Volt battery system. You will need to conserve energy. The lights and the furnace will be the biggest draws. You will not have access to: The AC unit, the microwave and the plug-in outlets.

The batteries will last about 3-4 days if used conservatively. 

A generator may be required if your trip is longer than 3 days

 

Water: If you don't have a water connection, you will have a limited supply of water. You will need to conserve.

Average Water Supply:
Travel Trailer: 200 Litres

Motorhome: 150 Litres

 

Sewer (Sani): Without a sani connection,  you won't have the ability to empty your grey and black tanks. This is usually only an issue if you are camping with a water hookup but no sewer connection.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

8 Common Questions and Answers for Dry Camping

  • Q: If I'm not plugged into power, will I have power in the RV?
    • When dry camping the RV will operate on the 12 Volt battery system and the propane system
  • Q: What works when dry camping?
    • The Fridge: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Furnace: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Hot water tank: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Water Pump: Uses a small amount of battery
    • The Stove top burners: Exclusively run on propane
    • The Lights: Run on the battery system
  • Q: What doesn't work when dry camping?
    • The Microwave
    • The AC unit
    • The Plug-in outlets
  • Q: How long will the water last?
    • With a conservative approach, you can get 3-4 days from the fresh water tank. Typically our bigger RVs have 200 L fresh water holding tanks.
  • Q: How long will the batteries last?
    • Without additional charging, the batteries will last 3-4 days if a conservative approach is taken.
  • Q: Is a generator required?
    • Maybe: A generator will top up your battery and give you access to the power outlets while it's running. If you are camping for more than 3 days then we would recommend a generator. The generator can sometimes handle the load of the AC and the microwave but often struggles. 
  • Q: Will water replenishment be necessary?
    • If you are camping for more than 3 days then there is a good chance you will need more water, unless you are diligent about primarily using the on site campground facilities.
  • Q: Will the grey and black tanks require emptying?
    • The tanks will only require emptying if additional water is added to the fresh tank. At that point, it's safe to say the grey tank is near full. 
*Please watch our video on Dry Camping for more information and Preparedness tips.

We can schedule a meeting to show an RV. It can sometimes be challenging, especially in Summer. Prior to showing, we will need to make sure the unit is available and cleaned. 

 

We do provide multiple pictures and descriptions on our website. 

Motorhome Related Information

Insurance Coverage

Because our Motorhomes are booked on the www.rvme.com platform, insurance is applied during the booking process. 

The website carries an ICBC peer-to-peer policy that covers up to 2 Million Dollars and has a $500 deductible

The charged amount for the insurance policy will be noted on the rvme invoice as the "Service Fee."

Driver's License: You do not need a special endorsement on your driver's license to drive the units in our fleet.

 

All pick-up and drop-off times must be scheduled ahead of your trip start date. 

Motorhome Pick-Up Times: 2-5 pm

Motorhome Drop-Off Times: 8-11 am

We will make efforts to accommodate requests outside of these times when possible. We will not be  able to confirm until 1 week prior to the start date. It will depend on other bookings for that particular unit.

We typically restrict our Motorhome usage to Vancouver Island.

 

If "off-island" permission is granted we will allot 100 Km per day and charge 25 cents per Km for the excess amount. 

 

The Motorhomes must remain on paved roads or campgrounds. Restricted areas include: logging roads, gravel roads and "off-roading."

Our location is: 6873 Mart Rd in Lantzville 

Proximity

Departure Bay Ferry terminal: 15-20 minute drive

Harbour Air/Heli Jet: 15-20 minute drive

Duke Point Ferry Terminal: 20 minute drive

Nanaimo Airport: 25 minute drive

Shuttle Services

Unfortunately we do not offer shuttle services

Nanaimo Taxi Suggestion

AC Taxi: 250-753-1231

Punctual

Firstly we ask that you return at the scheduled time. We have standard return times, and we ask that you schedule the time that suits you best. If permitted to return at a time later than our normal, it must also be scheduled and adhered to. We will have staff waiting for your return.

 

Fuelling

The unit must be returned with a full tank of Gas and a full tank of propane. The best place for this is the nearby CO-OP Gas Station on Mary-Ellen Drive. Plan accordingly to complete this task. 

 

Sani Tanks

The Grey and Black tanks can be emptied at our location upon return. 

 

Cleanliness

The unit must be in clean condition, which includes: removal of all your belongings and garbage, a quick wipe and and a quick sweep. We will take care of the deep clean.

Safety

In the event of an accident, alert the necessary authorities to insure the safety and well being of everyone involved.

 

Reporting

Please report the incident to us at your earliest convenience. If a claim is required, we will file it on your behalf.

If another vehicle is involved, make sure to ascertain the other party's details. We will need: Driver's name, driver's license number, license plate number, and vehicle description (year, make, model).

 

Repairs

If repairs are required for any reason,  we will coordinate with you to make plans for the necessary actions. Depending on the situation we will help coordinate a fix with 2 primary goals in mind:

 

  1. Safety
  2. Continuation of your holiday

 

We are often able to problem solve and correct many issues over the phone or through messaging. If we aren't able to, then we will escalate the approach to make additional arrangements. 

Hitch-receiver

There is a 2 inch receiver that can be utilized for a bike rack, although you will need to bring your own rack.

 

Towing

Towing another vehicle or trailer behind our Motorhomes is not permitted

Hookups refer to 3 things: Power, Water and Sewer (Sani)

Power

Without a power connection, you will run off of the 12 Volt battery system. You will need to conserve energy. The lights and the furnace will be the biggest draws. You will not have access to: The AC unit, the microwave and the plug-in outlets.

The batteries will last about 3-4 days if used conservatively. 

A generator may be required if your trip is longer than 3 days

 

Water

 If you don't have a water connection, you will have a limited supply of water. You will need to conserve.

Average Water Supply:
Travel Trailer: 200 Litres

Motorhome: 150 Litres

 

Sewer (sani)

Without a sani connection,  you won't have the ability to empty your grey and black tanks. This is usually only an issue if you are camping with a water hookup but no sewer connection.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

8 Common Questions and Answers for Dry Camping

  • Q: If I'm not plugged into power, will I have power in the RV?
    • When dry camping the RV will operate on the 12 Volt battery system and the propane system
  • Q: What works when dry camping?
    • The Fridge: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Furnace: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Hot water tank: Uses a small amount of battery but mostly runs on propane
    • The Water Pump: Uses a small amount of battery
    • The Stove top burners: Exclusively run on propane
    • The Lights: Run on the battery system
  • Q: What doesn't work when dry camping?
    • The Microwave
    • The AC unit
    • The Plug-in outlets
  • Q: How long will the water last?
    • It all depends on your consumption. Showers use a lot of water. Leaving the tap running uses a lot of water. The motorhome fresh water holding tank has 150 L. It is reasonable to achieve 3-4 days from the fresh water tank.
  • Q: How long will the batteries last?
    • Without additional charging, the batteries will last 3-4 days if a conservative approach is taken.
  • Q: Is a generator required?
    • Maybe: A generator will top up your battery and give you access to the power outlets while it's running. If you are camping for more than 3 days then we would recommend a generator. The generator can sometimes handle the load of the AC and the microwave but often struggles. 
  • Q: Will water replenishment be necessary?
    • If you are camping for more than 3 days then there is a good chance you will need more water, unless you are diligent about primarily using the on site campground facilities.
  • Q: Will the grey and black tanks require emptying?
    • The tanks will only require emptying if additional water is added to the fresh tank. At that point, it's safe to say the grey tank is near full. 
*Please watch our video on Dry Camping for more information and Preparedness tips.

Welcome to your RV

It is our goal to provide a safe, clean and enjoyable RV for you and your family. If it is your first time renting with us or you are new to camping, we strongly recommend that you read through the above tabs prior to your trip and watch the applicable videos in order to prepare yourself for your booking. 

Please save this web page for future reference as well. It may come in handy during your trip. 

Share your Trip with us

We love seeing pictures and hearing about your trip. Please consider following and tagging us in
your social media content while you are on vacation. Following us is also a great way to hear
about our future promotions.

RV Camping Tips + Tutorials

If you don’t have a city water connection, you will rely on the water pump.

Simply turn the switch to “On” and it will be ready to go. As water is used you will likely
hear the pump activate.

If you aren’t using water and you hear the pump rumbling away, then you are likely out of
water or there is a problem. Contact us if this is the case.

If you are hooked up to water, then you should make sure the Pump is in the “Off” position.

The Fridge will run on Power or Propane.

Turning on: The propane should be turned on, typically there are 2 buttons on the face of the fridge, an “On/Off” button and an “Auto/Gas” button. Normally these buttons are positioned to “On” and “Auto”. The exception would be, if a generator is running, then the button should be changed to “Gas” to avoid generator overload. There is usually a “check” light which will indicate if the fridge has turned 0ff. The first line of correction is to turn the fridge off and restart it after 15 seconds.

Next assess propane. Does the tank need to be changed or switched to the other one? Did the batteries die? The fridge will not work if the RV batteries are dead.
If you are unable to get your fridge started, please contact us after trying the above steps.

Temperature: there is usually a clip found on metal plates within the fridge. The lower the clip is, the warmer the fridge will be. The higher the clip, the colder it will be.

If your freezer is cold, then your fridge is working. It cools from the top down.

On hot days the fridge can take several hours to cool down when first started. A bag of ice in the fridge and the freezer will help it cool faster.

Most of our units have self-lighting hot water tanks.

Turning on: Make sure the propane is turned on. Find the switch on the interior wall that says “Water Heater” and turn it to the “On” position. You may hear it ticking while it attempts to light. Once it lights you will likely hear the flame roaring away. The hot water heater should then self-regulate for the rest of your trip.

Note: It can take about 1 minute for it to self-light. There is always a light on the hot water heater switch. When the switch is in the “On” position, you will only see the light on when it is starting or if it has malfunctioned. If you notice the light on, you should turn it to the off position for 15 seconds, then re-attempt to turn it on.

Troubleshooting: If it doesn’t restart consider propane. Does the tank need to be switched? Also, consider the batteries. It won’t work if the RV batteries are dead.

If you have an RV with a “manual light” hot water heater, then you will have a few more steps:

Make sure the propane is turned on. Locate the BBQ lighter
Locate the panel that houses the hot water heater.
Read and follow the instructions found inside the panel.
The dial needs to turn to the pilot.
Press and hold the pilot button.
Light the pilot light area as indicated in the instructions. It looks like a tiny spoon, once it is lit, release the pilot button.

Once it is lit, you will turn the dial from “pilot” to “on”. You will then see the pilot turn from a small flame to a roaring flame. At this point you can close the panel, and you are good to go. Turn To dial to “Off” prior to repositioning of RV.

The furnace typically runs on propane.

To use the Furnace the propane needs to be turned on. Then you will locate the thermostat dial on the wall. There is typically a toggle switch that needs to be in the “on” position. Then the temperature gauge needs to be turned to the desired number.

It is important to note: The blower will run for about 1 minute after you turn off the Furnace.

The A/C unit will only work with a large enough external power source. The generators that we rent out are not strong enough for the AC units. Typically a 30 Amp plug is what’s required, but sometimes it will work on 110 or 15 Amp, although it may be susceptible to popping a breaker, especially if there is the additional draw at the time.

The AC unit is turned off and on from an electrical panel or from dials directly on the Air Conditioning unit (On the ceiling).

If you do not have hookups (power, water and sewer) then you are “dry camping”. You will need to conserve your water and power accordingly.

The biggest draws on the battery will be the lights and the furnace.

The “plugins”, microwave, and AC will only work with an external power source.

 You’re unlikely to overfill your grey and black tank because you can only use what is in the freshwater holding tank, which typically isn’t enough.

Sensors: In each RV there is a panel with sensors for the different tanks on the RV. It is important to note these are a guide and not always accurate. Quite often the Black tank (Sewer) and the Grey tank (Sinks + tub) will read high, this is because the sensors get mucked up.

The fridge and hot water tank will run on propane. A small amount of battery is required to keep them running, so if the batteries are fully drained then the fridge and hot water tank won’t work.

If you do not have hookups (power, water and sewer) then you are “dry camping”. You will need to conserve your water and power accordingly. The biggest draws on the battery will be the lights and the furnace. The “plugins”, microwave, and AC will only work with an external power source.

 You’re unlikely to overfill your grey and black tank because you can only use what is in the freshwater holding tank, which typically isn’t enough.

Sensors: In each RV there is a panel with sensors for the different tanks on the RV. It is important to note these are a guide and not always accurate. Quite often the Black tank (Sewer) and the Grey tank (Sinks + tub) will read high, this is because the sensors get mucked up.

The fridge and hot water tank will run on propane. A small amount of battery is required to keep them running, so if the batteries are fully drained then the fridge and hot water tank won’t work.

If you have rented one of our generators, because you are dry camping, then you will be able to run it each day (typically for an hour) to top up your RV batteries. While it is running, you will have access to the plugins. The generators cannot handle a ton of load. You will not be able to use the AC unit and sometimes the microwave.

If you are wanting to run the microwave off of the generator then you should turn the fridge to “Gas” instead of “Auto” this will free up some amps.

Turning on the Generator: Please follow any instructions on the unit. Typically, there is a choke, which needs to be in the “start” position, then there will be several other switches including one on the gas cap that all need to be turned to on. Then you pull the cable like a 4 lawn mower. Once it is running for 10-15 seconds, you will move the choke to “run” instead of “start”. You can now plug your trailer into the generator.

Turning off the generator: Please perform these steps in reverse order.

RV Water Supply and Dry Camping: This tutorial is relevant for people who are camping without any hookups or without sani/sewer services. It is important to conserve water. Although it might seem like a simple idea, it is often overlooked and is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind when dry camping. Trailers will have varying freshwater tank sizes. We find:

  • Our travel trailers typically hold 200 liters and
  • Our Class C Motorhomes typically hold 150 Liters

It is equally important to consider the size of your grey tank.

  • The travel trailer grey tanks typically hold the entire freshwater amount.
  • The Motorhome grey tanks will overfill with half of the freshwater amount.

Firstly, we should point out that dry camping is when you are staying in a campsite without hookups. These hookups include: a power connection, a water connection and a sani or sewer connection. The sewer connection is used for emptying the grey and black holding tanks. For those of you wondering what a grey tank is, it is the holding tank for all of your sinks and shower run-off. The black tank is the holding tank for your toilet. You will need to self-manage your tanks to make sure you don’t run out of water or overfill your grey tank. If you don’t have rapid access to fresh water or a “city water” connection, you run the risk of running out of water. When you don’t have a sewer connection, you run the risk of overfilling your grey tank and possibly your black tank. The grey tank is typically the first to overfill, especially if  you are in a Motorhome.

What happens if you run out of water? Well, you’re not able to: shower, use the toilet, wash your hands, brush your teeth or wash dishes in the RV. If all of the water is used, your grey tank will also be near full or overfull, you might even see the grey water back up into your bathtub. This is what we want to prevent.

How long will your water last? This is dependent on how conservative you are. If you’re not careful, you could run out of water in 1-2 days.

We aim to give several tips and ideas to help you maintain a supply of water for the duration of your trip.

Here are some helpful tips and recommendations:

  • The number one thing is to take advantage of the onsite camping facilities.
  • When it comes to Drinking water: the fresh water holding tank is safe for human consumption, but we recommend that you bring your own drinking water. This will be a safer source of water to drink, and it will help you conserve water. Make sure to consider the length of your stay and the size of your family

The next step is to preserve water throughout your dry camping trip. To save water, keep showers brief and think about shutting off the water between steps. Do not leave the water running when brushing your teeth. Do not leave the water running when washing dishes. Do not leave the water running when washing hands. To simplify this concept, the suggestion is:

  • Turn the tap on for the minimum amount of time required to rinse
  • Turn water off while washing with soap
  • Turn the water back on to quickly rinse again.

Pay attention to your tank meters. Often the grey and black tank sensors. get mucked up, so they tend to read high. The freshwater tanks are normally accurate. When your tank is three-fourths full, half full, one-fourth full, and empty, these will guide you and help you gauge your consumption and remaining amounts of water. It is important to note, that you cannot add water when dry camping unless you have a way of emptying your grey tank. The 2 tanks are typically similar in size in travel trailers, so if you’ve used all of your fresh water then it is likely that your grey water tank needs emptying. For motorhomes you can expect to overfill your grey tank with half of the fresh water. These simple guidelines can help your water last longer and make your camping trip much more enjoyable! Let’s quickly recap:

  • Utilize the campground facilities!
  • Bring your own drinking water!
  • Turn water on to Rinse
  • Turn water off to clean with soap
  • Turn water back on for a quick rinse
  • Good luck and happy camping!

Brought to you be the proud owners and operators of Island RV and RVME

What  to expect when renting a class C motorhome from Island RV:

For starters, what is a Class C Motorhome?

Simply put, it is a motorhome with a truck chassis and a bunk over the driving cab. We have 2 different sizes available in our fleet: 23 feet and 28 feet. This is the measurement of the house body. The actual length is about 3 additional feet when measured from bumper to bumper.

In this tutorial, we will inform you of what to expect when renting one of our Motorhomes. We will discuss: the dimensions, road handling and fuel consumption. We will look at similarities and differences when comparing motorhomes to travel trailers. We will answer common questions about what to expect when camping in one of our motorhomes.

 Let’s look at some general dimensions:

  • The Width is around 8 feet 3 inches
  • The Height is around 11 feet 2 inches
  • And the length will be either: 25 feet 8 inches or 30 feet 4 inches

Road Handling and Driving:

When driving one of our Class C motorhomes, you will notice several factors that make it different from driving a car or a pickup truck:

  • For starters, the vehicle is taller
  • It is wider
  • The sideview mirrors extend a great distance, making your footprint even larger
  • The weight of the vehicle is considerably heavier
  • And you don’t have the ability to see outside of a rear view mirror.

How do these differences translate when driving?

  • You must be aware of low lying overhead objects. Verify when approaching objects or structures, such as: branches, powerlines, bridges, parkades and of course boarding ferry boats. You must verify heights before proceeding if the height is not posted, you may have to stop and look.
  • You will occupy more of the lane than you’re used to. Pay closer attention to your surroundings. You will have less room to wander before you begin to depart your lane. Be extra cautious when crossing paths with another wide vehicle. Mirror on Mirror contact occurs too often and is avoidable.
  • Turns need to be approached at a wider angle. Especially 90 degree right hand turns.
  • When traveling on roads, ensure there is an adequate distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Due to the additional weight, your stopping distance will be greater.
  • Utilize your sideview mirrors and your secondary mirrors to safely make lane changes and turns.
  • When reversing, utilize a spotter. Please review our video on the Spotter role.

 

 How much gasoline will you consume on your trip?

  • Typically the motorhome will consume 26 Liters of Gasoline for every 100 kilometers driven. You can approximate the fuel cost for your trip by:
    • Multiplying your estimated number of kilometers, times the rate of consumption, which is 0.26 Liters per kilometer, times the price of Gasoline per liter.
      • (Total KM) x (0.26 L/Km) x (Gas Price Per Liter) = Estimated Fuel Cost

 

 Comparing a Class C Motorhome to a Travel  Trailer:

 Similarities:

Much like a travel trailer, the Class C motorhome comes equipped with many amenities to make your trip comfortable. You will have access to:

  • Stove top burners
  • A Hot Water Tank
  • A Fridge
  • A Microwave
  • A toilet
  • A shower
  • Sinks
  • A Furnace
  • And an Air Conditioner

Differences:

There are some subtle differences when camping in a Class C motorhome versus a Travel Trailer. You will find:

  • The Motorhome is driveable, so if you’re dry-camping, you can travel to empty your waste holding tanks and replenish your freshwater holding tank
  • The propane tank is built in and requires a gas attendant to refill it at a pump station. Only certain gas stations have this ability
  • There usually isn’t an oven, only stove top burners
  • The Fresh water tank is a bit smaller at 150 liters compared to 200 liters
  • The Grey tank is considerably smaller and holds about 90 Liters
  • The Grey tank is susceptible to overfilling because it is smaller than the freshwater tank
  • The units with built-in generators will provide many benefits for dry-camping

Common questions about what to expect:

 When traveling how does my fridge work?

  • You will need to turn off your propane when driving. Your fridge will not operate, so you will need to consider your perishables. The fridge will act like a cooler, so you are likely safe to travel for a few hours before it is an issue. You can consider adding a bag or block of ice to the fridge and freezer to maintain coldness.

Another option is to run the built-in generator with the trailer plugged into it. Not every motorhome comes with a built-in generator, and while it is convenient, it does use a lot more fuel.

What other benefits does the generator provide?

  • If you are dry-camping, you can run the generator to utilize the microwave and the AC unit.
  • While it’s running, you will also have access to the power outlets, which will allow you to use electronics. The running generator will also charge your 12V house battery.

How many people fit in the Motorhomes?

  • The 23 foot unit can sleep 5 and is equipped with 6 seatbelts.
  • The 28 foot unit can sleep 7 and is equipped with 9 seat belts.
  • In both units the dinette seating area has mounted brackets to secure a child seat. It is important to note, we do not provide infant or toddler seat carriers. You will need to make your own arrangements for these items if they are required

What are the Sleeping arrangements?

  • Both motorhome lengths have a large queen bed over top of the driving cab. This bed is wide and spacious, but it does lack headroom and some climbing is required. Both motorhome lengths also have dinettes that can be converted into single beds.
  • The 23 foot motorhome comes equipped with a double bed on the ground level.
  • The 28 foot motorhome has a walk around queen bed on the ground level and a futon style couch that folds into a double bed.

Where to stay?

  • We recommend that you plan and book your camping locations ahead of time, especially in summer. If you want a list of our recommendations, please email us at: info@islandrv.ca
  • If you choose not to stay at a campground, consider these suggestions:
    • Choose a safe location
    • Make sure you have permission
    • Choose a level surface. If you are on a hill, the fridge will not function

This tutorial contains many references to Class C motorhomes in our fleet. The numbers and values are meant to be used as an approximation. Please verify when it is important. We look forward to meeting you on your next Vancouver Island adventure!

Happy Camping.

Brought to you by the proud campers from Island RV and RVME.

The role of the spotter: The communication between the driver and the spotter can greatly affect the outcome. In this tutorial we will show you our way of communicating and signaling. We will discuss some does and don’ts and have you feeling confident in your approach. Our goals are to be safe, get the job done, and keep the stress level at a minimum.

Prior to initiating the approach, these key points need to be established:

        Make sure the driver and the spotter know what the plan is

        You will need to determine  the best position for the spotter to maintain a line of sight with the driver

        Establish your signals and what they mean

        Stay calm

Let’s dive in a bit deeper: Start by making sure the windows are rolled down. Remember, the driver needs to pay attention to the path of the truck as well as the path of the trailer. When it comes to maintaining a line of sight you may need to adjust your position as the trailer moves. If switching sides, make sure to clearly communicate with the driver. The safest practice is to stop the vehicle and walk around the front. The wrong thing to do is run behind a moving vehicle. If you cannot see the driver directly or in a mirror then the driver cannot see you.

Establishing an understanding of the hand signals is key. We suggest the spotter uses signals to direct the rear end of the trailer. There will be 4 directions:

        Straight back

        Left

        Right and

        Stop

 

The spotter should use arm signals that clearly and calmly indicate the path. The most important signal is STOP, so let’s start here. With both arms, form an X across your body with the palms of your hands facing your shoulders. Stand clearly in the line of sight of the driver. For each command, it may take the driver 1-2 seconds to execute the request, so plan accordingly and present yourself with calmness and visibility.

For a straight back path, have both arms out front with bent elbows forming a 90-degree angle up, then move both arms in a forward direction until they are near parallel with the ground. Repeat this motion from 90 degrees to parallel calmly and continuously until a direction change is required.

For right and left guidance, the spotter will do so by pointing one arm calmly and repeatedly towards the desired direction. Use the closest arm, shape your hand flat like a paddle to make it visible and hinge at the elbow in a repeated fashion use the 90 degree to parallel path to complete this motion. Keep the other arm upright at 90 degrees with the palm facing yourself. This in combination tells the driver to reverse the trailer backwards into the direction you are pointing. For example, if the spotter wants the rear of the trailer to travel to the right, the spotter will use their right arm, to repeatedly motion and point towards the right. while keeping the left arm held at a 90 degrees. The opposite occurs if directing the rear of the RV towards the left, use the left arm and hand to repeatedly motion to the left, and hold the right arm at 90 degrees.

Backing up a trailer can be stressful for the driver and the spotter. Stress will be greatly decreased if a communication plan is established and executed.  Maintaining calmness is absolutely key. As a general rule, do not yell, scream or jump. Unfortunately this occurs far too often and creates a bad experience for everyone involved. Trust in the established communication system and utilize the arm and hand signals.

 

Let’s recap and summarize this information:

        The driver and spotter are both responsible for maintaining a line of site

        Make sure to stop the vehicle if the line of sight is lost

         Utilize the arm and hand signals

        Frequently assess the path of the tow vehicle’s front end

        Don’t Yell, Scream or Jump

        Stay calm

 

 

Towing a travel trailer:

In this tutorial, we will talk about towing a travel trailer. As  a side note, you may want to stop and watch our video on the “Spotter” role ahead of time.

When planning a trip. The driver will need to consider the towing capacity of his or her vehicle along with the payload. The tow vehicle will need to be equipped with a brake controller and its own hitch. The hitch needs to be adequately rated  for the weight of the travel trailer and it will need the appropriate ball size. The driver will need to know the Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction (GVWR) of the travel trailer. The driver will need to be familiar with the mechanics of hooking up a trailer to a tow vehicle and lastly the driver will need to be familiar with towing. Let’s expand upon these topics:

        Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction (GVWR) 

        The Tow Vehicle: Towing Capacity,Payload and The Brake Controller

        Hitch and Ball

        Connecting the tow vehicle to the trailer

        Traveling with the trailer in tow

The Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction (GVWR) refers to a trailer’s maximum permitted weight. This weight is a cumulative amount of the dry weight of the trailer plus added materials and fluids. The number refers to the maximum combined weight the trailer is permitted to carry. If towing one of our travel-trailers the tow vehicle must be rated to carry the GVWR amount. We do not overstock our trailers so we are confident the weight will be below the GVWR.

Every tow vehicle will come with a tow capacity rating and a payload rating. These numbers can be found in your Vehicle Owner’s Manual. It is paramount that you verify these ratings to ensure the safety of you, your passengers and the other people on the road. Your Towing Capacity is the amount of weight your vehicle is permitted to tow or drag behind. Your Payload amount refers to the downward force your vehicle experiences. Approximately 10% of the trailer weight will contribute to your payload. You will also need to factor in the weight of the passengers and the equipment carried in the tow vehicle. The Brake Controller is an electrical component that activates the brakes on the trailer. It enables the driver to reduce speed by applying brakes to the tow vehicle and the travel trailer at the same time, this will allow for shorter stopping times and less wear on the tow vehicle’s brakes. Modifying the gain will affect the braking sensitivity. The brake controller is typically located on the dash below or to the side of the steering wheel. Be sure to establish the sensitivity of your controller at slow safe speeds when starting your trip. Deepening on the speed of the tow vehicle, the gain may need to be adjusted periodically.  It is important to reference the manual and familiarize yourself with the proper operating procedure ahead of time.

Your towing arrangement would not be complete without your hitch and ball. It is equally important to make sure your hitch has an appropriate weight rating, as it is to make sure the tow vehicle has an appropriate tow rating.. The typical travel trailer hitch ball sizes are 2 inches and 2-5/16 inches. Make sure you know what size ball to bring. This will be conveyed to you after you have booked your travel trailer for self-tow. We use and we recommend you use an equalizer hitch along with equalizer bars. This will create a much stronger and a much  safer connection, while also distributing the weight more evenly to the front tires. Please familiarize yourself ahead of time for proper equalizer hitch application and use and Inspect your equipment ahead of time.

While using effective spotter techniques, we will slowly guide our tow-vehicle in a straight line with the trailer until the ball is approximately 1 foot from the tongue of the trailer hitch. We will signal for the driver to stop and adjust the height of the tongue, so the coupler sits a few inches higher than the height of the ball. We want to be able to bring the ball underneath the coupler without contacting it. The spotter will continue to guide the driver slowly and safely backwards until the ball is just forward from center or exactly centered in line with the coupler. Stop the tow  vehicle and put the vehicle in park. Use the tongue jack to lower the coupler so it sits onto the ball. Engage the latch and fasten it with a locking pin or coupler lock once the coupler is completely placed on the ball, assess the underside and make sure it is seated properly. You should see the coupling mechanism curving around the underside of the ball. Now the chains can be attached. We suggest crisscrossing the chains as you attach them to the tow vehicle. Next, plug in your 4 pin or 7 pin power cable and lastly attach your emergency breakaway cable to the tow vehicle. Once this is complete you will attach the equalizer bars. Please refer to our other tutorial for more information on equalizer bar application.

Re-check everything you have done:

        The latch is seated properly and pinned

        The chains are connected and not dragging

        The power cable  is connected and operational

        The emergency brake cable is connected to the hitch and the tow vehicle

        The equalizer bars are safely in place

Before you begin to drive after attaching a trailer, you must perform a walk around of the trailer to make sure nothing has been forgotten. It is easy to get sidetracked and miss something. This step is very important.

Let’s specifically verify::

        Trailer lights are working, including: running, brakes, turn signals and clearance. 

        All external connections are unplugged and packed: Power, Sewer and Water.

        Inspect all doors and latches.

        Make sure all roof vents and extendable antennas are in the down position

        Steps are in the upright position

        Inspect the tires for pressure, wear, cracks,  bulges and minimum tread depth

        For good measure triple check your hitch setup

Once we are all ready to go, the last thing to do is remove the chocks from the wheels and pack them. They will be needed at the next stop. Roll down your windows before you start to drive and listen for any ominous sounds. Travel a short distance before coming to a stop. Recheck your vehicle/trailer connection one last time. If all looks well, you’re off to your destination.

Towing a trailer forward is rather simple, not much different than driving any vehicle forward. Turning, reversing, and stopping, on the other hand, requires a different approach than driving without a trailer in tow. 

When Turning you must consider the tow vehicle’s path and the trailer’s path. The wheels will not follow directly.  They will in fact take a shorter route, thus making it extremely important to anticipate your approach. If taking a right 90-degree corner the tow vehicle will need to take a wider approach to the corner to bring the wheels around and avoid departing from safe ground. Take wide sweeping turns if you want to stay in a precise lane, of course this isn’t important if you are in an open field, but if you’re turning onto a perpendicular street or if you are  turning into a parking lot, you will need to make these adjustments. Left turns are generally a bit easier. They are wider and sweeping to begin with.

Reversing a trailer and situating it into a campsite can be tricky and is likely going to be the most challenging part of the tow. It is best to survey and assess the area prior to starting your approach. Get out of the vehicle to do this. Come up with a plan. You will need to consider the path of the trailer along with the path of the tow vehicle. When reversing, if you turn the steering wheel to the right (clockwise), you can expect: the back of the trailer to travel towards the left and the front of the trailer to go to the right. Of course, the opposite occurs if you turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. Turning to the left (counter clockwise), while reversing, you will move the rear of the trailer right and the front of the trailer left.

The driver must frequently assess the path of the tow vehicle’s front end. Mistakes are often made when the driver pays all of his or her attention to the rear. If the spotter wants to provide feedback about the position of the truck, the process should be stopped and discussed verbally.

These instructions assume the driver and the spotter have established a communication plan with calmness and well identified arm and hand signals. Please review our video on the Spotter role for an expanded explanation.

When you arrive at your destination, you may need to level the trailer from side to side with wood blocking prior to detaching the trailer and further setting up. Leveling and setting up your trailer is a multi step process that we will break down in a different tutorial.

 

Happy Towing 🙂

For more information please contact us. Text and Email are preferred:

Operational Address: 6873 Mart Rd, Lantzville, BC
Email: info@islandrv.ca
Phone or Text: 1-250-410-1652