Concerned Newbie :)


New Member
Hello folks!

This is my first time posting to an RV site 'Ever'! The whole RV thing is exciting and scary all at once.

Instead of buying a RV, we have decided to rent first to get a little experience in under our belts.

We have a lot of questions and they will probably be sooooo obvious to you. We haven't a clue. So, please be kind.

A little FYI first. We (just two of us) are renting a SVC Super Camper Van out of Calgary from CanaDream. We are going to Kelowna 600 miles away to attend a wedding. After, we are going to spend a week driving around and site see and each night...we stay at a RV park near our daily destination.

1. We have heard that parking at Wal-Mart or similar large parking lots can be done. Is this a good idea?

2. What should we know in advance, watch out for, and/or be aware of when renting this kind of RV? It is a loaded question, but we have been down the road of "had we known in advance, this would not have happened!" In other situations, prior experience or perhaps wisdom would have made our life much easier.

3. I guess the biggest concern we have is sleeping at night and maintaining power for stuff the next morning, as well as starting the van. Also, can we run a hair dryer and/or maintain a steady temperature all night without running into huge sacrafices.

4. What do RV Parks expect and what can be done at a park. Ie: Plugging the van in to substitute the running of the motor.

5. Between Calgary and Kelowna, what are the must see's and what parks would you recommend? Any help here would be greatly appreciated, although it is a tad off topic.

Course there is probably many more things you know that we should know that we should be asking. Please feel free to give us those "heads Ups"!

We Greatly Appreciate your help!


Senior Member
Re: Concerned Newbie :)

Lets see now:

1) Yes, you can park at some WalMarts and a few other stores. Always ask first, and buy something. It is Wal-Marts policy to allow it, but often the local government outlaws it. Upside, free and usually easy to find. Downside, no power or water or sewer. So not something you would do every night.

2) I have no knowlege of that particular RV, but I presume by the 'Van' that it is a Class B (van camper). These are very easy to drive and fairly easy to park, because they are SMALL. They also tend to get fairly good gas mileage. However, you won't be able to carry much stuff, and it will likely get really cramped in there.

If at all possible, try it a few nights 'close to home' or 'close to the dealer' so that you can try everything out, make sure you have everything you need, and be able to fill any gaps in function, equipment or knowlege before you 'hit the road'.

3) For small stuff (lights), you should have a battery. Anything major (heating/cooling/cooking/hair dryer) will require either a generator (which uses up your gas) or a plug in.

4) RV parks expect you to pay them, not damage anything, not dirty anything and not be noisy. Most like you to make reservations, although some don't take them and most will rent you a slot if they have one available.

Most parks will have electric, 20 amp, 30 amp and some 50 amp. And water. Some will have sewer. 'Full hookup' is all 3, and sometimes costs more. For an overnight, you can often get by with just electricity, just not every night as you will need to refill your fresh water tank, and empty the sewage tanks.


New Member
Re: Concerned Newbie :)

I've never camped in Canada, but I suspect that the provincial parks are similar to our state parks and offer fewer creature comforts than private campgrounds. Most state parks will not allow you to have any alcohol either. State parks are very inexpensive though. For an RV or trailer, water and electricity are often found at the private places and make life more comfortable while camping. Good luck. :)


New Member
Re: Concerned Newbie :)

I can suggest that if you would like to see some nice country, which of course you will see a lot of in the Rockies. but why not try an alternate return route. Go south from Kelowna in the US and then head east to Glasier National park. There is a wonderful Hwy there called "going to the sun", absolutely beauiful. Then return to Calgary through Waterton Lakes which is another great park. Lots of National park campgronds which are cheaper than private and have most of the amenities.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: Concerned Newbie :)

Don't take your RV on the Hwy "going to the sun". It's a great scenic road, but not compatible with an RV. We took it back in 1976 with a 13 ft TT behind our Ford Van and I didn't get to see anything due to my "tunnel road vision" and extremely white knuckles. I believe the road was originally constructed in about 1932 and it is still the original narrow version. The road is perched on the side of an extremely high mountain with nice drop offs and it is very, very narrow. We have since taken the road with a sports car and recently with our Dodge diesel pickup. Much more fun and viewable without the TT behind.