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Old 12-16-2015, 04:25 PM   #11
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Ahh the Windstar, good minivan, tough on head gaskets! I live around the corner from the ford plant (by Sheridan College).
My trailer originally was purchased at Sicard, I got it used.
I'll be pulling it with my 2011 f150 ecoboost, hopefully should be ok.
I'm sure you will have a safe trip with a F250 in front.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:04 PM   #12
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Congratulations on the new trailer, I bought mine from Sicard around this time last year and had a great summer camping all over Ontario and upstate New York.

I found that the RV sections of Princess Auto and Canadian Tire have much of the equipment you will need (Camco brand and a few others) at very good prices. Take your time the first few trips with preparation and setup, then enjoy Ontario!
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:14 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info Motorbreath,
I will be picking my trailer in the spring so am just trying to learn everything from scratch.
I don't even know about the camp grounds yet! Are there options for staying at them not hooked up? and if you do hook up to the services do you pay for water, sewer and hydro separately or is it just a higher price?
How do find camping in Provincial parks compared to say private parks, is there a big price difference?
Thanks, sorry for the basic questions.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:42 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info Motorbreath,
I will be picking my trailer in the spring so am just trying to learn everything from scratch.
I don't even know about the camp grounds yet! Are there options for staying at them not hooked up? and if you do hook up to the services do you pay for water, sewer and hydro separately or is it just a higher price?
How do find camping in Provincial parks compared to say private parks, is there a big price difference?
Thanks, sorry for the basic questions.
US State Parks are about 1/3rd lower than the price of Ontario Provincial Parks - even with the exchange rate. Ontario "Premium" (ie. Algonquin, Sandbanks) parks are over $50 per night with electrical hookups, and no water hookups. We stayed at Four Mile Creek and Hamlin Beach in NY this fall for under USD$25 per night, stayed near Columbus , Ohio for USD$22 per night with electrical. We have booked three weeks in Florida for February at an average of USD$25 per night and those have electrical and water hook-ups. Even with the exchange rate going down the dumper this year, that is about CAD$35 per night on average. Work in the cost of a case of beer at USD$20 and the price of gas, you can save a bunch if you want to just go over into NY State for a few days. And it is a shorter drive compared to Algonquin, especially from your side of the city. At the same time, I think that the nicest campground that I have been to is Bon Echo Provincial Park up near Cloyne. The Ontario Parks also have much nicer/newer/cleaner washroom/shower facilities than most of the State Parks that we have been to.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #15
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Thank you " tommyajax" for the great info, I would be very interested in your trip to Florida, please let me know if the places you go are worth the drive.
I have just sold my sailboat to try rv'ing, we would like to try Florida for a month or so maybe next winter to get away from winter. By the gulf would suit us, even the keys so we have a lot of researching to do.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:32 PM   #16
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Thank you " tommyajax" for the great info, I would be very interested in your trip to Florida, please let me know if the places you go are worth the drive.
I have just sold my sailboat to try rv'ing, we would like to try Florida for a month or so maybe next winter to get away from winter. By the gulf would suit us, even the keys so we have a lot of researching to do.
If you want to stay in the Keys, you need to start thinking about making reservations soon. I think that RV America lets you reserve 11 or 12 months in advance, and you need to be on it to get into the State Parks in the Keys unless you only want to stay a night or two mid-week. It is a popular place for some reason...
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:30 PM   #17
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Is RV America the GoTo place for reservations across the US? (newbie question if ever there was!)
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:54 PM   #18
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Is RV America the GoTo place for reservations across the US? (newbie question if ever there was!)
Sorry...not RV America...should have been reserveamerica:

Campgrounds and Camping Reservations - ReserveAmerica

It seems most of the state parks that we have been to link back to them for their reservation systems
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:50 PM   #19
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Tommy hit the nail on the head regarding provincial parks, they are relatively expensive for what you get. I am originally from the US and have tent camped in MD and PA, Ontario parks definitely have nicer showers and are well maintained, but at a substantial cost.

I suggest you try some short trips in Ontario to "warm up" starting with campgrounds with full hook-ups (KOA or something like that) and then try a provincial campground (Rock Point, Long Point, The Pinery) which will only have electric (no water or sewage at the site).

If you stay in Ontario, private campgrounds seem to be a better deal in that they have full hook-ups for almost the same price as provincial campgrounds (only electric). For longer trips, it is definitely economical and that is what I plan to do. I lived in south Florida for a while, as well, and I suggest Boynton Beach instead of the more popular places. You can still drive to Ft Lauderdale and Miami, but are not surrounded by tourists and traffic. There is also a small off-leash dog beach there, if you have a dog.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:08 PM   #20
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If you plan on going to provincial and state parks, I suggest you pick up some equipment beforehand. I am not crazy about spending lots of money on camping, so I went the most economical route possible:

1) Twist-on waste valve - this is about $20 on Amazon or Princess Auto and allows you to "balance" your grey and black tanks. If you are careful, only doing this when your grey tank is more full than your black tank (often!), it allows you to dump less frequently by transferring grey water into your black tank.

2) Fresh water containers - Canadian Tire has the absolute best deal on 6gal water containers that you can use to fill your fresh water tank without moving your trailer. I bought two of them and tote them back and forth once a day when we are camping (12gal). There is always a water spigot within 50yds of most campsites. Make sure to sanitize them and your freshwater system often.

3) Large drinking water container - I do not drink from my freshwater system, even though it is sanitized frequently. I buy large jugs of drinking water instead, even when at campgrounds with full hook-ups.

4) Levelling and stabilization blocks - make sure to have a good set of the "lego" blocks for levelling your trailer, provincial sites might require all the blocks your have. Also, buy a 6"x6"x8' from Home Depot and cut it into 8 one foot lengths. I use these so I don't have to completely extend my stabilizer jacks else you will have lots of wobble. They are also useful as cribbing blocks for working on the trailer (adjust the brakes at least once a season!).

Those are the things I find the most useful, but I have made a few other inexpensive other modifications to the trailer that help: pump pressure tank ($50 from Lowes), battery shut-off switch ($10 from Princess Auto), and a simple 2 micron water filtration system ($30 from Amazon).

I am looking into a composting toilet, which sounds gross at first, but is a really great idea when you look into it. Although according to my wife I am a little "different".
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