THE TORONTO SPRING CAMPING & RV SHOW: 7 THINGS THAT CAUGHT OUR EYES-written by Adam Doolittle
THE TORONTO SPRING CAMPING & RV SHOW: 7 THINGS THAT CAUGHT OUR EYES
This past weekend we were delighted to be visiting Toronto to take in the largest RV show in Canada – the Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show. We’ve been to a few RV shows in the past but nothing ever quite like this one. It was hosted at the Internation Centre in Mississauga where they jammed 5 massive halls with over 500 RVs in all shapes and sizes. There truly was something for everyone at this show. There was also an 11,000 sq ft parts & accessories location where we spent plenty of time eyeing up some new gadgets and accessories for our RV.
What was really exciting for us was that we were invited by the show to come and present on the Havelock Country Jamboree Stage where we talked about the full-time RVing lifestyle. We spoke about our journey into full-time RVing and took lots of questions from future full-time RVers about everything from condensation to mail to WiFi and everything in between.
Something that was a lot of fun during the show was that we were interviewed by Global News’ Jennifer Valentyne to help promote both the show and the full-time RVing lifestyle. Check it out…
In between our times on stage and chatting with fellow RVers we had a chance to wander the halls checking out all the beautiful new RVs and the various products being offered by various vendors. Here are some of the things that caught our eyes over the 4 days we were at the show.
RV Easy & Outdoorsy
Buying an RV is an expensive endeavor but there’s some good news – you can actually make money from your RV with RV Easy & Outdoorsy. Both of these brands offer a peer-to-peer marketplace where you can make your RV available for rent. It’s essentially like AirBnB for your RV. Considering the fact your RV likely sits unused (unless you’re full-timers) for the majority of the year this is a great way to make some extra cash to help pay off your RV and pay for your own adventures when the time comes to hit the road.
If you don’t have an RV and are looking to rent one, the available rentals across Canada and the US are a lot more comprehensive than the traditional RV rental centres. Perhaps you’re looking for a specific type of RV for your getaway. Maybe it’s a toy hauler that you want to use to take your motorbike out to the track with or maybe you’re looking for the sleekness that an Airstream provides. Every type of make and model can be found on these peer-to-peer marketplaces.
The one question we seem to always get asked about full-time RVing is about staying connected on the road. Throughout our time full-time RVing we have used and been very pleased with using WiFiRanger as a wireless signal booster. This past weekend we got an introduction to another product on the market – Shark WiFi. Tim and the guys at Shark WiFi actually set us up with WiFi throughout the weekend so that we could play our presentation on stage including a rather large video file that worked effortlessly.
Shark WiFi offers personal mobile routers along with affordable data plans that keep you connected on the road through their own private network. Their units are super powerful compared to using data on your phone which is how you end up with a stronger and faster signal with their product. One of the highlights of the product is that they claim to be able to provide a strong signal in remote areas which is obviously a bonus since that’s often where you end up when you’re RVing.
If there’s any type of RV at an RV show that automatically pulls you towards them it has to be Airstreams. They’re just an absolute classic in the RVing world. Even people who know nothing about trailers know about Airstreams thanks to their classic look and how they seem to always pop up in movies or tv shows.
Until this weekend, neither of us had ever stepped foot in an Airstream and were really looking forward to seeing some up close for the first time. One of the dealers at the show had a handful of Airstreams on display surrounded by large crowds going in and out of them. Our first impressions upon seeing the Airstreams were that they are truly built to last which, unfortunately, you can’t say about a lot of other RVs on the market. There’s a reason why you still see Airstreams from the ’60s on the road – their construction is superior.
If we were casually RVing on the weekend there’s no doubt we’d love to have an Airstream. The quality inside and out is second to none. While we enjoyed walking through the Airstreams, we both agreed that there’s no way we could full-time RV in one. The lack of slideouts means less space and also less storage which is important to us.
One of the things that have constantly driven us crazy since we purchased our RV four years ago is our RVs exterior steps. They are so flimsy and seem like they’re always about ready to break. We even had them replaced with a newer set which are a bit sturdier but still was not very solid. As soon as we started walking into the various trailers at the RV show this past weekend we instantly remarked how great the steps were on the units. Then we realized that a high percentage of the RVs were outfitted with StepAbove RV steps. We both instantly remarked how great and sturdy these steps were compared to all the past RV steps we’ve had with our RV.
Later we looked into the parts & accessory hall of the RV show and discovered that there were various options available from StepAbove so that pretty much every RV could be outfitted with them. If you’re tired of bouncing up and down when you’re entering and exiting your RV you should definitely check out these steps. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be getting them for our RV soon.
Insurance is never a fun topic to get into but it’s one that definitely requires some deep thought. It’s also not necessarily easy to get insurance for your RV if you live in it full-time. We stopped by to have a quick chat with the Wayfarer Insurance rep about some of their offerings. Wayfarer offers coverage for full-time RVers and additional coverage for a lot of different aspects of your RV. Be sure to check out their various offerings as there very well could be something that works better for you than your current insurance provider.
Maddie & Kiki
Cooking outdoors is such a big part of the RVing lifestyle but it’s something we’ve never done much of since we started full-time RVing. During the RV show, we had the pleasure of watching the Maddie & Kiki grilling demonstration which really fired us up and got us wanting to cook more outdoors with the grill. If you fancy yourself a bit of a cook or want to get more inspired to cook around the campsite be sure to check out their recipes. We had the opportunity to taste some of their grilled dishes during their demonstration and WOW were they ever tasty!
Since we purchased our RV four years ago we haven’t really looked at replacing our RV. Naturally, being at an RV show for four days there was no way we weren’t going to check out some of the 2020 models to see what was new and exciting for this year’s models of RVs. With over 500 RVs onsite there was no way that we could step into each and every one of them. With this in mind, we specifically set a plan to only look at fifth wheels that weren’t too large (35+ feet) and didn’t have bunk rooms. This helped us to efficiently look around at our possible future home. In the end, we found 3 RVs that we really liked and out of them, there was one that was above and beyond – the Grand Design Solitude 310GK.
We instantly fell in love with everything about this RV. It was the perfect size with the perfect layout and tonnes of storage. It had a full-sized refrigerator and a large stove, a king-size bed and so much more. Plus, you could tell that this RV was built better than most others. We both said to each other, “this is the one.” The only difficulty – we weren’t ACTUALLY looking to buy an RV this weekend but wow, did this RV grab our serious attention. It’s an absolute beauty and one that we’ll be keeping our eye on in the future whether its a used unit in a couple of years or a newer version.
While we attended the RV show mainly to talk about our journey into full-time RVing, we had a tremendous weekend meeting fellow RVers and also checking out the various RVs and products on the market. The Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show is a must-attend event whether you’re looking for a new RV or just want to get inspired for the camping season ahead.