Check out our Canada RV Hire Customer Reviews page, where
you can both read and post motorhome hire reviews.
your domestic driver's license
The minimum age limit for the motorhome and campervan rentals presented
by IdeaMerge depends on the vendor.
(Many vendors require that drivers have posssesed a valid domestic
driver's license for at least a year prior to the rental.)
See the particular Rental Details page presented during our online reservation process.
Drivers must of course possess their valid domestic driver's license.
The Canada motorhome and camper van rental
vehicles presented on the IdeaMerge website are designed such that relative
especially to the laws of Canada
virtually all domestic driver's licenses suffice for operation of these
vehicles, even in nearly all cases where the inherent limits of the
license (i.e. relative to your domestic laws) would preclude the holder from
driving the vehicle in his/her own country. Which is to say, standard foreign
driver's licenses are translated by the laws of Canada such
that these licenses basically function in Canada as
standard Canadian driver's licenses.
To state this yet another way: In Canada the standard domestic driver's licenses of foreign states
are, in connection with foreign tourists, considered equal to a standard Canadian driver's license.
Therefore the foreign driver's license allows the holder to drive the same
range of vehicle types as does a corresponding Canadian license. This means, for instance,
that the 3500 kg permissible-weight constraint that applies to European
Union licenses in Europe is effectively raised in Canada to match the
Canadian standards, which are invariably so high that all the vehicles
represented on IdeaMerge's Canada "Rates & Reservations" page may be driven
by a standard-European-drivers-licensed client.
Nevertheless, you might be interested in researching the inherent limits of
your driver's license. To do so you can
check the back of your license and visit the website of the
governmental agency that issued your license.
You can also see the following Wikipedia articles:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver's_license and, say,
international driving permit
Canada does not require of foreign drivers
an international driving permit.
However, if your domestic driver's license is not primarily or secondarily (i.e. in parallel)
written in English, the vendor does
require of you an international driving permit (IDP).
IDPs are available
for a small charge (about the equivalent of US$ 20) from the automobile club offices in the
client's country of residence (but not outside their country), and
a person need not be a member of such club to obtain the IDP from the club.
Basically an IDP is a means by which police in a foreign
country can know in terms of translations in nearly a dozen
that your domestic driver's license is indeed recognized as being valid by
the proper authorities in your country. (See the
excellent article at
If you need an IDP, take
your license, two passport-sized photos and the requisite cash to the club office. (Though for about US$6 the
club may snap Polaroid photos for you.)
Web searches will bring up a host of websites selling documents that conform
to the international driving permit model delineated in annex 10 of the United Nations Convention on Road
Traffic (1949); but according to Article 24 of that convention,
a truly valid IDP is one which is "issued
by the competent authority of
another Contracting State or subdivision thereof, or by an association duly
empowered by such authority
online route planners
Camping Apps for iPhone
RV Trip Planner
We Camp Here Campground Search
points of interest (POI's)
Points of Interest or POI's are locations that are part of, or can be added to, GPS devices.
A POI could be a gas station, a hotel, a restaurant, a shopping mall, a historical location, and so forth.
The data for the POI databases is collected from a variety of sources. In some cases mapping companies
compile it. Sometimes the data is provided directly by retail companies. Often times the information
is gathered by companies that specialize in creating business directories. Sometimes a POI is compiled by
individuals with a special interest, like RVers who create POI's of their favorite RV parks.
The data typically includes the physical address, name of the location, category of the POI, a phone number,
and the geographic coordinates.
USA and Canada RV POI Matrix
Portable GPS navigation technology has undergone some real changes lately.
Windshield-mountable units have proliferated and dropped hugely in price. Meanwhile mobile (i.e. cellular) phone based GPS navigation is coming on strong.
Yet there is little analysis out there geared toward the globetrotting traveler interested in such solutions.
We therefore presents the following analysis to help you decide which if any portable GPS navigation
option is right for you.
Be wary of "free" portable GPS rentals. You tend to get what you pay for.
And upon finally receiving such rental unit a day or so before you depart, there's precious little time for you to get comfortable with the device
— much less to program it with destination addresses and such.
Furthermore, "free" usually translates into shipping and handling charges in both directions, to and from you.
In the face of these negatives, you should strongly consider buying your own portable GPS navigation device instead.
windshield-mountable GPS units
In this category, we recommend just two off the shelf GPS units that include pre-installed European maps:
the Garmin 1370T,
TomTom XXL 540 WTE.
The TomTom XXL 540 WTE (World Traveler Edition) is the newest model of the two, and it boasts a 5 inch screen
while the Garmin 1370T offers a 4.3 inch screen which has proven to be of ample size for most drivers.
In addition these units both offer many uniquely advanced features such as downloadable city maps,
Bluetooth capability, bus and subway transit information, and trafic and speed limit control alerts
(by subscription) that can provide an audible warning when you are in the vicinity of a speed control cameras.
While the TomTom XXL 540 WTE is the newer model of the two and quite relaible and user friendly in it's own
right, it has not had the opportunity to be tested quite to the extent of the Garmin 1370T which has been
in production for a couple of years and so less is known about the TomTom's real-world performance.
The Garmin 1370T has returned very favorable user feedback during the past two years of production.
Additionally, the Garmin 1370T is the less expensive of the two models.
Both of these units come equipped with pre-installed, high-resolution map software of both North America and Europe.
There are some potential drawbacks to purchasing these types of portable GPS units. Some users have remarked that these types of GPS units
"lose their way" from time to time in smaller European towns, and in some cases the units have difficulties obtaining satellite
reception while in Europe. Other users have noticed that these types of GPS units occasionally have difficulty with place names in the voice command
mode if not set to the language of the local area.
It is important to note that while these units are loaded with European maps, and they offer additional features such
as downloadable city maps for even more usability in small local areas, they are primarily marketed towards a North American user/consumer, and as such they may not
be as functional on the ground in Europe as, say, a built-in GPS like as those that are delivered in some of the French short-term tax-free lease
There are literally dozens of windshield-mountable GPS models. Between adjacent, sequentially ordered models from a given manufacturer there are only
incremental differences. Comparing the top to the very bottom of a manufacturer's range, however, there are
The primary factor to consider in choosing a GPS unit is the GPS processor itself. As of this writing (February 2011)
the latest GPS receiver is SIRF's Star V high performance GPS chipset.
This new chipset allows for more accurate tracking and quicker satellite acquisition, not to mention the ability to better acquire and hold onto weak satellite signals.
These capabilities especially prove their worth abroad.
What's more, you want the most current hardware so you can enjoy your new GPS for years to come or realize
the relatively high resale value. We recommend that you choose a GPS unit with a SIRF III or greater chipset
for best results.
Many of the older Garmin StreetPilot, Magellan RoadMate, and TomTom GO models do not have the new generation SIRF chipsets installed.
The models to avoid in this respect are:
merely handheld portable GPS units
We do not recommend this type of GPS unit for driving the roads of North America.
The merely handheld GPS units do not come equipped with driving directions and alerts,
voice direction or, in many cases, a "driver's-eye view" graphical representation.
They primarily feature excellent satellite signal reception which they transform into topographical representations of terrain (some in color)
instead of road-based directions. They are tough, most being housed in sturdy, shock- and water-resistant casings.
These units are more appropriate for on-foot travel in remote locations.
smartphone integrated GPS units
The latest in the evolution of GPS technology is the mobile phone or "Smartphone" integrated unit. For some time, most modern mobile telephones have been locatable
by way of GPS. Now most "smartphones" on the market feature GPS signal transmission and reception that
can be integrated with a dedicated GPS navigation device discussed above, enhancing the dedicated device's ability to transmit and receive such signal. What's more, many smartphones presently being brought to market
feature full GPS navigation functionality. (In case you were afraid to ask, a "smartphone" is a type of cell
phone that provides a diverse set of features such as internet browsing capability and GPS functionality among a
myriad of other device specific add-ons or features well beyond that of simply making calls.)
The major mobile phone carriers support such GPS signal processing for these phones for a special monthly fee
or per-day fee.
Some examples of GPS enabled smartphones include the Apple iPhone line, the Blackberry "Bold" and "Curve"
models (to name just two from Blackberry), or any of the "Andriod" powered phones available from Motorola, Sony, HTC, Samsung, LG feature GPS navigation as one of their many special features. Each of these offer
fairly functional GPS navigation built right in or as an optional service. Check with your phone provider for
exact details about specific models.
Dedicated GPS devices still provide larger screens, better maps, and an overall higher level of functionality
than these cutting edge integrated phones; but mobile phone navigation will of course continue to improve,
and it already meets the needs of many users.
Of special concern when choosing to use a smartphone in Europe is the type of service plan or contract that one might have with their particular
service provider. In some cases, a smartphone's GPS feature may utilize a "data" connection which is just a way of the GPS attaining its functionality
by way of the mobile phone network. Using such a phone in Europe may compile some significant,
if not astronomical fees from the service provider. It is critical to thoroughly
understand your particular mobile phone plan before attempting to rely on your smartphone in a foreign country.
We strongly recommend that you contact your cell phone service provider for full details about the
ramifications of using a smartphone GPS in Europe before you leave for your trip. You'll be glad you did!
Note: Industry experts are working to develop a
worldwide satellite network to be used for all mobile phone signals. When this strategy is implemented, the blending of GPS and phone
technologies will be complete.
where to buy?
Great deals on the GPS units that we have recommended (as well as those we have not) are available through a wide variety of vendors on the internet.
We recommend using a reputable seller such as
for your online purchase.
Bricks-and-mortar companies like the USA's BestBuy
offer a wide selection of GPS models
both in-store and on their websites. Not all of the items shown on their websites are available in all their stores, but
it may nevertheless be wise go into the store and speak with the GPS expert there (if there is one).
Suitable maps are not provided with your vehicle.
We recommend that you invest in a top quality map or maps or a very good atlas
— even if you will be using a GPS navigation device.
Nothing beats a paper map for general travel planning purposes.
Hunkering over such map with, say, a cup of coffee is one of the great pleasures in life.
For those reasons, buy your maps before you leave. Once abroad, however, you can buy them in airports,
bookstores or auto service stations.
Everyone wants a free map, but in addition to death and taxes at least one further fact will always be
true: free maps are not good maps.
And no matter what map you get, remember the words of Thomas Ottavi: "There are lies, damned lies,
and then there are maps."
We recommend that our clients purchase travel insurance and/or trip cancellation insurance to insure against the risks
of any unexpected occurrence or loss.
Travel Insurance Review
Travel Guard International
Travel Safe Insurance
collision/loss damage waivers/reducers (LDW/CDW/CDRs)
Nearly all RV rental companies include insurance which involves a very considerable deductible (i.e. an excess).
Many RV rental companies do offer an optional waiver or two by which the customer can effectively reduce the
deductible, perhaps all the way to zero. Note in this respect: the cover which credit cards typically extend to
car rentals when the customer uses the card to pay for the rental does not extend to RV rentals, this because RVs
(like sports cars, etc) are considered specialty vehicles that are excluded from such credit card cover.
However, some RV rental companies do not offer such waiver, or the waiver(s) they do offer might not be
sufficiently effective for your taste. In such case, you can order additional or alternative collision/loss
cover via the following UK-based companies:
motorhome propane, water, waste, electrics, etc
LPG, Water, Waste, Electricity, Cooking, Heating
Dumping Stations ("sanistations," "wohnmobil stellplatz")
Motorhome Electrical Issues
RV-Dreams RV Electrical Systems
Roy & Carol's RV Electrical Info
flights to whitehorse, yukon's gateway to alaska
Condor offers direct
flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to Whitehorse every Tuesday and
Thursday, May through October.
operates two daily flights between Vancouver and Whitehorse,
and tickets for these can be appended to Air Canada and
tickets from/to Europe.
Alaska Border Crossing
Alaska Road Travel Info
Alaska Department of Transportation
Alberta Motor Association
Drive British Columbia
Manitoba Road Info
Newfoundland & Labrador
Nova Scotia Transportation
Ontario Road Reports
Yukon Road Report
rv rental videos
Videos from Fraserway RV
Videos from Go-West RV Rental
Videos from Owasco RV Rental
Videos from Canadream RV Rental
Your RV Lifestyle
RV Park Reviews
Campingo Campground Guide
Discover Camping Canada
British Columbia Parks
Nova Scotia Parks
Newfoundland & Labrador Parks
Camping British Columbia
Camping Nova Scotia
Travel British Columbia
The Milepost: Since 1949, the Bible of North Country Travel
Banff & Lake Louise
US National Park Service
US National Parks
Go Camping America
Camping and Campgrounds
Tracks and Trails
Smart Camping Guide
British Columbia Ferries
Automotive Measurement Conversions
American Express Travel Services
OANDA Currency Convertor
Tourism Offices of the World Directory
Telephone Directories on the Web
Vector Portable Power Products
Association for Safe International Road Travel
child safety seats and booster seats
It is important that the client advises us at the time of booking of the ages of the children traveling along and
how many of them will need child safety seats, so we can ensure that a vehicle with the requisite tether(s) is booked.
Child safety seats (in contrast to mere booster seats) can only by installed in the forward-facing
bench of the dinette; rear-facing infant/child safety seats do not fit in the forward facing seats of the dinette,
and they cannot be secured to a tether (required) if placed in the rear-facing seats. So, for children over 1 year of
age and weighing 9 kg (20 pounds) or more, only forward-facing child safety seats (again, in contrast to mere booster
seats) can be installed in the forward-facing bench of the dinette; moreover, they must be attached
to a pre-installed tether or anchor. Children in booster seats are permitted to sit in the rear-facing bench of the
dinette, and it is not required that the booster seat be attached to a tether or anchor.
In these respects the
Go West Child and
Booster Seat Guide is very instructive. If the RV rental company does not itself rent child safety seats
and/or booster seats, you can consider renting such seats via one of the following websites:
www.littletraveler.ca (Calgary) or
www.wetravel.ca (elsewhere in Canada).
With respect to manual transmission vehicles, it is the client's
responsibility to know, or to learn how, to drive a manual transmission. The
rental company (i.e. the vendor) will likely refuse to deliver such
vehicle unless all the drivers listed on the rental contract are expressly or
evidently proficient in the operation of a manual transmission vehicle. There
are no refunds in such cases.
Vehicle models and layouts are not guaranteed. Some vehicle accessories, such as an
awning or a bike rack, are not guaranteed, because some of the vehicles are
delivered from the factory to the rental company so near to the pick-up date
that there is no time to install such items.
Where and when road or weather conditions, and perhaps laws or ordinances or such, dictate the wise or requisite
use of specific tires or specifically embellished tires (e.g. tires fitted with snow chains or socks), it is the
driver's responsibility to abstain from driving until such tires are installed on his or her vehicle.
It is nevertheless the client's responsibility to return the vehicle with the initial (i.e. original) set of tires
installed or co-present; otherwise the client will be billed for those initial tires.
It is the client's responsibility to research and understand such laws in relation to his or her rental and itinerary.
Regarding snow chains, it is vital that you check and if necessary maintain the tension of the chains frequently,
and certainly after every short journey. Also, with the chains fitted do not drive faster than about 35
miles per hour (60 km/h).
IdeaMerge suggests that our clients do not plan to rely solely on any one
guide nor even on any collection of such guides (whether they be in book form,
software form, or online) to determine the location or quality of appropriate
hotels and campgrounds. Such a guide — especially if it is provided free of charge by the
vendor or another entity — should not be considered suitably thorough and up to
date, although in many cases they are very useful. Even if a vendor's policy is
to provide such guide with every rental vehicle, they occasionally run out of
supply because too many clients lose or abscond with the guide, or for other
reasons beyond the vendor's control. IdeaMerge therefore suggests a sort of
rule of three: use at least two published guides (in book form, software form,
or online), and rely on your own on-the-ground research (e.g. following local signage,
questioning local people, and so forth) to complete the picture. Market forces
usually take care of the rest because they result in hotel and campground locations per
the general demand and thus near where you are most likely to desire such location.
Neither IdeaMerge nor the vendor is responsible to assist in locating or recommending hotels or
campgrounds to clients. Any assistance IdeaMerge or the vendor does give in
that respect should not be interpreted as sanctioning or signifying the
suitability of the services or products provided at the hotel or campground.
For motorhome travel soft-sided, collapsable bags are the best sort to use, because
they can be stored within the vehicle without taking up much room. See our
relevant Locations page for information about whether or not the rental depot
will store luggage for you.
Unless otherwise specified on the IdeaMerge website or by the relevant IdeaMerge
vendor, clients should not plan to park their own vehicle at the rental
depot. At some rental depots such parking is possible, but only if upon the
pick-up occasion there happens to be room on the depot grounds. Typically
rental depot personnel can direct clients to optimal parking solutions nearby
Check all accessories at the depot to be sure they are in working order. If there is
a problem say something at the depot before leaving.
Ask questions during the vehicle orientation; refused to be rushed.
You will be held liable for vehicle damage that is deemed to occur during your
rental. Test drive the vehicle at and near the rental depot where you begin your journey.
If you notice anything unusual about the vehicle, especially the clutch, return
it to the depot immediately.
Drive carefully. The security deposit that you leave with the rental company upon the
pick-up occasion will be debited for vehicle damage.
Please carry a mobile phone with you so the vendor can easily contact you if necessary
and in case of emergency. Please confirm that your phone service provider and
contract allows you to call toll-free numbers.
The vehicle should returned with the toilet waste receptacle (e.g. blackwater tank)
and the shower/sink waste water tank (greywater tank) empty. Otherwise
the vendor reserves the right to charge a waste cleaning fee.
Moreover, the vehicle should be returned clean inside and be emptied of luggage
by the reserved return time. (Typically the vendor will clean the outside.) If
the vehicle is not clean on the inside — i.e. not only emptied of luggage but
also with clean floors (vacuumed or thoroughly swept), clean seats, clean
appliances, clean bathroom, and generally clean surfaces — the vendor reserves
the right to charge an interior cleaning fee.
If proper return (as described above) occurs after the reserved return time, a
charge will be levied for each extra such hour (up to the daily or nightly
rate); and the customer will assume responsibility for claims made against the
vendor by the subsequent customer because the subsequent customer's pick-up is
the delayed by the late return.
Upon returning the vehicle the client should report to the vendor any ticketed
parking violations, ticketed traffic violations, and toll-road violations and
such that the client knowingly incurred during the rental, along with any
documentation thereof (e.g. the ticket itself). The cost of any associated fine
or fines devolves upon the client, even if the client was not directly ticketed
for the violation or was otherwise unaware of the violation. Moreover, the
vendor might charge to the client an administration fee for processing each
Also see our General Disclaimers & Notices.