From winning gold in the Olympics to travelling Canada far and wide with his family, Jon Montgomery knows a thing or two about getting to know the country in an RV. Regardless if you’re new to RVing or have been doing it for years, everyone loves a good RV hack! Besides, why not try to do it like a professional athlete and Olympian! We asked Jon what he’s packing, listening to and loving most on those long drives, keep reading to see what he has to say:
- Living on Vancouver Island means that we don’t have to go very far to experience a lot. There is so much to do and see only a few KM’s from home, that a great deal of our family exploring can be achieved by day-tripping. But, if we do head east and off the Island, we usually take everything including the kitchen sink. Perhaps we are over-packers, ok, we ARE over packers! But when you have a 1/2 ton with a topper, you don’t need to be as selective. We also have a 9 year old Labrador, and he is a pampered pooch (spoiled). A plush bed and cooler for his food, a bin for his towie and ball, leashes and doo-dee bags are some of the extras that cause Team Montgomery to be bursting at the seams when getting on the ferry to the mainland.
- Instead of packing fruit that’s most likely to go bad, stop along the way at local farmer’s markets to buy organic produce, enjoy delicious fresh fruits and veggies while supporting local!
- Let your dog carry his own toys, treats and water in an adventure puppy backpack. Your back will thank you – and, if he’s a hiking dog, he won’t mind! They come in all sizes, so you can choose the style that best fits your pup without weighing him down too much.
- We love our ability to seek out walking trails, back-alley shopping, and nook and cranny gems that are off the beaten track. Having a place to put kids contained while they either enjoy the ride or to take a wee nap while on-the-run, a Thule Chariot (or similar buggy) is a genius invention. They can be coupled to a bike to tow behind, or turned into a running stroller, cross-country ski-bob, or a regular push stroller that’s narrow enough for most doorways and shipping isles. They are not the cheapest, but have great resale value, so you can look at it as more of an investment in your sanity and personal freedom instead of a whack of cash you’ll never see again.
- Having a cell phone booster for your vehicle is worth the investment. It’s always a great idea to have it while passing through small remote towns or mountain passes.
Go-to Books, Podcasts, Playlists and Albums:
- Dish (My wife Darla) and I are both really interested, at the moment, in personal health, bio-optimization, clean inputs, water, meditation (I’m getting there slowly) as well as curiosities about connectedness and higher purpose. I’m not sure what happened to us or when some of these shifts in our attitudes occurred, but having kids, being stuck at home during a pandemic, turning 40, dealing with and suffering through health complications, and a great deal of good fortune and privilege, we find ourselves asking some questions that we never before pondered.
- Let me be honest, and I can only speak for myself, but in the past I didn’t care about too much other than going faster, getting stronger, having fun, and making my parents proud. Some of those historical interests dove-tail nicely with new passions and are shining a light on all that we did not know, understand, or even consider.
- Podcasts are a great way to be entertained and to expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. One of my favourites is Coast to Coast AM – it’s out of this world😉
Things to Be Aware of:
- It will not go according to plan… plan on that. A favourite saying in our household comes from my wife’s father (Les the cowboy) “plan on it, but don’t count on it”! Makes me smile just writing it – so when it all goes “Pete-tong” (Cockney Rhyming for “a bit wrong”) you can say this phrase, smile, and move on.
- Bears are not big dogs, Moose are cows on stilts, and foxes are not cute red pets – read the signs, keep your food secure, and you should survive. Don’t be the cause for the needless destruction of wildlife. Remember, you are in their home, you can do as you please when they enter your home, but tread lightly while visiting theirs.
- Find a spot furthest from the main road. You’ll never be sorry for being near the bathroom at 2AM. Turn your generator off before driving away from the campground -– sure-fire way to overheat the rig and drain your coolant, glad there is freshwater available near the road leaving Tofino… Doh!
- Eliminating the use of too many dishes (and disposable products whenever possible) is always a good practice when traveling. Use a serving dish or tray when you can and just lay a piece of foil/parchment paper/cloth napkin over it if needed and serve it using one dish.
Other Tips or Tricks:
- Plan way ahead! RV camping grows year over year. When finding RV campgrounds, research your choices online with campground-review sites and forums for RV enthusiasts. Always make sure to consider if there are any holidays or long weekends during your trip, that will more often than not affect availability.
- I heard a great trick for Firestarter the other day – but I can’t remember it now. It had something to do with toilet paper tubes, laundry sheets, and wax… now that I think about it, that may have been a dream.