Back in 2000, we were asked to organize the National Rally for the Explorers RV Club. By all accounts the Millennium Rally was a great success. We survived it so well that we carried on organizing RV tours and such with our Explore-Canada Caravans. To date, we have run 5 Rookie/Safe RVing Caravans, 3 Newfoundland Caravans, and a caravan through Quebec and the Gaspe. Our 45-day Alaska Caravan this past summer was incredible fun and our second in the summer of 2004 is almost sold out. Coming up soon are the James Bay Power Caravan, a and the Manitoba Polar Bear Trek. We also host at least one Rally a season. For 2004 we are running the Montreal Bienvenue Rally.Previous rallies have included the Connoisseur Rally in Southwestern Ontario's wine country, and this past fall's Muskoka Autumn Colours Rally.
How Do Our Caravans Work?
Every Explore-Canada Caravan keeps to a predetermined schedule following a planned itinerary with each "travel day" limited to about 200-400 km. We don't purposefully travel every day but stay at many campgrounds for several days, allowing ample time to take all the pre-arranged Sight-Seeing Tours, Cruises, etc. available for the surrounding area. Tour coaches and transport to all cruises and other reserved events and shows come right to the campground and return after the event. You can relax and your RV stays parked until we caravan to our next destination. "Free days" are also interspersed throughout the itinerary for individual caravaners to shop or do their own thing.
The "Wagonmaster" heads up the Caravan and keeps his "Voyagers" informed of traffic problems, construction, etc. in the road ahead, (a CB radio in each unit is mandatory). He also informs everyone behind of upcoming "pit/fuel or lunch" stops and keeps track of the Caravan's progress and relative length. The "Tailgunner" is always the last unit in the Caravan. His job is to ensure that all units reach the destination of the day and to give breakdown assistance if required. The Tailgunner also acts as the caravan's version of an Air Traffic Controller, doing a "rollcall" before each caravan "move-out." Once this is completed, each unit then waits for the tailgunner to call out their caravan number so that they can then pull out into the road. This allows for an orderly and safe entry into the highway and keeps the caravan in proper sequence. Once on the road, caravaners maintain a 300 ft space between units. Sometimes because of road conditions and facility availability, the caravan may break up into several smaller groups 15 min. apart, with the tailgunner still bringing up the rear.
For more information, please read the rules for caravanning that we've put together and check out a list of what's included in all of our total service caravans.
"Total" Service Caravans
Each of our caravans and rallies is a total service experience. They include:
- All Camping Included
- Booked Tours & Events
- Fully Arranged Trips
- Planned Itineraries
- Maps of Route
- Caravan Kits
- Transport to Venues
- Breakdown Assistance
- Driver's Briefings
- Safety First
- Free Tote Bag
- Lots of Included Meals
- Caravan Security
Rules of Caravanning
- Wagonmaster heads the Caravan, ensures correct route followed, alerts units behind of problems, construction etc.
- Caravan travels at speed limit or less depending on road conditions.
- No alcoholic beverages on driving days till arrival at that day's destination.
- A spacing of at least 3 transport truck lengths (200-250 ft.) must be maintained between units while caravanning to allow other traffic to pass & adequate space for stopping.
- A unit experiencing mechanical or other difficulties should immediately notify the wagonmaster or tailgunner on the CB, and pull off at a safe spot.
- Always alert the unit ahead of you on the CB if a vehicle is overtaking or passing them.
- Tailgunner moves caravan out each travel day, brings up the rear & aids stragglers or those with difficulties to ensure all arrive safe & and at the prescribed destination.