Saskatchewan campers opting for RVs over tents

Industry statistics show that one in four people in Saskatchewan and Alberta own an RV.

Regina RV dealer sold five luxury RVs in the past week.

Brian Albert shows off the features of his RV, including two flat screen TVs. (CBC News)

Roughing it just isn’t as appealing to the people of Saskatchewan as it used to be.

But the good news for RV campers, is they aren’t bothered by drizzly weekend weather, like Regina experienced on Monday.

Jaylene Brass admits that taking down a tent in the rainy weather can cause some tense moments. She and her husband upgraded from tents to a small trailer to a Recreational Vehicle.

Jaques Landry of Village RV says luxury RVs could include leather furniture, a king size bed and a fireplace. (CBC News)

In fact, industry statistics show that one in four people in Saskatchewan and Alberta own an RV, says Jaques Landry of Village RV in Regina.

“If you were camping over the long weekend, you’ll likely have noticed the RVs far out number the tents in our parks,” he said.

Landry said that even the RV dealers are surprised how well the high end models are selling.

At his dealership, a nearly 12 metre RV with lavish furnishings such as a leather couch, fireplace and king size bed will sell for $80,000 to $90,000.

Village RV sold five of those last week.

“Being such a large unit, we were wondering - it was a guess how many would sell - but actually it’s exploded. We are actually one of the top dealers in North America selling these for high volume,” Landry said.

Echo Valley was home to a number of RVs on May long weekend, but people in tents were hard to find. (CBC News)

A home away from home

Brian Albert drives his RV south for the winter, but camps in Saskatchewan all summer. His RV has two flat screen TVs and recently added another feature.

“We bought a satellite thing that automatically finds the signal, so where ever we go, I get to watch my sports, I don’t have to go looking for the dish anymore,” said Albert, who calls his RV his home away from home.

But with more and more people choose RVs instead of tents, the parks are under pressure to expand sites and services to match this new trend.

In neighbouring Alberta, whose RV ownership is similar to Saskatchewan, the provincial government has announced changes to several popular parks including larger sites and additional sites with power hook-ups.

with files from CBC's Bonnie Allen