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Old 04-04-2015, 04:41 PM   #1
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WHERE to full time in winter in Toronto/Barrie area? Or in areas with no campgrounds?

I may sound like a sucker for punishment, choosing to camp in winter in the freezing cold snow belt. But... due to my elderly parents' failing health, I'm being forced to once again go back to southern Ontario. My mother is in a nursing home and when my father gets out of the hospital, he'll probably be in a nursing home too, so I can't stay with them anymore. I'm leaving the west coast soon (but not forever, I'll be back as soon as I can), and most likely taking my 25' 1990 Airstream Excella with me. Due to the longer, colder and snowy winters in the areas north of Toronto (namely Barrie), the campgrounds are generally open from May 1 to some time in October. Soon winter will be over and I'll be able to go to a local campground there.

But if I have to stay past October... what to do? Hopefully I won't have to endure another Barrie winter, but if I do, should I look for a short term rental apartment? Or stick it out in my Airstream? The campgrounds will be closed. The nearest year round campground is in Milton, which is much too far away when I need to be in Barrie every day.

Where do people stay in winter if there are no campgrounds open? Put up an ad on Craigslist or Kijiji to see if someone with a farm wants to rent me a space and provide shore power for electricity? And let me get a large propane tank delivered to run the furnace so my pipes don't freeze? Propane would probably cost me a fortune. And I'd need to find a place to dump the gray and black water tanks.

Hopefully I won't need to spend the winter in the snow belt, but I'm just thinking a few steps ahead, in case I have to be there for the winter. Thank you in advance for any suggestions! Sorry if this has already been answered. So far most of the winter questions have been on winterizing or dealing with freezing pipes, not really about finding a place to park for the winter.

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Old 04-04-2015, 05:57 PM   #2
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Living in an Airstream is a challenge through a Vancouver winter (I've done it and won't do it again), so I wouldn't want to think about it in Ontario. The propane costs alone would be astronomical. You're better off finding an apartment for the duration.

Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #3
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That's what I was thinking... I know people have done it, but perhaps it was more of a challenge than being practical. Knowing how much propane my furnace uses at moderate temperatures, I can only imagine how much it would use when colder, even if buying in bulk.

Hopefully I can get things sorted out and not need to be there any later than September or October. I'd love to get back out west ASAP. Originally my parents were supposed to move to Kelowna, but in the last year, they've both taken a turn for the worse. Now it looks like my choices are to see if its feasible to bring them back to BC before the winter, or, as you suggested, get an apartment in Barrie, Ontario for the winter. There are furnished short term rentals, a bit pricey, but that would be offset by the much lower cost of living in the Airstream at a campground from May to October.

The more I think about it, there's probably a good reason that just about all campgrounds in Ontario are closed for 6 months of the year! If you found it a bit too cold to full time in the winter in temperate Vancouver, I can only imagine how much worse it would be in Ontario. I'm a real wimp when it comes to cold weather.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:59 AM   #4
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Macgregor Porvincial Park near Port Elgin is open all winter. Lots of those there for the winter (usually part of a Store and Use Program) build roofs over their RV's and often plastic tarp "Florida rooms". It's a little over 2 hours from Barrie but it's beautiful there in the winter, it's only 5 min to town (and Wally World) and lots to do.
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