RV News

Inside the heart of Ontario RV culture

Learn about the evolution and spirit of the Ontario Recreational Vehicle Owners community

by Danielle Brost
People gathered on lawn chairs by an RV
The ORVO is known for its welcoming community. — Photo courtesy the ORVO

In the province of Ontario, a unique community of RV enthusiasts has flourished under the banner of the ORVO (Ontario Recreational Vehicle Owners). Founded by Carlos Costa in March 2018, this virtual hub has become a thriving community of over 26,000 members, fostering connections, sharing experiences, and creating a family-friendly atmosphere for all things RV. Nikki Ferreira and Ellen Walker-White stepped up as vice-presidents, and the group has continued to grow.

We had a chance to ask Costa some questions about his organization, and its secrets to success:

Can you tell us more about the beginnings of ORVO and how it has evolved?

In March 2018, I embarked on the journey of establishing the ORVO Facebook group. The aim was to foster connections among fellow RV enthusiasts, providing a platform for sharing captivating stories, valuable tips, breathtaking photographs, and peer-to-peer technical advice—all in anticipation of the impending camping season. Presently, the group boasts a triumvirate of dedicated executive administrators, including myself, Ellen Walker-White, and Nikki Ferreira.

- Photo courtesy the ORVO

How did the idea of creating a Facebook group for RV enthusiasts come about, and what was your initial vision?

ORVO gives members a place to share their stories and experiences, to discuss all the variables of the hobby and to help each other with the technical aspects — all within a family-friendly atmosphere.

The ORVO has grown to over 26,000 members. What do you think has been the key to its remarkable growth?

The evolution has been remarkable as the original group administrators watched ORVO expand from a few dozen transient and seasonal RV campers to a membership of nearly 27,000. The image for the acronym ORVO, for Ontario RV Owners, has rapidly grown into a recognizable logo to connect with members of a community. Its Facebook group is a place for positive exchanges of information about living the RV lifestyle. It’s a peer-to-peer group where members reach out to talk on a host of topics relating to the RV experience; to share information about camping destinations and personal adventures, knowledge regarding RV insurance and resources, and RV tricks, tips, and troubleshooting in real-time. Since its launch, ORVO has been building its representation at RV shows and related functions across the province.

We believe that our growth is essentially based on three factors:

        1.      Our dedicated volunteer administrators work together exceptionally well to ensure that our standards are kept high for our membership.

        2.      Our members generally understand the purpose of the group and contribute in such a positive and engaging manner

        3.      Our interaction with the RV industry and continued involvement steadily increases the awareness of our community group and builds a positive reputation with other RV industry professionals.

- Photo courtesy the ORVO

In what ways does the ORVO Facebook group facilitate positive exchanges and support among RV enthusiasts?

Our goal is to expand our offerings and provide our members with a wider range of options to support their camping experience, prioritizing assistance over sales. We aim to supply them with essential camping necessities rather than frivolous items.

What kinds of discussions and topics do members engage in within the group?

We are a place for positive exchanges of information about living the RV lifestyle. It’s a peer-to-peer group where members reach out to talk on a host of topics relating to the RV experience; to share information about camping destinations and personal adventures, knowledge regarding RV insurance and resources, and RV tricks, tips, and troubleshooting in real-time.

Tell us more about the lounge that ORVO sets up for the fall RV shows. What can attendees expect from it?

A lounge is set up as a meet-and-greet venue, to mingle with fellow members and introduce new ones to the ORVO crew.

What inspired the idea of hosting member rallies, and how have these events contributed to the sense of community within ORVO?

We had a couple members ask here or there if we had such a thing but we didn’t think we had the capacity. Nikki was camping at Quinte Isle in the fall of 2022 and thought… just maybe.

We put feelers out and she ran with it and created our first member get together. We had 47 RVs and close to 100 members.

Within 2 weeks of this year's meet and greet the Rally was created and we had more than this year's attendance register for 2024.

- Photo courtesy the ORVO

How do you envision the future of ORVO and its continued impact on the RV community?

RVing has always been around but in Canada it seems to not have had the interest as our friends to the south have had.

With the pandemic in our rear view mirror we are still seeing more and more people joining the world of RVing.

Our members have created such wonderful memories and are so excited about what they do they share it with their friends who also fall in love with it.

Being able to share and educate about our love of camping with others we are definitely seeing no sign of things slowing down any time soon.

Related Articles

RV News

The mysteries of Chaco Canyon

While Europe was still in the Dark Ages, the Anasazi were building a remarkable civilization in New Mexico.

by Denis Begin
electric Winnebago driving down the road
RV News

Electric RVs are a promising concept for eco-conscious travellers

In response to a changing world, Winnebago and other manufacturers are designing electric RV models.

>