Welcome to the Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park

Canada's Warmest Winter Destination!  

Going south for the winter isn't for everyone- the section below will try to answer your questions and paint a picture about wintering in your RV at the Living Forest in Nanaimo.  If you have any other questions, drop us an email or give us a call.
All sites include basic cable TV service ​(Digital cable box is required and available for any serviced site) Rentals require a $50 deposit, 1 Box per site. City sewer and water.
Electricity is metered at approximately the same price as set by the utility company and is payable at the end of each month stayed.  Limited free Wi-fi is available near the office and the Living Forest Cafe, and Tengo WiFi is available for a fee at most sites in the park- check with office about a specific site and coverage.  Independent internet service providers can also be contracted for personal hi speed internet and cable TV connection to your site for monthly stays.

'Some RV condition and age restrictions apply - contact office for details'
$100 deposit upon booking and 2 months notice required for 'no charge' cancelation on monthly stays.
All rates are subject to 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax,
1 week notice required for no charge cancellation or 1 night fee applies.

Basic Shaw cable package available via a Shaw digital box at no charge - with security deposit.
Top Ten reasons to enjoy Oct. 1- April 30 RV'ing in Nanaimo at The Living Forest Oceanside RV:
1.  You're still in Canada!  That means Canadiano canada canadian maple leaf health care, no  need for a passport, no fluctuating money exchange, and all of the advantages of citizenship, 'eh?  And depending where you're coming from, it's probably closer than driving south!

To stay active!  Use it or lose it!  The list of great outdoor winter activities is a long one on the Island. Golfing, hiking, kayaking, cycling, bird watching, sailing, scuba diving and surfing are just a few of the popular activities.  And if you like traditional Canadian winter sports, such as skiing, boarding, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing-- Mt. Washington is just a short 1.5 hour drive away. Winter exists on Vancouver Island, but it doesn't deliver to your door most of the time.  There's no bad weather-- only inappropriate clothing!  Get the right stuff and get outdoors!

    Still timid about the outdoors in the Winter?  Nanaimo offers tons of great indoor recreation too- two fabulous aquatic centres including wave pools, steam rooms, weights and aerobic equipment, water slides and hot tubs.  There's also multiple indoor ice surfaces for skating, a climbing room, gymnasiums with drop in and organized sports, a curling rink, community clubs and classes at Vancouver Island University for just about anything you're interested in- you'll run out of winter before you run out of things to do on the Island.

To save money!  Many snowbirds, whose home is where winter is truly cold, find that by converting their household to 'away' mode, and turning down the heat and utilies, that they save enough money to pay for the low monthly winter rates at the Living Forest ($395-$470/month-- full details above). Plus, you don't have to winterize and store your RV- just come to the Island and live in it. Heck, you paid for the darn thing-- get your money's worth by using it year round!  Here on the Island, we don't even know what block heaters are! 

That being said, remember that in an RV, your water supply hose is above ground, so heat tape and a foam insulation tube is needed- it does go below freezing occasionally at night and blown hoses are not what you want to wake up to the next morning.

To enjoy 53 acres of pristine waterfront living! The Living Forest is a special property, with water on three sides, tall trees and spacious sites. The majestic Nanaimo River completes its long journey from inland mountains and lakes and joins the ocean at the Living Forest.  Whether your site overlooks the ocean or the river, you can't help being moved by nature's show.
If you begin your winter stay October 1, you'll have a front row seat to watch one of the world's great miracles-- thousands of salmon parading past the Living Forest to their upriver spawning grounds.  The salmon run also brings hundreds of eagles, just one of the more than 50 species of birds on the property.  Seals and otters are common sights at the start and end of each day. Nanaimo's busy harbour always provides something to watch, with ferries, freighters, tugs and yachts always on the go.
Enjoy over 2 km of quiet paved roads in the park for gentle strolling or cycling, and there's also many trails where you'll think you're miles from anywhere, instead of a five minute drive to downtown.

To enjoy the clubhouse!  The adult section of the clubhouse features one room for games- pool table, card or game tables, and a big classic wooden shuffleboard table-- remember those?  And if you want to plan a meal with other snowbirds or visiting family, there's kitchen facilies too.

There's also a sumptuous lounge area with granite faced fireplace, gorgeous leather furniture and a big screen video screen. What a great place to enjoy an evening and meet other snowbirds (or even just relax in  while doing laundry in our well equipped laundromat). A.

To shop!  Need a 'Mall-o-day'?  You may have not know that there's more square feet of retail space in Nanaimo per capita than anywhere else in North America!  Whether you like big malls, or the personal touch of Nanaimo's historic downtown shops and galleries, you'll find an incredible selection of shopping opportunities- heck, you can even buy fabulous Nanaimo Bars here-- who knew?  

    And for those day to day things, there's a great little outdoor mall within walking distance to the Living Forest with a major grocery store, gas, bank, medical and dental offices, hair salon, drug store, spa, fitness centre, pub (do they go together?), Subway, A&W, a great little Asian restaurant, a take out pizza place, a Smitty's, and of course the mandatory Tim Hortons- with drive through.  Jeepers, there's even a new RONA building supply store and Buckerfields.  Did I forget the fine steak house a block away?

To enjoy dining out and entertainment!  Island folks like to eat and a night out.  Name your favourite type of food, and we'll tell you about a great restaurant (or two or three) nearby that serves it. With chefs teams from the Culinary Arts program at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island University having won gold medals at the World Culinary Olympic many many times, it only makes sense!  Chefs cook, snowbirds eat- it's a natural!

    The sun sets early in the winter, so there's lots to do after dark in Nanaimo and it's close by.  Many outstanding performers in the arts call the Island home.  That makes for a thriving live theatre scene (both amateur and professional), live music of all kinds, clubs, and dancing for all ages, concerts, 19 movie screens- heck there's even a casino.

    There's also plenty of live sports on tap too- to watch or play! The Nanaimo Clippers are always in the hunt with over 2000 cheering fans at every one of their Jr. A hockey home games.  Vancouver Island University enjoys success with their soccer, basketball, and volleyball teams. The Nanaimo Hornets Rugby Club hosts international play, there's an active Island soccer league, lots of high school sports, and of course, Nanaimo is home to one of Canada's top Jr. football champions, the Vancouver Island Raiders.    
   A night at our nationally recognized 800 seat Port Theatre comes with incredible acoustics and sight lines in an intimate atmosphere. Touring acts of modern dance, ballet, jazz, blues, pop, rock, country, and symphony grace our stage from across the country and around the world!  Greater Nanaimo is well over 100,000 people, but still has a small town feel.  And if you really think you have to, Victoria and Vancouver are only about two hours away.

To explore incredible Vancouver Island!  Our location on the Island also adds to making the Living Forest such a great winter destination. If you had a year to explore the Island, it wouldn't be enough- it's the size of England or Costa Rica, and the list of places to visit and things to see just goes on and on.  Nanaimo has always been called the hub city because of it's proximity to the rest of the Island. Join Owner's Family member Scott Littlejohn for a weekly area park walks Á hikes.  
   Tell us what you want to see and do, and we'll provide directions and local knowledge.  Our family Á Staff have lived on the Island for almost 50 years. We've explored all over, under, around and above this special place. But be warned, the more you see, the more you'll love the Island-- don't be surprised if you start looking at real estate ads after a bit of time here...

To avoid the crowds of the high season!  Many of the more popular Island sights and attractions can get busy in the summer. But in the winter season,  many of Nanaimo's 200 parks and other favourite Island attractions will feel like you're the only people there- it's heavenly!

To relax!  Part of the attraction of coming to the Living Forest is to be able to just look at the fabulous view from your RV window, have a cup of tea, read a book, go online, or just have a nap.  There's always tomorrow when you're on holiday!

Frequently Asked Questions
about wintering at The Living Forest Oceanside RV
Q.    Can I receive mail during my stay?
A.    Yes, we hold mail delivered to the office in your name.

Q.    What are the hours for the showers and bathrooms?
A.    24/7- All bathrooms onsite are quality flush toilet, tiled and heated.   Showers are coin operated, $1/ 5 minutes and cleaned daily.  Our facilities are top rated in B.C. (Camping Select).

Q.    What are laundry hours, facilities, and costs.
A.    9 a.m. - 9 p.m. (last load start by 7 p.m.).  There's 6 washers and 4 commercial dryers.  $2.50/wash load & dryers are $.25/ 5minutes.  The laundry room is connected to the games room  and lounge and also has an ironing board and iron, TV, book exchange, and wifi to check e-mail on your laptop. Change, soap and drier sheets are available in the adjoining office (during winter office hours).

Q.    What are winter office hours?
A.     9am - 1pm and 4pm - 7pm  Monday thru Friday.
9am - 5pm on Saturdays and 9am-7pm on Sundays.
In case of any emergency, there are a number of family/staff
on site 24/7.

Q.    What are the lounge and games room hours?
A.    9 a.m.- 9 p.m. daily - no extra charge.

Q.    What about security?
A.    The gate automatically closes at 11 pm and re-opens at 5:30 a.m.  If will always allow exit from the park and we can provide you with an entry code if coming in late.  As mentioned, several family/staff members live onsite in several locations of the park, so in the rare event of any disturbances or problems, help is close and immediate by telephone.

Q.    What about medical care and facilities in Nanaimo?
A.    Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is the major medical treatment centre north of Victoria, and has extensive and updated treatment facilities.  There are also several walk in clinics in Nanaimo, including one at the medical arts facility next to Southgate Plaza 1 km. away from the Living Forest.  Medical professionals of all types like to make Vancouver Island their home, so we are proud to have many excellent health care professionals in Nanaimo.

Q.    What's the water like in the park?
A.    The river and ocean are much warmer in the summer... O.K., O.K.-- we're supplied by the City of Nanaimo, where the drinking water quality is better than any other place we know of!

Q.    What about garbage and recycling?
A.    We ask folks to pack their garbage and extensive 
recycling list (now including compost and kitchen scraps) to a central location near the park entrance.  Nanaimo is one of the top recycling towns in the country.

Q.    Are you pet friendly?
A.    Are your pets friendly?  Non aggressive, quiet, social, leashed and picked-up-after pets are most welcome- any other type-  not so much.  We can also direct you to off leash areas.

Q.    What about heating costs- is propane delivered?
A.    With current rates for electricity and propane, many folks find electricity to be a bit more economical, and also more comfortable heat (propane heat creates condensation and dampness).  Propane is sold and external tanks refilled onsite- just come to the office during office hours.  Monthly electric bills are between $25 and $60 for people heating with propane, and $50 - $130 for people heating with electricity.  Rig size, age, and temperature heated to all affect the range, but that gives you an idea.  The electric meters are read at the end of each month and added to your site rental, which is due on the first of each month.

Q.    Is telephone and hi-speed internet available?  
A.    Times change! Land line telephone service is no longer available to your site- cell service only.  Hi-speed internet is available, with our extensive Tengo WiFi available for a fee in all full service RV sites- contact the office for details. FREE WiFi is available at the office and the Living Forest Cafe, overlooking the beach area.

Q.    Will my satellite dish work there?
A.    Too many trees in a lot of the park, but we do have a small selection of waterview sites that seem to work just fine- let us know if that's a priority.

Q.    Are there sites with 50 amp electrical service?
A.    32 sites have 50 amp service, many with oceanview, some are  pull thrus- including 4 oceanview 'nose in' sites for motorhomes to enjoy the view out the front windshield..  

Q.    Are campfires permitted?
A.    Otherwise it just wouldn't be camping!  Every site has a picnic table and fire ring and dry firewood is available for $7/bundle. 

Q.     Is there a minimum winter stay?
A.     Yes- one night!  We do have daily and weekly rates.  During the winter months we try to rent the oceanfront sites with a four month minimum, but oceanview and forested sites can be any length, up to the whole winter rate period (Oct.1-Apr. 30).

Q.     Can I reserve a particular site?
A.     Absolutely!  For monthly reservations, we require a $100 deposit made on your Visa or MasterCard (or debit if in person).  Just call or email. Be aware that for 'no penalty' cancellations, two months notice is required on monthly reservations.

Q.     What kind of day to day outdoor clothes should I bring?  
A.     Most locals favour layers, as the typical daily temperatures are from plus 3 to plus 10 during the coldest part of the winter. Wicking, breathable inner garments, followed by a breathable waterproof outer shell is ideal- with GORTEX being very popular.  Don't neglect your feet!  Waterproof walking shoes or hikers make all the difference between an active outdoor winter and one where you'll want to cocoon inside. It took me 25 winters to take that advice- I'm embarrassed to say!

Q.    How early should I reserve?
A.    Just before the site you want gets taken!  Our reservation software looks far into the future- but we only take reservations 1 year in advance- that makes it fair for everyone to get 'first crack' at their favourite site. Reserve as early as you can for best selection.  All of the sites are nice, but everyone has favourites. If you come up with any other questions (could happen :-), just call or email.  The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask.  

Q.  How do I get more online information about things to do, updated weather and tides, area shopping and up to date events for our stay?
A.  Visit and bookmark our micro website LivingForest.com/DAILY, where you will find tons of useful information to make your stay with us more enjoyable and informed. Updated daily!

RV Storage:
For those wanting to bring their RV or trailer through the mountains while the weather is nice, we will store vehicles on site during Snowbird season. Please call for details.  We can also put you in touch with a neighboring storage compound- fenced and owner occupied, complete with big dogs!