The Ultimate Guide to RVing in Canada

Feb 17, 2020 | Travel & Destinations

The Ultimate Guide to RVing in Canada

Our neighbors to the north offer plenty of opportunities to explore by RV. Here’s what you need to know to plan an RV trip to remember in Canada.

By Heather Greenwood Davis

Photo courtesy of CanaDream

With its wild, open spaces, desolate frontiers, cozy cottage communities, and bustling cityscapes, Canada offers something for every type of RVer. Getting there from the U.S. with your RV is easy, since border crossings require little more than a passport and proper vehicle documentation. And once you’ve arrived, the country’s 10 provinces and three territories are yours to explore.

Expect weather that is similar to the northern U.S. Seasons become a little more pronounced the further north you go, but you’ll also find local RV clubs and companies happy to help you figure out anything you might need. At national and provincial parks, you’ll find a wide selection of amenities that RVers appreciate. The only thing left to do is to practice your conversions: Speed limits are given in kilometers, temperature is in Celsius, height clearances use meters, and gas is priced by the liter. Luckily, online conversion charts make it easy to stay on top of.

These are some of the best Canadian campgrounds and RV parks to plan a trip to. 

The Best RVing Destinations in British Columbia

Group of people camping in old growth forest
Photo courtesy of CanaDream

British Columbia’s mountains and ocean views are perfect for RVing. Whether you opt to explore the city offerings in Vancouver, head for wine country in Kelowna, or set out on one of the ferry routes to neighboring islands and towns to the north, you’ll find a wide selection of year-round options perfect for adventure-seeking travelers.

Where to stay:

Life slows on Salt Spring Island, a 1.5-hour scenic ferry ride from Vancouver. Here, Cedar Beach Resort offers a serene waterfront campground with all of the amenities for family fun.

Related An RV Trip Guide to Tofino, Canada

The Best RVing Destinations in Alberta

Motorhome driving away from snowy mountains in Canada
Photo courtesy of CanaDream

Wide open prairies will call to your cowboy spirit in this western Canadian province, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to horses and bison for entertainment. Cities like Edmonton and Calgary offer art and culture, food and music, and clear, dark skies for stargazing. Alberta is also home to two national parks, Banff and Jasper. Campgrounds in both parks tend to fill up quickly, so make sure to have a reservation, especially during the busy summer period. 

Where to stay:  

Seek out the world’s largest dinosaur in Drumheller, Alberta, after a night at Dinosaur Trail RV Resort. This site sits on the Red Deer River and puts you in the heart of the hoodoos, museums, and parks that celebrate the area’s prehistoric connections.

Related The Best RV Campgrounds Near Dark Sky Destinations

The Best RVing Destinations in Ontario

RV driving down road in Ontario near outdoor points of interest
Photo: sarah Tee / Shutterstock

Ontario’s south-central location makes it an easy option for RVers in the northeastern states. Once there you can stick to popular spots like Niagara Falls, Toronto, or Ottawa or head north for stunning national and provincial park options. Four of the province’s five national parks are within a few hours’ driving distance from Toronto, making for a relatively low-mileage road trip. 

Where to stay: 

Mew Lake Campground offers year-round options and puts you close to the stunning Algonquin Provincial Park. The route is most popular in the fall months when the changing leaves can draw thousands to the area, but year-round the province’s first national park—and one of the country’s largest—is a smart choice.

The Best RVing Destinations in Quebec

Man skiing on cross country trail with motorhome in background
Photo courtesy of CanaDream

Quebec offers French flair, cosmopolitan vibes, and old-world charm. Montreal and Quebec City will draw those looking for a mix of cultural immersion and festival offerings, while spots like Saguenay and Charlevoix offer soft adventures and winter fun. Province-wide you’ll find agri-tourism opportunities and breathtaking stops that will add to your road trip adventures.

Where to Stay: 

Camping Lac Morin is located 20 minutes outside of Trois-Rivières (the province’s cultural capital) and has full-service RV sites close to La Mauricie National Park. In the winter, take advantage of ski terrain and snowshoeing trails. In the summer, long hikes and picnic-friendly terraces await.

The Best RVing Destinations in Atlantic Canada

Class B van pulled over at lookout in Atlantic Canada
Photo courtesy of CanaDream

Choosing just one of Canada’s eastern provinces to visit might be too much to ask. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick offer mainland options; Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland will require a ferry trip. All are quieter than their western neighbors. Combine that with the beaches, seafood specialties, historic forts, and Acadian culture and you have a trip worth extending a few days.

Where to stay:

At Whale Cove Campground in Digby, Nova Scotia, you’ll spend your days overlooking the incredible Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. Incredible sunset viewpoints, a pet-friendly site, and the proximity to whale watching excursions add to its charm. 

The Best RVing Destinations in Manitoba

Group of bison on road in national park with vehicle waiting to pass

Manitoba offers plenty of rivers, lakes, and forests to explore, making it a wonderful nature-filled option. For wildlife—birds, elk, and bears are all common here—head away from the cities to spots like Riding Mountain National Park. Winnipeg, the capital, offers cultural interpretation activities, First Nations culture, and plenty of food and music options.

Where to stay: 

Just 30 minutes outside of Winnipeg, Rock Garden Campground in Richer keeps your activity options open. You can hop into the city for museums and culture, head out to the Sandilands Provincial Forest for a natural escape, or stay put and enjoy the on-site amenities including a basketball court, hiking trail, playground, and pool.

The Best RVing Destinations in Saskatchewan

RV pulled over at scenic spot in Western Canada
Photo courtesy of CanaDream

Soft rolling hills, flat prairie lands, wheatfields that rise up to meet an endless blue sky, and rocky Canadian Shield plateaus combine in this unique province. It’s a collection of wild spaces and internationally acclaimed cultural offerings. Options for road trip stops range from quiet afternoon promenades to barn-raising get-togethers with new friends.

Where to stay: 

Try Gordon Howe Campground in Saskatoon. The campground, set along the South Saskatchewan River, is a short ride or walk to the downtown core.

The Best RVing Destinations in Northern Canada

View of Canadian Lake in Yukon

Canada’s northernmost provinces and territories offer a distinctly different Canadian experience. RV routes in this part of the country mean you’ll encounter fewer people and more animals, fewer lights and more open skies, and different cultures and lost arts. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut each offer a different, distinct experience. 

Where to stay: 

If you’re looking to hike the Chilkoot Trail, which was once a part of the Klondike Gold Rush, Pioneer RV Park serves as a great base along the Alaska Highway. When you’re this far off the grid, things like mechanics, high pressure RV washes, and 24-hour internet access are luxuries that go a long way.

Things to Know When RVing in Canada

Can you drive an RV into Canada?

You can drive an RV from the U.S. to Canada. Border crossings will require a valid passport. You should also, of course, have a driver’s license and your vehicle’s ownership and insurance documentation on hand.

Can you rent an RV in Canada?

You’ll find options for renting an RV in each of the provinces. If you’re traveling during winter, CanaDream is the only outfitter that offers winter-ready RV rentals. Renters also get access to the CanaDream Club, which offers campground and RV resort discounts, tours, activities, and roadside assistance. 

Can you visit more than one province?

It’s typically easy to travel through multiple provinces as there are no border crossings between them. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, be aware of evolving interprovincial travel regulations and newly introduced interprovincial or territory travel corridors. 

Non-Canadian residents can’t legally sleep in an RV anywhere outside of a campground unless given express permission by the landowner. Many Walmart stores will allow overnight parking in their lots if you ask.

Can you live in an RV year-round in Canada?

There are many RV communities across Canada that exist year-round.

This is just the beginning. RV adventures in Canada can be as hard-core or luxurious as you’d like them to be. Whether you travel as a family, with friends, or on your own, you’ll quickly realize that the hardest part of an RV trip to Canada is the realization that you’ll eventually need to make your way home.

Plan Your Own RV Road Trip to These Canadian Destinations

Editor’s note: Due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, all travelers to Canada must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit travel information. In addition to adhering to Canada’s federal travel guidelines, each province within Canada has its own set of travel restrictions and requirements. Verify with the province that you’re traveling to, as protocols vary.  

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Heather Greenwood Davis

Heather Greenwood Davis is a Contributing Writer and on-air storyteller for National Geographic and a Feature Writer with The Globe and Mail. She is the resident travel expert on The Social - a national daily lifestyle show - and co-host of Get, Set, Go! Heather believes in travel as a change agent, and has shared insights in university classrooms, at conferences, and at trade gatherings. Her words and opinions have been featured in O Magazine and on NPR. Heather is also the voice behind – an international, family travel blog that features the adventures she takes with (and without) her husband Ish and their two sons, Ethan and Cameron.