Travelling in a motorhome in Canada How to go to Canada with a motorhome or van conversion? Learn about the Great White North!
Canada is one of the most visited nations in the world, having been discovered by Jacques Cartier and having a rich colonial and contemporary past. When visiting the nation, there is no lack of inspirational sites to see, including landscapes, lakes, Indian reserves, and metropolises. A nation that, on top of that, is ideal for a road trip. That is why travelling to Canada in a motorhome or campervan is a fantastic choice.
You will be spoilt for options for your trip from Montreal to Vancouver, via Toronto, Ottawa, or Edmonton. Every province in the nation will be able to supply you with unforgettable moments.
Do you wish to go to Canada with a motorhome or a van conversion? Here is our guide to help you plan your journey!
Ideas for itineraries in Canada by motorhome
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada. Canada is a large nation with a land size of almost 10,000,000 km2. As a result, there are an infinite number of potential and imagined itineraries. Your itinerary will need to be adjusted depending on the duration of your stay and/or your wishes. There are various solutions accessible to you for this.
Visit a province
It is feasible to envision living in the same province for an extended period of time. Because the provinces are vast, there will be no lack of sites to see. Here are some of our route suggestions:
Nova Scotia: Halifax, Lunenburg, the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, and the lakes are all in Nova Scotia (Boggy Lake, Ogden Round Lake, Bonnet Lake),
New Brunswick: Fredericton, Moncton, Bay of Fundy, Mount-Carleton, Lake Kennedy, Hopewell, Village Acadien de Bertrand, Saint-John, Bathurst, Swallowtail, Mirachimi River
Quebec: Montreal, Outaouais, Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean, Mont-Tremblant, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Gaspésie, Mauricie, Mastigouche Reserve
Ontario: Ontario includes the cities of Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto, Lake Simcoe, Algonquin Park, Thousand Islands, Ottawa, Pukaskwa National Park, Wabakimi National Park, and Manitoulin Island.
Manitoba: Manitoba’s highlights include the city of Winnipeg, Wapusk National Park, Lake Manitoba, Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park, Riding Mountain National Park, and Clearwater Lake.
Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan’s cities include Regina, Lac La Vieille, Saskatoon, Missinipe, Grasslands National Park, Gravelbourg, Cypress Hill Park, and Cold Lake.
Alberta: Alberta’s highlights include Banff National Park, Calgary, Moraine Lake, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Edmonton, Jasper Canada Park, Willmore Wilderness Park, Lesser Slave Lake, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, and the Athabaska Glacier.
British Columbia: Vancouver, Stanley Park, Capilano, Grouse Mountain, Tofino, Northern Rocky Mountains Park, Spatsizi Wilderness Plateau, Bowron Lake, Wells Gray Park, Prince George, and Yoho National Park are all in British Columbia.
As you may have guessed, visiting Canada in a campervan is perfect since there is so much to do. However, depending on the duration of your stay, you will need to modify your path and make decisions.
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada, Another alternative is to travel the nation completely or partly. Starting from one coast to the other may be both practical and fascinating. As we previously said, you will have to make decisions and tailor your itinerary to the duration of your visit. Here are some suggestions to help you decide:
7 days: includes Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Winnipeg, Banff National Park, and Vancouver.
10 days: Montreal, the Laurentians, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Algonquin Park, Winnipeg, Banff National Park, Vancouver, all in ten days.
15 days: Quebec, Mauricie, Montreal, the Laurentians, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Algonquin Park, Winnipeg, Baff National Park, Canada Jasper Park, Vancouver (15 days)
30 days: Quebec, Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean, Gaspésie, Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Montreal, Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton, Sherbrooke, Laurentians, Outaouais, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Manitoulin Island, Algonquin Park, Winnipeg, Riding Mountain Park, Cold Lake, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff National Park, Moraine Lake, Jasper Canada Park
45 days and more: Quebec, Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean, Gaspésie, Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Montreal, Halifax, Saint-John, Moncton, Fredericton, Kennedy Lake, Village Ancien Acadien, Sherbrooke, the Laurentians, Outaouais, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Manitoulin Island, Algonquin Park, Winnipeg, Riding Mountain Park, Cold Lake, Edmonton
Be cautious, since certain route concepts need a specific cadence. It’s also a personal choice. You may, of course, adjust the phases and enforce a different tempo. These route options, on the other hand, are fantastic examples that may assist you make your decision.
How and where to rent a motorhome in Canada?
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada, It is advised that you make an online reservation before arriving in Canada via motorhome. And, certainly, it would be unfortunate to arrive in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver without a car.
Choose an online motorhome and van rental platform, such as Outdoorsy, to locate a motorhome. These locations are now plentiful in the road-trip and wild camping markets. The concept is straightforward: you choose the kind of car, your dates, and then submit a rental request to the owner.
Finally, after you’ve made your online payment, you’ll get a confirmation email, and you’ll be on your way to visit Canada in a motorhome!
How and where to rent a motorhome in France?
It seems absurd to hire an RV from France for Canada. To minimise any transatlantic transportation expenses, it is best to arrange it via a site based in Canada, such as Outdoorsy.
If you wish to leave France in a campervan, consider places such as Italy, Spain, or Germany. In this circumstance, leaving France is an option. You may book online or at a local agency.
Motorhome driving in Canada: the traffic rules you need to know
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada, The driving principles in Canada are quite similar to the standards in France (wearing a seat belt, overtaking, etc.). The idea stays the same if the ground markings are yellow rather than white. However, keep in mind that the traffic lights are on the other side of the junction. So keep an eye out. Logically, you must bring your driver’s licence, which must be valid for at least a year.
Canadians are well-known for driving cautiously and courteously. You won’t have to deal with crazy drivers. Keep an eye on the various equipment. In the case of a traffic gridlock, some drivers may lose patience.
There are other panels with side arrows. They indicate that the roadway is just one way. So, proceed with caution. It’s also worth noting that there are flashing green lights. These indicate that you can not only pass, but also have priority.
The difficulty of metropolises
However, although travelling by RV provides some independence, it also has certain drawbacks. In fact, driving a motorhome in urban areas is illegal in Canada. As a result, visiting cities such as Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver will need parking on the outskirts. You risk a fine if you don’t. And the Canadian cops remain unyielding.
The blood alcohol level
While many nations restrict alcohol intake to 0.5 / L, Canada permits up to 0.8 / L. If you surpass this level, you will be fined CA$1000 and your licence will be revoked. A criminal record will be opened as well. Respect the laws in effect for the sake of everyone’s safety.
If you travel by RV in Canada, you will immediately realise that road maintenance is not as excellent as it is in France. Even on a highway, it is not unusual to see potholes. In addition, the speed restrictions vary somewhat. In Canada, you must drive at the following speeds:
- 30 km/h, on small city roads or roads with heavy pedestrian traffic,
- 50 km/h, in classic urban areas,
- 90 km/h, on expressways,
- 100 km/h, on the highway.
Whatever happens, the limitations are indicated very often. Just follow them.
Highway tolls in Canada: what price for your motorhome category?
Almost all highways in Canada are free. Excellent news for your travels. Especially because fuel will consume a significant portion of your money. You may save a lot of money by not paying for the highways. Take into consideration that the highway numbers, not the directions, are printed on the signage. Meanwhile, the direction will be shown on exit and turn-off signs.
Also, if you can travel to Niagara Falls, don’t be afraid to cross the border into the United States. Because gasoline is cheaper in the United States, you may take advantage of this by filling up.
Motorhome areas in Canada: where to park?
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada, There are a few important regulations to follow if you are visiting Canada with a motorhome or campervan. The first, as previously stated, is that parking and motorhome traffic are restricted in urban areas.
Furthermore, during the night, you must park your camper in a “legal” place. So don’t take the chance of stopping in a shopping center’s parking lot or on the road (a motorhome cannot stay there for more than four hours). As a result, you must locate legal parking spots, which range in price from CA$40 to CA$90 depending on their services.
Campgrounds in Canada are rated:
- 1 service, which includes electricity,
- 2 services, which includes electricity and water,
- 3 services, which includes water, electricity and emptying of the vehicle.
You may use apps like Caramaps or park4night to help you find parking spots near highways. These apps list and enable you to see parking lots near highways. You may also add spaces that aren’t already listed.
Preparing for your trip to Canada by motorhome
Travelling in a motorhome in Canada, Preparing for a journey to Canada in a motorhome also entails considering what you’ll need to pack in your vehicle. It is common for us to have our heads in the clouds throughout our preparations, causing us to overlook important details. Here’s a list of things to bring and do before you leave:
- Sunglasses, sunscreen
- Panel of mobile applications: Waze (GPS), Park4night, maps and tourist guides
- Cables, adapters and phone battery chargers
- First aid kit (dressings, antiseptic, Betadine, etc.)
- Mosquito repellent
- Toilet paper
- Cleaning wipes
- Liquids (dishes, soap, shower, shampoo)
- Camping cookware
- Stove and gas refills
- Water bottles
- Small board games, dice and card games (for rainy days)
- Duvets and blankets, etc.
Remember to carry appropriate clothing for the season, since evenings in mountainous places may be chilly even in the summer. If you are going during a chilly season, purchase your equipment, such as shoes and underwear, on the spot. You will discover superior items that are more appropriate for the occasion.
When is the best time to travel by motorhome in Canada
The climate of Canada is continental. Temperatures are very frigid in the winter, and extremely hot and humid in the summer. As a result, we may have temperatures as low as -40°C and as high as +40°C. The ideal months to visit are mid-April to June or September to mid-October. Spring in Canada is, indeed, extremely nice. However, the Indian summer in Canada enables you to enjoy the spectacular autumn colours while still benefiting from temperate temperatures. Winter is much too cold to go in a campervan.
Finally, keep in mind that the farther north you go in the nation, the colder the weather will be, even in the summer. However, since most of northern Canada is inaccessible by road, the majority of the locations to visit are in the south.
How to go to Canada?
Because Canada is located on the North American continent, aircraft tickets are required. The country may be reached from France through four international airports:
- Montreal and Pierre-Eliott Trudeau Airport,
- Toronto and the Lester B. Pearson International Airport,
- Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport,
- Calgary and the Calgary International Airport-Banff.
We encourage that you visit Montreal and Vancouver whenever feasible. Both airports are near two of the country’s coastlines. This will help you to travel the nation and, as a result, cut down on diversions. Use travel comparison websites like Ulysses to discover the cheapest deals on flights to Canada.