What You Need to Cross the Canadian Border in an RV

In recent years, RVers have been itching to visit our neighbors to the north. Unfortunately, crossing the Canadian border with an RV has been very complicated until now. Fortunately, it has now become easier.

Don’t think you can roll up to the border in your RV and expect a smooth border crossing. There are a few things you need when crossing the border and a few things you shouldn’t have with you.

Today, we’ll help you start your RV adventure in Canada off on the right foot.

Let’s get started!

Can you cross the Canadian border in an RV?

Crossing the Canadian border in an RV is entirely possible. Adventurers in RVs have been visiting Banff National Park, Jasper National Park and Prince Edward Island for decades. However, you must present certain documents to officials at the border.

When you arrive at the border crossing, you must have everything in hand. Otherwise, you may not get the best first impression of this beautiful country and its people.

Stay up to date on the latest rules and regulations

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that the rules and regulations for visiting foreign countries can change quickly. If your travel plans include a visit to a foreign country, you should familiarize yourself with the current regulations and plan accordingly.

We strongly recommend that you visit the Canadian government’s travel and tourism website. This website provides the most up-to-date information for visitors to the country.

In addition, you can access all the forms and resources you need to make your border crossing as easy as possible.

What you need to cross the Canadian border with a motorhome

As we mentioned earlier, there are a few things you need to have with you when crossing the Canadian border in an RV. Let’s take a look at what you should bring with you.

Proof of citizenship

Anyone crossing the U.S.-Canada border must provide proof of citizenship. The most common way to prove this is with a passport book or passport card.

If you do not already have one, you should allow enough time to apply for and obtain it. Depending on demand, it may take several weeks before you receive either type of passport.

In addition, the NEXUS program is a joint program between the governments of the United States and Canada. This is a program for low-risk travelers who can easily cross the border.

One benefit of this program is that you can travel in dedicated lanes for expedited border crossing. However, every border crosser in your group must participate in the program.

In addition, residents of some northern border states can apply for an Enhanced Identification Card to travel to Canada without a passport. However, this will only allow you to enter by land or sea. For entry by air, you need a passport.

This enhanced identification card is available to residents of Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, and Vermont.

Driver’s license and vehicle documents

You will need your driver’s license and various documents for your vehicle. These include a copy of your vehicle’s registration and proof of insurance. If you present yourself at the border without these documents, you will probably be refused entry to Canada.

If you are towing a tow vehicle, you must carry documents for both the tow vehicle and the trailer. Drivers of RVs towing a towed vehicle must also present the documents for that vehicle.

Veterinary documents for pets

Pet owners must provide a signed and dated rabies vaccination certificate. These documents are usually valid for one to three years, but are essential for anyone who wants to take their furry friends with them.

Service animals, however, are exempt from this requirement only if they accompany their owner on the crossing.

Pro Tip: If you’ve never camped with dogs before, take a look at these tips to have a successful camping trip with your furry friends!

A dog in an RV crossing the Canadian border.

Anyone traveling with children who are not their own, including grandchildren, will need a parental consent form.

In addition, children of divorced or separated parents need a signed consent form from the other parent. This is simply to protect children and minimize abduction and human trafficking.

The consent form includes the child’s name, date of birth, parent or guardian’s name, purpose of the trip, dates of the trip, the name and contact information of the consenting person, and the signature of the consenting parent or parents.

Notarization of this document can help ensure authenticity and avoid potential problems.


One of the most important things you need to bring with you is your patience. Crossing an international border can be stressful. Fortunately, millions of people cross the border every year, and most do so without any problems.

Be patient with border officials and answer their questions respectfully. Remember that crossing the border is a privilege, not a right.

You may be turned away at the border if you act like a jerk or disrespect the officials.

What not to bring when crossing the Canadian border in an RV

While there are some things you’ll want to take with you, there are others you should leave at home. If you don’t, you could put yourself in a serious delay or get into a bunch of legal trouble. Let’s take a look at what items you should leave behind in your RV when crossing the Canadian border.

The Canadian Border

Firearms or fireworks

If you pull up to the border with firearms or fireworks in your vehicle, you could be in serious trouble.

While it is possible to bring certain firearms into Canada, it does require some advance planning. Individuals must go through a fairly lengthy permit process.

And just because you have a concealed carry permit or other license in the United States does not mean it applies in Canada. Firearms and fireworks laws are very different in Canada than they are in the United States. Do yourself a favor and plan accordingly.

Cannabis Products

While cannabis is legal in Canada, crossing the border with cannabis or CBD products is illegal. It doesn’t matter how much you have, if you have a medical use permit, or if you are traveling from a place where it is also legal.

Anyone who shows up at the border with cannabis products must declare them to border officials. Unfortunately, you will likely lose your stash, but you will avoid serious legal problems if you do not declare it.

Restricted Food

You are not allowed to take certain foods with you when crossing the Canadian border in your RV or car.

These include plants, eggs, dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have any of these items in your RV, you should throw them in the trash before arriving at the border.

This is a common law in many countries as it helps prevent the introduction of invasive plants, critters or diseases through the food. We recommend waiting until you cross the border to purchase food so you don’t run into problems with the food you bring with you.

You cannot bring fresh fruits and vegetables in your RV when crossing the Canadian border.


You may be dreaming of a cozy campfire while traveling in your RV in Canada, but you need to get wood in Canada. If you cross the border with firewood from the United States, you may also run into legal trouble with border officials.

Wait until you cross the border to find a place to buy firewood for a cozy campfire.

Similar to food, the Canadian government imposes restrictions on firewood to prevent the spread of insects, diseases and other potentially harmful invasive pests.

An outbreak can have serious consequences for plants and animals in the area.

Do not forget: Before you bring your own firewood camping, click on the link to learn why you shouldn’t

Large amounts of cash

In any foreign country, including Canada, it is a good idea to carry some extra cash. However, be careful about the amount you carry. If you have more than $10,000 in cash, you must report it to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

We recommend that you deposit your cash in the bank before crossing the border. This way you can avoid filling out a CBSA declaration card, reporting verbally or using a kiosk. Save yourself the hassle and make crossing the border as easy as possible.

Explore the Great White North with your RV

Canada is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in an RV. The country offers some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable.

From the coast of Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, everything is worth seeing in your RV. You’ll quickly discover how majestic and novel the land north of the border is.

What are you waiting for? Get on the road and discover Canada with a lot of fun!

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