ca_kananaskis country- peter lougheed provincial park_road_wildlife

5 things to consider before renting a motorhome in Canada

If you would really like to enjoy the landscape and the local culture of Canada we recommend renting a car. Motorhomes are not the most convenient or economical vehicles; they are large and consume a lot of fuel. Moreover, there are some areas where you are not allowed to drive or spend the night in a motorhome. A rental car is guaranteed to be brand new and it will be less expensive to run than an RV. This way you save money, you are more flexible and you can make real connections with local people.

Drive along the beautiful Colombia River
Explore the Rocky Mountains by road
© Marta Ribate

Motor homes are not allowed on all roads

It is not permitted to drive a motor home on all roads in National Parks in Canada. In addition, the number of campsites is limited; these campsites are often quite small and certainly not cheap. At Lake Louise and Morraine Lake, the parking for RVs is extremely restricted and is quickly full. If you do find the ideal parking spot for your motorhome, you may want to keep it there, but then you have no transport for the day. For example in Banff National Park, it is recommended to use transit and shuttles to get around the park as travelers are advised to drive motorhomes between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

Mobility

It is important that you can maneuver your motorhome well and that you are accustomed to driving a larger vehicle. Most motorhomes are three metres long and nine metres wide. Take into account that Canada has some very beautiful high mountain roads The question is do you want to be nervous each time you are driving towards another sharp bend on a precipice? Some RVs are underpowered for travelling through the Rocky Mountains; they will slow to a slow crawling pace on the longer, steeper hills. On top of this, motorhomes are not even allowed on some of the most beautiful roads. So it's a case of asking yourself what you really want and how you want to travel.

Discover Canada's spectacular scenery
© Michael Brandt

Costs Compared

With motorhome rental companies you pay for the number of miles you plan to cover. Meanwhile, when renting a car you have an unlimited number of miles and this gives you more flexibility. Renting an RV is a lot more expensive than a car as they consume much more fuel. Compare 25 litres of fuel per 100km with a motorhome to 6 litres of fuel per 100km with a new rental car.

Renting a motorhome can also involve unforeseen costs. Don’t forget to consider fees for one-way itineraries, the cost of campsites and the risk of the deposit not being returned.

Booking multi-day activities also becomes complicated with a large campervan. Suppose you want to spend two days in the Rocky Mountains. While your RV is stationary in the parking lot, the meter will continue to run for the days you are away on your trip.

Travel across Canada by road and discover the great outdoors
© Louis Renaudineau

Your time is precious

When traveling by motorhome, you will find that you have to spend part of your day every day setting up and taking down your camp. There is the same routine day in day out, filling the water tanks, emptying the toilet, etc. Also, it is not possible to drive with loose items lying around so every day everything must be safely stored away before you can start driving.

Wouldn’t you rather spend this time on a more interesting activity, such as whale watching or cycling in the forests?

Have more contact with locals when travelling by rental car

We want you to enjoy every day of your trip as much as possible. We do this by finding you the best places to stay in small-scale accommodations in the most amazing locations, where you will come into genuine contact with the locals.

At the end of a well-spent day, your host will take care of you. You don’t have to clean up, simply put your feet up and take in the view. This way you will enjoy a real holiday with personal attention and with as many varied experiences as possible.

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More is possible than you may think

You probably already have ideas for your holiday to America and Canada. Nature tours through the Rocky Mountains, spotting orcas near the San Juan Islands, or exploring the streets of San Francisco on the iconic cable car?

For the best local tips and advice, visit one of our online presentations. Meet our travel specialists and have all of your questions answered.