Vancouver to Calgary RV Road Trip
An adventure spanning 7 - 10 days, crossing British Columbia to Alberta, is jam-packed with fun and beauty. This trip would be marked by cruising among gorgeous coastlines, the Canadian Rockies, and of course: feelings of independence with your very own rental RV. From solo travellers to family units, motorhomes are perfect for absorbing cities at your own pace, finishing off personalised travel itineraries and budgeting. Make the most of your moment by seeing all the attractions these provinces have to offer! To aid you in your research, we’ve made a thorough list of what to do, discover and avoid. Scroll below for more valuable information on your one way Canada RV rental road trip.
Parking and important traffic laws for road-trippers
Tired and in need to park somewhere in order to rest? Legally speaking, you are only allowed to park your RV overnight in camp grounds, so it’s within your best interest to plan a day in where your last stop will be. Look up camping grounds in British Columbia and Alberta— and make sure to book a spot in advance. Per night, a site may charge from $40 to $90 Canadian dollars, depending on how many services you request.
Where can I park my RV for free in Canada?
If you’re finding it hard to find a camping ground, any Walmart’s car park will do. Strangely enough, it’s allowed and a popular zone for campers! Just make sure to ask the store’s manager before you do so.
Most (public) areas have a time limit on how long you can park. If you’re looking for a quick pit stop by rest stops, typically situated in highways, you have a maximum of 4 hours to park
Click here for more information on Canadian road safety laws.
Once you’ve considered your safety precautions, lighten up by reading what Vancouver, British Columbia, has to offer
Book RV Rental Early
A good range of RV rental options are available from Vancouver Airport and near Vancouver. Book your Vancouver RV rental as early as possible, unlike car rental, campervans will sell out quickly during the Summer / Autumn months. In fact, we recommend booking the RV before confirming your flights.
Starting your trip in the West Coast city of Vancouver is a great mood-boost. It's large, diverse, and displayed on many travel lists as a top city to visit. And this seaport certainly lives up to the hype. It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics Games, is home to many art galleries, and is regarded as the 10th cleanest city in the world. The Canadian west coast has brilliant parks scattered throughout the city. Here are a few.
Take an hour drive up Vancouver’s northern tip, where you get the most scenic views from the Sea to Sky Highway. Despite its quietness, residents dubbed this town as “the adventure capital”: studded with mountains, world-class trails and close access to rivers. The activities you can do outdoors are endless. To name a few, (solo) travellers can embark on biking, skiing (depending on the season) or simply just taking a hike. While there, be sure to check out the Stawamus Chief, a dome and largest granite monolith in the world.
Getting into Squamish is easy when you’re using Highway 99: a route that gives you access to many other cool areas worth visiting, like Bowen Island.
In downtown Vancouver, awaits Bowen Island— a large strip of land defined by its forests. The whole island is treated as a conservation site, so expect unique flora and fauna to thrive here. Take a $30 ferry from Snug Cove with your car through its clear waters and explore all it has to offer. Locals may be small in numbers, but you can feel their strong artisanal spirit. Visit the Artisan Square, where you can indulge in their local food scene. If you’re looking for souvenirs, splurging on handmade jewellery might do the trick.
Enjoy the sunset by the beach in Tunstall Bay, a picturesque spot where you can rest, swim and row boats. You can kick back with a cold beer by Bowen Island Pub, the place to mingle with both locals and holidaymakers.
Leaving the province lines of British Columbia, you go right through cities and national parks worth gawking over. Alberta, a ‘prairie province’, is where the Great Plains of the south meets the Rocky Mountains of the north. Possessing glaciers and notably colder weather than British Columbia, it’s advised you start travelling before the winter hits
To prove how idyllic and important Alberta is, UNESCO has named 6 spots dotted over the province as World Heritage Sites. Most of these award-winning places are huge in quantity and stretch pass cities.
You’d notice the resort town of Banff encapsulates Canada very well. Its skyline features not only the peaks of Mountains Cascade and Rumble, but also the famous Rocky Roads. Pristine, crystal-clear lakes blanket most of the area, only to compliment meadows nearby. There’s also wildlife, where one can probably see grizzly bears populated in (protected) national parks. For the best sightseeing, visit and wander around Banff National Park. In your vehicle, drive down Highway 93 for a special view of glaciers, ice fields and snowy mountains. You do not want to miss out on going through Canada’s oldest national park!
Your final stop in Calgary is whatever you make of it. It’s nicknamed as ‘Cowtown’, in celebration of the city's unique tradition of hosting rodeos. Events such as the Calgary Stampede are hosted annually, drawing massive crowds that want to see fun outdoor performances.
Beyond the cowboys and rodeos, Calgary boasts other attractions such as the Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park, or even Canada’s National Music Centre: Studio Bell.