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Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic)

Land border crossing between Canada and the United States was closed for 19 months during the pandemic. Now that the borders are open again to non-essential travel, here’s what you need to know about crossing the Canadian border in an RV…

A married couple from Alaska in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group shared their experience during the pandemic. They had retired to Arizona in 2019 and planned to return home to Alaska and visit other destinations during the summer months. 

Of course, those plans were shut down during the shutdown and they were unable to go to Alaska for 3 years. But thankfully, they finally made it! 

Once the travel ban was lifted, they renewed their original plans and headed out first thing this summer to drive through Canada to Alaska.

They were happy to answer any questions from other members and even shared a picture of their Arizona to Alaska RV Itinerary in the comments. It’s a great Facebook thread to check out, with lots of beautiful pictures.

As in ALL things – double-check everything suggested in this post as things may change!

(Here are some Helpful Alaska Travel Tips for RVers if you’re driving through Canada to Alaska.)

Crossing the Canadian Border After COVID

Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic)

What started as a month-long ban, turned into a 19-month long ban. For more than a year and a half, people could not drive across the Canadian-American border in either direction.

Sure, you could fly into Canada, but that wasn’t much use to us RVers. Any existing travel plans or thoughts of remotely working in a secluded Canadian setting during the pandemic quickly washed away. 

Now that crossing the Canadian border by land is allowed again, RVers are chomping at the bit to renew their travel plans and explore the expansive northern frontier. 

But, just like any form of travel, things are different ever since the pandemic. So, here’s what you need to know about crossing the Canadian border post-pandemic.

Mandatory Use of the ArriveCAN App

Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic)

You must now use an app called ArriveCAN to cross the Canadian border. You use the app to provide mandatory travel information before and after your entry into Canada. As their official website states, using the ArriveCAN app “only takes minutes to help keep each other safe.”

ArriveCAN is available for iOS, Android and web. If you’ve already downloaded it, be sure to check for updates before you reach the border or leave for your road trip.

Using ArriveCAN is mandatory within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada. The app is free to use. 

You must enter how and where you are entering Canada. “How” means by air, land, or boat. So, for us RVers, we’d select “by land” and enter our port of entry.

You Must Be Vaccinated to Enter Canada (or Exempt)

Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic)

Currently, adults must qualify as fully vaccinated to be permitted to cross the Canadian border. Children under 5 years old are exempt from vaccination requirements and pre-entry testing. 

For children ages 5-17, it gets a bit more complicated. So, you’ll need to carefully review the requirements if you’re traveling with kids those ages.

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler to Canada, you must:

  • have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
    • or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • have received your second dose at least 14 calendar days before you enter Canada
    • Example: if your second dose was anytime on Thursday, July 1, then Thursday, July 15 would be the first day that you meet the 14 day condition
    • this timing is only required for your second dose, not for third or fourth doses
  • have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • have ArriveCAN receipt with letter A, I, or V beside your name by uploading proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN

You can easily confirm that you qualify by using this automated system to answer a few questions.

Of course, there are some exemptions to both vaccination and ArriveCAN, which you can explore if needed.

Checklist of What You Need to Have Ready at the Border

To enter Canada as a fully vaccinated traveler, you must follow all of these requirements. To go RVing across the Canadian border, you must have the following items with you for assessment by a government official at the border. 

*NOTE: land border crossings do not provide WiFi for travelers!


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What Else You Need to Know About Crossing the Canadian Border

Aside from the more recent travel requirements due to COVID, there are still plenty of other things you need to be aware of before you go RVing to Canada.

No Firearms or Fireworks

For one, you cannot bring a firearm (handgun, hunting rifle, etc.) into Canada unless you’ve gone through the (usually lengthy) process to get approval. Canada does not honor your concealed carry permit and trying to take an unapproved firearm into the country can result in serious jail time. The same is true for fireworks or explosives.

Pet Vaccination Records

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Secondly, you need to make sure to bring all vaccination records for your pets that are traveling with you. It also helps to bathe your pets before reaching the border if they’ve been playing outdoors a lot because they can deny sickly pets from crossing the border, too. Of course, if your pet is actually sick, then you shouldn’t try to take them across the border.

No Cannabis Products

Third, you cannot take cannabis or any products containing cannabis (including CBD) across the Canadian border in either direction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal at your point of entry or exit on either side of the border.

Consent Forms for Children

Fourth, if you’re traveling with children who aren’t your own, even if they are your grandchildren, you need letters of consent from the parents allowing you to take them across the border. If you are a divorced or separated parent with your children, you must bring a letter of consent from the other parent. It’s also a good idea to have a letter authorizing you to seek and consent to medical treatment for each child from the parents.

While those are the most important things to know when crossing the Canadian border, you can check out these additional tips for entering Canada.

More Resources for RVing to Canada

EZBorderCrossing is an excellent source of information about Canadian border crossing procedures. You can also refer to the CBSA website, where you can also check current wait times at the various border crossings and learn more about new restrictions.

Love Canada but want to stay state-side?

Mike and Jennifer’s Great Lakes Shoreline Tour (U.S. Side)

Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic) 2

The Great Lakes region is filled with beautiful vistas, welcoming towns and villages, and fabulous places to camp, hike, and explore.

We were so taken with the adventure of this trip that we just knew we had to write one of our Adventure Guides about it!

But instead of the usual 7 Days that some of our other guides can be done in, with this one, we’re suggesting that you budget more time. This is why we are calling it a “Tour” instead of a 7-Day Guide! There are 86 pages in this new ebook.

In this new Great Lakes Shoreline Tour we cover in detail:

  • Notable U.S. Cities/Towns along each Great Lake (US side) like; Watertown, Grand Island, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Vermillion, Mackinaw City and so many more!
  • What to See/Do Around EACH Lake like; Ocqueoc Falls Scenic Site, Les Cheneaux Islands, Antique Boat Museum, and many, many more places including BONUS side trips!
  • And good Campgrounds for each Lake (US side) – at least 4 or 5 for EACH Lake! With all the info you need to set up reservations.

Interested? 



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Mike and Jennifer’s Ultimate Michigan and Great Lakes Bundle – THREE ebooks

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This bundle contains our ever-popular Michigan Upper Peninsula 7-Stop Adventure Guide PLUS the NEW LOWER Michigan Adventure Guide PLUS the US Side Tour of the Great Lakes! This ULTIMATE Bundle will help you keep enjoying Michigan and the Great Lakes for years!


7 Responses to “Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV (Post Pandemic)”

September 20, 2022at4:27 pm, Randy Gibson said:

I can not get vaccinated because of a prior illness. (GBS)
I have prove by 2 doctors of this fact.
I have a trip planned next June with Fantasy RV Tours.
Any idea about me being able to enter Canada to Alaska?

Reply

September 21, 2022at12:53 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We just heard today (Sept. 21, 2022) that Canada is considering lifting the vax mandate for visitors – we would suggest following the news and staying in touch with your tour group for the latest, but it does sound like the Canadian government is considering dropping this requirement soon. Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

June 30, 2022at11:28 am, Angela Soriano said:

Thank you for this update! I don’t agree with being vaccinated but it’s good to know .Keep us updated because we would love to RV back to Canada some day.

Reply

July 02, 2022at9:37 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the feedback Angela and will do – Team RV Lifestyle

Reply

June 24, 2022at8:25 am, Michael McKie said:

Definitely not going to Canada anytime soon. Common logic and scientific data tells us that the vaccinated can contract and spread Covid-19 just like the unvaccinated. The Canadian entry requirements are nonsensical and arbitrary. The Canadian “leader” is one of Charles Schwab’s “best students.” Please read and educate yourself regarding the World Economic Forum and the Great Reset. They aren’t even trying to hide their agenda anymore. Read, read, and read some more…

Reply

June 24, 2022at9:15 am, Jack Brown said:

My vaccinated friends are Caravaning in Canada and Nova Scotia . They have had Covid 2x after triple vaccinated and while Caravaning in Canada have had it a 3rd time. We travel more than they do (US only) and have only had a very mild case once last February cold like symptoms but tested positive. These vaccines are a bunch of CRAP.

Reply

June 24, 2022at9:52 am, Michael McKie said:

Sorry, the data is telling us that the vaccinated are more incline to get sick multiple times vs the unvaccinated. The spike protein in the mRNA gene therapy is causing unknown side effects, including but not limited to, loss of natural antibodies and immunity from Covid. Go back and read what Fauci told the American people a year ago. The media also told you, “the vaccinated could not get or spread Covid.” This was truly the biggest lie of all.

Reply

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