Skip to Content

RV Travel Restrictions: Where RVers are still NOT welcome

| Updated Jun 16, 2020

There are still a lot of RV travel restrictions out there, even though much of North America seems to be opening up.

The most noteworthy examples right now are in two Canadian provinces where American RVers are being turned in to authorities for violating RV travel restrictions on nonessential travel.

Resentment against American RVvers who violate the COVID-19 RV travel restrictions have some folks in Alberta and Brtish Columbia more than angry. They're calling the cops.

RV travel restrictions are in effect telling RVers to Stay Away in many spots

Take what happened when a group of Americans stopped to eat dinner at a restaurant in Banff. The very sight of the Americans triggered locals to call authorities.

And then there was the case of a group of American RVers stopping for a night to camp in a private British Columbia campground. They also triggered a call to authorities for violating RV travel restrictions.

Both groups of Americans apparently told border guards they would drive straight through Canada to Alaska.

But when they stopped to eat and camp, locals were not happy.

Americans violating RV travel restrictions in British Columbia

In the case at the British Columbia campground, the campground owners were told the Americans had to quarantine there for 14 days because they violated RV travel restrictions. 

So the Americans were forced to move to an out of the way spot and not leave, with the private campground owners forced to buy their food and bring it to them during the quarantine – furthering the resentment. (You can read the story here.)

The U.S./Canadian border is closed to nonessential travel until July 21, 2020. That would normally include RVs but Canadian border officials have been letting some through if they said they were going to Alaska and only passing through.

So American tourists have apparently been making it across. But they aren't necessarily going to Alaska. They lied.

Consider this Facebook post from last week:

RV Travel Restrictions: Where RVers are still NOT welcome 1

When asked about the situation and RV travel restrictions, the Canada Border Services Agency told CTV News that “healthy, non-symptomatic foreign nationals” are allowed to drive through Canada for “non-discretionary purposes,” including going to Alaska.

“Transiting travelers will be asked to limit stops along the way and practice social distancing when making essential stops (i.e. facilities use),” said Ashley Lemire, media relations manager with the CBSA. “As per the handout provided upon entry into Canada, travelers should use a drive-thru to stop for food and pay for gas at the pump whenever possible. Additionally, for any period of time in which they are not traveling, for example, if required to spend the night in a hotel (orcampground), then travelers are required to quarantine (for 14 days).”

Again, as we've been reporting here, there are still places fearful of the COVID-19 virus being brought there by outsiders.

The border closing to nonessential travel is in effect until June 21. It is not yet clear whether it will then be lived or whether it will be extended.

But one thing is clear: British Columbia state parks have banned their provincial parks to anyone who is not a resident of BC. 

And there are still plenty of RV travel restrictions in the U.S.

For example, Alsaka is not very welcoming right now either.

Everyone entering Alaska from another state or country must follow one of the following options:

  • Take a test within 72 hours prior to departure and bring negative test results when you travel, fill out a travel declaration form on arrival, then minimize interactions pending the results of a second test administered within 7-14 days of arrival. 
  • Take a test within 72 hours prior to departure and travel with results still pending, fill out a travel declaration form, quarantine until you receive negative test results, then minimize interactions pending the results of a second test administered within 7-14 days of arrival. 
  • Travel without prior testing, fill out a travel declaration form and take a test upon arrival, self-quarantine pending a negative test result, then minimize interactions pending the results of a second test administered within 7-14 days of arrival. 

That is not very encouraging for those wanting to go to Alaska right now. But for now, it's beyond me why anyone would want to take an Alaskan RV trip at this time.

Then there's Orgon, where officials say they will keep six of their most popular campgrounds on   Coast closed through Labor Day.

Campendum has done an awesome job of tracking what is open and what is not open.

Ten out of 50 state park campgrounds systems are currently closed, have delayed opening, or are open to state residents  As of the weekend, 15.71% of U.S. based campsites listed on Campendium are closed due to COVID-19, down from a high of 46%in late April.only: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia

So, all this reporting in this article is to let you know that it is still not normal out there for RVers. 

Here is more information as you plan your RV travel this summer amidst continuing RV travel restrictions

Get regular RV travel ideas, tips, news, and perks!

Each Monday we publish our RV Lifestyle Newsletter, where we share weekly articles about RV travel that inspire and inform. As soon as you sign up, we'll send you for free the RV travel checklist that Jennifer and I use. You can save it to your computer and print it out for every trip like we do. No more forgetting things!  Plus, besides the insider's newsletter each Monday, you'll get lots of special perks and RV discounts. 
Enter your info below and you are in!
[mc4wp_form id=”49345″]

Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-06-16

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

24 Responses to “RV Travel Restrictions: Where RVers are still NOT welcome”

September 19, 2020at5:09 pm, Debbie said:

Seriously folks….is it really that hard to follow social distancing, wear a mask when you can’t, wash or sanitize your hands – AND – follow the Canadian – USA border rules during this pandemic? As Canadians we cannot cross the border to use our paid for campsites – and we would not even attempt to break the rules. For two reasons… – it is the rule and we respect that – and two – we are not comfortable that many of the people in the USA are working at trying to do the things they need to in order to help reduce the spread of the virus. This is not a joke…don’t make it one.

June 19, 2020at3:34 pm, Kathy said:

Hi! We are planning to camp in Maine from July 20 through 31. I know that they have A quarantine period,but I also heard that they have an alternative: be tested for COVID 19 within 72 hours of entering the state. I would appreciate any updates on this and ,if anyone knows,where to get tested. We will be in MA for a week or two before going to ME. Thanks!

June 19, 2020at12:07 am, Donna Lucas Weiss said:

I, also, never received the packing list.

June 18, 2020at9:09 am, Cindy Kirby said:

What are your suggestions and advice for those of us who live in our RVs with no house, apartment, to go “home” to.
Our RV IS our home. We can’t afford anything else at this time. We need to be able to park it.

June 17, 2020at5:13 am, RV Journey Restrictions: The place RVers are nonetheless NOT welcome - said:

[…] to learn the article in its authentic location you may go to the hyperlink bellow: if you wish to take away this text from our website please contact […]

June 16, 2020at11:26 pm, Jill Spanheimer said:

I did not get the packing list or several of the Monday information. You do such a great service for me as a new RV traveler that I don’t want miss anything you write.

June 16, 2020at9:03 pm, Richard M Ward said:

Just want to thank you for all your vital and pertinent information .Did the rv lifestyle exist in a printed mode for several years?

June 16, 2020at6:28 pm, Pam Baker said:

I agree, stay out of Canada until they welcome us back!
On another note, our RVs are a lot of people’s homes so staying home is easy and hard when your home has wheels during these times. Some don’t have the benefit of a place to permanently park or family to go to.

June 16, 2020at6:10 pm, John D Goldsmith said:

If someone at a campground is partying all night and I report them, does that make me an anti-RV’er? If someone is driving erratically, endangering other motorists and I report them does that make me an anti-driver? Why then would I (or someone else) be labelled anti-American for reporting someone who is breaking, flaunting or ignoring our (Canadian) laws and endangering our health. Does this mean I can head down to the USA (when the border is open), drive like a mad fool and when arrested say, I’m Canadian. I didn’t feel like following your laws”? Could I label the arresting officer as, “anti-Canadian”?

Yes Mike and Jennifer, there are still places fearful of the COVID-19 virus being brought there by outsiders. Perhaps a lot more places should be fearful as well, give the huge spikes in infection being experienced by many areas of North America.

June 16, 2020at4:08 pm, Carl Hagen said:

The Canadians are not the rude ones, it is the Americans. Why do we have to lie to to get our way. I totally understand the phrase “the ugly American”.

June 16, 2020at3:30 pm, Idahoan said:

There is a valid reason why cross-border travel is restricted. Lying to Border officials in order to gain access is dishonest, dangerous, and ILLEGAL. These Texans only served to reenforce the “Ugly American” stereotype that is often times very deserved (i.e. “The rules apply to everyone BUT ME because I’m an American, after all.”). Be respectful of our Northern neighbors! As an Idahoan, I have greatly resented the prevalence of California plates in our state through the worst (so far) of the pandemic, knowing that there is no way every one of these people are going to voluntarily self-quarantine. Heck, I’ve watched them freely waltzing around in public! If I’ve got to follow the LAW then EVERYONE needs to follow the law. No exceptions!

June 16, 2020at3:20 pm, Dex said:

Meh. Sounds more like an issue with incompetent boarder patrol. Besides, there are plenty of beautiful locations for RVers in the US. and boarder crossing is just not worth dealing with rude Canadians anyway.

June 16, 2020at1:22 pm, J. Howard said:

Mike, it seems like you are downplaying the importance of the shelter in place orders of some areas and wanting RVs to get out here and camp at any cost. I realize it is what you do and we appreciate your service in ordinary times. These are not, and while RVing can help the mind and spirit, it is not an essential activity.

June 16, 2020at1:02 pm, Jodie said:

We…in BC are working so hard to keep our numbers down. Most people are following the recommendations. US numbers have been and still are through the roof. Why on earth would we welcome US visitors through the border when it would cause our numbers to increase. Why would you blatantly lie to officials during these scary times. You have your own country to explore. Leave Alaska till next year for all our sakes. IT ISNT ALL ABOUT YOU!!!!

June 16, 2020at12:48 pm, Michael said:

It’s not that Canadians don’t welcome or appreciate our American friends but there is a reason why new cases are surging in many US states. New infections are the barometer of how prevalent the virus is in the community… not hospitalizations. Until containment is under control, don’t be selfish and sacrifice a bit for everyone’s benefit. The sooner that happens, the sooner we can all get back to enjoying our favorite pastime with those we enjoy it with.

June 16, 2020at12:34 pm, Noë Doug said:

Breaking News Border ?? ?? Update
Canadian border has extended the closure of non essential travels until July 21, 2020.

Dear Americans please be respectful and don’t take the loophole to travel around Canada until the border IS open for all travelers.

June 16, 2020at12:34 pm, Stephen Faber said:

I arrived in Maine on 6-13. I knew that I’m sentenced to a 14 day quarantine and I’m serving that now. I was told when I called to verify my summer stay that I’d be allowed to leave the campground for essentials like groceries, laundry etc. Upon arrival I was told all that changed. I don’t want to violate the rules but don’t change the game.

June 16, 2020at11:33 am, Neal said:

If you lie and violate the law you should expect the consequences. People doing so make it worse for everyone. It is not the fault of the authorities nor the residents who report violators that there is resentment it is the RVers who try to cheat and then claim the resents is bad. Grow up and be responsible for your actions.

June 16, 2020at11:07 am, Shelley Dennis said:

Interesting that Canadian border guards are letting some through if they use the excuse that they are going straight to Alaska, as it is at least a 2 to 3 day drive from Montana border stations…

June 16, 2020at11:00 am, Robert Helgeson said:

New Zealand closed its borders, restricted travel internally, and has now eradicated the virus.

June 16, 2020at10:47 am, Rod Vokey said:

We are still sitting at home. Quebec guidelines still discourage non-essential travel outside our “region” even though camping is opening. That leaves us to tour the island of Montreal. Even much of Quebec is offering Montrealers a double-barrel welcome. The Atlantic provinces are closed to us for 2020 so my brother is out of range. The Roadtrek is ready to roll but we have nowhere to go. Don’t be surprised if we don’t appreciate “white lies” from “special people”

June 16, 2020at10:34 am, Chuck said:

Go camping, enjoy life while you can.

June 16, 2020at10:27 am, Dave and Peggy said:

I have already signed up for the newsletter, have been getting it and enjoying it. What I would like though is the packing list you mentioned for signing up.I never got one.
Have a great day

June 16, 2020at8:22 am, Linda said:

I would think people would want to stay closer to home this summer. Bring restricted is not easy, but it is not that difficult to follow.
Stay safe and be smart – only absolutely necessary travel should be done. And vacations are NOT necessary where health and well-being are compromised.

Comments are closed.

Back to top