A class C motorhome parked by the side of the road with a beautiful lake and aspen trees and ice capped mountain view.

Can You Take a Rented RV Across The Border?

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You may be wondering if it’s possible to rent an RV and travel across the border. I can say the first time rented an RV, we drove from Toronto Canada into the US and back to Canada. Or you may be thinking of renting an RV in the US and crossing the border. So let’s look at: can you take a rented RV across the border? 

Some RV rental companies offer across-the-border rental under certain circumstances. Before renting the RV verify that they allow crossing the border. Then when you actually cross the border be prepared with documentation to make the crossing go smoothly.

You should know, rental prices across the border may be more expensive since some can still be considered as international travel. Plus, many rental companies and RV owners offer great deals and packages for your smooth and memorable RVing experience. 

If you are planning on traveling in a rented RV across the border keep reading. This article is your ultimate guide to help you with a smooth and unforgettable first trip across the border.

The photo below is of us picking up a rental motorhome to drive over the border.

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Picking up our RV Rental in Canada

Just to share with you, I did this renting in Toronto going across to New York and back to Niagara so I am speaking based on my own experience. I encountered US Border patrol in one direction and Canadian Border Patrol in the other.

Can You Take a Rented RV to Canada?

Ahhh a Canadian road trip! One of the great RV destinations on a cross-border trip is in  Canada. Just like the US, it offers many scenic views and places with many campsites where you can park and sleep with your rented RV.

The good news is, many RV rental companies and owners will allow you to take your rented RV to Canada. But you have to let them know that you plan to do it beforehand. Each rental company has different rules when going across the border and there might be some rules and regulations that you may think won’t be suitable for you.

Split in the road leading towards USA or Canada with stop sign
FlagtailsPhotography via Canva.com

I always suggest you start with Outdoorsy and RVezy to rent an RV. You can read about them more in detail here:

Aside from that, the rental price of an RV across the border may be more expensive than renting one for local trips. However, it also could be included in the price as ours was. So it’s better to ask the company first to avoid any unexpected fees and you won’t be surprised. 

Where to Rent an RV to Take Across the Border

US, Canada Border Security Flags
stacey_newman via Canva.com

RV rental companies such as Cruise America, CanaDream offer RV to take across the border. Some RV owners who are renting out their rigs on a peer to peer platforms like Outdoorsy and RVezy also offer RV rental across the border. Each of them has different prices, rules, and packages so make sure that you look into it. 

One of the most common and important rules of these rental companies and owners is to let them know that you are planning to take the RVs across the border.

Things to Consider when Crossing Borders using Rented RVs 

Bronze Government plaque located on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls that separates the US and Canada.
tillsonburg via Canva.com

When traveling across the border for the first time, it’s always better if you are well prepared and you already know the things that you need to consider. Although traveling across the border may not require a visa, you will be required to have a passport. It is still considered international travel, and each country still follows different rules and regulations, laws, and currencies. 

Note: If you are visiting from another country other than the US or Canada, make sure to know the rules that apply to you for crossing the border.

That being said, here are the things that you need to consider when crossing borders using rented RVs. 

  • Policy
  1. Firearms or any deadly weapons are strictly prohibited in Canada.
  2. Do not bring illegal drugs or any medicines that have no prescription
  3. Excessive amounts of money or amounts more than $10,000.00 are not allowed.
  4. Plan your destination and have an itinerary ready as the Border Agents will ask for it. They will also ask how long you’re going to stay there as staying over 180 days will already require a travel visa.
  5. When at the customs, you need to take off your hats and glasses.
  6. You may be asked to not chew gum while at the customs.
  7. Have your RV shades and blinds open for Border agents to see what’s inside your rig.
  8. Be prepared for the Border Agents to board you rig if they want to. You amy be required to have an inspection.
  9. Each country has foods that they are concerned about so check about foods and other things you will need to delcare at customs. We were not allowed to take grapes over the border.
  10. Any traffic violation, while you are on the other side of the border, will not be covered by the rental companies and RV owners.
  • Price

Renting a recreational vehicle across the country ranges from $50 to $300 per night depending on which type of rig you’ll rent. If you plan to rent one and take it across the border, you have to expect that these prices can be higher. 

Along with that, you need to talk to the rental company and RV owner about the other fees and expenses that you may incur while on the other side of the border. This is most especially for the gas mileage fee. This may also get higher when you take the RV across the border.

  • Documents
  1. Make sure you have your printed rental and insurance paperwork with you as Border agents will ask for it.
  2. If you’re bringing your pet with you, bring their updated vaccination record. 
  3. Bring your valid passport. Including everyone who is going on a trip with you.
  4. You may also need a notarized Border Crossing Permission letter from the RV owner as proof that they are aware and they allow you to take the RV across the border. 
  5. If you or anyone traveling with you needs to take medicines, make sure to ask for the doctor’s updated prescription and medical certificate that you can show to the Borger Agents.
  • Insurance

As for the insurance, you need to check whether the rental company will still cover you in their insurance once you go across the border. Furthermore, the RV rental company should provide you with a non-resident insurance card that you will need to bring with you.

Important Related Questions:

The Niagara Falls , USA and Canada border
ANUJAK via Canva.com

Can I rent an RV in the US and return it to a different location?

Some RV companies and RV owners who are renting out their rigs through peer-to-peer platforms allow a one-way rental. But of course, there might be an additional return or pick-up fee. 

Can I bring guns and alcohol in my RV when crossing borders?

Handguns and assault rifles are not allowed when you are crossing the border into Canada. They are very strict on this! If you fail to declare your weapon it will be destroyed, you will pay a fine, and possibly spend time in jail.

Hunting guns such as shotguns and rifles are allowed with special permission and documentation.

For alcohol, you can bring some for personal use. At least 5 liters or two bottles of wine per person or 24 cans of beer per person are allowed. 

What Food can You take in RV Across Canada us border  

Bringing food while crossing the border isn’t recommended. Of course, this is difficult logic to follow when you are vacationing in an RV with a fridge and storage.

There will be restrictions, especially on meat, dairy food, and some fruits. The best thing to do is to buy your food once you’re already on the other side of the border. Then, make sure that you eat all of it before going back.

However, this is not always possible. So know the rules for importing food and be prepared at customs. (We were caught off-guard when the Border Patrol asked about grapes)

Can I Travel with My Pet across the border?

Traveling across the border with your pet is allowed. You just have to make sure that you bring his most updated vaccination record and other essentials it may need. However, expect additional expenses and charges in case your pet gets sick on the day of the trip because Border Agents might not allow it to be taken with you or they may request for them to be examined by a veterinarian who is not of course be free.

Final Thoughts on Taking Rented RV Across The Border

 Going on a trip across the border is such a great plan. Just imagine an amazing experience for everyone to be traveling in an RV in a different country with your loved ones, your family, and friends.

Although I would understand if after reading all the things that you need to bring and consider, you might be thinking that it’s too much work and a hassle. 

However, if you will just make sure that you take note and follow these guides and tips I have shared above, you will have a smooth, hassle, and stress-free travel across the border. 

Lastly, expect that crossing the border may cause some delays due to some situations that you can’t control. So it would be better if you can think of something that you can do while waiting to be cleared at the customs. Perhaps, play some travel trivia or write down the sights and memories while on the road.
Speaking of journals you might be interested in what I have in store. I’ll appreciate it greatly if you take a look.

If you are interested, here are our other road trip posts series:

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

    Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

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