RVing in Ontario for Beginners

View of a woman sitting on a lawn chair in front of a beach from inside an RV

Interest in RV travel has skyrocketed in Ontario and across Canada. It's easy to see why: RVing is an amazing, affordable, and safe alternative to air travel. It offers a great way for families and friends to travel together, without the added stress of staying at hotels and motels. Plus, all your meals, sleeping arrangements, and transportation are combined into one complete package. Renting or owning an RV basically gives you access to a little house on wheels.

From where to rent, where to camp, and what routes to travel, here are our top tips and resources to get you started. Whether it's a short or long trip, we'll help get you on the road.

Where to Rent an RV in Ontario

It's never been easier to take a road trip. If you’re looking for RV rentals in Ontario, this tool allows you to search various ways. Find rentals by province, or enter your location and how far you’re willing to travel to rent. You must be 25 years of age or older to rent.

Here are some of the best places to rent and RV in Ontario:

Where to Buy an RV

If you’re ready to buy an RV, or start exploring the option, Go RVing Canada provides a province-wide list of dealers across Ontario. You can also visit the Ontario Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (ORVDA) to find out about upcoming RV shows. The ORVDA also manages RVsForSaleOntario.ca.

Which RV is right for me?

You’re likely hearing talk of models, sizes and classes being thrown around. They’re certainly not all the same: the smaller “Class B” options are great for cities and shorter trips, but the luxury of the big rigs is hard to beat. One of the first things you need to figure out is which is the best type of RV for your needs. Go RVing Canada'sside-by-side comparison is the simplest start.

Do I Need a Special RV Licence?

In most instances, a standard G-class Ontario licence is all you need. Ontarians can tow and operate RVs with a full G licence as long as:

  • The combined weight of the motor vehicle and RV is not more than the current 11,000 kg limit
  • The RV is attached to the motor vehicle by a fifth wheel hitch hook-up
  • Only one vehicle is being towed
  • The RV meets Transport Canada manufacturing standards
  • The RV is being towed for personal use only

Where to Find RV Parks in Ontario

The easiest way to begin researching camping options in Ontario is through Ontario Parks. Their reservations site will let you input the size of your RV or trailer, and choose specific parks and campsites, or give you options based on your requirements and preferences. Some parks also offer trailer storage on site, and this page will give you the info you need to inquire about rates.

For additional RV camping options, the Camping in Ontario website allows you to search for private and family-run campgrounds and RV parks throughout the province. You can also search for RV-friendly KOA campgrounds by selecting “RV sites” in the filter options. And CampgroundReviews.com allows you to find RV Park reviews for sites all across Ontario.

Using Ontario's RV Trip Planner

If you’re looking to hit the road, but not looking forward to plotting routes and checking out maps, you don’t need to. Go Tour Ontario is an interactive resource that will give you info on 7, 10, 14, and 21-day tours in the province. Select “RV” as your travel type and enter the length of your trip—you’ll be given not only the route, but other important information such as cell coverage, construction, gas, food, tourist sights, parks, and (though you’re unlikely to need it in particular) lodging.

Get to know Ontario

Ontario is organized into 15 distinct tourism regions, each offering unique scenery, lakes, wildlife, and tourist attractions. Before you head out—or while on the road—familiarize yourself with your destination and the many things to do in each.

Make Friends Along the Way

RVers are a naturally friendly bunch, but there are going to be nights you want to know you have a place to park and will be glad for the company of other RVers. Boondockers Welcome is a membership-based resource that provides a database of members who invite you to park and stay on their property for free.

Finding a Dumping Station

Sanidump has an easy online tool that lets you search for dumping stations wherever you are.

Finding RV Repair Shops

Stuff happens. If the D.I.Y. spirit moves you—and it’s safe—you can look here on RVers Corner to find basic RV repair tips. If you're stuck and need some help right away, contact the nearest RV dealer. If they can't help you themselves, they'll be able to recommend the best local mechanic.

Travel on a budget

One of the web's most valuable sources for affordable RV lifestyle tips, Frugal RV Travel, demystifies road adventures for the more frugal adventurer. Marianne and Randy took their first trip by RV in the year 2000, both in their late 40s at the time, and have been going—and sharing their wealth of knowledge—ever since. If a life lived completely on the road is something that appeals to you, you're not alone. Read this to plan proactively to get the most out of extended time on the road.

Try Something Different

Harvest Hosts offers self-contained RVers free overnight stays on the grounds of participating farms and wineries in exchange for their patronage at their food and wine shops. This unique RVing experience is also membership-based, with hosts across North America, including several in Ontario.

Learn the History of RV Travel

Travelling with a house on your back has been an adventurer’s rite of passage for a long time. These historical photos will take you back to how RVing was done in its earliest incarnations.

Join the club(s)

Good Sam offers discounts and services to RV owners in Canada and the US. Good Sam Club is an organization of RV owners, that helps folks living on the road make the most of their time and resources. Good Sam Service offers roadside assistance, motor home financing, insurance, travel assistance, and more.

Motor Home Travel Canada can set you up with rentals, new and used sales, service and parts. They also run the Recreational Vehicle Management Program, which creates opportunities to make rental income on your motorhome.

You’re all set to begin enjoying the RV lifestyle. And you’ll learn more with each new adventure. Now get out there!

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

Many tourism experiences require advance bookings or have restrictions in place due to COVID 19. It is important to check directly with the business operator before you travel. Get the most up-to-date information now.

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip.