Is it legal to ride in a truck camper in Canada? (laws by province)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it legal to ride in a truck camper in Canada? We will discuss the laws regarding truck campers, trailers and motorhomes in Canada. We will also give you a few tips to make the most of your RV trip. 

Is it legal to ride in a truck camper in Canada?

With the exception of three provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia), it is legal to ride in a truck camper in Canada. Nonetheless, the passengers must always wear a seat belt while the truck camper is in motion. You may have, thus, to equip your camper with new seatbelts. 

Laws in Canada concerning RVs are as follows:

ProvinceSeat Belts mandatory (Y/N)Child Seats required for under (lbs)Right turn on redRiding in truck campers (Y/N)Triple Towing
BCY40YYNot Allowed
ABY40YY20 mmax
SKY40YY23 min 5thWheel
MBY50YY23 min 5thWh
ONY80YY23 mmax
QUY40NY23 mmax
NBY40YN23 mmax
PEIY40YN23 mmax
NSY40YN23 mmax
NFLDY40YY23 mmax

Do you need a special license to drive a truck camper in Canada?

 No, to travel in a truck camper, or any other motorhome, you simply need to hold a regular driving license, using the Latin alphabet, valid in your country of origin and obtained for more than 12 months.

  • Equipment on board. As in a car, you must have a safety triangle and a reflective vest on board the motorhome. In the US, a second triangle is even necessary (to indicate your presence in both directions).
  • Safety distances. Motorhomes over 7 meters must, outside built-up areas, keep a distance of at least 50 meters behind combinations of vehicles over 7 meters and behind heavy goods vehicles. On roads with more than two lanes in the same direction of travel, combinations of vehicles with a GVWR of more than 3.5 tonnes may only use the two lanes furthest to the right.
  • A maximum number of people on board. The number of people authorized to take the road in a motorhome is entered on the vehicle’s registration card. It generally corresponds to the number of seats fitted with a seat belt. For a motorhome, there may be a difference between the number of places listed on the registration card and the number of beds.
  • Seat belt for everyone. Onboard any type of motorhome, just like in a car, the driver and all passengers must be strapped in!
  • Speed ​​limits in truck campers and motorhomes. Motorhome regulations also mean paying attention to speed limits. For a motorhome with a GVWR of less than or equal to 3.5 T, then the speed limits are identical to those applied to a car. 

On the other hand, for “heavy goods” motorhomes (whose GVWR is greater than 3.5 T), the limitations are different: 110 km / h on motorways, 100 km / h on roads with two carriageways separated by a central reservation, and 80 km / h on other roads.

  • Mandatory technical inspection. For a truck camper, the technical control must be carried out within 6 months preceding the 4th anniversary of its first entry into service. This check must then be repeated every two years. As with a car over 4 years old, it will be necessary, in the event of a sale, to present a technical inspection of fewer than 6 months.

In terms of cost, the technical control will be around 10 euros more expensive if we compare it with that of a car.

Motorhome regulations: the authorized weight for truck campers

The maximum authorized weight of a trailer is indicated via box F3 of the motorhome registration card:

The maximum weight of your trailer = F3 – GVWR To be able to tow a trailer, you must have a GVWR less than or equal to 750 kg. You will also be required to have the B license if your vehicle’s GVWR is less than or equal to 3500 kg.

If you want to transport a camper weighing more than 750 kg or if the addition of the GVWR of the motorhome and the trailer exceeds 4250 kg, you will then need to have a BE license.

Is it safe to ride in a truck camper?

When it comes to your safety while riding in a truck camper, we must say we are concerned. Although most motorhomes have seats with seat belts, there is little chance that a truck camper will be equipped with them. If the driver collides with something, the passengers inside the truck camper will jerk and potentially be injured. Campers are also not equipped with airbags or advanced safety features.

Even if the driver avoids a collision, unsafe driving practices can also endanger passengers in the truck camper. For example, the driver may have to swerve unexpectedly to avoid an obstacle. If he does, unsecured items inside the camper could collide with the passengers. Being pushed against the trailer walls can also hurt!

And while the person towing the truck camper may be a reliable driver, they cannot predict the behaviour of other drivers. Another driver could hit the truck camper from behind or from the side.

There is also the possibility that the hitch will disengage, leaving the camper in the middle of the road. And while unlikely, it can be dangerous if the truck camper disconnects at high speed. So while many states allow travel in towed vehicles, it’s not worth the risk.

Where to drive, park and sleep with a truck camper in Canada?

 Travelling in a camper is a promise of comfort and conviviality: a real mobile home that simplifies day-to-day logistics, and which allows for wonderful moments of family sharing.

However, it should be kept in mind, behind the wheel of a motorhome, the freedom to travel is not entirely complete either. In Canada, it is forbidden to travel in large cities in a motorhome: to visit Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, you will necessarily have to park on the outskirts.

In addition, here it is absolutely necessary to sleep on registered campgrounds. To spend the night, therefore, exclude the options at rest areas or in a shopping centre, otherwise, you risk fines.

As an indication, depending on the season, the destination, the number of services offered and the length of the vehicle, the cost of an overnight camping trip will vary between $ 40 and $ 90.

When to travel by camper in Canada?

The ideal time to rent a camper in Canada is from June to September, in the height of the summer season when Mother Nature is finally getting in on the game. Although it is possible to rent a vehicle from May until October, however, avoid travelling by motorhome within these slots.

Unfortunate downsides to the motorhome experience, before and after summer, temperatures will be cold, especially at night, especially since many campsites and tourist attractions will be closed for the low season.

Travelling in a camper is more advantageous than a truck camper: myth or reality?

 Yes, it’s true, travelling in a camper means having your own little mobile home, and with your family, you can bypass accommodation costs which could quickly increase, especially in the high summer season.

But in your calculation, do not forget to forecast the fuel consumption, which can also quickly increase …

Remember that a motorhome consumes between 12 and 30 litres per 100 km: the price per litre of gasoline hovers around $ 1.30 CAD, a trip of 2000 km, for example, will cost you at least 400$ in fuel.

The bottom line

Whatever you choose, please make sure you are safe for the entire ride in your truck camper. Our best advice would be to always be seated with a seatbelt on, just to protect yourself from any unpredictable injuries. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Is it legal to ride in a truck camper in Canada?

Can you stay in a truck camper without the truck?

Yes, you can stay in a truck camper without the truck. As long as you park it legally and in a secure place, you are more than welcome to camp in your truck camper!

Can you travel in the back of a motorhome without seatbelts?

The answer is no, you can’t travel in the back of a motorhome without seatbelts as long as the vehicle is moving. Even though you may not consider it dangerous, the law obliges you to wear the seatbelt even as a passenger in the back of an RV. 

How should a child travel in a truck camper?

First of all, a child should never travel in a moving truck camper. Yes, truck campers are perfect vehicles for a family trip. Not only do they give us the freedom and autonomy that no other travel option can give us, but they are a great family experience that children will remember throughout their lives. 

References