A Canada Travel Guide for RVers — Adjusting to Metric

Towing a fifth-wheel on the road to Jasper National Park, Alberta. RV canada travel checklist

See our ongoing coverage of Canada’s 150th birthday in the following weeks.

RV canada travel checklistAn RV Canada Travel Guide for your northern trip.

If you’re considering taking an RV trip to Canada from the United States for the first time, there may be a few things you should know. As far as the border crossing, it’s best to refer to the Canada Border Services Agency for details on what to bring and what to leave behind.

Once into Canada, your adventure begins. One of the first things you’ll notice is speed limits posted in KMH (Kilometers per hour). If your vehicle’s speedometer is only calibrated in MPH, here’s a simple breakdown.

50 kmh  =  31 mph

70 kmh =  43 mph

80 kmh =  50 mph

90 kmh =  56 mph

100 kmh = 62 mph

110 kmh = 68 mph

120 kmh = 75 mph

As you would expect, destination signage is in kilometers, as well. Short distances of 1 km or less are displayed in “m” (Meters). There are 1000 m in 1 km, so a sign indicating a turn-off in “500 m” would mean ½ km ahead.

RV Canada Travel Checklist — Getting Fuel and Clearance for Your Canada RV Trip

In addition, fuel stations indicate price by the liter, and not by the gallon; it takes about 3.8 liters to make a gallon. Keep this in mind as you shop for gas in Canada.

Now, with your RV, there are a couple of other signs you need to observe: overhead clearance and maximum vehicle weight. Overhead clearances are displayed in “m” (Meters).  Here, 1 m = 3.37 feet.  Therefore, a bridge showing a clearance of 4 m would be just under 13’ – 1′ ½”.   Weight limits are in “tonnes”—metric tons.  One metric tonne equals 2,240 pounds. So, you should calculate the metric measurements of your RV and keep it in your rig for later use. Make it part of your RV Canada travel checklist.

Bon Appetit: What to Eat on Your Canada RV Trip

Let’s go into a store to replenish your food stocks. In Canada, items sell for price per lbs., per kg., per 100 mg., per liter, per ml, etc.  The pricing by the pound is not very common, however.  Also, employees won’t always know how much a pound or a number of ounces is in metric; it might be up to you to do this math.

Regardless of the differences, an RV journey to Canada is the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!

Peter Mercer—With a Look at Canada

Leave a Reply


  1. Anonymous

    Please get your abbreviations correct on the speed limit signs it is KMH, not KPH.

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      KPH is also used according to the Wikipedia. KMH is, however more common.

  2. Anonymous

    Well, you should mention that it’s cheap for you to travel to Canada compare to us in USA with your dollar about 35% higher than CA. The rest is peanut on comparison. Welcome southerners and enjoy your trip.

  3. Anonymous

    Hi Peter, I’m doing a story for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., about Canada 150. Anecdotally, have you heard about bigger numbers of American RVers coming north of the border to explore the National Parks this year?

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      Well, we look forward to our friends from the U.S. coming up and enjoying what Canada has to offer. There is plenty of space up here, so come on!