When we took our Long Long Honeymoon across across Canada, we stayed in a number of private campgrounds. We love staying in nice wooded campgrounds with full hookup amenities.

But we also did our share of “overnight parking” — stopping in places such as Wal-Mart, Flying J, and even a friend’s driveway. I’m grateful that we RV’ers have these options when traveling.

Even though we prefer to stay in parks, there are times when doing so simply doesn’t make sense. My wife and I often travel during the evening; sometimes we don’t stop for the night until 9 or 10 o’clock. Checking into a campground would be a lot of hassle for a short stay.

The beauty of “overnight parking” goes beyond the attractive (free) price tag. It’s also a matter of convenience. There’s no check in procedure, no check out time, and no site assignment. There’s no paperwork or red tape. It’s liberating.

If you have ever undertaken a major RV trip across the United States, you know what I mean. But have you tried it in Canada?

I’m happy to report that overnight parking works pretty much the same in Canada as it does in the United States. There’s no shortage of Wal-Marts in Canada, and they are generally quite welcoming to RV travelers. Just park in a remote corner, be a good citizen, and do a little shopping. You should also check for signs — some Wal-Marts have designated certain areas of parking lot for overnight parkers.

Flying J ups the ante on Wal-Mart just a bit. Although these parking lots are usually noisy (thanks to the ongoing presence of large trucks) they also have free dump stations and fresh water. For $5 one can purchase a 24-hour wifi access pass. Although I usually grumble about paying a surcharge for wifi, in this case I could not complain.

Yes, you can “overnight park” in Canada the same as in the United States. Given the wonderful opportunities for travel throughout our northern neighbor, this is good news for us all.

For more fun RV videos and articles, check out our AWARD-WINNING website: LongLongHoneymoon.com. It was recently named the #5 RV blog on the Internet! That merits a click, dontcha think?

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  6. Pam

    Glad to hear that you made it north of the border! There are lots of options for overnight ‘stops’ when you aren’t going to be there long enough to enjoy the pool and other facilities. We have stayed at casinos and highway service centres in Ontario, rest stops in Quebec (just east of Quebec city is a 24 hour, well-lit and quiet one), and yes, many a wal-mart, too. A campground at $40 seems high to me – I don’t think we have ever paid more than $30. Passport America and Good Sam discounts work here, too. I hope you get back again next summer – there is so much beauty to see and crossing the border really isn’t a hassle (with your passport in hand, of course). Thanks for spreading the word that Canada is a great place for RV holidays.

  7. Hi Ty, Canada definitely warrants the passport application.

    Recently I read that USA/Canada tourism is DOWN due both to the economy and recent passport requirements.

    I know, I know…. Getting a passport is a bit of a hassle. But the upside is so worth it! Once you start collecting passport stamps, you may not want to stop at Canada… 🙂

  8. Ty

    hi there from colorado. i’ve never been to canada but would really like to go someday. one reason is stories like this. guess we’d better hurry and get a passport while we can.

  9. @John, thanks, that is good to know. I did get the impression that Wal-Mart is an exception to the general rule. But the same holds true in the United States — Wal-Mart is more RV-friendly than most other big box stores of its type.

    Denis (or should I say The Knee) LOL… I am glad you have taken my comments about Canada in the good natured spirit intended. We loved our time in Ontario and Quebec; in fact, it was one of the highlights of our recent trip. I hope that more American RVers will take some time to explore the many sights of Canada.

    Laissez les bon temps roulez!


  10. The Knee

    Hummm! I am Canadian, and francophone from Québec….
    I sometime I feel the same way you feel….When I am south of the Canadian border…
    Maybe it is because you (I) miss home when you are away just like I do.
    Keep up the good work, I enjoy you video.
    But I will not hold it against you. LOL
    The Knee (or Denis, when you pronounce it the French way) 🙂

  11. John Jackman

    I am a Canadian who works at a large box store (not Wal-Mart) and can say from experience that most of this type of store discourages overnight parking. Wal-Mart may be the exception to the rule. There are many Wal-Marts in Canada especially large citys and the adjacent smaller citites but when you are off the main throughfares you may find it tough to find one.