How to do International Rentals and US/ Canada Border Crossings

Joshua SchukmanMarch 29, 2024

How to do International Rentals and US/ Canada Border Crossings

When it comes to cross-border traveling, Outdoorsy has your back. We support international rentals (US/Canada) every step of the way with our insurance and roadside assistance. That said, there are a few things you’ll want to know before taking your RV over the border. 

RVs For Rent Near You

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If you are looking to travel to Canada, it is brimming with natural beauty and pristine campsites that are dying to be explored. Canada also has some of the hippest RVs for rent on the Outdoorsy platform – like this vintage VW Westfalia Campervan for rent just outside Vancouver. 

If you’re Canadian, the U.S. offers an array of new climates and terrains. Places like Joshua Tree and The Badlands are unlike anywhere else on earth. The U.S. also has many spectacular public lands where you can park your RV for free and see spaces that are different from any up north.

Joshua Tree National is a great place to park your windows.

I’m Canadian, how can I rent an RV in the U.S.?

Outdoorsy keeps this very straightforward and we support international driver’s licenses. This means that once you rent an RV in the U.S., you’ll be good to drive it with your valid Canadian license. Our insurance and roadside assistance will cover you as well. Whether you fly or drive to the U.S. to pick up your rented RV, you’ll just need your passport to get across the border. Many RV owners on Outdoorsy are accustomed to international renters – they’ll make the process very smooth for you.

I’m a U.S. Citizen, how can I rent an RV in the U.S.?

See above. 🙂 We work to keep international rentals as smooth as possible. You’ll be totally covered during your northern road trip. To cross the border and pick up your rental, you only need a valid U.S. driver’s license and a passport.

What if I want to cross the U.S./Canadian border in my rented RV?

No problem! But, there are several things you need to not get your vacation held up by customs. Here’s a step-by-step process to ensure border-crossing bliss:

  • Always let the RV owner know what you plan to do – When you’re messaging the RV owner on Outdoorsy, be sure to mention that you’d like to take their rig internationally. Get their written consent – via email, text, or an Outdoorsy direct message. 
  • Have your rental+insurance paperwork printed and with you – Border agents are okay with you bringing a rental vehicle across the border, but they will often ask for documentation proving this.
  • Everyone in the vehicle needs a valid passport with them – Nothing will stop your international road trip sooner than a passenger without his/her passport – don’t let this be you.
  • No weapons of any kind can be on board – This includes guns, switchblade knives, and mace. 
  • Any pets in the RV must have up-to-date vaccination records—don’t let furballs ruin your road trip.
  • No produce, meat, or dairy – Try to buy your food once you hit the other side of the border and eat it before you get back.
  • Take off sunglasses, hats, and don’t chew gum – Not sure why border agents don’t like gum chewing, but better to keep in their good graces.
  • Open all shades and blinds – The easier you make it for border agents to peer inside the less likely they’ll be to want to search inside.
  • Know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there – This is a question they always ask – be prepared.
  • Plan for possible delays – Some U.S./Canada border crossings are prone to longer lines. Also, if agents decide to search your RV that’ll take longer. Build a ‘just-in-case’ buffer into your trip to travel stress-free.

Renting internationally or taking an RV across the US/Canada border might seem like quite the journey, but if you stick to the guide above, you’ll travel smoothly. Those of us who live the Outdoorsy life love adventure, and venturing into a new country on wheels is a heck of a way to keep the adventure alive. We’d love to see you take your road trip international!

Joshua Schukman, Outdoorsy Author

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