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5 Unique Countries to Explore in an RV

Forget road-tripping across the United States. Why not explore different countries in an RV instead?

However, some foreign nations are better able to handle recreational vehicles than others. You’ll want to know if a destination is equipped for RVers before you make travel plans.

Today, we’re looking at some of the best countries to tour in an RV. So grab your passport and get ready to travel the world.

Let’s get into it!

An RV parked beside a beautiful tree under millions of stars
Explore the Strzelecki desert in South Australia with an RV

What Is It Like Exploring Other Countries in an RV?

RVing in other countries is much different than in the United States. For starters, the vehicles tend to be considerably smaller. Instead of massive 40-foot campers, you’ll find rigs that are 20 to 26 feet long. In addition, most don’t have slides or black tanks to worry about. While very different, many find they’re easy to get used to.

There’s a reason that the vehicles are substantially smaller. It’s usually because the roads in foreign regions, especially Europe, tend to be narrow and windy. Navigating a massive camper on these roads would be extremely dangerous.

You’ll want to know the lingo if you embrace this travel style. While we call them RVs or motorhomes in America, that’s not always the case in other regions. Some people call them motorhomes, others use camper vans, and some say camping cars. 

Campgrounds are a very different experience too. Most offer an electric hookup and sometimes water, and guests tend to be very friendly and look out for one another. If you ever get to RV in Italy, the campeggios are an incredible all-inclusive experience. Additionally, many European territories have a tremendous amount of free camping opportunities.

#1 Australia

RVing is one of the best ways to experience Australia. The landscapes are open, and practically every town has opportunities to park for the night. As you might expect, it’ll require some adjusting.

For starters, they drive on the opposite side of the road as Americans. In addition, many of the vehicles are manual, which few Americans know how to drive. These two combined features make driving and navigating much less routine than in the United States.

The Outback is an incredibly remote section of the country. While it offers many free camping spots, it’s not ideal if you want to explore major cities. Campgrounds in Australia are more luxurious and expensive than in the US. They provide a resort-style atmosphere that feels more like a hotel than a campground.

Remember, they’re in the southern hemisphere. Their seasons are opposite of the northern hemisphere. The best time to camp here is in December and January. Unfortunately, this is a hectic time, so you’ll want to book sites well ahead of time.

#2 France

An RV is one of the best ways to explore countries like France. Whether you’re looking for a posh spot with luxuries or a budget-friendly place to rest, you can find it. Some families even open up their properties to host travelers.

Motorhome Aires are convenient spots dedicated to travelers. Some offer power, water, and waste disposal, but that’s not always true. These first-come, first-served sites may have a fee or special rules. So read the signage before you get too comfortable.

It’s also common to find France Passion, which is similar to the popular Harvest Hosts camping program in the States. Thousands of businesses, farms, and wineries are a part of the program. You can travel from one spot to the next and support local businesses.

Thankfully, driving here is very similar to the US. They travel on the right side of the road, and speed limits are comparable to the States. Some of the most popular destinations include Normandy, Paris, and the famous wine route that traverses eastern France.

Not sure if living in an RV for a few weeks or months is your cup of tea? 10 Reasons RV Living is for You.

#3 New Zealand

When it comes to countries perfect for exploring in a campervan, it’s hard to beat New Zealand. It’s a very affordable way to vacation in this beautiful country. You can adventure and stay in places that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. However, it’s important to note that they drive on the left side of the road, but you won’t battle heavy traffic.

One of the best features of New Zealand is that there’s a tremendous amount of campsites. Some of these come with fees, but it’s easy to find free spots to park for the night. Many offer full kitchens that make it easy for you to prepare meals. Pricing is typically the same as what you’d find in the United States.

Unfortunately, if you think gas is expensive in the US, wait until you get to New Zealand. The average price per gallon is over seven dollars. So it may be good that there are plenty of free spots to park for the night.

Start planning your trip now with Fodor’s Essential New Zealand.

#4 Canada

Canada is a popular spot for Americans to venture, probably because it’s one of the easiest countries to explore via RV from the States. The best time to visit is typically from mid-May to mid-October. Many attractions and campsites close for the season outside of this window. As a result, July to August can be incredibly busy, and nearly impossible to get spots in some areas.

Some of the best places to explore are Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Newfoundland. These are on the country’s eastern side and provide incredible fall foliage. On the other hand, you don’t want to miss the rugged western region, especially Banff National Park.

The experience is very similar to the US, but the views are incredibly different. You can expect to pay a premium for fuel and accommodations as they run more expensive once you cross the border. Like in the States, many larger cities have strict rules regarding overnight parking. So check the local laws before settling in for the night.

A couple exploring other countries, including Norway, in an RV
You might want to put exploring Norway in an RV on your bucket list

#5 Norway

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing Norway, why not do it in an RV? The epic views and gorgeous Norwegian landscapes are stunning. An RV or campervan can make it possible to explore this country to the fullest.

Roads are generally well maintained but can be steep and narrow. But not all roads are suitable for vans, so you’ll want to watch for height and weight restrictions. If not, you could find yourself in quite the pickle.

While there are places you can stay the night for free, it might be best to find a campsite. Many cities and local municipalities have strict rules regarding parking, and you don’t want to find yourself in legal trouble.

Some of the best places to visit are Øygarden, the Hardangerfjord, Kinn, and the Jotunheimen Mountains. While you can travel the country anytime, winters can be rather harsh. You’ll want to ensure you and your vehicle can handle the conditions.

If you’d rather stick to the USA for now, here are 5 Cool Places to Visit in an RV.

RVs Give You the Freedom to Explore Other Countries

You don’t have to limit your travels to the 50 states that make up the good old USA. Get your passport, pack your bags, and explore different countries in an RV. There are adventures throughout the United States, but there are many more when you expand your options. So get out there and start exploring beyond our borders. Who knows where your travels will take you!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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