Driving Your RV Over the Border this Winter

By: O'Connor RV   |   24 Dec 2022

Come winter season, it’s pretty common for BC residents to pack up their RVs and take a gander to visit our friends south of the border. And why wouldn’t they? Once the holidays are over, it's no secret that winter chills and snowy blizzards kind of lose a bit of their charm. So if you’re happy to keep the #Rvlife going during the off-season, heading down to warmer states like California and Florida might suit you well, plus they’re just a stone’s throw away! In this article, we’ll get into some things to note when it comes to driving your RV over the border this winter!

Places to Visit

For BC residents, the Pacific Coast highway is the ultimate west coast road trip. The beautiful thing about taking your holiday along the Pacific Ocean is the freedom to stop and take in the ocean breeze whenever your heart desires, even Mexico if you like. Some great places to stop along this journey are the Redwood Forest, Cannon Beach, Mendocino and Big Sur. Below you’ll find an easy stop guide for some places you can visit along the way and an estimate of how long your journey may take you.






Vancouver, BC to Seattle, Washington

229 km / 142 mi

Approx. 2 hours 25 minutes


Seattle, Washington to Pacific City, Oregon

434 km / 270 mi

Approx. 5 hours 40 minutes


Pacific City, Oregon to Gold Beach, Oregon

455 km / 283 mi

Approx. 5 hours 40 minutes


Gold Beach, Oregon to Trinidad, California

183 km / 114 mi

Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes


Trinidad, California to Mendocino, California

267 km / 166 mi

Approx. 3 hours 25 minutes


Mendocino, California to Point Reyes, California

243 km / 151 mi

Approx. 4 hours 20 minutes


Point Reyes, California to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California

323 km / 201 mi

Approx. 4 hours 20 minutes


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California to Santa Barbara, California

436 km / 271 mi

Approx. 4 hours 35 minutes


Santa Barbara, California to Anaheim, California

200 km / 124 mi

Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes


San Diego

155 km / 96 mi

1 hour 45 minutes


Tijuana, Mexico

34 km / 20 mi

34 minutes


Preparation Tips

Driving your RV over the border isn’t always the best decision to make on a whim. It’s important to consider a number of factors to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. The last thing you need is to pack up your travel trailer or motorhome only to realize at the border stop you’ve forgotten your passport or vaccination documents. Here are some helpful tips for preparing for your trip over the border:

Know what you can or cannot bring with you. Border control is strict, and there’s nothing worse than being pulled aside for a full scan of your rig. From food types to cash restrictions to firearms, be sure to know before you go!

Have ALL necessary documents handy. Passports are obvious. But what about your Covid vaccinations? Or even your pet’s vaccinations, for that matter? Additionally, other paperwork to check off your list is health insurance for yourself, as well as any necessary medications with prescriptions to match, car insurance coverage, etc.

Plan your stay. Canadians can stay as visitors in the US for up to 182 days per year. That’s about six months of sunshine and travel time south of the border. The Entry-Exit Initiative keeps an eye on all travellers moving between Canada and the USA. All of these rules can get a little tricky. Stay informed about Canada’s snowbird laws and visit resources such as the Canadian Snowbird Association. Be sure to plan your campgrounds in advance as well - although a little spontaneous adventure never hurt anyone!

Get your RV a check-up. Before embarking on your journey, we definitely recommend getting your RV a good ol’ maintenance check-up at your friendly neighbourhood RV service centre. This will ensure no surprises while en route and a safe, reliable journey ahead. We also recommend getting yourself a CAA membership card. Their coverage follows you into the United States should you experience unexpected rig trouble.

If you have more questions about taking your RV south of the border this winter, need to schedule a service appointment or simply want to browse our inventory of residential vehicles, don’t hesitate to head to O’Connor RV! Our team is on standby to help you get the most out of the #RVLife!





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