Everything You Need To Know About RVing Newfoundland in 2024

We are full-time RVers who spent 5 weeks RVing in Newfoundland and absolutely fell in love with the island!

RVing around Newfoundland is an amazing adventure, but there are a few things you should know before you go.

We have put together a complete guide to RVing Newfoundland, including what you need to know about camping in Newfoundland, when to visit, what to bring, and how to get there. A resource we wish we had before we embarked on our epic adventure around “the rock”!

Let’s get you on your way to your next great adventure in beautiful Newfoundland!

How Do You Get Your RV To Newfoundland?

Part of the mystique of Newfoundland is that it takes a bit more effort to get to. The good news is that the journey to Newfoundland is a really fun part of the adventure!

So let’s tackle a big question first…

Can you drive to Newfoundland?

No, you cannot drive to Newfoundland! Newfoundland is an island portion of the Newfoundland and Labrador province that is not connected to mainland Canada by any roads or bridges.

Yes, Trans-Canada Highway 1 does pick back up on Newfoundland, but don’t let that fool you!

The only way to get to Newfoundland is by air or by ferry.

Taking The Ferry To Newfoundland

A truck and RV are boarding the Newfoundland ferry to start the journey to RV in Newfoundland

There are 3 RV friendly ferry options for traveling to Newfoundland:

  • Marine Atlantic Ferry from North Syndey Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques Newfoundland: 7-hour ferry ride that takes you to the western side of the island where Gros Morne National Park is located
  • Marine Atlantic Ferry from North Sydney Nova Scotia to Argentia Newfoundland: 16-hour ferry ride that drops you on the eastern side of the island closest to St. John’s, the Avalon Peninsula, and the Irish Loop
  • Labrador Ferry from Blanc Sablon Quebec to St Barbe Newfoundland: 1-hour 45-minute ferry ride to the western side of the island (this requires about 30 hours of driving north from Quebec City)

READ MORE: Complete Guide To Taking The Ferry To Newfoundland

This next section is about RVing to Canada from the U.S., if you will be RVing from within Canada already, feel free to skip ahead! 😊

Crossing The U.S. / Canada Border With Your RV

Two blue United States of America passports being held in front of a fifth wheel with a brown dog sitting outside

RVing to Newfoundland from the U.S. is an exciting international RV adventure!

To cross the border between the United States and Canada there will be certain boxes you need to make sure you check to get yourself, your family members (including the four-legged ones), and your RV into Canada and over to Newfoundland.

There are strict regulations for what you can and cannot bring across the US/ Canada border (including restrictions on plants, certain food items, and alcohol) and you will need up-to-date passports for yourself and rabies and or health certificates for your furry friends.

Truthfully, the idea of RVing in Canada was overwhelming for us at first.

Luckily, the rules and regulations are easy to understand, once you can track them all down.

After a few hours of research, we felt confident that we had everything we needed (and tossed everything we couldn’t have) in order to have a smooth border-crossing experience.

Our preparation helped us to have a stress-free border crossing experience, even with our 40-foot RV in tow! Once you arrive at your ferry terminal for the crossing to Newfoundland you will be all set to go, as this is just another province within the country of Canada.

We want your border crossing to be as painless as possible (and there is no need for you to spend all that time researching too) so we compiled all of our border crossing tips for you!

What Is The Best Time Of Year For RVing Newfoundland?

Wildflowers poking up from bright green grasses with a large green cliff looming in the distance at Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland

As RVers, we can tend to be a bit of fair-weather travelers… most RVs are not built for Canada winters, and water is enemy #1 after all.

So when is the best time to RV in Newfoundland?

Early summer to early fall will be your best bet for visiting Newfoundland, with earlier months being better for iceberg viewing, the middle of the summer potentially having the best weather and wildlife opportunities, and fall being quieter and filled with beautiful colors as the seasons turn.

As the locals tell it, Newfoundland has about 3 weeks of great weather a year in the month of July. From our experience, this was spot on.

Newfoundland gets on average over 60 inches of rain a year, with precipitation over 200 days a year.

May and June are popular months to visit for iceberg viewing along the northern side of the island, which can extend into July depending on the year.

We were lucky to visit in July and August, have great weather, and see icebergs, puffins, and whales during our trip!

READ MORE: Best Time To Visit Newfoundland

How much time do you need to RV Newfoundland?

Bright blue waters meeting a gray cliff covered in green vegetation

We would recommend carving out at least 3 weeks to RV in Newfoundland.

Newfoundland is large, with around 560 miles (900km) between Port Aux Basque on the western side of the island and St. John’s, the largest city on the eastern side.

And that doesn’t account for visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, the Irish Loop on the southern section of the Avalon Peninsula, or some of the stunning stops along the northern edge of the island.

We were working while exploring Newfoundland and spent 5 weeks traveling across the island and still didn’t get to see everything. We highly recommend making a list of your top priorities for what you want to see and working to create your itinerary from there (you will find inspiration below)!

If you plan to do a large loop (arriving and departing from the same port) you may want to add some extra time to your itinerary.

You could easily spend 2-3 months slow traveling in your RV across Newfoundland. With so much to see and the extra effort it takes to get there, we recommend spending as much time and seeing as much as you can!

What You Need To Know About Camping in Newfoundland

A few campers in a Newfoundland RV park overlooking the bright blue ocean and a few rocky islands just off shore

Camping in Newfoundland is the best way to experience the island.

And luckily, Newfoundland is full of great campsites, ranging from free camping near lighthouses to spacious RV campsites in the heart of epic National Parks, and RV park sites with stunning ocean views.

Below we break down the nitty-gritty of Newfoundland camping, helping you plan your RV trip to Newfoundland by finding the best RV parks, campgrounds, and free camping the island has to offer!

Can you camp anywhere in Newfoundland?

In Newfoundland, you can camp at National and Provincial Park Campgrounds, private campgrounds and RV parks, on Crown Land (public land), and at rest areas.

The only places where camping is not allowed in Newfoundland are:

  • Private land
  • Where there is signage that says “no trespassing” or “no overnight parking”
  • Protected areas

Free camping in Newfoundland

RVs camping scattered across a green landscape amidst brightly colored camping huts

Compared to other Canadian Provinces, Newfoundland has a fair amount of free camping because a lot of the land is considered Crown Land, or public land.

Much of the free camping you will find will be gravel lots, or parking areas where overnight camping is allowed, many with stunning ocean vista or lighthouse views.

If you are willing to be flexible, there are plenty of opportunities for free RV camping, or boondocking in Newfoundland, which can be great for cutting costs and avoiding the stress of trying to book campsites during the peak summer season.

Some free campsites are better suited for vans, truck campers, or small RVs, while others can accommodate larger RVs. During our trip, we stayed mostly in National Park campgrounds and private campgrounds as we weren’t sure what to expect and wanted peace of mind with our larger RV.

But, we did scout out some great places for you to camp for free if you are looking to RV Newfoundland on a budget or with a bit more flexibility!

Map of Free RV Camping in Newfoundland

Tips For Free Camping in Newfoundland

Our top choice for free camping for any size RV: Sleepy Cove, Twillingate

Our best advice for free camping in Newfoundland: Scout first when you can, and expect more parking lot-type stays (with great views) that are typically limited to a few nights at a time. We would plan ahead and book a few National or Provincial park campgrounds to mix in with free camping spots, especially if you have areas where you want to spend more time. It also would be a huge benefit to have a driveable RV (truck camper, van, Class C, etc,) when exploring Newfoundland to easily be able to scout spots and navigate back out or move between spots more easily and quickly.

The bottom line: There are some seriously stunning free camping opportunities in Newfoundland if you are willing to be a little adventurous and a bit flexible. Respect local signage, don’t overstay your welcome, and leave Newfoundland as beautiful as you find it!

Best Newfoundland RV Parks

Many large RVs camping amidst the trees with views of the water beyond at a Newfoundland RV park in Twillingate
Peyton’s Woods Campground in Twillingate

By no means is Newfoundland full of RV parks.

Keep in mind, that the camping season is fairly short in Newfoundland and the island is remote!

This said, there are some amazing Newfoundland RV parks that make for the perfect stops while camping your way around Newfoundland.

Here is a breakdown of the top Newfoundland RV Parks by location (with links to each park):

Gros Morne National Park

There are also a few great National Park campgrounds to consider in Gros Morne (listed in the section below)

Great Northern Peninsula (St. Anthony & L’anse aux Meadows)

  • Viking RV Park: Close to L’anse aux Meadows, iceberg viewing/tours, and an easy trip to St. Anthony. We loved our stay here, no frills but convenient with friendly owners baking homemade pies!

Twillingate

  • Peyton’s Woods RV Park: $40-$55/night CAD. Ocean views with walking distance to the water’s edge. We loved this stay, but Twillingate is a great place to snag a free campsite at Sleepy Cove just up the road if you are interested!

Bonavista Peninsula

St. John’s Area

Choosing one of these top-rated Newfoundland RV parks can be a great way to camp in Newfoundland, while also having all of the comforts of home.

You may notice some differences between RV parks in the U.S. and RV Parks in Newfoundland (mostly in terms of amenities offered and the typical lack of 50amp electrical hookups), but you won’t meet nicer people!

And with the ocean and forest all around, the views aren’t half bad either!

National & Provincial Campgrounds in Newfoundland

A large fifth wheel nestled among the trees in the Berry Hill Campground of Gros Morne National Park
Camping at Berry Hill Campground in Gros Morne National Park

As you can see, Newfoundland RV Parks can be few and far between… and therefore hard to come by if you don’t book early!

One thing we were completely amazed by in Newfoundland and the rest of Atlantic Canada, was the quality of the National and Provincial Park Campgrounds.

While these campsite locations can be a bit more taxing and stressful to get (we recommend booking as close to the day camping reservations open for each park as possible), we believe they are absolutely worth it!

Use the links for each park below to see when reservations open and reserve your Newfoundland campsites!

Corner Brook:

Gros Morne National Park:

Our Pro Tip: We personally stayed at Berry Hill in an unserviced site and found it to be the most convenient and centralized for exploring the park. It was pretty tight navigating around the campground with our 40-foot fifth wheel, but you may have better luck if you reserve one of the RV sites with hook-ups on the outer loop of the campground. Green Point is a little bit further north of the park, while Trout River and Lomond are more convenient to the Tablelands section of the park.

Great Northern Peninsula (St. Anthony & L’anse aux Meadows):

Twillingate

Terra Nova National Park

Our Pro Tip: If you are looking for a more centralized camping stay in Terra Nova, opt for Newman Sound. This is a spacious campground with sites that can accommodate RVs up to any length. We loved our stay at Newman Sound Campground and found it was the perfect base for exploring the park

St. John’s Area

You can learn more about the Newfoundland Provincial Parks here!

Camping Newfoundland Map

Below you will find the top Newfoundland RV parks, National Park camping, and Provincial Park camping options all on one map!

Use this along with the free camping map above to plan the stops on your Newfoundland RV road trip.

As an honorable mention, there are also around 10 Harvest Host locations on the island of Newfoundland that can be great for overnight stops as you make your way around the island.

A large RV sitting in a parking lot next to a bright yellow building overlooking a quaint harbor town in Newfoundland
We made this great stop on our way from St. Anthony to Twillingate
  • Harvest Host Location: Bumblebee Bight Inn & Brewery, Pilley’s Island

Save 15% On Your Harvest Hosts Annual Membership

Best Places To Visit When RVing Newfoundland

A blonde-haired female hiker with a gray backpack standing between two green trees looking out from a cliffside at bright blue waters in Trinity Newfoundland

With so many great things to see when RVing in Newfoundland, it is hard to pick favorites…

But if we HAVE to, these are the spots you won’t want to miss on your Newfoundland RV trip:

Gros Morne National Park: Be sure to visit all sections of the park. Hike, see the fjords, explore a shipwreck, see waterfalls, and walk on the Earth’s mantle

A female in blue leggings hiking down a wooden staircase surrounded by greenery looking out to layers of mountains in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland Canada

L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site: See Viking history in North America! Be sure to find the statue of Leif Erikson

Green rolling plans leading out to the water and large cliffs beyond grass covered Viking hut recreations at L'anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

St. Anthony: Dine overlooking a lighthouse with icebergs in the distance, hike up the Daredevil trail, visit a Viking-themed brewery

A white and bright blue iceberg floating in the harbour off the coast of Newfoundland in July

Twillingate: Lighthouses, icebergs, whales, and cliffside hikes galore! This is where we got screeched in and became honorary Newfoundlandlers

Terra Nova National Park: Get out on the water to see wildlife, hike through moss-covered boreal forests, camp under the stars

Hikers and their brown dog standing on an overlook above thick green boreal forests and blue waters

Bonavista Peninsula & Trinity: Stunning coastal trails, multiple puffin viewing sites, a beautiful lighthouse, and the historic site of a large Cod fishery at the Ryan Premises National Historic Site

One single puffin holding a small twig in its bright orange beak

St. John’s: Bright-colored row houses, the easternmost point, lighthouses, the infamous Signal Hill, and more coastal paths that will leave you speechless

A red coast guard boat sitting in the St. John's Harbour below the Battery neighborhood in Newfoundland

Drive the Irish Loop: A scenic drive along the southern section of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula will take you to remote coastal towns, the iconic Cape Race Lighthouse, and rare fossils at Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site. Add on a drive around the Cape Shore to see a unique seabird colony on the cliffside at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve!

Blue sign with a yellow circle and green clover designating the Irish Loop along a roadway following the ocean

Each of these areas is full of its own set of amazing things to see, hikes to do, and areas to explore.

Check out our in-depth Newfoundland RV Road Trip Itinerary for more information on what to do in each place and get additional resourcesand inspiration for planning your trip!

Travel Times and Distances For Exploring Newfoundland

A road cutting through a section of dense green forest in Terra Nova National Park

As RVers, budgeting for any trip (both with time and money) has a lot to do with how many miles we travel.

Below you will find the distances and travel times between some of the premier destinations in Newfoundland that you might want to include in your Newfoundland RV trip!

  • Port Aux Basque to Corner Brook: 2 hours 15 minutes (219km, 126 miles)
    • *Corner Brook is a great place to stock up on groceries or get propane (we even did a Walmart pick-up order)
  • Corner Brook to Gros Morne National Park: 1 hour (85km, 52 miles)
  • Gros Morne to St. Anthony: 3.5 hours (300km, 186 miles)
  • St. Anthony to Twillingate (by way of Deer Lake): 9 hours (775 km, 481 miles)
  • Gros Morne to Twillingate: 4 hours (390km, 242 miles)
    • *you can save time and mileage by skipping the Great Northern Peninsula, which is admittedly out of the way. The extra travel was worth it to us to see icebergs late in the season, but you could skip this stop.
  • Twillingate to Terra Nova National Park: 2.5 hours (220km, 136 miles)
  • Terra Nova National Park to Bonavista Peninsula: 1.5 hours (130km, 80 miles)
  • Bonavista Peninsula to St. John’s: 3.5 hours (300km, 186 miles)
  • St. John’s to Argentia: 1.5 hours (130km, 80 miles)
    • *Argentia is the port for the 16-hour ferry back to North Sydney Nova Scotia. If you are up for some additional driving, the Irish Loop is 315-515km or 195-320 miles (depending on if you add the Cape Shore section) on the southern section of the Avalon Peninsula

As a note, in 2023, we paid $6 (U.S.) per gallon ($2 CAD/liter) for diesel on average and drove around 3,000 miles while exploring the island.

READ MORE: 31 Amazing Things To Do in Newfoundland

Tips & Advice for RVing in Newfoundland

  • Fill propane before heading to the island for peace of mind. You will come across propane filling at some campgrounds and RV parks. You are also more likely to find it in more populated areas (Corner Brook, Deer Lake, St. John’s) that offer larger stores (like Canadian Tire).
  • Avoid driving at night or at dawn when possible due to wildlife. You will see many signs tracking the amount of vehicle incidents with moose
  • Be prepared for wind, rain and fog, it’s part of Newfoundland’s charm. One second it could be sunny, the next you could be covered in a thick fog. Winds in some areas are known to be dangerous, so always keep an eye out for changing weather conditions.
  • Reserve campsites early, both for private campgrounds and Canada Parks sites. The camping season in Newfoundland is short, campgrounds are limited, and spots fill up fast
  • If you plan to travel off main highways, expect rough roads. This is especially true on the stretch up to St. Anthony and Quirpon from Gros Morne National Park
  • If you need internet connection, we recommend using Starlink (most campground wifi is poor or non-existent). For us, this meant heavily researching campsites before booking them to make sure we could have an open view of the sky so that we could work from the RV without interruption
  • Bring a screen tent and/or head net for spending time outside in the evenings to avoid bugs. Mosquitos in Newfoundland can be quite vicious in summer, especially if the weather gets warmer than typical
  • Produce can be hard to come by (and expensive) and remember you can’t bring plants, potatoes, or soil off the island when you leave. They will check for this before leaving the island and heading back to the mainland. To save money and have more options for groceries try to stock up in the larger towns and cities (like Corner Brook, Deer Lake, and St. John’s).
  • Be prepared for higher taxes; 15% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) can sneak up on you
  • Expect higher fuel prices as well! In 2023, we paid $6 (U.S.) per gallon ($2 CAD/liter) for diesel on average
  • Note that 50-amp electric service is more rare on the island! Most campgrounds will offer 30 or 15 amp electric service
  • Consider a travel credit card (we love our Chase Sapphire Reserve as it has 0 international fees and helps us build travel points for future trips) or have Canadian money on hand (most places accept credit and have tap to pay, even the toll booths. Go Canada!)
  • Expect laundry facilities to be hard to find and try to map those out with your trip if you don’t have laundry in your RV. Terra Nova National Park has both coin laundry and free hot showers at its Visitors’ Center! See a map of Newfoundland laundromats here.

Newfoundland Packing List

  • Up-to-date passports for all family members
  • Up-to-date rabies certificate for all pets
  • Proof of insurance and vehicle registration (ask your insurance for a “Yellow Card” an accepted non-resident inter-provincial motor vehicle liability insurance card for while you travel in Canada)
  • No fresh produce or plants
  • Bug spray, screen tent, head net
  • Rain gear and waterproof hiking shoes (umbrellas may not be very helpful in the common windy conditions)
  • Quality spare tires and spare parts (just in case! Repairs may be harder to find and expensive on the island)
  • Roadside Assistance (AAA, which works with CAA, or Coachnet)
  • Quality camera – trust us you will want to capture this stunning landscape!

Our Go-To RV Road Trip Resources

  • Harvest Hosts: For finding unique experiences and convenient overnight stays at breweries, vineyards, farms, and more! Perfect for a fun weekend getaway or stopover during a long travel stretch.
  • Campspot: For finding and booking great campgrounds and RV parks conveniently and easily all in one place!
  • RV Life: RV safe GPS, RV Trip Wizard route planning, maintenance tracker, campground reviews, and more. Everything any RVer needs, all in one place!
  • Campendium & iOverlander: For finding campgrounds & free camping spots
  • Walkie-Talkies (for when you have to get into a tight spot and you don’t have cell service)
  • Garmin inReach or SOS capabilities on your cell phone (to get help if you don’t have service)
  • The Only RV Travel Day Checklist You Will Ever Need
  • How To Plan An RV Road Trip Step By Step

More Resources For RVing Newfoundland:

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