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After Heath and I RVed to all 50 states, I set my sights on the rest of the world. Where else in the world could we travel by RV? Turns out there are quite a few countries where RVing and camping are WAY more popular than it is here in the States!
But I’ve had a hard time finding more information about where all in the world we can RV. I’ve seen a few lists of “all” the countries in the world where you can RV, but most of them list no more than 10 countries! I knew they were missing quite a few spots. So I sat down and did a LOT of research to make the most comprehensive list of where you can travel the world in an RV.
This list includes nearly 60 countries where you can RV around the world! Below I will share what I know about RVing in these countries, plus resources for learning more.
What RVing Around the World Is Called
“RVing” encompasses travel by several different vehicles that go by different names on each continent. I refer to vehicle camping as RVing, but the term RV is only used here in North America!
Here are a few of the terms you should know:
- In North America, RVing means traveling by motorhome, camper, or trailer.
- In Australia and New Zealand, you hire a motorhome for your campervan holiday to go caravanning. (Say that five times fast.)
- In Africa, the word motorhome and camper are interchangeable. (Didn’t know RVing was a thing in Africa, did ya?)
- In Europe, you travel by motorhome (equivalent to American Class C’s or B’s) or by caravan (equivalent to a travel trailer). The term campervan is also used. You may go motorhoming in your campervan.
- In Asia, you rent camping cars, which can range from a customized minivan to a small motorhome.
- In South America, you’ll rent a camper (or possibly drive your own RV across the borders). Due to the infrastructure in South America, you more frequently hear of people overlanding across the continent.
- In Antarctica, just kidding. There are no form of RVs there based on my research. You can visit by cruise though or stay in a tent on the ice, if you’re really into camping!
Of the six continents where you can RV, I’ve RVed on four at the time of writing this post. My goal is to ultimately camp on every continent, but convincing my husband to camp in a rooftop tent surrounded by lions is proving difficult. 🦁
Let’s get into the list, in no particular order.
Based on Instagram alone, Iceland is one of the more popular destinations for RV rentals. I am constantly seeing photos of their glaciers, lagoons, and waterfalls!
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Iceland has been near the top of my bucket list for a while and the fact that camping is huge there is a major plus! Many rentals are 4×4 vehicles too, so you can really get off the beaten path and explore. Although from my research, wild camping is only permitted for tents, not motorhomes.
And yes, in Iceland you can actually rent a camper year-round! Would you want to camp in Iceland in January when the sun rises after 11 AM and sets before 4 PM with a high of 3º? Probably not. But hey, at least that’s 3 degrees Celsius! And if you visit in the winter, there’s an excellent chance you’ll see the Northern Lights, which are supposed to peak in 2024!
Or you can visit in July and August when the country’s hiking is at its best. This is peak tourist season so expect crowds and search for camper rentals early.
A few years ago, someone who listens to our podcast sent us a Facebook message and told us that he and his wife are living in Japan and thinking about RV life. WHAT?! There are some parts of the world where you expect camping to be popular, and Japan was definitely not one of them! Turns out that similar to the US, many retirees take to the open roads to RV around the islands.
We recently took two weeks to tour Japan and found the country surprisingly easy to navigate. There aren’t many resources for planning an RV road trip in Japan, which made planning this trip difficult. We shared our experience in a video series on Youtube:
Japan seems to have the smallest motorhomes—and motorhome is a stretch. It’s all #vanlife! (Even in a 16-foot van, my husband still managed to get us stuck!) Motorhome rentals also don’t come equipped with toilets. In my experience, toilets are everywhere so this was less of a problem than I imagined!
Read More About Japan: Should You Rent an RV in Japan? What to Know Before You Go
Japan is a series of islands, but you can ferry your van to the four major islands: Honshu (where you’ll find Tokyo and most of the other Japanese cites you’ve heard of. I recommend starting your adventure here.), Kyushu (hot springs!!!), Shikoku (the best for surfing) and Hokkaido (the northernmost island where you can’t RV in the winter).
I’ve heard the RV market in China compared to the US in the 80s. It’s still very new, but it’s booming among middle and upper-class families. RV rentals and campgrounds are becoming more common.
China has recently become more accessible for American tourists, but not much information has been published about how to plan an RV trip around the country as of yet.
Mexico gets a bad rap, with many travelers considering it too difficult to travel anywhere outside of resorts. But over the past few years, there’s been an insurgence of RVers crossing the border into Mexico—namely into Baja.
The Baja Peninsula boasts a ton of coastline and awesome beaches. Baja offers boondocking spots and campgrounds (although good electricity is harder to find and many campers opt to rely on solar instead). But the biggest consideration will be water. Drinking the water in Mexico almost guarantees you’ll get sick, so you’ll need to find purified or bottled water for consumption.
The pro of RVing in Mexico is that it’s right there for you to drive across the border, so no need to worry about renting an RV. Worried about safety? Here’s a great blog post by Crazy Family Adventure sharing their experiences traveling in Mexico.
When we talk to anyone about RVing abroad, Norway inevitably comes up as an RVers paradise! Most recently we watched our friends, the Holcombes, exploring all over Norway and the scenery looks incredible!
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From what I’ve learned, Norway offers a ton of boondocking options due to allemannsretten. Translating roughly to “freedom to roam” this Norwegian law stems from a Nordic tradition giving every man access to public lands.
Perhaps the most popular country in Western Europe for RVing is France. Between the coastline and the Alps, there’s a good reason why this country keeps popping up on our radar for RVing. Of all the countries where I’ve RVed, this one is a top contender for the most camper-friendly country in the world.
France is the most visited country in the world and most tourists flock to the cities. We were stunned by the beauty of every corner in France! This is one place that lives up to its reputation for gorgeous scenery and phenomenonal food.
Learn more about motorhoming in France: What It’s Like RVing in France
Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Basically all of Europe
I’ve singled out a few European countries like Norway, Iceland, and France because those are the top three countries I hear people talking about when considering an RV trip. But you can RV all over Europe.
Here’s what Anywhere Campers—who we have used twice in Europe—say about where you can travel in Europe:
“You can move freely between these countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Unfortunately we do not allow our campers to be driven to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey as they are excluded from our insurance plan and also for the safety reason[s].”
So nearly everywhere in Europe.
If you’re wondering how many options you might have for camping in these countries, here’s a snapshot of all the sites listed on Park4Night for Albania:
I never would’ve thought of Alabania as a popular camping destination, but you can see they definitely have options! This is the app we used in Italy and could easily find parking lots, boondocking, and campgrounds all over the country. Camping is even more popular in Europe than it is in the States, so there’s no shortage of RV rentals and campsites across the continent.
That’s 38 countries in Europe that Anywhere Campers mentions. However, I believe they are incorrect in mentioning Monaco. The second smallest country in the world actually prohibits motorhomes and caravans, but after visiting, I did see a motorhome driving down the road. So you can perhaps pass through this small country, but don’t expect to stay overnight. We share how we legally visited Monaco in our RV in this video:
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana
YES. I never would’ve thought of southern Africa as being a popular area for RVing, but it is. And not just according to my Google research! I had a couple reach out a few weeks ago to tell me that they’ve been RVing in South Africa for years! RVing might not be the right word though, as most motorhomes in Africa are more like American overlanding vehicles.
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While I think the idea of RVing in southern Africa sounds amazing, it’s definitely an adventure reserved for more campers than glampers. If you’re comfortable offroading and being surrounded by animals, you might love this adventure.
Worldwide Campers also just started offering rentals at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, making visiting the Seven Wonders of the World a little more possible!
Most of Africa and the Middle East aren’t RV-friendly, but just across the sea from Europe, you will see campers! You can ferry over or rent an RV in Morocco.
Of all the places where you can go by motorhome, I was most shocked by Morocco. Who would’ve thought? I know you can camp in tents in the Sahara, but motorhomes I did not expect. According to the reviews, motorhome rentals are popular with families with young kids.
Belize, Costa Rica, & Panama
If you cross the border into Mexico and want to keep heading south, you will find beachfront camping options throughout Central America. Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama have all been singled out as countries with the infrastructure to support campers (although if you’re heading from country to country, you’ll also drive through other Central American countries).
I found options for campervan rentals in Belize and Costa Rica, but I couldn’t find as many in Panama.
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As you can see in the video above, campervan is an apt term. Most of the rentals in this area are smaller vans or SUVs that have kitchenettes and rooftop tent beds.
The biggest concern I’ve seen with RVing across Central America is border crossings. Some bordering countries don’t have the best relationship which can make crossing the borders a little hairy.
Cuba feels like an island too small for RVing and a few years ago, this country would not make the list! RVing is becoming more and more popular as a unique way to explore a country.
You can rent campers from one company out of Havana. You must reserve any parking spots ahead of time as restrictions for overnight parking are enforced.
This is the best country in South America for a road trip! Chile is known for its abundance of national parks and has plenty of camping options—but it’s hard to find RV camping options. Most campgrounds are for tents or cabins. But that doesn’t mean you can’t RV there, just that you won’t have full hookups. Think overlanding!
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This is a random photo I found on Instagram of someone who took a road trip in Chile for their honeymoon. It looks incredible!
World Wide Campers offers rentals in Chile, which are all 4×4 vehicles that can handle the country’s terrain. The term camper here means either an SUV with a rooftop tent or a truck camper.
Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina
World Wide Campers also offers rentals in Colombia and Argentina, though those aren’t the only South American countries with camping and glamping options.
Mostly, you can find tour companies that will take you on guided trips across South America. The tour company I researched recommends a 4×4 vehicle under 35 ft long that is fully self-contained with a note that says “expect no hook-up facilities” on the continent. You should also travel with brand new tires and a potable water purifier.
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A few tips other travelers shared for RVing in South America that might be helpful in these countries are:
- Do not drive at night. (This is explicitly stated in many places. Partially due to the road conditions, partly for safety.)
- Carry an extra gas can and fill up every time you see a gas station. Stations are few and far between and you don’t want to get stranded.
- Exercise caution at border crossings. Have all necessary paperwork (vehicle registration, proof of insurance, rental agreement if applicable, etc.), an international driver’s permit, and your passports ready.
New Zealand has a reputation for being the most campervan-friendly country for good reason. The grocery stores even have campervan parking!
There are plenty of boondocking options across the country—known as freedom camping—and many national parks. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with stunning beaches, staggering mountain peaks, and a TON of hiking.
We have RVed in New Zealand twice and it never disappoints. It is a stunningly beautiful country built for camping. We’ve shared a ton of information on what it’s like campervanning in New Zealand on our Youtube channel. You can check out all 30 episodes here.
If you’re a fan of beaches or deserts, Australia is a great RVing destination! The country is camper-friendly with many caravan parks or holiday parks (AKA their two names for RV parks).
It’s important to note that Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and that it’s largely inhabited along the coast. Venture inland and services are few and far between.
But if you stay on the coast…
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Look how cute! This photo screams Australia.
One major difference in RVing down under? Campgrounds in Australia (and New Zealand) likely won’t offer full hook ups as most vans won’t have a toilet or motorhomes will have a cassette toilet. Campers outside of North America typically don’t have a “city water fill” hook up either. You fill your tank with water an then use the onboard water pump.
Our neighbors to the north, we’ve RVed only in western Canada so far and it’s one of our favorite places. The Canadian Rockies are gorgeous in the summer, fall, and covered in snow. I can’t recommend it enough!
Lake Louise blanketed in snow ❄
We’ve always driven our own RV across the border into Canada, but there are plenty of RV rental companies across the country too. While parts of Canada are a little more remote than in America, many of the RVing customs and culture are the same. It’s definitely the easiest country for Americans to visit in RV!
And last but not least, our country. When we started RVing in 2014, there were way fewer resources available to RVers. Now there are apps, blogs and books all about how to RV here in the States.
Traveling by RV in the US, you’ll find that some states are more RV-friendly than others. States like Arizona and Florida will have an abundance of RV parks and states like California have a reputation for being very RV-unfriendly (though it’s still our favorite state in terms of beauty!). You can even rent a van in Hawaii and check off all fifty states via RV!
RVing Around the World FAQs
Can you travel the world in an RV?
While you can’t visit every country in the world in an RV, you can visit a good chunk of the world by RV if that’s your dream. I personally have found it to be the best way to jaunt across Europe with our family, but continents like Africa or Asia would be more difficult.
Do other countries have RVs?
Commonly called by other names, all of the above-listed countries have RVs of some kind. They are often called campers, motorhomes, vans, camping cars, auto caravans, caravans, or campervans.
Which country is best for a campervan?
After visiting both, it’s hard to choose between France and New Zealand for the most camper-friendly country. New Zealand has to win for its ample boondocking or “freedom camping.” But France offers RV services at gas stations across the country and it’s very easy to navigate.
New Zealand is popular with adults and couples, but we recently revisited the country with our young kids and discovered a whole new side to the islands.
Can you take an RV overseas?
Yes! You can ship your RV abroad.
If you’re looking to spend a month or longer RVing abroad, shipping your van or motorhome can be worth it.
Our friends Kathy and Peter recently shipped their Winnebago Revel to Europe for a six-month road trip. The total cost for shipping (including shipping, import and export fees, and insurance) was around $3,000. That is less than a one-month RV rental would cost, making shipping an attractive option.
However, you will need to consider what adjustments will need to be made for your North American RV to be compatible with European campsites. For example, you’ll need adapters for your electrical plugs and a composting or cassette toilet. Crossing the oceans to different continents means not being offered the same RV services. Campgrounds abroad often do not have dump stations for black waste like you see in the US and Canada, so adapting your RV for global conveniences may be difficult. The Winnebago Revel is manufactured with a cassette toilet, making this rig in particular easy to ship overseas.
Keep in mind that campsites and roads are significantly smaller abroad than in the US and Canada. I wouldn’t recommend shipping an RV longer than 28 feet or 8.5 meters at an absolute maximum. The smaller the RV, the more places you can visit.
For firsthand information and more details on shipping an RV to Europe, you can read this detailed post on how to ship an RV to Europe here.
Is an RV the cheapest way to travel?
Travel is always as expensive as you make it. You can rent a cheap van or an expensive one. You can go to glamping resorts or camp in parking lots! Currency and the global economy play a large factor, with RV life being more expensive or affordable based on the country.
All the Countries Where You Can RV
Those are all the countries where RVing is a thing. I did not list countries where you can drive your RV across the border (like Nicaragua), but only countries where I could find information on camping, RV parks, or RV rentals. Technically you can cross many, many borders in an RV. But not all countries offer the infrastructure to support that type of travel.
All together that comes to roughly 58 countries where you can RV around the world. That’s a quarter of the globe! So far we’ve only RVed in 12…time to plan our next adventure!
If you’ve personally traveled by RV in another country (or know of a valuable resource by someone who has), feel free to drop links below so I can update this article with more information on international RV life.