When we hit the road in our van, we try to overnight in sanctioned places as much as possible. In eastern Canada, some regions are very welcoming to van and RV travellers, while others are downright hostile. Luckily, we have found Quebec and Newfoundland to offer some amazing places for vans and RVs to stay the night. Between free municipal RV stops to paid provincial and national campgrounds, we share some our favourite places for overlanding in eastern Canada in our microcamper van. There are tons of other amazing overlanding sites that we have still to explore… and we’ll build on this list as we visit them.
The information in this article was accurate as of November 2021, but conditions and availability may change. Follow local signage and always have a backup plan. If you find something has changed, please let us know in the comments so we can update this article.
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario – George Lake Campground (paid)
Killarney Provincial Park is a favourite for many and unknown to others. It’s a beautiful gem of a park on the north shore of Georgian Bay, 1 hour from Sudbury and 4 hours from downtown Toronto.
While much of the campground is your typical provincial park camping in a forest setting, there are a few extra-special camp sites on Blue Heron Circle on the granite outcropping directly on George Lake that can accommodate vans (but nothing larger as these are tent sites). In the summer, you can’t beat direct water access from your camp site. Just beware that in cooler shoulder seasons, these sites can get a brisk breeze off the lake.
The campground gets busy, so you’ll definitely need to book early to get these spots, or visit in the shoulder season.
Berthier-sur-Mer, Quebec – RV stop (Halte-VR) (paid)
Whenever we go on a roadtrip through Quebec, we always spend a night at the RV stop in Berthier-sur-Mer, about 30 minutes east of Quebec City. The RV stop is a gravel lot near the marina and shore of the St. Lawrence river. You won’t have a river view from your van or RV, but you’ll look out to a wheat field and the river is just across the street.
You can’t reserve in advance and there’s a 2 night maximum stay. You can the $25/night fee to the attendant who comes around a couple times a day (cash only) or at the Théo BBQ food truck (accepts cards). There are no services, so it’s really intended for self-contained vans and RVs (or those of us who can make due without certain facilities), but public washrooms are available at the marina.
In addition to the lovely views of the river, the Théo BBQ food truck offers amazing food. You can’t go wrong with any of the poutines on the menu… whether you top it with pulled pork, pulled short ribs, brisket or smoked meat. Or if you can’t make up your mind, try the meat platter for 2.
If BBQ isn’t your thing, stop at the small grocery store on rue Principale and pick up food for a picnic and your choice of Quebec beers.
St-Siméon, Quebec – Municipal campground (paid)
St-Siméon is on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river near the Saguenay fjord. If you’re on the southern side of the river, there’s a ferry from Rivière-du-Loup that arrives in St-Siméon. Directly adjacent the St-Siméon ferry terminal is the town’s municipal campground, offering a few tent sites, but mostly catering to vans and full size RVs (including some seasonal campers). Some sites are directly along the river, complete with a sandy beach, while others are on a raised embankment for equally great views of the river.
Serviced and unserviced sites are available, and there are washrooms, showers and a communal room.
St-Ulric, Quebec – Parc des capitaines (free)
St-Ulric is a small town on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, near the beginning of the Gaspésie peninsula. The town offers a stunning riverfront park as an RV stop. It can accommodate large RVs, but is relatively small so it will fill up with a handful of RVs.
No services are available, but it’s free. Another riverfront park about a block away has clean washrooms.
Green Point campground, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland (paid)
There’s no shortage of camping in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, but we probably stumbled on the very best camp site. In the Green Point campground on the northern end of Gros Morne, there are a couple sites that overlook the sea. The sunsets from the sites are stunning.
Even better, there’s a staircase that goes down to the water.
These waterfront sites aren’t serviced (except for a sewer drain). There are serviced sites more in-land if that’s key for you (and they can accommodate large RVs). The campground has lovely washroom and shower facilities. Cellular service is non-existant, but the campground has wifi that isn’t amazing but gets the job done for short stays.
Flower’s Cove, Newfoundland (free/donation)
Flower’s Cove was a surprise find on our Newfoundland roadtrip. It’s a small village along the highway in the Great Northern Peninsula with a large waterfront lot for overnight RV parking. Its location offers great sunrises and sunsets.
While there are no facilities or services, there is an amazing (also free) nearby attraction: ancient thrombolites.
Do you have any favourite spots for overlanding in Canada? Share your favourites in the comments!