Touring Canada

Truck Camping Prince Edward Island

We explore Prince Edward Island; Anne of Green Gables, spectacular lighthouses, free waterfront camping opportunities, and pocketfuls of sea glass. Relax. It’s PEI.

Prince Edward Island Camping Tips

We arrived on Prince Edward Island via the Northumberland ferry from Nova Scotia. The Confederation Bridge spans from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, but we recommend taking the ferry at least one way.

Northumberland Ferries accepts reservations, but the fee is relatively high. However, you can arrive on standby (without reservations) and ride for free. That’s right; free!

Technically you’re not guaranteed a spot if you arrive on standby, but we opted to take the chance. Plus, we had our camper and could simply wait for the next ferry (again on standby) if our first choice didn’t pan out.

Waiting to enter PEI

We arrived at peak high season (August) and knew there might be a wait. I called ahead and asked the ferry operator what times would be best to get a spot without reservations. She was very helpful and said the late evening or early morning. We aimed for a 7:00pm ferry ride.

Ship to PEI

The operator’s advice was perfect. Our rig was directed to the front left corner of the ferry, where the tractor trailers go, and right where the ship’s massive airflow system was blasting.

PEI Ferry Inside

The hissing trucks and jet engine noise from the airflow system (it really deafening) completely freaked out our poor cat, Cosmo. He had to stay in the camper during the two hour voyage. I felt quite bad for him, but felt this was good practice for when we eventually put our rig on the Alaska Marine Highway. Thankfully, this was by far the most stressful moment of our PEI adventure.

The ferry ride was very pleasant. We walked around the outside upper deck, soaking in the scenery and felt like we were on a cruise ship. The ferry was very stable and calm, unlike some of the others we had been on. We waved good-bye to Nova Scotia and turned toward PEI excited to experience a new province.

Camping In Ferry Terminal Parking Area

The ferry arrived at PEI as it was getting dark. That first night we stayed at the ferry terminal parking area (which was permitted, but always check ahead). We heard the ferry again later that night and in the early morning, but it was otherwise a quiet and safe night.

Driving Around PEI

Cosmo And Angela Map

The next morning we started with the eastern part of the island. Prince Edward Island is relatively small at 224 km (139 miles) long and 5,620 square kilometers (3,492 miles) in size. The roads are mostly slow going and you will want to get out to enjoy the beauty. Budget your travel time accordingly as it will take longer than just driving straight across.

PEI Beach

On our first day, we took in the scenery, traveled through small towns, stopped at a few very small thrift stores, and looked for sea glass. We were on our way to visit friends who live in the center of PEI and moochdock on their farm. There we worked on Truck Camper Magazine for a few days, had fun hanging out with our friends, and learned about PEI.

Camping At The Drive-In Movie Theater

Brackley Drive In Theater Wide Photo

Not too far from where our friends live is the Brackley Drive-In Theater. Unlike any movie theater we’ve ever heard of, Brackley allows RVers to drive-in, watch a movie (or two), and then camp overnight in that spot. They have dedicated sites at the back of the movie-watching lot expressly for this purpose.

Naturally, we had never taken our truck camper to a drive-in movie theater, so we went. That evening they were playing Puss in Boots and Elvis. Neither film was on our short list, but that wasn’t the point. We were taking our truck camper to a drive-in movie theater and camping for the night. What fun!

As soon as we arrived, they asked, “Would you like to stay the night?” The overnight stay is actually included with admission. We said, “Yes, please!” and paid for two tickets for the double feature. Cosmo was free.

Brackley Drive In Theater Which Way

The attendant instructed us to drive to the top of the hill where there were camping spots. We headed to the campsite area and Gordon spotted a pop-up truck camper over to the right side.

“I think that’s an Overland Explorer Vehicle pop-up truck camper,” said Gordon. I could barely tell it was a pop-up and Gordon recognized the brand from that far away. It was getting close to the start time of the movie, so we decided to wait until the morning to introduce ourselves.

Brackley Drive In Theater Testing Before Movie

When we pulled into our site, we knew that our camper’s rear panoramic view was ideal for the drive-in. We turned the dinette into a bed and set up a lounging area. As instructed by the lady at the front gate, we tuned our camper radio to a specific AM station and we could hear the movie through our camper’s speaker system. In the nine years of owning our camper, we had never used the radio in our camper until that experience. It worked beautifully!

Brackley Drive In Theater Show Playing

The next morning we woke up and walked over to meet the Overland Explorer Vehicle (OEV) owners. We knocked on their door and caught them drinking coffee and still in their PJs. Melanie came outside and said they were on a long-term trip around Canada and the United States.

OEV Camper At Drive In Theater

We mentioned that we publish Truck Camper Magazine and, from inside the camper, Martin said, “No way! I read that all the time.” Martin then jumped out of their camper and introduced himself. You never know when we might show up.

Anne Of Green Gables House

Our next stop was the Anne of Green Gables Museum in Park Corner. I had been reading the books since reaching Nova Scotia, which I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read before. After all, I was an elementary school teacher before we started TCM.

I really enjoyed our visit to Green Gables, even though it was geared toward children, a bit commercialized, and quite busy. The rest of PEI was nearly empty, but this tourist attraction had tourists and a lot of them.

Cape Egmont Lighthouse

My favorite camping spot on PEI, and easily in the top five of our entire trip to the maritimes, was the Cape Egmont Lighthouse. The mile drive down a dirt road was quite potholed in areas, but shouldn’t dissuade truck campers. We saw a number of much less off-road capable RVs and cars arrive during our visit; just take it slow.

PEI lighthouse road

At the end of the road, we found a beautiful late 1800s, three-story, square lighthouse and a spectacular view of the Northumberland Strait. There was a Class B motorhome already camped on the left side, so we decided to camp on the right. We were maybe 20 feet from a tall and steep cliff.

Cosmo enthusiastically watched the birds as we listened to the waves and experienced a gorgeous sunset. During our stay, Gordon took a photo that is now hanging in our house.

PEI Lighthouse

Whenever new people visit us, they always comment on it. That photo really shows the reason we love truck camping so much. If we didn’t travel like we do, we would never get to experience places like this. And best of all, it was free!

Back To The Mainland

There are three ways to get on and off PEI with a truck camper rig; the Northumberland ferry from Caribou, Nova Scotia, the ferry from the Magdelen Islands to the Souris, or the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick. It is free to get onto PEI via the Northumberland ferry or Confederation Bridge, unless you decide to pay the reservation fee for the ferry. However, getting off the island is going to cost you.

Prince Edward Island Confederation Bridge Back To New Brunswick

As of this writing, it is $50.25 Canadian ($36.61 USD) to take the Confederation Bridge from PEI to New Brunswick. It would have been approximately 136 CAD ($99 USD) for our truck camper to take the Wood Islands ferry back to Nova Scotia. We had already explored Nova Scotia and opted to take the Confederation Bridge. A bonus of this decision was experiencing the eight-mile expanse across the Northumberland Strait, which was phenomenal.

PEI bridge

We could only spend a week in Prince Edward Island, but it was worth it. As part of our summer exploring New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI, we had more than enough fun to keep the Canadian Maritimes on our must-go-back list.

Of everything, I enjoyed the relaxed vibe of the people and culture the most. I also loved camping on the water and endlessly searching for sea glass on the open shorelines. Folks who need non-stop entertainment may want to look elsewhere, but the laid-back nature of Prince Edward Island was perfect for us. We’re definitely going back.

Click here for more camping in Canada ideas and tips.


Truck Camper Chooser
To Top