Don’t make it harder than it needs to be when traveling in any country that uses the metric system. If you are going to drive to Alaska, you have to travel in Canada. They are metric. I worked with the US Metric Committee back in the 1970s and ‘80s and presented metric seminars all over the country in an attempt to get the USA to changeover, too. The naysayers always focused on the complexity of the exact conversion. You rarely need exact conversions unless you are working in a pharmacy! You can get REALLY close with these easy tricks…
For liquids, four liters is about a gallon OR a liter (correct spelling is “litre”) is “really close” to a quart.
A. When you need fuel in Canada and you see a posted price, for example, $1.10, that is the price per liter. Just multiply by 4 and you will be REALLY CLOSE to the equivalent USA price per gallon.
For length, about everything is based on the meter. A meter is a little (about 3 inches) longer than a yard.
B. A millimeter is about the thickness of a dime.
C. There are about 2.5 centimeters to the inch. A centimeter is about the width of your little finger. If you have fat fingers, it’s about the width of the little fingernail.
For weight, about everything is based on the kilogram. A kilogram is slightly over two pounds.
D. I cook. I have bought fresh meat in (I believe) every province in Canada (and one territory) and consistently, 500 grams of anything (including meat) is tiny bit over a pound. Your recipes will work perfectly. A kilogram is 1,000 grams. So, one kilogram is a bit over two pounds.
E. Most odometers on vehicles can be changed to kilometers.
F. If you drive a car that was sold in the USA into Canada, use the LITTLE numbers on the speedometer (these are kilometers-per-hour – KPH). The BIG numbers are miles-per-hour – MPH.
G. Temperature (Celsius and Fahrenheit) may drive you crazy at first but try this. You will be really close.
For a quickie and really close conversion, try this…
Temp Celsius times 2 plus 30 = Temp Fahrenheit
20 deg C x 2 +30 = 70 deg F
10 deg C x 2 +30 = 50 deg F
30 deg C x 2 +30 = 90 deg F
Want the exact conversion? If you have a calculator, do this…
20 deg C x 9/5 plus 32 = 68 deg F
10 deg C x 9/5 plus 32 = 50 deg F
30 deg C x 9/5 plus 32 = 86 deg F
OR, when you go outside and it’s cool, put on a shirt or jacket and don’t worry about the temperature!!!
H. The worst is hectares and acres. Don’t ask.
In my seminars and writing, I always recommend that you do a REAL measure for the height of your RV (I don’t care what the seller told you or how good your “eyeball” guess is). Measure from the highest point (antenna or satellite dish in the stowed position, horns, lights, top of your ladder, or whatever is sticking up the farthest when traveling). Convert the accurate measure to feet/inches AND meters. Then have one of those small plastic signs made (at any print shop or business supply) that states your height requirement and glue this small sign on your dash. That way you (or anyone driving your coach) will know.
Finally, Google will do instant conversions for just about anything. You don’t need to ask complete questions. So, suppose your RV was 12 feet, 6 inches tall, then ask Google this… “12’6 ft in meters” which translated means “What is 12 feet 6 inches in meters?” (Note: The single ‘ denotes feet.)