1) The Canadian Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP) is only valid for use in Canada. You cannot fly to the USA with one.Since you mentioned the FAA then I must assume you are thinking of flying to the USA from time to time.
2) According to Transport Canada (the Canadian civil aviation authority) , night means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, which changes throughout the year and also depends on your latitude. In the vicinity of Vancouver "night" begins roughly 30 minutes after sunset and ends about 30 minutes before sunrise.
3) The ONLY restrictions to a RPP are the day VFR requirement, the 4 maximum seat single engine requirement, the requirement to stay within Canadian airspace, and the single passenger requirement. Other than that, it is the same as the PPL.
4) There is a contradiction here. In one breath you say that the PPL is considerably more expensive, and in the next you want to go fly someplace for dinner, which makes for an extremely expensive meal. I think you need to get your financial priorities straight. From a safety, operational and insurance standpoint, the benefit of additional flight training far outweighs the benefit gained from purchasing the proverbial "hundred dollar hamburger". Get the RPP, put any additional money toward getting the PPL afterward, and save expensive meals for later.
5) In actuality, while the RPP flight time requirements are much lower (25 hours total), in reality the average student requires about as much flight time as required to get a PPL (45 hours) in order to gain sufficient proficiency to pass the RPP flight test.
6) In addition to all that, any FBO that rents airplanes is going to be highly restrictive about where they'll let an inexperience recreational pilot fly one of their airplanes.