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Old 08-23-2016, 09:31 PM   #1
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Buffalo ny to Mackinac bridge

Heading to vancouver from Massachusetts. I usually take the south side of Lake Erie. I was wondering about cutting across Canada to port Huron. How are those border crossings? Travel planners show it saving a few hours, but I could lose a lot of that time in 2 border crossings.


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Old 08-23-2016, 10:04 PM   #2
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We are life long hockey parents ... and have made the trip from the northern Detroit suburbs to Niagara Falls for a couple dozen hockey tournaments over the years. I can't imagine taking the long way around Lake Erie - unless there was a reason I couldn't go thru Canada (i.e., if I felt it necessary to carry a handgun).

Traveling the 401/403 corridor from Hamilton, ONT to London, ONT is heavy traffic - but as long as there isn't an accident - it's not bad. The 402 corridor from London, ONT to Sarnia tends to have much lighter traffic. It's all a busy stretch - but certainly no worse the Toledo through Detroit traffic along which ever route you choose (I75 or M23). .. and the Canadian expressways aren't nearly the pothole-fest that Michigan roads are!!!.

Given a choice of crossing the border at Port Huron/Sarnia vs the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit/Windsor - I'd rather cross at Sarnia. As with pretty much any border crossing - it can take some time. Crossing from Canada into Michigan on Sunday afternoon is brutal. Middle of the night, mid/late morning crossing ... tend not to be so bad.

Just my two cents on this one ....

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:22 PM   #3
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What Space said is pretty much correct. The only thing I would add is that you buy fuel in the US before crossing. Peace Bridge used to have fuel at the duty free store, but I have not been there in years. Going into Canada is never an issue. Bring the coach back to the States in Detroit is always bad and Port Huron in seldom slow.

Besides, if you bypass Ohio, the Ohio won't hit you up for money because you are an out of state plate. The toll road there used to be good, but they changed the rules so we never use the toll road anymore.

DW has family in Canada, so we do crossings a lot.

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Old 08-25-2016, 01:07 PM   #4
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If you have the time and fuel budget taking the Trans Canada highway would one of those "Check the box trips". Crossing at Niagara, particularly at the Livingston-Queenston Bridge north of Niagara Falls, was very easy and will probably be shorter line than via I5 north of Seattle. Unless your going to Vancouver Washington. I would still consider the northern route for the adventure. Hitting Winnipeg, Calgary, Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park would be a great trip.

We traveled from Niagara north along the eastern shore of Lake Huron to Lake Superior two years ago in July. Traffic was very light, roads were well maintained and the weather was very pleasant. Very nice drive overall.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:13 PM   #5
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Just a few points. All passengers will need passports. Fuel costs more in Canada, fill up before crossing. At border, your passports will be used to search online. If you have a handgun permit, even if not carrying, your vehicle might be subject to search. Don't try fool border guards. Most insurance is good in Canada, but have paperwork. Pets also should have current vet papers.

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Old 08-25-2016, 07:47 PM   #6
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Buffalo ny to Mackinac bridge

Three thoughts:

Watch your mirrors at Port Huron it's very tight.

The new Michigan welcome center is vey nice. Loads of big rig friendly parking.

If entering the US at Buffalo on the Peace Bridge with an RV YOU MUST MAKE A HARD RIGHT and look for the RV lanes. Despite living here in WNY we never paid attention till returning this summer and missed the obscured signs. We wound up unhooking the Jeep and having to have them stop traffic and back us across 5 lanes to get to the right lane. However, they complemented DW and me for getting unhitched quckly. We were the second that day and they said the other folks took 15 minutes. LOL!

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Taking in the sights with our Trolley ...but life is always better under a Palm Tree
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice! We went through the Queensland bridge yesterday (40 minutes) and then port huron (5 minutes) a few hours later.

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