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Old 07-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Going thru Canadian customs

We are traveling from NY to MI planning on going through Canada with our 5th wheel. Does anyone have any advice or experiences they wish to share?
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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There have been several recent threads on this topic. Here's a link to a webpage that contains pretty much everything you need to know about what foods you can carry:

Government of Canada - Be Aware and Declare! - What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products?
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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You will be searched, trust me, lived in Mi all but four years of my 58 on earth!
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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canadian customs

Two trips thru customs in Ontario and they only waved us thru and said have a nice day. Did not even look at my brand new passports. Same for the people traveling with us. Coming back to America they at least looked at the passport before waving us on
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Just finishing up a 6 week tour of Canada/Alaska and didn't have any border crossing problems other than them being sarcastic most times and trying to trip you up with their questions etc. I just answered their questions to the best of my ability and didn't chat or ask them nothing . They all have asked for our passports etc so have everything ready before its your turn and everyone take off your sunglasses too !
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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Well, now that you ask. Years ago my wife and I stopped at the Canada customs. They sent our RV to a side road. We waited for a half hour. I didn't understand what we were suppose to do here, so, after the long wait, I thought we were allowed to go on. Mistake. About 5 miles down the road the custom police came behind us with lights flashing. We were in trouble. They escorted us back. In the office I explained the situation. They told us we could be facing a fine, but, they did let us go after chewing out. Still don't know why they had us sitting there so long.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Just finishing up a 6 week tour of Canada/Alaska and didn't have any border crossing problems other than them being sarcastic most times and trying to trip you up with their questions etc. I just answered their questions to the best of my ability and didn't chat or ask them nothing . They all have asked for our passports etc so have everything ready before its your turn and everyone take off your sunglasses too !
These border guys are VERY serious. They asked me about guns and then asked my wife, all the time stareing at our eyes. They then asked if we had pepper spray. I had two in the comptment next to me. I said yes and they asked if it had a picture of a bear on it, I said no. They took it (the small one) I gave them ONE can of pepper spray. About a mile inside Canada there was a sign saying to use Pepper Spray if confronted by a Bear, WHAT.
I later found out that the only differance between Pepper spray with a picture of bear on it will spray alot farther. Oh well I hope they were able to put my SMALL can of pepper spray to good use !! I hear it's great on Taco's
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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If you think Canada border guards are tough, then you haven't gotten the treatment from the US ones. BTDT once and never again. Told them I was going to a friend's place to help him put a transmission in his car. Not right thing to say. I was told I'd be taking work away from an American. Thought I was going to be sent to Guantanamo Bay....

Leave firearms and ammo at home. Unless you 100% know the current rules, don't take fruit and vegetables into Canada. You'll get to buy ones shipped here from the US anyway. Don't attempt to take any fruit or veggies back into the US, even if originally from the US. Rules for this into the US are different. Best to leave any alcohol at home. You will get to enjoy our mafia-inspired alcohol prices. Be 100% honest when asked a question. Do NOT try and hide ANYTHING. Meds must be in original containers with doctors and pharmacy info on it. Of course, no rec. drugs of any kind (as if you would). No fireworks. Do not joke with border guards or say anything other than to just answer each question in an honest and succinct way. Being clean shaven with recent haircuts and decent looking clothes helps. Knowing your trailer licence plate by heart is a good idea. Have insurance papers for RV and TV handy. Have vet papers handy to showing up to date shots. Dog food into Canada is okay if made in the US or Canada. Do NOT ever, ever take opened packages of dog food into the US.

Look at the border guards straight in the eye while talking to them and never let yourself get flustered. They like being able to see everyone inside so roll the windows right down and make everyone visible.

We travel into the US all the time with no issues other than one with dog food ('nuther story, 'nuther day). We almost never see an RV pulled over at the border crossing we use south of Vancouver. If you plan to cross the border much, Nexus cards are really good. We have them. Bit of a hassle to get, but they treat you with a higher level of respect when crossing because you are already pre-cleared. Also good for travelling by air out of the country.

Don't know if you can get a Canadian TV show called Border Security. It's a reality show about daily goings-on at the Canadian side of border crossings. Gives a good picture of the type of people and things that cause people to get pulled aside.

We find that they often ask different questions each time you go through customs and in either direction. They can throw what seems like an oddball question at you to catch you off guard. Like - "have any canned goods? Yes. What's in them?" Of course, you haven't camped in a few weeks and can't recall what you have. Red flag #1. Make sure you know exactly what's in your RV from stem to stern.

If you have a blended family and kids are minors, you'll need written permission of the other natural parent to take them into Canada.

Tip: Some border crossings are better than others for physically getting your RV past the pylons and posts. The US crossing that we use all the time is extremely tight for longer and larger RVs. We have to swing as wide as we can to get past the steel posts and it's inches to spare on each side. It was never built with RVs in mind. If I were you, I'd see if you have alternate crossings you can use that might have easier physical access. We have another crossing east of us where they send all commercial vehicles and RVs through the same lane so access is really easy.

Last tips: if you hafta go pee anywhere really bad, ask for a washroom. Not a restroom. Don't say "eh". Not cool anymore. "Hey" is okay tho. if greeting someone.

Otherwise, have a really great time in Canada!
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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Small minded people with a great deal of authority. Unfortunatly we need them .
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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We crossed the border today in BC with our grandsons who are spending a month with us in Jasper and Banff. By the time the border guard had examined and probably scanned in their parents' permission documents, she let us go through without a single question about guns, alcohol, food, etc. We had complied with everything and it was sort of disappointing not to have been asked anything!
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:36 PM   #11
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Small minded people with a great deal of authority. Unfortunatly we need them .
Unfortunately, the same thing can be said about border guards...............
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #12
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Small minded people with a great deal of authority. Unfortunatly we need them .
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Unfortunately, the same thing can be said about border guards...............
In retrospect I should not have posted my Small minded people statement. We spend alot of time camping in California state parks and some of the "Rangers" that bring law and order to the great untamed west have a very inflated opinion of themselves. I understand they have a difficult job to do but some are a bit too, shall we say, enthusiastic.
They sometimes forget they are not guarding the President but a Port O Potty.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:59 AM   #13
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Around here we call that SBS, Shiny Badge Syndrome.

That's when the shiny badge on a persons chest blinds them from seeing reality clearly. It also distorts their vision so that seemingly minor things appear disproportionately large.

We had just such an incident recently at our little airport, the Municipal By-law enforcement 'officer' came out to follow up on a noise complaint filed after an airplane had taken off very early on a Saturday morning. He stated that the airplane owner was going to have to either install a better muffler on his aircraft or not use full throttle when taking off early since there's a noise by-law.

When I suggested that we could take off at just above idle if Town Council could just vote to suspend gravity in the area for us he told me he'd be willing to make that recommendation and thanked me for my efforts to be a good corporate citizen!
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:18 AM   #14
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Well, now that you ask. Years ago my wife and I stopped at the Canada customs. They sent our RV to a side road. We waited for a half hour. I didn't understand what we were suppose to do here, so, after the long wait, I thought we were allowed to go on. Mistake. About 5 miles down the road the custom police came behind us with lights flashing. We were in trouble. They escorted us back. In the office I explained the situation. They told us we could be facing a fine, but, they did let us go after chewing out. Still don't know why they had us sitting there so long.
They were checking for drugs and had probably a search dog in it.
Had the same at US customs which by the way is much faster to searrch and arrest you. Dont be sarcastic wit them taht is all. AND please dont carry guns across the borders in Canada
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