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Old 06-09-2014, 11:18 AM   #1
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US/Canada Border Crossings – RV Access Information

A listing of US/Canada Border Crossings and their related RV Access Information would be of value to those planning to use an unfamiliar crossing.

I am starting this with information on the three crossings nearest Vancouver BC area and I hope others will post information on additional crossings along the Canada/US border to eventually – eventually spanning coast to coast.

Note: Please do not post stories about your border crossing experiences in this message thread. A separate “Discussion” message thread is provided here to help maintain the clarity and simplicity of information resource.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:24 AM   #2
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Douglas (Peace Arch)
Surrey, BC/Blaine, WA
BC Hwy 99 / WA Hwy 5
Open 24/7 year round
<Goggle Map link>

South: Canada > US
  • RV friendly
  • Often busy with potentially long wait times.
Three traffic lanes with the right lane reserved for NEXUS. Lanes split as you near the border checkpoint booths.

Use the left lane and when additional lanes become available as you near the crossing, use one of the three lanes furthest to the left. These three lanes provide you with easy access to the restricted exit after clearing the border.

North: US > Canada
  • RV friendly
  • Often busy with potentially long wait times.
Three traffic lanes with the right lane reserved for NEXUS. Lanes split as you near the border checkpoint booths.

Choose any lane at the split point. They are all RV friendly and no sharp turns are required after clearing customs.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:28 AM   #3
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Pacific Highway
Surrey, BC/Blaine, WA
BC Hwy 15 / WA SR 543
Open 24/7 year round
<Goggle Map link>

South: Canada > US
  • NOT RV friendly (not recommended for large/long RVs)
  • Do Not use the truck or bus lanes – car lanes only.
  • Lanes are tight with sharp bends. Often busy with potentially long wait times.
Three traffic lanes with the right lane reserved for NEXUS. Lane split as you near the border checkpoint booths.

If you use this crossing, stay as far to the right (non-NEXUS lanes) as possible to make your exit through the concrete barriers easier.

Use the right car lane and stay to the right as the lanes split nearing the booths. After you clear the customs booth you’ll have to negotiate a series of three offset concrete barriers. The lanes to the left will make access to this exit path increasingly difficult.

North: US > Canada
  • NOT RV friendly (not recommended for large/long RVs)
  • Do Not use the truck or bus lanes – car lanes only.
Lanes are tight with sharp bends. Often busy with potentially long wait times.
Traffic patterns vary greatly dependent upon which booths are open.

Three traffic lanes with the left lane reserved for NEXUS. Lanes split as you near the border checkpoint booths. Two sets of customs booths are available and traffic patterns vary considerably depending upon which booths are in use.

The non-NEXUS car lane furthest to the right is the least challenging but long rigs will likely need to straddle two lanes to negotiate some of the curves and line up for their customs booth. Once through the booths, your way is clear.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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Lynden – Aldergrove Border Crossing
Aldergrove, BC/Lynden, WA
BC Hwy 13 / WA Hwy 539
Open 8:00 am to midnight year round
<Goggle Map link>

South: Canada > US
  • RV friendly
  • Least busy crossing in this area but with potentially long wait times during peak demand times.

Two traffic lanes with the right lane reserved for truck, commercial vehicles and RVs.

All RVs should use the right lane, accessible at the 0 Ave. intersection.

North: US > Canada
  • RV friendly
  • Least busy crossing in this area but with potentially long wait times during peak demand times.

A single traffic lane splits into two and then sometimes into three as you near the border checkpoint booths. Trucks (only) exit to the right after crossing the borer, before the checkpoint booths. Any of the car lane booths can be used for RVs.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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Perhaps I can help with crossings on this end of border. Be aware that any Canadian or US holidays will be heavy at the border. The earlier in the day you can cross will save you large amounts of time.

Peace Bridge - Buffalo, NY/Ft. Erie, ON - This is one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the US so it can be more than a little hectic. The Bridge is three lanes which will switch between two into Canada or two out of Canada depending on traffic load.

Into Canada is fairly easy for the most part. There is an RV/Bus Lane that should be avoided if there is a bus in the lane. That can take hours to get through if the bus is full. You can use the regular lanes. If you and all your passengers have your Nexus cards you can use the Nexus lanes.

Canada to the US is a different story. There is a separate RV Lane that is where you are supposed to be. That lane is also used by cars and buses so the wait in even the RV lane can be long. I've had it take hours to cross at peak times. There is a separate Nexus lane, but I have never tried it with the motorhome.

Remember to be courteous to the agents on both sides of the border. They are just doing their jobs and may not be having a good day. They can give you a lot more grief than you can give them so plan accordingly.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:25 PM   #6
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Sumas Wa. border crossing is a little tight going south. Do not take the truck lane that turns off before the border, Stay in the right lane that turns into the RV lane. I is a little bit of a tight turn to get through the gate as you approach the booth.

Upon returning to Canada it is straight though, but the lanes through the booths are very tight for a large coach. There is an RV lane but has been closed every time I have been through. The wait times at this crossing are usually the same as Lynden Wa.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:41 AM   #7
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The only Crossing that I have had problems with is the Ambassador Bridge going to Detroit. The designated RV lane is the far left lane on the right hand side of the building. They have extended the building into what used to be the exit lane about 40-50 feet from the end of the Customs booth. It requires a tight right turn before the tow vehicle is out of the booth lane and a second hard left turn to access the toll booth all while crossing active lanes from the other Customs booths. The Alternative is to use the Truck lanes and was normally directed to them. It might not be an issue if you are short but we are 59 feet long towing the car.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:27 PM   #8
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Sidney, BC to Anacortes, Wa accessed by Washington State Ferry that runs on a schedule between the two points during the spring and summer months. RV friendly but make your reservations in advance, as it is a popular route. The port of entry at Anacortes is efficient and takes no time to get through and there is only a few minutes of border waits. The return trip into Canada is as easy. The bonus is that the cost is about 35% cheaper than BC ferries and there are no big border waits.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:51 AM   #9
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Victoria, BC - Port Angeles, Wa....Private Ferry commonly called the Black Ball makes multiple trips between the two ports with not much of a wait for clearing customs. Big thing for RVers is to be aware what you can and cannot bring into the country your entering. We download the list and pull it out showing the customs agent relating that we followed the list provided on the internet.....I think if you show that you have been pro-active rather than "Guessing" and having them question you regarding fruit, meats etc....you will have little problem getting thru.....
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