Canadian shortcut questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
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Canadian shortcut questions

We are considering traveling Canada 401 from the Detroit area with U.S. reentry at Niagra Falls or possibly reentering in Maine.


We have a 16-foot Casita. It's OK with us if they do a complete inspection, but do they always, and how long will they take to do that when it's our turn?


I know I can't take guns into Canada, but can I take my archery bows and arrows? I don't plan on using them in Canada, but want to take them through.


Next, are there plenty of places to stop overnight with a camper? If not, are there Walmarts with the same overnight policy as the ones here?


We are leaving this Saturday, so I'll be watching for your information and advice.


Thanks,


Jim
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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We made sort of the same trip St Paul Mn through Canada and crossing over into the US at Niagara . We did not get searched at Niagara but we were questioned for about 15 to 20 minutes . Maybe it was a slow day
We crossed into Manitoba Canada in early June 2018 on a fishing trip
Crossing into Canada took a little longer this year , they asked a lot more questions than usual
I’ve heard that crossing into Ontario is taking longer and that they are searching more vehicles
The Canadian Border Patrol was polite and professional as always
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:54 PM   #3
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Our FG campers have never been searched by Canadian customs, and the conversation with the customs officer has generally been less than a minute. All crossings with our FG campers have been at Sarnia, Ontario.

Returning to the US, all of our crossings with our FG campers have been at Port Huron. Again, our FG campers have never been searched (except when importing the camper), and the conversation with the customs officer has generally been less than a minute.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:01 PM   #4
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Looks like not too much of a hassle then. Thanks for answering, both of you.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:37 PM   #5
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Looks like not too much of a hassle then. Thanks for answering, both of you.
Never assume that it is not too much of a hassle. It depends on who you get and what type of a mood they are in. I have had hassle free border crossings and I have had both my trailer and my tow vehicle searched. Furthermore, I have had property damaged by callous handling by Canadian border agents. If you do get selected for a search, it can take an hour or two. Border guards from both countries can be professional and polite or they can be combative and snotty. In Forrest Gump terms, border crossings are like a box of chocolates.......
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:37 PM   #6
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Bow and arrows? Better check the Ontario and Canada websites. Unusual enough that few rvers would know the answer.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:45 PM   #7
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Never assume that it is not too much of a hassle. It depends on who you get and what type of a mood they are in. I have had hassle free border crossings and I have had both my trailer and my tow vehicle searched. Furthermore, I have had property damaged by callous handling by Canadian border agents. If you do get selected for a search, it can take an hour or two. Border guards from both countries can be professional and polite or they can be combative and snotty. In Forrest Gump terms, border crossings are like a box of chocolates.......

My experience as well. Most crossings have been trouble free, but some were not. In addition, sometimes the lines have been quite long as well.

One time I was on my motorcycle. They proceeded to open every single pocket and bag, dump them all out on a table including my toiletry bag, and leave the mess for me to repack.

The treatment is really variable, most of the time it is fine.

Given the litany of weapons they have asked me about, including brass knuckles, butterfly knife, bear spray, etc. I would double check on that bow and arrow! Seems like the assumption is all US citizens are heavily armed and their job is to figure out where you have them hidden. This attitude could well be based on experience!!
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:22 PM   #8
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We typically go to Canada a couple of times a year, with or without the trailer. Never have been searched.

A few years ago, we crossed into Ontario with our Casita. The border guard was pretty militaristic, spent a fair amount of time checking the registration on our Casita but paid no attention to the rabies certificates for the dog and cat.

We crossed westbound on 402. The US guard asked where we were headed and suggested we should be going north the the Land of a Thousand Lakes instead of south and flagged through. It was a pleasure dealing with that one.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:32 PM   #9
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My guess with bow & arrows is you could expect plenty of questions.


Its good you know about the gun laws but even rifles can move though legally as long as they are declared and have the proper paper work. Here in BC many US citizens travel to Alaska with rifles.


Interesting about bear spray it is legal in Canada yet personal pepper spray is not, one is intended for bear the other for people.



US customs agents have far more power than a Canadian customs agent.


Most people will cross trouble free and even a misunderstanding can be cleared up.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:15 AM   #10
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Make sure you declare the bows and arrows, and have them ready for inspection. As far as I know, crossbows are restricted, and could be a problem.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:26 AM   #11
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Be sure you have current passports and proof of insurance.

Don't offer any information unless asked.

The only time our camper was searched was many years ago when the US put a ban on fresh meat from Canada... only because ONE cow had been affected by Mad Cow disease.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:57 AM   #12
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The border guard when I came back from Osoyoos inspected my refrigerator only. I had some cheese from Tillamook. He said “Ooooh, Tillamook Cheese”. As previously stated check the rules first and it would not hurt to have a good, no BS, reason for having your bow along. As you approach the stop, have a paper with your license plate numbers on it ready to read to them. Have your passport handy, have your dog vaccination certificate ready and roll down the window so they can see into the back seat. Answer the questions straightaway with respect. They have a job to do.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:13 PM   #13
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And don't wear sunglasses no matter which way you are going through the border.
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:26 PM   #14
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Most Walmart’s are free to park in, but I recommend getting the Walmart Allstay app so you will know in advance.
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