Have you ever had trouble at the border? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-25-2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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My last crossing was below Calgary heading for Harvey Montana .As I remember the sign in Canada saying the next service 150 miles so the crossing was quite small As the Sargent stepped from his shack He saluted me and began asking guestions the first being Where were you born { I replied Ottertail county MN] As he continued with his partner looked through the trailer and after many questions he came back with so you were born in Beaver Dam Wi were you? No i said Ottertail mn GOOD ANSWER PASS THROUGH!! You could tell this was his own routine and he was proud of it He reminded me of Sgt Carter on the Gomer Pyle show.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:03 PM   #16
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I was at the Vancouver airport headed to Whistler BC for a mountain bike race. Things seemed to be going okay until I couldn't recall the name of the hotel where I'd be staying. "I don't know. I stayed there last year. It's at the far end of the village." I said. "How will you get there?!" the officer asked, very incredulously. "The shuttle will take me and I'll know it when I see it," I answered. "You don't know where you're going? You have expensive bicycling and photographic equipment with you...What are your intentions with these items? she asked. "Um, I'm going to ride and take photographs," I said, trying hard to not sound sarcastic. "Hmm, we need you to step to the side," she said.

Sooooo, I was passed on to two other agents. After having them open my bike box, pull out all of my tools (the shock pump really piqued their interest) poke through my luggage, have me open the battery compartment to my strobe, have me take the lenses off of my cameras, ask me the same questions several different ways, ask me at least five different times about what hotel I'd be staying at, they FINALLY let me through...too late to catch my shuttle. Which also meant I missed having dinner with the rest of my party.

Oh well. I survived.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:24 PM   #17
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In September of 2000, the first and only time we have crossed into Canada, the airline stewardess warned us that after landing we would find customs at the Montreal airport crowded and chaotic. And too make sure we had our declarations questionnaire completely filled out.

When we arrived there was no one there but the passengers from our flight. When we got to the customs booth the officer asked why we were entering Canada. I replied that we were boarding a cruise ship for a trip back to New York.

He then asked if we had passports and I said yes and handed him both of our passports. He opened them, stamped them, handed them back, and said to have a good time.

He never looked at our declarations questionnaire.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:01 PM   #18
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1984 after crossing into Canada at Buffalo and visiting Niagra Falls and spending the night, the US customs people searched us. There is the wife, four kids and a dog. Each person has two suit cases and a carry-on bag. Every suit case has a copy of my orders to Germany in it and is stuffed to the max because it will take six weeks to three months for our household goods to arrive. After an hour and a half with everything out of the van, on the ground, all containers opened; a supervisor comes over. Takes one look at the orders I show him and he says "we are done here". Then they wanted us to move so we wouldn't be blocking one of their precious search spots.

I appreciate what they do and have to put up with, but some of us should be able to get a "good guy" card or something.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:31 PM   #19
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We've been through border patrols and immigration in many countries, (by land, sea, and air) and the truth of the matter is, it's kind of a lottery that you'll be searched, even if you're following the rules. It is what it is.

Everyone needs to protect their borders, and interior, and we all need to understand and fulfill our obligations to our guest country. Eat, or give away, or throw away, offending produce, meats, etc. , before entry. If you're provided with forms, fill them out completely. Weapons (even items we may not consider to be "weapons" in the US, like pepper spray, need to find a shelf at home, before we depart..)
Flying from home to Alaska to camp, I had two lighters taken from my luggage, checked, six or seven years ago. Dogs sniffed the scent of apples in my backpack, long gone, in two cities, ok. The backpack was searched, no problem, because the fruit was eaten long ago, just the scent remained.

My sister and I used to laugh that every single time we tried to board a flight, we seemed to wind up in the "extra search" line, even though we checked our luggage... we are both middle-aged moms....had to be just our number in the lottery of search per centage.

I'll take that, over lax security, any day. It can take a little while, but I carry as little as I can anywhere I go, and that probably makes it easier on the border guard when we cross to wherever we're going.

Will the increased security, anywhere, stop me from traveling? Absolutely not. Now that we're retired, we're so happy to go where we can, while we still can, we'll not stop till we can not go.

Sherry
PS Last summer, in Ontario, we had a wonderful time. Thank you to our friends north of the border for great parks, beautiful scenery, and a warm welcome from everyone we met.





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Old 07-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
1984 after crossing into Canada at Buffalo and visiting Niagra Falls and spending the night, the US customs people searched us. There is the wife, four kids and a dog. Each person has two suit cases and a carry-on bag. Every suit case has a copy of my orders to Germany in it and is stuffed to the max because it will take six weeks to three months for our household goods to arrive. After an hour and a half with everything out of the van, on the ground, all containers opened; a supervisor comes over. Takes one look at the orders I show him and he says "we are done here". Then they wanted us to move so we wouldn't be blocking one of their precious search spots.

I appreciate what they do and have to put up with, but some of us should be able to get a "good guy" card or something.
Curtis:

There is a "good guy" card. It is called [b]Nexus. You can find more information at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_...ler/nexus_prog/.

A Nexus card last 5 years, costs $50. In some entry points into Canada or US, such as the Peace Arch crossing at Blaine WA, there are electronic sensors that automatically pick up your information from a special card. Crossing time is usually a couple of minutes because there is a separate lane. If you are crossing the border frequently it is the only way to go.

My wife and I have had Nexus cards for several months and frequently are travelling between USA and Canada because our son lives and works in Seattle, and because we enjoy going on holiday in Washington and Oregon.

Even before we had our Nexus cards we rarely encountered any problems at either the Canadian or USA borders in more than 20 years of travel. The key is to understanding the rules for what can be brought into each country and making sure you are living within the rules, treating the customs agents with courtesy and answering questions in a forthright manner.

Brian


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Old 07-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #21
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I am a US citizen and travel to Canada about every 4 months. Never with a trailer though. Never have I had an issue with Canadian customs. They are always professional and do their job.

Coming back into the US has been more of an issue. Not a big deal, but kind of funny. One time the customs agent asked where I lived. I told him MA. He then added that before that you lived in VT. I said no. He said that's what your passport says. Okay, 66 years ago, I was born in VT and lived there for a year. That ended that.

The most serious issue happened when the agent typed in the wrong info about my license plate. That led to being pulled aside for special questioning. We had our dog with us and it was hot. We tried to take the dog with us to the building for questioning and an agent said we couldn't. We asked where to leave the dog. He said in the car. My wife said no, it is too hot, and if he wanted to enforce that, he would have to shoot her. Well, he got on the phone and we were allowed to bring our 20 lb dog with us.

Today at the VT border they have license plate recognition software so that they know who you are, before you reach their station. Last time I went through the agent first words were " Hello Michael".

Mike
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:59 PM   #22
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I have a friend with a motorcycle with a plate that is close enough to a stolen bike's plate that more than once the optical character recognition software has flagged him as a thief at the border.

I hate the border. Nexus card really helps.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:40 AM   #23
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non fiberglass moment but crossing back into the US from a medical convention. My child then 2 and throwing an ENORMOUS fit just a cars length away from the guard, my MIL on my right...I'm flustered beyond belief with just this scenario coupled with making sure I had all the documentation. So as I pull up, my turn, I'm beat red with hives and a screaming child, the guy asks me if the child in the back seat is mine and where is dad when "whoosh" a sippy cup zips by my head...I turn around and loose it at my kid about throwing a cup at me.....the guard looks at me and without even looking at my papers says "just go", I'm dumbfounded and look at him like thats it thats all? and he just waved me threw.......its funny now
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:08 AM   #24
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I reload my own ammunition and often wonder why the smell of the powder has never caused any problems. Most powders are nitroglycerin and/or nitrocellulose based and I'm sure a lot of my camping and traveling equipment have been heavily exposed to the vapors. So far, no problems however. It makes me wonder just how sensitive some of the equipment and dogs are to explosives.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:31 PM   #25
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We regularly fly from Scotland to the US, then drive into Canada to visit relatives and return for a vacation in America. Never have we had any issues at the US/Canada border, although it seems that on the Canadian side the customs officers appear a little more 'stern' (though at all times polite) than the Americans.
As an aside, being from Scotland, we are fortunate to benefit from participation in he US visa waiver scheme where we fill in an ESTA form online and pass through border control at our arrival airport. Again, apart from the sometimes lengthy queues, we have had no problems passing into the US.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:23 PM   #26
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I lived in a small town, very close to a border crossing and my neighbour was a customs officer and knew many acting and retired officers. It was a small isolated area where the towns folk from the closest american town with very little services made use of our municipal pool for swimming lessons, arena for skating etc. If the traffic was quiet, and we had been away for awhile, a stop at the border was more like a visit across the back yard fence finding out the town news over the past few weeks. What a big shock and a good lesson when crossing at a busier crossing to be reminded by the officer, to answer only the questions that I was asked. I was glad for the officer's sense of humour, when asked if I had anything to declare, my young son, decided that was the time to declare his mother was an alien. They have a tough job, they are great people off the job and they are not perfect. I'm glad we have , on the whole, a positive relationship with our neighbours to the south. Great to get to know you at gatherings and on line.
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