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


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Old 07-24-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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I have crossed the border into the USA and back into Canada many times all were uneventfull until now

After a great trip through Montana we arrived at the Canadian border crossing it went like this;

What do you have to declare?

I passed her my declaration card claiming 24 beers and half a bottle of rum and 4 beer in the trailer fridge; we bought a few other small items valued less than $800

Let me see your receipts

Let see now you have a receipt for 24 beer and you claim to have 28 where is the receipt for the other 4?

I didn't save every receipt for everything we bought and we are well under our $800 limit

How many firecrackers do have?

Huh?

How many firecrackers do have, how much fireworks are you bringing back?

None

Do you have any food items?

There's some food in the fridge

How many eggs do you have?

I didn't count them but there's less than a dozen

Pull your unit ahead and stand 20 feet in front of the vehicle while we conduct a search

The questions continued for about 20 minutes she left stone no unturned how much money did we have how much did we spend, repairs, alterations, did you mail any items back in your name, the tires on the camper look new do you have a receipt, the interrogation went on and on while another guard went through the trailer after the inspection she came towards me and said we found half a bottle of rum in the camper! You are not being honest with what else are you lying about? I told her while biting my tongue to look on the declaration I handed her when we started, after she read I had declared the rum she said I still don't think your being honest about something and in the future when you visit the USA document every penny you spend I thanked her for her time and we drove away wondering if we just entered Canada or Russia.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Have you ever had trouble at the border?
We crossed at Sault St. Marie, MI in 1996. It was our 1st (and only) crossing into Canada after crossing back and forth into Mexico many times. We were a little nervous about the whole gauntlet feel of the event, which the inspectors took to mean that we must be up to something no good.
We got pulled into secondary too, and they tired of the game and quit just before they got to Robert's Medicine suitcase full of his AIDS drugs. (Thank You, Jesus!)

Speaking of Mexico, I used to have trouble crossing to work in Tijuana and Ensenada occasionally. This was right after California passed Proposition 187, and before the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.

I look at it as part of the law of averages.
I expect to have trouble, and consider it not too bad if it happens less than 5% of the total times I cross.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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I am saddened to read reports like this as my wife and I spend a lot of time in the USA (as Canadians) and have, in general, been treated well and with courtesy in both directions. For some years we pulled our Trillium, then the L'il Bigfoot to Florida in winters and I have taken a Pop-up and my Bigfoot 17 to Dayton for the Hamvention several times. Only on a few occasions was more than a few minutes taken in answering questions. Food into USA was a bugaboo on 2 occasions, as others mentioned. We now tow a 'loaded to the roof' minivan for wintering in FL and back and have been pleased with the Border Crossings. I must say that my hands get sweaty and I get a lump in my stomach EVERY TIME I have to do the deed, but it has been painless. I do recall, 30 years ago, being hassled many times in flights across the border, mostly by my CDN officials upon returning, and getting pretty tired of these events. However, I was younger then, had hair, sideburns, etc., that are dim memories now! Spending 2 years at the University of Detroit, and coming home to Toronto every several weeks in early 60s never seemed a problem. Gas at 19.9c per gallon with a 58 Volkswagon made returns very cheap.
I guess that there are some overly zealous Customs Officials everywhere, and we're bound to run into one now and then!
Don't measure a Country, or it's People by a few officious Government Employees!
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Quote:
I have crossed the border into the USA and back into Canada many times all were uneventfull until now

After a great trip through Montana we arrived at the Canadian border crossing it went like this;

What do you have to declare?

I passed her my declaration card claiming 24 beers and half a bottle of rum and 4 beer in the trailer fridge; we bought a few other small items valued less than $800

Let me see your receipts

Let see now you have a receipt for 24 beer and you claim to have 28 where is the receipt for the other 4?

I didn't save every receipt for everything we bought and we are well under our $800 limit

How many firecrackers do have?

Huh?

How many firecrackers do have, how much fireworks are you bringing back?

None

Do you have any food items?

There's some food in the fridge

How many eggs do you have?

I didn't count them but there's less than a dozen

Pull your unit ahead and stand 20 feet in front of the vehicle while we conduct a search

The questions continued for about 20 minutes she left stone no unturned how much money did we have how much did we spend, repairs, alterations, did you mail any items back in your name, the tires on the camper look new do you have a receipt, the interrogation went on and on while another guard went through the trailer after the inspection she came towards me and said we found half a bottle of rum in the camper! You are not being honest with what else are you lying about? I told her while biting my tongue to look on the declaration I handed her when we started, after she read I had declared the rum she said I still don't think your being honest about something and in the future when you visit the USA document every penny you spend I thanked her for her time and we drove away wondering if we just entered Canada or Russia.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
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Interesting thread. I have been crossing the border into Canada since I was 2 months old in 1942 to Great Grand Parents farm outside of St. Stephen, NB. With the exceptions of some overzealous summer help having power issues, the crossings have always been smooth until I crossed from Montana into Alberta at the Sweetgrass crossing in 2003.
I had spent a week working at Cheyenne Frontier Days and had spent several days traveling through Wyoming and Montana so looked a bit rough around the edges. I was also traveling alone, the car was stuffed full of gear. and I have Texas plates. According to an ex-Mountie friend of mine, all strikes against you when crossing into Canada. When I pulled up, I showed them my passport, not necessary at the time but I had found out several years earlier it did make things easier going both ways. After I was asked the usual general questions then came the one about "Do you have Mace, pepper spray, or firearms?" No to all. More general questions as to where headed and why then, "Do you have any firearms?" No again. More questions then, "Do you have a pistol?" Now I beginning to get irritated but since I don't control the situation I just say "No", again but do ask how long they keep their computer files about people entering. He said 7 years, so I told him to check the crossings at Milltown, NB and he would see how often I crossed the border and I knew the drill. After a nasty look he asked me if I had any guns at home. I almost lost it at that point but curtly replied that I did and they were all safely and properly stored in a safe. Finally, he indicated that I should pull into a parking space for inspection. The inspecting officer was quite cordial and we had a nice chat while he inspected my car. I was surprised that I was asked to take out any valuables, passports, or important papers and stand at the front of the car. That was new. After a somewhat cursory search he pointed to something on the floor in the back and asked what it was. I had to laugh when I saw what he was refering to. It was a wooden folding boot jack that I used to remove my high top boots. I unfolded it to show him and then he recognized it. A souvenier of my summer in Germany teaching SW Cowboy cooking. My Mountie friend later told me that the border people think people from the Southern and SW US all carry guns.
On my way back to the States, same crossing, the first thing I was asked by US Customs, "Are you carrying any guns?" I said "No" Then she followed it up with "But y'all from Texas". Before I could say anything she laughed , pointed over her shoulder to the fellow behind her and said, We're from El Paso" We ended up having a nice chat after that.
That was my experence at Sweetgrass. I seem to have it easier crossing into the Maritimes. Maybe it is becuase I use the local crossing and not the big ones where the tourists and Commercial traffic cross. Even with the hassle my trip to Alberta was agreat one.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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Our full timer friends with a big 5th wheel had a lot of difficulty crossing into Canada on the way to Vancouver.

The Canadians too two hours going through their camper and tore everything out in the process. Of course they put nothing back and my friends had to spend hours setting everything right. The Canadians were rude and treated my friends like some kind of scum.

My friends will NEVER return to Canada and urge others to find somewhere else to go.

Personally, I don't enjoy that kind of treatment myself and will in the future spend my money here in the states.

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Old 07-24-2010, 03:32 PM   #6
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Our full timer friends with a big 5th wheel had a lot of difficulty crossing into Canada on the way to Vancouver.

The Canadians too two hours going through their camper and tore everything out in the process. Of course they put nothing back and my friends had to spend hours setting everything right. The Canadians were rude and treated my friends like some kind of scum.

My friends will NEVER return to Canada and urge others to find somewhere else to go.

Personally, I don't enjoy that kind of treatment myself and will in the future spend my money here in the states.
I had a similar situation a number of years back. Only difference was that I was going into the USA and it was USA Custom people who did it. I never begrudge them as they were doing there job. It never stopped me from going into the USA to spend my Canadian money there. Oh---I did convert my money before hand into USD.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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We bought our Rv Park in April after 9-11. The entering process at that point was strict and frankly I think it should be.

Bud, honestly I have heard horror stories from both sides! Again, personally I think the border crossing should be strict!


At times (during heightened terrorist alerts) the process of crossing tightens even more. Perhaps there had been some issues that day Rick. You just never know!

I use to tell guest, you have no clue what car load of smart asses went thru 5 minutes before you or what jackass tried to hide something he knew he wasn't suppose to take and his demeanor was an alert so guess what? You drive thru next and they are still mad, so they are gonna take it out on you! It's just a fact! Even in your job, a customer, co-worker etc might get your goat. Are you able to turn it off immediately? Most of us can't!

One of our guest whom came year after year even if for a short time on their way to another adventure (one of the most mellow people I have ever met!) answered the guards question with a "tart" remark and that only made the process longer! His wife was ready to kill him, not the guard! her husband. ......

We actually had several border crossing employee's as guest (from both sides of the border) and they always said I was right with my thoughts! Mostly the thing that made them super crazy is the people who tried to hide the fact that they are entering with something that they can't enter with. Like the guard is stupid or something! (lets not even get into the morons who take their pot across!) Lame! But since they deal with so many people who think their getting something past the border crossing, it eventually rub's off on (All) who cross.


Don't give up on Canada, it's a beautiful place to visit!
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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Well said Robin G
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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I wouldn't let this incident stop me crossing the border again, out of the past 30 times across I never had a problem. The guards are doing a serious job and take their duties very serious, but in this case there was nothing I could say to make her happy. I was never worried about "getting caught" because we were not doing anything wrong and I was still a Canadian citizen they couldn’t refuse me. One thing I would recommend is stopping at the Canadian customs on the way down and declaring all cameras, computers and that kind of stuff she really lowered the boom about that, fortunately all our stuff is old!
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #10
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fortunately all our stuff is old!
Just like me.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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... The entering process at that point was strict and frankly I think it should be....
I agree except maybe the walls that surround and protect us haven't been enough. Sometimes I wish California had a border crossing, especially this time of the year when it's extremely hot in the desert, to restrict the flow of Arizona residents (Zonies) seeking relief from the heat. At least make sure that they don't bring goods into the state that could be purchased locally. And it sure would be nice if we could restrict even neighboring communities from trespassing on our turf. Thankfully our gated community is able to filter out what government hasn't been able to restrict.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:42 PM   #12
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Twice we've suffered through officious jerks while crossing into the US. One guy had me stand 15 feet from the trailer, then went in and started asking me questions. Because I don't hear well, I moved closer to hear what he was asking. That put his hand on his gun and made me back up. When I didn't answer his questions, I pointed to my hearing aides and said I could come closer and answer questions or stand back and not hear. At that point he didn't know what he wanted so he confiscated an apple (grown in washington) warned me not to get sassy, and sent us on our way. As I said, an officious jerk, but I don't hold that against the US or the great people we meet camping or at NOGS. Bud, if you let them get to you, they've won. C'mon up and see beautiful B.C., and we'll say hi when we're in Virginia in October.
cheers
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #13
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I wouldn't let this incident stop me crossing the border again






in this case there was nothing I could say to make her happy.


[b]Perhaps, Chocolate?
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:37 AM   #14
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I agree except maybe the walls that surround and protect us haven't been enough. Sometimes I wish California had a border crossing, especially this time of the year when it's extremely hot in the desert, to restrict the flow of Arizona residents (Zonies) seeking relief from the heat. At least make sure that they don't bring goods into the state that could be purchased locally. And it sure would be nice if we could restrict even neighboring communities from trespassing on our turf. Thankfully our gated community is able to filter out what government hasn't been able to restrict.
I'm thinking this is a tongue-in-check comment, because I KNOW you aren't trying to start a political debate on FiberglassRV.

In Oregon, many communities rely on tourists, such was the town of Bandon. The Oregon Gathering brought in 80-85% of people from outside Oregon and we luv each and every one of you... and so did the State of Oregon and especially the City of Bandon.

Safe travels everyone
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