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Old 07-17-2007, 09:47 AM   #1
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Hello, We want to camp in Ontario and are worried about problems at the border towing a camper? We are looking at Rock Point Park on Lake Erie. Thanks
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Bring Gov't issued I.D. ....drivers permit AND birth certificate (or passport) for every traveller of age. (Not sure how the gov't is handling minors and people without drivers permits.)

Leave ALL sharp pointy items at home.

Canadian Gov't stand seems to be that anything you carry for self defense can and may be taken away from you and used either against you or someone else to commit a crime!!

I'm sure other Canucks will chime in here when they wake up....LOL!!!!!
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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Crossing the border in either direction is likely to be a non-event if you do your homework.

As stated, you will need something proving citizenship (passport or DL + birth certificate; voter registration is NFG), esp to get back into the US.

If you have an accident or traffic violation in CA, you will most likely be asked to show proof that your auto ins is valid in CA -- Either carry your policy, or better, get the card from your insco stating same (many will FAX it or let you download it for printing).

Anything that has a barrel and a muzzle velocity of over XXXfps is considered a firearm (Yes, Virginia, that includes blowguns and spud guns and air guns), plus anything that is considered to be offensive like pepper spray, unless it is clearly labeled Bear Spray and you state you will be going where bears are.

Check the CA customs site for rules on stuf like booze and tobacco. Check the US customs sites for stuf you can't bring into the US, like beef or poultry products.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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The US guys took our oranges and eggs on the way into the States, and the Canadians took our firewood on the way back home. Other than that, it was a wave-through.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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The US guys are supposed to take your firewood also, I believe, although that might only apply if there is bark on it.

I read a sad tale about a guy who went to a relative's place in Red Lake MN (northernmost place in Lower 48, but like Hyder and a town in WA, not contiguous by road to US), picked up a trailer-load of firewood, drove out of US, back into CA and then tried to re-enter US but was refused entry with the firewood. He was then faced with the task of disposing of it in CA because he would likely be refused entry back into Red Lake...
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:59 AM   #6
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I go back and forth across the border all the time (only a few times with my trailer, but lot's of times with horses, kayaks, backpacking stuff).

Ditto what everyone has said about ID (I carry my passport, ownership, rabies and other health papers for my dogs).

Ditto what folks have said about anything that could be construed as a weapon - although I've never been questioned about knives (I have the usual big folding pocket knife and various 'dive knives' for the kayak).

The most trouble I've ever had was around food (fruit, vegies and fresh meat) and firewood - neither side of the border wants cootie's coming across the border hiding in your fruit or your firewood. There are regulations about how much alcohol you can bring across (my partial 6-pack and pint of gin didn't get anyone too exercised!).

Be prepared to take your sunglasses off - they apparently want to be able to see your shifty little eyes throughout their questions.

If you do your homework, the primary annoyance will be sitting in line if you hit the border crossing at the wrong time
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #7
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We have crossed the border numerous times with our motorhome with no problem either way. We always carry our passports for ID. We have vet's papers for our cats tp prove proper shots etc.. Last fall was the first time US border guards entered our trailer checked fridge etc. for improper food and said "have a good trip" very pleasant. I carry a machette and two axes for camping in the woods and have never had a problem either way. Wood, some fruit, weapons etc. are a no no. Go on the web sites and you can get a current list of what you can and cannot carry. I find if you are well prepared and know what you're carrying it is very easy and fast. You will propbably have as much or more trouble getting back home as you do into Canada. We usually find it that way. for some reason they're happy to see the tourists come but check out their own citizens coming back home.

Good Luck and enjoy your holiday up here.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:43 PM   #8
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I just got back from a dog gathering and our Candian friend had their dog food taken ,somthing about mad cow. Also took the beef sandwiches for lunch.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:25 PM   #9
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BTW, Stutton, you didn't exactly say where you were going, but about ten years ago, I crossed at Detroit with my son and his wife and we went to a Provincial Park named the Pinery. It was a really nice place and experience (first time camping for his wife and she enjoyed it).
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:53 PM   #10
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As I understand it when you go into the US dog and cat food is illegal unless it is a brand made in the US. I cannot confirm this as due to health reasons our cat is on a special diet available only at Vet's. We take only enough to gat us to a vet in the US where we can buy it and have never had a problem but there's always a first time. The funny part is we buy a comparable product in the US and it is a US brand but the bags are marked "made in Canada". Wonder how they explain that one.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:33 PM   #11
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I got a very close search when I used a very small port into Canada.
It was pleasant but took about 20-30 minutes.
I think the young guy was practicing on me because just he had the time. I didn't fit the terrorist profile-old, white with wife and nice little dog.
Wonderful county and sweet people.
No, I don't carry no stinkin' gun either.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:14 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the great information. We will leave the firewood, fruit, meat, sharp marshmallow forks, and guns in VA.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:14 AM   #13
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Last year entering into the US they took all of our Beef including sandwiches we were in the middle of eating while in the lineup, except some Beef Jerky that was stamped USDA approved, Made in the USA. Never bothered us for the chicken (in fact, I exclaimed "were having chicken tonight honey!"), other grocery items or firewood. On the way back I got a weird look for bringing beer (we were at a conference, beer was left over, it was free), we witnessed firewood problems so we left it behind instead of explaining it was Canadian Firewood. No problems on the return.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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I don't think the Canadians— or anyone else with that mind-set— are all that concerned that a "weapon-like object" might be taken away from you and used in a crime. I think they want to enforce the NMHB (new model human being) principle that it is anti-social to defend yourself. After all, the poor perp probably had a bad childhood, or not enough lunch, and if you were to defend yourself you would just make his life even more unpleasant. This is the prevailing social construct in GB. Be patient and it will be here in the US, too. Already is in some places.

[End of OMHB rant]
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:12 PM   #15
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I got a very close search when I used a very small port into Canada.
It was pleasant but took about 20-30 minutes.
I think the young guy was practicing on me because just he had the time. I didn't fit the terrorist profile-old, white with wife and nice little dog.
Wonderful county and sweet people.
No, I don't carry no stinkin' gun either.
If that small port was near Skagway, I think they are in some kind of competition for the most handguns confiscated from Yanks Getting Off the Ferry or something...
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:35 PM   #16
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The biggest issue for us going into the US last month was dog food. No dog food, no beef treats and no rawhide chews unless you could prove it was packaged in the US and it was still unopened. Poor dogs had to start their vacation wondering why we hadn't packed for them!

jen
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:24 PM   #17
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The biggest issue for us going into the US last month was dog food. No dog food, no beef treats and no rawhide chews unless you could prove it was packaged in the US and it was still unopened. Poor dogs had to start their vacation wondering why we hadn't packed for them!

jen
I have gone in and out of canada three times but always through the state of Washington. SO here is my experience in that state:
1- interstate 5 north of bellingham WA is a big traffic mess going both ways
2- highway 9 twenty miles east is more commercial vehicles but fewer vacationers and is much less hassle than #1
3- Oriville WA on highway 97 was nice and friendly and uncrowded early in the AM... maybe a three min wait both ways.

Ron
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #18
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The biggest issue for us going into the US last month was dog food. No dog food, no beef treats and no rawhide chews unless you could prove it was packaged in the US and it was still unopened.
That was the key for us as well for pet food. Nothing made from ruminate animals and unopened. They are worried about BSE or Mad Cow disease. The rules keep changing all the time though. Better to be safe than sorry. Below is a link to the basics on border crossing rules between Ontario and New York. A pretty good primer, and it has links to the US Customs site.

http://www.lockport-ny.com/Tourism/customs.htm
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #19
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....we had to return to Canada with an unopened 50lb bag of unopened (Canadian) 'speciality' dog food because the man in the little booth said .....it might contain beef vitamins and besides Canadian meet processors process "DRY DOG FOOD OFF THE SAME TABLES!!!!!!!!!!!"

YEAH , right sargent...... can I go now

...like I' taking enough dog food to feed a WHOLE kennel of dogs, not just my one 80lb Shephard and we ARE staying @ our r/v trailer for a MONTH.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #20
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Since 911 Canada has become more restrictive about who may legally enter the country. IF you have a criminal record you can be barred from entry. This includes some misdemeanors, especially DUI or DWI offenses an assault charges of any kind. If you know that running a criminal check on you will pull up a record you may want to check with the Canadian government regarding your eligibility for entry.

My gf found out the hard way that she could not enter legally due to her record which was the result of a youthful fight with her roommate.

US State Dept. Canadian Consular sheet
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