Border crossing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Border crossing

I have never traveled to Canada with a trailer. Is it difficult? I don't mind a casual walk through but I really would'nt want all my stuff pawed through. I don't guess it is too difficult, people must do it all the time. I'm looking to go to Nova Scotia for an extended camping trip. In the old days you just showed a drivers license. Things change.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #2
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Crossing

We've crossed a dozen times and only have had two times where some one really looked closely. Once they x-rayed our entire rig and thought they saw a case of beer and another time we crossed at a little used crossing and they asked too many questions. I guess they had nothing to do. We've never had anyone in either direction 'paw' thru our things.

If they think you have a gun, then it's another story.

Sometimes I think out 'Live Free or Die' state motto alerts crossing guards. We've had it mentioned twice.

I will say the maritime provinces are well worth a visit.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
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I'll find out in October! Last time we drove to Canada (prior to 9/11) I was still in the Air Force, and they waved our customized Ford van into Canada and just checked our credentials. Coming back to the USA they pulled us over on the USA side and did a complete search and made us take all our luggage out. Guess US Customs doesn't trust returning service members :-(
Funny thing is that once I retired I was offered a job at INS, partly because of my military background.
Here's what they say on the US travel.state.gov website.

"Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card (see below) satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens."
"When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens will need to present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document."
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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U.S. Customs doesn't like returning truck drivers either.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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It's criminal treatment!!!

Hi: All...Don't feel bad...Canadian citizens returning to Canada...get the criminal element treatment too!!!
Seems the US wants us to come on down and spend some dough but Canada wants to know how much we bring home???
Worst search we had by US Customs going in was for 1 California orange and a bag of Washington State apples. After searching the trailer and pulling the bed clothes off to look...for illegal aliens they left the fruit behind. DOH!!!
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:51 PM   #6
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Crossing the border

Mike

There are many myths and distorted horror stories about entering Canada and returning to the United States. I have heard a host of them and, upon examination, find most of them to be gross exaggerations or sour grapes because someone got caught violating the rules.

Entering Canada and returning to the United States is a relatively painless process. Over the years I have done it (and Iím not exaggerating !) hundreds of times and I could count on my fingers the number of times that I have encountered difficulty. I recently purchased a trailer in Michigan and imported it without any trouble whatsoever. My July trip to Nova Scotia involved four border crossings, none of which caused any concern or delay.

In all of my crossings, I have only been searched once. There was some form of contraband warning in effect and I go caught up in that. This is rare.

Without doubt there are cases where crossing the border can cause some hassles. Most of these come as a result of travellers being unaware of the rules or trying to circumvent them. It is important to be aware of what is, and what is not, allowed to be carried across. Number one rule: carrying firearms into Canada is not permitted. Most fresh fruit and vegetables are also disallowed. ( I suggest you buy these upon your arrival in Canada ) Alcohol is permitted in limited quantities and this is also true of tobacco products. You may also be asked about the amount of cash you are carrying. ( I believe the upper limit is $ 10,000. I donít suppose too many campers approach this figure ! )

Being prepared to tell the Canadian Customs Officer where you live, where you are planning to go, how long you will be staying in the country, whether or not you are carrying anything that you intend to leave in the country and if you are carrying any of the above limited or disallowed items. If you are travelling with a pet, make sure you have your rabies certificates readily available. On your return to the United States, you will be asked about your stay in Canada and your purchases. Again, the fresh fruit and vegetable thing will cause some hardship !

One of the other respondents outlined what documents you are required to have for identification. This is vital. Have these readily available when you approach the inspection booth.

Straight forward succinct answers to the officerís questions are best. Attempts at humour or flippant remarks are not taken lightly by the inspecting officers on either side of the border They sometimes interpret this as some form of cover-up and may, at that point, pull you over for additional investigation. Again, personal experience taught me that !

Donít take offence by the officerís questioning. It is not intended to make the traveller feel like a criminal. The inspector is doing his/her job which is to catch those who would violate the rules laid down by our respective governments If they are going to apprehend the guilty, they must, on occasion, inconvenience the innocent.

A warm welcome awaits you on your camping trip to Nova Scotia. It is a beautiful Province and youíll find the people very friendly and hospitable.

Bill Reilly
Picton, Ontario
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:15 PM   #7
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Returning to the US as an American citizen should be much easier. And there are some things that you can keep in mind before you cross.

I've been working very close to the Mexican border for a while. So close, in fact, that I have to pass through Border Patrol whenever I head north. Driving south, they don't pull you over. Driving north, you have to drive through the checkpoint. Sometimes there's a dog, sometimes it's just the officers.

I've never been asked any questions (profiling - I'm blonde and white, it really is that simple to them) or stopped, but many of my coworkers have been, especially our Native American monitors.

As an American citizen, if you're entering the US, you have some power.

If they ask you to pull over to "secondary," you can simply ask this:

"Am I being detained?"

If they say no, then you say:
"Am I free to go?"

Then, they must let you leave.

This isn't an attempt to get across laws or make trouble. It's about knowing your rights and not have to wait in secondary for hours.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AuntHoodoo View Post
Returning to the US as an American citizen should be much easier. And there are some things that you can keep in mind before you cross.

I've been working very close to the Mexican border for a while. So close, in fact, that I have to pass through Border Patrol whenever I head north. Driving south, they don't pull you over. Driving north, you have to drive through the checkpoint. Sometimes there's a dog, sometimes it's just the officers.

I've never been asked any questions (profiling - I'm blonde and white, it really is that simple to them) or stopped, but many of my coworkers have been, especially our Native American monitors.

As an American citizen, if you're entering the US, you have some power.

If they ask you to pull over to "secondary," you can simply ask this:

"Am I being detained?"

If they say no, then you say:
"Am I free to go?"

Then, they must let you leave.

This isn't an attempt to get across laws or make trouble. It's about knowing your rights and not have to wait in secondary for hours.

"they must let you leave"

Not sure where in the world you heard that. In both countries they have full rights to complete the searches and checks if you want to enter the country. Its that simple.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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I didn't just hear it, I read it as well... I'll find the link.

Sure, they have rights to search you if you oblige. If you aren't being detained, they actually don't have the right to search you. If they have probable cause, that's a different story.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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Here you go:

http://www.aclusandiego.org/article_...et%20flyer.pdf
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bill Reilly View Post
Mike






Straight forward succinct answers to the officerís questions are best. Attempts at humour or flippant remarks are not taken lightly by the inspecting officers on either side of the border They sometimes interpret this as some form of cover-up and may, at that point, pull you over for additional investigation. Again, personal experience taught me that !

Donít take offence by the officerís questioning. It is not intended to make the traveller feel like a criminal. The inspector is doing his/her job which is to catch those who would violate the rules laid down by our respective governments If they are going to apprehend the guilty, they must, on occasion, inconvenience the innocent.

A warm welcome awaits you on your camping trip to Nova Scotia. It is a beautiful Province and youíll find the people very friendly and hospitable.

Bill Reilly
Picton, Ontario


VERY WELL SAID! Basically use common sense. Follow the rules established and you will be fine. As far as them pawing thru your things, (baring you haven't gave them a reason ) you have to understand that depending on the risk level the day your crossing will depend on if/when they will even go through your stuff.......


Frankly, if my rig had to be gone through I wouldn't mind. (I wouldn't enjoy it) but if it stopped one terrorist from crossing into Canada or the USA I am all in favor of them going through someones trailer/car/truck etc.........
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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Here are some good links that cover what documents you need, as well as prohibited/restricted items, and things you may have to apply for in advance (including auto insurance confirmation). Hopefully, being ready in advance will smooth your entry. I'm glad you asked the question because it kick started me into checking into this before we go in October!

Customs and Border Patrol links

US information regarding Canada travel

Canada's website on visiting Canada

John
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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Border crossings are not predictable.
I crossed from Maine to New Brunswick in a pickup with an NRA and another gun sticker on it. No one asked if I had any guns.
Going from Idaho to Alberta I handed customs my passport which had expired 10 years earlier. He told me I really should get a new one and passed us through.
We crossed at Vancouver and were asked what we were bringing into Canada. We told them a birthday cake. They loved it, it made their day.
I crossed from Detroit to Windsor a number of times driving borrowed cars with dealer plates. Was never questioned.
In Mexico they confiscated the potatoes from our fridge.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:36 AM   #14
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I live in New Brunswick near the border and cross the border at Houlton/Woodstock 2-3 times each week, sometimes with my Trillium. I have never had a problem in either direction. Sometimes they ask more questions than other times, in both directions, and they may look in the trunk of my car. The trailer has never been inspected in either direction. Since I'm not transporting anything illegal and have never been in trouble with the law I really don't worry about crossing.
Woodblock and enjoy!
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #15
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I just read the above link from the ACLU, nowhere in it does it say that you can just leave, it does say that they need just cause to search your vehicle at a temporary checkpoint, and that at a regular checkpoint they can't detain you longer than reasonably necessary to complete the function of the checkpoint which may include a search.

I personally have had very few problems in hundreds of border crossings, just tell the truth, don't try to pull any fast ones, and answer the questions they ask.

Joe
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
one asked if I had any guns.
Going from Idaho to Alberta I handed customs my passport which had expired 10 years earlier. He told me I really should get a new one and passed us through.
Herb I suspect that was while ago? Dont think that would work on either side of the border this year. You need a valid passport.

I have crossed the border many times with a trailer and have only had it opened and checked once - two weeks after 9/11 going into the USA.

I always answer all the questions no matter how silly they seem and how hard I have to bit my tongue. I also always declair everything! usually offer all my sales slips when I hand over my passport. Only once have I been told to go in and pay duty. I never carry fruits or veggies. Last month I was *way over* my limit coming back into Canada after having been away for 3 weeks and when asked what the big ticket items where that I had purchased I told them two new golf drivers and tires for the car. The fellow at the booth asked if the tires were in the trailer? and I responded nope they are on the car - he took his sunglasses off looked the tires on the car up and down and said "you could have fooled me". I pointed out I had since put 3000 miles on them. Was told to have a nice day and enjoy the new clubs! :-)

This past week-end the fellow on the US side was so intreasted in my trailer & wondering if he could stand up in it he did not even ask me half the normal questions I have come to expect.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:37 PM   #17
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The only time I was delayed while pulling my Scamp was at the Midway Crossing in Central Washington. The Border Crossing guy said I was the first customer in an hour and that he was bored. Then he asked me to open my 13' and explained that he and his wife were thinking of buying a small trailer like mine.

Like a true FG Egg owner I was more than happy to give him the tour and brag on the features of a Deluxe.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:13 PM   #18
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I have read this thread with great interest,and found much useful information, but it caused me to contemplate the 40 million illegals in the U.S. and the absolute refusal of the government to do anything about it. Even to the point of filing lawsuits against those states which would dare make a start.
So tell me again the purpose of the border checkpoints?
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by floyd
I have read this thread with great interest,and found much useful information, but it caused me to contemplate the 40 million illegals in the U.S. and the absolute refusal of the government to do anything about it. Even to the point of filing lawsuits against those states which would dare make a start.
So tell me again the purpose of the border checkpoints?
You wouldn't want any contaband oranges that were exported from Florida to Canada to possibly get back would you? LOL
Can you imagine what it'd be like if there were no controls your and probably our (Canada)populations would double over night. Also IMO allowing illegals to stay is a slap in the face to the people that go through the propper process in order to immigrate it's most insulting to them after they've jumped through hoops to get the privelage to immigrate to either of our countries.

On another note any canadians going to the USA it is advisable to fill out a declaration form listing items of value you are taking with you ie) cameras, video cameras, tools etc. This makes coming back so much easier. Yes declair the stuff you bought any duty will be far less than fines and penalties.
My wife found this out the hard way when her friend convinced her to claim nothing.
Ha ha ya right 2 women gone to Buffalo for the day shopping coming back with nothing....BUSTED!!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #20
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When our friends and I crossed to the States a while back, they opened both our Boler 1300s for a quick peek (after asking what the heck they were!), and looked in the fridge, but I think the problem was that we brought fruit/veg. When we told him we had apples, he asked us what colour, then appeared to be trying to look them up (with no good result) In the end we pitched our apples, green onions and something else. My friend was totally frosted when we got to the Walmart in Montana and there were the exact brand of grapes they made her throw out! She remains bitter to this day. It took no more than 10 minutes, though, and the people were pleasant enough. Just don t bring any fruit or veg. But bring your own cheese, because ours is way more expensive up here!
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