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Author Topic: Canada Trip!!!!!!  (Read 2916 times)
mc8 tin tent
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« on: July 12, 2006, 09:17:25 PM »

   I have a trip planed for Canada around the end of July,Is there any thing I need to be aware of before leaving the states?Huh?
This will be our first trip out of the states with the bus. all replys welcome.
  Thanks to all in advance.
                  Dwayne
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 11:05:48 PM »

Dwayne,
Craig "Gumpy" Shepard is the busnut to talk to about heading up there. He went in 2005 and took a lot of great pics: http://www.gumpydog.com/Alaska_2005/Photos/2005_alaska_trip_index.htm

He's a regular contributor here, and I'm certain that he'll respond soon with some great insights for you.

Welcome aboard!
Brian Brown
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Longmont, CO
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Brian Brown
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Longmont, CO
rip
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 03:33:53 AM »

 We are headed to Canada also and I heard you have to have a passport to enter. I am not sure if that is true or not but worth checking into.                                        Don Ripley
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wrench
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 04:35:46 AM »

  You do not need a passeport, a good ID(driver licence) don't forget canada intituted photo on driver licence just few years ago!! Don't hand out any paper before they ask, they will ask" (no jokes, or weater talk) where are you going? what is the purpose of your visit? where do you live? are you US citizen? what is you name? anything to declare? any gun/weapon? may be may be not an ID" Sure no gun at all (onboard or inboard) If you need help, just speed up above speed limit & the forces will be all around you! Make sure your vehicule's suspension is in tip top shape. Drive slow, 100KMH=62MPH, they will tolerate 10KMH/5MPH on H.way.
NOT 12KMH, 10KMH.   Some french may help in the country, major town are bilingual.  You should have wonderfull time.

 ARE you tin-tent who park at Crystal lake in the south east corner few years back?
                wrench
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 04:55:42 AM »

I can assure you that it is a real pain in the you know what to get out of line turn anound and go back to the US and find someone who will package your shotgun and ship it back to your home. Expensive also. Don't ask me how i know!
Richard
Sure no gun at all (onboard or inboard)
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
gumpy
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 05:22:11 AM »

Wrench is pretty much right on.

When you pull in, make sure you have all your paperwork at hand, and everyone in the vehicle needs to be up front and visible. We got pulled over for inspection because I had not taken the kid's birth certificates out of the safe BEFORE arriving at the check point. Wasn't good enough that we produced them within 30 seconds. Go figure.

You do not need a passport yet (thought it might help), but you do need a driver's license and you'll need birth certificates for the kids, and both parents must be present, or you need a letter from the parent who is not saying it's ok to take the kids out of the country. They say they are very careful on the kid abduction thing, though personally, I think their whole security thing was as big a joke as it is in the US. Last weekend, some friends of ours took their 3 kids to Canada and didn't even have ID for them, and they had no problems. I did the same with my son back in 2002 when I went to get my windows. I think it mostly depends on who is working and the answers they get to the questions they ask.

You cannot take firearms in without the proper permit (handguns are never allowed), and it costs you something like $75 just to fill out the paperwork, and it must be filled out and approved in advance. My suggestion is to leave the firearm at home.

Do not volunteer any information or make small talk. When they ask you a question, answer it direct and to the point. "Do you have any firearms or tobacco on board?"  "No sir."  "What is the purpose of your visit?" "Vacation." "How long will you be in Canada?" "5 days". "Do you have any firearms on board?" "No sir." "Are you bringing anything with you that you intend to leave in Canada?" "No sir".

When they ask you how you will protect yourself while in Canada, do not say, "From whom? Canadians or the terrorists they keep letting into to the US?"  No joke, they actually asked that question!

When they ask you if you have firearms on board, don't say, "No, I heard we couldn't bring them in." From that the questions go something like this...  
"Do you own firearms?"
"Yes."  
"Where are they?"
"I left them at home."
"Why?"
"Because I understand you can't bring them into Canada."
"Do you normally travel with firearms back home?"
"Yes"
"Where are they now?"
"I left them at home?"
"How will you protect yourself while in Canada?"
"I'll call you to badger the evildoer to death with your incessant pointless questioning!"
"Pull over to the side there and turn your engine off. Someone will be out shortly to toss your belongings and teach you a lesson."

If you give them any indication that you may not be telling the truth, they will pull you out and search your vehicle, and they have to right to literally toss it and they don't have to put it back together. While in MT, I was talking to some RV owners. One guy said he had lied to them about having alcohol on board and they caught him. They went through the coach and removed literally everything from the drawers and closets and left it where it lay. He deserved it.

When they pulled me out to search because I didn't have the birth certificates ready, two women came out, asked us to take any valuables with us, and exit the coach. They were inside a total of 2 minutes, came out, and said we were free to go. They didn't open a single bay door. I could have smuggled nuclear weapons across the border (both directions, for that matter) and nobody would have known the difference.  

Personally, I think the border guards are there just to be a pain in the @$#. They're useless, but if you give them a reason, they'll just have to prove to you how important they are.

Other than that, there are some rules about what you can and cannot take in, which you can read up on at their customs website. You can't take anything in that you intend to sell. You can't take some raw meats (might only be coming back into US) unless you can prove you purchased it in that country in the first place. I think cooked meats are ok. You can't take firearms, tobacco (maybe some limits here but I don't smoke so it wasn't an issue) and you are limited to a certain amount of beer or alcohol, though if you claim it's all for personal use, I have heard they are ok with that one.

When we went into Canada the first time, we unhitched the toad and drove it across because we had heard they would not allow you in if you didn't have brakes on it. The following times, I didn't unhitch it, and they never asked.

Basically use common sense. Have proper ID (driver's license and birth certificates or passports). Don't volunteer information. Answer only asked questions. Use direct answers. Don't try to be funny or even overly friendly. They're glorified airport rent-a-cop security guards who think they are protecting the world from terrorists and will go out of their way to prove it to you if you don't believe them.

Oh, and remember, you also have to go through the same thing coming back into the US, and they're just as effective and important as the Canadians are. There are a few different rules regarding what you can bring back into the US, such as the raw meat thing, and some fruits and veggys are prohibited at certain crossings. Read up on that, too.

Other than that, have a great trip.

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Craig Shepard
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Stan
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 06:29:43 AM »

As a former world business traveller I was quite used to the weird laws and the people who enforce them at international borders before I started RVing accross the Canada-US border. Having your suitcase seached at the airport is quite different than having your entire bus searched. BTDT.

When going accross the US-Canada border in either direction, good identification is required. Passports are preferred but not mandatory yet but what you use must have your picture on it.

It is almost impossible to carry firearms (read ALMOST). Tobacco products are limited to small quantiies or pay exhorbitant taxes and likewise with beverage alcohol.  Fresh fruit is a problem in both directions and beef in any form going into the US (US immigration made me give up a roast beef sandwich at the airport). Buying anything expensive (especially luxury items) will cause a problem when you are returning to your home country.  Note that these are tax collectors as well as security people.

It is good advice to speak when you are spoken to and only give a direct answer to the question. Always keep in mind that border guards have powers of search and seizure that are not available to any other law enforcement group. so be polite and remove your sunglasses when you are being questioned.

There is usually no problem but you are dealing with a human being who may have had a fight with his wife before coming to work. A couple of years ago I filed a formal complaint with Canada Customs and Immigration and learned something that is not general knowledge. If at any time you feel that you are not being treated fairly you can ask for the "Superintendent of Customs" and the indidual is required to get the head honcho who will resolve the problem.
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 06:36:57 AM »

And this applies to all persons in the vehicle. Not just the driver.
Richard
When going accross the US-Canada border in either direction, good identification is required. Passports are preferred but not mandatory yet but what you use must have your picture on it.
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
gumpy
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 06:42:53 AM »

And this applies to all persons in the vehicle. Not just the driver.
Richard
When going accross the US-Canada border in either direction, good identification is required. Passports are preferred but not mandatory yet but what you use must have your picture on it.

It's not necessary to have photo ID for children, but it is necessary to have birth certificates and both parents or a letter from the absentee parent.

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Craig Shepard
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http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Ross
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 06:44:50 AM »

Never done it in the bus, but last winter I was going at least once a month.  First time I forgot my birth certificate.  A few questions and a visit to the supervisors office and they waved me through.  Every time after that, no problems.  Once or twice they didn't even ask to see my birth certificate.  On one occation I was going up with some friends from Finland.  They asked to thier passports and that was it.  Didn't even ask for my drivers license.

Word on the street is that you WILL need a passport soon.  That may already be in effect.  A call to the border might be a good idea.
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TomC
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2006, 08:12:51 AM »

A word on Toweds.  Canada requires a breakaway braking system on the toweds.  While they may not inspect the car for the braking device, if you get in an accident or, God forbid, you car does cut loose and passes you down a hill, you'll be responsible for all damages, highly fined, spanked, ridiculed, and scorned.  Seriously, it is just plainly good sense to have the additional braking, if nothing more for the break away feature.  Even though I pull a 3800lb car, I'm still not over my gvw.  Good Luck, TomC
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Len Silva
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2006, 08:15:52 AM »

Has anyone had any experience with pets in and out of Cananda?

Len
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ceieio
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2006, 01:06:18 PM »

Dwayne - we cross into Canada in BC for our visits (@ Blaine Wa.).  We have passports for the kids as we have taken them overseas with us on a few trips.  Going both ways at the Canadian border, once they saw the stack of passport books, things went real quick; a few questions and then the "move along".

One other bit of advice if you do have the kids along is to tell them to SHUT UP.  We drilled our kids before international travel on keeping quiet, and how to respond if directly questioned.  Kids have a tendance to ramble on, and we scared the wadding out of them on being short and to the point.  (They thought they would go to a place that would make Alcatraz look like a summer home).

Now that they are teenage, they listen less but they do not screw around when we enter customs.

So to sum up: 1) Get passports (although not required), and 2) SHUT UP.  :-)

Craig - MC7 Oregon
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 02:33:40 PM by ceieio » Logged

Craig MC7 - Oregon USA
akroyaleagle
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2006, 02:19:19 PM »

There are many conflicting answers to your questions.
I have made the trip 27 times.
You do not say where in Canada you are going or why. That would be necessary to properly answer you. It makes a difference.

Go to this link and be enlightened!


http://canadaonline.about.com/od/customs/
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Joe Laird
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2006, 02:47:50 PM »

I took my dog once.  I told the guy I had him with me, he looked in the back and saw the sleeping dog and waved me through.  I did have all of his records, which is what I was told was required.  The real problem was finding a hotel that would let him in.  I was there for three days and stayed in three hotels.  Got kicked out after one night after sneaking him in.  I was able to get him in, just couldn't get him out without getting caught. 

I was crossing the border on Rt 91 and 89 in Vermont, depending on where I was going in Canada.
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