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Author Topic: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast  (Read 10299 times)

rod6882

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tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« on: June 17, 2014, 12:40:06 AM »
Hello
I m planning a trip to Vancouver Canada from Seattle in a couple of weeks and am looking for any tips with regards to crossing the boarder. Also is fuel cheaper in Washington or Canada? I have a 45ft rv and will be towing the car.
Thanks
Rod

RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 01:03:51 AM »
Fuel up before you cross, believe me. Even with the purchasing power of the American dollar our prices will give you heart failure. Generally speaking, wait times are a little shorter at the truck crossing, exit 276, plus there are duty free shops which Peace Arch lacks going north. Absolutely NO handguns, hunting rifles and shotguns are allowed with proper documentation and no fresh produce. Have your passports ready and enjoy the trip, we are a friendly bunch.
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rod6882

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 01:14:14 AM »
The map show a toll on hwy 1. Do you know the cost and should it be avoided? We going to Burnaby rv park. Do board or search the rv?
Rod

RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 01:23:08 AM »
The toll is on the Port Mann bridge. There is no booth, a camera snaps your plate and you are mailed a bill. I don't know how they would enforce it in your case.
From the border crossing go straight north on 15 to highway 1 then west to Burnaby, don't even attempt to navigate traffic with your rig through the city via 99.
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Jeannine

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 06:25:10 AM »
The map show a toll on hwy 1. Do you know the cost and should it be avoided? We going to Burnaby rv park. Do board or search the rv?
Rod

Sometimes Canadian border officials will come aboard.  You are not allowed to be in the RV while they are inspecting it,  so we've never been sure what they are looking for.   We usually cross with only a few questions.

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Ken & Sheila

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 09:28:38 AM »
Rod,

We just crossed using the Truck route (543/15). RVs have to use the "regular" lanes (vs the Bus or Truck Lanes). The approach is tight for large RV (we're 43ft plus toad) as the lanes do a right turn left turn (S) right near the booths. There were only two lanes open the morning we crossed with about a 20 minute wait. I had to "push" to the very right edge of my lane to make the last left turn and get lined up for the booth. The booth itself is very narrow with only inches on each side of my mirrors. The two small RV we saw ahead of us were both sent for inspection, but we gave them our passports and answered the questions: Have you been in Canada before: When: More than 10,000 cash: Any firearms: What is the purpose and length of your stay. Have a nice day, and off we went.

The toll bridge fare can be paid online and it is cheaper to do that than wait for the bill in the mail ($12).

Have a good trip

ken



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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 09:57:20 AM »
Fuel up before you cross, believe me. Even with the purchasing power of the American dollar our prices will give you heart failure. Generally speaking, wait times are a little shorter at the truck crossing, exit 276, plus there are duty free shops which Peace Arch lacks going north. Absolutely NO handguns, hunting rifles and shotguns are allowed with proper documentation and no fresh produce. Have your passports ready and enjoy the trip, we are a friendly bunch.

handguns are not allowed! documentation or not. shotguns and rifles allowed if proper documentation and purpose is supplied. if u have any felony convictions even as simple as a DWI u may not be allowed in. Fuel is approximately $4.70 per us gallon per US dollar (slightly higher in Vancouver area).Answer questions directly and friendly and you will have zero problems coming to Canada.have passports ready and no fresh fruits or vegtables.if u have over 10K cash just declare that you have and its not a big deal(same as US requires you to do)watch your booze amounts. there are limits

rod6882

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 12:49:56 PM »
I mostly have concerns with clearance. Sometimes toll booths are so tight I worry about hitting mirrors. It sounds like motorhomes just use the car lane.
Rod

billwild

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 06:12:24 PM »
Ran into a real jerk of a border guard entering into Sweet grass Montana. Our turn to approach the booth so I did. Pulled up and set the air brake as I did not want the coach with the car on the back to roll away. Guard in the booth had his door open and started in on me right away. Saying I should be sitting there listening to everyone pull up and apply their air brakes all day long. On and on he went. I was thinking, buddy get a new career. I wanted to say close your door until the brakes are set and all would be well. He finally let us pass. On  the way back, a different guard was in the booth, so before I set the brakes I mentioned to him to maybe close his door as the air brakes are loud, he did and all was well. One should not have to suggest this to them should one?

buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 06:24:05 PM »
Ran into a real jerk of a border guard entering into Sweet grass Montana. Our turn to approach the booth so I did. Pulled up and set the air brake as I did not want the coach with the car on the back to roll away. Guard in the booth had his door open and started in on me right away. Saying I should be sitting there listening to everyone pull up and apply their air brakes all day long. On and on he went. I was thinking, buddy get a new career. I wanted to say close your door until the brakes are set and all would be well. He finally let us pass. On  the way back, a different guard was in the booth, so before I set the brakes I mentioned to him to maybe close his door as the air brakes are loud, he did and all was well. One should not have to suggest this to them should one?

you said entering into Sweet grass Montana? this guy is asking about going into Canada.To note  at the border huts in Canada there are signs that ask you not to use the air park brake.They ask you to just keep your foot on the service brake.

Daddo

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 11:35:44 PM »
I suggest you avoid using the Hwy-15, Pacific Highway crossing with a big rig. It is very difficult to navigate without intruding into another lane.

You have two other border crossing alternatives and both are better for big rigs. The Douglas Crossing (Peace Arch) on Hwy-5 is and easy crossing for large RVs, especially coming north. There are no sharp bends in the approach lanes and the inspection stations provide enough space e to cross comfortably. You can also turn north in Bellingham and go north through Lindon, WA to the Lyndon / Aldergrove Crossing. It is an older crossing but almost straight all the way through. The road north of this crossing connects with the Trans Canada Hwy-1 and that takes you into Burnaby, passing just a few blocks from the Burnaby Cariboo R.V. Park.

I live just a few miles from both the Douglas and Pacific Hwy crossings and I drive by both to use the Aldergrove Crossing for our 43 ft. The advise on fueling up in the US before crossing into Canada was spot-on. Fuel costs are much higher here, enough so that I cross over the border to fuel up in WA state.
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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 10:26:15 AM »
Sumas border crossing  is always a good place.just go north at Bellingham and cross at sumas.its only 5 minutes to#1 from sumas which takes u into Vancouver
not sure of your destination and this may a longer way to go

Wclement1248

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 11:38:58 AM »
Recently, we have been using Aldergrove.  It is not that much extra distance, straight shot and the lines always seem to be short
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rod6882

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 12:09:52 AM »
Thanks for all the advise. I have always used the car and have not payed attention. This time we decided to take the rv and will be staying at the Burnaby caribou park. This is a quick weekend trip for a birthday party but we just cant stay at a motel. Once you get used to bringing your house  you just cant go back. It sounds like the lynden route would be best.
Rod

buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 09:20:16 AM »
Thanks for all the advise. I have always used the car and have not payed attention. This time we decided to take the rv and will be staying at the Burnaby caribou park. This is a quick weekend trip for a birthday party but we just cant stay at a motel. Once you get used to bringing your house  you just cant go back. It sounds like the lynden route would be best.
Rod

absolutely    way way less congested going that way

Wagonmaster2

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2014, 11:24:13 PM »
Sometimes Canadian border officials will come aboard.  You are not allowed to be in the RV while they are inspecting it,  so we've never been sure what they are looking for.   We usually cross with only a few questions.

Jeannine

Several years ago (maybe 12-18) I remember reading an article in Motor Home Magazine where someone had complained about not being able to accompany the border officials during the on-board search.   Someone from Canada with an official title like Director of Tourism/Marketing  (something like that but don't remember exactly) came back with an answer stating "we encourage the owners to accompany our inspectors while inside their RVs".   Since I wasn't going to Canada I didn't save that article but sure wish I had as I've read ever since that no one is ever allowed inside their own coach while the search is going on.  Wonder if things have changed after 9/11 or that Director just didn't realize what the real world was all about or is no longer in that position.
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Mfreyder

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2014, 05:26:25 PM »
Not worth the hassle, plenty of sites to see in the 48 states, or in the 35  or so that don't restrict firearms.

buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2014, 05:35:38 PM »
Not worth the hassle, plenty of sites to see in the 48 states, or in the 35  or so that don't restrict firearms.
never knock a place that may be better than your own especially if u have never been there.If your feel its a hassle then just stay home.I fail to see why having a firearm should make ones decision to go (or not) somewhere in their Rv .
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 05:41:12 PM by buchanan »

Chet18013

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2014, 06:47:33 PM »
When going north from Seattle on 5, turn off and go north on 539 which turns into Canada 13 and cross the border here. (Only open 9:00AM to 5 pm). This is the least used crossing and very seldom has more the 5 cars waiting. Canada 13 goes directly to Canada 1. Fill up with gas/fuel at the station at the traffic circle where 544 crosses 539 (about 3 miles south of the border).The fuel is the lowsest cost in the area and it's the closest tot the border. We went throughout here last week with our coach and toad and were cleared in less that 3 minutes to proceed.

By the way, in Canada gas and diesel are about $6.00 per gallon or 1.54 per L


« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 06:52:33 PM by Chet18013 »
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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2014, 06:58:05 PM »
When going north from Seattle on 5, turn off and go north on 539 which turns into Canada 13 and cross the border here. (Only open 9:00AM to 5 pm). This is the least used crossing and very seldom has more the 5 cars waiting. Canada 13 goes directly to Canada 1. Fill up with gas/fuel at the station at the traffic circle where 544 crosses 539 (about 3 miles south of the border).The fuel is the lowsest cost in the area and it's the closest tot the border. We went throughout here last week with our coach and toad and were cleared in less that 3 minutes to proceed.

By the way, in Canada gas and diesel are about $6.00 per gallon or 1.54 per L
IVancouver area at 1.54 is  $5.24 US per US gallon (3.78liters)

Daddo

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2014, 10:13:21 PM »
When going north from Seattle on 5, turn off and go north on 539 which turns into Canada 13 and cross the border here. (Only open 9:00AM to 5 pm). This is the least used crossing and very seldom has more the 5 cars waiting. Canada 13 goes directly to Canada 1. Fill up with gas/fuel at the station at the traffic circle where 544 crosses 539 (about 3 miles south of the border).The fuel is the lowsest cost in the area and it's the closest tot the border. We went throughout here last week with our coach and toad and were cleared in less that 3 minutes to proceed.

By the way, in Canada gas and diesel are about $6.00 per gallon or 1.54 per L
I don't mean to stomp on your parade but it is important that the information be accurate.

Washington's 539, which turns into Hwy-13 when it crosses the border into Canada is mentioned previously as the Aldergrove Crossing, just north of Lyndon, WA. Driving north on Hwy-13 you intersect the TransCanada Hwy (Hwy-1) in 8 miles. This crossing is open 8:00 AM to 12-midnight 7-days per weeks. It is generally less busy that the other crossings in this area but it can be congested at times. Northbound traffic has a straight run through the inspection stations that are RV friendly. Southbound RVs should use the right hand lane, designated for trucks, commercial vehicles and RVs. It provides lots of room been for big rigs.
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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2014, 04:46:09 PM »
Just south of Bellingham on I-5 you will find a reader board with current border crossing waiting times at all the crossings mentioned above.
Start looking for it after you pass the sign that says "Bellingham next 7 exits".
I suggest that you pay attention to that sign and cross at the border crossing with the shortest wait.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2014, 08:56:01 PM »
Jeff,

When we passed that sign yesterday it only listed Blaine and Peace Arch. No time was show for Aldergrove.

ken
 
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rod6882

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2014, 09:29:26 PM »
Just to make our little adventure more interesting I was told its a holiday next weekend so the crossing could be more congested.
Thanks for everyone's advice.
Rod

buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2014, 09:41:08 PM »
Just to make our little adventure more interesting I was told its a holiday next weekend so the crossing could be more congested.
Thanks for everyone's advice.
Rod

actually it may not be bad as you think as the actuall holiday is on tuesday

RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2014, 11:13:46 PM »
Still gonna be a zoo.
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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2014, 11:19:52 PM »
Still gonna be a zoo.
I doubt the 13 street crossing will be bad , 30 minutes max,  just my opinion

rod6882

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2014, 11:42:43 PM »
UPDATE
We made the trip and took all your advise. Crossing north was polite and quick. Coming home not so much. We had passports so id was not any problem but we got a barrage of questions from the us. I was ask where I worked ,what I did for a living ect. Comments like business must be good and questioned me on why I would bring this rig to Canada for only one night. How much did the trip cost and why didn't I just rent a hotel. The whole thing was really strange and a little insulting. I don't know if they treat everyone this way.
Rod

kjansen

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2014, 07:48:35 AM »
I don't know why, but I've always found it harder to get back in US.  Not really any problems, but more questions and searches.
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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2014, 08:37:39 AM »
UPDATE
We made the trip and took all your advise. Crossing north was polite and quick. Coming home not so much. We had passports so id was not any problem but we got a barrage of questions from the us. I was ask where I worked ,what I did for a living ect. Comments like business must be good and questioned me on why I would bring this rig to Canada for only one night. How much did the trip cost and why didn't I just rent a hotel. The whole thing was really strange and a little insulting. I don't know if they treat everyone this way.
Rod

figured you maybe filled her up with BC Bud(haha) yes that is a very strange line of questions for sure. I went through to the us at sumas one time and the woman there wanted to know if I owned a house and I said yes and then she wanted to know what it was worth and did I have a mortgage? go figure how that was any of her business at hand
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 09:55:46 AM by Jeff »

Alfa38User

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2014, 11:31:28 AM »
Quote
I went through to the us at sumas one time and the woman there wanted to know if I owned a house and I said yes and then she wanted to know what it was worth and did I have a mortgage? go figure how that was any of her business at hand

If you were entering the US and although it may have seemed like the questions were none of her business, that is not the case. She was simply doing her job in trying to determine your true residence and whether or not you might be likely to remain in USA unlawfully. Perhaps it was a vibe she got from the tone of your other responses to her questions or it was simply her way of doing her job. Some of these people are almost psychic when it comes to detecting these things. They are also well trained to cross check your responses to other questions.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 11:41:49 AM by Alfa38User »
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buchanan

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2014, 02:08:32 PM »
If you were entering the US and although it may have seemed like the questions were none of her business, that is not the case. She was simply doing her job in trying to determine your true residence and whether or not you might be likely to remain in USA unlawfully. Perhaps it was a vibe she got from the tone of your other responses to her questions or it was simply her way of doing her job. Some of these people are almost psychic when it comes to detecting these things. They are also well trained to cross check your responses to other questions.

Proof of residence I understand but I believe she was abusing it(authority) when asking  someone what their house is worth or if they owe money on it.In my 45 years of crossing borders this women is the only person to ask such questions.I have never ever had a problem coming or going except this one day with this person.she was just mean spirited and out of line in my opinion  but you just have to grin and bear it as I did.I figure being detained this single time was just another life experience.I was not worried as \I knew \I was 100% clean and she was just being a you know what that day because the guy inside kinda rolled his eyes when I came in when he saw which officer signed the check this guy over card.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 02:38:04 PM by Tom »

ArdraF

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2014, 02:49:29 PM »
One time many years ago I was returning from Europe via Seattle.  I was traveling alone because Jerry stayed behind to work.  I also was well dressed (this is before we wore jeans and sneakers to travel) with nice jewelry.  I was pulled aside to a separate room by a very nice agent who asked me a lot of questions.  Yes, I had been to Antwerp because my husband was working in Belgium and was still there.  No, I didn't buy any jewelry there. etc.  He went through my wallet looking at every single piece of paper and even went so far as to check the hem of my fur coat (it was winter and very cold in Europe that year).  Meanwhile we had a nice conversation about skiing etc.  When I mentioned it to a family member who was in the FBI and wondered why the intense scrutiny he said I undoubtedly fit the profile of someone who might be trying to smuggle diamonds from Antwerp.  He probably was looking in my purse and wallet for a receipt of a purchase and feeling for hidden diamonds in my clothing.  Antwerp is a diamond center and a lot are smuggled from there.  It was an interesting experience but it wasn't bothersome.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 02:51:24 PM by ArdraF »
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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2014, 09:39:38 PM »
Jeff,

When we passed that sign yesterday it only listed Blaine and Peace Arch. No time was show for Aldergrove.

ken

That's odd..I think it usually lists the Aldergrove crossing, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2014, 12:39:03 PM »
That's odd..I think it usually lists the Aldergrove crossing, but maybe I'm wrong.

I'm home now, and drove past that sign on Tuesday. It was alternating, first showing the times for the two Blain crossings, then switching and showing the times for the Lynden and Sumas crossings.
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steveblonde

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2015, 11:53:20 AM »
We have traveled across the border probably 20 times in 5 years if not more - we are from Calgary and our friends all live in the Spokane Valley so we,re back and forth tons. Every time we go to the States its the same question are the border guys rude and every time its the same answer NO THEY ARE AWESOME

now

Everytime we come back to Canada we used to get the gears HUGE and one time i had good seized even when they were declared and what a hassle ( we finally had then returned after a huge dispute over a couple of years)

each time we talk to a US citizen they say Canadian Border guys are great US Border guys suck and every time we talk to Canadians they say US Border Patrol is great Canadian Border guys suck

bottom line is each border patrol is looking out for the best interests of their respective countries in particular with respect to ECONOMIC policies they don't want you taking income out of their countries pocket but they do like the tourism dollars $$$$$$

now we cross both borders with required paperwork (ie receipts) and make sure we are well within any allowed allowancies (ie booze or other goods)

US CITIZENS PLEASE DONT BRING HANDGUNS TO CANADA OR POT they will bust your ass
CANADIAN CITIZENS DONT BRING MORE GOOD THAN YOUR ALLOWED EVEN IF YOU DO DELCARE IT they will bust your ass LOL ;D been there done that  :o :o :o





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RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2015, 11:58:54 AM »
Just in this week. Don't try to bring poultry or eggs into B.C. from Washington state, avian flu has been discovered there. Damn, that was a main reason for shopping trips to Bellingham.
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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2015, 02:10:53 PM »
Just in this week. Don't try to bring poultry or eggs into B.C. from Washington state, avian flu has been discovered there. Damn, that was a main reason for shopping trips to Bellingham.
"Avian flu" discovered by B.C. poultry industry, no doubt. :)
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RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2015, 03:18:45 PM »
I don't think so. The American authorities have been on watch for the disease since it was discovered here on farms close to the border. Whether contaminated Canadian birds crossed the border as illegal aliens or it is an airborne virus I really don't know.
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grassy

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2015, 06:02:57 PM »
..at 20 cents  on the buck, there isn't a major benefit buy south (there are exceptions) ...
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RoyM

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2015, 09:42:05 PM »
Even at that some products like milk and cheese are cheaper plus selection is much better. Best to fill the tank before crossing, you won't like our fuel prices.
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steveblonde

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Re: tips for crossing into canada on the west coast
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2015, 08:45:10 AM »
fuel is 30% cheaper (min) in the states chicken and frozen produce from Costco is almost 1/2 price BUT beef is almost twice that of Canadian Beef same with Salmon etc. We go for 2 weeks every July and take a chest freezer we are very selective in what we purchase, canned good from Walmart are super super cheap but fresh stuff from Albersons or Safeway are almost the same price (with the exception of things like Avacados from California) with the exchange rate at approx 20% this will be a boon for the canadian tourism board. its a case of somethings (US products) are super cheap (California or Wash wines 1/3 of the cost ) but Mexican Avacados same price.
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2017 Ford Escape my Daily driver - first Ford in 25 yrs
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded (First Ford Truck after 17 GMs) 5200lbs cargo/weight capacity named Kong


" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh?

 

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