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RVing message boards => RVing outside the USA => Topic started by: Tannie girl on May 03, 2016, 12:26:37 PM

Title: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: Tannie girl on May 03, 2016, 12:26:37 PM
This will be our first time crossing the border with our 42' 5er. After reading all the posts and replies we feel taking route 539-13-1 would be better for our rig. We are headed to Alaska with our first stop in Whistler. We are traveling via Sea to Sky Highway. There are many stories out there regarding the narrow winding road. Can anyone compare it to say Highway 1 down from Long beach Wa. to California?  We drove that last year with no problems. We just like to know if possible what we may encounter, since our rig is so big. An advice would be appreciated. Also, we read that they do not allow fruits and veggies in BC. does frozen grapes count?  Lol   Or can we just declare them and keep them?  We have a refrigerator full of fresh fruit and veggies.
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: docj on May 03, 2016, 02:28:47 PM
Also, we read that they do not allow fruits and veggies in BC. does frozen grapes count?  Lol   Or can we just declare them and keep them?  We have a refrigerator full of fresh fruit and veggies.

You would be wise not to listen to most of the advice on these forums about what you can and can't take across the border in either direction.  A lot of it is simply wrong.  People seem to generalize, so if there is a restriction on certain types of fruits or vegetables then that gets magnified in sweeping generalizations such as "you can't take ANY fruits and vegetables.

We have been to Canada every summer for the past 4 and have used the official Canadian website as our guidance.  You can find it here: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/travellers/what-can-i-bring-into-canada-/eng/1389648337546/1389648516990 (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/travellers/what-can-i-bring-into-canada-/eng/1389648337546/1389648516990)

Note that going to BC there are specific restrictions on "stone fruits", fresh apples and potatoes but that's all.

When you come back to the US (either Alaska or the lower 48) you need to abide by the US rules: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/82/~/travelers-bringing-food-into-the-u.s.-for-personal-use (https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/82/~/travelers-bringing-food-into-the-u.s.-for-personal-use)

Joel
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on May 03, 2016, 03:32:26 PM
     As stated by Joel, I wouldn't take advice on any forum, including this one as gospel.  We've crossed both ways for over 40 years, some years multiple times, and the only consistent question, and it was from US Border Patrol, is "have you any citrus".  That aside you will run into restrictions at times when there are concerns over diseases or pests, for example potato blight, mad cow, or hough & mouth.
    Those issues aside, the only other concern is an officious Border Officer on either side.
    As for the route, I'd suggest you search the several trip blogs and strings previously posted.  I have never been up as far as Alaska, nor used that route.

Ed
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: RoyM on May 03, 2016, 03:46:20 PM
We used to shop in Bellingham and never had a problem crossing into Canada with food, they were only interested in liquor and tobacco. Going south was another story ::). You are wise entering at Aldergrove, trying to cross Vancouver with (or without) a large fiver is not my idea of a good time. You won't have any problems with your trailer on the Sea to Sky highway although there is a long steep climb out of Mt Currie to be aware of. Lillooet to hwy 97 is twisty but the otr guys manage it just fine. Sounds like a great adventure, enjoy the journey.
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: Jeff on May 03, 2016, 04:07:49 PM
We have driven 99 from Vancouver through Whistler to Lilioot with a 40 DP and toad and it is beautiful drive. Just past Pemberton you take a sharp left up the Duffy Lake Road that has several hairpins and a 5_6% grade but logging trucks use it regularly and we had no trouble. Be sure to allow a day or so in Lilioot to visit the first gold rush area in Canada.


As others have mentioned border food restrictions seem to vary by area and year. Calling ahead may provide you with the current restrictions. In addition to vegetables fresh meats can also be on the list. A few years ago it was beef and last year we were asked about poultry and eggs. Freezing does not necessarily exempt restricted food although commercially prepared or cooked restricted foods are allowed. If you have restricted food declaring them does not mean you get to keep them. It is either eat them or toss em.


Our experiences with Canadian customs is a much bigger interest in weapons and alcohol than food. US Customs are far more likely to come into the coach and inspect for foot but be prepared either way. By the time you get up there Canadian markets should have a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and you will get a 30% discount. 8)
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: docj on May 03, 2016, 05:56:58 PM
A few years ago it was beef and last year we were asked about poultry and eggs.

Last year avian flu concerns made it impossible to bring uncooked poultry or eggs into Canada, but those restrictions were clearly stated on the Canadian website.  There were no secrets, just uninformed people who hadn't done their homework.
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: wstuart on May 03, 2016, 08:52:00 PM
The hwy to Whistler is fine, all upgraded for the Winter Olympics.  Most food stuff is OK to bring up.  Now firearms are another thing!  Best not to bring guns, handguns, bullets etc.

We are planning on heading north this summer also.

Happy trails.
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on May 04, 2016, 08:37:41 AM
This site covers what can be expected at any Canadian border crossing.
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html

Do NOT joke with the agents about weapons, terrorists, silly rules, or whatever. They take their job seriously and your attempts at humor will very probably earn you a lot of extra attention. That said, I have found just about all Canadian border agents to be polite and easy to work with. Much more pleasant than the typical US border guard when we come back home.
Title: Re: West Canadian Border crossing
Post by: Tannie girl on May 04, 2016, 11:01:51 AM
Hi all, thank you for your responses. I want to let you know that the route we took up to and through couldn't have been more seem less. We were at the border stop for a total of maybe 7 minutes. No one was in the two lanes that were open so we slid into the one directly in front of us. The young man at the booth was very pleasant and ask us a total of maybe 5 questions. I handed him our passports and asked if he wanted to see docs on our two dogs. He seemed surprised we would offer them, then asked where they were. Lol we rolled the back window down and they peered out at him. He took our registrations for our vehicles looked at the license plates, handed them back to us along with our passports and said have a great day. He was even concerned that we get through the booth unscathed. The road to Whistler was fantastic, we had a few hard pulls up the grades but it really was a piece of cake. My only recommendation is pay your toll fees the day after your crossing the bridge. You can do it online, otherwise you will receive an invoice in the mail and you may not get it since you are out in the country enjoying life. We kept all fruits and veggies, he didn't even ask about them. Now, UP NORTH TO ALASKA".