The weather tells me we are making a mistake, it’s a balmy 35 degrees (2c) here this morning as we prepare to cross the boarder. Because the batteries were so drained after yesterday with the heat on and us just hunkered down that although we brought in 117 amp/hrs of solar the batteries were just at 80% even with a number of hours of generator time.
Our departure time from Erie PA will be about 8 o’clock, with a fuel stop before crossing we should be in Canada by approximately 11 o’clock. The refrigerator ran through the night on propane, and although the coach was only 50 degrees inside this morning it was a quiet night again, many casinos offer overnight parking for RV’s in the outer lots and some even offer full hookups for a reasonable price, many will offer “free play” or food discounts for first time visitors always check it out, what’s the worst they can say…no…lol
To cross the boarder there is very little that needs to be prepared, but here is what we will have put together:
- For the cats – proof of up to date vaccinations
- We will be asked how long away? – know your crossing into the US date ours was Nov 11th
- What have you purchased? – on a long trip we are allowed $750 Cdn each of goods coming back, we will declare approximately $1000 combined.
- They will ask about tobacco and alcohol – we will have an issue because of out recent visit to Ole Smokey Distillery so we will have to declare 12 bottles or which we are only allowed 2 without paying duty – it will depend on the officer whether we have to pay – I will have the receipts for the Ole Smokey ready
- They will most likely ask about firearms – because we do not carry it’s a mute question
- Another favourite question is where you live? – a strange question but I always thought it was asked to trip you up, but I wonder if the closer you live to the boarder the more often we might cross, it’s often asked.
- They could ask about purchases for the vehicle, repairs from breakdowns are not the same as for example tire purchases, breakdowns are not included in the purchase declaration but should be mentioned
- You could be asked about meat, dairy or fresh produce – what and quantity mainly there really are no restrictions for normal purchases
- Could ask about any plants – they are a no no crossing either way through the boarder
We have no anticipation of issues, and with the right boarder gaurd, we could be less than five minutes, and with the alcohol we could pay and extra $40 to $50 for being beyond the limit, it’s just kind of a crapshoot but we have always found crossing early in the day was less aggravating going either way, I cannot explain why just has…lol
Our first day we are expecting to stop at a truck stop just a few miles over, we need to get the exhaust repaired on the Sport-Trac and I’m hoping Mike from Value Muffler in Niagara Falls can get us in today or tomorrow. We also need to pick up my Transit van from Gino at North End Collision where it has been for the winter.
Well that was easy, here are the question we were asked today:
- How many people on board?
- How long out of the country?
- How much are you declaring?
- Any service or repairs to the motorhome?
- Where is your residence?
And have a nice day…11:04 and we were through the boarder security, I think it was less than five minutes, we do have Nexus cards which does make it quicker because we have pre-clearance. But there is nothing to fear – a few thing to remember just answer what is asked, do not add too much detail, if a yes or no work use them, short quick answers, don’t give details unless asked, have receipts for any questionable items but only offer them if asked. Use the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) and you will have no issues no matter which way you are crossing.
The Sport-Trac is booked for for an exhaust repair tomorrow, we are settled in at the truck stop for the night, with the generator running, looks like another cold night….