Alaska Bound – Crossing the Canadian Border in an RV
I don’t care which border you are crossing, what country you are from or where you are going, it’s always exciting and a little nerve-racking going through customs.
This wasn’t our first Canadian crossing in an RV. It was…our third…no our fourth…I think…I should cut back on the drinking. Anywho, we’ve never really had any trouble getting into Canada. In fact the only times we’ve had anything taken from us is when we were crossing back into the USA by the agriculture peeps. We had certain vegetables, herbs (planted) and cat food (because we didn’t have the original bag) that were taken before we could cross. Other than that, it’s always been a fuss free event.
But that almost makes us more nervous! Because how can we get so lucky every time? We’ve heard others say they have been searched inside out and had every drawer, cabinet and crevasse rifled through. So needless to say, we were preparing ourselves for the worst…so here’s how our crossing from Sweet Grass, Montana, USA to Coutts, Alberta, Canada went down.
Luckily, we weaseled right on through, no problem! Thank you Canada!
Ok, we still have several crossings ahead of us so we shouldn’t get so excited, things could still get interesting.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking of crossing the Canadian or USA border, here are the sites you’ll want to check before you cross over. You’ll find (some) information on pets, firearms, agriculture, and the most important…booze. As always, when in doubt, call and ask.
We’ve always found that if you have all your basic and important information on hand, a friendly smile (most important), nothing to hide and nothing illegal on board, you’ll be just fine.
Have you done any border crossings in your RV? Have any awesome (or not so awesome) stories? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
This is just the beginning of our great Canadian/Alaskan adventures. Follow us in real time using #AlaskaBound on social media. If you want a front seat ride to all that’s ahead, join us by email! We’ll send you a note each time we have a new post or you can sign up for the monthly roundup/newsletter. Either way, we’d love to have you along for the journey!
I used to work for the Commissionaires at a Canadian Airport, before 2001 thank heaven, and I learned they’re just a certain way – with certain likes & dislikes unique to themselves, police & soldiers. Even before I worked for them I crossed into the States many many times. I learned to be yourself, but if you have certain anxieties, it always helped everytime to be clean shaven, without beards & shorter business-like hairstyles for you men. Dress smart, like Friday afternoon business appearance is best. If you like to look like a hippie – i found out personally, don’t cross borders looking like a hippie – they’ll think immediately you’re a suspect & be impolite. For men, they’ll look up to see if you have long scraggly hair. I usually did, so when I flew to Marbella Spain during Generalissimo Franco’s dictatorship, I got a short, snappy haircut at Vidal Sassoon London. Sure enough it did the trick. While in Spain, my passport was stolen right from my 5 Star hotel room; I feared leaving Spain now would be hard. So I made a point of going with an elderly couple i met at the hotel. they spent a few minutes; they checked my appearance, looking expressly to my hair length. Vidal Sassoon got me through again & even the Brits were gracious; i got it renewed at the Canadian High Commission in London, while I did my summer quarter at Stanford-in-Britain. But I used to go to Maui every major holiday; my hair was long & I had a beard. US Customs was a pain in the neck everytime making sure they insulted the “hippie!” With age I’ve become more cautious – certain parts of the earth are now off base & I won’t go there – I have no trouble by sticking to countries of the British Commonwealth. SInce that covers a third of the Earth, I can go anywhere if I keep to that standard, and it pays off everytime. I was even escorted in deep jungle in the AMazon because this guy was the British Commissioner in Iquitos (1968, long before my Commonwealth rule!)….
Anyway, Love you happy couple!
Shane (Monk Aedan)
“No Sir, we are Democrats” might mean something in Texas, but in most of the Northern border states (Washington and Minnesota I’m particularly familiar with), that Canadian border patrol is used to working with, plenty of Democrats have firearms.
The most common issues I hear about from people who live near the border (and already familiar with firearm restrictions) is being refused entry due to a prior DUI. They will rarely take the time to search the computer, but they do have access to USA’s FBI’s database and will refuse entry.
And that reputation for politeness, I think is abused. Usually very abrupt but courteous but I have seen them go full on rude outwardly abusive toward people (most egregious showing was them apparently annoyed at people who didn’t speak English, at an international airport). Some of the worst behavior I’ve ever personally witnessed from any customs and border officers was in Canada.
Being anxious about dealing with them is not irrational.
When we’re moving an entire house though a border it will always be filled with angst! In general our experiences have all be positive, and we understand they’re just doing their jobs.
The only thing my wife and I can say, is that you two have figured out the part of life, friendship and marriage that most will never. Keep on with your journey and enjoy the sights! 🙂
We depart from Austin for a route that’s remarkably similar to yours on 18 May. So my question is. You’re democrats. What are you doing in Dallas? 😉 Get down to Austin! Seriously. I am enjoying the vids and pictures. Your work is going a long way toward improving our checklist
Jeff & Juli
Honestly we couldn’t help but let a momentary burst of laughter slip out when we heard you say “No Sir, we are Democrats”. We don’t have to agree on politics or anything else for that matter to appreciate each other, my wife and I love your videos and just had to say thank you for the laughs and the inspiration. Safe travels and if you find yourself in Nebraska don’t pass up the opportunity to check out a few of our quirky (car henge) and not so quirky sights, bring your bikes to Lincoln and take a ride on the Homestead trail or go to the panhandle for a horseback ride at Fort Robinson.
“Do you have guns? No. You’re from Texas and don’t have a gun? No, we’re Democrats.”
I’m surprised he didn’t want to search the coach for marijuana 🙂
I usually get asked the gun question 3 or 4 times, but then I’m a FFL and a Republican, LOL.
Ha, yea that one joke made quite the wave in our YouTube comments, people can be a little crazy when it comes to politics, even when its a lighthearted joke.
Do you have guns? No. You’re from Texas and don’t have a gun? No, we’re democrats.
We were behind you someplace – maybe Dawson City ferry. For those concerned about driving to Alaska, we’ve been doing it four years running in our Sprinter Class B. There are always a few gravel construction zones. They are not usually rough, but are dusty or muddy. On some sections in the Yukon, there can be some pretty vicious potholes in springtime, but it seems most are filled by about mid June. The drive is not threatening, dangerous, damaging or difficult, and I don’t know of anywhere else where you are so sure to see black bears, grizzlies, moose, bison and an assortment of other critters grazing along the roadside. We generally alternate between the Stewart-Cassiar route and the Alaska highway. Both routes have some very nice government campgrounds (usually unserviced) and a lesser number of acceptable to good RV parks, which start to get busy in the last week of June.
We are coming up this summer 2017, planned to be in Alaska the first week of August or the month. Which route would you recommend the Cassiar or AlCan? Thanks
Ha! You guys are funny and this video was great.
I’ve crossed plenty of borders over the last 30ish years of my life, and it gets to where crossing into a first world industrailized nation is no big, but I do understand your trepidation on how it would go.
I wouldn’t have let you in givin your shifty look, but that’s just me, and while It’s probably been a pain you would have loved to dodge, I’m glad to hear you don’t have guns and that you’re Lefites. ?
I want to congratulate you guys for 9 years of being together and doing something you love and sharing it with not only yourselves but us! Please keep doing what you do and inspiring us to follow!
Frank Padilla Jr
I crossed in 2013 and had an interesting discussion with an agent. He was fixated about weapons and I kept telling I had none. I believe his questioning was trying to trick me. Finally he got frustrated and said we can go…what was that all about. Enjoy your trip to Alaska.
We will be heading to Canada later in the summer and were just told about an excellent site which we have been using. The person who gave it to us crosses quite frequently and says it’s helped her. From their site:
“Our state-by-state information pages provide you with detailed information on every border crossing between the United States and Canada. This includes such things as border wait time, traffic issues, contact information, lane configurations, road conditions and much more. We encourage you to send us your tips and updates so others can benefit from your experiences.”
This page was especially interesting: http://www.ezbordercrossing.com/the-inspection-experience/
Mike & Deb
Check out Liard hot springs. We loved it on our Alaska trip after spending a summer working with the natives.
We loved Liard, that’s the kind of hot spring we prefer as opposed to the “pools” you see in more touristy areas.
Hey! I just saw you RV in Whitehorse and thought I’d check you out.
We have crossed the border multiple times in a class A motorhome and I am always holding my breath until we are through. Crossing into the States a few years ago we were searched. Our daughter was just 4 months old, had just fallen asleep and we had to take her out of her carseat to go inside while they searched us. We have taken out the couch to the right as you first walk in to put in a second forward facing seat for the kids. The border agent walked up the stairs into our RV, turned right and smashed his head into the upper cabinets! Opps. I thought for sure we would be in for a long wait if we got to cross at all after that. Luckily, he only took our green peppers and an ice pack and let us through.
Have a great time in the North! But be careful, it’s been known to get into your blood and you have to keep coming back.
Did you have problems with the road conditions on the Alcan Highway? I’ve been following another blog and another couple on YouTube and the road looks almost impassable in spots. I can’t imagine it is good for a Class A motorhome to drive on those road conditions. We are seriously rethinking our trip up to Alaska and doing an Alaska cruise instead. We don’t want to ruin our RV and it does not look enjoyable bouncing around on a gravel road.
You must be following Chris and G. They have put out some great videos of their travel but your right. Watching them go over some of those roads tell me we won’t be doing that soon. Might be ok in a big diesel pusher with air suspension but we have a Monarch just like theirs only a year newer. So what i see is what i’ll get on those roads. Still, it looks amazing so worth the trip. Just not the drive.
Great video! Before we bought our 5th wheel, we took a trip celebrating our 30th anniversary up into Canada at Niagara Falls, over to Ottawa and Montreal before coming back into the states in New England; staying at campgrounds with on-site rentals where we could. The Canadians are the most friendly people – we had a wonderful time and now that we have our “rig” we’ve been wondering about the procedures and/or complexities of crossing the border with an RV (along with “booze” and pets!). I’m sure there are more robust – but completely reasonable entrance interviews & searches – but yours showed that being prepared and polite can get you through smoothly. We enjoy all your videos and look forward to watching your adventure unfold.
Last year my wife and i crossed the Canadian border in our RV for the first time. We are US Citizens but were born in Canada and our US passports state that we were born in Canada. The broader guard said to me, “I see your a US citizen but you were born in Canada. Have you picked up any bad habits?” My mind raced to figure out what to answer to this question when he finally said with a laugh “In other words, do you have any guns in there?”. Made both of us laugh.
Great video! I was worried that if they saw you videotaping, they might not be to happy. At any rate, you didn’t show the agent. I’m glad it went as smoothly as it did.
I’m doing the same Sweetgrass crossing with my cat, in August. But I’m moving! I have dual citizenship. I’m sure I’ll be a bit nervous.
I look forward to following the rest of your Alaska adventure!
Aww come on guys! I love your website and youtube stuff!!! But do you really have to make it political? I’m sure a lots of Democrats have guns, pepper spray and take their
Fleetwood RV gear hunting and fishing like my family does.
We are still looking forward to hearing about your adventure though!
Be safe ,
Thanks for the love. It’s an in the moment “real” video with no editing of the real in the moment commentary, not a big political statement.
Hi! We’re caravanners in England and travel on our holidays throughout Europe but love following your travels in USA! We’ve never been to the USA but having watched your videos and seen your pictures we are very keen to fulfil that ambition sometime!! Absolutely loved your video of the border crossing – it really conveyed the sense of excitement and adventure! Would be delighted to see more ‘on the road’ clips! We’ve found your whole site and adventures very inspirational! Thank you for sharing.
That’s was easy, but why would anyone admit they are Demarcates. You just lost your Texas Card. That’s ok I still like ya. Keep up the good work and maybe Ill see ya’ll out there.
David and Jennifer Lindenmuth
Hey guys! Loved the border crossing video. We had a hunting rifle with us and it didn’t go as easily as yours but we made it after a second go around and 3 hours later. We made it to Tok, Alaska today. Sorry we missed you for halibut and wine. We will be in the Kenai for the summer. Maybe we will cross paths sooner or later!! Take Care and Safe Travels.
I have heard that you can take a hunting rifle in and it does take extra time and goes easier if you pre-fill out the paperwork. Thanks so much for sharing, that will make a few of the hunters feel better about crossing over.
You two are cuteness. 🙂
I grew up in Canada (born in WA) and crossed the border more times than I can count. It NEVER got easier..LOL Always just as tense as the time before.
Thanks for the great detailed info that you two provide to us novices.
Now who could resist those faces!! You “classy hoboed” your way into a country with a couple of pretty smiles and a nice attitude! ( OK, the cool cats had to help a little ) Good for you! I hope your trip is magical and memorable….and everything goes as smooth as a fine wine with your friends, old and new. Thank you for sharing and caring for those of us that adore you! You two are the best…the very best!
Val (and Mitch)
You guys are freakin’ adorable! Thanks for this information!
It could have been the “yessir” politeness that made it easy for you (note to self), but we too are crossing the border to Vancouver, Canada in a few weeks. That isn’t nearly enough time to drink down the liquor cabinet onboard, lol (especially since we have just stocked up on fabulous wine after visits to Paso Robles and Sonoma). So we still can’t be assured our experience will be like yours, but it’s a data point in the right direction!
I love how the kitteh went over to check out the interaction, ensuring that he be *seen* by the border agent! Hah! (Cats don’t understand discretion.) Cracked me up and what a beauty!
Hi! We are also doing the Alaska trip this summer. We are in North Pole now. A few suggestions: Liard Hot Springs in BC is a must. Super clean and nice. Free if you stay at the campground which is also nice. We loved Whitehorse, YT. It’s a cute, outdoorsy town. Walk the 5k Millenium Trail loop over the Yukon and around town. Eat dinner at the Burnt Toast Cafe. We had salad, lamb tacos, Arctic char & Yukon Brewing Co beer. Everything was fresh & tasty.
In Tok, AK we stayed at the Sourdough Campground. It’s a fun experience. Tim is a good cook. He makes great fresh potato chips and burgers for dinner.
We saw a lot of wildlife in BC & Yukon: black bears, caribou, big horn sheep, wild goats and a grizzly. All close enough to our campervan that we could throw a rock & hit them!!! Enjoy the ride 🙂
Sonny & Sandy
We really enjoyed your “crossing” video. It is a hoot. Have ya’ll been up there long enough to get a feel for the cost of goods and services? We are thinking about loading up on supplies in Great Falls. Whatchathink? Sonny & Sandy
Jason and Nikki, you are both so funny! We have been “stalking” aah following (lol) you since your Rv purchase on househunters several years ago. You have provided so much information that is helping us decide what we want in our first motorhome that we hope to order by the beginning of next year. Just have to finish husbands yearlong work assignment in Hawaii. We both questioned the noise rattle that came across on the video was it gasser related? We originally wanted to purchase a high end gasser (Newmar Canyon Star) but after researching we are looking at Newmar diesels instead because of the higher carrying capacity & noise factor. Keep us posted on your likes and dislikes of gas. Definitely love the live video and your cute kitties but have learned a lot from the how to videos as well.
good luck on your trip,,,love sure site…
“Because we’re popular, I guess.” Too adorable, Jason! ☺️
Safe Canadian travels, you guys!
Your Alaska trip is an awesome idea. Karen and I are planning for something similar in 2017. Based on some light research, the trip along the Dalton Highway seems potentially eventful in a not-so-good way. Current roundtrip flights (from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay) are about $700/person. We’re following your adventure as it unfolds and await your insightful lessons learned…
Our border crossing was similar, but not the case coming back into America. They literally searched our RV and we had to stay in our seats while they poked around. They even used mirrors under the chassis to see if there were any hidden “moths” being transported. Okay, I’m getting stressed out reminiscing the house snooping. Watch out for those Yukon frost heaves. Enjoy your trip!
You MADE it into Canada!! And didn’t have to surrender a DROP of booze!! Hey, we have the same hooks in our RV that you have – the brushed silver kind hanging behind Jason’s head.
Welcome to Canada!! My wife and I live in Calgary and spend lots of time in the Canadian Rockies. Here are some suggestions.
1. While in Banff, check out the the Banff Springs Hotel. Lots of history, a fantastic view out the back of the hotel, a very cool mid-evil ball room and this hotel has a spa that is rated one of the best in North America. If you enjoy a rustic restaurant and a great breakfast, go to Melissa’s Miss Steak. Lunch at the Rose & Crown is always good. If camping at Tunnel Mountain, full service is $33.00. Request a spot in the “trailer court”. This is the wooded area of the campground and is much nicer. We have camped there a few times this year. Lots of Elk at the end of the Trailer Court section of the campground.. This campground can handle any size rv.
2. Minniwanka lake drive takes about 45 minutes. It’s a nice little drive with some nice views.
3. Johnston Canyon is a must. It is located on highway 1A between Banff and Lake Louise. There are 2 waterfalls. Follow the trail to the 1st waterfall, cross the bridge, go through a small cave and you are right at the face of the falls. The hike to the 2nd falls is not worth the effort. There are a few campgrounds close to the canyon. They do restrict sizes of rv’s.
4.Moraine Lake is a must. As you pass through the village of Lake Louise, you will come to Moraine Lake Road. We were at Lake Louise last week and this road was not opened for the summer yet. Maybe this is your lucky week and it has now opened for the season? If so, when you get to the lake, take the trail to the top of the big pile of rocks…..another great Canadian Rocky view!
5.Make sure you check out the hotel at Lake Louise as well as this amazing view from the shore. Look up at the Chandeliers as you walk through hotel. I’ll bet it takes days just to clean one of them 🙂
6. Do you have some extra time? Make a trip to Radium Hot Springs on hwy 93 south. Its a little of the beaten path and not as crowded as Banff. We stay at The Canyon RV resort. It’s especially nice if you can get a spot by the stream. You can hike up to the hot springs form the camp site. If this campground is full, check out Redstreak campground. Almost guaranteed to see mountain sheep here. I’ve seen lots of wildlife on this highway.
7. Turn that Fleetwood around and head north on hwy 93 back towards the trans Canada highway. Once you cross the trans Canada Highway, you are now on the north portion of hwy 93 that many of us call “glacier highway”. Once again, spectacular views!!
8. You will come across the Columbia Ice Fields tourist area. You can take a bus right up to the top of the glacier. It is worth the trip. While on this bus, you may see tourist groups with a stacks of plastic cups. The guides do this so their guests can drink the freshest mountain water anywhere. You might want to bring along a cup just to say you had the purest water around.
We had taken our North Carolinian friends on a tour our wine country a few years ago. If you are heading back to the US via BC, let me know and I can suggest which campgrounds and vineyards to check out. They are all located in the Okanagan. ….. anyways, our friends became huge fans of Ice Wine. After that trip, we took them to the Columbia Ice Fields. They liked the water so much, the called it Ice Water.
OK, I’m starting to babble now. Feel free to e-mail me should you have any questions while in this area.
One final note, you are in bear country, take bear spray with you if you are hiking in small groups. Just last week alone, my wife and I saw a few herds of elk, a moose, an adult grizzly bear…..oh yeah……and hundreds of gophers…
Safe travels and enjoy your stay in Canada!
Phil & Rita
If you fancy adding a few miles come and see the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia, you won’t be disappointed guys! Safe journey eh!!!!
We always found getting into Canada to be easy…….except for the one time they took my little purse-size pepper spray…..”because they don’t have crime there”……. although you can carry a big ol’ can of bear spray……go figure.
Welcome to Canada. My wife and I live in Calgary and frequently RV in the great Canadian Rockies. Are you interested in a few suggestions of sites to visit? Let us know and I will put together a small list for you.
Prudhoe Bay= FLY from Fairbanks. You can leave the rig in one of local campgrounds and catch a short ride to the airport. Cats can be left with numerous vets or kennels. Trip of a lifetime.
That was easier than going through DFW airport!
Lots of daylight coming your way! I wish I was that far north, eh??
What a nice change on the video format…I loved seeing the scenery and hearing the free-flowing conversation (and road noise) compared to the more “scripted” videos you do. Excellent change-up!
I had to chuckle as Singa must be a professionally licensed relaxer…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat so, well, relaxed!!
But Good Lord, will the Great Nation of Texas let you back in if you don’t have any six-shooters??
Totally looking forward to the next installment of your Northern Adventure!! Good Luck & Happy Landings!!
Ha ha, glad you enjoyed it Jim! To keep the updates flowing regularly we will do more of these off the cuff videos (aka less editing).
Singa, is no bothered by much when he is in nap mode. Sometimes we have to check for breathing just to make sure. He is a good little traveler. Cleo on the other hand, she prefers a dark corner. 🙂
Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca)
Hi Guys, while I was watching your video crossing the border, I noticed “FORD” on the steering wheel. Does that mean that the Bounder is a Gasser. Don’t you usually drive a diesel? How is the handling on those roads and noise level as opposed to your diesel? Also it sounds a little bumpy, is that true or is there no difference from the diesel? Being a woman, I am a little afraid of diesel, so might have to get gas engine for simplicity. What are your thoughts, going to be full time and looking for a 34 footer. Thanks for your comments and as always your Videos.
I am Canadian. Have never broken the law, have great respect for the law and wouldn’t do anything illegal. Having said that, I can totally relate to how you felt crossing the border. It doesn’t matter how often I cross, I still have that twinge of fear that I might have done something wrong that I am not even aware of and they are going to detain me for search. It seems to be built right in to the process. So far, every experience has been smooth and simple, even if they ask how much alcohol you have on board. 🙂 No fines, just tax and or duty on whatever exceeds the limit. (No need to induce a hangover headache Nikki) Hope the rest of your visit in our fine country is fun and exciting. Welcome to the great white north eh!
A little parody for your enjoyment.
Last July we took a motorcycle trip, we ride with another couple, up thru the Canadian Rockies. Beautiful country and the Canadians are very friendly people. We stayed in Revelstoke a couple of nights and the railroad museum is spectacular. In the early evenings, I believe on the weekends, they put chairs out in the street and have a concert. Fun town to visit.
I love the video. My husband makes fun of me because I can nervous over things like this, too. Have a great trip–I’m excited to hear about your adventures going to Alaska and gleam some tips for a future trip of our own.
Paula & Larry
As usual we are enjoying your travels. Especially this summer, as we will be following you guys to AK. (Reversed trip leaving from Seattle area, returning via MT) We are near Seattle at my brothers finishing up with the prep for the trip to the great North. First … our Disney Cruise to see lower AK inside passage June 1-7. Then we head to check out the BC boarder crossing 😉 Being from MT we have crossed at Coutts many times. Never a problem. But coming back into Maine at the smaller southern crossing (Calais) they questioned about our cockatiel (we had checked and they’re not on the “bird list”) but US customs said we had to go north to Houlton crossing anyway, so their Vet could see our bird. We got there and the Vet was off duty and we had to pay $150 for him to come in. He just said, agh … cockatiels are fine & didn’t even look at him. Thanks! welcome back to the USA. Hope to cross paths with you two up there somewhere. Safe travels.
We have never had a problem getting into Canada (knock on wood, we are going to Alaska in June), but everytime we try to get back into the states we get questioned like crazy! lol
Nice. I’ve not yet made the trip to Canada or Alaska but look forward to yours. I wonder, what do you think so far of the gas coach (any regrets?). We know you are evaluating for Fleetwood, but that aside, do you think your next coach will be Diesel? Have you guys gave any thought to the “Super C” Diesel/Freighliner variety, like Dynamax or others with the huge GVWR? One more thing, I noticed that the map below still shows you in Shelby, MT, even though you clearly crossed into Canada.
That was so cute!
Especially the “no Sir’s”. That’s why the custom officer didn’t ask more questions. The “Sir” part tickles us Canadians, eh.
I also was worried when my family and I crossed into Canada. The customs agent ask a bunch of questions about where we were going and how long we were staying, then ask, “Are you carrying anything of value that you are going to leave in Canada?” My answer was, “Yes about 75 gallons of gasoline.” Upon hearing that he chuckled and said, have a great time in Canada.
Back in the 80’s I rented a motorhome and drove my Mom and 3 sons to Orlando Florida to go to Disney land from Ontario Canada. I was a single Mom and the only one with a license. When we went to cross in the USA I was asked the usual questions and then if we had any apples, oranges or bananas. I yelled to my sons in the back of the RV to eat the bananas as we couldn’t take them over the boarder. The boarder guard asked me how many I had in the back and I said 3 sons and 3 bananas and by the time you are finished asking the questions the bananas would be gone. The boarder guard just laughed and sent us through. I guess it’s okay to take bananas peels over the boarder. Oh I think you are good people and as a Canadian you are welcome in Canada anytime. EH
That comment made Robert L. Canadian RV parks not dog-friendly, might be the type & large size of the dog. Being a Canadian I’v found in the USA you can be restricted to certain areas of the park, more times
Your cat makes me wish I was a cat person. Totally chill! I’m sure you would have found a few people to join you in a booze party had it been necessary. I’d have driven up from Seattle to help out, no problem!
Love your new “reality show” video format! Really – it’s nice to see you in a real-time, real-life situation that’s unstaged and unscripted. Please consider using this format more in the future!
As for border crossings – years ago I used to cross into Canada from the US – and back – for work, every day. Never had any issues at all with the Canadians, but you never knew about the US border officers coming back. They were usually fine, but sometimes they could be more paranoid, give me a hard time, insist on searches, etc. You just never knew – which was probably part of their plan to be unpredictable. Point is – it will be very interesting to see how it all works out when you finally come back into the 48 states.
But before then – have a great time on your new adventure into the far north. Can’t wait to see and read all about it from you. And as usual – we also want to know all about how your new RV works out, along with all you new technology. We can’t make this trip, but we love to live it vicariously along with you. Have fun!
Carol Ann Quibell
Hi – really enjoyed your video and welcome to Canada! I am looking forward to reading about your adventures while you are here. I hope you don’t mind the plug but I recently wrote a piece for Let’s RV on exactly this same topic and your followers may find it helpful. http://letsrv.com/top-10-things-to-know-about-rving-in-canada/
If anyone entering a foreign country (which Canada is to Americans) and checks with the appropriate services prior to arriving at the border they will prevent any potential problems. Just best to be truthful and they shouldn’t encounter any problems.
Welcome. We have crossed the border (at the same crossing and others) in our RV. Always seems more strenuous questioning coming home (Canada) but never any searches or the like. Worst thing was we had to turn around once and leave our fire wood above the 49th parallel! As Leah said – thought all Americans carried firearms and Texans at least two! 😉
Folks y’all hit the nail on the head with your video. I went through that same place crossing the border about 10 years ago. Felt like I was riding with you. Showed my wife the video and she certainly enjoyed it also. Please have a great trip and include us with more videos. Have a friend that I used to visit just east of Jasper which is a long way from Alabama. I am very excited for you and excited myself to be included in the trip with the video. Be safe. Richey
Nice video, I would be interested to hear you’re first impressions on driving the Bounder? Thanks
I went to Canada last summer a few weeks after I got my coach…they hassled me at customs because I had been to Egypt. And the worst part was that the parks there are NOT dog friendly. They are allowed in your campground loop only and nowhere else. No dogs no dog people…no fun. Went back to the US the next day.
Hey Wynn’s great start to a great trip. Good luck.
Good too see and hear a moving video from the coach. You both looked comfortable and Singa certainly liked the new dash. Lol. Good luck and be safe. Cleo must be the hidey cat. lol
Cleo comes out every once in a while but she likes to ride in the back on the carpet. At least one of us like that carpet. 🙂
Ok mister Democrat, you’re the kind, non gun packing peaceful ones and the rest of us Republicans need a closer scrutiny. I’m telling them you have dangerous hard boiled eggs and excess booze. Not really, have a great time.
Ha ha…great now I have to eat a lot of deviled eggs and polish off the bourbon before anyone finds us!
Good thing you have the MAXXAIR auto fans going!!!!! Jason stay up front with Singa!!!
“Do you have any firearms?”
No Sir! We are life long Democrats!”
Does this reply actually work when crossing the border? I am very curious as I am always packing…great video but got the giggles from that response. We Repubs always need the extra help with border crossings and the like as we can be irksome.
As a lifelong Republican who has never owned a gun and haven’t fired one in at least 35 years, I suppose I should be offended by your mention to the border guard about not having firearms because you’re Democrats. But I’m not. In fact, I find it pretty funny. Too many of us find way too many ways to be offended these days, including some Democrats! I can’t wait to keep up with your adventures!
I am glad, it wasn’t meant to offend anyone or be a political statement (we’re very non political really). It was a random response but in his defense he was nervous. But it was funny how surprised the guy was that we were Texans and not packin’!
Welcome to Canada! Enjoyed your live coverage of crossing the border into Canada today. We feel nervous everytime we approach our border to return home too! Loved your comment, “we’re democrats” when asked if you had firearms etc. Happy you got to keep your eggs, booze (so much more expensive here) and no issues with your lovely felines!
Enjoy your travels north!
Funny thing is, we may not have even had too much booze we just weren’t sure and didn’t want to call and find out. Then we would have known and couldn’t have brought it over without saying something.
I completely understand being nervous when crossing into Canada. I had originals of all paperwork in my log book, I had copies stored in the bedroom and electronic copies …just in case.
Also when we crossed from Detroit into Ontario they have 2 separate crossing lanes. CARS and TRUCKS since I was bigger than a car and the motor home sits on a truck chassis I went into the truck lane which was a HUGE mistake.
Any way have fun in Canada and Alaska.
Loved to see you both in live action at the Border. And the cats are just great — going to the window to check things out. But the best part… no guns, we are democrats. Now I know why I have liked you both so much all these months. Travel safe and looking forward to more! 🙂
Nikki: don’t you wear a seat belt?
Yes, I just have a bad habit of tucking the top strap under my arm because it annoys me. I know that is terrible and it is a bad habit I have had for as long as I can remember.
Welcome to Canada! Love the real-time border crossing footage. Absolutely classic. We cross so often that we applied for, and received, our Nexus cards last year, which is basically like EZ Pass for the border. We also have another unfair advantage… we cross South using our US passports and North using our Canadian Permanent Resident cards. It’s like “coming home” regardless of which way we’re headed. 😉
Favorite takeaway: It’s the REPUBLICANS in Texas who have the guns. lol That was SUCH a real answer while you were under stress. Had to watch that part back three times because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t hear every precious word. Love you guys.
BTW…. You are EACH allowed ONE of the following: Up to 1.5 litres of wine OR up to 1.14 litres of hard liquor OR up to 8.5 litres (24 cans or bottles, 355 ml each) of beer. Next time we talk, you have got to tell us, off the record, exactly how far above the limit you were. You’ve already said too much publicly (lol) and we promise not to turn you in.
Ha ha, we were just a little over then, not as bad as I thought we were. Good to know! But you are right, this will have to be a campfire discussion later!
By the way… if you’ve never been there before, do not miss Moraine Lake, Lake Louise and Peyto Lake, all of which are stunning. If you want to do a stellar hike, “the Beehives” is a classic that offers wonderful views down onto Lake Louise. The very first photo of us hiking in your MM&T article was taken up there. It’s achingly beautiful. Now we really can’t wait to get up there next month. Have fun!
John E. Baker III
You’re actually Canadian??? No wonder y’tawk s’funnee!! 😉
What’re ya talkin’ aboot, eh? lol We’re actually transplants from the States… so now, can you figure out what part of the country we’re from? It is indeed possible that the way our favourite neighbours speak has coloured our accent though. Gotta run, we’re running low on poutine and the store is 30 kilometers away, and gas is up to $1.15 a litre! 😉
John E. Baker III
“Coloured” your accent… AND screwed up your spelling! 🙁 Thank G-d for Gallons! 😉
So what are your thoughts so far of the gas engine vs the diesel coach? How’s the cab noise? Is the power sufficient and how does it handle? All thoughts will be helpful as we are trying to decide. Maybe your future video would answer these questions and more. Thanks and be safe!
We definitely have a video coming soon where we will give you a front seat ride through the mountains. So you can all see and hear for yourselves the difference. It has been interesting so far!
I gotta hand it to you. For as nervous as you were approaching the border, you handled it like a pro!
Our family lives in Washington and we’ve taken our RV into Canada at least once a year for about 20 years, so I guess after a while it’s easy to take for granted. We’ve never had them go through our RV (although we’ve known people who’ve had that experience), but we’ve had to leave campfire wood behind that we habitually carry with us whenever we go “camping”. I believe we’ve had to surrender certain unprepared (raw) foods on rare occasions, but it’s never been an issue, as they probably have better produce up there than we do down here.
The only time we’ve ever had to pull off to the side and park was when we had forgotten the birth certificates of our boys and had to go inside to establish proof that they were our kids.
As for claiming allegiance to either of the two major political parties here, I’d recommend against it because they really don’t care and the vast majority of them wouldn’t know the difference anyway. The problem is that when you volunteer anything they don’t specifically ask for or understand, it can sometimes lead to a whole new branch of questions. My advice is to smile like you did and keep your answers as simple as possible, and you’ll get through quickly and without hassle.
Thanks for sharing that with us. I believe it’s the first time I’ve seen video of someone going across.
After crossing the “top of the world ” hyway, the Immigration agent walked to our van, eating a sandwich, and said,”you should have been here yesterday, the view was much better” …he then walked back into his office..
Ha ha, that is awesome!
We just went into canada thru Sumas Washington. They took our eggs (due to avian flu) and apples. So dont buy anything like that before crossing.?
I thought when Jason was working his seatbelt we were going to have a Robin Williams episode of RV, LoL!! Be careful out there and get some bear spray, ha! ~M
Ok watched your video. We just got back from a trip just like your on. Remember you will also have more border checks. We did going and leaving total of 4. Try and make Chicken Alaska and top of the world that drops into Dawson city. Please also go on to Valdez.good place to Boondock on Prince William sound right before Valdez. Best part of trip and I have been to Alaska before but never on this highway and was so surprised. Have fun.
Thanks for the tips! Both are on our route and glad to hear it’s worth the trip!
When we crossed the border they asked my husband if he had over 10000 dollars on him. He said what I’m a married man I don’t have money on me. The guy laughed and waved us through.
Loved the video and LOL at the democrat comment. Plenty of democrats are proud gun owners, FYI.
Anyway, I was super nervous watching your video…felt like I was right there. Glad everything went smoothly for you and hope you have an awesome adventure. I’ve crossed a few times into Canada and have always been treated very professionally by the Canadian Border Control. Nicest.People.Ever. My experiences with the U.S. Border Control are completely different though. I always expect rude, unprofessional agents when I come home to the U.S., and they never, ever disappoint.
Ha ha, I know, that democrat thing was the most random response but it was funny. Glad you have found the Canadians to be as nice as we have. You just never know but they always make us feel welcome.
Ha ha ha, “No, sir. We’re democrats.” I gotta say, as a Canadian, I just assume all Americans are carrying weapons and take it from there.
I couldn’t believe how nervous you were approaching the border, but it sure went well. Cats, booze, and eggs… all safely in Canada.
Enjoy and keep up the amazing posts!
I like you even more now that I know you are Democrats! Happy Trails!
In 2002 I was traveling for my company to one of their sites in Dryden, Ontario. Because of delays at various airports, I found myself in a rental car in International Falls, Mn. Coldest place on earth. I got directions to the border. When I got there (@2am) I pulled up to this drive through window (seriously). The Border Agent leaned out the window and asked, “So, where you from?”
I told her.
“Where you going?”
I told her.
“What purpose are you going there for?”
I told her.
Do you have in your possession: (and she rattled off this list of firearms, knives, bombs, nuclear or biological weapons, plants, small animals, or booze…from memory)
I told her I did not.
“Well have a nice day,” and she shut the window.
No ID, Passport, Library card, favorite song, Nothing. Just have a nice day.
Coming back into the US, a completely different story. I was subjected to everything but a body cavity search.
I’ve had the same experience, but usually getting back in the U.S. is just as simple as getting out was, with the following caveat: The U.S. Border Patrol are typically less friendly than their Canadian counterparts and I’ve found that it’s even more beneficial to provide succinct and accurate answers and avoid being too friendly.
We first crossed over in an RV in 2001, at the time we both worked in the Casino business and were immediately pulled to the side, searched & questioned.Pretty scary..Luckily someone told us to take a flare gun for protection instead of a firearm..We got thru and had a great time..
We are following your trip, as we are starting to plan another Alaska adventure in 2016..
Ya, we too have gotten searched and they were very nice and it was quick but always makes you so incredibly nervous!
A note on taking pepper spray into Canada: if you have pepper spray and want to take it into Canada (for hiking protection against bears), make sure you declare it as BEAR SPRAY and not pepper spray. We were told by several Canadian customs agents that the former is allowed, but not the latter (even though they’re basically the same thing).
marcia jones Goynes
I just want to say how much I enjoy your video’s and especially this one on the border crossing. I feel the exact same way, I get so nervous and just know that I’m going to the slammer!!! We always make it thru but…….
After saying all that! Can hardly wait for your next installment. Both of you are a joy to know!!!! And hugs for the kitties!
Just saw you guys driving thru Calgary
Make sure you stop in Banff and Lake Louise. Top 10 places to visit in North America.
Heh. I crossed into Canada in an RV w/my parents several years ago, at Niagara. Tried to warn them beforehand that they wouldn’t be allowed to take the handgun across the border, and that Canadian customs agents were famously well-trained to spot lying, but noooooo. (Dad was a double-amputee Vietnam Vet, and the gun made him feel less vulnerable.) The customs agent asked my father 5, maybe 6 times if he had a handgun, and each time she asked him her voice got louder and more emphatic. Finally I said softly “Just tell them, you’ll get it back when you come back through”. Parents weren’t too pleased with me, to say the least! Wish they could have understood how they just weren’t going to need it there. (And pardon my political reference, but I suppose I should have expected that sort of fear-based thinking given their steady diet hate-mongering news sources.)
So glad you two had a much happier outcome! Careful with reducing those excessive liquor holdings. 😀
Border personnel don’t typically take being lied to so well and could’ve made things very difficult. I’m glad things turned out okay for your dad and your family. I greatly respect your dad for the price he paid in his service, and I just hope he’s found better options than carrying lead to make himself feel less vulnerable.
Just wondering why you told the guard you guys were Democrats? It just struck me as kinda funny.
Couldn’t you tell, it was nerves. We so not political people but it was just a random response and definitely funny.
I have traveled to Canada many times. If travelling by air or sea, there have been absolutely no problems. However, by auto we are “randomly” selected for a complete search each and every time. They must not like the cut of my jib or something.
For an RV, what additional insurance paperwork is required? Both for the RV and the Toad.
Is the vehicle registration the only paperwork required for the RV?
Looking forward to your posts as you travel the north country.
We will be crossing the border in August, just to cut across from Buffalo, NY to Michigan with 2 dogs, and it does make one nervous with all the stuff we pack for our travels! I must remember to take the dog food bag, as we usually don’t have it with us! Safe travels!
The guard’s skepticism about you having guns, lol.
“No, we’re democrats.”
Also, Canada should want your cat. *Adorable* Make sure they don’t try to keep him on your way back 😉
AH- I feel your nervous pain!! I am from Canada, so I always felt that dread coming into the US. We live in Colorado now, but every boarder crossing…. my palms always get sweaty.
Glad everything went well! Enjoy beautiful Canada, Eh?!! (I don’t actually say that…)
Loved that Nikki was more worried about the booze than the cats.
Any bets on how many days in before you see your first moose or bear?
We, too, have found going in to Canada a breeze. Coming back is another story. Had to give up some fresh veggies, rice (not in its original bag), and literally had to walk a bundle of kindling back across the border. Geesh. Our trip was Sept. Of 2014 crossing back in to Sumas, WA. Thanks for allowing us to follow your journeys Wynn Family.
You guys made *me* nervous and I’m just sitting in my stick & bricks living room.
I don’t know if you follow ChrisTravels but he just crossed into Canada as well with a full search of his RV. The authorities even opened some gas cans and didn’t close them properly causing gas fumes to seep into the RV. It took a while for him to figure out where the smell was coming from. They also broke a vent cover on top of his RV. I’m glad you two got through with no problems.
BTW, Nikki were you rolling without your seat belt on? 🙂
I do keep up with Chris here and there but I didn’t know that. That is terrible, poor guy! I actually did have my seat belt on I just tuck the top part under, bad habit.
I was nervous watching! lol … Can’t wait for the adventure!
I love you guys! What an awesome life you live!
Mark E. Campbell
We crossed into Canada from New York State in our MoHo. A very friendly Mountie came onboard, and opened our refrigerator. He didn’t check anything else, but asked if we were hunters and if we had any firearms onboard. He was very pleasant. We saw a parking lot with several RVs and cars being more thoroughly inspected.