When we decided that we were going to Canada within our first week on the road, we figured we better do some research about crossing the border in our house.
We consulted the blogs of more experienced RVers like Heath & Alyssa and Gone with the Wynns. Both emphasized having proper documentation for the RV, the tow vehicle, dog vaccination records, and warned of having too much alcohol or high-dollar equipment. They both also stressed not having any raw poultry products.
Being a bit paranoid, I had all of our paper work, passports, vaccine records, etc in an envelop ready to go. That morning I downed six eggs so we didn’t have any in the fridge [I wasn’t about the throw away perfectly good food]. We pulled up the border checkpoint at Sweet Grass, Montana and got in line. I was sweating and looking super suspicious for no reason at all. Zuzu was too, she’s just like her dad. 😬
We pulled up to the Border Officer and this was our encounter:
(I handed over our passports and our stack of paperwork)
BO: Just the passports, please. Where are you going and how long are you staying?
D: Canmore and staying for about two weeks.
BO: Do you have any firearms or fireworks?
BO: Any alcohol?
D: Three bottles of wine, a bottle of whisky, and 7 cans of beer
BO: Thank you have a nice day.
That was it.
I’m not sure if she let us through quick because there was a line of cars behind us or because my beard just makes me look like a lumberjack (which is obviously less suspicious in Canada). Technically, we had more alcohol than allowed without paying a tax when entering the country but the Officer didn’t seem to care.
In hind-sight, I should have pulled out the ole’ “just these two” (pointing to my biceps) when asked about having any firearms. Damn…maybe next time!
It seems like entering Canada either results in a super fast and friendly encounter like we had or in a hour or two wait while officials search your RV and yell at you for having raw poultry products like eggs.
We will find out if we have the same fast/friendly experience when we cross into Vancouver later this fall. Chances of us getting searched will probably be exponentially higher with my “just these guns” joke. It might be worth it just for the story!