Driving across the borders can be quite uncomfortable when you’re taking your entire home with you. For us, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew we obviously weren’t the first people to drive an RV or van across the border, but it still felt weird and we had a ton of questions.
What do you do when you have a fridge full of foods that needed to be declared? What about our cat? Would the border patrol agents go through our entire van?
We were about to find out. When we went through the border into Canada from Washington, we were asked the standard questions and promptly gave our passports over. “How long would we be staying?” Four months. “Why so long?” We are traveling and plan to climb in Squamish, B.C.
“Because you are visiting for so long, we need you to pull over and go inside.”
We went inside the building and reiterated our story. We were coming to Squamish to visit and explore. We didn’t have anything illegal, we had some vegetables and fruit, and we had a cat. They stated they would be checking our van. After 10 minutes, we were told we could enter Canada. It didn’t even look like they checked our van.
During our stay in Canada, we needed monthly prescriptions. In order to avoid an up front payment of $150 to see a Canadian doctor, we decided it might be easier to just go back to the US and then promptly return with prescriptions in hand. We ended up doing this twice which meant we had to cross the border 4 times.
Each time we crossed, we had a different experience. From letting us pass through with no issues to taking our fruits and vegetables that we had just purchased, we learned that not every crossing is the same.
In fact, we ultimately learned that what the border patrol agents did changed every time. We had to learn to expect the unexpected.
So, if your taking you home on wheels across the borders, it’s best to be prepared for anything and everything. Don’t go grocery shopping before. Make sure you have your passports and the health certificates for your animals ready. The border agents may check, or may not. You’ll only know when you arrive.