Originally Posted by pageclot
We're well into the planning of our first trip to the US in our 27' Overlander, and were wondering if:
- we should be prepared for a search of the trailer at the border
- we can go into that much shorter line for trucks
- there are any normal items we can't take across the border (i.e. propane, groceries, Canadian bacon)
- tolls on toll-roads are much higher for a car-towing-trailer, than they are for a normal car.
- there are any other tips you can offer, to make this trip smooth sailing.
We'll be crossing from Ontario into New York at Ogdensburg.
We have been crossing for years with never any serious problems, although it is a fact that in recent years, inspections and fairly lengthy questioning are becoming more routine.
Once in a while we have had border officers looking thru the back of our truck and the trailer - they have seemed quite concerned about foodstuffs that are not permitted.
To avoid potential issues, we take virtually no food from home now. I do take far more home made wine than is legally permitted, but it has never been a problem - yet!
Once we had an officer sorting thru a bunch of firewood I had thrown in the back of the truck looking for certain types of wood that I guess were not permitted due to potential insects. So now I don't take wood.
I have found the best procedure is to be as pleasant as possible, answer all the questions as simply and politely as possible and resist the temptation to give any smart-ass answers!
For some reason, a favourite question, after asking where you are going is
to ask "What's in Orlando?? Or whatever location you mention.
I always have a hard time not being sarcastic when answering that one, but biting my tongue pays off I'm sure!
Last time we crossed at Sarnia, a young border official wanted to look into our trailer. I opened it up and in he went with me behind him. The weather was sloppy and dirty out, and this guy stepped into the trailer with his big dirty clodhoppers on and wasn't happy with staying on the vinyl flooring bot had to walk all over our pristine beige carpet.
I was furious and gave him a real blast! As soon as I did so, I was thinking how tough he could make life for me if so inclined!
As luck would have it, he was very young and was most embarrassed, apologizing profusely and leaving the trailer immediately.
In hindsight, I'm sure it wasn't intentional and he just didn't think! Lucky he reacted the way he did and didn't turn on me!
Propane is absolutely not a problem, but I would avoid most foodstuffs, meats, veggies, citrus fruit dairy products (I think!) I avoid it all.
You will pay more on toll roads due to the trailer but I don't believe it is double. Still probably worth it if you want to make time across country.
At least tolls are nowhere near as bad as we pay on the 407!!
I'm sure you will have no problem at all - don't forget your passports!