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Author Topic: Trailering Through Canada  (Read 3251 times)
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C3L1CA
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« on: March 28, 2017, 03:44:58 PM »

Has anybody ever trailered their motorcycle or car though Canada to get to Loring?

I'm from MN and like to try and plan as much as possible as I like knowing what I'm getting into when doing a road trip to go racing :)Almost every mapping/direction website tells me the fastest and shortest way to get to Loring from MN is through Canada. I found a few routes that don't go through Canada and it adds about 3.5ish hours of drive time each way, for about 7ish hours total extra drive time to stay in the US. Figured it'd maybe cost about an extra $65ish in gas too.

I'm just a little nervous about going through customs. It'll most likely be just me in my truck with food and maybe some camping stuff in the truck, my bike and a few 5 gallons pales of MR12 and my ZX10 with tools in my 6x12 enclosed trailer.

Just curious if anybody else has traveled to go racing and has passed through customs and has any advice. Not sure if going through customs is worth the extra 6-7 hours of total drive time it'd save me or if I should just suck it up and stick to the US and have a bit more drive time but not worry about customs and Canada.

Thanks!
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Seldom Seen Slim
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 04:37:14 PM »

Where in Minnesota?  If you're north of the Cities - consider heading straight east from Duluth and crossing into Canada at the Soo (Sault Ste Marie, Michigan).  It's a smaller crossing and we've often found passing through in a car or a bike relatively easy (compared to the heavily-traveled crossings like Port Huron or Windsor).

Anyway, go into Canada at the east end of the UP, go through Sudbury and Montreal and come out someplace up there, avoiding some of the extra miles of south and then north again.  Not to mention having lots more interesting scenery and regretting not having studied harder in French class.

As for jugs of race gas and a race bike - I don't have valid experience to offer.  But why do I think that the hassle is going to be worth $65 to avoid. . . rolleyes
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 05:15:35 PM »

The race stuff should be no problem. The only things that can cause you problems are drugs, excess alcohol and guns. A lot of people heading for Alaska lose weapons coming across the border. I believe long guns can be declared but handguns can be a serious problem.

Other than that as long as you answer any questions honestly and have a valid passport you'll have no problem. It works for us in pretty much the same way when we're visiting you guys. I've only been held up once coming back into Canada and it was only a couple of hours and that's out of well over a hundred border crossings.

Have a good trip.

Pete
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 05:19:23 PM by Peter Jack » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 07:04:09 AM »

Where in Minnesota?  If you're north of the Cities - consider heading straight east from Duluth and crossing into Canada at the Soo (Sault Ste Marie, Michigan).  It's a smaller crossing and we've often found passing through in a car or a bike relatively easy (compared to the heavily-traveled crossings like Port Huron or Windsor).

Anyway, go into Canada at the east end of the UP, go through Sudbury and Montreal and come out someplace up there, avoiding some of the extra miles of south and then north again.  Not to mention having lots more interesting scenery and regretting not having studied harder in French class.

As for jugs of race gas and a race bike - I don't have valid experience to offer.  But why do I think that the hassle is going to be worth $65 to avoid. . . rolleyes
I'm live in Minneapolis, the quickest route has me going down by Chicago and then through Port Huron. The other route was like the first way you described through the UP and through Sault Ste Marie. My soon to be wife lives in the UP so we make that drive often and know the scenery is much better making that drive than going down through Chicago. I took 3 years of french in college, but about the only thing I remember how to say is my name, ordering food and the bathroom. Guess I have the basics covered at least lol

I was kind of thinking it might be worth the few extra bucks in the grand scheme of things to avoid as well. Hate to be held up in customs or sit in a long line waiting. I'd rather at least be moving.


The race stuff should be no problem. The only things that can cause you problems are drugs, excess alcohol and guns. A lot of people heading for Alaska lose weapons coming across the border. I believe long guns can be declared but handguns can be a serious problem.

Other than that as long as you answer any questions honestly and have a valid passport you'll have no problem. It works for us in pretty much the same way when we're visiting you guys. I've only been held up once coming back into Canada and it was only a couple of hours and that's out of well over a hundred border crossings.

Have a good trip.

Pete
Thanks for the info Pete! I've read people trying to bring guns across the border is a huge sticking point. I'd really only be bringing race stuff and some food/water for me to eat on the way to try and keep the trip cost down a bit.

I did just get my passport a few weeks ago and I'll have nothing in the truck/trailer to hide or lie about, you're post makes me think it might be worth it to try and cross into Canada to save a bit of time and probably have better scenery too.

Thanks for the info so far guys!!
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 07:38:28 AM »

Here's something that may or may not be an issue.  If you have a drunk driving infraction in your driving history - you probably WILL NOT be allowed entry.  I believe the rules have tightened - it used to be if the ticket was more than 10 years ago and you're clean since, okay -- but I heard recently of someone that tried, having a 13++ year old ticket, and was denied entry.

Don't drink and drive and then go to Canada.
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 10:45:42 AM »

...and don't have any ammunition, either.

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 11:16:38 AM »

Dont take any pets either. I tried going in thru Detroit back in 1972, was told I didnt have the right papers for the dog and had a gun. I told the guy I would just stay in the US & was told to go over the bridge and turn around. When I did I was asked why I was bringing a dog & gun out of Canada. I tried to explain without any luck and spent the next 8 hours watching Canadian customs take my truck and camper apart and I mean all the way apart. In short I will never set foot on that place as long as I live. Your results may vary
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 03:39:48 PM »

I posed this question to an upstate NY friend who does a lot of cross border business and he was hesitant to give it a green light. His consern was the possibilty that either country's border agents (but especially the Canadians) might be suspicious of a car coming into the country over concern that it might be under transport to be sold in there - versus passing through enroute to or from Maine. Like most here, my LSR isn't licensed or insured and while I have a title and reciept for the current state taxes paid, I'm not anxious to get hassled by an overly ambitious border agent. I'd save 90 minutes traveling via Canada, but I worry that (perhaps at best) that time savings would be eaten up by having to undergo a rectal trailer inspection - and at worst, refused entry to the country. angry
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 11:54:28 AM »

I posed this question to an upstate NY friend who does a lot of cross border business and he was hesitant to give it a green light. His consern was the possibilty that either country's border agents (but especially the Canadians) might be suspicious of a car coming into the country over concern that it might be under transport to be sold in there - versus passing through enroute to or from Maine. Like most here, my LSR isn't licensed or insured and while I have a title and reciept for the current state taxes paid, I'm not anxious to get hassled by an overly ambitious border agent. I'd save 90 minutes traveling via Canada, but I worry that (perhaps at best) that time savings would be eaten up by having to undergo a rectal trailer inspection - and at worst, refused entry to the country. angry
My bike is registered and insured but I too am scared about any of my time savings being eaten up hassles at the border or worst not being allowed into the country. I'm thinking on the way there I'll just stick to the US and on the way back I might try going through Canada depending how I feel. I'll have to post up my experiences if I do try going through Canada.

Dont take any pets either. I tried going in thru Detroit back in 1972, was told I didnt have the right papers for the dog and had a gun. I told the guy I would just stay in the US & was told to go over the bridge and turn around. When I did I was asked why I was bringing a dog & gun out of Canada. I tried to explain without any luck and spent the next 8 hours watching Canadian customs take my truck and camper apart and I mean all the way apart. In short I will never set foot on that place as long as I live. Your results may vary
haha thats a horrible story and sounds like a comic bit in a movie. Good info to know! I'd love to take my golden retriever as he loves truck rides and sticking his head out the window but he's just going to be left at home with his mom lol.

...and don't have any ammunition, either.

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
Good to know!

Here's something that may or may not be an issue.  If you have a drunk driving infraction in your driving history - you probably WILL NOT be allowed entry.  I believe the rules have tightened - it used to be if the ticket was more than 10 years ago and you're clean since, okay -- but I heard recently of someone that tried, having a 13++ year old ticket, and was denied entry.

Don't drink and drive and then go to Canada.
I didn't know about the drunk driving but that is good to know too. I haven't had any driving infractions than a few speeding tickets and other dumb things but nothing like drunk driving.

Thanks for all the tips so far guys! At this point I'm thinking I'll just stick to the US and pay my tiny bit of gas taxes on the way there and depending on how things go maybe try heading home through Canada or just stick to the US.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »

The problems I had were back in 1972, I don't know if its different now and dont intend to find out.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 07:28:32 AM »

  I live in western NY state and thought about going trough Canada to save an hour or so.... Our two race bikes have no titles or other paperwork...Could be a tie up at the border....Or not...
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 03:03:21 PM »

I bring my race bikes in from Nova Scotia thru New Brunswick, and back again with no problem.  But I have stopped at the Canadian Border offices and got a "green card" which has either the frame number or the motor number written in and stamped by the Canadian Border officials, before I enter.  This helps on the return trip, but quite frankly, I've never been hassled.  

Theoretically, I've been told by one U.S. Border Patrol that I should have the bike bonded before bringing in into the U.S., which I know the boys coming from England have to do to bring their bikes to Bonneville, unless it's a titled and road registered bike.  Granted, times have changed a lot in the last year.  Best to have some type of positive ownership information.
Tom
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 06:09:13 PM »

Hi I was planning on taking my race fuel with me. 30 gallons in fuel jugs ,might there be a issue? Thanks Jim
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2017, 03:13:49 PM »

Canadian here. I would cross into Canada at Port Huron or as mentioned the Soo.Once you're in Canada I believe it is faster to stay on the Trans Canada right until the exit for Limestone Maine , and easier . No stoplights , easy on and off breaks.
You have two major cities to get through Toronto and Montreal you will have a much better time if you avoid rush hrs. We somewhat base our departure and route on that issue.
At the border I wouldn't expect any delays if you have proof of ownership, and a clear agenda. Like for anyone if you get trainees you could be delayed .
I've gone through both countries crossing into the US at Buffalo or further east into Vermont . It's definitely slower thru the US , but hotels and fuel cost less , nice drive too.
Wildlife at night is a caution.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 08:07:08 AM »

  I live in western NY state and thought about going trough Canada to save an hour or so.... Our two race bikes have no titles or other paperwork...Could be a tie up at the border....Or not...
Hmmm that sounds a bit sketchy to me, but not 100% sure. I'd definitley do some research, I'm scared of getting held up or having issues with a titled/insured/plated street bike but I'm probably being over cautious and paranoid.

I bring my race bikes in from Nova Scotia thru New Brunswick, and back again with no problem.  But I have stopped at the Canadian Border offices and got a "green card" which has either the frame number or the motor number written in and stamped by the Canadian Border officials, before I enter.  This helps on the return trip, but quite frankly, I've never been hassled.  

Theoretically, I've been told by one U.S. Border Patrol that I should have the bike bonded before bringing in into the U.S., which I know the boys coming from England have to do to bring their bikes to Bonneville, unless it's a titled and road registered bike.  Granted, times have changed a lot in the last year.  Best to have some type of positive ownership information.
Tom
I'll have to look into if the US has something like that green card or the bonded part. Think the more documentation you could have the better! Thinking I'd stick to the US on the way out there just to be sure I didn't run into any issues to go racing, then maybe try Canada on the way home for a different route and not as much of a big deal if I got delayed.

Hi I was planning on taking my race fuel with me. 30 gallons in fuel jugs ,might there be a issue? Thanks Jim
What kind of gas are you going to be bringing and what are you running? I wasn't thinking I'd need that much gas but now that I'm thinking about it, I'd probably need more than I was originally thinking I'd need.

Canadian here. I would cross into Canada at Port Huron or as mentioned the Soo.Once you're in Canada I believe it is faster to stay on the Trans Canada right until the exit for Limestone Maine , and easier . No stoplights , easy on and off breaks.
You have two major cities to get through Toronto and Montreal you will have a much better time if you avoid rush hrs. We somewhat base our departure and route on that issue.
At the border I wouldn't expect any delays if you have proof of ownership, and a clear agenda. Like for anyone if you get trainees you could be delayed .
I've gone through both countries crossing into the US at Buffalo or further east into Vermont . It's definitely slower thru the US , but hotels and fuel cost less , nice drive too.
Wildlife at night is a caution.
Thank you for the info and tips!!


I still hope I can make it out to Maine. I just got my head back a week ago that I was supposed to get back in March. Hopefully I can get it all back together without any issues, get a good tune and some testing in. Then make it out for the Sep event and have awesome weather!
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