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Post Info TOPIC: Some questions about crossing Canada to Alaska

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Some questions about crossing Canada to Alaska

We start our journey to Alaska on June 9.  Have a few questions.


1.    In taking produce into Canada - allowed or not.  We like fresh veggies and fruit.

2.  We use credit cards for almost everything.  However we do carry some cash.  For a three month trip, how much is enough?  Do most campgrounds accept credit cards.

3.  Is it necessary to exchange money from dollars while in Canada?

I am sure there is more but this is a start.

Thanks!  Phyllis


Phyllis and Leonard

2011 F350 King Ranch Dually    2016 Ford Escape

No longer own an RV.   No need.  No longer RV.




RV-Dreams Family Member

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3. No not necessary.  However, if you use USD in Canada, you won't get the best exchange rate.  If you need Canadian, convert what you need at a bank for the best rate. Otherwise use credit/debit wherever available and it will be converted at a fair exchange.  

-- Edited by biggaRView on Tuesday 20th of May 2014 08:07:07 PM


Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)
2017 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 CCLB, CTD, Aisin, B&W hitch, dually
2020 Keystone Montana Legacy 3813MS w/FBP ,
MORryde 8k IS, Kodiak disc brakes, no solar  YET!

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It really depends on the border crossing. We've been across into Canada twice and had them take nothing either time. I've known others that got their potatoes taken. Coming back into the US twice from Canada we had nothing the first time and the second time they took our limes and whole garlic that wasn't peeled…and would have taken our lamb in the freezer except it was marked as made in the US.

Maybe it really depends on what the border guards need for dinner in their station that evening

For money I would just get Canadian dollars from an ATM…you'll generally get the best exchange rate that way. When we were there last for a month we got $200 Canadian the first day and didn't get any more…and spent the last 15 or so for lunch right before crossing back into the US. Places relatively close to the border will frequently take US dollars although they're not required to…and the exchange rate was 1.03 to 1 when we crossed so it wouldn't matter either way. Today's exchange rate is 1.09 to 1 and at that I wouldn't use US dollars unless I had to.

Be prepared for Canadian grocery stores though…they are generally smaller, have less selection, and more expensive than anything here. Nothing like a Super Walmart exists and once you get out of major cities we were not impressed with them. Produce in particular we found pretty wanting especially in BC and AB.


RV-Dreams Family Member

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I agree with Neil's comments.  When we cross we actually take as little fruit and vegetables as possible.  It depends on the day as to what they may or may not be looking for.  We had to give up apples and then the next time they didn't even ask what we had - which was almost nothing.

Check with your credit card company as some have better exchange rates than others.  There is no problem using a credit card.  But some are more expensive than others to use.

Except for coin laundries, which required "loonies" and toonies" - which are one and two dollar Canadian coins  -  we really didn't need much Canadian money.  Used the credit card.  But the US dollar is accepted everywhere.  Just don't expect a one-for-one exchange.  You will get change in Canadian money.  But you can get $200 at a bank in the US before crossing if you like.  But its not a major concern.

Remember when you cross over into Alaska you will be re-entering the US and they are picky at times.  Again, we just try to take as little fresh food as possible and then stock up after the crossing.  There are plenty of stores on both sides of the border.  You won't go hungry.

One other piece of advice that really the most important.  Just answer their questions.  The shorter the better.  If they ask, "Do you have any cigarettes."  The answer is "yes" or "no."  Not, "I don't smoke."  Don't try and be cute or funny.  They've heard them all so to speak.  Just be polite and answer just the question your asked. BTW, they will most likely want to see the vehicle registration as well and you need to make sure your vehicle insurance is valid in Canada and you have proof of that.

Enjoy the trip.


Bill & Linda

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