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Old 01-05-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
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To Canadian forum members?

We are considering a trip that could include some traveling in Canada . We will be pulling a 6500 lb TT with a 1/2 ton . Any laws and regulations I need to be made aware of ? We will probably cross into Canada in Quebec and exit Canada in Thunder Bay or International Falls . Don't know any thing about traveling in Canada much less any laws that may affect us and the towing of our camper ! We are excited about our first Canadian adventure ! We want to do our home work so as to make it enjoyable and memorable . Please help ! Any American that has traveled in Canada feel free to shout out to us also! ! Thanks Jim
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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You worries about your towing set-up, just bring lots of money. Hopefully you're aware the Canadian Firearms laws are very different (and I'm not looking to start any debate!)

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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Farmer Jim, you might want to go to the FROG website, www.forestriverfrog.com, and click on "Useful Links." You'll find links to both the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There should be helpful information on both sites.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:46 PM   #4
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You can get good free info sent to you if you Google Tourism Quebec and Tourism Ontario (each Province has their own tourism dept). Allstays is good for finding campgrounds. The Provincial Parks are lovely and do keep a portion of their sites for same day bookings, but like the USA State Parks, the sites are not huge; however, they can be booked online and you can see pix of each site and specify size of rig, pull thu, etc. Google Ontario Provincial Parks. Also Camping In Ontario has an excellent free campground guide put out by the Private Campgrounds Association on Ontario. That should get you started!
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:42 AM   #5
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First of, speeds, measures and temperatures are metric! So when you see 80 on the speed limit sign, it's not 80 MPH but 80 KPH which really is 50 MPH. Fuel sold in litres (3.8 litres = 1 US gal.) and 30 C is not freezing but dam hot. I personally would not use international falls as a crossing, I did it once did not like it. As I recall narrow single lane, and I believe a toll to get across river. (International Falls / Fort Frances » ezbordercrossing.com) I prefer the Provincial campgrounds although Ontario Provincial CG are more expensive than Manitoba and you will have a daily or seasonal entrance fees. There are also ample private campgrounds.
Have a great trip!
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #6
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The towing laws are pretty much the same as they are in the states, which can also have a slight variance from state to state. Our speed limits are in kilometers per hour and distances are measured in meters and kilometers. 80 kph is approximately 50mph, 1 mile is about 1.6 kilometers and 300 meters is about 330 yards. Gasoline is more expensive and is sold in liters. 1US gal equals about 3.78 liters.Currently in Calgary we are paying about $0.93 per liter for regular gas. Goods sold by weight are in grams and kilograms. 1 kilogram is 2.2lbs and 8oz is about 225grams. Many of the signs in Quebec are written in French ( well, Canadian French) and the locals speak mainly Canadian French too.

Remember to add the 5% GST to much of what you buy and there may well be a PST (Provincial Sales Tax to add as well). These vary between the Provinces - Alberta only has GST. For the main, the notes are now made out of a polymer to help make them last longer and be (allegedly) more difficult to counterfeit. The different denominations of bank notes are also a different colour, making it less likely that you'll give out a $20 bill instead of a $10. Presently, the Canadian 'Lonnie' is pretty much on par with the US greenback.

Check the CBS import limits for the amount of tobacco, alcohol and other restricted goods, including meat, fruit and vegetables that you can cross the border with. It isn't a huge amount. I have similar issues traveling south and tend to leave everything until we find a grocery store close to where we are staying - that and it is sometimes cheaper. Don't try and bring a firearm to Canada or for that matter ammunition. That will get you hung up at the border crossing and will impact your visit.

By and large the Canadians are very polite so you shouldn't have any problems. The 'Church of Tim Hortons' is the holy grail as far as Canadians are concerned for coffee and doughnuts - myself, I'm not too enthusiastic. Now I have probably said enough to get myself deported!

I wish you a safe and wonderful trip.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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HI!

Regular gas is CDN$1.24 per liter in Ontario. If you are travelling north on highway #17 from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay you will see lots of hills and truck runoffs north of the Sault. There is a long grade just north of the Sault.

Very scenic but make sure your brakes are in good order.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Plus gas up at Sault Ste. Marie. It is a long drive to Wawa. There is gas available at Montreal River but the station is located on a hill and not well marked. We ran out of gas 2 years ago on this stretch of highway. The person from CAA informed us that the get a lot of calls for gas and usually at same location. We were about 20 miles from Wawa. The northern part of Ontario is vary hilly. With some long steep hills. If you need any more info you can PM me.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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Hello Jim, do you have a time of year that you re thinking of -- this may impact campground availability along with other items.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #10
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dont forget clearances are set in meters as well. forget the conversion for them, but i think 4 meters is about 13 ft. somebody will be along shortly to correct both my memory and my math

and tim hortons coffee and donuts are excellent.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #11
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Hi Jim.

Highways in northern Ontario are almost entirely two-lane with the odd passing lane here and there. The speed limit is 90 kph -basically 55 mph.
An oft-repeated joke in that country is that there are two seasons; winter and road construction. Plan on being delayed at some point(s).

Things are definitely more expensive up here and the two currencies have been pretty close to parity for some time now. Be sure to keep that in mind when budgeting for the trip.

Two highways cross northern Ontario:
Highway 11 which runs from North Bay to Nipigon (an hour or so east of Thunder bay) and has the virtue of being relatively flat and easy to drive.
Highway 17 -which is part of the Trans-Canada Highway- follows the north shore of Lake Superior and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. There are some pretty steep grades though.
In either case, when you see a gas station it's a good policy to stop and top up your tank. They are few and far between in spots.

There is lots of wildlife all through there; lots of moose, lots of bears, it's a good idea to stay off the roads after dark if you can help it.

As mentioned, leave your gun at home. If you're worried about bears you can buy a can of bear spray at any Canadian Tire store.

You should have a good trip. It's pretty country and the people are generally nice. I'm more partial to the provincial parks but you'll have plenty of options. I used to spend a lot of time at Lake Superior Provincial Park just north of the Soo.

Othar than that, all I can do is advise against trying to exit the country at Thunder Bay. Unless your rig is extremely seaworthy .

Enjoy!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post
You worries about your towing set-up, just bring lots of money. Hopefully you're aware the Canadian Firearms laws are very different (and I'm not looking to start any debate!)

Dave
Thanks Dave I'll leave the guns at home ! But where do I get the cash ? Jim
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #13
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Farmer Jim, you might want to go to the FROG website, www.forestriverfrog.com, and click on "Useful Links." You'll find links to both the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There should be helpful information on both sites.
Thanks Bob , I've followed your advice and learned a lot and I'm not done following up on it yet ! This FR forum is so useful ! Looking forward to making one of the frog get togethers ! Jim
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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Hi Jim.

Highways in northern Ontario are almost entirely two-lane with the odd passing lane here and there. The speed limit is 90 kph -basically 55 mph.
An oft-repeated joke in that country is that there are two seasons; winter and road construction. Plan on being delayed at some point(s)....Enjoy!

Farmer, quick rule of thumb that I go by to convert speeds/distances is to take the speed in kilometers, drop the ending 0 (zero) and multiply by 6 (ie: 90 = 9, 9*6 = 54 mph. 50 = 5, 5*6 = 30mph, etc.) Works the same for distances too... 120 km = 12, 12*6 = 72 miles (actual conversion of 120 km = 74.5 miles) You get the idea... By using the "6" rule, you will always calculate lower than actual conversion and should avoid all tickets if you set your cruise...

Walk up to a Tim Hortons and ask for the large double-double (if you like your coffee with some sweetness)....

Best of luck,

J.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:10 PM   #15
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Farmer, quick rule of thumb that I go by to convert speeds/distances is to take the speed in kilometers, drop the ending 0 (zero) and multiply by 6 (ie: 90 = 9, 9*6 = 54 mph. 50 = 5, 5*6 = 30mph, etc.) Works the same for distances too... 120 km = 12, 12*6 = 72 miles (actual conversion of 120 km = 74.5 miles) You get the idea... By using the "6" rule, you will always calculate lower than actual conversion and should avoid all tickets if you set your cruise...

Walk up to a Tim Hortons and ask for the large double-double (if you like your coffee with some sweetness)....

Best of luck,

J.
Good Lord that's complicated!

It's far easier to memorize:
50kmh = 30mph
90kmh = 55mph
100kmh = 60mph
120kmh = $210.oo and four points off your licence
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #16
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Thanks to everyone for the great info ! I hope more members will give me advice on this trip.
timarti-- The Provincial Parks are lovely and do keep a portion of their sites for same day bookings, but like the USA State Parks, the sites are not huge; however, they can be booked online and you can see pix of each site and specify size of rig, pull thu, etc. Google Ontario Provincial Parks. Also Camping In Ontario has an excellent free campground guide put out by the Private Campgrounds Association on Ontario.
This is great info and we will use it! Thanks Tina & Ted!
prairiecamper--I personally would not use international falls as a crossing, I did it once did not like it. As I recall narrow single lane, and I believe a toll to get across river.
Thanks several suggested not crossing at international falls ! Thanks prairiecamper!
Hutch333id-- Presently, the Canadian 'Lonnie' is pretty much on par with the US greenback.
Where do we "change" our dollars to lonnies ?
I have similar issues traveling south and tend to leave everything until we find a grocery store close to where we are staying - that and it is sometimes cheaper.
Do you have your version of Walmart ? Thanks Richard &Diane
extremebike-- If you are travelling north on highway #17 from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay you will see lots of hills and truck runoffs north of the Sault. There is a long grade just north of the Sault.
How big a grade ? 7%? Thanks extremebike !
caper--Plus gas up at Sault Ste. Marie. It is a long drive to Wawa. There is gas available at Montreal River but the station is located on a hill and not well marked.
Great info to know ! Thanks Terry and Janet
sreddy--Hello Jim, do you have a time of year that you re thinking of -- this may impact campground availability along with other items.
We think it will be June . Weather should be good? Thanks sreddy !
dwaynerz--dont forget clearances are set in meters as well. forget the conversion for them, but i think 4 meters is about 13 ft. somebody will be along shortly to correct both my memory and my math ,and tim hortons coffee and donuts are excellent.
Hope someone can tell more about overpasses and meters ! Thanks for the info and I'll check out the donuts and coffee . Never been to a Tim Hortons . Thanks dwaynerz!
Yukon Don--Highway 17 -which is part of the Trans-Canada Highway- follows the north shore of Lake Superior and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. There are some pretty steep grades though.
How steep ?
There is lots of wildlife all through there; lots of moose, lots of bears, it's a good idea to stay off the roads after dark if you can help it.
We will!
If you're worried about bears you can buy a can of bear spray at any Canadian Tire store .
We are and we will!
You should have a good trip. It's pretty country and the people are generally nice.

We hope to meet some of the "nice " ones !
Other than that, all I can do is advise against trying to exit the country at Thunder Bay. Unless your rig is extremely seaworthy .

After looking closely at a map , I think I'll follow your advice ! Thanks Don!
Thanks to all! Jim
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #17
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If you are going 50kph (30mph) over the speed limit it is considered street racing and you are subject to a 7 day driving suspension and a fine of $2000 to $10,000 and your vehicle will be impounded.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #18
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You worries about your towing set-up, just bring lots of money. Hopefully you're aware the Canadian Firearms laws are very different (and I'm not looking to start any debate!)

Dave
Not just firearms! Any "personal defensive devices" are prohibited.

No pepper spray; no mace; no folding knives (the fighting kind); no ammunition or components; etc.

"Bear Spray" is OK, but be ready to say that is what it is...
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:39 PM   #19
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Jim, it's been a couple of years since I went through there, but yes, there are plenty of spots where you'll be driving on 7% grades. Most of those spots have passing lanes. It's no different from mountain driving if you've done any of that. Keep your speed down on the downhill runs and you'll be fine.

You can exchange your money at any bank but pretty much everyone accepts US money anyways (can't speak for the exchange rates they'll offer though).

There are Walmart stores in Canada, btw.
And plan for bugs in June. Black flies especially.

Herk -you're absolutely right. No batons, either. It might be easier for Jim to just stop at the first Canadian Tire store he sees and grab some bear spray there.

(P.S. Jim -it's "loonie" not lonnie. We're sticky about such things.
P.P.S. The two dollar coin features a polar bear. It's known as the "toonie". Some irreverent types call it the "moonie" because it shows the Queen with a bear behind. Don't do that...
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #20
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Not just firearms! Any "personal defensive devices" are prohibited.

No pepper spray; no mace; no folding knives (the fighting kind); no ammunition or components; etc.

"Bear Spray" is OK, but be ready to say that is what it is...
I'm dangerous with a slingshot...would this be prohibited also? Just curious



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