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bedellympian

Makeshift Roofracks at the Border Xing

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Trying to fit all the gear for two people into my tiny Hyundai Accent for a week on the Parkway. I don't have a roof rack, and am strongly considering just ratcheting kayak straps through the car and strapping the skis to those with some cardboard to protect the paint job. I'm sure I can make it work but I'm concerned about the border (they like to give young bearded guys the shakedown and I like that beard when its cold and snowy) and wonder if they can/will deny entry due to this sort of thing.

Anyone have experience with this?

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C'mon, just buy a used rack.  In my experience, the man doesn't need any excuse to hassle you and that is asking for it. 

I do know of someone turned around from entering Canada because the border guard didn't feel that he had the means to fund a round trip to the States (based on his appearance, condition of car, etc.).

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Hyundai accent in that year has only one type of discontinued rack that works for it. I have been looking.

 

Also, I will probably only use the rack once a year at most so the investment is better spent elsewhere.

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Well then.... I guess flip the coin and have a plan B! 

It'll probably be fine, I am old and probably worried about nothing.

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Go for it and have a plan B. I have been a dirt bag climber and skier for decades, and happen to drive a Accent as well, the hatchback. Strap the skies to the roof but be sure they are in a ski bag to protect from road salt and go for it.  I have no record, short hair and in my 60s.  I still sleep in the car and ALWAYS wonder what new adventures will come my way crossing the border. There is no reason I can figure out why I have this issue but I always assume that I will get searched, take no chances with anything "illegal" in the car.  Have enough cash/credit cards to make it look like you can afford your visit, and have a specific destination in mind, even a specific accommodation you may stay at even though you have no intention of staying there. Based on my past history I always carry my passport when I travel, think you need that for Canada anyway.  Keep your beard, keep your mouth shut, and follow their directions - no humor for sure.   To be honest I have more issues returning to the states than leaving. 

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not related to roof rack but some general advice for border crossing coming from an actual border guard I met once

1. always have your hands present at border.  I usually keep on hand on steering wheel and other hand on window/door casually.  Hiding hands is sign of hiding something else.

2.always look at border agent eyes.  avoiding eye contact is another give away of hiding something.

3. just tell the truth.  they look for facial signs of lies.  you can not act your way out of these tells.

4. be somewhat tidy but not too tidy with gear.  Look "normal".   this may be your stopping point with diy roof rack but if the rest of the points followed, maybe not a real issue.

5. don't be a jack ass or Funny.  duh.

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Don't take children across the border without their mother in the car with you.  It will not go well.

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3 hours ago, DPS said:

Don't take children across the border without their mother in the car with you.  It will not go well.

Well, you can do this but you need notarized forms.

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A few weeks ago we went to Canada to ski and sadly hit a skunk shortly before arriving at the Canadian border. The whole car reeked. We didn't say anything and Canadian border guard didn't ask about it or say anything.

Then coming back into the US a few days later the car still smelled slightly of skunk, which some think smells like weed. For the first time I can remember, the US border guard opened the back of our van. He didn't go digging through bags or anything, and he didn't comment on the smell. He shut the back and sent us on or way. As a family of 5 in a minivan we probably don't fit their profile of drug smugglers. 

 

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