Importing a foreign FGRV to Canada - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2013, 02:20 AM   #1
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Name: Matt and Lindsey
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Importing a foreign FGRV to Canada

Hello everyone,

It's been awhile since I/ we have posted, we have been too busy out enjoying our Boler!

I have recently discovered a trailer that I am trying not to fall in love with. Alas, we do love our little 13ft. Boler, but I have always wanted something unusual & eye catching (& with space for a BATHROOM).

We are not seriously in the market at the moment but I am pondering the viability of importing. I recently came across the Sunliner, an Aussie Caravan (one of the first FGRV's I have learned). I would love to buy a partially restored Sunliner & ship it to Canada.

I have searched google trying to ascertain, first if there are any Sunliners in the States & second if importing a trailer from Australia is even possible.

So I was hoping against all hopes someone has some input. Even vague, if this is possible. I realize it would probably be an expensive endeavor, but I believe well worth the effort!!

I included a couple pictures...FGRV loves pictures right?


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Cheers and thanks for any input in advance!!
Lindsey
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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They are bigger in person than in the picture, nice looking, good luck.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Seriously cool looking trailer. I subscribe to Vintage Trailer Magazine out of Australia and see some wonderful fiberglass towables.

That said, it would depend on your camping style. Note the door is on the "sewer" side? Most NA parks are setup with pads (and picnic tables) on the "passenger" side... not "drivers" side. Of course, the direct opposite is true for Australians!

If you always boondock and are never hooked up to services it may not be a concern for you...
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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looking at that bumper makes me think that you could get the same effect by customizing your Boler. A couple of extra pairs of taillight pods from something else, custom bumpers, clearance lights from trucks, some wings or fins, maybe a couple of different windows, and ....Viola! ...Unique!
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:36 PM   #5
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We sometimes camp in National/ Provincial Parks and haven't found any issue in rearranging the trailer by hand. So unless it is a vastly heavier I think with a hand dolly it wouldn't be an issue. I think we would be fine with a little maneuvering

We were camping in Tofino a few weeks ago, with some friends who had an 8 man tent and we managed to fit the Boler into the very back of the campsite and get their tent in front of us (we didn't take pictures but it was an enormously tight squeeze). The site we had was for one medium sized tent only. The joys of having our current trailer!!

It's probably a pipe dream at this point anyways but it's good to dream and work out the finer details, so that if the opportunity arises you are ready to grab it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:07 AM   #6
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Lindsay if it has a readable VIN on it and its more than 15 years old you *may* not have a any problems importing it & it may not need to go through the safety inspection as vehicles and cares 15 years or newer do - I suggest you call Canada Customs and ask them they are usually pretty helpful on such things. But you may have a problem finding a hitch that works with what is one it though..... set ups on European trailers are somewhat different to what we see normally here in North America.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Thanks Carol,

From the reading I have since been doing I gathered this info too, so it is good to hear someone affirm that I'm reading things correctly. It's a trailer from the 60's so we will definitely be past the 15yr. mark! I will definitely plan to contact customs once we get a little more serious about finding a bigger trailer. If I really can't get it off my mind I may just call to get some more general info.

I was wondering about the hitch, it looked markedly different than a Canadian hitch (as did the frame). Luckily we have a few professional welders in the family. One of whom was a ship builder and rebuilt the current frame on our Boler. So swapping out the hitch configuration for a Canadian one won't be an issue.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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Looks like that bumper may have been a fab made to match
the '57 look towing it?

It is a great looking caravan.............

Bumper says it was made in 1959.

Looks like the first one came out in 1958.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Sunliner History

My Atomic Daisy, 1958 Vintage Sunliner Caravan | page-1
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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Sunliner History

My Atomic Daisy, 1958 Vintage Sunliner Caravan | page-1
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:32 PM   #11
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Interesting Frame........

My Atomic Daisy, 1958 Vintage Sunliner Caravan
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
..... set ups on European trailers are somewhat different to what we see normally here in North America.
I thought we were discussing an Australian trailer, not a European trailer. Australian towing practices seem to be a compromise between Euro and North American.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bomni View Post
I was wondering about the hitch, it looked markedly different than a Canadian hitch (as did the frame).
I assume we're talking about the coupler on the trailer, not the hitch on the tug. Couplers can look very different and not function any differently, so it's essentially just an issue of ball diameter, unless this trailer uses some novel design other than a ball. The one in the photo I found looks like an overrun (surge brake) unit, but that doesn't mean it isn't a normal ball. According to The National Caravan and Recreational Vehicle Towing Guide , the standard size is now 50 mm (yes, like Europe), but I wouldn't be surprised if a trailer that old used a 2" ball. Judging from various websites, the Aussies have used many sizes and continue to have various balls available. They use North American style receiver-type hitches, so they can mount any of them and we can too.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
Looks like that bumper may have been a fab made to match
the '57 look towing it?

It is a great looking caravan.............

Bumper says it was made in 1959.

Looks like the first one came out in 1958.
We thought the frame was not the original either, but I looked at a number of different Sunliners and they all had the same quirky frame. My hubby thought perhaps it would be structurally not very stable, but they are apparently solid steel bars.

They were made through the late 50's and into the 60's. I could be wrong, but I think the 16ft. was made only in the 60's...we would be looking for a 16ft model.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #14
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Name: Matt and Lindsey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I thought we were discussing an Australian trailer, not a European trailer. Australian towing practices seem to be a compromise between Euro and North American.

I assume we're talking about the coupler on the trailer, not the hitch on the tug. Couplers can look very different and not function any differently, so it's essentially just an issue of ball diameter, unless this trailer uses some novel design other than a ball. The one in the photo I found looks like an overrun (surge brake) unit, but that doesn't mean it isn't a normal ball. According to The National Caravan and Recreational Vehicle Towing Guide , the standard size is now 50 mm (yes, like Europe), but I wouldn't be surprised if a trailer that old used a 2" ball. Judging from various websites, the Aussies have used many sizes and continue to have various balls available. They use North American style receiver-type hitches, so they can mount any of them and we can too.
Sorry Brian I meant the coupler, yes (typical female here, with no respect to females who actually know what they are talking about mechanically....I always call the coupler the hitch)!!! And yes it is an Australian trailer. Good to know about the couplers. It definitely looked different and without too much research i assumed it would be incompatible. I know with the Boler when we were restoring it, we switched out the old 1 7/8 coupler for a 2 coupler anyways, so would probably do the same if there were any issues or it was old.
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