Buying from across the border? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-23-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
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I'm wondering if anyone has had problems bringing a new trailer home across the border? I can't imagine there should be any problems, but forewarned is forearmed as they say. I'd hate to get to the border and be missing the proper documentation or something, or be dinged with a huge duty.
Any advice would be appreciated,
Linda.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Linda
Why do you need to buy across the border? Unless it is a good deal on a used trailer.
I have owned 5 trailers and 2 campers and now own a Scamp 19 . In my experience for a new fiberglass trailer you have the very best product availabe in your own province. I bought a Scamp 19 at the time because it was the best available for my needs at the time . The Escape is really a good product and A+ people to deal with.
Just my opinion.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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I can only speak regarding buying in Canada and coming into the States, as we bought a new Escape last summer. Tammy at Escape had the Customs import form along with all other necessary documentation all filled out, and the officers were most appreciative. We were there less than 15 minutes, and they didn't even check the trailer for meat products, as we were warned they would do. It was a pleasantly anti-climactic experience.

Bruce
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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Linda has been looking at used trailers.

Even with the increase in prices on older units realistically a good used unit is 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of a new Escape trailer. Right now with our Canadian dollar running high an older 13' running at $3000-$4000 USD is a great bargain for us north of the border crowd.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #5
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Bringing one in from south of the border is a relatively painless process. If the rig is more than 15 years old, it's even easier. The RIV is the only real issue (on newer than 15 years), otherwise it's just a matter of paying the taxes and registration.

Check into it with CBSA, and let them know the approximate year of the trailer. They really are a big help.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Thank you Paul, good to know. I will give them a call, or maybe stop by. And yes, Booker is right. The Escape is way out of our price range for now so we're looking to buy used. Although we seem to have a surprising amount of trailers available in the "cold white north" it stands to reason that the larger population in the States might yield some better deals. Just keeping our options open.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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This is an old post from us on the same topic.
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"We imported a used Burro in July and the process is straightforward. Call in the VIN number to RIV (registrar of imported vehicles), they give you a file reference number. You collect the trailer, pay $200 plus GST at the border, then take the trailer home and wait for documentation from the feds. When you get the documentation, you take the trailer to a vehicle inspection station (Canadian Tire, and it's free) where they check it meets federal standards. It took about 15 minutes. Then you can register the trailer with the provincial DMV (paying provincial sales tax, where applicable and, in B.C., getting insurance at the same time) and you're on the road. Process takes about two weeks after you hit the border before you're legal to use the trailer.
Painless if pricey."
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
This is an old post from us on the same topic.
cheers
Ian

"We imported a used Burro in July and the process is straightforward. Call in the VIN number to RIV (registrar of imported vehicles), they give you a file reference number. You collect the trailer, pay $200 plus GST at the border, then take the trailer home and wait for documentation from the feds. When you get the documentation, you take the trailer to a vehicle inspection station (Canadian Tire, and it's free) where they check it meets federal standards. It took about 15 minutes. Then you can register the trailer with the provincial DMV (paying provincial sales tax, where applicable and, in B.C., getting insurance at the same time) and you're on the road. Process takes about two weeks after you hit the border before you're legal to use the trailer.
Painless if pricey."
cheers
Ian
The RIV is only involved if the trailer is 15 years old or newer. Mine was 14 when I imported it, but the price I paid made the RIV fee worthwhile.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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We live in B.c. and purchased a1972 compact Junior via this site in Portland Oregon Because it was more than 15 years old it could be imported without going through RIV. A previous post from some one else who had been through this experience suggested one go through the Canadian custom office on the way into the US. and confirm you have all the info that you needed. It might be a good idea to get the officers name. The other thing to check is that you have a template of the Bill of Sale suggested by ICBC, so that you have all the info that they want. In addition I would make sure what is needed for the paper trail. When I got to the people who were selling us the trailer the person said that in oregon, that they did not have to renew the paper work during a sale, only when the "tags" needed to be renewed. It was the weekend, and I could see that there might be a gap in the paper work. I had nothing that said the seller was the "real owner" So I had him fill out the bill of sale indicating that he had purchased the trailer from the person whose name was on the title. When I got to the national border the cusoms peopole gave me a little grief but stated that since oregon used a "title" system, and I had the title, that it was a legitimate purchase, Proof I had not bought a stolen trailer. I am not sure if this was a big deal or if the big deal was accentuated as a lesson for the new guy behind the counter. It was relatively painless. I had some anxiety about driving a tow vehicle with B.C. plates and a trailer with Oregon plates, but all my inquires had not been succesful. No luck getting info about travelling through oregon and Washington in this arrangemnt. Some one from the states may clarify what should have happened if it was different. I sent the plates back to the previous onwer once we got to B.C. as advised by ICBC.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm wondering if anyone has had problems bringing a new trailer home across the border? I can't imagine there should be any problems, but forewarned is forearmed as they say. I'd hate to get to the border and be missing the proper documentation or something, or be dinged with a huge duty.
Any advice would be appreciated,
Linda.
Hi Linda, I have purchased both a new car in the USA as well as a used trailer. Both worked out well & the trailer was by far the easier of the two. If the trailer is made in the USA you will not pay duty on it. Unlike importing a car you do not need to send anything to the boarder ahead of time & you can clear it either crossing and at night. As others have mentioned if it is more than 15 years old all the better - that saves you a couple of hundred dollars as it will not need to go into the RIV program which speeds things up a little. Just make sure the trailer has a VIN number that you can read on it. Also keep a copy of the for sale ad that you responded to. They may ask to see that at the border so they can tell if what you say you paid for the trailer is correct. They may also ask for a copy of the cheque you paid for it with. All in all we were at the Border for about 10 min clearing it and they did not even look in the trailer.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #11
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Just an update for anyone purchasing a trailer across the the border. Bringing the trailer home was no problem. We showed the bill of sale and title at the border, filled out some paperwork and paid some taxes and that was it, about 15 minutes and they didn't even look at the trailer. Getting insurance, however, was a nightmare. (it's done, finally<shudder>)

We brought the trailer home on Saturday night, so Sunday we went to an insurance broker with all the paperwork we had. Our regular guy isn't open Sundays, but we wanted to get this done. The broker we ended up with was inexperienced and there was also a bit of a language barrier. He had to phone his supervisor repeatedly for advice (in Chinese too) and I kept hearing the word "Motorhome" to which I kept saying "Trailer, not Motorhome". It turns out, that the VIN on these older trailers is much shorter than the current standard, so the broker had to call ICBC but they aren't open Sundays, come back tomorrow.

Glad to be out of there but not happy about our lack of insurance. After work Monday we went to a local shopping mall that was open late. (again, our regular guy isn't open late). This guy was much better and got the ball rolling. However, after about 2 hours we were told he had to see the trailer before he could sell us any insurance. We said we really didn't want to tow it with just the Oregon plates on it could he come down and look, it wasn't too far. My husband even offered to pay him. He said they didn't do that and could we bring the trailer by tomorrow night?

Now it's Tuesday night, my husband is sitting with the trailer in a loading zone and I'm waiting for the guy to finish up with another customer. Finally he comes out and goes over the trailer, checking the VIN and looking for any damage. All is well and we think we're almost done. (ah, what naive fools we were). We go back inside and he gets on the phone with ICBC. They ask for the GVW. We don't have it. They do (from the last time it was registered in BC) but won't tell us; we have to get it weighed. By now it's late (again, this took about 2 1/2 hours) so we'll get it weighed tomorrow and come back.

The next day is Remembrance Day so most of the weigh scales I phone are closed. The only one I can find is at the Pacific Truck Crossing. Off we go bright and early only to get stuck in a long line-up of cars going across the line to shop. This takes about 45 minutes but we finally get to the scale and get it weighed. We get the appropriate paperwork signed and stamped and all is good. Almost. The Transport Canada guy says with only Oregon plates on it, we can't tow it and must leave it there. I said, we were trying to insure it, that's why we needed it weighed. He said, we should have temporary insurance. I said, they won't sell us any. He said, they're all idiots and you have to leave it here until you have proper insurance. I say fine.

Back to the mall with our official weight. (720 kg if anyone is interested). The insurance broker says, "Where is the trailer?" we said "at the Pacific Truck Crossing" he said "but I have to see it"

[at]#$%![at]#%^!!!


(deep breath). "but you saw it yesterday", and he said "but I didn't sell you insurance yesterday. I have to see it on the day that I sell you insurance. Those are the rules" so we asked him to sell us some temporary insurance so we could go and get the trailer, but for some reason he didn't want to do that. Instead, he got on the phone to ICBC and explained everything to them, told them he saw the trailer the day before and it was perfect, not a mark on it. ICBC told him not to bother seeing it today and just sell us the insurance. (finally!)

There were still a few tense moments. The bill of sale and title said 1978, where as the last time it was registered in BC it was listed as 1979. There were a few other discrepancies as well that took some time to hammer out.

We were probably in the mall for 3 hours on Wednesday before we were done. Our insurance for the year is around $130 and we figure the broker spent around 8 hours of work on it. Hardly seems worth it for him.

So glad that's over.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for the detailed posting Linda. Every month of so some asks about bringing trailers over the border and it's good to have up to date info ... painful as was for you =)
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:49 PM   #13
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Ditto to what Booker said

It appears purchasing a trailer from the US isn't necessarily a problem, it's the insurance company that's may cause some difficulty.

Would you consider this a lesson learned and anyone desiring to do as you did, to first check with their particular insurance company to find out EXACTLY what kind of information is going to be needed and to perhaps make an appointment with the agent to physically view the trailer... if that's what's needed?
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:01 AM   #14
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I'm not sure. Both my husband and I have gone over this little adventure several times, wondering what we could have done different to make things go smoother. I think maybe if we had taken a day off work to see our regular guy (he's known us for years) thing might have been easier. If we had insisted on temporary insurance things might have been easier. If we'd put the GVW on the paperwork ourselves (it would have been a guess but we suspect that would have been fine) it might have been easier. We're just not sure. I'm not saying all this run-around with insurance made the trailer not worth it; it still is/was. Maybe our experience was a anomaly as well.

I don't want to discourage anyone from doing what we did, just that I thought the border would be the difficulty, not the insurance so we weren't prepared for it.
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