Bringing a trailer from U.S. to Canada - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-15-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
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Name: Dianne
Trailer: 17 ft Casita
Saskatchewan
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Bringing a trailer from U.S. to Canada

Hi all - It's been eons since I've logged into the forum - although I have been reading it. We are thinking about upgrading from the 13' Boler to something larger and are considering a Casita. Which appear only to be for sale in the U.S. I know I've seen past discussions about what kind of paper work is needed to bring at trailer across the border, but I can't find them when I try to search (perhaps not using the right search words?). Can someone who has done it recently advise me? What do they need a the border to let it across? Did you pay GST? PST? Duty? Will I need a transfer sticker from the State we purchase in (likely from a private seller)? Will I need to get one from each State we may pass through on the way north?

Thanks for any help you may give.

We are considering upgrading as we have recently retired and are looking to do a lot more travelling, so a newer trailer would be nice - and one with a bathroom for an added convenience on those dark and stormy nights!

Dianne
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
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Name: Adrian
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Hi Dianne
What province are you in, I'm guessing not Ontario since you refer to PST/GST, we now have HST here - don't believe the MB on my profile - we are moving there but not until later this year.

I have contact with a couple I met in ON last month who had just arrived back after purchasing a Casita in MO, I could probably put you in touch with them if you wish. Let me know.

Adrian
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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Name: Dianne
Trailer: 17 ft Casita
Saskatchewan
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Hi Adrian

Thanks for replying. We recently moved to Saskatchewan. It would be great if you could put me in touch with someone. I can send you a private message with my phone number and email.

Thanks
Dianne
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Everything you wanted to know but where scared to ask can be found at The Registrar of Imported Vehicles website.

At the RIV website click on the Importer Check List Link. On the drop down list under Vehicle type select trailer. Yes Scamps and Casita's are listed brands in the drop down menu. From there just answer the various questions asked on each drop down - such as the year of the trailer, state your buying it from and border crossing etc you will be using and what province you going to register it in. It will then tell you everything you need to have in the way of paperwork and do in order to import it.

Not sure under the HST system (we only had it for a short time in BC ) if you pay in full at the border based on the purchase price - when I imported I had pay the GST at the border and the PST after the trailer passed inspection and I went into formally register and get insurance/plates. I also had to pay the RIV fee at the border but you can do that online now as well.

The only big differences between a car and a trailer is that you do not need to fill out the paper work prior to arriving at the border and go into the US side of the border to pick up that paper work before going to the Canadian side as you would with a car - its the same process for both a new and used trailer- no need to pre clear the trailer at the US side of the border.

The process of what you need in regards to paper work and whether or not the trailer needs to be entered into the RIV program (you pay for that as well) depends on the age of the trailer. If 15 years of age or older the requirements are more lacks and you dont need to pay for RIV or go through the RIV requirements of an inspection etc which you will need to do if it is younger than 15 years of age before you can register or plate it.

There is also no Duty paid on any trailer made in the USA or Canada.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
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Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 2004 Casita Liberty 17
British Columbia
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As Carol said plus -
We brought a Casita over the border to BC from Idaho in March this year.
Process is super easy - main things to make sure are that the title and the vin number on the trailer match. You also want to make sure it has the sticker of compliance that usually lists the gross weight etc. Do up a bill of sale (examples on internet) and also keep copy of ad you saw initially - they sometimes want to check at border that you paid close to what it was advertised for. Just arrive at border don't need to call ahead.
In Washington you get a 3 day permit - around $30, so just check at the local motor vehicle office in the state you are buying it. Idaho when we checked said you had 3 days to get home and didn't need one but we bought our Casita from a dealer and they gave us a 30 day permit.
In BC you can fax your insurance company (from location you are purchasing it) the title etc and purchase insurance from them but it is only valid once you reach BC (not sure in your province) and only if your trailer detaches from vehicle. Otherwise it is covered on your vehicle insurance.
If trailer is older than 15 years you don't pay the RIV or need to get it inspected but you still get the Form 1 from border to take to insurance..
Call RIV and double check but we didn't need the recall clearance letter even though it said on the site we did - when I called they said they have stopped needing it for trailers.
We paid the GST at the border and the PST when registered it.
You get the form 1 at the border that you then can transfer info to online on RIV website plus your payment - around $220 and they process it really quick - same day (don't work on weekends and stats though) they then email you the inspection form you take for the RIV inspection (ours is just a small garage in town) larger centres seem to be Canadian tire.
Call them and make an appt, take trailer there plus your form, they do a minimal inspection - ours seems to just check the VIN and write down the type of tires, stamp it and you can take the trailer and get registered and insured. Insurance place will also want to see trailer and check VIN and weight of trailer.
It's a super easy process and the folks at RIV are super pleasant. PM me if you have more questions or want to call me.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post

Call them and make an appt, take trailer there plus your form, they do a minimal inspection - ours seems to just check the VIN and write down the type of tires, stamp it and you can take the trailer and get registered and insured. Insurance place will also want to see trailer and check VIN and weight of trailer.
It's a super easy process and the folks at RIV are super pleasant. PM me if you have more questions or want to call me.
According to the RIV site they are actually mostly interested at the inspection in regards to whether or not the trailer has all the required lights and if they comply with DOT regs as far as their location and covers. That was the case when my trailer was inspected - only thing they looked at was the VIN to confirm it matched the paper work I brought in with it that RIV sent me and that the lights were where they were suppose to be and worked - they may have checked the tire size but I dont recall that. The RIV.ca site has a link on it to show what lights are required on the trailer. In the case of Casita and Scamp or most of the other major brand FG trailers, you should have no problems in that regard providing the previous owner hasnt done a lot of DIY handwork and changed the location of the lights or lens covers to something that doesnt comply.

Funny as everyone in BC must use the same insurance company that the guys that registered/plated mine didnt want to see my trailer they simple registered/plated it using the sales/purchase paperwork and the RIV documents. Same thing when I imported my car. Interesting, wonder what the difference might have been that they want to see yours.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Name: Carol
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British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
As Carol said plus -

If trailer is older than 15 years you don't pay the RIV or need to get it inspected but you still get the Form 1 from border to take to insurance..
.
Thanks by the way for pointing out it was 15 years or older not 16 years as I type. Corrected my post to correct that typo on my part.

I agree also the folks at RIV were very helpful. When I imported mine their website wasnt nearly as helpful as it is today in regards to trailers - it was actually pretty confusing. But as you say the actual process isnt at all confusing and pretty simple to get through. I did require a Recall Letter but Scamp sent me one for a trailer very quickly even though I purchased it used & not from them - I only had to confirm with them the VIN number and the size and year of the trailer. I do know though if the trailer is more than 15 years old no recall letter was ever required/needed.

I also found the folks at the border to be especially easy to deal with when I imported both my car and trailer. Even though I hit the border with the trailer very late in the day at the end of a long week-end when they had been swamped. They actually went so far as to have me wait for about 10 min while they went off and talked to the powers that be to see if there was some way to over rule the need for me to have to put the trailer through the RIV program as in another 8 weeks the trailer would have been old enough to not have be registered into the program. A couple of them searched through their regulations on line for a while after having talked to their superiors as to see if they actually had the powers to wave the RIV requirement. That turned out to be a no go but they suggested if it was them they would just take it and park it someplace in the US for 8 weeks, then import it - had I realized prior to picking it up what the actual manufacture date on it was I might have just parked it at a friends in the south for that time and saved some money - but due to the hour of the day etc and the closest friend I have to the border was back south 2 hours away & I didnt think they would appreciate me dropping a trailer in the middle of the night in their driveway I decided to just carried on & register it in RIV and get it safely home that night.

I know having followed some of the discussions on this forum on what it takes to import a trailer that some make it sound pretty risky or complicated - often someone who hasn't actually done it. I personally wouldn't have any concerns/worries about doing it again.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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Name: kootenai girl
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That's interesting Carol as we have imported a couple of trailers from the States and without exception even using two different insurance locations they always needed to see the trailer - maybe something changed? It would be easier if they didn't.
Now you mention it I do recall on the site seeing about the light requirements but can't remember them really focusing on it during the inspection. I was worried as our trailer had LT tires as opposed to trailer ones but it was a non issue.
Border folks sounded really nice when you imported yours, too bad you just missed the RIV cut off.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
That's interesting Carol as we have imported a couple of trailers from the States and without exception even using two different insurance locations they always needed to see the trailer - maybe something changed? .
Yup it is weird. I actually have helped a couple of people locally with their imports recently and none of them had to take the car or trailer with them to get the registration and plates, only to the inspections. Perhaps some of the brokers figure as the trailer & car has already been inspected regarding the VIN and they have the paperwork to prove it, why bother to recheck the VIN again as they are register a trailer/car with the VIN number as it appears on the RIV paper work and the Inspection report and sales documents (all of which they require to register it) and if someone goes and puts the plates on something with a different VIN, ICBC sure as heck isn't going to cover it so why would someone do it .... just a guess on my part. Although it may not entirely be by the book in regards to how ICBC wants it done.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Name: Carol
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British Columbia
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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
Now you mention it I do recall on the site seeing about the light requirements but can't remember them really focusing on it during the inspection. .
LOL I am not overly convinced that they *really* focus on a whole lot of anything during the inspection at Canadian Tire. No one inspecting my trailer or car actually took a close look at what was written on the lens covers of the lights or measured anything to see if they were the right height etc. Mostly just flicked the lights on and off a few times ....seemed more to me like a pretty quick and easy way to make a dollar especially when they inspected my brand new car.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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Your other issue, that of moving it around here in the Colonies, can very from state to state. In California, and most western states, the license plates stay with the trailer and you just have to be sure that they are current to avoid being intrduced to the local troopers. Some states do not tramsfer plates with vehicles/trailers. You will have to contact the local DMV offices for what to do for plates for those trailers.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
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Name: Dianne
Trailer: 17 ft Casita
Saskatchewan
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THANK YOU EVERYONE!! for your advice. This is exactly what we needed. Up until yesterday, I only glanced at any posts about importing a trailer because I didn't think it was something I needed to know. Suddenly it is relevant because I'm pretty sure we are going to purchase the Casita. The links to RIV were perfect for the information on this side of the border. I've got messages out to the States we will be driving through to find out what they need.

Again, thanks to everyone. You are such a helpful bunch!

Dianne
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
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Dianne in most cases a temp US permits will be need through the US (Casita can problem help you there if you buy from them) and temp insurance for in Canada once you get to the border. Each province is different in regards to what what they will and will not issue you as a means of making sure your covered from the Border to home & to inspection - which up until thats done they will not register the trailer and issue permanent plates for it.
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