Buying a trailer in Canada - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-01-2003, 11:09 PM   #1
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Buying a trailer in Canada

How complicated is it to buy a new trailer in Canada and tow it into the U.S.? Any good or bad experiences and tips?
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Old 05-02-2003, 05:35 AM   #2
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Hi
I know there are a few folks on here who have done just that.Hang in and someone will respond with a answere.:wave
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:24 AM   #3
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NOW this I know about. been there , done that.
came through from Winnipeg. It was easy. but you have to go prepared.
1. I asked my tag agent WHAT I would need to tag the trailer. this is important as all states are different. mine wanted
a. the title,
b. notarized sales recites Canada doesn't do notary stuff, I couldn't get that done until home, and then they did my signiture, not the salesperson,(or at least that's what it seemed to me) but it worked,
c. and a form from the border proving I came across. there was a list of 6 different forms they would accept.
2. Take ID for everyone that's with you.

the only little moment - was after the dog came out, I thought. no telling what had been in the trailer that I didn't put there, but it passed.

Oh and one other - while at the border, they wanted to know if the trailer passes the reg. something, something. I didn't know. then they said **Oh, it's made in Canada, no problem. They're regs. are fine because of the trade agreement. ** (whew)
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:02 AM   #4
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>>buying new trailer in Canada and importing to states

Eddy, requirements differ in each state ... so check with your local DMV ...

I've never done it ... but have looked into a couple of times over the years (Pam, for a while, wanted a Roadtrek for a tow vehicle).

Basically, it is easier buy and import a NEW US-manufacturered trailer from Canada than it is to purchase a NEW Canadian-made rig.

When you buy a US-made rig in Canada and bring it back to the states, you are technically not "importing" it ... just bring it back to the rig's place of manufacture.

When you purchase a Canadian-made rig in Canada, and bring it into the states, you are "importing" the rig ... and have to, in some cases, file the proper US importation documents, otherwise the rig is in the US illegally.

At the border, the US custom's agent will declare "Do you have anything to declare?" The rules are no different when you purchase an expensive Swiss watch in Canada and try to bring it into the states. You have to declare that you purchased a Canadian trailer and are going to bring it into the states.

If you don't declare your new Canadian-made trailer ... in writing ... it is in the US illegally ... and could come back to bite you when you go to register or later sell it ... but more importantly, if you are ever involved in an accident when your insurance company lawyer really starts looking into it.

Now ... some caveat's if you are planning on purchasing a US-made trailer in Canada and bring it back to the states ....

As is the case with US automakers ... some trailer manufacturers may or may not honor warranty work done in the US on your Canadian-purchased US-made trailer.

US-car manufacturers cracked down on the practice of purchasing US-made cars in Canada (where the cars sold for less, even factoring in the exchange rate) and then immediately bringing them into the states. A Canadian-sold US car comes with a Canadian warrenty ... not a US-warranty.

I've heard that some trailer manufacturers have followed suit ... so you better check with the manufacturer.
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Thomas and Janifer

NOW this I know about. been there , done that.
came through from Winnipeg. It was easy.
Thanks! So, it sounds like when entering the U.S. all you required was ID and title? And then to register the vehicle in your home state (might be different in mine) you needed a notarized sales receipt and proof of crossing the border?

The U.S. Customs guidelines warn about putting any personal items in vehicles, presumably because of potential import charges, but it is unclear if that applies to trailers. Is it Ok to use the trailer while in Canada?

I read that there is usually no import fee for vehicles manufactured in Canada but it could be 2.5% otherwise! However, I've mail ordered car parts from Canada and they did have a customs fee attached, so I'm not sure. I take it there were no fees for importing your trailer?


"When the Oakies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states." -Will Rogers
(I can quote this because my parents grew up in Oklahoma.)
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:11 AM   #6
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In the case of the Roadtrek we looked into several years ago ....

We went up to the Roadtrek factory in Ontario, took the factory tour and asked about purchasing a Roadtrek in Canada and bringing it into the states.

Roadtrek officials said RV's made for import to the US are made to different standards ... and advised against doing trying it.

Now, obviously, this could be a manufacturer trying to protect the chance of a dealer-turf war ... because quite frankly, a new Roadtrek in Canada (like cars), even factoring in the exchange rate, is a lot, lot cheaper than a new Roadtrek in the states.

So we stopped at several Canadian Roadtrek dealers, trying to cut a deal.

The dealers said "it may or may not be a problem."

Now, interestingly enough, I couldn't find a Canadian dealer who would deliver a new Roadtrek to me on the US-side of the border, whereas all I contacted would deliver one to me on the Canadian-side of the border .... after I had paid for the rig, of course.

Then crossing the border would be my problem ... so, in the end, we didn't do it.

Pam still thinks (and almost has me convinced) that a Roadtrek would make a really spiffy tow vehicle.
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:19 AM   #7
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Orginally posted by Charles Watts

Basically, it is easier buy and import a NEW US-manufacturered trailer from Canada than it is to purchase a NEW Canadian-made rig.
It is Canadian made (Trillium) but the manufacturer has not been responsive to queries. A Canadian dealer told me that Trillium is working on export issues but didn't know much beyond that. There are enough Trilliums in the U.S. that I can't imagine there would be a problem but who knows in this crazy world.
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:19 AM   #8
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Eddy ... Jana's talking about bring a used trailer.

You are talking about a NEW Canadian-built rig.

I'm almost sure you would have to declare your NEW rig at the border and pay the necessary custom fees (although it may or may not be duty free as are some Canadian-built cars).
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Old 05-02-2003, 09:23 AM   #9
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I didn't have anything in my trailer. we just went in and right back out a few hours later. ?? If the guide lines say not to, then you better remove it back to tow vehicle before the border. how would they know it had been in there?

I do remember the guys at the border talking about needing something or not? some kind of form I think, but not sure. the one said it's how old? 27 years old, he said no it's fine then. I don't know if it had been older it would have been different, or newer? so age might make a differnece. maybe it was for new, like Charles was thinking? It was night time, I was tired.
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Old 05-02-2003, 10:10 AM   #10
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Eddy, there are lots of old Trilliums in the states ... but none of them are under warranty or supported by a dealer or parts network, which creates a whole other can of worms for the manufacturer ... in addition to all the customs paperwork, fees and certification requirements needed to export/import.
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Old 05-02-2003, 10:16 AM   #11
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Jana ... I didn't know Surfsides were built in Canada! That's neat! I knew you purchased yours there ... but assumed (obviously wrong) that it was built in the states.

>age

To a government bureaucrat, a 27-year-old RV doesn't have much value and was also probably built prior to any current safety regs on the books.

A "new" vehicle has a certifiable value, could possibly create a taxing opportunity, and would also have to meet current safety guidelines.
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Old 05-02-2003, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Charles Watts

Eddy, there are lots of old Trilliums in the states ... but none of them are under warranty or supported by a dealer or parts network, which creates a whole other can of worms for the manufacturer ... in addition to all the customs paperwork, fees and certification requirements needed to export/import.
The Canadian Customs website has a nice page on "How to Import a Vehicle" which makes it so clear going in that direction. Nothing equivalent on the U.S. website, of course. A search for "import travel trailer" just brings up a lot of references to marijuana!

So, I tried calling the U.S. Customs Office in Seattle and was told that all I would need for a new trailer manufactured in Canada is the Title, Bill of Sale and personal ID. There would be a brief border inspection and no duty charge. They would supply the paperwork needed for registration. It sounds too easy.

I understand that any manufacturer warranties would be difficult to follow up on if something goes wrong, but travel trailers are not nearly as complex as cars and I don't have a problem with that considering the savings.
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Old 05-02-2003, 11:40 AM   #13
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Well, that's great to hear Eddy!

Warranty issues aside, I knew there was no US duty on Canadian-built autos ... but it's good to know that's true on trailers!

Unlike the Roadtrek, a trailer doesn't have the EPA vs Canadian regs or even the manditary metric speedometer conversion.

You still probably have a couple hundred dollars in import registration fees.

You should also check with your states DMV ... to see how they will value and collect state taxes on your purchase.

I would also try to get some assurances from Trillium about warranty work done in the US (although you sound willing to undertake this work on your own!).

But other than that, sounds like you have a green light! Keep us posted!
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Charles Watts

You should also check with your states DMV ... to see how they will value and collect state taxes on your purchase.
Oregon has no sales tax--a big reason the state finances are in a tailspin :xx --and 2-year travel trailer registration fee is $54 for the first 10 feet and $4.50 for each additional foot, plus a $2.00 one-time plate fee.
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