Is being able to see the VIN a problem at the border? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
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Is being able to see the VIN a problem at the border?

I like to resolve problems before they happen. My VIN number is not very visible. When I had the Oregon DMV look at it he had to run his fingers over it to find it. Most of the letters were barely visible, the last not, but the first matched and DMV was happy. With even a light thin coat of paint, it can't be made out. I'm not worried in the states, but does anyone think this will be a problem going back and forth between the USA and Canada? We have the proper title and such, I was not sure how thorough a job they do when checking a trailer. I was kind of thinking of making a little sticker stating the make, year and VIN number and putting it on the inside of the coat closet, but that isn't very official. Thanks for any input.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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I like to resolve problems before they happen. My VIN number is not very visible. When I had the Oregon DMV look at it he had to run his fingers over it to find it. Most of the letters were barely visible, the last not, but the first matched and DMV was happy. With even a light thin coat of paint, it can't be made out. I'm not worried in the states, but does anyone think this will be a problem going back and forth between the USA and Canada? We have the proper title and such, I was not sure how thorough a job they do when checking a trailer. I was kind of thinking of making a little sticker stating the make, year and VIN number and putting it on the inside of the coat closet, but that isn't very official. Thanks for any input.
that is exactly what the box trailers do, put it on a piece of yellow sticker paper, cut it down to size and attach to 2-3 places inside
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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Hummm. I've never hauled my travel trailer across the border, but do you need a title or is the registration enough? I certainly wouldn't want to lose the title, it's locked in the home safe with all the other important ownership papers.

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Old 01-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #4
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I believe they will only want to look at the plate and the registration at the border. DMV is the only place you need to worry about the VIN.

My Fiber Stream only had a manufacturer's aluminum foil sticker glued to the body next to the left front side marker light. I took a Metal Stamping Set and a hammer and stamped the "VIN" into the tongue frame, just in case the sticker fell off, but I was only concerned about DMV inspection.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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I could be wrong here (wouldn't be the first time, LOL) but I believe that the friendly doods at the border (both ways) would be content just to see whatever legal paperwork you have to back up your 'claim' to ownership of the trailer. I have made uncountable cross border excursions with our trailer and never once been asked to show ANY paperwork on the trailer...
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the comments. That helped.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:19 AM   #7
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After picking up my trailer, not far from Niagara Falls, in a whim of excitement I decided it would be fun to get a picture of it with the Falls in back, but quickly discovered you can't do that on the US side. So, without thinking, I decided to do a quick drive over to the Canadian side where parking in view of the Falls is still possible.

It would be impossible to see my VIN number, even if I knew where it was, As it happened I had no title or valid registration of the trailer, and the NJ plates I was using on it were, um, problematical. Oh, and one more thing: I also forgot you need a passport. Didn't realize I needed a passport until just before the young Canadian border guard began to flag me down. When I handed her my NJ drivers license instead, she made it abundantly clear she was not amused. Held in custody for half an hour, I finally got sent back to New York State, thoroughly chastized, educated, and re-habilitated, but not criminalized.

Of course, others might not be so lucky. You never know.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:48 PM   #8
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I like to resolve problems before they happen. My VIN number is not very visible. When I had the Oregon DMV look at it he had to run his fingers over it to find it. Most of the letters were barely visible, the last not, but the first matched and DMV was happy. With even a light thin coat of paint, it can't be made out. I'm not worried in the states, but does anyone think this will be a problem going back and forth between the USA and Canada? We have the proper title and such, I was not sure how thorough a job they do when checking a trailer. I was kind of thinking of making a little sticker stating the make, year and VIN number and putting it on the inside of the coat closet, but that isn't very official. Thanks for any input.
I live near the Houlton, ME/Woodstock, NB border and during the summer and fall towed my Trillium across the border weekly with absolutely no problem. I have never been asked for proof of ownership, registration etc. Their computers (both ways) will confirm the tug and trailer are both registered to the same person and they'll have your passport to confirm your name. I don't think you have anything to worry about based on my experience.
Enjoy!
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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I made 4 border crossings at Washington and BC, Yukon and Alaska, they only wanted to see our passports. I was never asked for license, registration etc... so I don't think you need to worry about trailer VIN.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Have made dozens of trips across the border with the trailer and have never been asked for paper work for it. Even when I bought the trailer in the US and took it to the border to import it to Canada they did not go out and check the VIN number on it. Actually they never even went out of the office to look at the trailer. I have a hunch thats not normal though! :-) The only place that has ever wanted to actually see the VIN was when I had to have a DOT safety inspection before my final clearance and full BC registration papers could be issued.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:36 PM   #11
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If you call Scamp with the VIN number they will actually send you for free a new sticker that you put on the tongue with the VIN Number and weight etc on it - all the things that the DMV or DOT wants to see - along with the Scamp logo on it. Or at least they did for me.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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It's on the registration that comes every year with the sticker you put on your plate. Keep it in the trailer.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:53 PM   #13
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When I registered my Scamp, the VIN was difficult to identify. I took a piece of white chalk, rubbed it across the VIN, dusted it off, and the numbers popped out very clearly. Like every other reply here has noted, you probably will not have to produce the VIN number, but if you do this little trick works well.
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #14
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Carol, I'll give scamp a call Monday to see about a new sticker for the tongue. Thanks
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