Canadian purchasing a used RV in the US - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2007, 08:23 AM   #1
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Dear learned members,

Can anyone tell me about how to go about buying a used RV trailer in the US and returning it to Canada? What are the costs involved? Procedures? Your experiences? I am looking at purchasing a used 16' Scamp. They don't seem to be available here in Canada.

Thank you,

John Groom
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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John;

We had quite a discussion on this recently. I've done it, and so has Roy in TO. Follow the link below to the discussion at that time.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=19730&hl=

Victor
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:37 AM   #3
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John;

We had quite a discussion on this recently. I've done it, and so has Roy in TO. Follow the link below to the discussion at that time.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=19730&hl=

Victor
Thank you Victor, I'll check it out. John
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Old 05-10-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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IF $$$ isn't too much of a concern, you might want to look into having a broker 'do'it for you. Takes all the guess work and all out of the process, just mah 2 pennys Canadian!!
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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John we just did it with a Scamp 16' at Easter. It was pretty easy to do... easier than the car. If its less than 15 years you will have to enter it through Reg of Imported Vechiles (RIV) program RIV.

You only need to go to the Canadian Border to get the trailer across - unlike a car that needs to be cleared for export by the US Border first. All you need to cross the border in the way of paper work is the title from the seller, a copy of the cheque/money order that you paid for it with, a copy of the ad that you saw originally with the price on it. The later two items are not required by law but we were told it would make our trip through the border faster and it did. Suspect they want to know if what you say you paid for it is what you really paid so they collect the full GST. The folks at the border will collect the GST and fill out the forms needed for RIV. They say you need the recall letter to get across the border but the border folks told us they don't care about it and we only needed to fax it directly to RIV along with the RIV form the border gives you. You use to have to take the recall letter to the inspection but RIV now clears the recall letters at their head office before they send you the forms for inspection. Scamp will supply you with the recall letter that RIV requires, but they will need to know the VIN # as well as the full name and address of the party currently on title. Scamp does not have a fax so they have to mail the recall letter - so make sure you ask for it as soon as you have the info. The trailer also needs to have a Safety Compliance label when it goes for inspection (not for crossing the border). If the trailer does not have one or if the one on it is unreadable for a small fee Scamp will send you a new one. RIV will send you the inspection forms either in the mail or via e-mail. I suggest you phone a day or two after you fax the forms to make sure they actually got them. Twice now they have claimed not to have recieved our faxes. Once inspected you can get it registered and plated in Canada.

I posted some add'm info re the process as well as the inspection forms here: Link to import topic

Feel free to PM if you have any questions.

Carol
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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John, I forgot to mention the costs you asked about.
GST on purchase price - pay at the border.
PST on purchase price - pay when you register and plate it in Canada
RIV Fee - $209 pay at the border.
No duty.
The inspection fee is included in the RIV fee.

Carol
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:22 PM   #7
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I'm surprised that trailers don't have to be 'cleared' of American registeration I thought it would fall under the same class as an automobile, but I guess YOU'D have better/first hand info on this than I. Are you any closer to getting your new Scamp Canadianized? Better teach it be be 'eh' compliant... See you in about 10 days


P.S: At customs, best not to scrimp on the infor of the overall cost of the trailer, (in an effort to save a coupla bux in taxes/fees) it could come back to haunt you somewhere down the line with regards to insurance.........
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:15 AM   #8
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P.S: At customs, best not to scrimp on the infor of the overall cost of the trailer, (in an effort to save a coupla bux in taxes/fees) it could come back to haunt you somewhere down the line with regards to insurance.........
I've imported two vehicles from the US for my own use. In both cases, the customs officials wanted to see some other proof of actual price. The bill of sale and so forth weren't sufficient. In the first case, I said "well I dunno what I can show you if you won't believe the bill of sale. I have my laptop with me and you can peruse the emails between me and the seller if you want, I suppose"... He called my bluff so I pulled out my laptop and pulled up the email folder with all the communications I had with the seller... There was one email where the seller said "do you want me to fudge the bill of sale for tax purposes?" and I responded with "no, I don't need to complicate this any more than it already is." Well, the customs officer saw that email (I was shoulder surfing) and that was good enough for him and said "ok, looks good". Kind of creepy though but that's not the half of it.

On the second import, I didn't even get that far... The customs officer went into the back and after about 10 minutes came forward with a printout that showed a wire transfer from my bank to the sellers bank in the amount of the sale ($6,000 USD) and said "ok. Looks fine."

So, when it comes to customs, best to be honest. On the first one, while I was at the border dealing with this, there was another guy there trying to import a harley he'd bought in California and driven up on his way to Lethbridge. He had no other way to coroborate the sale price so they impounded the bike. I offered him a ride to lethbridge but he said he'd just call his son to come down and get him.

If the sale price isn't believable, you better have more coroborating data. If you bought on E-Bay or some sort of online auction, then that's probably good enough if they can look it up seperately.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:22 AM   #9
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That is great info Carol, nice to hear from someone who has done it recently. I'll be looking for an older Scamp, probably >15 years. What are these older Scamps like? Anything to watch out for? Any advice on price?

John
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:02 AM   #10
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Oh, I forgot to add .... Just because the RIV recommends canadian tire, doesn't mean you have to use them. You do have to use a certified federal inspector (not to be confused with provincial inspectors, which just about any idiot can be) but they only push canadian tire because there's some sort of cross-marketing agreement... If you dig deeper on the RIV site, you'll find other certified federal inspectors. Here in Calgary, Stampede Toyota is one... For vehicle inspections, all they do is check the items that the RIV report states you have to do (which for the vintage of vehicles I've been bringing in, is daytime running lights, kilometers on the speedometer, and english/french for the airbag warning stickers on the visor)... They do no mechanical or safety inspection otherwise. You still have to get your out of province inspection done in your home province.

Other people I know who have imported vehicles have had a vehicle impounded by Agriculture Canada because there was mud inside the frame rails so they had to pay a 3rd party $300 to pressure-wash the entire under carriage and 'safely dispose' of the run-off... What a scam. Another friend imported a vehicle from Japan but the tires were not found to have DOT/MOT approval so they were slashed by customs at the dock (the slashing was suggested by the owner as a way to release the vehicle sooner)..

Sometimes it seems like more trouble than it's worth but with the weak US dollar, you can find some very attractive deals down there.
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:39 AM   #11
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Dear learned members,

Can anyone tell me about how to go about buying a used RV trailer in the US and returning it to Canada? What are the costs involved? Procedures? Your experiences? I am looking at purchasing a used 16' Scamp. They don't seem to be available here in Canada.

Thank you,

John Groom
I didn't see any year mentioned. If it's more than 15 years old you don't have to pay duty or the $209 fee but they tried to make me pay it. A supervisor told the girl I was correct and didn't have to pay(know your rights and politely persist). I came across the border at lunch time on a very cold March day(just as pizza was delivered) and they didn't even go out to look at the trailer. I wasn't aware of two different documents and I only had a hand written receipt plus what looked like our Canadian ownership signed by the previous owner. I think it depends a lot on the person you get and the mood they're in, and missing out on pizza could be a major factor. I think you're supposed to transfer the trailer into your name within 7 days because they want the taxes paid right away. You can then go back anytime to get the plates but trailer plates are inexpensive so doing everything at once is probably easier.
Bill
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:04 AM   #12
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Oh, I forgot to add .... Just because the RIV recommends canadian tire, doesn't mean you have to use them. You do have to use a certified federal inspector (not to be confused with provincial inspectors, which just about any idiot can be) but they only push canadian tire because there's some sort of cross-marketing agreement...
RIV actually sent us a complete listing along with the inspection forms of all the Certified independent inspectors in Canada - with only a small mention of Candian Tire at the top of the list.

Carol
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:09 PM   #13
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I didn't see any year mentioned. If it's more than 15 years old you don't have to pay duty or the $209 fee but they tried to make me pay it. A supervisor told the girl I was correct and didn't have to pay(know your rights and politely persist). <cut> I think you're supposed to transfer the trailer into your name within 7 days because they want the taxes paid right away. You can then go back anytime to get the plates but trailer plates are inexpensive so doing everything at once is probably easier.
LOL Bill you are very correct that it all comes down to who you get at the border. As our trailer was 14.2 years old the folks at the border actually wanted to try and help us out by finding out if they had any powers in keeping the trailer out of the RIV program thus saving us the money. We did not ask them to do that.

Regarding the registration. Here in BC the local ICBC office will not register a trailer or car until we have the paper work showing it has passed the RIV inspection. They say we can not register a trailer or car here if it has not completed the import process - of which the RIV inspection is part of. If it does not pass the RIV inspection within 45 days of import the trailer/car it must leave the country. Only paper work they will give us is a temp permit to take it for inspection.


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I'm surprised that trailers don't have to be 'cleared' of American registeration I thought it would fall under the same class as an automobile, but I guess YOU'D have better/first hand info on this than I. Are you any closer to getting your new Scamp Canadianized? Better teach it be be 'eh' compliant... See you in about 10 days
The US only needs to clear it first if it is self-propelled. We checked with them via phone and at the border on our way to pick up the trailer up just to be sure. As far as registration goes the seller provided a copy of their Certificate of Title and on the bottom half there was a section for signing over transfer of ownership. A lot like our ICBC form were you sign it over on the back when you sell. Suspect the type of forms regarding title and registration may be different depending of the state purchased from. Best to check with seller to make sure they have something that indicates both.

Our only compliance issue was a lack of a readable Safety Compliance label - ours had been painted over. A new one arrived from Scamp yesterday. Trailer will head off for inspection in the AM. Do not expect any further issues on that front.
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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That is great info Carol, nice to hear from someone who has done it recently. I'll be looking for an older Scamp, probably >15 years. What are these older Scamps like? Anything to watch out for? Any advice on price?

John
An older 16' Scamp should look a lot like the new ones. :-) On the surface it looks like not much has changed over the years, except for colour of the fabric's and the placement of the outside electrical and water outlets. Better location on the newer ones IMHO. Windows may have changed as well, I know some people say they do not have sliders with screens as we have - crank windows instead? The rear lights on the new trailers are a bit different in shape as well. The axles Scamp uses has changed, ours is only 3000lb and I think the new ones are 3500 lbs? I suspect there are others on the form that should be able to provide a lot more detailed info on that has changed than I.

There is a check sheet here on the form for what you need to look out for when purchasing.

As far as price goes they seem to be all over the map. But as you know here in Canada a Scamp is priceless! Ours is a 92 which appears to have hardly ever been used. The orignal cushions and fabric in great shape. The people we purchased from had it 5 years and only used it a few times. They purchased it from the original owners and it does not look like they used it much either. Trailer came with an awning, furnace, 3 way fridge, bathroom/shower including sink, 3 burner stove, hot water tank (replaced 3 years ago due to improper winter storage), cable TV connections, over head bins at the back with extra lighting on them, new curtains, new spare tire and cover, main tires three years old with little wear. The sellers supplied us with the maintaince records for battery, tires, brakes and bearings etc. They also had all the original manuals. Sellers also throw in a box full of extra's - including a large outside rug, holding tank cleaning wand, holding tank supplies, a portable A/C (used once) along with the back window mountings for it, new small 12 volt portable fan still in the box, plastic storage bins, spare parts such as a new electrical cover and new rivit caps they had purchased as the old ones were starting to look a bit sad but they never got around to installing. The only big issue we know about with the trailer is that there is a fair amount of rust on the under carrage frame although it appears to be surface only - we suspect it is the original paint job. We may find out differently once we actually get into fully addressing that issue - which may be sooner rather than later having seen the Scambled Egg photo and story posted here yesterday -och - The trailer came from Idaho and the seller told us he towed it home a couple of years ago in a snow storm and then parked it for the winter without washing it - not sure if that would do it but then again it is almost 15 years old so would expect some rust. I remain hopeful that what we see is what we get, as our sellers did not try and hide the rust by painting over it. Regardless we will not be overly upset if it turns out the frame needs replacing. We paid US$ 5900 and we think it was a fair price. I have seen a few newer ones advertised for less since as well as a few older ones for more.

Good luck with your search.
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