Taking my Scamp to BC? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Taking my Scamp to BC?

So looks like I'm going to be working in Vancouver BC for at least 9 months, maybe even getting permanent residence and staying a few years or more.

There's a campground just over the bridge in North Vancouver so it looks like I can stay in the Scamp for a few months when I first get there while I look for more permanent housing.

Big things I'm concerned about.

A: Importing the trailer? Inspection? Tow vehicle requirements? Any chance they will stop me at the border if my tow vehicle is small/unconventional?

B: Storage during the rainy winters. I'll probably be in an apartment downtown and may be away from it for months at a time. I HATE MOLD and I'm very concerned a tiny leak in the constant rain unattended for even a few days could lead to a huge mold issue. I've had convertibles in rainy climates and I've seen the horror a leaky top can yield in a mere few days. I may have to look into indoor storage. Hopefully if I get far enough from downtown storage costs might get reasonable. With real estate like it is I'd expect any storage near the city to be extraordinarily expensive.

C: Towing in the rain. I've avoided this entirely up to now due to the short wheelbase of my to vehicle. I'm a little less worried about this now that I have brakes on the trailer, the TV has 4 wheel ABS, but still. If I'm going to use this trailer in anything but the summer months, there's a good chance I'll have to tow in the rain to get back from a weekend for work on Monday.

What are people's experience towing in the rain compared to towing in the dry? Should I be overly concerned about this?
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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...........
What are people's experience towing in the rain compared to towing in the dry? Should I be overly concerned about this?
I think you are worrying too much about towing in the rain.


If that rain freezes, different story.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Hi Dylan,

Your moisture concerns are legitimate. I've heard great things about the Drizair products. If you plan to store your trailer for months at a time you may want to look into having it just on the other-side back in the US. I know a number of Canadians that do this as the cost is way more reasonable. Pending border crossing waits and where you live you can get down there in a little over an hour. Otherwise some people out in Mapleridge, mission or abbotsford may have barn space for lease but again that can be an hour or more out.

As far as staying in the Capilano RV spot it's quite pricey and usually has wait lists so book ahead. The only reason I'd recommend it is if you will work very close. There are much more reasonable places closer to the border in South Surrey and WhiteRock.

Don't say "import" for your trailer or Vehicle at the border. This means reregistering them as Canadian Vehicles. If you become a resident later cross that bridge when you come to it. I don't think you'll have problems at the border but don't quote me on that.

As far as everyone says it rains here all the time don't believe it! It lets up every once in awhile

Quite a few other Vancouverites here that'll chime in I'm sure
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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Don't say "import" for your trailer or Vehicle at the border.
Agreed, they will be more concerned that you have the proper paperwork for staying 9 months. And they don't like guns.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Hi Dylan,


As far as everyone says it rains here all the time don't believe it! It lets up every once in awhile

Quite a few other Vancouverites here that'll chime in I'm sure
Actually the rainy season usually starts around Oct 1, but most years it ends by Sept 30!
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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I've been across the border 5 time (round trip) in seven years. Having a passport helps. I've never been asked for vehicle titles.

As to rainfall, it is more a question of cloudiness than heavy rain.

Relax and enjoy BC.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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Welcome to Vancouver - the rv park you picked by the Lions Gate Bridge is the only RV park we have remotely close to downtown Vancouver so if you havent made reservations you should! Its also the only one we have on the North Shore as well. Its a real good central location - takes less than 10 min to ride your bike to downtown & there is a great beach & park beside it. More than a few movie stars have used that as their base with their small Airstreams while filming in Hollywood North - yup thats what Vancouver is also known for..... besides the rain ;-)

As long as you are not entering the country with the intent to move here & stay, you will not need anything special for your trailer crossing the border as long as you are leaving your US plates & insurance on in. It would be a good bet there is a limit as to how long it can stay here without doing a bunch of paper work though. If you tell them you are coming to work here and stay longer than x so many months they will want to see your work permit etc....... There are actually regulations in regards to bring in personal property while temp living here which you should look up ahead of time. I seem to think that everything will need to be listed and submitted to customs so it can be taken back out again without a problem. Its a whole different processes than just coming for a visit.... Suspect as long as the trailer is entering only temporary it will not need to go through the formal import process that does indeed involve having it inspected.

As far as you tow vehicle goes nope they will not be interested as long as it has plates and is insured.

What are you towing with? I tow with an all wheel drive and its great in the rain. Nothing special you need to do just keep a good space between you and the car in front when driving in the rain whether towing or not..... - highly recommend if you dont already have them that you get good tires (bald tires are not great in the rain) - all season radials work well in Vancouver you can use them most years all year round - snow tires in Vancouver proper are not normally used. If you plan to head up to Whistler in the winter months (which is less than an hour and half from the RV park) then you will need snow tires or carry chains. Also making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition.

If your looking to store the trailer you might find more reasonable prices for storage in the Richmond or Surrey/Langley areas - trust me its costly in the few places we have in North Vancouver and there is little to no storage in Vancouver proper.......
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:31 PM   #8
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Many people also rent out their parking space at apartments your Scamp would be easy to park as long as the height clearance is there.

I'll be hanging around Vancouver July & August I only take my trailer out in spring and fall. You can pm me if there is something you need help with.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #9
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I think you are worrying too much about towing in the rain.
Good I suppose. Hope your right.

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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
If that rain freezes, different story.
No plans to tow near freezing.

Do they make snow tires for trailers? The Miata handles pretty good in the snow on Blizzaks!

All but a few drizzly minutes here and there of my towing experience has been in the dry. And I know from performance driving that a wet road has dramatically less grip than a dry one. Without brakes I could see the trailer coming around MUCH easier in the wet, even with 8" trailer brakes my car has HUGE stopping power, ABS, great wet grip, so if I hit the brakes hard in the rain I have little doubt that trailer could be swinging around on me in a hurry. But part of my theory of towing is making sure I never need to get even close to grip limits by driving smooth, slow, steady and keeping the eyes way down the road. Visibility is a big factor and other people driving like insane people despite conditions. My tow vehicle is not ideal. I like to keep the less than ideal variables to a minimum and that's served me well so far. A little rain I probably wouldn't feel too bad about. Serious downpours on fast highways will likely have me pulling to the side.

Eventually I'll get a big Subaru for the trailer and have some more experience towing, probably won't be as big a concern then. And with the right Sube I can go on the back forest/mountain roads! Come on Subaru bring the diesels to North America!
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
Hi Dylan,

Your moisture concerns are legitimate. I've heard great things about the Drizair products. If you plan to store your trailer for months at a time you may want to look into having it just on the other-side back in the US. I know a number of Canadians that do this as the cost is way more reasonable. Pending border crossing waits and where you live you can get down there in a little over an hour. Otherwise some people out in Mapleridge, mission or abbotsford may have barn space for lease but again that can be an hour or more out.
Well, I have friends with houses and yards in the Seattle area. So storage south of the border might just happen there. But I want the trailer up there for excursions further north, perhaps out on the islands. So I'd prefer storage near the city if it's not too expensive or out towards areas I'd want to be exploring.

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As far as staying in the Capilano RV spot it's quite pricey and usually has wait lists so book ahead. The only reason I'd recommend it is if you will work very close. There are much more reasonable places closer to the border in South Surrey and WhiteRock.
The place I talked to, sounds like you may know it, said I might be in off season rates which were expensive for camping, cheap for Vancouver rent. High season rates are absolutely insane and I could rent a furnished studio by the week or month right down town for similar money. I'll have to call back, they seemed to be changing management or something and very busy when I called them a few weeks back. I'll be working in Yaletown, so comfortable commuting distance is key. I think I can take a bus into downtown from very close to the campground. Less than 30 minute commute Google said. If it's that close and cheap I may stay in the camper for the whole winter!

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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
Don't say "import" for your trailer or Vehicle at the border. This means reregistering them as Canadian Vehicles. If you become a resident later cross that bridge when you come to it. I don't think you'll have problems at the border but don't quote me on that.
Oh, I meant import. I'll be coming in on a work permit, some of my coworkers recently similarly relocated are importing their cars. So I think it's certainly possible the Miata and the trailer will get imported. I may try to get a legal residence in WA at a friends and register there. But California registration is getting tiring when I'm never there. Explaining to the CA DMV why you can't get a CA smog check is tiring. I hear they are getting rid of smog checks in Vancouver! YAY!

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As far as everyone says it rains here all the time don't believe it! It lets up every once in awhile
Seems to dry up whenever I visit the Pac Nor West! So this may be a dry winter with me up there! I kid my Portland/Seattle friends the rain's just a hoax to keep people from moving up there! But most of my visits have been in summer.

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Quite a few other Vancouverites here that'll chime in I'm sure
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:57 PM   #11
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Agreed, they will be more concerned that you have the proper paperwork for staying 9 months.
That will be taken care of by my employer, this is all above ground and legit. Will have a work permit, proof of employment, etc.

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And they don't like guns.
I do own one 22 rifle that was my dads. It's been in storage for ages and I'd only bring it to Canada if I brought everything I owned at some point down the road.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:01 AM   #12
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Actually the rainy season usually starts around Oct 1, but most years it ends by Sept 30!
Your just trying to scare the American off aren't you?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:03 AM   #13
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I've been across the border 5 time (round trip) in seven years. Having a passport helps. I've never been asked for vehicle titles.

As to rainfall, it is more a question of cloudiness than heavy rain.

Relax and enjoy BC.
What was the purpose of the visits and how long were they? I've never had a problem crossing the border as a tourist, never had a trailer, but wouldn't suspect it being that big a deal to bring a camper over to camp. But bringing a camper over when you crossing on a work permit might just look a little weird. Especially towed by a Miata!

Cloudiness won't stop me from towing, so that's good to hear.

Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #14
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Eventually I'll get a big Subaru for the trailer and have some more experience towing, probably won't be as big a concern then. And with the right Sube I can go on the back forest/mountain roads! Come on Subaru bring the diesels to North America!
Your just wasting time.... trust me the Outback sold in N/A for the past 10 years does very well at going on the back mountain roads of BC were few would dare to go..... LOL went until you get here .... you will find lots... trust me no need to wait for a diesel to scare the pants off your self.
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