US citizen considering importing from Canada - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-09-2006, 05:42 AM   #1
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Trailer: Palomino Pop-up
Posts: 4
Wow! The Trillium Outback is the perfect camper for me! And the price point after conversion still comes under casita and well under scamp--even before they rebuild. Traveling to Alberta is no problem from the twin cities. The big question is how to get this titled, licensed, and through customs. Anybody from the US ever tried this on a NEW model? It has enough and proper placed marking lights. Before I call the factory for more information, I would love to kind of know what I'm talking about.

I would wait for the California Trillium 1300, but I have a funny feeling that the price will be very inflated, and Calgary, Alberta is still closer than California from me last I checked.
Thank you in advance for all your helpful information. This site is amazingly quick just like the teardrop forum.

Looking forward to fun in the sun ,
E Varga

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Old 04-09-2006, 09:49 AM   #2
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Trillium Outback
Posts: 282
I went to Calgary to get mine. They have all the paper work you will need. There are no problems or gotcha's. No fees to pay at the border. They just want to see the paper work and check for an tag on the trailer. Tag they really want is on the inside of closet door, but they were happy with the exterior data plate also.

I pulled mine back to Illinios without a temp tag or liscense plate on it. I had one cop look me over real close, but didn't stop me. I watched him come up along side and then just sit with his front bumper about even with my PT's rear bumper for several minutes. At first I figured he was just checking out the trailer, then I figured he must have been running my license plate. I think you are supposed to have a temp tag of some sort, but I didn't think of it and don't know how they would do that without the VIN.

What options are you thinking of getting? Oh, get the roof reinforced for an air conditioner even if you don't plan on one. Plans change.


2005 Trillium Outback w/ 30" tongue extension
1989 Award 730, 30'
2003 PT Cruiser
1998 K2500 Chevy Silverado 6.5 Turbo Diesel, 4X4, ext cab, short bed
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:36 AM   #3
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 544
If I were doing importing a trailer from Canada, I would check with the following organizations:

1) The US Customs service.

2) The Canadian Customs service.

3) The DMV in the province the trailer was purchased.

4) The DMV in the state that I live.

5) My auto insurance company.

Each of those organizations has dealt with this in the past. Since you are buying a new trailer, I would check with the manufacturer as well.

I can't imagine this will be very difficult. Let us know what you learn!

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:26 AM   #4
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Name: Thane
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 223
You should be able to get a copy of the N.V.I.S., New Vehicle Information Sheet from the dealer. This will have the VIN.

Use the VIN to buy insurance that goes active the day you are scheduled to pick up the trailer. I used Good Sam for insurance but there are other RV insurance firms out there.

The dealer will provide a bill of sale but I suggest you also get them to sign a bill of sale form that you can obtain from your state Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent office. Use the currency conversion rate on the day of purchase or day of money transfer to show the US$ purchase price on your state's bill of sale.

When you stop at the border, show them both bill of sales and they will inspect the traielr and give you a Customs Form 7501, Entry Summary. They will use your state's bill of sale amount for the purchase price. There is no duty on trailers.

Register the trailer in your home state within the prescribed time limit and you should have no problems.

I suggest you consider using Custom House for the currency conversion. You can wire transfer money directly from your bank to their Bank of America account and then pick up a Canadian bank check at one of their offices. Their exchange rate looks good and they give better rates for large amounts. By wiring the money ahead of time you won't have to guess what the final cost will be before you travel and you won't have to carry a large amount of money or checks. Custom House should let you transfer the money 3 days ahead of your scheduled pick up date.

You will be charged Canadian tax (GST) when you buy the trailer. When you stop at the Border for US Customs you will also need to go to the adjacent Canadian Csutoms office and get an export stamp on the dealers bill of sale. After you register your trailer in the States then mail the original dealer's bill of sale with a GST refund form (available at Customs) to get the GST back. If the GST is under $500 Canadian then you can an immediate refund if there is a Duty Free Shop at the border. I imagine your GST will be above $500 so you will have to mail back the original bill of sale. If you lose the bill of sale, you lose the 7% GST refund! You may need the original bill of sale for registration in your state.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Trillium Outback
Posts: 282
I didn't pay GST or the other tax when I bought from Trillium. Perhaps Joe knows something Escape hasn't figured out yet.

My Farmer's insurance agent told me they would cover it as of the date I picked it up. Just get him the VIN when I got it back.

Yes, do get a bill of sale in US dollars. That was the one thing I got burned by. The state charged me sales tax on the Canadian dollars.

2005 Trillium Outback w/ 30" tongue extension
1989 Award 730, 30'
2003 PT Cruiser
1998 K2500 Chevy Silverado 6.5 Turbo Diesel, 4X4, ext cab, short bed
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:36 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1975 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 2,536
One fairly important thing to remember, and this was told to me by Reace @ Escape...
The price of Glass trailers IS tied into the petroleum industry and has such is VERY liable to increase as oil prices go up. With gas prices expected to hit $4.00/gal this summer, I'd be buyin N O W !!!!!

BUY NOW, and sweat the import problems as they pop up. You could always leave the trailer "somewhere" safe on the Canadian side of the border till all your papers are in order.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:16 PM   #7
Trailer: 72 Boler
Posts: 46
Hi All

Also check with the RCMP and ask about an 'In Transit Sticker'
its free and will eliminate the need for a trailer licence plate


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