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Old 12-31-2016, 02:41 PM   #1
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Ottawa , Ontario
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Hello from Canada eh!

finally got the whole family on board....were getting an airstream! been a dream of mine for some years now. we have a 20k budget and live in Ontario Canada. I am considering buying in the usa and bringing it across the border, as there seem to be very few airstreams for sale in eastern canada. we are looking for any advice on acquiring a "ready to camp" trailer. I have also put 15k aside for the tow vehicle. thanks in advance for any advice shared

jasmine janet and bruce
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:46 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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I can't tell you what you have to do but I can tell you to do your homework before trying to import to Canada a USA trailer.

Google the topic and you will most likely find a tread on this Forum on the subject. If not maybe on other Forums relating to used trailers.

Take a look at the classified section here to get an idea of what is available.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 12-31-2016, 03:00 PM   #3
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1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
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It's not a big problem to bring a trailer across. Go to the Govt of Canada website and everything is there. i brought a 1976 back across aboout 10 years ago and it was no problem. If I remember correctly, anything over 15 years old, is easy to do. I didn't even need a safety in Manitoba, but you should check with your provincial people to see if they want any inspections. Watch Kijijji in Canada. I bought my 34' in Alberta and saved the exchange!!! Good luck and don't be in a rush!! Chris
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2012 GMC 2500 HD Duramax Denali
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
1976 22' Argosy
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:44 PM   #4
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2011 27 FB International
Vancouver , British Columbia
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We imported our 2011 [as well as other vehicles], it's easy to do as long as you do you research and make sure you have the right paperwork. I've found that both CBSA and CBP are very helpful as well, explaining any details that might be unclear, if you call your local border office. RIV has a great set of pages/links that are an easy way to get started with this.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:55 PM   #5
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BTW, given the exchange rate, I'd search in Canada to see if you can get a good equivalent, there are a couple in your range on airstreamclassifieds. 20CAD == 15US right now. When we purchased ours the exchange was still close to par.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:35 PM   #6
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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We sold a camper to a fellow from Canada about 9 years ago, no problems. He did the paperwork, we met him near the border, had the title transferred, and he took it home.
Doug and Cheryl
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2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 12-31-2016, 11:07 PM   #7
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
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We bought one AS from Can Am in London, Ontario. It's worth your while to check out their inventory as we found a lightly used one there that had a nice price reduction. They're about, what, an easy day's drive from Ottawa? Very helpful sales and service people.

After we moved to BC and needed to replace Bambi I, we bought Bambi II from Airstream of Spokane in Washington state, as they are the closest dealer to where we live now. They get a fair number of Canadians cross-border shopping. I imagine other dealers in the northern states do, too.

We didn't have to pay Washington state sales tax, but we did have to pay the sales tax upon "importing" Bambi II into BC. We also had a narrow window of time in which to get it inspected by a licensed Canadian imported vehicle inspector, and then to get our insurance all handled. This was a bit of a hassle (mostly because the inspector forgot about our appointment and left for the day,) but ultimately doable.

One thing to check out is the exchange rate. The Canadian dealers, though few and far between, have kind of worked that out in their sticker price. With a US dealer, you have to work out for yourself the real cost in Canadian dollars.

This will be a great year to tour Canada, with free national park access.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:07 AM   #8
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thank you for the reply, lots of sage advice here
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:57 AM   #9
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Thank you
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:46 PM   #10
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Burlington , Ontario
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Importing to Canada is pretty simple as long as you carefully read and follow the instructions found on Canada Govt website.

We brought ours in from Ohio about 8 years ago and I doubt if the regs have changed much if at all since then.

I do remember that one of the requirements was to obtain a letter from the manufacturer (ie Airstream) that there are no outstanding recalls - of course you cannot do that until you have the VIN. AS are quite familiar with such requests and we got a reply on company letterhead quite quickly. We had to give this letter to the Canada Customs officer at the border when they fill out the forms allowing you to bring the trailer into Ontario. Of course you also need copy of the bill of sale to you.

Once you satisfy the border officials and pay the tax, you are given paperwork to enter Canada and take the trailer for mandatory inspection within a couple of weeks to your local
Canadian Tire Store who are authorised in Ontario to perform the inspection.

There is a fee - I forget how much, maybe $100 or so. It is a bit of a farce, the insoection probably took about two minutes - the guy walked around the trailer quickly, examined teh VIN plate and that was it!

Once you have passed the inspection, you mail the report in to the govt and within a couple of weeks you should receive another form by mail which you can take to the license bureau in order to buy your Ontario plates.

The only minor snag we hot was one that I had been forewarned about by someone else who had been through the process - but it happened to us anyway!

The Can customs officer at the border fills out the paperwork you need to enter Canada by hand - no idea why in this day and age. If he does not write the VIN clearly, that can cause problems.

That did happen to us. Having been forewarned, when I saw the guy's handwriting it was not that clar and so i tried politely to explain and ask him if he could make sure it was really clear. I guess I was not polite enough as he just told me it was fine as is!

Well, turns out it was not!

After I git my inspection done by Canadian Tire I waited patiently for the form to arrive in the mail to get my license plates - but instead I got a letter from the govt. telling me that
the VIN info was non-existant and that unless I could rsolve the issue within so many dayd I was obliged to return the trailer to the US !

Luckily I was able to get on the phone and give them the correct number and all was well.

Something to watch out for though!

Before importing from the US, I had tried to find an AS trailer in Canada of the size and age that we wanted from places like for three or four months without luck, not easy to find here.

At least maybe it will auger well for us when we decided to sell - We have been going south every winter for the last 19 years or so since I retired and I'm finding the long winter drive getting a bit more challenging! We'll be doing it again this year though so we'll see how it goes!

Good luck ........... Brian.
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:38 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing Brian
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