Importing an RV into Canada


Have we imported an RV into Canada?


No, we have never purchased a vehicle in the US to bring into Canada but many people do and from what I have been told it’s not that difficult.  Some buyers work with a dealer in the US or Canada who takes care of all the details or at least holds their hand throughout the process. We keep searching for RVs online both in Canada and the US and often find something of interest and are always curious to know what needs to be done for us to make a sale and bring it home.Map of Canada

Canadians purchase RVs in the US for many reasons and it may include the price difference between the two countries. This is not always the case though. They may not be able to find the type of RV they want in Canada and by travelling out of the country they may find exactly what they are looking for.

How difficult is it to import an RV into Canada?

It may seem overwhelming but by understanding what each step in the process is and following them, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

  • Is the vehicle admissible into Canada? Check with Transport Canada’s List of Vehicles Admissible from the US
  • The list includes most vehicle types but if the RV you’re interested in isn’t on the list contact the manufacturer.  They can provide you with all the specs on the vehicle but also let you know if there are any recall notices regarding defects, etc that had been done or should be done.
  • Has the vehicle been modified from its original state?  The reason this is important is because the original manufactures’ certification would not be valid because of the changes.  Everything must be done to Canadian standards to be eligible.
  • Recall clearance letter – you’ll need this documentation. It’s for your protection and safety knowing whether all of the defects have been corrected.
  • Branding history. Has the vehicle been declared a write-off or was it a flood vehicle?  If this is the case it may not be possible to licence it in Canada because its record is never wiped clean. It’s important to do a proper VIN search prior to buying the vehicle or attempting to bring it into Canada.
      • Exemptions:  There are exemptions from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) which may include its age, whether it’s in Canada temporarily or if here for a special use.

By purchasing from a reputable dealer, having it properly inspected and doing a little prior research importing an RV can go smoothly and not be overly difficult. Of course there are fees, taxes and costs involved that should be planned for ~ there always is.

Whether it’s price or not, buying an RV in the US and importing it into Canada is entirely possible. Many US Dealers sell to Canadians regularly and will walk the buyer through each step that needs to be taken. It’s even feasible for them to deliver your new RV right to your door! So don’t hesitate if you want to buy an RV in the US – you can definitely import an RV into Canada.

Happy travels!


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