Following is an outline of costs and considerations when purchasing across the border:
- The bank keeps a percentage of money being exchanged to U.S. dollars (approximately 2%)
- If the Canadian dollar is less than par, then the difference in exchange must be paid, in addition to the banks percentage
- The cost of transportation and fuel for numerous trips to and from the US dealer
- Brokerage, duty, taxes, and extra paperwork at the border
- Costs and work of converting the RV to comply with Canadian Standards, such as DOT, CSA, Ontario Hydro, and sometimes fumigation.
- Temporary licensing to bring the vehicle home.
- Appropriate documents must be at the border several days before crossing.
- Consumer rights are negated.
- Extra service costs for warranty repairs.
- Exposure to compliance and insurance issues.
- Financing may not be available for U.S. purchases
If the vehicle is not built for Canada, then certain modifications are needed for the vehicle to comply with Department of Transport standards. These modifications must be made and certified within a certain amount of time, in order to obtain plates and an ownership from the license bureau.
Other modifications and certifications are also necessary for the RV to be compliant with other applicable authorities, such as Ontario Hydro and the Technical Safety Standards Authority (propane gas). These types of certifications are necessary for your own safety, as well as to better ensure that your insurance company will not use non compliance as a reason to deny a claim in the case of a loss.
One very significant factor to consider when buying in the USA is "recourse". When purchasing locally you are protected by many consumer laws, regulations, and governing bodies. If you buy in the USA there is no protection for Canadians whatsoever; therefore you will have no recourse in the event of any problems.
Unlike a car, an RV is literally a house on wheels with propane appliances that must comply with several standards and there are many more things that may need adjustment on an RV. The biggest misconception that people have about RV's is the amount of warranty work that is initially required. It takes several days to inspect new RV's, which always seems to result in a list of multiple pages of repairs that are completed prior to delivering any new RV to a customer. It then usually warrants a couple more trips back to the service department to work out all the bugs.
The purchase of an RV is a significant investment and your safety is too important to take the chance of purchasing one that may turn out to be less than expected, from another country. If you buy from a dealer that feels like taking a short cut you may end up with a vehicle that has had parts taken from it or an RV that has not been properly inspected prior to your taking delivery.
Dealers are independently owned and operated businesses. Outside of customers they personally sell products to, they are not obligated to perform warranty service on products purchased elsewhere. You therefore may be required to return to your point of purchase to satisfy warranty requirements.
Local purchases allow a customer to establish a relationship with a dealer close to home. This relationship provides the customer with a convenient location for service and support from a "home town" professional.
The opportunity for a thorough pre delivery inspection and product orientation is an additional benefit of buying from your local dealer. Furthermore, this provides the opportunity for refresher courses or the ability to get questions answered much more conveniently.
Outdoor Travel's goal is for all RV Owners to fully enjoy their RV experience. In light of this goal and considering the advantages of buying local, we encourage you to be thorough when determining what product to purchase and which dealer to purchase it from, as both are key to your ultimate satisfaction and the realization of your dreams.