Can You Buy an RV in Canada and Bring It to the U.S.?

Buying something in another country and bringing it back to the U.S. is becoming a bit of a trend. Some Americans are even beginning to visit Mexico and Canada for their healthcare needs. Now they’re doing the same with campers. But is this legal, and what steps do you need to take to bring your new RV home?

Buying an RV in America is no easy task

Police officers stop an RV at a checkpoint on the Quebec-Ontario border in Canada in April 2020
An RV at a Canadian border | Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you haven’t been shopping for a new camper, you might not realize just how hard it can be to find one. Many RV lovers looking forward to spending their summer on the road found RV buying an impossible task because American RV manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand. 

With so many Americans stuck at home thanks to COVID-19, they decided that buying a camper and setting out on an adventure was the perfect way to go. This created a bit of a hole, as the RV manufacturing world had no idea what they were about to be hit with. 

Now many would-be camper owners find themselves on a waiting list for a new camper. It can be frustrating, especially for families who want one now. But there might be another way to get a camper.

Does Canada have enough vehicles to supply 2 countries?

Canada isn’t facing the same camper supply problems as the United States. Many Canadians already own recreational vehicles, so the demand isn’t quite as high. Once you locate an RV, the question then becomes if you can legally bring it to the U.S. The answer is yes, but there are a few steps you need to take to make the process less stressful.

According to NeverIdle Canada, you should start by paying the taxes due to America for purchasing your camper abroad. Next, you’ll need to make sure the RV is insured. Third, get your documentation lined up so that you don’t find yourself held up while trying to find that one paper you put away years ago. Fourth, have your proof of ownership or title bill of sale ready. 

These are tips for bringing an RV that you purchased in another country to Canada, but it works for bringing a camper to America as well. There’s just one little problem, however. The U.S. Canadian border is closed due to COVID-19.

How can you bring your new camper home to the U.S. when the border is closed?

America is in the process of opening up after the pandemic. Even though we still have a long way to go, many people are returning to their jobs, going maskless, and seeing social distancing guidelines eased. It’s easy to assume the rest of the world is reopening, but that’s not quite the case yet.

Canada has yet to reopen its border to Americans, and that will remain true until July 21, Forbes reports. So how will you bring your RV back to your home state until then?

MotorBiscuit recently reported that Canadians have found a loophole for bringing their RVs to the U.S. Though the borders may be closed, essential workers such as tow truck drivers can cross the border. So some Canadians are having their RV shipped across the border and then pick them up in the U.S.

If you find an RV in Canada that you can’t live without, you can take advantage of this loophole. The airports aren’t closed, so you can fly to Canada, buy your RV, fly back, and then pick it up. Once the border reopens, you can simply drive it across yourself.

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