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Old 01-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Take advantage of strengthening US Dollar?

Hi All,

Newbie dreamer here...but I did grow up spending every weekend and a couple of months a year in the back of a VW Vanagon touring the country with my parents for a good part of the 80s. Some of my best memories in life are during that time. Since then I've grown up, gotten a J-O-B, gotten married, bought a sailboat, even had a kiddo of my own. But in the back of my mind, there's always a little voice calling...the open road. So, building a DIY RV based on a van platform was on the long term to do list.

Then I saw the USD-CAD exchange rate a week ago. It looks like we're nearing absolute historical lows on this exchange right now. The CAD has only been weaker in 1986, 1998, and 2002. I smell an opportunity...not only to visit this beautiful country, but to make some in country purchases! Now my question!

Question 1:
Has any one purchased a Class-B from one of the major Canadian manufacturers and taken delivery in-country? Meaning, paid the CAD price instead of the US dealer price? I've looked at some manufacturers that provide MSRP pricing in both CAD and USD (Roadtrek, Safari Condo) and the pricing is dramatically different and not reflective of the real exchange rate. We're talking on the orders of 10s of thousands of dollars different!

For example, on Roadtrek's site, I built out a Zion in USD vs CAD. The CAD is $94,991.00, which is actually $68,568.45 USD. Switch over to the USD builder tool, and its $87,906.00 USD. Thats a difference of $19,337.55...almost $20k!

What kind of hidden costs/duties/other fees would a US buyer get hit with buying in Canada? I remember when the USD was weak, lots of our Canadian neighbors were buying up property and assets in the USA...ever been to Hollywood, FL in the wintertime?

Question 2:
This leads to my second question. What differences would there in configuration/content, safety features, capabilities between a US Spec and Canadian spec Class-B from a major maker. Would a Canadian spec RV be road-legal to be registered?



Question 3:
Lets touch the thorny subject of MSRP vs. actual out the door price. I've seen various threads about negotiating hard for dealer in stock inventory. How would that work with buying directly from the factory? I know for a fact that Safari Condo has a sales staff at their HQ...would it be inappropriate to negotiate that price down even further? Has anyone done this and had experience?



Looking forward to hearing all the responses from this group! I'm hoping to get into RV-ing a lot earlier than my life plan dictates..saving $20K would get us into this lifestyle right now rather than 10-15 years from now as we save up the difference (and try to keep up with prices going up all the time!!!)
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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I have talked with the owners of a couple of RV companies and from what I've gathered from those discussions they have to be very cognizant of buying a base MB in Canada that will be upgraded and delivered in Canada, and US MB Sprinters if they will eventually be delivered in the US. The specs meet each country's specific laws and regulations and never the twain shall meet.

There might also be additional warranty issues through MB. I think that the two countries have completely different warranty plans. Plus the upgrading companies have to submit their plans and have them approved by MB in order for the underlying MB warranty to be valid when the rigs are resold to the end consumer, and I suspect that MB doesn't like anyone taking one of their products from one dealership's area into another dealerships area and they might void the warranty if you do that.

I find all this fascinating, and I might have some of it wrong. Mike of Advanced RV sometimes chimes in here, and I'm sure he knows all the ins and outs of transferring rigs internationally. (Hmm..........At least I think he does--he'd have to if he sells to Canada.)

I've done some transferring of good across the Canadian border in my biz, and while they said NAFTA would keep tariffs etc off products, I've found that didn't work out for me. I had to pay GST & PST for goods I delivered into Canada.

I also looked into buying one of those cool little diesel 4WD Mitsubishi vans in Canada (I think they are called "Delica") and driving it in the us. All the inspections and upgrades needed to make comply to US standards take time and money, so I dropped that project like a hot potato.

Transferring autos across the border isn't as simple as it should be in my opinion.

That all being said, I think that sometimes you CAN save a bundle by buying out of country and bringing into the US.

I'll be interested when others chime in on this thread.

............Rocky
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rok View Post
I've done some transferring of good across the Canadian border in my biz, and while they said NAFTA would keep tariffs etc off products, I've found that didn't work out for me. I had to pay GST & PST for goods I delivered into Canada.
............Rocky
I am pretty sure that you can apply for GST / PST rebates if you are from the US. It's something our Canadian Government likes to keep quiet on.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:26 PM   #4
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Rocky has it right. Sprinters are made for each market, USA or Canada and each country has separate warranty from MB. You can't buy a Canadian vehicle and bring it into USA without facing big hassles.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:15 AM   #5
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Rocky has it right. Sprinters are made for each market, USA or Canada and each country has separate warranty from MB. You can't buy a Canadian vehicle and bring it into USA without facing big hassles.
I'm actually looking at their Promaster line...but I guess the same would apply. To be honest, I've never had to use the warranty of any of the cars I've purchased in the past 10 years. Its only 3 years/36000 miles anyway.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:36 AM   #6
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Back in 2004/5 the US dollar was worth $1.45 CAD, so people were going to the US to buy things like quads and sleds. The Canadian dealers got pissed off and stopped accepting the US warranties. It made a big stink at the time.

It's possible for this to go the other way.

I would call a US dealer and ask about carrying over the warranty if that concerns you.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:56 AM   #7
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I am also a newbie dreaming of an RV. I am not quite at retirement age and thus will be using the RV for biking trips/other activities. Of all the designs, I like safari condos flex the most as it provided the most flexible solution for storage. However, I am not too sure about their electrical/heating systems as I wanted at least a 200w solar system.
Back to the topic, I saw another guy from the manufacturer section taking delivery of his Safari Condo promaster. I think he said he delivered the promaster to Safari and they took about 6 weeks to finish. Then he went up to Quebec and drove down to Alabama. If this is true, maybe we can buy a US spec vehicle, drive up and have the Canadian RV builder finish the build? At least one may save the build portion in CAD which can amount to 10000. Just a thought.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
I'm actually looking at their Promaster line...but I guess the same would apply. To be honest, I've never had to use the warranty of any of the cars I've purchased in the past 10 years. Its only 3 years/36000 miles anyway.
I hadn't either until I got a Promaster. I haven't had any major issues but I am extremely grateful for the warranty. See, just about every fix and/or improvement Fiat/Chrysler has made to the Promaster has be done to mine (2014 build). Examples are upgraded brake pads and rotors, upgraded suspension bushings, new door latches, U-Connect system upgrades, etc. etc. All has been covered under warranty.

The question is will Ram provide warranty service for your Promaster purchased in Canada? The answer should be yes. I know I can take my Promaster to any dealer in Canada or Mexico and they will provide warranty service.
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:02 AM   #9
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I went to Fiat-Chrysler's Canadian site. Looked up the Promaster's warranty booklet.

Saw this...talk about a B-S move FCA.

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Old 01-06-2016, 07:01 PM   #10
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MB Sprinter Canada has this:

WARRANTY AVAILABLE: This warranty is applicable only in Canada If you take your vehicle to the United States or Puerto Rico temporarily, such as on vacation, warranty service may be requested from any authorized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealer.

I read it as implying you may have some difficulty with their warranty if you bring your MB Sprinter permanently to U.S. I think US plates and residency would establish it as "permanent"
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