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Old 05-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #15
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I have purchased two Winnebago motorhomes in the US and imported them into Canada. There are a number of myths intermixed with a few facts so I will offer the following. It is generic rather than brand specific so should apply to coaches from any manufacturer. Automotive safety standards were "harmonized" years ago to a common set for North America - Canada does require daytime running lights which are included but not necessarily activated in US vehicles.
Any coach imported into Canada by a DEALER FOR RESALE, MUST be on the Transport Canada list of "admissable" vehicles and be built to CSA standards . Any coach purchased by an individual in the US and imported for personal use into Canada must also be on the Transport Canada list and be built to EITHER the RIVA or CSA standards. The "Canadian Standards Association" aka CSA performs a role similar to UL in the US.
From the coach/house side, Canada has maintained slightly different electrical, plumbing and gas standards affecting electrical appliances, wire sizing/breakers, plumbing parts and propane gas parts, etc. The wiring differences sometimes trigger a requirement for larger size wiring - the 20 amp outlet is an example. As well, all safety labeling on a CSA coach must be in both English and French.
On my Winnebago class A - which was built to RIVA not CSA standards, the Winnebago "Parts Lists" shows all the differences for a CSA built coach. They specify different plumbing "p-traps" are required in drains, different "swivels" on propane hoses, a different gas stove top with presumably different gas fittings, a CSA (or UL-C) certified appliances including microwaves, different plastic electrical boxes, and some differences in 12v fixtures such as stove fans. These are subtle differences that only an individual with a deep understanding of the standards process could likely detect.
In my opinion, we (Canada) have had different standards historically but now with a global economy, they seem only to validate and support jobs at the CSA. The people who could make decisions to align standards in North America, are the same people who could find themselves out of work after that work was completed so there is obviously little incentive to do so. It is a case of monkeys guarding the peanut jar. The different requirement for p-traps really makes me proud of being a Canadian!!
In any event, I doubt anyone could make the case that a CSA coach is any better or safer than an RIVA build or vica-versa. Simplistically, it is one factor that makes doing business in Canada more costly and complex for a company.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bobmac View Post
I have purchased two Winnebago motorhomes in the US and imported them into Canada. There are a number of myths intermixed with a few facts so I will offer the following. It is generic rather than brand specific so should apply to coaches from any manufacturer. Automotive safety standards were "harmonized" years ago to a common set for North America - Canada does require daytime running lights which are included but not necessarily activated in US vehicles.
Any coach imported into Canada by a DEALER FOR RESALE, MUST be on the Transport Canada list of "admissable" vehicles and be built to CSA standards . Any coach purchased by an individual in the US and imported for personal use into Canada must also be on the Transport Canada list and be built to EITHER the RIVA or CSA standards. The "Canadian Standards Association" aka CSA performs a role similar to UL in the US.
From the coach/house side, Canada has maintained slightly different electrical, plumbing and gas standards affecting electrical appliances, wire sizing/breakers, plumbing parts and propane gas parts, etc. The wiring differences sometimes trigger a requirement for larger size wiring - the 20 amp outlet is an example. As well, all safety labeling on a CSA coach must be in both English and French.
On my Winnebago class A - which was built to RIVA not CSA standards, the Winnebago "Parts Lists" shows all the differences for a CSA built coach. They specify different plumbing "p-traps" are required in drains, different "swivels" on propane hoses, a different gas stove top with presumably different gas fittings, a CSA (or UL-C) certified appliances including microwaves, different plastic electrical boxes, and some differences in 12v fixtures such as stove fans. These are subtle differences that only an individual with a deep understanding of the standards process could likely detect.
In my opinion, we (Canada) have had different standards historically but now with a global economy, they seem only to validate and support jobs at the CSA. The people who could make decisions to align standards in North America, are the same people who could find themselves out of work after that work was completed so there is obviously little incentive to do so. It is a case of monkeys guarding the peanut jar. The different requirement for p-traps really makes me proud of being a Canadian!!
In any event, I doubt anyone could make the case that a CSA coach is any better or safer than an RIVA build or vica-versa. Simplistically, it is one factor that makes doing business in Canada more costly and complex for a company.
You need to run for the Senate! Take Duffy's place.......
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #17
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You need to run for the Senate! Take Duffy's place.......
Come on I all ready paid for my name to be first on the list.
I guess I'd better be careful or I'll run afoul of the forum rules about political content.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:48 PM   #18
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I was just reading in the latest issue of a Canadian RV magazine an article written by an RV dealer that says one of the significant differences in the Canadian standards is with the propane system. It says that bringing a US made RV up to the Canadian Propane Certification requirement can cost in the range of $1500 - $3500.

Apparently to get it propane certified here they have to remove propane lines and fittings, bring it into compliance with the provincial Gas Code (depending on province) and issue a new registered decal. To quote the article, it says "also the dealer will inspect, but not limited to, locks on LP doors, type of grommets used throughout the structure to protect the propane lines, carbon monoxide detectors, exterior doors interfering with appliance venting, appliances sealed from the interior of the RV, regulator mounting, operation and protection, couplers, tees, or fittings to appliances inside the RV." Sure sounds like a lot of aggravation, work and expense to go through.

I thought that there was a way to get some kind of letter of certification (RIVA?) from the RV manufacturer before you bring the RV into Canada?

I imagine that there are other things that need to be checked for compliance to Canadian codes and standards like electrical?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:28 PM   #19
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I was just reading in the latest issue of a Canadian RV magazine .........

I imagine that there are other things that need to be checked for compliance to Canadian codes and standards like electrical?
Respectfully.....STOP....reading. Suggest anyone interested in importing a US Motorhome to Canada visit the Govn't Of Canada RIV (Registrar of Import Vehicles) website. The rules are very clear and the requirements are minimal. Hundreds of people do it every year and it is no big deal. The inspection is done by Canadian Tire and takes about 10min......the Provincial safety inspection is far more comprehensive and intense.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #20
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Respectfully.....STOP....reading. Suggest anyone interested in importing a US Motorhome to Canada visit the Govn't Of Canada RIV (Registrar of Import Vehicles) website. The rules are very clear and the requirements are minimal. Hundreds of people do it every year and it is no big deal. The inspection is done by Canadian Tire and takes about 10min......the Provincial safety inspection is far more comprehensive and intense.
Right on Jack, check with RIV BEFORE you buy to make sure it can be imported. If you're not sure, call them. They are very helpful.
As far as the Out of Province Inspection, it is a required Mechanical Inspection for ALL imported vehicles that have been previously registered outside of the province you are brining it into. If it is a NEW vehicle that has never been registered, the O of Prov is not required.
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