As some of you already noted, I accidentally restarted some discussion on an old thread so it needs a reboot. I live in Canada and want a Sportsmobile; I have seen an older one that lives in Whitecourt, Alberta. I've already read older discussions on this topic. Apologies for the length of this initial kick-start:
Some highlights from Transport Canada web pages:
Introduction webpage for importing from the USA:
"a vehicle modified from its original state, other than regular maintenance, may not qualify for importation into Canada. This also applies to Canadian vehicles modified in the U.S. and returning to Canada. For example, but not limited to;
a van transformed into a motorhome (often known as Class B motorhome),
a van equipped with raised roof and/or modified interior
"Why is a modified vehicle no longer considered admissible for importation?
Once modified (other than having general repairs or routine maintenance), the vehicle no longer maintains its original factory issued certification. This certification is required for importation into Canada. This also applies to Canadian certified vehicles modified in the United States and returning to Canada. For example:
a cargo van converted into a camper,
adding a suspension lift kit to a vehicle,
adapting a vehicle for disabled access,
re-fitting a vehicle with a different body kit.
Be careful when buying modified vehicles to import into Canada. Make sure the vehicle modifier or final stage manufacturer has established that it complies with Canadian standards. You cannot import the vehicle into Canada without this proof
Here's a link to the TC list of approved vehicles:
Section 5.6 - Van and Truck Conversion (Travel or Other)
There is a long list of companies in the USA that do van conversions and that have followed the steps required to allow their vehicle to be sold in Canada. Sportsmobile is not on the list. Quadvan is absent yet I have seen a Quadvan
15 seater bus for sale in Canada very recently. Quigley is on the list but only good for 2007 to 2014 E350s (what I'm interested in).
Quigley all looks OK for Quigley but...
"The compliance label affixed by the conversion company (2nd stage manufacturer) will show the final date of manufacture
This is the problem with Sportsmobile. As I understand things, based on a memo received directly from Sportsmobile about a year ago, compliance labeling is a process that must cost the company enough time and cash that at this time, they are not interested in pursuing business in Canada. I was told that in the USA, Sportsmobiles are classed as "qualified residences" and and subject to tax relief. This can make expensive "mobile homes" more attractive for US purchasers. We don't have this up here in Canada.
Another problem for E350s bought directly from Ford by Sportsmobile and then converted; they have incomplete VINs:
"6. All admissible vehicles, including all types of trailers, must bear a manufacturer issued 17 character alphanumeric sequence, as required by CMVSS 115 - Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), including snowmobiles manufactured after January 1, 2001 and restricted-use motorcycles (RUMs) manufactured after December 1, 2004. RUMs manufactured before December 2004 must have a VIN composed of between 14 and 17 alphanumeric characters, as required by CMVSS 115.
This requires Sportsmobile to do whatever is required to complete the VIN and attach the compliance label.
I think that's enough background information to explain the issue. It's not just a 4x4 conversion issue; it's the whole thing; modding interior, pop top..
In the thread I accidentally brought back to life, the original poster suggested that back in 2009, Sportsmobile had been discussing plans to do what was required to allow importation to Canada in "5 years". It's 2016 now and based on my memos last year this is not going anywhere.
I know about Sportsman in Kamloops, BC; they do 4x4 conversions; there's another place in Merrit, BC I think. I have read reports that suggest that get all I have to do is buy a van here, get it 4x4d here and then send it to Sportsman for everything else but the TC notes above suggest that if this ever was the case, it's not so now; modding the interior and goofing with the roof have to be covered by compliance stickers.
I think this is enough to get this subject rolling again. I really hope that someone from Sportsmobile will join in.