RV There Yet?!?
The plaintiff cry of a loon. The echoing rumble of an approaching storm. The shrill mating calls of the cicadas. The exasperated (and annoying) whine of three back seaters wanting to know “are we there yet?” Ah, the heartwarming sounds of a Canadian summer. As Canadians, we cram as much into our short summers as possible; and we love our summer toys. We ATV. We camp. We boat. And why? Because there’s no wifi ‘out there’ — but the connection is unforgettable.
Now a skeptic might define camping as a vacation where you spend a fortune to live like a homeless person; but true believers know, campers have s’more fun. But putting those wonderful graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, melting chocolate campfire delicacies aside, if truth be told, camping or boating can be expensive —very expensive.
So if you’re thinking about buying a camping trailer, motorhome, boat or ATV, it’s important to know your rights; and believe it or not, depending on what you buy (or whom you buy from) your rights, like your mileage hauling a 5th wheel camper, may vary.
According to OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, only consumers who buy from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer are protected by the regulator, the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) or have access to OMVIC’s Compensation Fund. As boat and ATV dealers do not require registration, purchases from them are not protected by OMVIC or the Compensation Fund, though consumers may receive some protection under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
“Even the protections available to RV buyers can be confusing,” explained Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC’s Director of Communications and Education. “Motorhomes are considered motor vehicles so dealers selling them must be registered with OMVIC and abide by the MVDA. This means motorhome buyers are entitled to all-in price advertising, disclosure of a vehicle’s past-use, history and condition, contract cancellation rights if specified disclosures are not made and access to the Compensation Fund.” But if an RV dealer only sells camping trailers, there is no need for OMVIC registration as trailers are not defined as motor vehicles; and like boat buyers, trailer buyers may need to look to the CPA and Ministry of Government and Consumer Services should problems arise.
And any consumer who buys an RV or, boat privately has no consumer protection legislation to fall back on at all — when it comes to private sales, its caveat emptor.
RVers will tell you that time camping isn’t spent — it’s invested; and boaters would preach that you spend time on land — you live life on the water. But these great summertime activities can be expensive, so before you shop for your leisure time conveyance — get educated. Know when you’re protected, and when you’re not. RV there yet?
To learn more about your vehicle-buying rights visit omvic.ca.