I Want To Buy An RV In The US And Ship It To Australia And Then New Zealand!
I live in new Zealand and reach retiring age in about 12 months. I am living alone and my retirement plan. (subject to change) is to buy a RV in America and tour the states, ship it to Australia, tour there and then ship it to new Zealand where it will be my permanent home.
My reason for buying in USA is that they are purpose built and appear to have a much better floor plan, with slide-outs, separate toilet etc. They have more "bells and Whistles", (extras I need if i am going to live in it.) And the prices appear to be more realistic. The larger ones in NZ are converted buses and have usually seen service in Japan.
I know this is a pretty optimistic plan and I may be dreaming, but first a couple of questions.
Is it legal to tow a smaller vehicle behind you (for side trips on minor roads). Or would a 5th wheeler be better.
Do the some states have different rules and regulations concerning R V ing?
There are so many things to find out, I hope this site is the right one to be on. There are things like power supply, cost of shipping, conversion (or not) to left hand drive. etc, etc.
At least I have made a start, I have also subscribed to your newsletter and bookmarked this site.
Any comments or help would be much appreciated. ANSWER
Greetings Graeme thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page. Let The Good Sam Extended Service Plan Pay Your RV Repair Bills
Let's see if I can shed some light on some of your questions. I will start with easier ones first.
You can tow another vehicle behind a Class A, B or C RV. Here in the states these tow behind vehicles have nicknames such as "Dinghies", "Toweds" or "Toads". The advantage of having a tow behind vehicle is that once you set up camp you can use that vehicle for sightseeing, etc. without having to breakdown camp.
How the vehicle is towed depends greatly on the type of vehicle being towed. Some cars or trucks can be towed 4 wheels down, some require that the front wheels be on a tow dolly and others may require being on a full auto trailer.
Now as far as different laws that affect RVing in different states in the US. Some states do have different rules and regulations pertaining to RVs but to be honest as long as you obey speed limits and road signs you will be OK. Our family has traveled throughout the US in our RV and never had a problem.
What type of RV should you buy? You should buy the type of RV that works with your particular lifestyle. Each RV type has advantages and disadvantages. You need to evaluate those Pros and Cons and make the decision base on your needs. Please take a look at our site's What Type Of RV Is Right For You Section,
it describes each type of RV and also gives you the Pros and Cons of each type of RV.Are you paying too much for your RV Insurance? Click here for a free quote from Good Sam
I realize that your ultimate goal is to buy an RV here in the US. Before you buy an RV, I would suggest that you rent some of the different types of RVs that are available through one of the many US companies that specialize in RV Rentals.
Renting an RV gives you the opportunity to try these types of RVs before you buy one. The rental will answer a lot of your questions about how suitable each type will be for you. Take a look at our Rent An RV Section,
to get a better
understanding of the advantages of renting an RV before buying one.
Now we get into the more complicated question of buying an RV in the US and shipping it to Australia and then to its final home in New Zealand. There are logistic companies that will arrange for shipping a motorhome or trailer to Australia or New Zealand from the US. The cost will depend greatly on the size and weight of the RV. What you need to realize is that it will not be cheap. Then you plan on shipping it to New Zealand from Australia, so that is an additional cost.
Let's say that you buy a Class A motorhome from the US and you finally end up in New Zealand and you want to convert it from a left hand drive vehicle. The whole front end of the RV has to be replaced. The whole front driver's compartment has to be rearranged. Just replacing the molded dashboard would be a nightmare. The dashboard in the driver's compartment is molded by the RV manufacturer. In order switch from left to right you may have to hire a fabricator to make a special mold to make the change.Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service
I would advise you to rethink your plan on shipping the RV from the US. The reason you want to buy an RV in the US is because they have better floor-plans, slideouts and are more reasonably priced. That may be true but, it appears that with shipping and modifications that the price difference will evaporate and you will end up paying far more in the long run.
Needless to say warranty and other repair work would be an issue, parts availability will also be an issue.
Here is what I would suggest. If you are planning to stay in the US for only a couple of months, then stick to an RV rental. If you are planning stay longer than that, I would suggest that you rent for the first month and once you figure out which type of RV you like, search for a reasonably priced used RV in that category and use it for the remainder of your trip.
Once you are ready to start your Australian adventures, find an RV dealer or private party that is willing to buy the RV from you. You could also find an RV Dealer that is willing to sell the RV for you for a fee. Sure you will lose some money in the process, but you will have used the RV to travel around the US and you will not be paying any cost to ship it or modify it, so you should come out ahead in the long run.
I know that you do not like the choices of RVs in New Zealand, but in searching the internet for new RVs in Australia, I found a lot of Class A motorhomes and 5th wheel trailers with the slideouts and amenities that you would be looking for. I also found some RVs that are manufactured for Australia by US RV manufacturers such as Winnebago, etc.
Buy the new RV in Australia and ship it home to New Zealand. I believe you will end up better off by using this plan.
I hope that I was able to answer most of your questions. If any of our website visitors would like to add their opinion they can do so by clicking on the Click Here To Post Comments Link at the bottom of this page.
I wish you the best of luck on your future adventures and Happy RVing
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