importing a caravan from usa

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 21:05
ThreadID: 91058 Views:4311 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
This Thread has been Archived
good evening all
just wondering if anyone has imported a caravan from the us.
you seem to get a lot of van for your money
first thing we will not be using the van for traveling
it will be put on a block of land we own and left there for weekends etc.
where would we look for importing costs and what ever else is needed to import.
or does import taxes and freight make it to expensive to do.
looking at vans in us for around $15000 you get big late model vans and if it cost us the same again to import its still a lot cheaper than anything we can get here.
thanks for any info you can offer
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Robert K3 - Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 21:40

Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 21:40
Buy a donga or build a shed, it would be a lot cheaper than importing a van with all the headaches and regulations involved.

AnswerID: 474245

Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 22:53

Friday, Jan 06, 2012 at 22:53
Getting shipping would be the least of your issues, The compliance issues to get the things to Australian Standards would be a nightmare. Construction and engineering and in particular, the suspension and running gear can be very different to ours. Wiring and gas certifications would have to be done at the factory meaning you'd have to have cabling, AC fittings and tubing to Aust compliant 240AC etc sent there for use during construction.

There is a mob in Trraralgon - Victorian American Imports (Eastern Road) that may be able to offer advice. They bring in many compliant 5th wheelers etc.

They are dirt cheap though at the moment. I've just bought a slide on to suit an F250. We will be leaving it in Canada though.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 474253

Reply By: Big Woody - Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 07:45

Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 07:45
My brother imported a 22ft van earlier this year and he is very happy.
He purchased the van which was brand new at an online auction and made all the necessary import arrangements via the Internet.

It cost a total of $20,000 landed in Australia including the purchase price and import duty.

The van was taken straight to a caravan repair centre who completed all the necessary upgrades for Australian compliance as well as some modifications such as an extra door on the left side of the van. This cost an additional $5000

It is a very light and well appointed van with ensuite, AC, electric awning, and is a dream to tow being very light and has an aerodynamic nose cone.

He is extremely happy and has been touring from Cairns since last June (currently in WA) without a single problem.

His $25K investment is comparible to vans that cost in excess of $60K in Australia. The whole process went so smoothly he is looking and importing another van for family members and doing it all again.


This photo was taken the minute it rolled off the tow truck at the caravan dealer to have the modifications completed.

AnswerID: 474259

Reply By: oldtrack123 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 10:52

Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 10:52
Hi nowimnumberone

If buying2nd hand, apart from the mechanical requirements, you will need to consider that NONE of the electrics will comply to Aus standards
Appliances, switches etc, ALL will be scrap, even if only running from a generator.
AnswerID: 474272

Reply By: snailbait (Blue mntns) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 19:52

Saturday, Jan 07, 2012 at 19:52
it will cost yopu 3 times it price to make compliant
the doors are on the wrong side
110 volts
the list goes on and on
just dont
Life MEMBER snailbait Oberon HF RADIO CLUB VKE237 mobile 7661

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 474316

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Sunday, Jan 08, 2012 at 09:54

Sunday, Jan 08, 2012 at 09:54
And most exceed the maximum width of 2500mm, especially if they have a roll out awning attached.
FollowupID: 749286

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Jan 08, 2012 at 12:15

Sunday, Jan 08, 2012 at 12:15
Size is no problem, he is only going to use it on his own block.

However it will be considered as a "transportable structure or vehicle." It will therefore have to conform to AS/NZS 3001 - Electrical installations - Transportable structures and vehicles including their site supplies. You could also get around that problem by only using a 12 V system in it. You could do that by using a solar system or a mains driven 12 V system driven by the mains located externally to the van. A 240/110 V step down transformer is not an option, AS 3001 does not allow it.

Then there is the gas problem. The Yanks use steel pipes. That is not allowed here. None of the gas appliances will have Oz approval numbers, they will have to be removed.

There was a report in one of the newsgroups from a bloke who tried to change state registration. His 5th wheeler was over width so it was knocked back. Then when it came to using it as a static van he had to spend heaps removing the gas installation.

Also read through Importing Vehicles to Australia -including reading the link to VSB-10.

Don't start your importing until you have all the facts, you could be blowing your money.

Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 749301

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (9)