US Import or Australian Made?
The fifth wheel caravan industry is a small but growing industry that has started to gain acceptance and appreciation for its many advantages such as towing stability. The Australian vehicle market seems to be following the footsteps of the United States with our love of 4WDs and utes. We are even starting to import some of the bigger 4WDs such as the F350 and the beefy Chevrolet range of pickup trucks, which – for their size, are quite inexpensive and subsequently commonplace in the US. This is one of the main reasons why fifth wheel caravans are so popular and are as common as standard caravans or travel trailers as they call them.
When considering importing a fifth wheel caravan, one must consider that it will probably not meet obligatory Australian Standards, particularly in regards to the gas lines and fittings and the mains voltage where they use 110–120 volts, instead of the 220–240 volts we use in Australia
. Non-compliance could cause some complications if for example an insurance claim needs to be made.
If you wish to enquire about fifth wheelers, contacting your local RV centre is a start. Especially if it is has ‘RV’ or ‘Recreational Vehicle’ in its name, should give a good indication that they sell fifth wheel caravans as well as the standard ‘travel trailers’. These units may be imported directly from the United States and before they place a ‘For Sale’ sticker on it – should have already been converted. These conversions, if it be structural, engineering, coupling, safety appliances such as fire extinguishers or utility conversions such as gas and electricity should already meet our Australian Standards – although it would be wise to ask.