RV that will fit in a sea container? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-10-2015, 02:24 PM   #1
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RV that will fit in a sea container?

I'm thinking of taking a small trailer with me when I go to New Zealand. If it fits in a sea container it can be shipped along with personal effects and gets fully protected. Otherwise, it goes roll on roll off -- more expensive and could get damaged.

So: are any of these guys less than 7'8 1/2" tall on the outside? and narrower than 7'8 1/2? Actually, it has to fit through the door . . . so 7'8" is probably too high/wide.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:29 PM   #2
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Escape has shipped a 5th wheel to the Netherlands. It depends on the size of the container.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Escape has shipped a 5th wheel to the Netherlands. It depends on the size of the container.
Escape shipped a 5.0 Classic to England years ago and I know there are Casitas in Japan!

I'd say buy the all-molded-towable you want, there will be a container for it.

Have a blast!
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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New Zealand has a booming molded fiberglass caravan (as they are called) marketplace and you will have to do a lot of adapting to a US trailer as I believe that they use 220 VAC for standard power. Container shipping costs are based 1st on volume and you won't have a lot of weight.


But most will fit a standard 20' container, but without a rooftop a/c Check the mfg specs for exact dimensions or ask here about a specific model.


But with so many available down there, why do you want to ship one down and back? $$$ If you want to sell it down there. you will need to look at importing costs as well.


Check on the eBay New Zealand website for typical types and prices.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:28 PM   #5
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??? eBay New Zealand

Oops . . Google fiberglass caravan advanced search on .nz gives very interesting results.
Concord Caravans ...these look great
but at $NZ60k they're out of my price range




Bob . . . You're right about the the 220V conversion. Also need to re-work the gas system if there is one. NZ uses propane+butane and systems not designed for their specs do not comply to regulations.

I've spent many hours on this. If you've found anything I haven't, please give me some actual links.

If you google eBay New Zealand you get dumped to the US eBay site.
Most trade/barter/auction/etc. in NZ goes over trademe.co.nz -- great site, sort of like eBay + Craigslist combined. I've spent many many hours browsing 'caravans' on trademe and the only fiberglass caravan listing I find is this one (imported from South Africa):
Caravan Camper - 2 Berth - Sherpa Tiny | Trade Me

The Sherpa series looks great for the warmer parts of New Zealand and would be a good option . . . but there's only the one advertised.
As for exact dimensions. The manufacturers' websites give interior heights, but seldom exterior heights. ATM I'm pondering an all-electric 17' egg that's listed an hour's drive from where I live.

A 20' sea container out of Tampa to Auckland runs about $US3000. I could get a small trailer (caravan) into one and pack in a lot of personal possessions. A 40' container would take almost everything I own. Not worrying about return freight. I have and Australian passport, so have automatic permanent residency, and do not plan to return.

In general, newer/modern caravans are much more expensive in NZ than the US and I've talked to people who import US caravans to NZ and make a profit even after doing the electric and propane conversions.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:03 PM   #6
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RV that will fit in a sea container?

Sounds like you're a few steps ahead of most of us!

I did a little poking around. There was an attempt to compile actual dimensions of fiberglass trailers on an old thread, but it looks like it died in infancy. The rounded shape means it's not easy to get accurate measurements other than length. For most a ballpark figure from the manufacturer is enough. So manufacturer's specs are about the best you have, knowing that modifications to roof vents, axles and wheels/tires often affect the height.

With your stated height limit of 7'8", you really don't have too many choices. Many 13'ers will fit, a Casita 16 (at 7'8" per specs) might fit, a Scamp 16 (at 7'10" per specs) probably won't, and most larger trailers likely won't fit. If you do the wheel swap thing (replace standard wheels with 8" replacements for storage) i think there's a good chance you could squeeze the 16'ers in. Not much else that I can think of, and not with roof-mounted AC. With older trailers, you'll have to take it on a case-by-case basis.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:40 PM   #7
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A newer trailer, or an older one with an axle swap to a bolt on axle could be dropped pretty low with the axle taken off and special skids or dollies installed, the tank drains would be the low points then.


I wonder is somebody would build you a new trailer with the wire and gas lines run but no appliances, convertor or fixtures? I don't know how 220V stuff is wired over there but wire sized for 120V should be plenty big for 220V.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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Okey-Dokey
My late Aunt was a Mori and I have two cousins that moved to NZ many years ago. I just found one on Ancestry.com a year or so ago. I also used to procure mini-motorhomes here, for both Aussies and Kiwis who came up for a year long vacation. My Kiwi contacts live in Christchurch.


Although there is a eBay in Australia, it looks like "trade me" is the equivalent in NZ.
it's at: Buy online and sell with NZ's #1 auction & classifieds site | Trade Me
Here is a link to caravans on that site:
Caravans & motorhomes | Trade Me Motors | Trade Me


We helped configured a Toyota Sunrader motorhome to fit into a standard container. The big secret was to roll it into the container on steel rims only, no tires, no a/c. It fit and is still in Europe as far as I know.
...
Good luck and let us all know what else you find out
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:05 PM   #9
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They also use taller containers, I think around 9 foot high. Companies that sell them for home storage advertise the different heights. May want to check on that. BTW, the roof air could be removed for shipping.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:30 PM   #10
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The non-standard containers usually have to be top loaded on container ships and cost a LOT more to use than standard containers. It's sorta like, we built them, and they will pay.... LOL
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:03 PM   #11
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The HC1 comes in at 7 ft 4 high and 6ft 11 wide . The tounge also folds which would make it shorter than most trailers
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:25 PM   #12
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Be careful. International ocean containers and domestic U.S. containers are different dimensions. Just because you can get a container to fit your trailer doesn't mean it can go on a ship.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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I think that this is the standard dimensions for ocean going containers.


Ocean Container Dimensions


You shipping broker will provide the correct container, but this might help verify the dimensions first. Confirm with your broker.
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenR View Post
I'm thinking of taking a small trailer with me when I go to New Zealand. If it fits in a sea container it can be shipped along with personal effects and gets fully protected. Otherwise, it goes roll on roll off -- more expensive and could get damaged.

So: are any of these guys less than 7'8 1/2" tall on the outside? and narrower than 7'8 1/2? Actually, it has to fit through the door . . . so 7'8" is probably too high/wide.
Yup 7'8" open for the door is to high. A standard international "intermodal" shipping container which is what most shipping companies use are, has a door opening of only 7' 6" high.

I worked as an operations superintendent for a shipping company for many years. Anything that would not fit into a standard intermodal container did not go on one of our container ships, instead it went onto what we call a general cargo vessel. We shipped lots of interesting cargo over the years to the US, from various parts of the world. Everything from Americas Cup sail boats, trains from Spain to Calf., to very larger heavy power transformers for use in LA. Most of the time such items are loaded and secured to the top deck of the vessel.

In the case of a small trailer it could easily be loaded onto what we would call a half height container (it has no top). If a trailer was loaded in such a container it can easily be loaded using just the ships cranes and slings so the handling costs for it would be reasonable for both a load and discharge terminal and at ship side as its fairly easily loaded.

You may be able to find a carrier who will stow it under deck but the cost will probable be higher as they can not stow anything on top of it leaving a lot of unusable space on the ship. Cargo loaded on deck is exposed to the weather & sea which regularly washes over the deck cargo. Oregon coast often churning up the worst cases situations - so always best to shrink wrap such cargo if going on deck and get the cargo off at first port of call USA rather than leaving it on while the ship travels up the coast line.

There are also RoRo ships (roll on roll off) that are used for car transporting. In which case it would not need to be wrapped or contained in anyway. You would just have to trust the dock works to tow it on & off the ship without damaging it & making sure they secured it well so it does not roll around inside while the ship is rolling. I am not sure I would
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