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Old 07-26-2007, 12:16 PM   #1
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I am looking into shipping a newer Eriba Puck trailer from UK or the Netherlands to the US. Has anyone had any experience shipping a trailer from Europe?
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #2
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I have not done this, but some of the potential issues were discussed in Lex's topic, A perhaps crazy idea for "the trip of our life", touring North America for some months (max 6) with our own rig. The parts about making a European trailer workable here with a North American tow vehicle are the relevant bits.

If you bought a factory-new trailer in Europe, could you get it equipped by the factory to North American standards (for electrical and propane equipment, and the tow coupler), rather than converting it yourself? Of course, in a used unit, you have conversion or adaptation to do.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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We’ve shipped many vehicles back and forth and a friend of mine even shipped a fiberglass speed boat with motor to Turkey so it is not a difficult thing to do – just money.

This is no small matter so treat the following as a first and most important issue.


Be sure to check with the USA authorities to insure the vehicle can enter the country. It may have to meet certain specs with the Department of Transportation and environmental issues before it is allowed to leave the port. Even the tires and outside lighting and reflectors must meet DOT specifications.

We’ve lived and camped in Europe and Asia for many years and the thing about the European campers is that if they are wired inside for 220VAC then the wiring is far smaller than our 110VAC and would have to be upgraded so you would not overload it using 110VAC appliances. (Overloading might create a fire)

They use ball hitches as we do however they are metric and may not be the same size as ours. Some Metric sizes are the same as ASE so you would have to check. The hitches that I saw had the ball as part of the hitch and it was not removable as ours are. Should you have a European Tug you could more than likely install a European hitch that would match the camper. Would have to meet DOT specs.

I also remember many of them having a propane light like we did in the old days.

As far as propane, if the couplings did not match all U would have to do is to install one of our couplings on the camper and your own bottle.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Darwin is absolutely right! Importing stuf that has to meet standards is not easy, because a number of gummint agencies get involved. Something like a car, manf for the US/CA market, is easier because the car manf has already done the homework and has manf to meet the specs.

And his warning about the 120/220 VAC wiring is absolutely right; the euro wires will likely be 1/2 the size they need to be. Even the converter may not work. The 12VDC wires should be OK, but the connectors likely won't fit.

I ran into a German couple in CA (that would be the Northern CA) who had shipped over a Mercedes Sprinter-style van done up as a camper and they were having difficulty getting an LP refill because the connectors wouldn't fit. I advised them to buy a CA tank and fitting for their hose and just carry the empty tank with them.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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The Euro standard ball size is 50 mm; they seem to have also used 2" in the past. 2" is exactly 50.8 mm, so they're pretty close, and slightly sloppy 50 mm coupler might be a good fit on a 2" ball (when adjusted); however, it is common for Euro couplers to include their version of friction-type sway control, which actually clamps friction pads on the ball.

The ball-clamping couplers seem fundamentally incompatible with the typical North American stud-mounted ball, which the coupler would tend to unscrew. That's one reason the Euro balls are mounted differently. One solution would be to use only a ball welded to the ball mount, but the obvious solution is to avoid the sway control coupler... if the 50 mm size is okay.

You could change couplers to get a North American common size (presumably 2"), hopefully still designed to fit the frame and work as an overrun brake coupler. The coupler used on the T@B trailer would presumably be one of these... although I have no idea if it fits the chassis used by the Eriba Puck.

The other ways to handle the brakes could include
  • no brakes (certainly not my choice)
  • conversion to electric brakes (may be impractical?)
I think I would just get the right coupler and stay with the factory's brake system design.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
I am looking into shipping a newer Eriba Puck trailer from UK or the Netherlands to the US. Has anyone had any experience shipping a trailer from Europe?
I've been considering this also. I can't seem to find an old Puck in good condition, so I was thinking of a newer one from Europe.

Most of the comments about your post brought me to some other questions. What is the situation with the wiring in the old 60-70's Pucks now in the U.S.? And the same question about the hitch. There are quite a few of the old ones around - how were the hitches on these?

I wonder if Hymer has the option to change wiring when building one for the U.S.?

Please let me know what you come up with.

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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I am looking into shipping a newer Eriba Puck trailer from UK or the Netherlands to the US. Has anyone had any experience shipping a trailer from Europe?
Just noticed the date on your original post - I guess I'm a little late

But, if you're still monitoring this thread, what did you end up doing?
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #8
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Just sharing a fun VW eriba photo I found here, and text.

"here are a couple shots of my 1968 German Eriba Puck camper, named "Wolf." I bought him two years ago and have been doing a slow restoration. So far, I have replaced the floor and stripped off many layers of paint and assorted non-original and overweight hardware. The longest trip I've taken with it was to New Mexico (2000 miles). Existing Eriba Puck sites are mostly European, unfortunately. I love old campers in general and look forward to lots of trips with the Puck. I commute between Williamsburg, VA and Cumberland, MD about every week"


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Old 06-15-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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Maddy,
My 1970 Puck was apparently imported by a NJ based dealer, and was wired for 110 VAC. I suspect many of the old ones still in U.S. were imported new, specifically modified for the U.S. market.

When I bought it a couple of years ago it had sat unused for a number of years. I did have the old style 6 pin connector replaced with a modern 7-blade one, plus replaced the rear exterior light fixtures with American standard ones (kinda hated to remove the old rear lamps, but the lens were cracked on both, and it simplified wiring the new connector).

The hitch mount is European, but so far has worked fine with a 2" ball.

Hope you enjoy hunting. The Puck is a fun little trailer, extremely easy to tow.

Mickey
--------------
Quote:
I've been considering this also. I can't seem to find an old Puck in good condition, so I was thinking of a newer one from Europe.

Most of the comments about your post brought me to some other questions. What is the situation with the wiring in the old 60-70's Pucks now in the U.S.? And the same question about the hitch. There are quite a few of the old ones around - how were the hitches on these?

I wonder if Hymer has the option to change wiring when building one for the U.S.?


Thanks
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:36 PM   #10
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Go to TheSamba.com and pick through the classifieds there usually a puck or two listed. It is a forum for VW buffs with classified pages.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:48 PM   #11
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I imported my 1975 Eriba Puck from Belgium in 2006. I purchased the Puck from a VW website and they took care of all the shipping details. Cost about $1200 to ship.

I picked it up in Charleston with no problems reguarding DOT requirements. In fact, there was miscommunication regarding the trailer plug and I did not have the right one, therefore no lights at all.

I purchased this Puck because it was in great shape. I did have to change the wiring.

Judith Ann

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Old 08-08-2009, 12:46 AM   #12
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Everyone on fiberglassrv is visual, so, pictures?
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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9 ft long and 770 lbs

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dinette/bed reupholstered and new curtains

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galley

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newly painted fridge panel

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Trumatic propane furnace

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Old 08-08-2009, 10:58 AM   #14
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To the left of the Trumatic is an original outlet. It's no longer connected. I put in 4 new double outlets and a florescent over the sink with one outlet. The 240v fridge I could not find a relacement for. Needed to be the exact same size to slide in. Unavailable in 110v. So I got a step-up transformer from Radio Shack and that works fine. The propane conection had to be finageled between the new 5lb bottle and the original manifold.

All the upholstry was in excellent shape but not to my liking. The curtains were see-through so needed replacing. The lights were 240v so I made a new one.

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Entered the US through the Port of Charleston.

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