Considerations in Importing from Europe? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2019, 08:53 PM   #1
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Considerations in Importing from Europe?

I tried searching. Please point me to posts if this topic has been covered. I am considering importing an Eriba from Europe. I can't find a local egg that has a King Sized bed. We have an Eriba in Europe, and I would like to have one here for when I retire (husband is already retired in England...long story). I love the Troll layout we have. Has anyone imported a caravan/camper/trailer from Europe? Can you please share the key considerations? Did you have to change out the propane tanks? the Fridge? anything with the electrics other than outlets? The hook up connection? The 13 pin towing apparatus? a 50mm ball hitch? What else? Anything else that needs to be swapped over to make it "American"? What about import tax? registration? customs? Got recommendations on shipping?

I would love to hear your experience. Or as I say, please point me to the previous posts on this topic.

Thank you for your wisdom.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:11 PM   #2
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If the entry door is not on the passenger side (like american made RVís) I would think that would be a deal breaker for me. Your other points you listed (electrical, ball hitch size, etc.) sounds like a lot of work/expence.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:43 AM   #3
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It must be very possible, I have seen a European made Eriba parked on the street in my Seattle neighborhood several times this last few months. But I did not notice if the plates were US or Canadian.


As to the propane fittings, you can get screw in place adapter fittings from marine supply sources. Lots of sailboats travel the globe so adapters are needed both here and there depending on where the boats are from. So that is an easy problem to solve. You can also get 13 pin to 7 pin adapters for the trailer lights so that too is an easy problem to solve.


2 inch hitch ball translates to 50.8 mm which is very close so it is possible that an adjustment can make it work.


As to the electric as long as it is 12v you can use adapters for the plug ins or just switch out the fittings for the current US standards. Both solutions are easy enough to do.


As to the paperwork requirements, that is something you can find out from the Federal Government websites.


The shipping needs to be arranged in the country where the trailer is coming from. That is not something that would be found on this forum. Most of the time a person bringing a trailer or vehicle from Europe into the USA is a person in the military who was stationed overseas and the military has their own arrangements for doing that transportation.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:27 AM   #4
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european AC is 240V 50Hz, ours is 120V 60Hz, so if this trailer has a shore cord, thats going to be a problem.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:03 AM   #5
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Google Hymer Touring GT. If you act quickly you can pick one up very cheaply. Sicard RV in Ontario Canada is selling them brand new for $19900 Canadian or roughly $16k US. After looking at several used trailers I couldn't pass up that king bed for that price.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
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You will run into the same issues that folks have when importing vehicles from other countries not manufactured to US Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.

A European trailer is not manufactured to meet US DOT specs. They are made to meet European requirements which in many instances are more stringent requirements than those in the US. Go figure?

Having said that your husband being in England (None US Citizen possibly?) can import a 25 years old or NEWER trailer on a 1 year travel exemption however after 1 year in the USA you must export the trailer BACK to the country from which you originally imported the trailer. The trailer you import cannot be sold or left in the USA. It must be exported back after 1 year. You can also import any trailer 25 years old or OLDER under the DOT exemption for old/Classic vehicles with no restrictions.

Other than that you are schidt outta luck (SOL) for any newer type (25 years old or newer) of European manufacture or other country of manufacture that does not conform to US DOT specs and is certified so on the trailer and import documents.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:42 AM   #7
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Considerations in Importing from Europe?

For trailers, the modifications to bring it into compliance with US DOT requirements are fairly minimal- mostly lights. The DOT doesnít care whether the coach electrical systems are compatible (thatís your problem later).

Although the modifications to meet DOT requirements are not burdensome, the process itself is. You have to use a registered importer, the trailer will be impounded at the port of entry while the importer arranges the modifications and obtains the documentation ($$$).

As said, you bypass the hassle by importing a trailer over 25 years old.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Google Hymer Touring GT. If you act quickly you can pick one up very cheaply. Sicard RV in Ontario Canada is selling them brand new for $19900 Canadian or roughly $16k US. After looking at several used trailers I couldn't pass up that king bed for that price.
Sold. I just put down a deposit. Thanks for the pointer. It is exactly the layout I wanted. Appreciate the quick replies.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kari B View Post
Sold. I just put down a deposit. Thanks for the pointer. It is exactly the layout I wanted. Appreciate the quick replies.
Great, It is pretty much identical to the Eriba Troll. Yes there is no warranty or factory support but at 16k brand new it would be hard to find that value in a used out of warranty rig anyway.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:27 PM   #10
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Great, It is pretty much identical to the Eriba Troll. Yes there is no warranty or factory support but at 16k brand new it would be hard to find that value in a used out of warranty rig anyway.
For certain that is true. Which port did you bring it in through? Any advice on the import process?

Thanks again for the tip!
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
european AC is 240V 50Hz, ours is 120V 60Hz, so if this trailer has a shore cord, thats going to be a problem.
Changing plugs is easy enough. But if there is a converter or an inverter involved in the mix then that would have to be replaced with a 120v
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:41 PM   #12
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Eriba puck

Kari B Don't know if you were aware and it may not be relevant to your situation but Meerkat makes an Eriba Puck clone that might work for you and be less expensive overall than importing . You can look them up on the web or Little Guy trailers sells them . If you look on the web be sure to input Meerkat trailers , just Meerkat and you will get volumes of info on the little jungle critters . Lee and Norma
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kari B View Post
For certain that is true. Which port did you bring it in through? Any advice on the import process?

Thanks again for the tip!
Haven't got mine yet. It'll be brought across the border in Buffalo on the 22nd.

Other owners are meeting on this Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/427850547980510/
We need to encourage them to come over here.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:51 PM   #14
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For certain that is true. Which port did you bring it in through? Any advice on the import process?

Thanks again for the tip!
Sicard will only export it through Buffalo for a $500 CAD fee. I asked about Detroit for an extra charge but they said they were only set up with an agent in Buffalo.

By exporting, you avoid the 13% HST charged in Ontario. I checked current policy and there is no way to get that refunded.

I am going to the dealership tomorrow and then following the delivery truck to the border. I'll provide an update on the handover experience.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:37 PM   #15
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Justus you are lucky to only have the 500 cdn fee. I was first told approx. $200 US and then later they changed it to $1000 cdn. They sold 60 plus trailers in 3 weeks.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:27 AM   #16
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Name: William
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Nice to know there are other Eriba fans around. We brought in an new Eriba Pan 1989 and brought it here about 27 years ago. The 50mm ball works perfectly with our 2 inch standard. For electrical, I just changed the bulbs and the plug on the European cord. The tail lights had to be changed to ones that say DOT, the USA standard. The gas bottles had to be changed to USA bottles. I had to make a new hose with the European fitting on one end and the USA fitting on the other. The plug to the tow vehicle was changed to the 7 pin USA standard.
The fit and finish on this trailer is excellent and maintenance issues minimal. Great to know they are being sold in Canada.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:59 AM   #17
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Sicard will only export it through Buffalo for a $500 CAD fee. I asked about Detroit for an extra charge but they said they were only set up with an agent in Buffalo.

By exporting, you avoid the 13% HST charged in Ontario. I checked current policy and there is no way to get that refunded.

I am going to the dealership tomorrow and then following the delivery truck to the border. I'll provide an update on the handover experience.
So, I put my deposit down on Thursday. And in conversations with them since, they are saying they WILL deliver to Detroit for $1000 CAN. Which will make a huge difference for me. And apparently the delivery to Buffalo is now $750 CAN. Kary is my sales person. She said that they've sold a ton of them to the US, but only delivered 2 as of Thursday. So, I'm looking forward to the rest of the stories from all of you who have gone before me. I"m not picking mine up until mid-August.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wvorih View Post
Nice to know there are other Eriba fans around. We brought in an new Eriba Pan 1989 and brought it here about 27 years ago. The 50mm ball works perfectly with our 2 inch standard. For electrical, I just changed the bulbs and the plug on the European cord. The tail lights had to be changed to ones that say DOT, the USA standard. The gas bottles had to be changed to USA bottles. I had to make a new hose with the European fitting on one end and the USA fitting on the other. The plug to the tow vehicle was changed to the 7 pin USA standard.
The fit and finish on this trailer is excellent and maintenance issues minimal. Great to know they are being sold in Canada.
We LOVE our Eriba in the UK. It has done very well for us on several extended trips to places like Croatia, Germany, and France. We haven't decided what our next trip will focus on. Could well be Spain...Or Poland. Sounds exotic to an American ear, but it is just like going camping on the coast or on the North Shore or whatever to an American. And really happy that you didn't have trouble with the import. We were confident we could do it, just needed a bit of advice. That said, also really happy I"m picking up the Hymer in mid-August. That makes things much less hassle.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #19
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I own a '68 Puck and a '78 Pan. I bought both in Oregon in the last five years. The Pan had a 120-to-240 volt inverter installed. I have removed it because it was largely there to run the Electrolux fridge that no longer works. (I've changed that out for a 120/12v Vitrifrigo. So if anyone needs one of these inverters, do let me know.

Converting the rest of the trailer to 120v was easy. The brakes are mechanical surge so no electrical issues there. You can buy a 50mm hitch ball at etrailer.com. That's a very good website, btw. My 2" was too big. The 1-7/8 works, though I was worried about it being too loose.

That Canadian Eriba is not a European Eriba. There are many North American parts in it that make it not a Hymer product. That said, it is a very nice layout, and is probably as liveable as "the real thing". And for $16k, there's not a lot to think about. No matter how you slice this pie, fun!
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #20
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You might want to consider buying an Escape trailer, very high-quality trailers made in Chilliwack BC Canada. www.escapetrailer.com. The 19-foot has a Queen bed and you might be able to get a King mattress into the 21-foot 5th wheel.
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