#96391  by nomads6
 Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:50 am
Hi All!! Newbie here! :)

We are wanting to import the 2015 Forest River Cherokee 304 BS Travel Trailer or similar layout.

Not only that but we are also wanting to use it in the US for 6 weeks or so and then bring it back, together with a car (older than 20 yrs so no need to convert to RHD). We aim to just use it as a 12 Volt self contained unit, so no need for electrical change. Although as we are thinking of buying new, there might be the option of getting 240 Volt right from the start?

Progressive Insurance has okd it (we have a USA mailbox), just trying to get our head around licensing and registration. Anyone been there and done that and actually managed to make it work?

We factored in about $12000 for shipping, plus GST and customs and MAF. Anything else?

If anyone can see potential pitfalls etc, please give me the cold hard truth! :)

Thanks so much.
 #96398  by mattn
 Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:12 pm
That is a big "caravan" - at 4000kg dry weight you require a COF. This has much stricter requirements than a WoF for a trailer, so you will need to be absolutely certain about it being suitable for New Zealand. Dimensions and braking system come to mind as likely points of contention. There a many stories of people importing motor-homes and finding the do not meet New Zealand standards for things like width and rear overhang and ramp angles - some are re-exported, some they can cut down to size, some a just wrecked as neither option is cost effective. In all cases, its an expensive mistake.

As far as 240V - in something that size, when the time comes buyers would be expecting 240V, and almost certainly use it to knock you down on price (I would even if I never planned to use 240V). With the size it is, the number of potential buys will be very limited anyway, I believe its a big risk to cut that number down even smaller. I believe its now illegal to operate 110V using an inverter or generator, so no 240V circuits means you cannot even run a toaster. A new build with 240V (or wiring rated to 240V so its easy to convert) would be a worthwhile investment. It is possible to retrofit 240V wiring but its often hard (i.e. expensive) to hide the wires.

The only other pit full I can see is its size. Driving on New Zealand roads with that sized rig is quite a different proposition to driving in USA. Some camp grounds and sites will struggle to accommodate the rig (although plenty of people manage without too many problems with big rigs)

You will need a Class 2 license.
 #96433  by taffy
 Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:12 pm
Just be aware that the word American and Motorhome has brought Energy Safety out in a cold sweat.

It's a right royal drama.....and a MUST do - if you want to have mains power
 #96444  by Alec
 Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:41 pm
You don't say where you are based, but if at all possible make an appointment with the guys in Mt Maunganui where you can inspect the vans in there yard and they will answer all your questions. You may even be able to do a deal with him to use one of the vans he has purchased then buy it off him when he gets it back here.
Be awhere that some American vans are overwidth and have a tendency to crack where the gooseneck attaches to the van as they are not designed to travel long distances or on rough roads
 #96480  by nomads6
 Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:00 pm
Thanks, really appreciate the replies. Spoke to Entry Certifiers and hadn't realised about the brakes...so yes we might have to go down to a double slide as the lightest triple slide bunk house we can find is just 300lbs over the 7700lbs limit without needing a COF. Nothing that can be done there?
They're all 8 footers so that should be ok. We currently tow a 2.5-3 ton trailer with us, hubby feels he could do bigger. Hadn't thought about the whole NZ roads vs US roads but that's true. Don't intend to travel too much in it tho, mainly stationary with up to 6 trips a year.

Anything else I'm missing?
 #96484  by cherokee94nz
 Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:48 pm
Have you looked at getting a new ULTIMA RV – 5th Wheelers from the USA made to Aussie and NZ specs. Will be worth a lot more in resale value.
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