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Investigating temporary import of Australian made pop up trailer


paparata

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Hi,

 

we are currently evaluating how to travel around North America. We would be looking to travel in summer months for periods of up to 4 months.

 

We own a pop up trailer which was manufactured in 2013 in Australia. These are the details of the pop up trailer http://www.goldstreamrv.com.au/our-range/campers/crown-series.html

 

Our one is the Crown ST which has a small shower/toilet

 

We used this to travel for 10 months around Australia, particularly in very remote areas with very rough roads. This trailer is especially manufactured to cope with Australian back country roads.

 

We know that we can temporarily import the trailer for up to 12 months and can insure it.

 

My specific questions to help us decide whether to import the trailer for our travel are as follows:

 

  1. The trailer is setup to wind down when travelling. When in camp the roof is raised with a winding mechanism and the sides consist of strong canvas with clear plastic windows and insect mesh outer screens. In theory it would be easy for a determined robber or large animal to cut through the canvas. Does anyone see this as a serious problem. It wasn't the case for 10 months in Australia but we boon dock often so it may be a more serious risk in North America.
  2. The trailer is wired for 240 volt electricity when connected to a power source. On board are a 3 way dometic fridge which runs on 12 volt, gas and 240 volt. Other 240 volt appliances are a single stove element ( there are 3 other elements that run on gas ) and a number of power outlets. Does anyone have any comment or tips on how to supply 240 volt power to the trailer from campground power outlets. Indeed can this be done?
  3. The trailer carries two gas bottles to supply the fridge and stove top. I have attached photos of the bottles and fittings. Can you get these bottles in North America filled or swap them at gas outlets? Do the fittings look the same as North American fittings?

Thank you in advance for your advice. It is much appreciated

 

post-52654-0-11766100-1436223203_thumb.jpg

 

post-52654-0-53758400-1436223204_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you here and will help all that we are able. We do have members from Australia who may be able to assist in some ways that others are not, so perhaps some of them will join in here.

 

Question 1) The pop-up or canvas side campers are actually quite common here also, but not much like yours in many other ways. RVing is quite safe here and in our many years of RV experience, I have never heard of one of the canvass side RVs having been broken into, although such things do happen on very rare occasions. We used one for all of the years our sons were growing up and never had a problem. There are also many here who camp using tents and do so quite safely. I have no idea why it would be any different here than it is in Australia.

 

Question 2) Our common electrical power here is 120V-ac and 60 Hz. There are converters for it that can be used for appliances but I'm not aware of one that is large enough to supply the entire RV. Perhaps one of our Australian members might be better qualified to answer this one.

 

Question 3) That looks pretty much the same as our propane bottles and the valve on it looks that way also, but the fitting on your RV looks different. See pictures below.

 

051112091-02-propane-tank_xlg_xl.jpg41bui9sA2tL._SY355_.jpg

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I have traveled extensively in variations of tent trailers here in the U.S. for over fifteen years. We have never had anything stolen from our site or trailer. We've even stayed in a couple of sketchy campgrounds by accident in the past without any issues back before it was so easy to get information on your destination. Sounds like an exciting trip!

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120 to 240 volt step-up transformers are available, they vary in price according to their wattage.

 

To minimize the size of the transformer, I suggest leaving the 240 volt stove element off, run your refrigerator on gas and get a transformer slightly larger than what you need to run your converter. The converter will keep your battery charged and provide 12 volts for your lights.

 

See if you can find the power consumption of your converter. As a ballpark guess, a 500 watt to 750 watt transformer should be sufficient. Do a Google search for 120 to 240 volt transformer. Most of the ones I saw had European style 240 volt sockets, you may have to adapt your Australian plug to one of these.

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My two bobs with.

Leave your Aussie camper trailer at home and buy a US model in the States. It will probably cost you a lot less than what you are considering, it will be made for the local environment, the LP gas appliances in your camper will most probably not have the same specifications of US models, ditto for electricity, drawbar connection, tail lights, indicators etc. Part of the fun of an international trip is to sample the local fare.

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...In theory it would be easy for a determined robber or large animal to cut through the canvas. Does anyone see this as a serious problem...

Do I think it is a serious problem that should/would stop you or anyone from using a pop-up, NO. As stated by others Pop-ups and tents are widely used throughout the U.S.

 

It is apparently perceived as a serious enough possibility at Fishing Bridge Campground in Yellowstone National Park that it is "designated for hard sided recreational vehicles only. This is because the RV park is located in bear habitat..." The National Forest Service Eagle Creek Campground North of Yellowstone is also restricted "...No TENTS or POP-UP TENT TRAILERS are permitted in the campground...This is Grizzly bear country..." Those are the only two campgrounds where I have encountered such prohibitions. There may be others, but they are certainly not common.

 

...The trailer is wired for 240 volt electricity when connected to a power source. On board are a 3 way dometic fridge which runs on 12 volt, gas and 240 volt. Other 240 volt appliances are a single stove element ( there are 3 other elements that run on gas ) and a number of power outlets. Does anyone have any comment or tips on how to supply 240 volt power to the trailer from campground power outlets. Indeed can this be done?...

I have read about using European/Australian 240 volt appliances with the common U.S. 3 prong 240 volt appliance outlets using an adapter. Many RV parks/campgrounds have 240 volt outlets that are split into two 50Amp 120 volt circuits. Since it was not mentioned by the electrical gurus, I guess it is not possible to get or make an adapter for the RV style outlet to an Australian style 240 volt outlet?

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The door is on the wrong side.

You could wire to the 50 amp plug and get 240 volts at 60 Hz.

I don't know if your propane bottle fill/attach port is the same as ours here in the US, you may be able to get an adapter.

 

How much will it cost to ship to the US and back to The Land Down Under??

 

John

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Welcome to the world of RVing the USA.

My main concern is the financial viability of shipping and the 'stress' in worrying about things like 240 volt v 120/110 volts.

AS pointed out above popup are quite common in the USA.

 

My suggestion is to look at buying over here or even renting one for your 4 months. http://www.campingworld.com/rvsales/pop-up/used/ For $4000 and up you can even buy a used unit. I'm sure that's better than the shipping and all the worries.

 

As for safety I see no issues. Critter may well be another issue. You'll just have to be more careful than you have to in Australia. Yes there are bear issues. But I would be more worried about critters such as racoons.

 

Good luck.

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If you are planning on shipping it to the USA touring around and then shipping it back home afterwards I don't think I would bother, I would hire or buy something when I arrived in America .

 

IF you don't encounter problems getting it in to America you are sure to with some of those over officious

government wankers back In our own country when you try to re-enter Australia with it.

 

mick

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You could wire to the 50 amp plug and get 240 volts at 60 Hz.

 

Bad idea.... 240 volts in Australia is wired the same as 120 volts here - one hot leg at 240 volts and the other a neutral at 0 volts.

 

In the US, 240 volts is delivered using two hot leads, and plugging the camper into a US style 240 volt outlet will put one of the hot legs on the Australian neutral. Raising the neutral 120 volts above ground will likely result in fireworks.

 

You'll need a transformer to convert the two hot lead power into one hot lead and neutral - and if you're doing that you might as well get one that also converts 120 volts into 240.

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Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. I think we will go down the road of buying a Class C for our purposes. Sorry Kirk I have been checking the forums daily but haven't logged in. The information on all manner of topics is very valuable to me.

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