My first 5th Wheeler - so many questions

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Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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22
Greetings from down under.

I originally joined here in July 2006 thinking about buying a Class A and shipping it to NZ. However, with all the regulations about importing motorvehicles, plus the steering getting in the way of the passenger,  I have now decided on a 5th Wheel.

Just a couple of purchasing questions...

1) Could you please provide me with some reputable dealers (www) on the West Coast, preferably near a port.

2) I hear a lot of talk about discounts with some dealers offering up to 40% off list. Is this true? What's the typical (if any) discount one could expect?

I'm sure I'll have some more questions as I dig deeper, but I'll go easy on you for now.

Take care
Finn
 

Tom

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Hi Finn, welcome back. Unfortunately, my own experiences have been with motorhome dealers, but hopefully others can provide some recommendations.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Hi Finn,
Yes, you can likely negotiate a fairly steep discount from the Manufacturer's Suggested retail Price (MSRP), probably 20-30%. Some dealers put an even higher "sticker" price on the units on their display lot and thus can discount even more (or make more money if you don't haggle). Trailers have a lower total selling price than a motorhome, so sometimes the discount percentage is less (because the dealer has some fixed costs to recover which are about the same regardless of selling price).

I'm located in the Eastern US, so can't help with a West Coast dealer. I'm sure somebody will have some suggestions, though.
 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
Posts
22
Tom said:
Hi Finn, welcome back. Unfortunately, my own experiences have been with motorhome dealers, but hopefully others can provide some recommendations.


Thanks Tom

I'm thinking of coming over to an RV show so I'll be watching the Rallies, Shows, & Events forum for a suitable show/time. I'm sure I'll find plenty of dealers happy to take my hard earned cash.

By the way, great site. I spent a day researching hitch information and was getting frustrated when I remembered this site. All the information's is here and is easy to understand. Well done! All I need to do now is get you guys onto the metric system and upgrade to 240 volts (more power!) and life would be perfect.
 

Carl L

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1) Could you please provide me with some reputable dealers (www) on the West Coast, preferably near a port.

Well Los Angeles is near a port, the biggest in the USA, and an airport.  In April we have a big RV show at the LA County Fairgrounds just east of town.  See the write up HERE.

Given the huge size of the Los Angeles area and the location of RV dealers in the suburbs, working an RV show might be your best bet.  You get to see a lot of models and dealers in one place.

 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
Posts
22
Thanks Gentlemen.

Another question. I'm looking at importing a good used tow vehicle, something like a Dodge 2500 RAM (Diesel). Obviously it would be good to get one with a compliant hitch already installed.

Any pointers as to where I should be looking? Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Carl L

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Finn said:
Thanks Gentlemen.

Another question. I'm looking at importing a good used tow vehicle, something like a Dodge 2500 RAM (Diesel). Obviously it would be good to get one with a compliant hitch already installed.

Any pointers as to where I should be looking? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Most any Chrysler Daimler dealers used lot.  I would pay the dealers' tariff in your place, a private sale would be a bit hairy.  Wll you be able to get the beast serviced back in Oz?
 

Finn

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Carl Lundquist said:
Most any Chrysler Daimler dealers used lot.  I would pay the dealers' tariff in your place, a private sale would be a bit hairy.  Wll you be able to get the beast serviced back in Oz?

Good point Carl re going through a dealer. I could get the beast serviced in Oz but given the 2500 miles of Pacific Ocean between us, I fear it would be cost prohibitive.  ;D

My plan now is to get the Cummins Diesel model so servicing the engine won't be a problem. Chrysler are in NZ and they can even sell me a new Dodge Ram 2500 for $90,000 US  ???
 

Carl L

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$90K for a bloody truck!  ::)    Are the Kiwis protecting a nascent auto industry or are they just plain nutz?
 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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Carl Lundquist said:
$90K for a bloody truck!  ::)    Are the Kiwis protecting a nascent auto industry or are they just plain nutz?

I think they're nuts (I'm half Canadian so I'm not sure what that makes me). The thing is, we don't have an auto industry. We don't even assemble vehicles and there isn't any duty either. Everything is expensive here on the colony. I blame the British but it could have been worse. The French were a fews days too late.

Hence why I'm going to import one and even with the right hand drive conversion, it will still be way cheaper.

 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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Okay gents, my new question for the day...

Am I correct in assuming that new RV's purchased in California attract state tax? I recall it's 10%. If so, I should be exempt as my unit will be exported.  ;D
 

Tom

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You might want to check that out Finn. I believe California takes their sales tax unless the coach is delivered outside of the state. The tax rate varies by county, but is somewhere in the range of 7.25 - 8.5%.
 

Karl

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All I need to do now is get you guys onto the metric system and upgrade to 240 volts (more power!) and life would be perfect.
If you buy a rig with 50A service, you do have 240V power coming in. The difference is that each 120V leg powers a different set of breakers, so you may have to do some rewiring to use things like a 240V range or a/c's. Probably will require a different breaker box to accommodate duplex breakers which cut power to both 120V legs if there's an overload.
 

Tom

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Karl,

I believe Finn was talking about a 240V service that has 240V between hot and neutral (single, but not split, phase).
 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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I've done some research and I believe the most practical approach for rewiring is as follows;

1) Install a 240v to 110v transformer. This will only run the 12V converter and 110v appliances when connected to shore power or generator.

2) Rewire all the outlets to 240V. I'll have to change all the wiring and sockets to make it NZ compliant.

3) I'll also be installing 3 solar panels with about 450 Ah of batteries with a 240 inverter

Presto! Unless of course you guys have a better plan...
 

Karl

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Tom,

Thanks for the clarification. Having to replace all the outlets and appliance plugs to meet NZ code could be a daunting task. Wonder if a 240V to 240V transformer with center tapped secondary for the neutral would work.

Finn, are you planning on installing any 240V appliances, or sticking with what came with the coach? 
 

Finn

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Posts
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I'll just use the appliances that come with the coach, otherwise replacing all of these would be expensive.

One thought... The 110v appliances (Microwave, Air Con, Converter & water heater) may be dual voltage ex factory. All these manufactures sell to global markets. I'll check with my contact at Keystone.  If this is correct then I'll rewire everything to 240v and leave out the transformer.
 

Tom

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Finn said:
The 110v appliances (Microwave, Air Con, Converter & water heater) may be dual voltage ex factory.

Don't hold your breath on that one. It took many years for laptop computer power supplies and things like electric shavers in the U.S. to become multi-voltage, whereas we were used to them in the UK many years earlier.
 

Tom

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Karl said:
Wonder if a 240V to 240V transformer with center tapped secondary for the neutral would work.

I don't see any reason why not Karl.
 
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