Question about American RV's

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Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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22
Greetings from down under (Auckland, New Zealand)

I am very interested in buying an RV in the US and shipping it to NZ. Quite frankly, NZ-built RV's are behind the times and too expensive. I'm looking at new or run-out Class A 36 - 40 foot. My question is focused on operation without shore power.

I understand that you are spoilt in the US with ample RV parks providing plug in power etc.. We have these too but they are not set-up for large RV's. Besides, I prefer exploring the remoteness of our land. I may be wrong, but it appears that most American Class A RV's are designed to run on shore power and/or generator power.

My ideal RV would include this, however I would like one that can operate on deep cycle batteries, inverters using solar panels for charging with optional generator for boosting charge. In addition, I would prefer all cooking, water heating and refrigeration to run on propane. Are these available in Class A???

I guess what I am getting at is that I don't want to rely on running a generator for general operation. Naturally, I'll keep the peace when it comes to drying the wife?s hair and running the washing machine / dryer and will happily fire up the Onan.

Any help is appreciated. Are there particular brands I should be looking at?

Kind regards
Finn



 

JohnSandyWhite

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:)Hi Finn. Having owned several RV's and being a Boondocker (Wild Camper in Europe). I have always had Solar Panels and extra Batteries. My last RV I bought from Florida and while touring the USA had Solar Panels fitted in Quartzsite, Arizona. I manage pretty good for most of the year and only use the Generator in Winter to help the Solar Power to top up the batteries. Happy RV'ing in whatever you choose.  ;)
 

Carl L

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Welcome to RV Forum.

Most all Class A's I have heard of have deep cycle house batteries.  Generators are common too.  Propane operation for stove, fridge and water heater are also common.

Solar seems to be arranged separately.  Understand it will be expensive over all and per watt developed.

The big issues you will face are importation duties and conformity to NZ licensing requirements, including widths, lights, and length.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Much of what you want are standard features and the rest readily available as options or after-market upgrades.

While American Rvs are indeed designed to utilize shore power, just about every Class A I have ever seen had its own generator and a propane system for cooking, heating water and refrigeration. Water heater & refrigerator are usually dual mode, running off either electric or propane.  They also include 2-6 deep cycle batteries with built in charging systems and inverters are either standard or available as options or aftermarket.  Solar panels are usually added on aftermarke but are readily available from a number of good sources.

My Class A came with a pair of deep cycles  (220 amp-hours total) but I added more to increase capacity. Larger rigs often come with four or more deep cycles standard and more can be added if needed.

 

Mick & Pat

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Finn, make sure as Carl says that you have checked out the legal requirements for vehicles in New Zealand.

The UK is currently in the middle of a BIG clamp down on the importation of oversized American RVs and its a very long way to ship it back the the USA if you've got it wrong. :(

The legal maximums in the UK are 2.55m (100.39 inches) width and 12m (39.37 feet) length, do you know what the New Zealand measurements are? (Just curious) ???
 

Finn

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Jul 15, 2006
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22
Thanks so much for the information to date.

Indeed, importation appears to be a challenge. Our "narrow" mined road authority only allows 2.5 metres (~98.5 inches) width and there doesn't appear to be length restrictions. Good point re the lights Carl. I guess they're pointing in the wrong direction. The biggest expense would be converting left hand drive to right but there are a few companies that do that here.

I'll keep researching.

Thanks!
 

Carl L

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Finn said:
Thanks so much for the information to date.

Indeed, importation appears to be a challenge. Our "narrow" mined road authority only allows 2.5 metres (~98.5 inches) width and there doesn't appear to be length restrictions. Good point re the lights Carl. I guess they're pointing in the wrong direction. The biggest expense would be converting left hand drive to right but there are a few companies that do that here.

Thanks!

The real length restriction you will find are those of the campgrounds.  Even over here, in public CGs especially, land yachts have problems with CG site lengths and access grounds. 

Conversion to right hand drive may run into a problem -- the door well.  Look at some floor plans and you will see what I mean. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You should be able to find some real nice, older motorhomes without slides that are 96 inches (plus side view mirrors and awning protrusions. Since slideouts are so popular here an dnon-slide models don't sell, you can get some really good bargains on luxury class motorhomes that have no slides.
 

Carl L

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Finn said:
Thanks for all your help guys. I think half the fun is looking!

You are welcome.? One thing just dawned on me.? New Zealand electrical standards.? ?US rigs use 120VAC (small rigs) or 240 VAC (big ones) and 60Hz power.? Are those your standards?? ?If not, you have some power conversion issues.? ?There may be some plug adapter issues also.


Later:

Whoops, looking it up, you do have a problem.? ?New Zealand uses 230VAC 50Hz.?  As I said, the US uses power in the form of 240VAC split into 120VAC legs with 60Hz frequency and our RVs are wired that way. 

?You are going to have issues here.? Check the issues over in the RVing outside the USA section.
 

JerArdra

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Mar 3, 2005
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1,814
Finn,

I was once told that Monaco Coach was going to sell MHs in Japan.  If so they will be right hand drive.  You should check with them.  Go to www.monaco-online.com and ask.  You can check with other manufacturers if they build right hand drive coaches.

If you buy a new one come to the US and drive it for 6-12 months.  That way any problems can be fixed here under the warranty and you may be able to import it into NZ as a used vehicle.

JerryF


 
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