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Old 09-06-2015, 08:29 AM   #1
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European Caravans...??? why not ???

so I just returned from Germany on vacation.... OMG really . got to see inside a RV over there. so look up a Manufacturer named Hobby
PREMIUM - Hobby Caravan
..see this link...wow looked inside this one. The people were so nice and friendly, they invited me in and showed around. We had quite the language barrier ...but it was great. The fit finish and quality were amazing compared to American trailer out there. the only way to come close is with a class A motorhome.. or a Airstream and nearly double the cost and less space and no slide .just curious what the thinking was out there? and if it might b possible to get one over here and what it might take to make it work?. Unfortunately a few years back Jayco was teasing with the Jaysmart,which done by a European designer...but failed to make it to market. I love a simpler smaller trailer to pull and my tow vehicle to enjoy as I visit a area.so I guess iwould try thisdiscussion here and see what you fine folks have to say ?I have enjoyed for years the Caravans from the other side of the ocean...so it was great to see. the difference in styles and quality are just so astounding?.

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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Bringing a caravan from Europe is easy...only takes MONEY. But first...what was the price of the Hobby? In my travels, the prices of these things match the looks, and they are not cheap.

So, to import a European caravan...
It will need to be a cash purchase. Financing it is probably out, because of that ocean that prevents easy re-po.

Shipping will require open space on the ship, because a caravan won't fit in a typical sea container.

Import and licensing should be less problem since there is no engine to require certification.

Then, the fun starts with modification to the shore power and LP sysrem to get it to US standards and fittings vs. EU systems.

After all that, doesn't an Airstream sound pretty nice.

Safe travels

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Old 09-06-2015, 01:23 PM   #3
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Modell - Hobby Caravan
well above was the model we looked at,the owner was great and let us inside ... and shared that it was about 20,000 euros. so cant quite touch a Airstream at that range ,which at todays rate is about 22,oo dollars. . yeah I see that cost comparisons .... but take a look at the interiors and tell me what compares ?
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:04 PM   #4
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If there was money to be made why wouldn't they be built in Canada or the U.S. ...competion would be nice..Look what happened to the North American auto industry when people found out what quality is all about.
If customers accept the issues and the same old stuff with the current RV makers...nothing will change.
The only "constant is change" and the RV manufactures need to constantly change....but they don't and we as customers enable that.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:39 PM   #5
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I have always been way more impressed with the European products.... Appliances, sinks etc way nicer and due to not being able to build 45foot units a better use of space...

Same goes for the commercial boat industry... beautiful wiring...

North American rv industry seems like smoke and mirrors... My 1983 Brougham build quality is 90% better than anything being built today? and it gets better fuel mileage too? New RV seem to have more issues after delivery then my old RV with 35 year old systems?

If my chassis manufacture told me it would be 7-10 days to check the King Pins?? or if I was afraid to drive across country because my modern diesel will crack an manifold, turbo blow, drop a valve, or computer shuts me down..

I keep rocking my 1983 for a while...
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you are in Canada, it is not possible to import from anywhere but the USA, AFAIK. If you find a way to do it, remember that the electric will likely be the wrong voltage and frequency (and even if it does match up, it is illegal to plug it in). The propane will also not be certified for the US or Canada and thus you will be unable to fill it (if you have external bottles you could rig something up, but again, it is illegal). The door may be on the wrong side. Europeans often have very different methods of dealing with water and sewer hookups (The idea in Europe is for short stays, you bring your own water to the trailer for a day or two, and you bring cassettes of used water to a dump station).

If you managed to get it over, to make the trailer legal as far as electrics and propane goes, you will need to rip out all the propane system (and propane appliances) along with the electrical system (and electrical appliances). You may not get insurance on it until you do. You can, of course, then have a legal setup installed. Likely the plumbing will also violate code, with the same results, though at least in that case the liability is far lower (Nobody to electrocute, no trailer park to blow up, just a soggy ruined trailer that insurance decides to not cover).

That is not to say European standards are low. They are as high or higher than ours. The trouble is, no matter how high the standards are, things sometimes go wrong. If your equipment is certified, if those bad things happen, insurance will cover you. If it is not certified, "?????" is the answer. Normally for small additions that are done to standard, I'd say insurance won't care (but they can). However, they most definitely will care when the ENTIRE RV doesn't comply...

Plus, heck, at a minimum you will need to change connectors for the propane, along with changing all electrical outlets and plugs. You might even need to change the yoke. And good luck getting parts, tires, etc, etc. :(

I agree, however, US/Canadian RVs seem to be made far more poorly than is necessary. However, don't forget that Europeans consider US/Canadian roads "rough service". You'll even see that written for a lot of world spec cars when they come over here. That means a European TT could be much more fragile than an American one and survive just fine on their smooth roads, but fall apart at the first foot deep pothole here.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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I've wondered the same as you @rb. I've visited Caravan sites and they make very efficient use of their space. I wish North American manufacturers would see some of the ideas and put them to use here.

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Old 09-15-2015, 11:55 AM   #8
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Reminds me of the Oliver trailers:
Oliver Travel Trailers | Fiberglass Travel Trailers

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