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Old 04-28-2015, 06:50 PM   #1
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Taking the coach to Europe

Wondering if anyone knows about taking their coach to Europe, transporting it, insuring it etc while there. I'm seriously considering doing this for a few years if not permanently.
I've been looking into it but info is scarce so far.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:02 PM   #2
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Having driven in Europe, I would not want to drive a big RV on those roads. Also, the cost of gas there is two times or more the price here. European RVers drive smaller rigs for good reasons.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:20 PM   #3
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Having driven in Europe, I would not want to drive a big RV on those roads. Also, the cost of gas there is two times or more the price here. European RVers drive smaller rigs for good reasons.
I'm quite aware of that as I have traveled a lot over there and owned a home in Ireland up until Dec '07, lucky break to get out when I did but that's another story. I have also rented rigs there and feel I could handle my unit well over there and have seen a number of North American coaches on the road there, especially Spain and France.
My main concern is insurance over there and what is required to get it there.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:42 AM   #4
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Not an exact answer, but here's a blog from a woman in England who travels in an American motorhome and she may have some advice The World Is My Lobster | I never did like Oysters!……The continuing travels of Thebus Phoebe & Me………… To start with us from the beginning go to www.thebusphoebeandme.us

Also, as you know, Europe has a different electrical system (240V vs. 120V), so you will need some sort of converter gadget to accommodate this unless you only dry camp.

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I'm quite aware of that as I have traveled a lot over there and owned a home in Ireland up until Dec '07, lucky break to get out when I did but that's another story. I have also rented rigs there and feel I could handle my unit well over there and have seen a number of North American coaches on the road there, especially Spain and France.
My main concern is insurance over there and what is required to get it there.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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Not an exact answer, but here's a blog from a woman in England who travels in an American motorhome and she may have some advice The World Is My Lobster | I never did like Oysters!……The continuing travels of Thebus Phoebe & Me………… To start with us from the beginning go to www.thebusphoebeandme.us

Also, as you know, Europe has a different electrical system (240V vs. 120V), so you will need some sort of converter gadget to accommodate this unless you only dry camp.
Thanks for the link, it will be good reading. I have already sourced a 5000 watt step down unit which will fit very nicely in my rig.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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3.5 tons is the limit for being able to drive a vehicle through the centre of most towns and cities. Anything heavier has to use the truck routes.

Also Umwelt zones apply in Germany and maybe other countries and prohibit entry to cities in the zone unless they pass environmental standards and get a green sticker. Normally there are exempt highways passing through or around these zones so you can get past them

Most French Aires and German Stelplatz will be off-limits for any MH over about 30' long

Standard RV outlets are 16 amp at 230V (3600W) with many rated at only 10 amp. All 50 Hz of course.

Still, have met N Americans in Europe who are enjoying the trip in their 25' to 30' US RVs.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:53 PM   #7
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The problem with motorhomes is fuel mileage. I checked the other day, and gasoline around Frankfurt was the equivalent to $5.69 per U.S. gallon.
When we were in Italy 3 years ago, gasoline was just over $9.00 a U.S. gallon.
They use very small Class C motorhomes over there with very low horsepower diesel engines.

To answer your question: You can transport vehicles back and forth to Europe out of New York and New Jersey. You can find car transport agencies on Google. We ahd a friend living in Belgium transport his Lexus over there and he kept his Memphis license plate.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:02 PM   #8
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There are differing standards for vehicle lighting that may well require some mods to an American-made RV. You have to conform to whatever the regs are in the country you import it to and register/title it. After that, you can generally drive it around the EU without further mods - sort of a reciprocal OK, just like the US states do for each other.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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Mentor,
I spent quite a bit of time in Northern Spain in 2012-2014.

During the weekends I had the chance to drive around to site see. The coastal area is a favorite area for the locals, I did find several communities that had campgrounds along the coast but I will say that they were completely different then what we see in the USA. The campers were packed in like sardines. It appeared that most people use small pull behind travel trailers but I did see some motorhomes.

The motorhomes were very small ~22-25'. I'm sure these campgrounds had dumps but there were no signs indicating this. I did notice that a lot of people in motorhomes would boon dock in the small fishing villages where there was available parking. Unfortunately it appeared that they would dump the gray and black water right in the parking lots.

Most all of these villages were visited by tour buses, probably ~40' type. I was amazed at how well they could maneuver through the streets. So I guess if they could make it through someone with good experience driving an RV could also.

The only thing I would check on was if any of the countries require RV inspections. I know in Spain all vehicles had to have an annual inspection. The company I worked for had a fleet of vehicles that were provided to some employees an it was a major PITA to keep them in condition that they would pass inspection.

If you choose to go I wish you the best. Personally I'm not finished seeing all the sites in the good old USA, I have no inclination to take my coach other places.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:51 PM   #10
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Be aware that a transformer only converts voltage. It doesn't do anything with frequency. The UK system is 240v/50 Hz - not sure about other Euro countries. With a transformer, everything with a synchronous motor (clocks, etc) will be fine with converted 115V, but will run at 5/6 of their normal speed. I'm not sure of the frequency effect on things (computers, etc) that are internally 5V dc.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:02 PM   #11
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I can't imagine what it would cost to transport a 45' RV from a US port to Europe. And how, what kind of ship...salt air exposure...lot of negatives come to mind, but so much to see if you could stay over there for six months or so. That said, I have to believe that it would be more cost effective (and easier) to rent a smaller unit for several months, as I have to believe that it would cost five figures easily to transport. I know it was multiple 4 figures to transport cars to Europe when I was in the military and had an overseas tour.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:38 AM   #12
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I can't imagine what it would cost to transport a 45' RV from a US port to Europe. And how, what kind of ship...salt air exposure...lot of negatives come to mind, but so much to see if you could stay over there for six months or so. That said, I have to believe that it would be more cost effective (and easier) to rent a smaller unit for several months, as I have to believe that it would cost five figures easily to transport. I know it was multiple 4 figures to transport cars to Europe when I was in the military and had an overseas tour.
I had a quote of $4,500 a short while ago. This was on a RORO ( roll on roll off ) in which you drive in much like a ferry. As for salt, there is no salt in the atmosphere and the coach is inside on the ship so no spray. We plan to be there for several years or maybe not come back. I've rented there and had a great time which is what is making us want to do this.

I will add that the posters here are very helpful with much info and now my main problem is insurance. I have found out that an Ontario DL can be traded for an Irish license and then insurance may be easier to obtain with a fixed address there which also is not a problem. Starting to look a little better now.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:05 AM   #13
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Have you looked into how you will be able to stay there for several years? Schengen zone only allows 90 days in any 180 day period unless you get long-term visas

Yes, long term visas are possible but not easy to get.

A vehicle being permanently imported into the EU is a far different proposition to one being brought in temporarily by a traveller.
Non-EU citizens or without proper visas can't register and insure EU vehicles.

Another small point you might need to consider given that driving a large motorhome will keep you on the main roads, so a toad would be a real assett. Trouble is flat towing is illegal in the EU so you would need a trailer.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #14
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Have you looked into how you will be able to stay there for several years? Schengen zone only allows 90 days in any 180 day period unless you get long-term visas

Yes, long term visas are possible but not easy to get.

A vehicle being permanently imported into the EU is a far different proposition to one being brought in temporarily by a traveller.
Non-EU citizens or without proper visas can't register and insure EU vehicles.

Another small point you might need to consider given that driving a large motorhome will keep you on the main roads, so a toad would be a real assett. Trouble is flat towing is illegal in the EU so you would need a trailer.
My wife is an Irish National, we had a home there but sold it in '07 and she is actually there now looking for another, we also currently own a car there and will be having our pensions direct deposited to our BOI account and so residency is not a problem but I do know it is very expensive for non residents to get auto insurance however if you retire to an EU country that changes everything, they then welcome you and your money. We would be much better off tax wise living and traveling over there.
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