LEEDS via America's to Brisbane

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Queenzlander, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Queenzlander

    Queenzlander Read Only Funster

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    G'day,
    Our trip this summer, starts in Leeds where we will pick up our Vantage Neo Campervan. As Australian’s we purchased the Neo as a Personal Export, therefore saving the VAT. We have 12 months to Export it out of the UK / EU and took advantage of that with 3 months touring the UK in 2014.

    Import into Australia is by the SEVS (Specialist and Enthusiast Scheme) where certain approved vehicles can be issued a Vehicle Import Certificate (VIC). A number of Motorhomes are on the SEVS list including Swifts, Burstner and Autotrail. Once in Australia vehicles need to comply (similar to EU standards) and Vantage has been a great help in this regard. They had a kilometre speedometer fitted and made sure 240v wiring was up to Australian standards, even fitting the Australian sockets, although this can be done in Australia.

    From Leeds we’ll be traveling down to Southampton to place the Van on a Roll On Roll Off Ferry to Halifax in Canada. There we overland for three months to Los Angeles, then put the Van on another RO/RO ship to Brisbane.

    While the Van is in it’s 9 day trip to Halifax we will fly to New York, for a look see, then up to Halifax to pick up the Neo. The Fiat Ducato is marketed as the Dodge Promaster Ram in the US/Canada, although it’s only the petrol version. Winnebago sell a camper version called Travato, although dearer than the Vantage at US$86,000, it is not up to the standard of UK manufacturers.

    From Halifax our plans are: Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Banff National Park, Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Los Angeles. We have three months to do this (90 day visa). Cities don’t interest us much, National Parks do.

    We hope to do as much free camping as possible and hopefully the Vantage will not require electrical hookup (110v), the Van has 180w solar and two aux. batteries. Everything on the Neo is battery powered and hopefully the Van’s charger will keep the laptop and camera’s charged.

    Three questions:
    1. Will the electric hookup on 110v charge the aux batteries at a slower rate? Saving the need for a power up transformer to 240v!
    2. Is the Diesel in the USA a dirtier fuel and will this present problems?
    3. Is Autogas, used for cooking as we have a fixed tank, available at Service Stations throughout Canada and USA and what adaptor is needed?
    (y) Cheers :cool:
     
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  2. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    a nice trip-----the US part is close to one we made in 2010---but we bought our outfit in US and shipped it to UK
    You will not be able to run off 110v unless you get an inverter--no need to fix it in, just fit trailing leads to it and use it outside the van KEEPING IT DRY.
    US diesel is OK just use it as you would here.
    There are places everywhere that fill bottles---- you would need an adapter from US supply (male version of their bottle fitting) to the fitting on your van--So a female US to your filling point--no idea where to get that--------have a great trip
    I think you would only need EHU to use A/C---otherwise you will manage with solar and you will be driving most days to cover that distance.
    Check that you can ship it with gas and diesel----we HAD to have EMPTY bottles and a small amount of diesel------diesel is MUCH cheaper there-----LPG was about the same price when we were there.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  3. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    btw----an annual National Parks pass in US is valid for nearly all NPs in US NOT Mt. Rushmore. Available at the first NP you visit in US (have no idea if they are valid in Canada)
    Banff & Jasper are really nice-------most NPs do not allow wild camping AFAIK, we wanted to camp in Yellowstone but all sites full--so we skipped it.
    We presume you know about stopping at Wallmarts???When you stop overnight there, park well away from the store entrance ------on an outside edge of parking lot----(most have CCTV now--all are well lit)-- Wallmart on your sat-nav will be a god-send.
    Camping at 'royal corp of engineers' and' forestry commission' is very cheap-much more basic than the 'big' ones--but in our opinion FAR better ---no need to pay expensive camp-sites if you don't want to--like KOA---At Niagra Falls two c.sites wanted $50 a night without EHU----we stopped at Wallmart.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
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  4. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Sounds good & good luck & hope all goes to plan.(y)
    Youngest daughter, son-in-law & Granddaughter leave for a new life outside Brisbane tomorrow.
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    looks like a great trip..

    in answer to that question.. NO .. 110v will not operate any 230v kit .. either fit step up transformer or don't use EHU
     
  6. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

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    sounds great,happy travels to you and enjoy(y)
     
  7. gailsunnymeed

    gailsunnymeed Funster

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    Sounds like a fab trip!! You might want to check out "gone with the Wynns" website its hosted by a young American couple who full-time RV. It should give you lots of useful info on wild/dry/ camping or as the Americans like to call it boondocking! They also suggest areas for free camp such as BML (Bureau Managed Land) and Harvest Hosts which do sound a preferable option to Walmart.
     
  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    It does indeed sound a great trip. The Dodge Ram is made in Mexico I think but I don't know what commonality there is with the Fiat, I believe it has a "proper" automatic transmission for example.

    On the 110v you might like to contact Vantage and ask them, as it is possible the charging unit fitted has a dual volt setting. It may be a screwdriver job but worth asking the question.

    The RoRo ferry sounds very interesting, can you say roughly what it costs for the one way trip from the UK to Canada? My guess would be around£1500?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  9. Queenzlander

    Queenzlander Read Only Funster

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    Many thanks for your suggestions and advice everyone, will look into them a bit further. The roll on/ roll off cost from Southhampton to Halifax for the Fiat Ducato van Length 6.3m is GBP1800. Wallenius and Wilhelmsen are the shippers, approx. four sailings a week, transit time seven to nine days.
     
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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Many thanks for that. Out of interest I emailed a company (First Based Freight) I found on the Web and they've given me a similar quote for our vehicle. But the sting in the tail is the vehicle must be free of personal effects. I wonder how strictly this is enforced? It might mean you have to buy bedding etc when you arrive.
     
  11. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    We shipped our camper back to UK with everything in it that we were travelling with-------we did lose a small tool-box and a brand new very good quality set of jump-leads----so I would seriously suggest carrying all valuables with you on the plane-----no-one is likely to steal cloths, bed linen crockery etc------most stuff is quite cheap and easy to get in US.
    If you have a convenient discreet place that you could 'hide' some stuff (not from customs) it would pay to use it----even screw a cover down over it-----the T leaves don't want to work or take any time over nicking your stuff. I believe they just take stuff to sell easily.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
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