New regulations re: width of American 5th Wheels and caravans.

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by melnol, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    I'm hearing of new regulations due to commence October 2014 which relate to American 5th wheel RVs and caravans. Here's an excerpt from a recent email from my UK contact ........

    <<... apparently there is a European law coming into effect in October 2014 regarding type of caravan and 5th wheels to be allowed on roads namely American 5th wheel trailers will not meet the new European specification for weight restriction mgtw, electrics, braking systems, window glass, gas and furnishing flame retardants, etc. In other words if you buy an American unit you will only be able to use it in America, not UK, Spain, Germany, France etc. >>

    Very keen to hear from folks about this issue (considering we were on the verge of importing a new 5th wheel unit from US).
     
  2. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    There are indeed new regulations coming in then. They are mentioned here. http://www.dft.gov.uk/vca/vehicletype/trailers.asp

    What the implications are I don't know - needs more study and there is an email address given ref North America but it looks as if importation of individual vehicles will still be allowed under IVA.
     
  3. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Most kind! Thank you for the link.
     
  4. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    On reading these new regulations, they appear to be 'export-centric' - ie relating to trailers produced IN UK rather than trailers imported from USA (or other country). Not sure if the IVA issue is applicable to Imports but would welcome any comments to clarify.
    Thanks in advance.
    Mel
     
  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I am no expert but the IVA is for imports as well:

    "Individual Vehicle Approval) is a UK national scheme and the most likely route for those manufacturing or importing single vehicles or very small numbers."

    But I am sure you are right to be careful. There are stories of people importing vehicles from the US and being unable to register them. Width is often the problem. Of course caravans are not actually registered or routinely tested in the UK in the way vehicles are, unlike say in Germany where they given a regular TUV test. So things may be easier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  6. BreweryDave

    BreweryDave Funster Life Member

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    Chances are it will not be retrospective otherwise lots of folk are in for major problems!
    I expect there will be plenty of info on sister site RVOC
     
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  7. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Seems something which I had imagined relatively straight-forward .... isn't! I might give up and buy an exorbitantly-priced rig in UK and keep the dealers in pocket money!
     
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    with moves afoot to try an issue caravans/trailers with individual registrations no doubt followed by MOT's etc etc etc anything that Europe would refuse will become a no no here as well. After all our masters in Brussels would not approve.
     
  9. SuperMike

    SuperMike Read Only Funster

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  10. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    So it looks as if the trailer just needs a compliance plate with the necessary information. I say "just". :)

    Have to ask the OP is a 5th wheeler essential? They are far from common, I've only seen one in the past 12 months and that was at Plymouth waiting to get on the ferry. I'm not knocking them but if you plan to sell it after your trip will the buyers be queuing up to buy it?
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I saw three in the same day at differing times between York and Dundee last month.
    Then a further two on the M1 a couple of weeks ago between the M62 and A38 junctions and further two on the same campsite as us the same weekend.

    They are not as rare as you think.

    But in 7 years i have yet to see a motorhomefun sticker on a van except at meets.
     
  12. Dixie

    Dixie Read Only Funster

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    Yep, it's growing over here at a rate of knots! We've had a record year so far, people's reasons for changing are varied but stem from not wanting the trailer hassle of a toad in europe, to just wanting extra space.

    I think the name "motorhome" fun stops 5th wheelers joining this forum. But at the end of the day we're all like minded people enjoying the same lifestyle no matter what our mode of transport.

    On the regs side all 5th wheel trailers produced in the US factories come with the appropriate FMVSS compliance plate, this exempts the trailer from the new IVA process as the FMVSS are accepted as suitable for european use. When buying a unit please ensure that it does have the federal compliance plate, some dealers have been known to remove them. The plate will declare the that unit meets the FMVSS or CMVSS (Canadian), it will also have the weights, axle weights, date of manufacture and VIN No. Any trailer without this ORIGINAL plate will not be compliant.

    Hope this helps,
    Jayne
     
  13. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Great responses. Thanks to all. I now have a pretty practical knowledge of what I need to do in pursuing our import.
     
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  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    yes getting more and more on the road all the time . .
    its certainly worth thinking about them if your heading towards 70 yr old . gets round medicals to keep the c1+e. gives a vehicle to use when parked .
    i can say in the 14yrs i have had mine iv,e been very pleased with the concept .
    i do say dont go too big . be sensible .
    living close to the a30 here in cornwall see them almost every week now.
    was rare years ago.
     
  15. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Alan

    That's most re-assuring.

    For us, its a very large investment so we're keen to ensure that we don't make any costly mistakes resulting in a brand new 5th wheel trailer sitting on the docks with nowhere to go!

    Interested in your comment re: medicals with c1+e licence . and Yes.. I'm heading down the track to 7o!! Please explain.
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    at 70 you keep the b+e category
    thats a vehicle upto 3,500kg gvw towing any weight vehicle as long as the towing vehicles train weight isnt broken .
    if you passed after 19-1-2013 (or took the b+e )its now restricted to a 3,500kg trailer.

    its possible to have a gvw lowered to 3,500kg and the tow vehicle keeps the original high train weight.
    another of those authority moves .
    to keep driving m,homes over 3,500kg drivers need to take the medical that hgv drivers take . many will fail and many dont wish to take the medical. as we all get older it can bring in silly medical reasons why you cant get c1category at 70 yr old .
    if spending lots money on a camper best make sure you wont have to get rid of it at 70 .
     
  17. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again Alan. What a font of knowledge!!
     
  18. mikeman

    mikeman Read Only Funster

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    Mel
    If you are touring I would suggest that 5th wheel you get is not any longer than 8 metres. Even at that length we have trouble getting into a lot of campsites, and a lot of nice spots to wild camp would be unaccessible with a longer trailer.
     
  19. melnol

    melnol Read Only Funster

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    Wouldn't it be great if there were such a thing as a catalogue of sites able to accommodate trailers up to (say) 40' ? I guess if the market for larger vehicles grows, so will the capability to accommodate. Meanwhile ..........???

    I'm imagining/hoping there may be less of a 'site access' problem with larger size trailers in other European countries when/if we decisde to spend some time over there.

    One 5th wheel we are currently considering is 39'0"! Hope we can find at least some sites able to accommodate us.
     
  20. mikeman

    mikeman Read Only Funster

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    Out of the 200 or so campsites I have stayed in during the last 3.5 years only about 4 would take a rig of that size, particularly when you take the tow vehicle into consideration the entrance to a lot of the campsites is too small.
     
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