Ship your RV to Europe

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Ship your RV to Europe.
Ship your RV to Europe.

If you buy one of these new RVs for sale for your camping tours in Europe, the best option is to ship your RV to Europe.  For extended travel or repeated visits to Europe, this may be a viable way to go.  There are factors to consider, however.

In our case, we could immediately rule out the idea of bringing our own motor home overseas.  It is 40 feet long, too large for most European campgrounds and the type of roads we wanted to travel.   So we didn’t look into that option at all.  For those with smaller RVs, it may be viable and certainly there are people who successfully ship their own RV and use it in Europe.   And we did see a few large American-sized RVs while we were there, but they were few and far between. 

Around the World With 5,500 Cars - The New York Times

Here are some of the considerations involved in shipping your own RV:

  • Electrical power is different in Europe.  To avoid damaging appliances, you will most likely want to bring along a voltage converter to step down the 220 voltage to 110 beofre the power enters the RV.   You should also research whether there are other potential pitfalls for your specific RV electrical components and schematics.   And even with a converter, have realistic expectations about the appliances you can operate while in Europe.  Most campgrounds don’t provide sufficient amperage to run air conditioners, microwaves or electric heaters.  
  • Filling the propane tank could be difficult.  In our travels with our rented motor home we did not find places to have a propane tank filled.  Most RVers in Europe just swap out their empty propane tank for a full one.  So be sure to research where you can get your tank filled. 
  • Most RVs in Europe also use a cassette toilet and the campgrounds often have a place to empty these small cassettes near the restroom facilities.  There is also a place to empty grey water.  But they do not typically have a “dump station” like. where you can dump a black water tank via a sewer hose.   You will need a small portable tank and trolley to tote it over to the chemical toilet station. 
  • To minimize theft issues and excess weight, leave valuables at home and limit the amount of other “stuff” you ship inside the RV.   On the other hand, you will want to bring along replacement parts such as bulbs, belts, hoses, filters and even a spare tire, which may be difficult to find in Europe.  
  • Insurance is something you will want to research – for both the physical shipment and your travels in Europe.

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