anyone know how to import van from america

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anyone know how to import van from america

Unread post by pmturnbull » September 6th, 2009, 9:43 pm

was on ebay australia looking at caravans when they suggested usa site so had a look well can't believe how cheap they the main problem is getting a van under 36foot they are hugh and most under 2 years old for under $10000. So if you know an importer or are one what would be the cost to get a 20 foot van to australia.

check these links out
this is so cool and at least only 20 foot
Fun Finder Extra 20ft Toy Hauler MINT:eBay Motors (item 300344562406 end time Sep-10-09 09:19:13 PDT)

check this out 36foot long 2 years old and at $7000 at the moment and you could almost park the bt50 in the back.
Very Nice 2007 36' Raptor Toy Hauler with a Big Slide!!:eBay Motors (item 270450749870 end time Sep-08-09 18:00:00 PDT)

I went to jayco today and was quoted $36000 for a outback 14foot expander

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Unread post by nilla60 » September 6th, 2009, 10:00 pm

Their market is huge compared to ours. I was talking to a guy who worked for a Japanese consumer electronics firm and New York alone is a bigger market than the whole of Australia. Imagine if caravan shops in Sydney or Melbourne each handled the equivalent of the whole national trade.

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Unread post by BennyWA » September 6th, 2009, 10:17 pm

well my mate just got a 31 foot bayliner boat over there for about 50-60 grand us$ and by the time it got here (QLD then to perth) it cost almost $100000 au$.. But still it's worth about $130au here..
here's some more info for ya:
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Unread post by rumpig » September 6th, 2009, 10:17 pm

roof tiler at work has imported a van from U.K he found when over there, same thing being heaps cheaper then over here. he reckons he's about $10 000 infront with the van he imported, and this one has heaps more features. when you want to move the van it has motors driving the wheels that run off the onboard battery so you can move the van without the car attached.

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Unread post by AJH » September 6th, 2009, 10:32 pm

Going by the import site $4500 for a shared container. So double that for a big van That adds $9000 to the price. So a near new huge ass van for under $20,000 what a bargain. Would be nice to know any other costs involved like import fees or Taxes
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Unread post by micka80 » September 6th, 2009, 10:43 pm

Do your research into whether it will be registerable in oz, making sure it meets standard requirements like width, length from axle to towball, rear overhang, brakes etc. Seems like the way to go, their vans are wicked and cheaper even with import costs - maybe.

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Unread post by nilla60 » September 6th, 2009, 10:55 pm

Or talk to one of the many niche import firms who will transport and get ADR approval for small volumes. A tandem axle van shouldn't be rocket science modify to meet requirements provided you don't find anything too weird.

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Unread post by cac » September 7th, 2009, 12:06 am

i'd go with nilla60's advice

i haven't looked into the van side of things, but did consider getting a grey import car a few years back....and a friend of mine has also been through this process....

if you buy it yourself over there and ship it back, then you have a fair bit of mucking around after it gets here....from getting it through customs and off the dock (don't be surprised if someone on the ship or dock takes a liking to some of the vans goodies), to ADR approval, to rego and insurance and what not...not too mention the mucking around in the states to get it on the boat in the first place....

get a broker or dealer to do all that mucking around for you, so the actual purchase is no more complicated than if you bought a van already available in pay the dealer once for the whole shebang, and you're right to go....
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Unread post by et4wd » September 7th, 2009, 12:22 am

One of my mate's import car's from the state's, and the number 1 lesson he learned is to get the car's cleared by Australian custom's while over in the state's.
They then seal the container with a special seal and as long as it is not broken when it get's here then there is no custom's hassle.
Also make sure it is cleaned to within a inch of it life!...the dont even like having grass clipping's on the wheel's!

forget the racin and stick to the social, to many people with there hand out!!!!!

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Unread post by dungbeetle » September 7th, 2009, 7:52 am

i imported a motorcycle from the states a few years ago and used a broker. me and the broker planned everything we thought but when the bike got here the aussie customs decided i couldnt import it unless i could prove i was only going to race it and never try to road rego it. they were going to destroy it if i couldnt prove racing so i had to go get a race licence. meanwhile it was sitting here in storage at $50 a day and ended up costing me twice as much as it would have here in australia by the time i got it. there was 3 months of storage costs!!!

anyway my point is that even with lots of planning they may still not let you have it!! with motorcycles, if you can buy it in australia then you cant import it and rego it. even if the import has heaps better features. i dont know anything about importing anything else so good luck with it....

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Unread post by hillbilly123 » September 7th, 2009, 11:58 am

Are you talking about a Caravan or a 5th Wheeler.


The doors are on the wrong side and are illegal here.
Have to cut a new door on Left.

All the wiring has to be replaced as US is 110volt with only two wires.

Appliances and lights the same. Fridges apparently can be changed with a new PCB.

Some of the 5th wheelers are having probs getting certified due to light suspensions.
Apparently All 5th wheelers have to fit Air Brakes.

Is it worth it up to you.

Read on one Customs website that you MUST have approval prior to purchase as they wont be bullied into

"Ïve bought this now please give me an import licence"

One thing to consider that as most roads in the States are sealed the construction is lighter than our vans and may not be suitable for our conditions.

Boats are different Oceans are wet and wild everywhere.

Check with Customs and freight companies

I looked at getting a Honda from Japan Worked out it would have cost 2/3 of price here but couldnt get an import licence as they say you cant import what you can buy here (identical model)


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Unread post by AJH » September 7th, 2009, 6:56 pm

I had heard that you can't import what you can buy here. But you see plenty of grey imports such as Pajeros on the road. Even seen 60 Series imports. How do they get these through.
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Unread post by BLU-125 » September 7th, 2009, 8:49 pm

There is a maximum GVM, (I think it's 4.5t), which requires a really expensive import lic. if you exceed.

Wiring has already been mentioned.

AC must be evacuated in the US.......can't be done in Oz.

LH door can cause major problems with most van fitouts and construction is really lightweight.

This is why Winnebago build all their's in Oz...... ;)


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Unread post by cac » September 7th, 2009, 8:56 pm

I had heard that you can't import what you can buy here. But you see plenty of grey imports such as Pajeros on the road. Even seen 60 Series imports. How do they get these through.
andrew, its called SEVS (special enthusiast vehicles scheme - i think anyway)

basically means there is a list of vehicles that have been approved for import on the grey market....for newer vehicles at least, one of the criteria for eligibility is that the vehicle is not available as a full volume model in australia already, though with older vehicles, the rules are a little more some cases though, you can get a vehicle through on a technicality, ie the SWB soft top pajeros you may have seen are based on the later models that we did get, but we never got that particular variant of them...

i haven't seen any of the caravan side of things, but imagine a similar set of rules would apply...
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Unread post by nifty nev » September 7th, 2009, 8:59 pm

if its similar to importing a car, it can be cheaper than buying local, but still expensive.
conversion to american $, then when it arrives, you pay 10% gst on the AUSTRALIAN doller price.
if the van is airconditioned, the refridgerant MUST be drained before it leaves usa soil.
so your up for a re gas straight away.the fridge will fall into that catagory.
the factor in steam cleaning, and pest spraying....
you will prob find, the elect plugs for inside, and out are not compatable with aust, and niether will the tail lights... whic will have to be swapped to amber.
most american states use the red tail/brake light as the indicator, so your not just up for extra lenses in amber, your also up for the wiring so they are seperated from the tail /brake lights.
so the 10k price, though still cheaper for an equivalent aussie van, is not as cheap as its looks.
then the entry door will be on the wrong side of the van as well.
in some cases, they tyres may have to be changed, as they may not be aust complianced,
where about are you mate?
i have a mate who imports cars from america to aust... mostly american muscle cars, but he brings in speed boats, jet ski's and even once bought in a friggin rigshore..
but ill need approval to import...
and as has happened before... CRATES CAN AND DO GET TAMPERED WITH during the travel in rare cases.
i good mate of mine in qld, imported his 77 corvette, he bought new in canada.
when it arrived, it had a lot of damage, and parts were missing.
his other vette went to a buyer in new zealand... same transporter, different ship.
when the supposedly sealed container had the seal broken, the vette was sittng on blocks... no wheels, and the convertable roof top was gone.
along with damage to the seats etc.
DONT be surprised if when it arrives, the paint is no good.
in some cases, the paint can and does bubble.. after all... it may pass over the equater several times in a container, where the temp reached inside will be pretty hot.
then it may go the other extreem and get minus temps.
not trying to frighten you off, but these things can and do happen im affraid.
my importer mate once had a 100,000usd very rare mint condition 69 Z28 camaro landed for an aussie buyer.
the car was still in mint conditon, except for the paint...which was bubbled.
its more a chance to happen to dark colours though.
i heard the buyer had to spend another 20k on a respray.
when he brings cars over now, they are coated in a thick heavy wax before they leave usa.
whatever is bought, is also detailed in photos by an australian living abroad.
dont forget you may be slugged a fee to get the van to the docks, another fee to get it waxed, and more fees for loading etc etc.,
if ytou do decided to go ahead with it, go for a FAST boat..
slow boats are cheaper, but may take 4 times as long to arrive..
and at some places, if your container is deemed to be less important for room on the ship, it may be unloaded, and can sit on the docks for a time, until a ship is heading this way.

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