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Old 07-22-2017, 11:54 AM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
Penryn , Cornwall
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Getting Imported motorhome road ready?

I am out in the US at the moment and have just purchased a 1978 280 Motorhome.
I am going to ship it to the UK in mid August and arrive back in the uk myself at the start of September.
My problem is how I get the motorhome from Ship to Cornwall?

Driving it on the road would be the easiest but does the vehicle need to be registered etc before I can do this or is there a way that I am able to move it before doing all the registration/MOT etc

Because I am in the US I am unable to complete all of the paperwork until I get back to the uk.

Insurance is also a question, can I get insurance on the VIN without the vehicle being registered.

I would greatly appreciate any advice
Cheers,
Mark
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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Starting with the easy stuff. Adrian Flux will insure with just the VIN, however remember to get them to update the policy once you get the registration or you will get a nasty letter from DVLA saying you are driving uninsured - the UK system can't link VIN and registration.

Because you are importing permanently it is illegal to drive in the UK on the US plates and without MOT, however there are a large number of overseas vehicles on the road in the UK so it's up to you if you want to take the risk. If you were not permanently importing you would be allowed to use a US registered and tested vehicle for up to 6 months. As the 280 will not have plates (the owner will keep them unless you ask nicely), the best approach is to get someone with trade plates to drive it home for you.

In terms of the MOT you have two specific things to consider (assuming that everything works). Emissions, you have to pass the emissions test and an old 454 may struggle. Lights, you can't have red indicators in the UK so you need to split the brake/indicator lights (there are at least two ways to do this ranging from using an amber bulb and existing clear lens or fitting amber lens - available from VTS) but also still keep the reversing light, and it's advised to have a poor visibility (fog) light; the biggest challenge here is GM did not provide a separate (blue) brake wire and used the existing green/yellow blinker wire for brakes.....it will need to be added. I think the 280 uses 3 lens light clusters so take a look at the Peanut thread on the Argosy forum and you will see photos of the 3 lens lights with UK lens.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:53 AM   #3
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Thanks Martin300662,

The advice is much appreciated and thank you for pointing me in the direction of VTS.

I have another question for you but this is related to the electrics.
What did you do with your MH?
Did you rewire it all and put in uk plugs or leave it as is?

I want to put English plugs in and also change the campground electric connector to an EU one but it's not really my area of expertise.
The motorhome has a Oman generator, US fridge, freezer, microwave.
Will these be affected?
That would you suggest?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:06 AM   #4
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Congratulations on the motorhome I hope the importation goes well.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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Don't they use 240 volts instead if 120? Can't remember for sure.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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Everything you have currently is 110v, and you probably have a 30amp connector. The simplest approach is to use a 240v to 110v transformer (make sure it is capable of constant use, not one of the 110v site transformers, for example https://airlinktransformers.com/prod...3002#full-spec). This can be mounted onboard, so you would change the inlet from 110v/30amp to 240v/16amp ( http://www.towsure.com/flush-fit-car...4aAurjEALw_wcB) and then have a fused sub-panel to split the supply to the transformer (and so to the existing appliances), and also to new 240v sockets.

I chose to use the transformer externally and keep everything on-board as 110v, for no reason other than everything can currently run off the inverter or mains power. I installed a dedicated 110v line at home, and we have the same transformer mounted inside a weather tight Pelican case for on the road.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:22 PM   #7
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As an after thought you probably have an automated transfer switch that kicks between the shore power and the generator. If you connect the transformer output to the shore side of the transfer switch that switch should still work.

Of course you won't have generator power to the new 240v sockets but you will have generator power to 110v appliances and sockets.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:36 PM   #8
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You can change the electric part of your refrigerator to 220v by changing the heating element. And replace the battery charger with a 220 model then you can change all your outlets to 220. The generator most likely can be easily converted, the roof top AC is a problem, you could use a transformer on just that circuit, or of course replace that too. Might look around for a used transformer, 2KVA would work fine for the AC.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:42 AM   #9
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Great thank you for the replies, I'm sure I will be back soon enough with plenty more questions ��
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #10
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Hi

The other subtle issue is that US power is 60Hz and the "rest of the world" (including the UK) generally uses 50Hz. Motors that are designed for 60Hz use may / may not work well on 50Hz. Air conditioning compressors are the main thing I would be worried about.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:52 AM   #11
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Hey Mark

Also remember to post your AS and GMC VIN here (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...vin-23019.html). You have a rare beast being the cross over year between Argosy and Airstream.

The last Argosy we have on the VIN list is a 1978 sequence number 5329, so yours must be later (being an Airstream)....so far I can't see any 1978 Airstreams on the list.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The other subtle issue is that US power is 60Hz and the "rest of the world" (including the UK) generally uses 50Hz. Motors that are designed for 60Hz use may / may not work well on 50Hz. Air conditioning compressors are the main thing I would be worried about.

Bob
There are plenty of folks who use the torodial 230-120v transformers without any issue (MH and trailers) to power their units including AC. Only issue I have come across are some timers which count cycles to keep time, so need continual adjustment.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
There are plenty of folks who use the torodial 230-120v transformers without any issue (MH and trailers) to power their units including AC. Only issue I have come across are some timers which count cycles to keep time, so need continual adjustment.
Hi

In the modern world of "one size for everybody" things tend to get designed for 50/60 Hz use. The gotcha would be having the one stupid compressor motor that didn't get the memo. It likely will run fine. The starter winding is what will go out on it eventually. It also may eat start capacitors on a fairly regular basis.

Bob
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