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Old 05-11-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
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Hi All,
I'm hoping someone from Airstream inc/ Thor will read this and respond
In the UK we have company selling EU spec Airstreams who are scaring off a lot of enthusiasts and prospective buyers by telling them that US Airstreams are illegal in Europe, because of Axles, brakes,gas and water problems (do you have differant water in the US ? )
This did'nt put me off importing a 73 overlander but some people are,

The Eu versions are very nice but at £60,000, ($96,000 bucks for a 27ft) are very expensive and beyond reach for many people.

I think AIrstream Inc should look into this, and clarify the law with UK Gov and post a definitive reply, as the UK/EU market is growing all the time, We love Airstreams over here but dont all want a new EU model some of us want US Vintage or US New and dont like being fed Bull*.*t by jumped up salesmen who are just trying to sell their own products.
Any salesperson with half a brain knows that the golden rule is not to slag off your competition. It just makes you look like an idiot.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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I was on a factory tour a few years back. There was a UK model being built at the time. Our guide had mentioned the width restrictions and heating types as differences. Regular hot air furnaces weren't allowed across the pond. The UK unit had radiant heat in the floor. I would love that option here. There is also different outside lighting requirements too. I'm sure there may be other mechanical things like brakes and hitch types that would have to be converted to UK motor vehicle safety standards.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:40 AM   #3
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For UK models, is the entry door on the left (port) side, so it is at the curb for left-hand driving?

Similarly, are the dump valves, water fill door and electrical hookups on the right?

One might think that the blueprints are flipped for UK; does anyone know if that's the case?
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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I've also read somewhere that trailers in Europe have to have surge brakes not electric.
Seems odd.
Al
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
I've also read somewhere that trailers in Europe have to have surge brakes not electric.
Seems odd.
Al
i agree and i think they also require a parking brake. odd that a country that had vehicles with disk brakes long before the cars in the US uses surge brakes. it would give some insught to that famous video of that car pulling a trailer uphill and then rolling down backwards and crashing.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Hi All,
I'm hoping someone from Airstream inc/ Thor will read this and respond
In the UK we have company selling EU spec Airstreams who are scaring off a lot of enthusiasts and prospective buyers by telling them that US Airstreams are illegal in Europe, because of Axles, brakes,gas and water problems (do you have differant water in the US ? )
This did'nt put me off importing a 73 overlander but some people are,

The Eu versions are very nice but at £60,000, ($96,000 bucks for a 27ft) are very expensive and beyond reach for many people.

I think AIrstream Inc should look into this, and clarify the law with UK Gov and post a definitive reply, as the UK/EU market is growing all the time, We love Airstreams over here but dont all want a new EU model some of us want US Vintage or US New and dont like being fed Bull*.*t by jumped up salesmen who are just trying to sell their own products.
Any salesperson with half a brain knows that the golden rule is not to slag off your competition. It just makes you look like an idiot.
Hey Mulligan, you are right, but you are wrong, and the same situation is also true for cars, by the way:
A manufacturer (here Airstream) who wants to import vehicles to Europe/Uk has to go through a lot of red tape to sell vehicle conforming to the rules of the destination country: example for a car, the winshield has to be marked E for Europe, the rear turn signals have to be amber, for a trailer, electric brakes may not be approved, US propane lines are not the Europen approved type, etc... You get the idea.
And before you bitch about your government, it is the same the other way, it is the same the other way, ie importing a European vehicle to the US/Canada.
On the other hand, when you bring yourself a trailer (or car) into the UK, you are not a manufacturer, so all you need is an MoT/safety inspection and you are set! You may have a couple of minor mods to do (add rear reflectors, for instance), but that is it. It is especially true when it is an older vehicle (like your Overlander). You now own what is called in the US a "grey market" vehicle.
So yes, as far as the official importer is concerned, a US-spec Airstream is illegal in Europe, but a single citizen can import one himself, although in some countries only used vehicles can be registered imported by a private person.
The salesguy is just a new trailer salesguy, he does not know anything about used trailers (40 years old!) because it is not his job!
One more thing, a new Airstream is an expensive trailer in North America, so add to that the cost (massive!) of homologating various models, plus the modifications performed on the assembly line, plus the shipping and it becomes a very expensive trailer in Europe!
Hope this clears your beef!
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