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Old 05-21-2005, 07:50 AM   #1
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How do I take my AS to Great Britain for a year??

OK – here goes! Having just passed the BIG SIX-OHHHH this month, my thoughts are turning to my goals for the second half of my life! Yes I plan to live to be 120! Retirement is a possibility at 62 and we have STRONGLY considered living and traveling for a year in the British Isles. I am a Hastings on Dad’s side and a Lynch on Mom’s side but no one knows where either family originated. It would be fun to travel the British countryside while investigating family roots.

We have been fortunate to have vacationed in Great Britain several times and have driven in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and EVEN LONDON (Oh My!!). I know the narrowness of the roads and the weirdness of driving on the “wrong” side. I think I can handle that part of the travel. My question is - what is the feasibility of bringing the AS and TV to England to caravan there? Is a Ford F250 pickup considered too big to navigate through the Cotswolds? Is a Safari 25 footer considered too wide to squeeze into Edinburgh? Is it going to cost a million $$???

Various threads have mentioned maximum width restrictions, weight restrictions, surge rather than electric brakes, etc. Psychoerrn – you just shipped an AS from the US to Germany. Was that big euros to do or would it be cheaper than renting an apartment and a car for a year?

I thought there might be enough expertise on the forum to put together a complete ‘Import Guide’ for anyone foolish enough to want to bring an AS across the Big Pond. Whatcha’ think, folks???


Bob Hastings
'06 Classic 28'
'04 Ford F250 V8

Remember :
Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
Margaret Lee Runbeck

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Old 05-21-2005, 08:02 AM   #2
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I would try and PM Canny Banjo Man, he lives in Yorkshire and could give you some first hand knowlage about the subject.

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Old 05-21-2005, 08:14 AM   #3
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IMHO, Don't do it

I worked in the British Isles for several years and travelled extensively there during that time and on other occasions. Regardless of the legality of size, braking systems, etc., I would not take a wide-body Airstream (or any other current US trailer or large pickup) there The roads are simply not adequate for this size of vehicle and the fuel costs would eat you alive.

You could get by on the motorways, but everywhere else is a problem. I have sweated just getting a small car through much of the small towns and secondary roads.

Lastly, where are you going to find suitable parking places and hookups? The RV parks there are totally unlike RV parks here. The several parks that I visited there were way too cramped to manouver your rig and the sites were not generally suitable for more than 20-footers. Their trailers are quite light and have an extremely light tongue weight. I watched several men manhandle a trailer into a site the way we would manhandle a popup here.

The maximum that I would consider taking there would be an older 7' wide Airstream, maximum of 20', and a tow vehicle just adequate to handle it.

You might consider leasing a suitable trailer and tow vehicle there.
John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
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Old 05-21-2005, 09:59 AM   #4
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John is absolutely correct. My Airstream stays firmly in the USA. I would not dream of bringing it here, other than as a static living unit. You could rent a small motor home, perhaps. Gas here is $7.60 an English gallon, which equals about $6 a U.S gallon. The campgrounds, known here as "caravan sites", are of much lower standard than in the USA. All the best areas (Cornwall, Wales, Lake District, Scotland) involve the use of tiny roads. You would have problems with the law concerning width and braking systems and remember the 240 volt electricity. There are many other ways of achieving your aim, and do PM me if you need any help.
Bringing an Airstream and truck to England puts me in mind of some of the large rear ends I've seen in Wal-Mart. Fine in that situation, but bring them into one of our little British stores and there would be big problems. The aisles aren't wide enough, and the rear end swing at the end of each aisle would cause all sorts of problems, knocking over the merchandise. Nick
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 05-21-2005, 10:14 AM   #5
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Your TV will not work. I think they transmit the PAL and not NTSC signal as the US does.
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:13 AM   #6
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But there's another possibility: You will be able to buy an Airstream in Europe, designed for European roads and European cars, in the near future.
Former full-timer | AIRSTREAM LIFE magazine | Tour of America (old blog) | Man In The Maze (current blog)

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Old 05-21-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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Loved the Sunday Times piece. I wish Margaret Beckett would join the Airstreamforums. She sounds like such a fascinating person.

And she is a metallurgist, so she could set us staight about how to treat our aluminum.
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Old 05-21-2005, 05:15 PM   #8
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I remember driving through a town in Ireland where the road was so narrow that my mirror almost touched the mirror of the on coming car. We left the house we were staying in one morning, started down the road when there was a trash truck coming from the opposite direction, I had to back up what seemed like a quarter of a mile because there was just no side-of-the-road to pull over on.. I've driven through the Cotswalds in England too and the roads there weren't to much wider. It's a real challange when you are use to the roads here in the U.S. I loved it because it was so different, but I know if I tried to pull even a small trailer over there, I would be good for at least a couple of accidents.
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Old 07-01-2005, 12:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BOBHAST
Pschoerrn – you just shipped an AS from the US to Germany. Was that big euros to do or would it be cheaper than renting an apartment and a car for a year?

I thought there might be enough expertise on the forum to put together a complete ‘Import Guide’ for anyone foolish enough to want to bring an AS across the Big Pond. Whatcha’ think, folks???
Hello Bob,

sorry for not replying earlier, but I haven´t seen this threat...

Shipping to Germany was very cheap. We did the shipping with ATI USA Inc. and they really did a great job. They charged us 2175,-$ for shipping a 29' TT from Charleston S.C. to Bremerhaven.

Although it would be great to have you and your Airstream overhere, I think I would prefer a (not to small , not to big) MH for touring thru GB and Ireland.

Björn H. Adam
Wolfenbuettel, Germany

AirstreamForumsMember No. AIR 5535

Proud Owner of a 1971 Ambassador 29' called "Dave"

-A stranger is a friend you just haven´t met before!-
unknown irish

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Old 07-01-2005, 09:59 AM   #10
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Why not look at renting or buying a Hymer-Eriba trailer? You could probably buy a local one for the cost of shipping your Airstream there and back, plus the cost of conversion to meet local codes.

Also, check out the Eriba chat group.

Chris and Christina- Boerne, TX / Evergreen, CO - TAC TX-7
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