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For an extended excursion, camper mod or just a trailer?

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Hello, and greetings from a new member. I am not new to car forums, just to this particular forum as I ponder which way to go.

In short, I will be solo with dog traveling west coast US to Maritimes of Canada. Then container the vehicle and meet it upon arrival in Lisbon. The trip continues from there.


My question, which way to go? Do I modify a perfectly good TC wagon (which I might need to resell in the EU) or drag along a weight appropriate camper trailer?

Personal taste probably weighs in as does budget. It just seems to me, one who disliked woodshop, that getting it right by an upfitter will be as costly as a small trailer. 


Happy travels.

Arco Solo HR March 2018-1.jpg

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I think it might prove to be a fairly hard sell for either one in Europe   -  A USA spec van, modified to suit your taste would find limited interest there I suspect, so if you go that way, keep in mind that whatever mods you make should be kept as 'generic' as possible, so as to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers  -  I'm assuming when you go to sell it, you don;t want to be spending weeks or months looking for a buyer


Most trailers made in the USA don't conform to European requirements  -  Maybe, those made in Canada do??  I'm not that familiar with how they do things north of the border.  Here, few small trailers (anything less than 1500 pounds) have any brakes at all and the larger ones that do almost always use electric brakes actuated by a brake controller in the tow vehicle.  Unless things have recently changed, that doesn't meet the laws in Europe.  ALL trailers, regardless of size must have brakes and the brakes must be self actuating, so they almost always use hydraulic surge brakes which apply themselves when the tow vehicle begins to slow down  -  The trailer begins to push the car and that actuates a hydraulic brake cylinder which applies the brakes  Selling a trailer designed to USA standards might prove very difficult to do


Good luck with your project  -  I envy your trip.  It's been a long time since we toured Europe and we'd love to be doing it again



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Some convertible mods to the TC would be a good way to go ... something that gives you a bit of creature comfort, and shouldn't affect resale value OR get the compliance police on your tail.


And ya ... Selling or importing a trailer could get interesting too. I have one of the very few CombiCamp exports to the US. They gave up after a few hundred units, and a few too many magic moments dealing with OUR compliance police.


I'd go with the van and get a trailer when I got where I was going ...


PS ... found me a neat convertible bed on Amazon a bit back that is quite flexible AND comfortable. The base just slides along the floor rails, and the whole thing comes out if you release the hold down strap from the factory floor hooks. The "kitchenette" is a modified stock rack using the original mounting bolts if that helps.




How yours is titled could get interesting too. A lot of TCs were exported as passenger vans and then stripped and retitled commercial here to get around nanny tariffs in effect at the time. Not sure if that was only with the series one vans or not. I suppose they'd also maybe have "issues" with the mods I did to the cargo wall behind the seats. I know some people here on the board certainly seem to ...  ;-}


PS ... if the CombiCamp looks small, it's like the Tardas ... WAY bigger on the inside! Mine folds down to a 4x8 foot box, but when set up (in a couple minutes) it has a full size bed and is around 26 feet long. That's a LOT of camper for something weighing in at around 500 pounds, eh. Pretty popular with road warriors in the UK and Germany anyway. Maybe get a deal on a used one or rental, but I wouldn't expect you'd be able to ship it back to the states without jumping thru a whole bunch of hoops, if at all.








Edited by sKiZo

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