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Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Old Sep 3rd 2009, 6:54 pm
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Default Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Is anyone aware of a method of bringing a Volkswagen T5 Camper to the U.S.? I have read several posts in the past indicating that a temporary import is possible but I wonder if there is a way to keep the vehicle here permanently. One mentioned shipping the camper separate from its motor as a "kit" car. Has anyone had experience with this kind of project?
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Old Sep 3rd 2009, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

They have campers here ya know
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Old Sep 3rd 2009, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Getting it shipped would be the easy part. Getting it legally imported, registered, titled, and insured for US roads will range from nightmarish to impossible. Start with trying to find out if there's any documentation from VW stating that the vehicle meets US safety and emissions standards. If you can't get that it's game over.
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Old Sep 3rd 2009, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Not worth the hassle....but welcome to BE though
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Old Sep 3rd 2009, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

There are very strict rules (VERY strict) on importing cars to the US that are < 25 years old. While you can bring it over temporarily, you have to send it back when you are done or they will crush it (literally). US emission and safety regulations differ from those in the UK and EU and some cars sold in Europe will basically never be 'street legal' in the US.

Do a google search (or even a site search) on importing Rovers to the US and the hell of that process. Or even do a search on bringing over a London Taxi to the US and you'll get more info on the import problems.
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Old Sep 3rd 2009, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

You could dismantle it and have it brought over as scrap metal for use as sculpting material for an art installation - which given the age of the vehicles would be a fitting tribute. Sausalito has some prime waterfront screaming out for more crap...art.

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Old Sep 4th 2009, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

If it's over 25 years old, it's not difficult to do!!
We've just imported a 1971 Morris Minor Traveller from Birmingam UK to Georgia.
It wasn't difficult... But...
If it's under 25.... forget it!!
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by mamasue View Post
If it's over 25 years old, it's not difficult to do!!
We've just imported a 1971 Morris Minor Traveller from Birmingam UK to Georgia.
It wasn't difficult... But...
If it's under 25.... forget it!!
I can just see them checking it for woodworm!
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

I have just looked into this for my husbands car as well - it's a whole other layer of difficult if you are importing to California. It has to be older than 1975 to avoid smog tests OR a car sold in the US also so they have emissions data for that year of car.

You might want to check into laws in the state you plan to move to as well... There might be additional emissions laws on top of the rule that it needs to be over 25 years old.
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by mamasue View Post
If it's over 25 years old, it's not difficult to do!!
We've just imported a 1971 Morris Minor Traveller from Birmingam UK to Georgia.
It wasn't difficult... But...
If it's under 25.... forget it!!
That's interesting. I've got my highschool car in my parents garage since I can't quite bare to part with it. It's an '87 mini. So in 3-years, sounds like getting it over here might fall into the realms of reality.

Hmmmm...
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Thank you all for your input. It's clear that import restrictions on new cars make a conventional method of bringing a Volkswagen camper into the States impossible. I was looking for something non-conventional but still legal. In a previous post several years ago, someone mentioned the idea of removing the motor and bringing a car in as a "kit", then registering it after it's reassembled. Any thoughts on that?
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by elmorrison View Post
Thank you all for your input. It's clear that import restrictions on new cars make a conventional method of bringing a Volkswagen camper into the States impossible. I was looking for something non-conventional but still legal. In a previous post several years ago, someone mentioned the idea of removing the motor and bringing a car in as a "kit", then registering it after it's reassembled. Any thoughts on that?
Why not just buy one in the US - it'll be cheaper and have less rust.
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
Why not just buy one in the US - it'll be cheaper and have less rust.
Well cheaper for sure.. and they're a hot item on That Side aren't they?
They aren't cheap in the US, but they must be cheapER, yes?

I haven't given up my camper van dreams I guess....
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Old Sep 4th 2009, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by elmorrison View Post
Thank you all for your input. It's clear that import restrictions on new cars make a conventional method of bringing a Volkswagen camper into the States impossible. I was looking for something non-conventional but still legal. In a previous post several years ago, someone mentioned the idea of removing the motor and bringing a car in as a "kit", then registering it after it's reassembled. Any thoughts on that?
Sorry mate, but my thought is still "forget it". When you try to register it, the VIN will give you away.

If you really don't want to give up, contact (in writing) the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state you'll be moving to. See if they will play ball. If they tell you it can't be done, that's that.
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Old Sep 5th 2009, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Bringing a Volkswagen California Camper to the US

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
I can just see them checking it for woodworm!

Lol....Yes they actually did.... the Agriculture department sprayed it for bugs and diseases!!

Last edited by mamasue; Sep 5th 2009 at 7:23 pm.
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