Leave yourself plenty of advance time to get everything in order. Usually two or three months is required to cover all the bases. Costs can vary widely, depending on the starting location, whether you will need someone to move the RV to the port and so on. But as you make plans to transport an RV to Europe you might want to do some early research and talk with representatives from two or more shipping/moving services. They will happy to give you a quote based on a few simple questions you answer online or over the telephone.
Here are a few of the basic details you will need to consider:
- Are registration, license, title and tax forms all complete and current?
- Will you drive or tow the RV to the dock yourself or will this be part of a package program from a freight/shipping company?
- Will the RV be placed on the ship or plane upon arrival or will there be costs for temporary storage?
- Will the RV be delivered to your door in Europe or will you or an agent have to pick it up and drive/transport it to the final destination?
You should make an early decision on whether you will use roll on/roll off service or arrange for a dedicated container or flat rack that will house only your RV and personal items. Roll on/roll off service will be a bit less expensive but you will generally not be allowed to send unrelated items or other small cargo that is not directly associated with the RV. This is an important decision when you transport an RV to Europe.
In preparation for shipping, you should make sure that the outside antenna and any other protruding items are removed or secured according to shipping requirements. If your RV is motorized the gasoline tank should be no more than one-quarter full. When you arrange additional insurance to transport an RV to Europe, remember that you are not normally covered for personal items. You should also make arrangements for liability insurance that will cover damage your vehicle might cause to other property or the ship.
Requirements vary somewhat for individual European countries when it comes to recreational vehicles and motorized vehicles. A shipping agent or freight company can help you answer many of the questions you may have. For example, you will have to satisfy customs requirements at both the originating port and at the destination port. In some countries, a specific agency will oversee shipping of vehicles, so there may be specific import duties or administrative fees.
Again, time and costs vary depending on the starting point and final destination. Most of the time, shipping a vehicle from the east coast of the United States to a European country will take a week to 10 days. This might change with door-to-door service instead of port-to-port shipping. Be sure that you or your designated agent carry proper identification and required original documents when accepting the RV upon arrival.