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Motorhome shipping tips - First Base Freight Ltd

Motorhome shipping tips

If you've decided to ship your motorhome or RV overseas see our check list outlining some of the basic things to help get your vehicle prepared for the long journey by sea.

Preparing your motorhome for a sea faring voyage might seem a little daunting at first but don't worry we've got everything covered. Before you ship your motorhome there'll be a few things to do, so here's our checklist on how to prepare your vehicle for a safer journey overseas.

  1. Remove loose items: Go through the motorhome front to back removing anything that isn't secured down. Take out your personal belongings, leave the interior of the motorhome free from clutter and do a final check on anything that might move. Shipping lines do not allow personal goods to be left inside the motorhome, loose items can act like missiles when they encounter rough seas. The health and safety of its crew members are taken very seriously by the captain.

  2. Close all windows: Go around the motorhome closing and securing windows, use latches and catches to keep these shut. Make sure the skylights are closed (if fitted) and fix any insecure windows that have caused problems in the past.

  3. Disconnect non-essential electronics: You won't be needing them until you drive the motorhome in your new country of residence, just keep the main battery connected.

  4. Check tyre pressure and condition: Look at the wear and tear, inflate the tyres to the correct pressure and inspect the rubber for any signs of damage. If chord is showing, replace the tyres immediately before shipping.

  5. Empty and clean the toilet: It's better for hygiene and saves you a job at the other end. This will also help you to avoid any unwanted fees for cleaning if customs do check your vehicle on arrival.

  6. Test your lights: Go around the motorhome checking all the front, side and rear lights are working, make sure the brake lights are working too. Keep spare bulbs in a lockable cupboard.

  7. Check fluid levels: Look at oil, power steering and washer levels, make sure the cooling system has plenty of water.

  8. Leave the fuel tank fairly empty: Don't fill the tank to the brim just before you hand over the keys, you can fill it up properly when you collect the vehicle after its journey. There should be no more than a ¼ tank of fuel left in the motorhome.

  9. Wash your motorhome first: Make sure you wash the outside of your motorhome just prior to delivering it to the port. If you are shipping your motorhome to Australia or New Zealand then please pay particular attention to the underneath. Make sure wheel arches and tyres are free of mud and dirt.

  10. Discard any gas bottles: Even if the gas bottles are empty, please discard these responsibly and do not leave them inside the motorhome. Your vehicle may be refused entry on to the quay if the port staff find these still on board.

  11. Fridge Gasses: If you have an older style motorhome it may be worth you checking to see if your fridge is permitted due to the gasses inside it. Some older style fridges use different gas to the newer fridges now being produced.

Shipping a motorhome overseas is a straightforward process providing you follow the above guide. If you do have some personal items that you want to ship inside your motorhome please firstly check with us.