Buying a RV In China? Tips

Buying a RV In China? Tips

Visited RV sales in Shanghai Haibo Junyi Automobile Sales Co.,Ltd.

上海海博君亿汽车销售有限公司

This time we paid a visit to motor-home sales and checked out some models and prices. Here sales were including different manufacturers and also camping trailers. Motor-homes are mostly made in Chinese and camping trailers 50/50 local versus imported. We are not going technically the motor-homes or trailers and if there is interest we can share contact information.

Motor-home/RV

All the locally made motor-homes exterior looks like coming from the same factory and internally the biggest difference is how the beds are organized. The cabinets and handles are of the same design and colour in all.

Prizes vary from 360k CNY to 690k CNY (55k USD- 110k USD) and it is not so cheap. The camping culture with RV is somehow limited on the basis if you live in the city where to keep it. Longer holidays are not so common except for the Chinese New Year. During that time, it is difficult to be on the road as millions of people are getting home at the same time. Meanwhile, the lack of well-equipped camping grounds stops people’s interest in travelling with RV. Last is that compare with average income, this is not the most economical way of traveling.

For the more expensive ones, there is a side and rear extension (flank) available. Also for the added price: bigger engine, solar power, better and more functional kitchen, and washing machine as an example. Most of the frames that I have seen have been either IVECO or Maxus. Personally, I would prefer Iveco as it has more power and the automatic gear is working great. On the Maxus, the gear shift is very laggy and the driving is not so smooth. Also, smaller-sized Ford chassis were available.

  • Iveco, used by many local suppliers
  • Maxus, have their own brand for motor-homes
  • Ford, smaller RV’s
  • REV, using one of the above chassis
  • Tiande RV, either Iveco or Maxus chassis

What is mostly limiting the size of the RV is the maximum allowed length. What I understood it is a maximum of 6m therefore all RVs are 5.99m long. I have seen some mini-buses for sale on the internet whose total length would be longer but the question is are they legal?

We are not looking to buy one, but for rental may be. Here they also had some RV’s that are privately owned and we were looking at one fully equipped with a short-time rental price for 1500CNY/day. In case renting for a longer period, I think the price could be negotiated.

Camping trailer/caravan then?

My personal preference would have a camping trailer to travel around with and I bet it would raise a lot of questions. Found some Chinese document on the net and we made a swift translation. Also as I understood the maximum trailer length in China would be 8m, but as the law is very unclear in many aspects, someone said it is the total length which I don’t believe at all. My car is 4.7m so in that case, the trailer could only be 3.3m :). The hook or the ball is not standardized so there might be different towing systems, if I get a towing system it must be ex-changeable.

Some trailer brands what could be found.

  • Chatsworth, could not find anything about this brand on the internet.
  • Yutong RV, one of the more famous local brands. built-in China
  • Forest River, imported
  • Eazy Trail, off-road trailer, built-in China
  • Hobby, imported
  • Landhaus, imported

Questions and Answers about camping trailers on the road in China

Below is the link to the original web page in Chinese.

Below is a swift/direct translation of the Chinese web page about 10 points questionnaire with a camper trailer on the road. I don’t have any better information, but if someone has, please contact me and I will update accordingly. Also added some points in Italic what I’m thinking. This also shows the legislation is unclear and the camping RV is not popular yet in China.

  • Does a camping trailer need a registration plate?
    • Yes, it needs it, since 2008, it has been clarified that all the camping trailer needs the vehicle registration, a number plate, and vehicle registration certificate.
  • Can a camping trailer go on the road?
    • Yes, there was an official document published in 2015 that clearly defined the difference between a camping trailer and a normal trailer, and emphasized that the camping trailer can go into the city road according to local regulation and can go on highway as well.
  • Can a C1 driving license drag a camping trailer?
    • Yes, since 2016 it has confirmed that the C1 license can pull the center axis camping trailer which under 2.5 ton in weight, or the normal trailer which is under 700kg.  The trailer is not allowed to carry people.
  • Do the different lengths of camping trailers require different grades of driving licenses?
    • According to the above questions, there are no such clear requirements, but as a common understanding, the camping trailer within 8meters in length, 3.5 in height,2.5 meters in width, and 4.5 tons in weight are acceptable.
    • In some countries when the total length or mass exceeds the limit, you need an additional grade of license
  • What kind of camping trailers can apply for the registration plate?
    • The center axis camping trailer with a hook, the total length of 8000mm, width with 2500mm, and height less than 4000mm can apply for the registration plate.
  • The trailer under 700kg needs to apply for the registration plate!
    • The trailer here can be a mini camping trailer or a normal trailer to carry the goods.
    • Never seen a trailer on the road in 11 years in China
  • What is the process of registration of a camping trailer?
    • Prepare the sales receipt, notice the title must be correct, otherwise it is overly complicated to make a change.
    • Go to check the camping trailer
    • Register choose the plate number, with the payment slip to receive all the registration licenses.
    • Check the camping trailer in the vehicle management bureau to receive the number plate. all the trailer plates are yellow in color.
  • What kind of car can pull a camping trailer?
    • If your car can bear the camping trailer’s weight.
    • Comment from me, this is a very dangerous sentence. The possible max tow weight is not written in the car’s documentation as trailers hardly exist in China. Just thinking about if attach 8 meters/2.5 tons trailer to a BYD brand car that is medium-sized. If there are no clear instructions and weight limits there might be occasions when the trailer is leading the car.
  • What is the highway toll fee standard for a camping trailer?
    • According to regulation, the car with a camping trailer should be charged as one grade higher than the main car. But since many main cars have installed ETC, the system can not recognize the camping trailer, so in many cases, the ETC system deducts the charge according to the main car.
    • ETC=Electrical toll system
  • Does the camping trailer need compulsory traffic insurance?
    • Yes, otherwise the car which drags the camping trailer needs to take responsibility when an accident happens.

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