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Caravan in China, possible?

Caravan in China, possible?

We finally found rental for caravan in Shanghai

Now for the first time, we rented a caravan and here collected some basic information about what we have discovered and found out. Many items are from third-party websites and suppliers. These are not necessarily lawful but might get you an idea of the possibility by travel with a caravan.

Some warning

If your car is not equipped with towing hitch.

When making the decision for installation, select a good brand. In our case, we needed to reinforce the hitch in Inner Mongolia as it was bent due to poor quality.

If your car is not equipped with towing hitch.

When making the decision for installation, select a good brand. In our case, we needed to reinforce the towing hitch in Inner Mongolia as it was bent due to poor quality.

The support has bent and pushing against the spare wheel when loaded

Camping trailer/caravan then?

Found some Chinese document on the net and we made a swift translation. The hook or the ball is not standardized so there might be different towing systems.

Some trailer brands I have seen in China

  • 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
  • MIY (this was our brand during the Inner Mongolia trip) made in China

Questions and Answers about camping trailers on the road in China.

Found some useful information on the internet but it is in Chinese. Ten questions and ten answers about trailers on the road. Please bear with me as these are direct translations from the website.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Is C1 driving license level enough for pulling a 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. What kind of car can pull a camping trailer?
    • If your car can bear the camping trailer’s weight.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
    • This is unclear for me as there is other documents stating the cars third party insurance will cover. Consult with your insurance company.

Information

If taken a new driving license in China please notice that the law says you cannot have a trailer within the first 12 month period of the probation license, which is the first 6-year license you get (subsequent licenses are 10 years if you never exceed 12 points in a calendar year). If caught with a trailer, it’s an automatic 12 points deducted on your license.

When renting the caravan there might be limited knowledge of the personnel working for the companies. Also to find a company that is renting them was a challenge.

For example, asking questions about tow ball weights and recommended tire pressures might be difficult to get the correct answer. So be prepared and if you have not done caravaning before please study it.

Insurance policy in China for caravan. (Chinese)
Insurance policy caravan China part 1 (Chinese)

Insurance of the caravan.

Here is some information I got from the rental company. Basically, it is stating that caravan is covered by car’s third party insurance.

I’m always a little bit suspicious about these and after my wife called the insurance company the answer was they don’t know if it is covering and let’s see when something happens.

Anyway if it is not clearly stated in the insurance policy that it is not covering then it should be good to go.

Sorry about the bad translation as this was done by using a WeChat translator. In my opinion, we are taking a risk here but there is nothing else we could do. 

Insurance policy caravan China part 1 (English Translated by WeChat)
Insurance policy caravan China part 2 (Chinese)

Notice

As long the car is connected to the caravan the insurance should be valid.

If disconnected and left for example at a camping site I’m unsure if the insurance is valid anymore as it is the cars insurance that is covering the caravan.

A valid driving license of class C1 is needed and the maximum total length of 14m and the maximum weight of the caravan is 2500kg. If someone has information confirming this, please let me know.

Insurance policy caravan China part 2 (English Translated by WeChat)

ETC on the road

Car with caravan always is using one grade higher paygrade as what would be normal. Our car rate is A1 and if having a caravan connected they should give you an A2 token. As per our experiences, many toll stations don’t know the law and were confused about how to treat the caravan. To avoid that here is a good document. WeChat translation of the needed parts is like this.

“The legal basis for the “trailer” on the road legally”5.2: When a single vehicle tows another trailer, the vehicle type of the
combination vehicle shall be higher than the main vehicle type. Car model classification standards for one category are implemented.

ETC can only be obtained by a person with a Chinese ID and the car must be registered to a person with a Chinese ID. As my car is registered under me this was not possible in our case. Meaning that in many cases we needed to explain at the toll gate what class our car should obtain for the toll fee.

Caravan limits by size and weight

4.1.1.2 Table 2 The maximum limits of the outline dimensions of other automobiles, trailers, and automobile trains: Mid-mounted The length limit of the axle and tow bar trailer is 12000mm, the width limit is 2550mm, and the height limit is 4000mm. The length of the carriage is limited to 8000mm (except for the central axle vehicle transport trailer). The length limit of a passenger car train is 14,500mm, the width limit is 2550mm, and the height limit is 4000mm.

The total mass of the center axle trailer should be 2500kg or less;

Attached .pdf of the Chinese law of the usage of a trailer on the road. Unfortunately only in Chinese.

Review of MIY (迷野牌) MYY9012XLJ03 caravan

Caravan in China, possible?
Model of the caravan MYY9012XLJ03
Caravan in China, possible?
Technical data

Price about 130.000CNY/17.000EUR, for this price I see the quality and what you get reasonable.

The caravan we used was from MIY and here is some swift report of it.

  • Manufacturer 三创联盟(沧州临港)科技有限公司
  • Dimensions 5970×2070,2160×2670(mm)
  • Total mass 1500 (kg)
  • Solar panels of approximately 800W. Can keep the refrigerator running without external power
  • Batteries 240A
  • Diesel heater, did not test it as it was not needed.
  • A/C unit maybe (2500W), might be under-powered in excessive heat.
  • 800W electrical cooking plate
  • Microwave, power was enough
  • Fresh water tank 145L
  • Gas heater for water
  • Portable generator 2kW
  • Shower and toilet
  • External shower
  • Outside Gas cooking station
  • All electrical sockets had also double USB charging

We were able to rent this one from Shanghai at a reasonable price of 14000CNY/1822Eur/4 weeks. The interior looked suitable and did have 4 beds for us. We are 2 adults and 2 kids traveling so the bed arrangement needs to be good. Personally, I slept well in them and I did not hear any complaints from others.

The caravan itself was a little bit too small for us four and also needed to make the beds each night. Cabinet space was too limited and mostly in front. Due to that, the ball weight was difficult to handle as most of the weight was in front. We conducted a test after the trip and measured by the support wheel 180kg (Kia Sorento ball weight maximum is about 100kg) with half a tank of water. Yes, we know the weight should be measured from the ball but due to limitations with our measuring equipment, we only could measure under the support wheel. That gives you some estimate of the weight split of the caravan. A recommendation is to move the water tank 50cm backward closer to the axel.

  • Water tank placement is not optimal. Too much load in front and moved maybe 50cm to rear direction can be better option.
  • almost all the heavy items are in front part of the caravan, AC and Solar inverter etc., therefore the balance of the caravan is problematic.
  • Water filling pipe is horizontal, make it difficult to fill.
  • Solar panels is powerful in sunny days.
  • One key system would be appreciated, find right key in a chain costs time and patience.
  • Sofas textile should be dirt repellant, design could be more friendly for long trip traving instead of good-looking.
  • Water tank size enough for four persons quick shower
  • Toilet sink should be fixed to the wall instead of hanging there. the shower hose could not be pulled in.
  • Gas outdoor cooking was good and powerful
  • Awning supports were broken when storm came. Needed some weights to lock them down if windy.
  • Leaking sink pipes need to be fixed permanently, even we fixed 2 times on the trip.
  • Electrical works under the “hood” should follow good standard .
  • there are big spaces for overall improvement.

Last but not least, attached some pictures with comments

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