You might wonder just how much a book like this can cover?
Here’s a breakdown by chapter, but be warned – there is still lots of info to be added as we go, so it’s likely to grow more by publication time.
Chapter 1: Before You Go
This is probably the most important chapter of this book. There is much to do before you go, and if you don’t do some of it, it could be a show stopper – like getting a Visa Waiver or do you need a ‘real’ Visa? Imagine turning up at Immigration in LA only to be turned back home. Bummer.
How are you going to pay for your car in the US? What do you do about car insurance? How you are going to plan your Road Trip route?
This chapter has it all.
Chapter 2: Deciding which car to buy
Okay for some of you, this is the most important chapter. If you have set in your mind exactly what car you want to buy, then great! But you still need to keep in mind all the rules and regulations around LHD cars and importing them.
This is probably the most ‘fun’ chapter for me. I spent many, many months cruising classic cars for sale websites researching makes/models and prices.
Chapter 3: Deciding which RV to buy
This ended up being the longest chapter. There is just so much to take into account when buying an RV in the US, and I’ve only covered off three types of them. There are many thousands (probably more like tens of thousands) of people in the US who are constantly travelling in their RVs. The RV movement and then RV market in the USA is simply massive – you see them everywhere, both RV sales yards and RVs on the road.
Even if you aren’t interested in buying an RV, while you are in the US just stop in sometime to a RV sales yard and take a wander through a few. The sheer luxury and amount of room they have with their slide out rooms – incredible. It’s one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ so make sure you take the opportunity while in the US to have a look, and take your camera.
Chapter 4: How to actually buy your car and general Car Buying stuff
If you get this wrong, you won’t be able to register your car in New Zealand – it’s that simple. There is some essential documentation you need before you can get your car on the road at home. Don’t have it? Then there will be pain.
Please, read this chapter carefully.
Chapter 5: Before you hit The Road
As mentioned in Chapter 1: Planning is key here. Don’t just jump in your new purchase and head off on a 6,000 mile round trip to New York and back. There are things you want to do before hitting the interstate.
Chapter 6: General US travel stuff
You could say America is unique, for a traveller in a car. They have far more sensible road roads (like turn on red) that we don’t have. Tipping is a pain in the a$$ – so what’s a good rule of thumb? Getting gas can be a pain as well, and just how do they work out that Interstate numbering? How can you score a ‘free’ breakfast everyday?
These things and more in this chapter.
Chapter 7: Our trip, July 2016
We had planned this trip for quite some time – living the dream. In this chapter, I’m reprinting a travel blog I will be writing for a car magazine (www.drivelife.co.nz) on our daily experiences. See what to expect when you hit the road, and some of the traps as well.
Chapter 8: Bringing your Car back to New Zealand
Finally, it’s that time to get your car home and on the road.
Where to start? What papers do you need? What’s it going to cost, and what is the actual process? It’s a freaky time when your car or RV is being shipped back, you feel like you should know what’s going to happen, but the unexpected can stir things up. This chapter hopes to prepare you for the imminent arrival of your baby, as well as guiding you through the process of getting compliance, and eventually – and hopefully! – number plates and a wof.