Wigwam Motorhome produces hardwood-based motorhomes and trailers in Thailand for lease, rent, and sale.
Vehicle ownership for foreigners has become complicated in Thailand. Driving cars, however, is not a problem, and one sure sees foreigners in Thailand driving any kind of bikes or cars. In touristic centers, they are usually rented. Upcountry, the vehicles are often purchased in the name of a Thai wife or girlfriend. This is a practice that put foreign men in love relationships at a great disadvantage.
The most sensible alternative is to lease a vehicle, especially if the vehicle is something special like a motorhome. Long-term leases of our motorhomes are not only uncomplicated, but are also cheaper than a purchase could be.
This becomes ever more obvious, the more registration regulations are taken into consideration.
Our motorhomes are all registered as motorhomes. They are not registered as vans, or trucks, or public transport units. This is relevant because police roadside control points are many. One cannot drive a vehicle between two provincial capitals without having to pass police checkpoints. Not on main roads anyway. And even if small roads are used, there where there is a bottleneck, there will be a police checkpoint.
Police checkpoints ask for driver licences. But more than anything else, they check whether car modifications have been properly registered with the Department of Land Transportation. Normal passenger cars pass police checkpoints easily. But even pickup trucks with permanent structures on the load bed will inevitably be stopped. Be sure that nobody with a vehicle modified as motorhome will be able to pass a police checkpoint without it being examined on whether it has been properly registered as such.
Car registration matters are complicated in Thailand. Ever wondered why you see so many pickup trucks in Thailand? Many of them hugely loaded? No, it’s not that Thais just love pickup trucks. It’s just that nothing heavier than 1600 kilograms can be registered without a certain business license called Bai Pragob Gan, and for such one, land ownership of 10 Rai plus is mandatory.
Ordinary Thais can practically not own trucks, or anything heavier than pickups, so they have to settle for that.
Our motorhomes are all well above 2500 kilograms, so a Bai Pragob Gan was needed along the way.
And then, conversion into a motorhome cannot be done without an engineer who submits construction drawings and static calculations which then have to be submitted to the head office of the Department of Land Transportation in Bangkok, where the buck usually ends without a registration as motorhome ever being issued. Because the head engineer of the Department of Land Transportation will have to issue a Guarantee of Road Worthiness called Bai Rab Rong Wisawagon.
Now it’s obvious why in Thailand, there are so few motorhomes on the roads. Because building one is only half the task. The other half is getting it through the Thai bureaucracy. And that’s a matter not of months, but of years.
On the other hand, you can walk unto our office, sign the lease, even one for 5 years, and be on the road after an hour.