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Old 03-05-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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Has anyone taken the ferry in the San Juan Islands?

Do the ferries in the San Juan Islands carry travel trailers? I have a Ford F150 and a 25' Sovereign -- about 45' total length. How often do the ferries run? Do you need reservations? What does it cost? What is the name of the ferry company? I am planning to leave from Anacortes, stop at Orcas, and continue to Sidney-- Drive south to Victoria and ferry across to Port Angeles. Is this do-able? Would you suggest another route? Any information would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,
Penny
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:31 PM   #2
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Sounds fun but...

pricey. Here's the WA State Ferries web site
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Just for the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas - the rate will be anywhere from $150.00 - 200.00 plus the cost of the passengers (only the driver gets to ride for this price). I wanted to do this too - but found it's easier and cheaper to get a nice hotel instead. BC Ferries operates from Victoria.

Look under extended length and overheight fares - you will be longer than 20ft + higher than 7'6"... and hold onto your hat!
Beautiful area, and I recommend you do this sometime, just remember the costs involved.
Marc
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:34 PM   #3
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Hi there, Yes I have taken the ferries to several of the islands out there, but only in a car. I believe that the only Ferry you need reservations for is the international ferry to Victoria, BC. They do allow Travel Trailers on the other ferries. Remeber to bring your wallet, it is kinda spendy. Here is a link for you too. Washington State Ferries

Chris

Ahha Marc, ya beat me to it ! lol.
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:16 PM   #4
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I bought my Tradewind from a couple that live on Vashon Island and I can tell you that on some of the routes you only pay one way and the other is free. Check the aforementioned Ferry Schedule. Incidentally, on one of the ferries connecting Vashon Island to Tacoma you actually have to back your rig onto it. Since I had only been towing my just purchased trailer for all of 10 minutes I elected to wait for a ferry which I could drive straight onto.

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Old 03-06-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
I bought my Tradewind from a couple that live on Vashon Island and I can tell you that on some of the routes you only pay one way and the other is free. Check the aforementioned Ferry Schedule. Incidentally, on one of the ferries connecting Vashon Island to Tacoma you actually have to back your rig onto it. Since I had only been towing my just purchased trailer for all of 10 minutes I elected to wait for a ferry which I could drive straight onto.

-T
Was that the trailer that was listed on the VAC website lastyear? If so, I almost bought that one. It was just too far away for me. It's was a very nice looking unit....
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
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ouch!

mucho dinero! ....... did the san juan islands many moons ago...i bet its easy to get reservations for camping facillities(rvs)... this sounds like a good time for a base camp.
norby
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:33 AM   #7
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Was that the trailer that was listed on the VAC website lastyear? If so, I almost bought that one. It was just too far away for me. It's was a very nice looking unit....
It was listed on the VAC site. I bought it in mid - April. Originally I had been too late but the buyer who beat me to it backed out.

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Old 03-06-2006, 09:47 AM   #8
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re backing on to ferries

We lived on Vashon Island for 25+ years. You only have to back on to the north end ferry going to Southworth on the Kitsap peninsula. All other routes are a simple drive on. YES..it's a spendy proposition taking any kind of trailer or RV on and off the "rock".
Cheers, Jeff
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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Do it!

The Washington State Ferries From Keystone/Anacortes to San Juan and Orcas are fine, and we did it with 24' trailer and Suburban without problems. There is a great campground on Orcas Island, and Twin Lakes campground between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor is also a good one.. We had blast with children watching Orcas (aka Killer Whales) "herding" salmon along shore towards small closed cove where they were going to enjoy lunch, while several bald eagles circled overhead waiting for leftovers.. You should also take tour of Pig War National Park area on southern end of San Juan.. There are a couple campgrounds north of Vctoria, and an urban campground in outer Victoria Harbor area, but too far to walk to Empress Hotel or downtown... Ferry to Port Angeles is a different company, and may have height restrictions on RV's, since it boards from Victoria Harbor area. Roads not terrific on islands, so expect to park Airstream and drive tow vehicle around for sightseeing..

Reservations are generally required in the summer, since boats have limited space, and trailers board with trucks who have regular schedules and reserved spots. We had them, but several RV's left behind for another 4-6 hours waiting for next boat. Also be advised that all propane must be shut down and tagged by safety inspectors in boarding ramp area, and any small gas cans/containers for generators will be confiscated if discovered, as they are not permitted on ferry boats.

John McG
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:53 PM   #10
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San Juans

As a local who has visited and camped many times in the islands, I would say yes, they are a great place to visit. The campgrounds at the state parks are exceptional. On the down side, the cost of taking a trailer on the ferry has gone out of sight ($216 for my rig in the summer). I no longer take my trailer and at best go as a foot passenger with a bike. If you choose to go with your trailer, check the tide tables. At low tide, the angle exiting the ferry can be quite steep and cause the hitch or rear of the trailer to bottom on the deck. BTW, ferry reservations are only available on the international sailing from Anacortes to Sydney, BC. If you travel to the islands and happen to return to Anacortes on the international sailing, you will need to clear customs in Anacortes and produce identification showing your citizenship (passport, etc.), even though you haven't left the country.

One alternative is to stay at a campground near Anacortes and take day trips to the islands. If you want to stay overnight, leave the trailer at Anacortes and just take your tow vehicle.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:05 PM   #11
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Victoria - Pt. Angeles ferry

This is the ferry that would take you from Victoria to Port Angeles: www.cohoferry.com It'll cost you $3/foot for that leg of your trip.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:15 PM   #12
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We just rode the ferry today from Kingston to Edmonds. We were wondering how much it would cost to bring the trailer on and were shocked! Well over $60! We will drive around to Port Townsend if we bring the trailer. $120 round trip savings.
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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Hey Golden Girl.

I live in Victoria and have experience with all three major Ferry Systems here. All three Washington State, BC Ferry's and the Black Ball Ferry (ie MV Coho) can accomodate your rig. Everyone is right when they say cost is a factor.

If you are going on an extended Vacation then by all means come on over and hang out. San Juan Island is great, both Friday Harbour (where the Washington State Ferry arrives) and Roache Harbour has a lot for tourists to do and explore.

Victoria, is a great tourist oriented city. Not to mention the gateway to the Pacific Playground. If you need more info, please feel free to call me. 250-744-4039

Derek
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
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Trailer storage at/near Anacortes, WA ferry?

We are planning a trip to Vancouver Island, BC, and part of our plans are to camp out of our truck on two other islands, without the Bambi. I'm looking for a place to store/park Bambi for 4 days that isn't too far from the Anacortes ferry. Storage security is certainly an issue. Any experience?
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