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Old 07-15-2017, 11:08 PM   #1
SWH
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2021 Interstate 24GT
Cordova , Tennessee
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Shipping RV for One Way Cross Country Trip?

This may sound kind of crazy, but we we've been looking at some places we would love to go in our AI and some of them would involve 28-30 hours of driving one way (i.e., practically speaking 3 days). The thought of flying and exploring, e.g., Glacier N.P and Banff in a minivan knowing our AI is at home would kill me, but since I'm not retired, 6 days of getting there and back isn't very practical or appealing either given the most time I can take is 2 weeks... and that's pushing it. So I started to wonder whether it would make sense to ship the AI out ahead of us, fly out to pick it up where we really want our trip to start, spend time where we want to be, and then take our time driving back. I figure even if it costs $1k to ship it, I'd probably spend that much renting a large SUV for 10 days anyway. But logistically I don't know how precise shippers can be with timing. Has anyone ever heard of anyone doing something like this? Do you think it could work? I did a little internet research tonight and it seems like something that could be pulled off with lots of advance planning.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:29 PM   #2
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I'd check with Uship.com - but from my experience in shipping cars, and the size of the AI, I would bet it's going to be close to double or triple your estimation.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SWH View Post
This may sound kind of crazy, but we we've been looking at some places we would love to go in our AI and some of them would involve 28-30 hours of driving one way (i.e., practically speaking 3 days). The thought of flying and exploring, e.g., Glacier N.P and Banff in a minivan knowing our AI is at home would kill me, but since I'm not retired, 6 days of getting there and back isn't very practical or appealing either given the most time I can take is 2 weeks... and that's pushing it. So I started to wonder whether it would make sense to ship the AI out ahead of us, fly out to pick it up where we really want our trip to start, spend time where we want to be, and then take our time driving back. I figure even if it costs $1k to ship it, I'd probably spend that much renting a large SUV for 10 days anyway. But logistically I don't know how precise shippers can be with timing. Has anyone ever heard of anyone doing something like this? Do you think it could work? I did a little internet research tonight and it seems like something that could be pulled off with lots of advance planning.
Keep in mind when headed to Glacier NP their is a length limit of 21' for the Going to the Sun Road. If you're in your AI you will either need to rent something or go in one of the tour buses. They have restored and modernized 30's vintage Ford tour buses which would be a very cool way to see the park. I was up there last week but I towed a small enclosed trailer with my Harley in it and rode the Harley thru the park.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:38 AM   #4
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It would probably be a LOT cheaper to pay someone to drive it to your start.
Of course, it would need to be someone you could trust.
Mark
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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There's never a guarantee. It could break down, the shipper could have some family emergency.
Yes, the most reliable way would be to hire someone to drive it, and then you'd be responsible for flying him home and paying him.
Then, your RV is in Montana, do you pay him to sit for two weeks and drive it home?
My advice, save those special places for when you can do it right.
And IMO, Glacier NP is one of those places.
Like C21Bill, I saw it from a motorcycle, was totally impressed, and can't wait to go back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus54 View Post
It would probably be a LOT cheaper to pay someone to drive it to your start.
Of course, it would need to be someone you could trust.
Mark
There are people who do this to deliver large motorhomes from the factory to dealers. They're usually an older couple, have a tow car, and the rules state they may not sleep in the bed or use the toilet.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:21 AM   #6
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IB has a more flexible work schedule than Me so she's starting our 3k mile trek in Aug/sept and I will fly up to meet her and help drive the 3k miles back.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:24 AM   #7
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Yeah, basically what we've discovered is that, if you are conventionally employed, you're pooched where the nicer trips are concerned. Even if you can find someone to drive your Interstate to your destination, you also have to worry about insurance ramifications.

LB_3 and I have found, especially in mid-life, that our world is 300% saner if only one member of a spousal team works full time. I am self-employed, so I can control what I do. Most of the time I work heavy part time. Sometimes full-time for discrete intervals if I know I will need more time off later. LB_3 is an engineer, and even though he's a federal government contractor (not nearly as highly paid as private sector), he makes a decent wage and Houston's cost of living is so incredibly low that we can do nicely on 1.5 to 1.75 professional STEM salaries.

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. The person who works 0.5 to 0.75 of a full-time job gets to do ALL of the crap domestic tasks, and they better have a good temperament for it. I do almost 100% of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, bill paying, laundry, maintenance, contracting, special projects, you name it. I can't tell you how many times I've muttered to myself, "I can't believe I got a Master's degree in science just so I could fold this endless stack of newly-laundered underwear." But with LB_3 working full time AND frequently working on our Interstate when he's not on the job, someone has to pretty much pick up 100% of the rest of life's demands. There's just no other way to make it work.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #8
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There was a recent article in Escapees Mag using a cargo ship to take an RV to Alaska and driving it back... but the owners had to book a cabin. AMTRAK might be another possibility... know there was service to Miami from the northeast for snowbirds but haven't checked lately.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:20 AM   #9
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An alternative to shipping your rig is to split your trip: Drive it out there in three days, store it, they fly home on a round trip ticket. A week (or two or three), fly out and do your touring, then drive back.

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Old 07-16-2017, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LB_3 View Post
IB has a more flexible work schedule than Me so she's starting our 3k mile trek in Aug/sept and I will fly up to meet her and help drive the 3k miles back.
You're very lucky. Most women don't like driving alone.
I enjoyed traveling alone. I never had to stop for anyone, I kept some bananas or grapes handy, and a water bottle or coffee, and knocked out 600 miles a day. Still, if you live in the southeast, any trip to Montana or California is a trek.
Then it only makes sense if you stay a month.
Work provides toys and then work stops you from using them. Catch 22.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:36 AM   #11
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Shipping

My mother regularly ships her Lexus from Aspen CO to Palm Beach FL for $750 per trip. They give her an exact day that it is delivered. I think it takes them about a week.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:27 PM   #12
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My mother regularly ships her Lexus from Aspen CO to Palm Beach FL for $750 per trip. They give her an exact day that it is delivered. I think it takes them about a week.

That sounds about right with my experience of shipping a Porsche from Wash D.C. to Seattle a few years ago. But a big Interstate Sprinter van would likely be double at about $1,500 each way based on weight alone.

I worked to save for the toys I now have in retirement.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:34 PM   #13
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A/S shipping

It cost us $3000 to have our 30ft towed thru the Canadian Rockies in 2012 in late November - really scary stuff - delivered to our door , when it was backed on the driveway the truck jackknifed on the ice denting the stone shield - ooh the price we pay for a shiny trailer....HUH !
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:46 PM   #14
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I priced out a quote online last night for just under $1k for a Sprinter 3500 (was in their drop down menu of vehicles) enclosed transport from Memphis, TN to Kalispell, MT. Seemed low, but I'd probably be willing to pay up to $1500 to do it. Was thinking I could ship it a week ahead to a local dealer and pay them some nominal fee to store it for a few days and maybe even wash it.

My wife could theoretically leave early with the kids but she's not that comfortable driving the AI and would not want to do spend 3 days straight driving on her own.

I also thought about the idea of driving it up the weekend before by myself, flying back and then flying up the following weekend - that's an option that I'll look into.

Had no idea that a 24 ft Sprinter wouldn't be permitted on Going to the Sun road - that's good to know... and disappointing. The Red Bus tour sounds like a pretty good alternative though.

Appreciate everyone's thoughts and feedback!
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:34 PM   #15
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You're very lucky. Most women don't like driving alone.
...
There are times when I have to hold my mouth shut with both hands in order to feign a facsimile of politeness. There was a recent thread in the trailer section titled something like, "Does your wife drive?" My head wanted to explode at the idea of the question even having to be asked. But I was a nice girl, and did not take the bait.

What I "like" is neither here nor there. If LB_3 and I want a certain lifestyle, then we both have to step up and do certain things - A LOT of things, actually. LB_3 doesn't particularly "like" drilling Airstream cabinetry above his head with sawdust falling into his eyes and mouth - I can tell by the look on his face. I don't necessarily "like" pulling LP flex hose off the bottom of the chassis on a Saturday afternoon in Houston in July - there are probably more engaging and certainly more comfortable activities out there.

But my greatest "like" of all is the ability to spend time with the two most important men in my life - my husband and my father - without losing my job. These two men are unfortunately separated by three thousand miles. There are very few affordable logistical scenarios that will allow me to achieve this time-spending under the conditions of being able to continue my work in the process - and the solution I've identified is the Interstate. Whatever impositions and inconveniences might come along with the Interstate, I just have to accept. Because my end goal... well, I like that more than I dislike anything else.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:43 PM   #16
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We're traveling from TN to Monterey, CA via I-40 in our AI in August of 2018 because we have to attend a conference there. So, we're driving out in 4 days, going to conference (3 days) then heading north, then turning east to take a more northern route back. We've set aside three weeks total. We own our own business so can be flexible with work, HOWEVER, we own our own business so three weeks will be a big hit. We finally decided that, now in our late 50's with a van we love, we need to prioritize differently and move adventure higher up.

Glacier was an awesome destination during a prior trip. A horseback trip with an Indian guide on the Blackfeet reservation was a highlight. Have a great time - make it work. You'll be glad you did.

Do you have a friend/family member who will take it out for you in exchange for them using it for a time before you go out? You then fly out, they fly home and you continue from there.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:29 PM   #17
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Your dreams will come true someday to take the AI to dream spots like Banff and so forth.

In time . . .

In the meantime, may I suggest that you "translate" your dreams into a more local geographic area? The Appalachian Mountains are an incredible area not far from you. Plenty of "dreamers" from the west coast are itching to come east for their dream camping vacations.

You are already here!

"Be here now?"



Have fun!

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:09 PM   #18
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shipping you're rig

While we were looking a few months ago, I entertained the idea of buying a rig in California. Figured I would fly out and if I made the deal, would have it shipped back and I would fly back. I got quotes from companies on the web that specialize in transportation of RV's. They have someone drive them. This never went any further, so I can't say I have the experience of actually doing this. But I was told, by any number of them that everything was insured, etc., etc.,. The prices basically came out to $ 1.60 per mile, pretty much with everyone I spoke to. You can google them or figure it at around $ 1.60 per mile. If that meets with your approval, take it further.

As a side note, I ended up finding a '15, Classic 30 in Tampa, FL. About 4 hours from my house. So it ended well with out that transportation cost.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:54 PM   #19
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We got our Bambi to Glacier Park

Hubby and I are pilots. We don't drive much. We have a 20 foot Bambi that friends drove from Florida to Kalispell Montana so we could camp at Glacier Park. We flew out and paid for them to fly home. Then we have two of our employees scheduled to drive the truck and trailer home. Paid for their flight out. So far so good. There is a way to drive trailers around the park to the other side most campgrounds can be accessed from either side without using the Going to the Sun Road. We have been coming out here over 20 years but used to bring the tent in our plane.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #20
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Airstream dealer in Kalispell

There's a great Airstream dealer in Kalispell.
We needed warranty work done on our 2016 Interstate, to get home from Glacier; I would give them a 10, got the parts and got us on our way in 2 days. We had no heat (it was cold); batteries wouldn't stay charged; drains in bathroom and kitchen were leaking, couldn't use either sink. They gave us much better service than our home dealer ever did!
We didn't get to go on the Road to the Sun road; Interstate too long. Tour buses were booked; would've had to stay another 3 days, couldn't with problems we were having with the coach. Definitely going back!
Good luck with your trip planning.
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