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Old 05-17-2021, 09:43 PM   #1
Len and Jeanne
 
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Canadian AS stranded in US!

Your suggestions on how to retrieve "Bambi II" would be most welcome.

We have a Canadian licensed and insured AS that has been stranded in the US (stored at Airstream of Spokane, in WA) for over a year now, due to covid-related border closures in both directions. We're here in eastern British Columbia-- we can actually see the northern Idaho panhandle from here-- but it's not really feasible for us just to pop south and get it.

We have both had one covid shot. Canada in its wisdom does not have a lot of vaccine (it's all imported,) so there is a 4-month delay to get shot #2 for most people. We don't see the Canadian covid situation or the border closure easing up soon.

Some non-solutions:

1. Jeanne could probably drive into the US with her US passport as a dual citizen, but would have to quarantine in a Canadian hotel for two weeks on her return. She has never driven towing the AS before now and is a little reluctant to start now, solo. Len is a Canadian-only citizen, so cannot get through the border for what would be recreational travel. (We're about a 3-hour drive from Spokane.)

Right now BC is mandating residents to stay put in their own provincial health district.

2. We contacted Canadian customs at our local border crossing. They do not want a US driver to drop our trailer off at the border while we retrieve it with our own truck at the customs station. They recommended a commercial trucking company who would drive it to our home, as the drivers can cross the border for commercial purposes-- although not all of them do.

3. We've contacted three commercial trucking companies so far in BC/the Spokane area, but no luck. Two that used to transport RVs across the border no longer do.

Anyone know of a Canadian or US commercial trucking company in the Northwest states or BC/Alberta that could either tow our AS to BC or put it on a flatbed truck?

Possibly our next step is to contact RV dealers in our health district (Interior Health, which extends from the Alberta border through Kelowna, BC,) to see how they get their US-made RVs through.

Hoping to go camping this summer.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:55 PM   #2
Len and Jeanne
 
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p.s. Given our senior ages, we did think about selling Bambi II in Spokane. But this is even more complicated. When we bought it from Airstream of Spokane and drove it home, we had to go through a fair bit of rigmarole to get it inspected, licensed, and insured in Canada. So it is now officially a Canadian RV. To sell it in the US would essentially require importing a Canadian RV into the US. We still might have to transport it to Canada so that we could take it back through to the US for import purposes.

Next question. Anybody know a good customs broker in Washington or Idaho?

Plan B is, of course, just to sit tight and continue to pay for storage in the US, but we'd hate to miss a second camping season.
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Old 05-18-2021, 04:49 AM   #3
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Two thoughts:
Does your dealer have access to resources you don’t?
Regarding your point 2), “does not want “ is not the same as “strictly forbids”. Now that you have made a good faith effort, will the officials consider a border handoff from a vaccinated driver?
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:28 AM   #4
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Wish I had a solution for you, I had a long planned BC fishing trip that I just gave up and canceled... Did a lot of research and found no practical way for me to get into Canada from the US.

One extra reason you might have to try is that apparently some Canadians are coming to the US for the vaccine. We have lots of surplus right now https://www.npr.org/2021/05/17/99693...dian-neighbors

Hope you find a solution.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:35 AM   #5
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As a Bambi owner in western Washington, I don't have any magical nor diabolical solution to offer. But I am interested in your story and however it reaches an ending.

From my curiosity .... how did your Bambi get left behind in Spokane?
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:01 AM   #6
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Hi

As long as you are locked down to your own health district, is there much camping you actually can do?

Bob
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:03 AM   #7
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If business related, you may be able to come into US, perform your work, pick up Airstream, then drive back to Canada and quarantine in parking lot of designated quarantine hotel. The further east, the cheaper the quarantine hotel rates.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #8
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As I understand it, US citizens driving from the Lower 48 to Alaska through BC can get what essentially amounts to a "transit visa" giving them a certain number of hours to get through Canada. Possibly you could find somebody driving from USA to Alaska willing to pick up your trailer and drop it off for you in Canada.

A case of fresh Kokanee might help...
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:28 AM   #9
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Not sure if it would work but have you asked a towing service?might be able to cross. No need for a custom or broker, it's not an import, the trailer just going back to its owner in it's owner country. Maybe anyone with a business company can cross for work and go pick it up...
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:29 AM   #10
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Hello, we flew into the USA (no need to quarantine) and recently crossed the border by vehicle at Peach Arch back into Canada. We did get a Covid test within 72 hours of returning. When driving there is no need to quarantine in a hotel for the 3 day stay. We got permission to stay in our RV one night in Vancouver then next day drove to Kelowna as we didn't want to drive the RV through the mountain pass at night with the possibility of snow at the higher elevations. But it took the border patrol making a phone call to Health Canada and then us having to speak with them to get that permission. Once we arrived home we did complete our 14 quarantine that just ended this Saturday. Border patrol was very helpful and we did file an ArriveCan report on line before we departed.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:40 AM   #11
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:48 AM   #12
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Try these custom folks who have an amazing reputation:

https://www.anderinger.com/
And here is their location in Idaho

IDAHO

Eastport Ė 3621
US Customsí Port Code Ė 3302
Tel: 406-335-2300
Fax: 855-805-0695
PAPS Fax: 855-805-0695

Sweet Grass, MT service center manages shipments through this port of entry.

US Port of Entry Canadian Port of Exit
Eastport, ID Kingsgate, BC
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post

1. Jeanne could probably drive into the US with her US passport as a dual citizen, but would have to quarantine in a Canadian hotel for two weeks on her return. She has never driven towing the AS before now and is a little reluctant to start now, solo. Len is a Canadian-only citizen, so cannot get through the border for what would be recreational travel. (We're about a 3-hour drive from Spokane.)

Right now BC is mandating residents to stay put in their own provincial health district.
Are you sure Jeanne would have to quarantine in a hotel? My wife has spent most of the past year in Michigan (dual citizen) and has quarantined 5 times (10 weeks total!) in our home on her return visits. I think the hotel requirement is only for air travel, but maybe it's different in BC. This may be a moot point if she's not comfortable towing.

Jeanne could drive your tow vehicle down and you could fly. She could pick you up at the airport and you could drive back together, maybe after getting your second vaccine. Unless the rules are different there than at the Sarnia border crossing, you would both need to be tested before crossing and again at the border, then you would have to go directly home and quarantine for 2 weeks completing a third COVID test on the 8th day.

Maybe a transport company would be simpler, if you can find one.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
Your suggestions on how to retrieve "Bambi II" would be most welcome.



1. Jeanne could probably drive into the US with her US passport as a dual citizen, but would have to quarantine in a Canadian hotel for two weeks on her return. She has never driven towing the AS before now and is a little reluctant to start now, solo. Len is a Canadian-only citizen, so cannot get through the border for what would be recreational travel. (We're about a 3-hour drive from Spokane.)
:
You could have Jeanne drive into the U.S. and you could fly down to meet her there. Maybe fly out of Calgary and have Jeanne pick you up at the nearest destination? Have you any idea how long the restrictions in B.C. will last and when relaxed, is flying out of Vancouver any more convenient?

Our Airstream and truck became stuck in Florida a year ago last March, I thought we would be able to travel back to retrieve it in April but then the pandemic hit and the border was shut. It was only in June when we found out we could fly (but not drive) into the U.S. We flew down spent a couple of days prepping the trailer and truck and drove straight back to Ontario. The only difference I see now is the requirement for a negative Covid test within 72 hours of arriving in Canada plus the test at the border and I believe another negative test near the end of your quarantine period. We were required to quarantine as well but no tests were required last year.
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Old 05-18-2021, 01:42 PM   #15
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I'm with Davidson and Cyclist. Jeanne can drive the tow vehicle to a US airport to pick you up. Then, you drive together to pick up the Airstream and bring it back. There is so much camping to do in your (our) health region that it's criminal to leave the Airstream in the US. Yes, you'll have to quarantine at your home in Canada for 14 days, but I think this is your easiest option. Plus, make a trip of it! Don't rush back to Canada. Don't rush at all. Maybe take a few months till the government comes to its senses.

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Old 05-18-2021, 02:55 PM   #16
Len and Jeanne
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetawA-S View Post
Two thoughts:
Does your dealer have access to resources you don’t?
Regarding your point 2), “does not want “ is not the same as “strictly forbids”. Now that you have made a good faith effort, will the officials consider a border handoff from a vaccinated driver?
We asked Nick Dietz, the owner of Airstream of Spokane. We contacted the trucking firm that they use, but they don't transport into Canada.

We talked to a Canadian customs agent at our local border crossing (Rykerts, BC.) She was pretty clear that they didn't want a border hand-off, but were OK with a commercial trucker bringing our AS all the way through. The challenge now is to find one who will do this.

I suspect the problem is that all kinds of western BC folks would probably want someone to take stuff just to the border and hand it off. There is a parcel depot just over the line in Porthill, BC, where a lot of us used to pop down to pick up parcels shipped from within the US. It's only a small one-lane customs station and the agent expressed concern about tying up their limited space with this kind of activity.

I may just phone:

(a) the local saw mill. We just saw a flatbed truck loaded with Canadian lumber headed for the US. Wondering if their trucks come back empty.

(b) Western BC RV dealers who import their units from the US. Wondering what trucking companies they use.

(c) a larger Canadian customs station to see if they could agree to a hand-off. I suspect AS of Spokane could recommend a driver with a personal TV for this purpose-- all expenses paid.

If we find a solution I will definitely post it. Any suggestions are welcome!
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:23 PM   #17
Len and Jeanne
 
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Please keep those cards and letters coming!

I think the 2-week hotel quarantine for returning Canadians is pretty strict. And maybe that wouldn't be the end of the universe. It would just put a big crimp in our normal activities.

We're retirees so it would be hard to argue for a work-related reason to cross the border.

Right now we're told that we can get our second (Moderna) vaccine shot here probably sometime in July. It's sad because in the US there are places where they can't give the vaccines away.

Uncle Bob, I'm not sure how much camping is available now in BC. I think commercial CGs are open, and then there is a lot of open forest land (called Crown Land in Canada-- sort of like the USFS in the US. We know people with their favorite spot who boondocked last weekend.

I checked the BC provincial park website. It's pretty cryptic, but it looks like they will take camping revs. from people within their own health district.

The federal and provincial regulations are reviewed monthly, but mostly the border closure has just been extended another month.

OK-- so how did Bambi the Second end up in Spokane? We're lucky it wasn't overwintering in St. George, UT. We planned a Feb trip to the Mojave desert near Death Valley (Shoshone, CA) for 2020. We have left it in St. George during previous autumns as a convenient launch pad, without necessitating a long winter drive towing the AS south. We kept it closer to home this last time for a better winter storage situation than we had at home at the time-- and just in case we didn't make the long trip. In January, Len tore his ACL and couldn't drive or even travel comfortably for months. Then covid restrictions hit.

Sigh.... so near and yet so far away....
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:27 PM   #18
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Oh, and just one more wrinkle.

Len doesn't fly. He just won't. We have a lot of unused air miles (Jeanne happily flies) so maybe we could find someone to take an all-expenses-paid flight to Spokane but it wouldn't be direct. We're in the boonies.

Right now, there is still the quarantine situation.

Hopefully that will lift at some point. Then we can both drive down to Spokane, bring back the AS and live happily ever after.
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:10 PM   #19
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Yeah, pretty much it seems like just sticking it out would be the best plan. Maybe you could have some vacation opportunities without the trailer this summer. I bet there is increasing pressure to open the border somewhat this summer.
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
Oh, and just one more wrinkle.

Len doesn't fly. He just won't. We have a lot of unused air miles (Jeanne happily flies) so maybe we could find someone to take an all-expenses-paid flight to Spokane but it wouldn't be direct. We're in the boonies.

Right now, there is still the quarantine situation.

Hopefully that will lift at some point. Then we can both drive down to Spokane, bring back the AS and live happily ever after.


Jeanne, Iíve reached out to a friend in Creston to see if he knows anyone who crosses the border regularly for commercial purposes. Iíll PM you if he comes up with something.
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