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We will be visiting Washington state this summer. Our friends have recommended many places of interest. Has anyone used the ferry to transport their RV over to an island? We would love to be able to camp and explore the area but have heard the cost is high and reservations are needed ASAP for summer travel. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

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6 hours ago, fly2low said:

The queue on weekends for the islands can be very long. 

Important point. I once waited in line for several hours and didn't get on the first sailing. Also, check locally with the tied information as there can be problems getting the RV on or off due to the angle of the boarding ramps when tides are at extreme levels. 

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If you are talking about visiting the San Juans,ie Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands then you will need reservations.  Also for those destinations you pay for your round trip up front.  The only other ferry's that takes reservations are the Coupeville/Pt Townsend ferry and the ferry to Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Just for additional information, if you are in a Motor Home with a toad, make seperate reservations for them, on the same ferry, and each of you drive one on and off the ferry.  It is cheaper that way.  I'm not sure how far in advance they take reservations.

 

Joe

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This will not answer the Washington question, however, when I traveled on the Cape May / Lewes ferry, they had to switch ferries to accommodate the height of my fifth wheel.  This added an additional 1/2 hour to every one's boarding.  This maybe the same for the western ferries (or not).  Price was based upon the length of truck and equipment including drivers and passengers.

David

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I have traveled by ferry from WA to Vancouver Island, BC. If I remember correctly it was not cheap but it was the only way to get there with an RV. It was done in Canadian Dollars by credit card and that is the best way to do it because you get the real exchange rate.

 

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4 hours ago, whj469 said:

I have traveled by ferry from WA to Vancouver Island, BC. If I remember correctly it was not cheap but it was the only way to get there with an RV. It was done in Canadian Dollars by credit card and that is the best way to do it because you get the real exchange rate.

 

Did you go from Vancouver over to Vancouver Island?  

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I live on Vancouver Island and have used all 3 ferries. My rig which is 66ft long is 189US each way from Sidney BC to Anacortes.  Reservations are a good idea as they only allow so many longer units.  You will probably be put toward the rear of the ferry as it is open not closed like the BC Ferries from Tsawwassen or the Vancouver side to Victoria.  The reason is to get as much weight as far aft as possible 'cus the ship sometimes torpedoes the waves and green water rolls down the deck....not a good thing to happen.  There is one sailing each way at the moment.  It may increase during peak months.

You will go all the way thru from Anacortes to Sidney BUT yo are allowed to get off once with the rig at no xtra charge on one of the Island stops, ie San Juan Island or Orcas then get back on and continue the return trip to Anacortes.

Last December, I was charged only ONE way, not return.  How could they charge return when there are other ferry options to get back??

The Coho Ferry, Black Ball lines leaves from Victoria Harbour and goes to Port Angeles.  My rig can get in there easily.. Again it is a good idea to book in advance.  During peak months they have 4 sailings each way.  From Seattle you will need to catch an xtra ferry to Bainbridge island which is another cost.  You can drive south and loop around the south end of Puget sound...It depends on where you come from.

BC Ferries have more and bigger ships.  All closed so waves not rolling down the car deck.  Generally hrly sailings, again it is a good idea to book in advance, xtra 15$, I think.

Re BC Ferries, the Ticket agents at the booths are not used to seeing a 5th with an HDT.  Their eyes get big , skin gets flushed and they panic.  They will want to charge you commercial rates if you have an HDT.  If no HDT, you are OK.

They have special rates for RV's from June to September.  For me it drops from about $500 Can to something over $300  each way.  It also depends on the days and time of day you sail....It's not a big deal.  They have an 800# you can call or e-mail me with specs and times and I can figure it out.  Travel time is about 1 hr 45 minutes ish.  Pets have to stay on the car deck, you cannot.  Same with the others as well I think.

If you have an HDT, there is a letter which Customer Service can provide you by e-mail which allows you to travel as a non Commercial unit.  Just show this to the redneck agent and it stops them dead in their tracks.   It becomes a non issue.  I can scan and send a copy of my current letter so you can send it to them as reference material so they will know what you are talking about.  Staff change around, so who I deal with last year may not e the same person you deal with this year.

It would be a good idea to jump on the letter asap, as the move glacially slow.

Any other questions get back to me...glad to help.

 

Roger

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Again this is only if you plan to come to Vancouver Island.  If not and you plan to visit some of the other American Islands, the other poster is correct.  They charge you a return trip.

San Juan Island does have at least 12 decent campground, not sure of rates...Google it.

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On 4/15/2019 at 9:55 PM, gayle b said:

We will be visiting Washington state this summer. Our friends have recommended many places of interest. Has anyone used the ferry to transport their RV over to an island? We would love to be able to camp and explore the area but have heard the cost is high and reservations are needed ASAP for summer travel. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

 

Highly recommend Vancouver Island, BC.

Suggest you go from the US (Washington State) to Canada - then from (mainland) Vancouver to Vancouver Island - utilizing the Canadian Ferries.  The Canadian ferries are *outstanding* - compared to the one (US company ownership) from Port Angeles to  Vancouver Island.

Summer travel from Port Angeles to Victoria (Vancouver Isl.) can be hectic due to lots of tourists - and the ferry company packs the vehicles in like a can of sardines!  Not so - on the large Canadian ferries. Did both - absolutely no comparison!

~

 

 

 

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I went from WA to Vancouver Island somewhere north of Seattle but that was, now as I recall, in 1970. I am getting old.

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28 minutes ago, fly2low said:

or Port Angeles

Not if the location was north of Seattle.   Port Angeles is WEST and involves a rather convoluted travel from Seattle.

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Thanks Barb.  I got notified of his response,  the OP didn't indicate a trip to Vancouver Island just the San Juan's.

Whale watching is a big thing around here with 2 Orca pods in the combined US/Can area.

In the past Washington State Ferries has had a 'deal' rate for RV's Summertime crossing to the US Islands or to Sidney on Vancouver Island.  Folks should check with the 1800# to check it out.

It is about an hr to drive from Port Angeles to the ferry crossing on Bainbridge Island over to SEA.  Plus xtra cost.

In general, at low tide one needs to be careful not to catch the back end of the trailer on the ramp when on and offloading the ferries.  In those cases, I dump the truck suspension as well as the air hitch to keep the aft end of the trailer as high as possible.  I can hear scraping from others who don't.  This is on Low tides only.

Anacortes is the better choice in the Summer, you eliminate the US/Can Border crossings and the accompanying lineups and missed ferry connections. 

Mind you, the smorgasbord is pretty good.  Especially if it is the breakfast with sausages and bacon.  My dog was partial to both, but he was Canadian...Maybe American dogs don't care for S & B.

Cheers

Edited by rdickinson
new info

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sorry for the misstatement.  I read it as WA to Vancouver, and there are two ways.  Personally I would do PA to Vancouver to avoid Seattle traffic and to see the peninsula.  If going to the US islands, Anacortes would be the most direct route

I lived in Seattle until 5 years ago.  I moved over to Gig Harbor, and nowI do almost anything to avoid Seattle traffic.

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