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Old 12-27-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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Drive to Alaska after picking up?

I wonder if it would be OK to just drive out of the factory and go on up to Alaska, instead of receiving the trailer in Washington. Are there any rules?

Thanks for any help - I've pretty much decided on the 15' for just me... and the cats, uhh and the bird...

Other than animals, I'm planning on traveling light. They are the reason I'm planning to buy the Escape. It's just not fair to have someone feed them for months, and I'd miss 'em anyway.

I've been camping in my Prius tent (Habitents.com), which is fine for just me, but the Escape will be a BIG upgrade. Obviously, I'll have to have a new tow vehicle - any suggestions? I'm partial to green/high mileage vehicles, but will consider a truck, if that's what it takes
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:19 PM   #2
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I've pretty much decided on the 15' ...
Obviously, I'll have to have a new tow vehicle - any suggestions? I'm partial to green/high mileage vehicles, but will consider a truck, if that's what it takes
There's certainly no need for a pickup truck to tow a 15', although there's no reason not to use one if that's what suits you.

Low fuel consumption usually does't mean a pickup (at least given current offerings in North America). There are wagons - usually labeled as "SUV" or "crossover" - with which are moderately sized for lower consumption; some have hybrid drivetrains and others have small tubocharged engines which can potentially be decently efficient. For a Prius owner the Highlander Hybrid is an obvious choice, but this is not a small vehicle so don't expect fuel economy miracles.

There are other hybrids, but the ones in sedan style are typically not set up to handle sustained high loads so they are unsuitable for towing. The manufacturers seem to assume (not always correctly) that if you are towing you'll want an SUV, so those are the models which they configure with the features - such as high cooling capacity - needed for towing.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian - I was looking at a VW Jetta Wagen TDI (Diesel). But I can't find any towing info - probably would nullify the warranty or something, but I believe it would work with all the torque it generates.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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Our 19' was delivered just 3 days before we were to leave for a 6 week'er from California to Texas. We opted to take our Casita just because we didn't have time to repack our stuff, get up to speed on the Escape, and thought a couple day 'shake down' trip was smart. We met Timberdoodle on the road who had just picked up their 19' in Indiana and went off on a couple month trip right away.

For whatever it's worth, looking back, it probably would have worked out fine to load up the Escape and leave the Casita behind. We had enough padding in our itinerary that we could have taken it slow and easy for a couple days to get to know our new rig.

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Old 12-27-2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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Thanks, Greg. If I can pick it up in a non-skid month, and if the two governments (or is it several governments, since I'll be driving through various provinces?) will allow me to drive to Alaska, then back to Virginia, that's what I'll do.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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have you camped with the cats before? that's probably the wild card in your plans. we've been able to venture farther from home with ours and so far so good. June and July is the big one. I arranged our itinerary so we can either board her at a vet or head home if she gets sick or dehydrated.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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The cats are the wild card. Bird (Amazon parrot) is a good traveler, naturally, but the cats (2 pound-kitties) aren't thrilled in a car. I'm going to start them out in the car and try to get them used to a harness. The regs for getting them across the border don't seem too stiff - just recent shots and a vet's statement, essentially. I think I'll also chip them, just in case they become Real Escapees.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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I wonder if it would be OK to just drive out of the factory and go on up to Alaska, instead of receiving the trailer in Washington. Are there any rules?
If you are a U.S. citizen, It's my understanding that Escape will tow the trailer through the border crossing at Sumas (IOW, Escape has to actually import the trailer). Then they will unhook it from their tow vehicle and hook it up to yours. Just put on the license plate that you should already have with you, head back across the border, and drive to Alaska.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #9
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Thanks, Richard. Seems a little silly to go back and forth, but if that's the way to do it, then so be it. I haven't even started the process, except for this forum, but I'm getting excited about it, already!
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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I'd check with Tammy at Escape on whether or not the trailer has to be delivered in the US. I believe there have been changes in the rules that prevent a US owner picking up the trailer at the factory & I'm not sure Escape would be willing to meet you in Alaska!

Since Chilliwack is so close to the border, it wouldn't be a problem to accept the trailer in Sumas, then head back across the border.

As to taking a long trip with the new trailer, a number of us have done it. I turned picking up the trailer in Chilliwack into a 111 day adventure around the US & Canada.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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I've read some of your blog, and it sounds just like what I want to do - after Alaska, which is the final state on my bucket list. Want to tick off all of Canada, too - and have to see Utah. So the east coast won't be seeing me for a while after accepting the delivery wherever it happens.

As soon as I sell the vacation house, I'm going to order my 15B. That's the first decision, though I haven't seen any in person.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:04 PM   #12
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Well, I thought I'd posted a reply. Hi (again) Jon. I've read some of your travel blog, and that's just what I want to do. Alaska is the last of the states on my bucket list, so it's a must-do, and all of western Canada is high on the list, too. Then through Utah via Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, having fallen in love with those states two years ago when I drove to the west coast and then came back to Norfolk, VA. Really looking forward to heading out again!
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
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I bought a trailer in BC and imported it to the US without a problem. I would suggest that you find out if you can get a license plate from your home state to put on the new trailer. That eliminates potential problems crossing international, provincial, and state boundaries. BC, for instance, wants to see a plate even if it is a temp plate purchased there. I don't know about Yukon or Alaska. I think it would be simplest to have a plate, pick up the camper in US, then continue with your great trip.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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Thanks Viajante - I hope Virginia will issue a license pre-pick up so that I can just go without driving all the way back. I suppose with the VIN and a bill of sale, I can register it and get a tag, but too soon to start inquiries.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:47 PM   #15
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I was looking at a VW Jetta Wagen TDI (Diesel). But I can't find any towing info - probably would nullify the warranty or something, but I believe it would work with all the torque it generates.
That's a common but controversial discussion: a vehicle has more than enough power (or torque) to tow, but for whatever reason is not rated for significant towing (or any at all). The VW diesels are a particularly popular target of this topic. Potential lacking features (of any such vehicle) include engine cooling, transmission cooling, transmission (or clutch) strength, structural strength, rear suspension capacity, hitch availability...
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:23 AM   #16
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Hey ,

Check animal laws in Canada before going across with any animal. I have done it with my dogs but only when I am in my vehicle registered in Maine and have all the medical certs etc with me.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:23 AM   #17
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Thanks, Cypher, I've gone to the CA government site and found out the regs, and they're not too bad. Even the bird is welcome with proper papers. The big headache seems to be traveling to certain US states with the bird, os I'll have to make sure all is in order before taking off.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:14 AM   #18
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Are you planning all of this for 2014?

If so, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you ought to check the Escape production schedule regarding 15-footers. There is one available date, August 25, and a note saying this will be the last available date for 15' trailers in 2014.

I'm guessing they are taking those dates and reallocating them to the more popular sizes.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:24 AM   #19
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Thanks Canadark - I checked - since the earliest would be August, I believe a 2015 pick up would be reasonable. I still have to sell a house, figure out what tow vehicle I'd need, and get it rigged. Since I want a small car to go with the small trailer, I plan to go up to Can-Am RV to get it outfitted with a tow package.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #20
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Since I want a small car to go with the small trailer, I plan to go up to Can-Am RV to get it outfitted with a tow package.
To tow a 15'? Can-Am specializes in reinforced hitch structures and weight-distributing hitch (WDH) installations, for people towing excessive trailer weight with their vehicle. Since you're choosing the vehicle and the trailer, I don't see a need to get into a situation requiring any custom work, or any WD equipment. My suggestion is to get a suitable tug instead... and by that I do not mean a truck or big SUV.
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