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Old 03-02-2015, 01:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Charlie & Lucy View Post
Hi drpaddle,
Can you tell us how the experience was for you with the lesson at Valley Driving School? And how was your first excursion driving it home?
Thanks.
Well. We ended up not taking the class at Valley Driving School. I'm sure we would have benefited from it, but we had a small weather window. The course we had scheduled would have been accompanied by a very big, cold, windy rainstorm -- it was predicted to be a pretty bad one, and we wanted to get our trailer home in dry weather if we could.

I had some previous experience -- not a lot -- pulling very light (Hobie Cat) trailers, and I had read everything I could find about towing. We decided we would trust me to get us home -- a 180-mile drive, including a ferry trip so that we could avoid Seattle traffic.

We took possession of Toto at about 1:30 PM in Sumas, WA, and we drove -- hoping to beat the weather. We did not want to drive through big wind and rain on this first go, and we were prepared to stop for the night if the weather closed in early.

Of course the ETI folk had set up our Anderson hitch and set our brake controller up with at least a good starting point (we have since experimented with it and it's still pretty much where they set it).

We drove 55 mph max with our Nissan Frontier and an Anderson hitch. Got to experience roundabouts, busy freeways, narrow two-lane roads, coastal hills and curves, and the aforementioned ferry between Edmonds and Kingston, WA.

Got home just after dark -- and just as the wind was picking up and rain was starting to fall. Backed in (somewhat crookedly) to our (lucky for us) unusually large driveway. Sighs of relief. We talked about our trip over a glass of wine. My sense: not as challenging as I thought it might be, and MUCH easier than driving a rented 23-foot class C motorhome (something we had done a few years back).

After our going-home "lesson," we decided we would skip the driving school experience for now, and see how we did. We have just followed advice read elsewhere: "Drive like your grandmother." Works very well. No problems yet. We've been out on three long-weekend camping trips, all with back-in sites.

For others: if a course sounds good, and you can do it conveniently, I'd say... do it! Small investment (really the price is basically Peanuts, yes?), and you're almost certain to learn some useful things. The people at Valley Driving School seemed very nice, very professional when we chatted with them.

We look forward to reading about all your adventures and meeting you out on the road somewhere!
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:07 PM   #22
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A class would be worth it if all they provide is a trick on backing up a fifth wheel. Doesn't pivot like a bumper pull.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:49 AM   #23
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Great thread and very helpful to me. We pick up our 5.0TA in August and plan the same things: pick up in Sumas, re-cross the boarder, take driving lessons, then work our way across Canada to the Canadian Rockies, then down to Montana, etc. From reading this thread, it sounds to me like solutions to the license plate issue are state/local specific. Has anyone from Texas re-crossed back into Texas after delivery in Sumas? How did you solve getting your plates? Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:03 PM   #24
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In September, if the Kansas DMV will issue me a paper plate for the 21, we would like to go back into Canada and work our way East. I am planning to give it a try and if it takes a couple of hours, so be it. Plus that would allow a quick stop at ETI to resolve any problems or questions. If Reace would advise against recrossing the border, it will have to be plan B. Loren
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:58 PM   #25
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Reopening this thread. I am picking up my trailer on the 23rd and hope to turn around and head to Osoyoos and the rally. Illinois will NOT issue a plate without the Customs stamped copy of the import declaration.

If I understand this thread properly, the hassle will be with the possibility of criminality and a look at all the paperwork for the trailer. I really don't want to be turned away at the border going back into Canada nor for that matter am I looking forward to the cross back into the USA if I do.

If I can't cross back into Canada my travel plans will need some very drastic changes.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:09 PM   #26
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Reopening this thread. I am picking up my trailer on the 23rd and hope to turn around and head to Osoyoos and the rally. Illinois will NOT issue a plate without the Customs stamped copy of the import declaration.

If I understand this thread properly, the hassle will be with the possibility of criminality and a look at all the paperwork for the trailer. I really don't want to be turned away at the border going back into Canada nor for that matter am I looking forward to the cross back into the USA if I do.

If I can't cross back into Canada my travel plans will need some very drastic changes.
Hi: Steven M... Running without a plate is Ill annoy's fault. You will just have to show paper work and explain as necessary. We ran back to Ontario with the plate from our former 5.0. No one looked or even cared!!! Alf
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Steven M View Post
Reopening this thread. I am picking up my trailer on the 23rd and hope to turn around and head to Osoyoos and the rally. Illinois will NOT issue a plate without the Customs stamped copy of the import declaration.

If I understand this thread properly, the hassle will be with the possibility of criminality and a look at all the paperwork for the trailer. I really don't want to be turned away at the border going back into Canada nor for that matter am I looking forward to the cross back into the USA if I do.

If I can't cross back into Canada my travel plans will need some very drastic changes.
Steven, we will be in the exact same circumstance, (and same day pickup as you) as WI will not issue either. As far as anyone knows, the ETI paperwork has served to get everyone back to their home states with no problems. Since it is impossible to get your plates beforehand, I don't see how there could be any "criminality" involved.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:30 PM   #28
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Maybe get a license plate holder that says "I heart Canada - then a paper tag that says "Chillin' Of The Wack". That should do it.
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:51 PM   #29
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About a month ago I just decided to go to the source. I called the Canadian border crossing. I spoke to a very nice lady,explained the trailer situation and she assured me that bill of sale and ID would get us across borders both ways. They just want to make sure you own the trailer. I really quizzed her, a lot. I wanted to ask for her badge number, but refrained. So that being said, we're going to Canada!
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:56 PM   #30
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About a month ago I just decided to go to the source. I called the Canadian border crossing. I spoke to a very nice lady,explained the trailer situation and she assured me that bill of sale and ID would get us across borders both ways. They just want to make sure you own the trailer. I really quizzed her, a lot. I wanted to ask for her badge number, but refrained. So that being said, we're going to Canada!
it all makes sense to me.

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