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Old 06-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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New member from Anacortes, WA

I found this forum after posting a search on RV.net about Workhorse brakes.

Right now we don't have an RV. We sold our old one about 5 years back because it was eating us out of house and home with repair bills. It was a 1985 Jamboree Class C with a carburator-equipped Ford 460. Enough said!

We're looking at early 2000's, both A and C, but can't fit a 102" wide rig on our RV pad without remodeling the garage roof. We want to keep overall length to <32 ft for drivability reasons. DW is not comfortable driving something even that long, bvut after 2 years driving transit, I'm OK with it and I'm sure she'll learn.

We're ex-pat Brits, having lived in the US since mid-1968. We're both retired and live in Anacortes, WA.


Frank
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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Frank;

Welcome to iRV2. We are glad you found us. I can't help you with your width problem. Are you saying you are looking for a 8' width? Perhaps if you visit The Owner's Corner Forums someone may me able to suggest something to fit your needs. Good luck with your search.

Don
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:09 PM   #3
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Hello Frank.,

Welcome.

We are visiting your area and we are presently at Whidbey Island NAS.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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Hi Frank & wife:

WELCOME to the iRV2 place. Glad to have ya along.

Say, I just have to tell you how MUCH we liked your Anacortes area!! My wife (Lynette) and I visited there back in about 2002, or so, in the days we were still working and taking vacations in our GMC conversion van. In fact, we stayed at some little RV park out just above the ferry terminal on the edge of Anacortes NW side. Can't recall the name of the place, but sure enjoyed it. Owners had donkeys, chickens, and other animals as part of a little hobby farm we guessed. Was fun.

Now that we have sold our home and all our stuff and are on the road full time in our motorhome (towing car) we'd sure like to return to that area but I'm a little concerned about navigating our big rig around your neighborhood! It was easy with our old conversion van in those days, but I'm wondering what you think?
For example, ya think I'd have trouble taking our 45' rig towing a Honda Element across the ferry from Port Townsend?? Also, are there any campgrounds in your area you might recommend. Thanks, and again, WELCOME!!

Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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Steve:

Right now, the Port-Townsend to Keystone run is being served by a fairly small ferry. I think a 45' RV with a toad would present a problem. They're supposed to get a new boat later in the year. Another problem would be with the tide. The Keystone terminal can be a real bear at low tide - it gets so bad that the ferry trips are cancelled at tides less than +2 bacuse it's so difficult for the boat to maneuver into the dock. The ramp angle gets really steep, even at +3 tides, so a long rig would be a problem. I'd suggest a call or an e-mail to the ferry system.

For a big rig, the best campground is Fidalgo Bay Resort. There's not much privacy between sites, but most are pull-throughs. It's on the water and has a good view of the bay, tha Anacortes waterfront (and the refineries!) and is on a walking/biking trail into town, about 3 miles.

A lot of the area near the WSF dock at the west end of Anacortes has been developed for luxury housing. The only camping out there now is the city's Washington Park. The roads through it are so narrow that I'm not sure I'd even try to take a 30-footer through. There's a private campground on Highway 20 as you head from the east side of Anacortes towards Deception Pass, called "Pioneer Trails". Since we're local, we've never stayed there, but I'm sure they could give you some info on big rig compatibility. There are also two State parks, Deception Pass (just across from Fidalgo Island on Whidbey - also off highway 20) and Bayview SP, which is on the east side of Fidalgo Bay.


Frank
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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Hi Frank: Thanks for update info. You mentioned the Port Townsend to Keystone run. Is that likely the one we took from Port Townsend across to S. Whidbey at the "Ft. Casey" landing?? Haven't located the place you referred to as "Keystone" on my map, but will keep looking. We'll figure out some way to re-visit that area. Some day we'd kinda like to take at least a day trip w. our tow car (toad) out to see San Juan Island(s) area.

Anyway, thanks again.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
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Steve:

Yes, Keystone is the ferry dock adjacent to Camp Casey.

As far as the SJ Islands are concerned, don't take the RV! It's expensive (we went about 6 years ago to Orcas Island and the fare was $120.00! for a 26' rig) Many of the island campgrouonds are no hook-ups. We let lucky because we went after the "Host" program was finished for the year and we took the host slot which had hook-ups.

You can tour San Juan Island easily in a day, and the smaller islands can be done in just a few hours. Orcas can be a good day, as it has the highest peak in the islands, with a lookout tower where, with a decent pair of binoculars, you can see the traffic on Vancouver's Lion's Gate bridge. It also has an interesting resort, (Rosario Resort) where the main building was the home of a retired boat-builder from Seattle. His house, the admin center of the resort, is fascinating. It has a very impressive pipe organ in the music room and a resident organist performs most days.


Frank
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
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frank: THANKS!! It sure is nice communicating w. someone who knows the ins and outs about a specific area. It's really a BIG help when planning to visit such an area. Thanks again.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum, glad you found us!

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Old 07-01-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
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Frank
I have read your comments with interest, as we are expecting to travel from Port Townsend to Anacordes with our 42.5 ft MH and Toad in July. I have called the ferry service and asked about the possibility of bringing our F450 and 31ft 5TH wheel and they indicated there would be no problem as they transport Semis regularly. Is the Keystone another Ferry? Our do I need to revisite my plans since I have traded for the MH?
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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Larry:

Port Townsend to Anacortes is actually a misnomer, as the ferry goes to Keystone, a ferry dock on the west side of Whidbey Island about 25 miles from Anacortes. The terminal is right next to Fort Casey State Park.

There are issues with big rollers coming in from the Pacific down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and with the low spring/early summer tides.

The leased boat isn't very big (compared to the old boats that used to do the run) and has a lot more open deck where vehicles are parked. Heavy swells are very uncomfortable because of the size of the boat and green water over the car deck can occur. The Ferry Service will cancel runs if this is probable.

The low tides introduce a problem with the angle between the loading ramp and both the boat deck and the dock. Again, tides lower than normal (less than about +2') result in cancellations and even higher tides than +2 may be a problem for vehicles with a long tail overhang. Commercial rigs don't have much hanging out past the rear wheels! At this time of year, tides of -2 or -3 are not unusual.

If you decide to go this way, just be prepared for some delays. Port Townsend isn't a bad place to have to cool your heels for an hour or two. Headed South, Keystone is isolated with not much to do except wander around Fort Casey State Park. The movie " An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed there.

Frank Damp
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
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Thanks Frank! we will probably go ahead and drive thru Seattle up I5 because of your info!
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:59 PM   #13
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You're welcome, Larry. As you say, it's useful to have info from a local.

We hope to take delivery of a new (to us) 02 Forest River Georgetown 325 in about a week. This will cure a 6+ year drought after we dumped our first RV, an '85 Jamboree Class C (what a POS!).

We loved the lifestyle, which is why we decided to get back into it even though we go into debt. The "new" rig is in awesome shape. We're buying from the original owners who have maintained the thing like new. It's longer than DW wanted, but once she saw how nice it was, her objections disappeared. Whether she'll ever get comfortable enough to drive it remans to be seen.

I'm trying to find a local female school bus driver who'll give her lessons. I figure if a woman can drive a 45' school bus through the narrow streets of the neighborhood, she can get DW a bit more comfortable with the RV. I did over 2 years as a transit coach driver, on 102" wide rigs up to 40', in city traffic, so 32' doesn't bother me. Our big hassle is that the RV pad alongside the garage is aboiut 2" too narrow for a 102" wide RV, so there's a minor mod to the garage roof overhang (and maybe relocationg the gas meter) needed.


Frank
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