Lowly the Lorry. . .

Very happy to hear that everything is going well. A friend of mine is right behind you with his Westfalia Sprinter from Germany. Going through Halifax really looks like the way to go. It took him less than 5 hours to sit in it and drive off WITH insurance!
I wish you guys would have bought your trucks a year sooner.... I could have saved $$$$$$$$$ and months of delay. LOl

Just to recap: Your truck did not need to go through any safety inspection in BC or NF. Correct? If that's the case, I know what I'm buying next...

Cheers and happy travels.
 
Very happy to hear that everything is going well. A friend of mine is right behind you with his Westfalia Sprinter from Germany. Going through Halifax really looks like the way to go. It took him less than 5 hours to sit in it and drive off WITH insurance!
I wish you guys would have bought your trucks a year sooner.... I could have saved $$$$$$$$$ and months of delay. LOl

Just to recap: Your truck did not need to go through any safety inspection in BC or NF. Correct? If that's the case, I know what I'm buying next...

Cheers and happy travels.
Due to me being from the USA and not Canada, the insurance thing was a bit more of a hassle than what your friend went through (I'll do a dedicated post on this subject later).

The truck being 15 years old or older allowed for NO safety or emissions inspection when imported through customs.
The truck being over 3501 kgs allowed for NO safety or emissions inspection when registered in BC.

In the event that I modify the truck into an "RV" and need to re-register in BC, I will then be required to get it inspected.

- Sheik
 
Hi

You could try the front right chassis rail outside face, maybe while on full left lock, chassis number stamped in with digits/letters about 10mm high, so something perhaps 100mm long, torch, scrapy tool, wire brush while head in the wheel arch?

It may have an original chassis number from Merc, then the bodybuilder added their own in addition when later converted more likely within the cab area?
 
Great story. Love reading the regular updates and seeing the photos.

Your speed is really high for that sort of truck. I appreciate you have vast distance to cover but here in UK Motorway maximum is 60 mph and on other roads 50 mph. Here in Scotland that figure is reduced to 40 mph! I am not surprised running so fast is filling DPF with soot and killing fuel economy.

I would like to think once you can drop the pace and cruise slower that economy will greatly improve and the DPF problems go away.
 
Great story. Love reading the regular updates and seeing the photos.

Your speed is really high for that sort of truck. I appreciate you have vast distance to cover but here in UK Motorway maximum is 60 mph and on other roads 50 mph. Here in Scotland that figure is reduced to 40 mph! I am not surprised running so fast is filling DPF with soot and killing fuel economy.

I would like to think once you can drop the pace and cruise slower that economy will greatly improve and the DPF problems go away.
This was a definitely "throw caution to the wind" situation where we just needed to make mileage and get across the country. We missed so much scenery by driving so many hours in the dark due to short winter days and needing to just keep going. Once this truck is converted into an overlander and the family is along for the ride, I hope we never have to do that sort of pace and speed again. Not recommended on many different levels!

- Sheik
 
BC or Bust!: A Roadtrip Update. . .

Woke up in Richmond, BC (a suburb just south of Vancouver) and had a wonderful breakfast with our AirBNB hosts. Before we left, I took some time to hurriedly email and call Craigslist posters who were advertising RV/Truck storage.

We managed to find one of the few U-Wash places in the greater Richmond area that can accommodate a vehicle of Lowly's size and gave the ol' boy a good scrubbing to clean off all of the road grime picked up on our cross-continental drive. Pictures don't do the level of filth justice, but here is a before/after combo:

IMG_2071.jpg IMG_2073.jpg

After a couple of mission accomplished photos with my dad in front of Lowly and a very satisfying high-5, we were off to the airport so he could catch his flight back down to Palm Springs (lucky snowbird!)

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I then had roughly 5 hours to sort out storage arrangements before it was my turn to fly home. Thankfully I found a place between Vancouver and the US border that was the right price and location. Drove down, parked the truck in a converted pasture-now RV parking lot and public transported my way back to the airport.

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I now am back at home, decompressing from the trip, playing with my boys and thankful that I don't have to spend another consecutive day staring at tarmac slip past my windscreen.

Here are some stats for our drive from Halifax to Vancouver:

Distance driven: 6237 km (3875 miles)
Diesel consumed: 1650.45 liters (436 gallons US)
Average fuel consumption rate: 3.78 km/l (8.88 mi/gal)
Days driving: 6.5
Guesstimated average of hours each day on the road (driving, fueling, eating): 15 hours
AirBNB/Hotel: 4/4
Breakdowns: 1
Out of or nearly out of fuel experiences: 2 (one at Halifax port & one in Manitoba)
Sphincter clenching near collisions: 1
Bowls of dill pickle soup consumed: 1

Impressions from the trip:

Having just driven along the immensity of its southern border and then looking at a map showing how far north it stretches, Canada's size boggles the mind. It is without a doubt a vast country full of wild, unspoiled places.
The province of French speaking Quebec should be a country of its own.
If every Tim Hortons in Canada was lined up end to end, we could have driven across the country on their rooftops. Yeah, there are that many!
Being an American it pains me to say this but, in general, Canadians seem to be a more friendly and helpful lot than their counterparts across their southern border (especially government official types).
The land along Lake Superior's northern shore would be worth exploring further
If you visit nowhere else in Canada, make it the Canadian Rockies.
Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island would make fantastic cycling destinations in summer/fall.

My next course of action is to begin dealing with US Customs (via a broker in Blaine, WA) to try and import Lowly to the US on a temporary basis (up to 3 years with extensions).

I sign off on this series of road trip updates with a picture taken in the Vancouver, BC airport where I intended to purchase EXPO member mog his requested donuts:

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Sorry mog.

- Sheik
 
Bugger part one of the adventure is over ....
Bring on part two.....waiting...
Thanks for taking us on the journey.....it was a great ride.....

Cheers Fugly..
 
An American in the Canadian Insurance Market. . .

This posting is in response to the several inquiries I've received regarding how I managed insurance and registration in Canada.

Here are the bullet points of what transpired:

I'm a US citizen with no form of Canadian residency, mailing address or citizenship.
Our 1995 truck is 2 years too young to import directly into the USA (25 years old), however Canada's policy of 15 years old allowed for direct import.
I intended to register and insure the truck in British Columbia where the truck was to be stored while I sorted/waited out import into the USA.
BC is willing to insure and register a vehicle to a non-resident (like me) but only if the vehicle is within its boundaries.
I therefore needed to get the truck insured and temporarily registered in Nova Scotia where it was first arriving onto Canadian soil.
I exhausted every avenue of insurance that myself and helpful NS insurance brokers could come up with.
From all of my dead-end research, I came to find out that a non-Canadian resident cannot obtain NS vehicle insurance.
Add to that, NS insurance companies wanted proof of NS registration before moving forward; NS registration wanted proof of NS insurance coverage before moving forward.
I couldn't wrap my head around that paradox!
Truck transport quotes from Halifax to Vancouver ranged from $16,000 down to $7000; too rich for my pocketbook.
In an air of "better to ask forgiveness than permission" I ended up cannonballing from NS to BC sans-registration or insurance.
The first town we came to in BC I stopped and got the truck insured and registered.

I could have probably rented out a temporary mailing address from a mailing service in Halifax and used that as my "proof of NS residency" but doing so seemed just as shady and might not have even worked in the end. Some of you readers may shake your heads in disapproval thinking I'm too cavalier and unscrupulous. I truly gave it my best try to go the legit route but I did what I did because my hand was forced (and I couldn't afford cross-continental transport costs). It worked out and for that I'm very thankful.

Takeaways from this exercise in frustration:

When an insurance agent tells you "anything is insurable", watch carefully as their nose begins to grow.
I am very thankful I didn't have any altercations with law enforcement types during our drive.
If you are a non-Canadian US citizen attempting to follow in my footsteps, do yourself a favor and purchase a 25 year old vehicle and import directly into the US.
Since purchasing Lowly, the insurance/registration has been the biggest frustrating time vacuum yet, and that is saying a lot!

Let the flaming begin. . .

- Sheik
 
No flaming from my side :) Thank you for sharing your honest recount. I know first hand that importing is far from being easy and will cost WAY more than planed.
Cheers and happy holidays!
 
Not going to flame you either. I did the same Coast to Coast cannonball run a few years back with my newly purchased mog too. I had Bandit running a Subaru WRX the whole way. I even had t-shirts printed for the trip. Anyone contemplating such foolishness, be wary of the Nova Scotia weigh scales they are wise to these sort of things. Ontario also likes to post sentries near their borders for registration checks.
 
Anyone contemplating such foolishness, be wary of the Nova Scotia weigh scales they are wise to these sort of things. Ontario also likes to post sentries near their borders for registration checks.
I personally didn't have any run-ins with the weigh scale authorities. I never pulled into any of the scales until we entered Alberta and that was long after the scale had closed for the night. It also likely helped that my rig still looked somewhat like a fire department emergency response vehicle. We could have probably gotten away with murder and been allowed through with a friendly wave thinking we were on official business; I kind of liken it to an imposter wearing a lab coat with an official looking name badge and holding a clipboard.

- Sheik
 
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Glad you made it across country safe and sound - quite the journey for the first road trip in your new vehicle!

Can't wait to see what you do with it...
 
US Temporary Import Update

Currently playing the middleman between a US importer and the US Department Of Transportation. Importer says an approval letter is necessary from the DOT for a temporary import bond (which would allow for temp import to be re-upped for a total of 3 years). Upon requesting the approval letter I was notified by the DOT that I could temporarily import for 1 year without a bond but couldn't get extensions by going that route. No approval letter yet for my desired TIB.

Dealing with this sort of situation where a citizen go-getter is forced to interact with government bureaucracy is like intentionally hitting your thumb with a hammer, repeatedly.

Stay tuned,
Sheik
 
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