Maple Bay – Once again later this month my wife and I are headed off Vancouver Island with our RV, a fifth-wheel trailer. Since 2011, we have taken our RV on holidays off the Island. Twice each year and we use Washington State Ferries, Sydney to Anacortes and return the same way. Six return trips on/off Vancouver Island with two more planned this year and we have and will never use BC Ferries.
It’s simple math. BC Ferries charges recreation vehicles identical to commercial carriers, by the foot, for anything over 20 feet. Washington State ferries encourages recreational vehicle travel and charges category rates that are almost half of that of BC Ferries.
For example, to take my fifthwheel and truck, a total length of 49 feet, two passengers (my wife and I), with assurances that we have a spot on BC Ferries (a reservation), pay the fuel surcharge and PST/GST taxes, it costs $627.60 return – this is a staggering cost
and one most families cannot afford. The same trip via Washington State ferries return costs is $336.15 includes no reservation fee, only one passenger fee – an overwhelming savings of $291.45! Or $145.73 each way.
It does not take rocket science to see how financially beneficial it is for those with recreational vehicles to use anything other than BC Ferries. We have approached BC Ferries about this situation, trying to encourage them to become competitive, to encourage folks to use BC Ferries, to provide cheaper opportunities for younger families to take their trailer or
camper on and off Vancouver Island. BC Ferries staff cite all sorts of ridiculous things about not being able to compare service with that of WSF. This is simply about BC Ferries not providing our citizens with a service we deserve that is competitive and reasonable in cost.
Further, if using WSF and then heading back into Canada toward the interior of B.C., it is far cheaper for fuel costs, easy to use Hwy 20 through Washington State and end up anywhere in Southern B.C. in the same time it would if going through B.C. without the headache of going through the traffic mess of the Lower Mainland and long border crossing delays.
The B.C. government and BC Ferries just don’t get it. All my business has gone to Washington State and will continue to do so until the B.C. government and BC Ferries can price match Washington State. We are not alone, many others are also using this fantastic service provided by WSF.