Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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 Post subject: Farewell
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:11 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Our travels with Rover in Europe have come to an end. In 2014 a move, remodeling, and back surgery for Susan kept us home. Since then, we have both developed some health difficulties that leave us no choice but to bring Rover back to the U.S. So in April 2015 we flew to Amsterdam and rescued her from twenty months of storage. The owner of the ‘caravanstalling’ said that she started right up. He had removed half of the gasoline at our request and had also given her a bath, both of which were necessary to get her approved for shipping.

We decided against trying to stay in her while readying her for shipping at the same time, so we drove to Rotterdam and took a room in a hotel with a large car park. There we were able to park her away from everyone while we drained the the LP gas, which had to be completely emptied for shipping, and packed our possessions away into our locked cabinets. Then we drove to the port of Antwerp, Belgium (which goes on for miles), turned in a few papers, had her inspected on the outside, took off the license plates, and left her in the hands of a port inspector. The arrangements were done through Seabridge, who provided excellent step-by-step instructions, complete with GPS coordinates. (They’re good at it because they’re in the business of helping Germans ship their RVs to the U.S. for visits.)

We received the shipping bill after Rover had been officially measured and was actually put on a ship. The cost was virtually the same as when we shipped her in 2008: $4300 plus optional maritime insurance of $380. The port charges on the Baltimore end, paid in cash before pickup, included a customs fee of $325. In addition, nobody is allowed into the port without an escort, which, because the actual pickup took only about 15 minutes in the port, cost only $50.

On the day of the pickup, Susan showed up at the escort service at 7:30 a.m., where she waited almost two hours for an escort to take her into the port. Once there, she stopped at a single office with no line or waiting, put the license plates back on, paid the escort, and was led out of the port back to the escort service. It was all remarkably simple. Rover arrived without a scratch, and it didn’t look like anything inside had been touched.

We had her checked out at a nearby camping store and were amazed to find that our sealed gel batteries were still charged and functioning. Everything else also checked out OK.
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We are sorry that out travels in Europe cannot continue, but we have had an incredible experience. We hope that anyone reading this is encouraged to do the same. We have wonderful memories to savor for the rest of our lives.
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After two winters in Rover in Florida, in April of 2017, we sold Rover to a couple from Ohio on our way back to Minnesota. It was one of our saddest days, but we knew it had to be done. Safe travels,everyone.
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Rover 2002 24ft RB

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