View original topic: Shipping cross country (US) advice
84WestyHobbes Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:01 pm

Moderator edit: There is a non Vanagin specific thread dedicated to shipping vehicles....


Hello all. First off, this is my first post. I want to say a huge thank you, I’ve been reading incredibly useful information on this site for close to a year, and has helped me immensely in making my decision to find a Westy.

I recently purchased an 84 Westy in Montana. I live in New York. I was just out there for several days. Long story short, loved the van, runs well, can’t drive it cross country — I had to fly home and have to ship it.

I’ve searched thoroughly on the forum for advice on shipping a van across the US, and the threads I seemed to find were a bit old. I thought I’d ask this question in case there’s new companies out there that would be recommended.

I’ve been in contact with a couple of possible companies that will do door to door. But before I pull the trigger I wanted to reach out and see if anyone had any companies they’d recommend or any last minute advice.

Thank you in advance.

termuehlen Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:06 pm


I have used 4 Corners Transport Services on the recommendation of several users here. Jeff is a transport broker (360 210 7665) who shops transport companies. He provided me with a good price and did what he said he would.

Now since he is a broker, he likes to have a little bit of time. He puts your itinerary out to transport companies and waits a few days to get replies. He collects about $100 per transport, but he also seems to get very good pricing from the transport companies.

84WestyHobbes Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:16 pm

Fantastic. I’d rather go with someone who’s recommended than just a broker that reached out to me online after my request was posted.

I’m not in a rush to ship, happy to do it correctly with a good broker.

Thank you, I’ll give Jeff a call.


the_benjamin_effect Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:47 am

My advice:
Do your research on shipping/ broker companies.

Short story about my one and only attempt on shipping my at the time non-operating 1978 Westfalia:

I had full disclosure to the shipper that my van was in non-running condition, but rolls, stops and parking brake are all operable. I even willingly paid the extra fee for non-op vehicles they imply.

Driver show up, and the first sign that I should have said “no way” was when he used another vehicle (someone else’s vehicle in transit I presume) Toyota Rav4 and a chain to tow my van onto the trailer, only to get to the overhang, where we see my van is about 3ish” too tall (even though I sent them my very accurate dimensions). He suggests to air down the tires, and I reluctantly agree, as the tires were due for replacement. As he then again attempts to get my van on the trailer, he is tugging on the van steering wheel with brute force to make it straight on the ramps. We get it halfway up the trailer again, this time with flat tires, but still 1” inch to tall. He suggests taking the rims off (I still have no idea what his plan was to move the van with no rims), this idea I said no to. It is a Westfalia, and I suggest we take off the front “roof rack” section of the of the fiberglass top. We do this, and are able to move the van a few more feet forward on the trailer, however, now the metal tang that the “roof rack” mounts to is sticking into the tire of the automobile on the top rack of his trailer. He then, without my consent, bends the metal tang with again brute force. At this point, I said “no deal” and had him unload my van right there. And there I was left with a non-running van with 4 flat tires and half of a fiberglass roof on the side of the road, as he unremorsefully drives away. To this day my steering wheel does not point straight due to this jack-ass.

I’m sure not all companies operate this way, but this was my experience. In the end, I think many shipping company drivers only see $dollar$ signs, and not someone’s pride and joy vintage automobile. After this incident I did some more research and there are companies out there that will take great care of your vehicle in a cross country ship, however, you will pay a premium price for these companies.

I don’t remember the trucking company’s name that this story is about, but I do remember they are based out of Hialeah Florida at the time.

Do your research, and best wishes!

84WestyHobbes Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:49 am

Oh man, that’s awful. I’m glad the next group took better care of it.

I called Jeff, as @termuehler recommended. He gave me a good price, was very nice on the phone and knew the dimensions from the get go. Hopefully it makes it way here well and I can report the shipping as a success.

Steve M. Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 am

A lot of the online companies put an job on their website for the drivers to respond to so it's not like you are talking to the driver directly until they ask for the job and you get contact info on them after they are on the way to you.
I shipped mine from NY to Florida and specified for covered transport. The driver was good enough, said if he had known how high up the Syncro was he would have charged more as it limited him taking more cars on his rig. These guys are looking to take more then one vehicle from point A to B to maximize the profit for them. As long as they get it done properly that's ok, but it will be wait for them to drop cars off at different locations near you.

84WestyHobbes Fri May 03, 2019 2:53 pm

Wanted to say a huge thanks for the info and recommendations. I finally received the Westy on the east coast. A few small hiccups but nothing bad.

And thank you for the continued info. Cheers!

danfromsyr Fri May 03, 2019 3:07 pm

nice looking van,
I know you know this but make SURE that your poptop is securely latched before you drive off anywhere.

84WestyHobbes Fri May 03, 2019 3:29 pm

Absolutely. That was one of the problems during the shipping. Somehow the latch became open during the trip and they didn’t know how to close it, so they used straps to keep it down. This was me getting it from the truck to my garage. Got it down and clipped right after.

Great tip though.

Microbusdeluxe Fri May 03, 2019 4:52 pm

Continue to use a small strap as a back-up to the latch on your pop-top. Guess how I know this is a good idea.

84WestyHobbes Fri May 03, 2019 4:53 pm

How bad was it...? Did you end up using a ratchet strap as backup?

CanStan Sat May 04, 2019 7:36 am

Microbusdeluxe wrote: Continue to use a small strap as a back-up to the latch on your pop-top. Guess how I know this is a good idea.

I had mine let loose on the highway once. Luckily the wind whistling through the gap caught my attention before the whole roof ripped off.
Following some recommendations in the forums here, I used a couple velcro ski straps to keep the hinge/bar assembly from being able to pop up if the latch ever let loose again. They were only a couple $ and took 10 seconds to install and remove. I would usually strap them to the steering wheel while camping as a reminder to put them back in place before I drove off.

84WestyHobbes Sat May 04, 2019 7:44 am

Fantastic. Thank you for the suggestion.

jimf909 Sat May 04, 2019 5:08 pm

84WestyHobbes wrote:

Nice van. Is that a pic of you making a u-turn showing off the turning radius? :D

I’ve had a Vanagon shipped in a moving van and it lost some paint on the rear hatch and had a panel deformed by some other possessions that were jammed in with the van. I also had a ‘65 Rambler Classic 770 shipped from CO to CA and the knucklehead put 12” gashes in the floor pan believing he could hold the car down with hooks into some drain holes.

Shipping cars seems to come with risks that need to be mitigated.

84WestyHobbes Sun May 05, 2019 5:57 am

Yep, my wife took the shot as I lined up to go into our tiny garage. That’s crazy, you’d think someone in the business would know spots to use as anchor points better than that...

djkeev Sun May 05, 2019 6:07 am

Glad it went well and you have your Van!

Enjoy the journey.

You might want to start a thread about your Van introducing yourself. Include photos! We all LOVE Vanagon photos!


84WestyHobbes Sun May 05, 2019 6:15 am

Thanks Dave. Will do. I’ll also update on my progress fixing its overheating (maybe) problem. Thanks to this forum I have marching orders to go through systematically the many areas of the cooling system to hopefully solve the problem.

Thanks again!

savage2226 Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:30 pm

Just wanted to add my few cents. Recently purchased a running 1961 Type 1, which I needed to be shipped from the mid Atlantic area to Phoenix, AZ. After visiting many websites and calling a friend who has driven a truck for his whole life, I went with Four Corners Shipping. I shipped my vehicle in an enclosed truck. The price was fair and included a Samba discount. The car was picked up within hours of the time I said it would be available. The paperwork was easy, and I spoke with the truck driver who happened to live just outside of Phoenix. My car was delivered with a scratch, on time and no hidden charges or drama. I recommend them to anyone looking for a reputable firm

Jake de Villiers Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:24 am

savage2226 wrote: My car was delivered with a scratch, on time and no hidden charges or drama. Just the one scratch? Or did you omit a word? :shock: 8)

jAndrew Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:08 am

I'm in the process of shipping a Syncro Doka I purchased from a Samba member from CA to GA and hasn't been so smooth.

We used for the purchase and they certainly have been apathetic about getting things squared away. Took nearly a week for the process but finally they posted the transfer and let the seller know to release the truck.

Based on some good words here I contacted 4 Corners Transport. Jeff seems a good enough dude and assured me although the timeline was 1 to 5 days it would be faster. Well, that was optimistic and after a week I cancelled the order and am going thru uShip. The quote I accepted was a good bit more than 4 Corners but hopefully that might help to get a carrier on board.

I know part of it is just me and I'm pretty impatient but seems like the process is harder than it needs to be and doubt I will do it again in the future.

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