Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
I know I'm probably jumping the gun here, but I don't yet have my kit, (have plans) so I'm just thinking thru scenarios.
I'm close enough (DFW) that I'd want to pickup my kit from the factory and haul it home using a one-way truck rental.
For those who've done it, I could use some suggestions / have questions:
1. What rental outfit did you use, and in what town?
2. What size truck did you use. I *think* I can use a 10' truck, since if the spars were put on an angle they *should* fit diagonally. Are my assumptions correct?
3. Did you fly commercial one way to get there? What did you do with the one-way rental car once there? As an example, I *could* fly into either STL or COU, but COU doesn't have Avis (I get a killer discount on Avis from my company). Not a show-stopper, but it would be nice if the car rental return place was close to the truck rental pickup location.
4. How many moving blankets did you use?
5. Did anyone pick-up in the winter, and did weather impact your trip?
6. What did you wish you did / didn't do that impacted the return trip?
I'm planning on ordering the kit, and, based on Zenith's backlog, attend a workshop and pickup the kit at the conclusion of the workshop. Since they say they usually run 2-3.5 months backlog, that puts me square into winter.
Thanks for your suggestions!
I would think the first step is get a mileage from where you are to Zenith. The truck rental places have an online calculator which should give you a pretty good ballpark figure to work with. I did it myself and truck freight turned out to be much cheaper, but I'm in Ct. so it did come out to be pricey. Even driving with a trailer between gas and tolls would be pretty expensive.
It's $356 one-way from Jefferson City to my house, which is already far cheaper than the crating charges alone!
I'm pretty convinced to go this route, so was looking for the pickup/dropoff logistics, etc. The drive home is only 10 hours, so it's not bad at all.
Is the guy kneeling beside the crate praying that it will all fit?
Sorry, I couldn't resist! ;>)
He was looking at the bottom of the crate the wings were in to see if there was anything that might snag on the truck's hydraulic tailgate as the forklift slid the crate into the truck. The real trick was to raise the tailgate platform more or less in synch with raising the end of the crate with the forklift.
Everything went smoothly in spite of all the kibitzers. :)
BTW. I picked-up my partially-completed STOL 750 kit (the big crate was still full of untouched parts) in a 16' enclosed trailer. The previous owner thoughtfully made simple dollies of 2 x 6's the same width as the crate and with casters on each end. The ends were secured to the crate with cleats. We were able to simply push the crate up the inclined trailer ramp and into the trailer and then secured it, chocking the casters with 2 x 4's screwed into the trailer floor. When I got home, I used the front-end loader on my small tractor to lift one end of the crate and rolled it right out of the trailer. I left the casters on the crate and it was very handy - I could easily move the crate by myself as necessary to accommodate the build and make room as necessary.
2120 Miles From Vancouver, BC to Mexico, MO.
I have built from 4 partial kits, Empennage, Wings, Fuselage and finally Finishing Kit and Controls (arrived today) All crated and shipped from Zenith to Este Express Terminal in Auburn, WA over the last 6 years. I drive down with a pick-up or U-haul trailer and pick the crates in Auburn. I will pick up the last crate on Monday. None of the individual kits or probably even the whole kit would be more economical to ship than going this route for the distance. Nonetheless if time and money permitted, I would have liked to drive to the factory and picked up the whole plane just for the experience. Only glitch is when I did not copy down the width of a crate correctly and brought a trailer that was too narrow necessitating a second trip.
I would like to fly to Zenith's factory in Mexico some day with the finished 701, that might be sweeter.
Whatever way you go, enjoy.
I think with a lot of those one way rentals they charge you for some one to return the truck unless they have a rental going the other way and then you have the cost of airfare to consider. I drove both ways pulling a 16 foot cargo trailer. 1676 miles Black Diamond Alberta. It was a long 2 days each way but I spent 4 days there at a Corvair Collage and Zenith open house so it was worth it. With the engine to haul down and back I thought this was the best way for me to go.
LOL, Funny, last Christmas I picked up a 601-B project at DFW area. I live about two hours from Mexico MO. I just bit the bullet, sort of speak, and rented a 26' U Haul. Probably could have gotten a smaller one, but I wanted to be sure I had plenty of room and first and foremost, it had to be enclosed. I got around dozen blankets from U Haul, a couple of four wheel dollies, and 100' close line, six ratchets straps. I think the cost was somewhere around a thousand dollars total. Nice comfortable truck and I had a tow dolly for our car. Even if you fly into St Louis, you still have a couple of hours drive to Mexico. St Louis Lambert Airport has everything your looking for, and Mexico MO is out in the boon docks. You will spend a lot of time just looking for and picking things up if you fly in. Im sure there are U haul centers around Mexico. It is just off the interstate and several medium size town in the area. Just google U Haul and pick the one closest to Mexico MO. There might even be one in Mexico.
We did have a little snow around Tulsa, but all in all you would have mostly interstate highways. Texas did take a bit getting used to with your u turns, but like the 75 MPH speed limits. Expect to stay one nigh in Motel, unless your young and tireless.
Any way you do it, have fun!
Thanks for the tips, Gil; glad you liked our 75MPH! Makes things a bit easier. Too bad you didn't head down to Austin; their bypass has it posted at 85!
I've seen several truck places in the vicinity of Mexico (from Columbia to Jeff City, etc.). Just trying to determine if anyone did the airline / car rental / workshop / dump car / get truck scenario and what worked for them logistically.
Carl, I did what you are thinking about back in January 2013. Flew to STL from Maine, rented a vehicle at the airport and drove the 100 miles to the Zenith factory area. There was a Penske rental center about 20 miles south in close proximity and that is where I also did the rental car drop off and Penske truck pick up after getting a hotel for the night. The morning I picked up the Penske, I drove to Mexico, did the paperwork, they packed the truck, and I was on the road east bound by noon. 2 nights and three days later I was back home in Maine with the project. Airfare, rental, lodging, meals and fuel ran around $1500. I made the decision to go this route after pricing trucking of the quick build fuselage and other kit material. Very few truckers would load/transport a fuselage and the specialty guys wanted a lot of money. In my case, it was about the same price overall, but I got to do it on my schedule, with a hard pickup and delivery time I could control. Overall I think it was a good way to start the adventure of the airplane project.
Thanks for the info, David; Do you happen to recall what car rental agency you used and the city you dropped it off & picked-up the Penske? How'd you get from the car rental place and then get over to Penske?