Any particular reason why you want to be between Tucson and Phoenix?
Keep in mind that the only major town in that area is Casa Grande and they get horrific dust storms because of all the cotton farming in the area. We were in one in December and driving it's the scariest thing you'll ever encounter. Semis plow right into one another and other vehicles.
There are plenty of resorts in the greater Phoenix area and Tucson. I don't think I'd zero in on Phoenix itself but there's Mesa and Apache Junction to look at and they're all connected. The Phoenix area is huge but it's very easy to get around and there's so much to do there. Tucson is much smaller and a more laid-back western town.
BS I was there last winter starting Thanksgiving and our park had NO DUST STORM. The Picacho Peak area gets the dust storms you refer to. Please be accurate and quit scaring people for no good reason
Casa Grande gets plenty of dust storms. 3 years ago (IIRC) there were people killed on I-10 IN Casa Grande during a dust storm. We came through the next day and the wrecked was still visible.
Check out the Cal-Am parks in Mesa area. All of the amenities you could possibly want, easy to get around, great shopping, great nearby arts centers, easy access to the Superstition mountains, etc.
You are correct that we are leaning towards the 5th wheel but we aren't 100% sure. I listen to Dave Ramsey all the time but have never tried to call. You're right that he probably wouldn't like the idea of being mobile. Financially we would be ok and would have some in the bank for a backup in case it didn't work out as planned. I am doing more research in to park models as well. Thanks for the advice!
Since Dave Ramsey doesn't RV and wouldn't have the foggiest idea of what the fulltime lifestyle is all about, who cares what he thinks? :p
Is it that you think the Class A is to big to drive? Because it isn't. You have a LARGE dog, so you want more space not less. Think a week in the rain and then look again at some Class As. You don't have to go to 40+ feet to find good ones that will give you room.
If you leave your address in Texas then you pay Texas registration fees. Texas doesn't not do registration by value of RV but by weight. 26,000# is the point for motorhomes. Our MH weighed in just under 26,000# when we bought it because we hadn't put anything in it, so we are around $260 for the coach registration.
There are a lot of reasons not to use all of your funds to purchase the RV, especially if the funds are in tax deferred accounts and you can easily afford the payments while the funds are making more money than the interest on the loan and doing so tax free.
Second there are several firms that loan to fulltimers. You might want to join Escapees and ask the question there, as several people on the Escapees forums have recently taken out loans from different firms without having a S&B address.
Hummm, so its not that easy. I don't want to make another state my domicile, just eantto take advantage of taxes - but legally!
There is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. We can suggest the best states to have your domicile in when you full time to avoid large tax bits, but what you want us to do is to tell you how to evade taxes that your state, which you say you have no intention of leaving, levies on its citizens. Think about what you are asking someone to do.
Can't you give your son a break and wait until he's graduated from high school? It's not that far away.
Since he's homeschooled, what does it matter. Actually, some real world experience in different parts of the country might be very valuable to him at this time in his life. Think about how he can use his math skills planning the trips, budgeting, etc. Need some good examples for physics - an RV is full of them. Need to learn about electricity - what a great physic lab set up he will have.
And if he wants to go to college, road trips to visit bringing your home along sounds like a great way to do it.
First, none of us that fulltime are homeless. We are houseless, but we all live in our HOME.
Second, do you plan to travel and how will you finance it?
Third, what are your son's plans when he finishes school - college, military, work?
You need to get that information and then involve him in the process. I wouldn't suggest a van, but an older Class C or Class A, pulling a car behind, might be just the ticket. Or possibly a 5th wheel if driving a big pickup as your daily driver would work for you. Have him help in finding RV Shows to go to to see what is available and to find RV dealers to go to in order to see what might be available in your area. There are lots of people who put budgets up so you can see what some people spend on fulltiming. Some do well on $2000 a month or less, some struggle on $6000 a month or more.
BTW - pets do just fine fulltiming.
And no, what you are thinking about doing isn't way out of line or off the wall.
Love good museums and occasional good dining
Well that would pretty much eliminate Yuma. I understand you've booked for a month. Good luck. We spent a week in Yuma and that was about 5 days to long. Only took 2 days to find most of the geocaches.
We really love all of the museums, good shopping, good/great food/ access to mountains, streams, and deserts, art centers and concerts, and all of the rest of things that make our winter stay great in Mesa.
Well we park for months at a time and can leave the grey tank open all of the time and not worry, so you really are talking about a way to leave the black tank open, correct? $200 - for that I can walk out and pull the lever once every two weeks (we have 80 gallon black tank) - since we are about the place anyway, a simple pull doesn't seem that hard. In fact, after 8 years on the road, I'm still trying to figure out why everyone has so much trouble with their tanks. We seldom look at the gauges - 10-12 days for the black tank, about 6 days for the grey when using the w/d and often just leave the grey open until the day before I dump the black tank.
Sounds like you are going to snowbird not fulltime. You might want to also post your question in the snowbird section, better answers from people who go for shorter periods of time. For fulltimers there is no discussion of what do you leave behind, because the rig is your home so everything goes with you.
April 1st seems to be a good "get out of Dodge" time for a lot of people, including us. Max would be April 15th in a normal year. Same with Palm Springs. In fact a lot of restaurants go to summer hours (or close down for the summer) and a lot of RV parks are closed by the end of April.
I have been a full time RV resident for a year and a half and I love it. It enables me to go where the work is and grow my business. My wife and I do go see family from time to time and want to get an apartment near them for when we are in town.
Can I sign a lease or will that get me in trouble with either state? Is there a certain # of days I'm allowed to be somewhere? My residency is South Dakota and my family that I visit lives in Iowa.
Why aren't you staying in your RV when visiting them?
An affiliate is a system that you can join AFTER you have a home park. Coast-2-Coast, AOR, ROD, and RPI are all examples of affiliate systems. You can't belong to them until you have a home park.
Home park can be just an individual park or it can be a system like Thousand Trails, K-M, WHR, SUNRISE, etc. You purchase the home park (or system) either new or used (used is usually the best bet) and then add on the affiliates. It is important though to make sure you understand what the affiliates will cost you. Some home parks (or systems) will charge you are large price to add affiliates if you have purchased a used membership, others the charge is minimal.
As to why to have them - they make it so that not only can you stay at your home park/system, but add HUNDREDS of other parks. We love ROD because it is $0 night for us. But we also use C2C and AOR. In fact we are currently in an ROD affiliated park, we will then go for a wee to a C2C park, then a park under AOR, then back to another ROD park, then a Thousand Trails park, which gets us past Labor Day. Cost for 6 weeks will be $170 or about $4/night.
We average over 100 nights a year in membership parks and have saved thousands of dollars by aggressively using them to our advantage. Sometimes we end up driving a few more miles to visit family/friends, but when the difference is 2 weeks at $0/night versus $40/night, well driving a little is certainly doable!
Encore park are owned by ELS the same corporation that owns TT and are pay as you go. They like to add the Encore parks to the listings to make you think you are getting more. They do give a percentage off but try to put you in the worst 30 amp sites they have. Many of the parks are run down like TT They have put Encore signs at the entrance to many of the TT, Outdoor World and Mid Atlantic parks. They have also added many seasonal sites to all the membership parks.
Most of the Encore parks will also take RPI and Coast-2-Coast ($10/night) which means even in those parks the cost is very cheap. Yes, they might not be the view sites, but for $10/night, I'll put up with that. In fact, at Pacific Dunes (just south of Pismo Beach, the 'best' sites were up on top and as C2C members we were down below the dunes - - wind started howling and we were protected from the drifting sands. Since we are almost always out all day exploring the area, doesn't bother us.
I think the NP access pass only allows disabled seniors free access to the park now?
No, we got our Senior Passes at age 62, have been to national parks all over the country for free. They also provide 1/2 off when camping in Corps of Engineers parks. Best $10 we ever spent!
Passport America certainly didn't used to exempt June, July, August. Perhaps it is only those parks the normally fill up with tourists during those months?
just checked a few in VA. holidays exempted, one was weekends. No sign of blocking entire months.
Ah, try being in the northwest in summer. Lots of them either don't take it from Memorial Day to Labor Day or it is 1 or 2 nights and then Sunday-Thursday, etc. We use it strictly for travel from point A to point B.
There are lots of places to find used memberships. If you haven't already done so, get on the Escapees Forums. Loads of great information for fulltimers and there are often memberships advertised in their marketplace section of the forums.
As already said, for a regular used TT membership, get the contract number and call TT and asked about the contract. NO TWO contracts are alike. Do be sure that the membership includes NACO/Leisure Time -- that will give you the opportunity to also purchase a RPI membership which can be used at other affiliated parks. I would suggest you take a look at our blog page on Membership parks that will give you some good information.
We spend the winter in Mesa, Arizona. Love the desert and the Phoenix area is a great place to get our fix of concerts, museums, great restaurants, shopping, all of the metro urban fixes we want plus the desert just minutes away.
Why have you limited yourself to Yuma or Tucson? I would venture to say that there is a lot more to see and do in the metro Phoenix area. And 55+ parks abound on both the east and west side, with the east side (Mesa, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon) having the most.