We've never had a problem getting into parks - except for a couple in New England where the sites where 25' long.
Fulltiming is whatever you want it to be. There is no right or wrong way to fulltime, no right or wrong amount to budget for it, and no right or wrong to decide what one needs to be comfortable doing it.
We don't camp, we RV - we have a mobile, comfortable 1 bed apartment for traveling the country in comfort, enabling us to enjoy our retirement. This works for US - including having room to store the bottles of neat wines we find along our way each year.
Your vehicle needs to be licensed in the state where it is 'garaged' or spends most of the time. We know a lot of people that have cars that they leave in AZ over the summer when they return northward. Their DLs are from whatever state they 'reside' in, the cars used mainly in AZ are licensed in AZ. Like property, you can have vehicles licensed in different states where they are used. DL should match where you vote, do jury duty, etc.
We plan to retire in May and hit the road for, at least, a month or so. We live in Ohio. Just looking for suggestions where to go first. We have thought about New England or Nova Scotia.
Good for you!
I can't speak of availability in Nova Scotia beyond the possibility that you'll need to make a reservation on the ferry but as far as NE is concerned start making your reservations NOW. Many prime spots are prolly already booked for June and at least some weeks of July.
Have fun out there and start gathering your free state and province tourist info:).
Don't need to go to Nova Scotia by ferry - - just a leisurely drive up through New Brunswick, making sure to stop and watch the Bay of Fundy 'retreat' one day and walk on the bottom of the bay. NB is easy to drive through on the way to Nova Scotia. Then spend a few weeks in NS, maybe some time on PEI, or if feeling really adventurous, take the ferry to Newfoundland or Labrador.
Thank you all for your replies.
Just to clarify, we do have a few makers & models in mind. However since we have no experience in rving we wanted to hear what some of you experts have to say.
After reading all your comments we have decided that the wise thing for us to do would be to rent an RV for a week or so and see how we feel with regards to size, living space and comfort etc...
We are looking to purchase the Ford F-150 as our towing vehicle - anyone has any light to shed on this vehicle?
As I said on another forum, and will say again, that isn't ENOUGH TRUCK, for a 30' trailer, whether toy hauler or not. Not so sure why you think you need a toy hauler, but with an F-150 truck it isn't going to happen. You need a cargo carrying capacity (that's how much stuff you can take with you) of between 1000#-1500# PER PERSON for fulltiming. Fulltiming isn't a weekend it is 24/7, 365/year so everything you need goes with you. Yes, we've seen people who fulltime with very little - they exist on the road, they aren't enjoying it.
$13K will get you something, but you had better have another $10K or so in your repair fund, because old/cheap units almost always need 'upgrades'. For every one that finds the perfect rig for almost nothings there are thousands upon thousands who find their worst nightmares. It can be done, but it takes knowing what you are looking for, asking the right questions, being realistic in your own abilities, having the repair funds to take care of problems, and the ability to replace those funds as needed.
Reservations for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, way ahead of schedule because people go out on those weekends in the PNW. For a lot of the rest of the summer, we do membership parks, so we just pick weeks, match with which park we want, and get out site online. When traveling through an area, we only do 200-250 miles a day and try to stop by 2:00 pm. Usually call about noon or 1:00 pm to see if they have room, almost always not a problem because we are ahead of everyone else stopping for the night. Stopping early also means we are all set up and get to watch everyone else try to jockey to get in - we can watch rather than be part of the afternoon entertainment. :W
California and Arizona need RAIN and more of it. They are still in drought mode in Southern CA and most of Arizona - - need to fill those lakes and reservoirs. We're in Mesa, so warmer than Tucson and the storms come through pretty quickly and we are back to sunshine!
Arhayes, I hadn't realized parks got so booked up, it's difficult to commit to somewhere you've never been for three months, but I suppose the first time will be more of a learning experience.
Djgarcia, that's a great list to start off with, and we have talked about many of those things. It seems like a good idea to join Good Sam, is that what most people do?
Assuming you want to be somewhat warm in the winter, places like FL, TX, AZ, CA has areas that attract snowbirds so they fill rather quickly for Long-Term stays. However, since this would be your first winter, pick and area (we love AZ) and stay 1-2 weeks in places and move around and see what you enjoy. Took us several years to figure out that AZ was where we wanted to be, and another few to zero in on Mesa, then a couple to decide on the park where we wanted to spend all winter. We have friends who decided they loved the open desert out in Quartzite, so they boondock all winter. Others love Palm Springs, a few the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), and some in Florida. Don't be in a hurry about finding the exact place. And you can always find spots for 1 or 2 weeks in the winter, just not the 3-6 months without prior reservations.
We have stayed monthly in other states and electricity was always included in the monthly rate. They did not charge different rates for 30/50 amp as I see some do either. I also see ones charging extra if you have a washer/dryer in your rig because of water situations. Have never had that in more northern states either.
We've been in 46 of the lower 48, during the past 10+ yrs, so have a fair bit of experience. While there will be some places that include electric in their monthly rates, it is unusual in most states, especially in the west. Usually see different daily rates for 50/30 amps in a lot of the membership parks in the west - especially those that are in the process of upgrading to 50 amps. Still a lot of parks in the Pacific Northwest that are only 30 amps.
Owning a piece of property does not equal a domicile/residency. Thousands upon thousands of people own a home in AZ but are not residents of AZ. A fulltimer gets to decide where they want to be a 'resident', establish that by getting a drivers license, registering their vehicles, voting, doing jury duty (when available), etc. If you have "fulltimers" insurance on your vehicles, the insurance companies know you will not be in any one specific place all of the time - that you are traveling.
Of course, we've only been doing this for 10+ yrs so what do we know.
I guess you'd better listen to these folks with lots more experience than I have. AZ is pretty strict - giving you only 15 days to register vehicles. Here in NY , we have 6 mos.to do so. Hope you haven't been confused by the info I shared. SD definitely allows NON-residents to register an rv in SD. You just must put your actual, honest state of residence as the registration address.
We hope someday to be fulltimers (nomads) like you were, but for now we'll be in NY part of the year and Florida & Idaho the rest of the time.
Enjoy life's journey!!
Residency in AZ is more than just having an Arizona address. The state considers you a resident if any one of the following situations applies to you:
You obtain an Arizona driver's license.
Your kids attend school here without paying an out-of-state tuition rate.
You're employed in Arizona (seasonal agricultural workers exempt).
You remain in the state for 7 months or more in one calendar year.
You have an Arizona business that houses and operates vehicles here.
You own an AZ business that transports people or goods in the state.
You're registered to vote in AZ.
Don & Eileen, You've bought a townhome in Arizona three years ago and still are not a Arizona resident? Also, you're storing your motorhome in Utah with South Dakota registration? I'd highly recommend registering everything in Arizona. You're not abiding by Arizona rules and that could be costly.
You can own property in any state you like, doesn't make you a resident of the state.
And did we mention DUST STORMS?
I'll admit that the threat of Valley Fever, and my allergies to dust in general, made me desire FL over AZ. We chose the Space Coast area for less traffic, and I sure feel like the people here have been as nice as the people anywhere else?
But yes, FL can be humid (the price you pay for having water everywhere). Buggy?? Maybe during the summer? I've not really seen many, but maybe it's because the little Anole lizards keep them at bay...
The Hoboobs are associated with the Monsoon season, which isn't during the winter, but usually August and September. And Valley Fever is way overblown. Actually much greater incidence in the San Joaquin Valley in California - where the name comes from. And most of the winter dust is on the west side where next to the open agricultural fields, not on the east side next to the Superstition Mountains.
Luckily not everyone likes the desert, which means those of us that do have a great winter at cheaper costs.
Any recommendation for RV parks in the Mesa area? We are thinking of coming down February/march.
You might be able to get reservations now for February - but March is always near full capacity all over the valley because of Spring Training - and the Cubs have their training site in Mesa, so everything is full this year. Best bet is to call and see what is available. We like the Cal-Am parks (several around), especially Val Vista, since that is where we are. Also give Mesa Spirit a call - they recently became part of the Encore system and openings last year. There are several Encore parks in the area. Also check out Usery Park (Maricopa County parks) to see what is available. It is only 2 weeks at a time (water/electric) but nice sites and a wonderful view of the valley. Several parks in Apache Junction (next to Mesa) but I'm not sure of their availability during Feb/March.
We own a townhouse in AZ now, but my question rests on whether or not we can keep our motorhome registered in SD after establishing residency in AZ.
Have you established residency in AZ for 12 months of the year. Or do you just spend the winter in AZ and go elsewhere for the summer. AZ allows 7 months before you need to declare residency, so if you are here for 6 months or less, keep your SD residency. You can own property anywhere without establishing residency
I strongly disagree with your assessment of South Texas.
Dirt isn't blowing from Jan through April as the fields are plowed?
How many world class museums are there (anything like the Heard
Museum or Musical Instrument Museum), how many large and medium performing arts centers, how many visual arts centers, science centers/museums?
How many superb restaurants - not just grill or Mexican?
TCP, major league sports, Spring Training, etc.
We spent 1 winter all along the RGV valley. Only good thing was going to Big Bend as we left in the early spring. Going over the bridge into Progresso isn't my idea of shopping/restaurants/wonderful day. We geocache the area, visited the small museums, looked for great restaurants (found none) and visited with friends. During the whole time what we saw was that people like going there to visit with friends, have continuing patio parties (how their liver survives is beyond me), and go across the Rio Grande for cheap drugs, and somewhat cheaper monthly rates. Not idea of what we would want for our winter.
We spent one winter in Florida. Didn't like the bugs - way to many, didn't like the attitude of "oh ****, the snowbirds are here - just leave your money and get out of our way", did I mention the bugs, didn't like the poor quality of seafood restaurants, which is strange when you realize they are surrounded by sea; did I mention the bugs. Spent another winter in the RGV - some bugs, blowing dirt from all of the farming area, some cold days, blowing dirt (thick enough to chew), nothing in terms of cultural arts, concerts, great shopping, etc.
We spent several winters wandering around Arizona before we settled on Mesa - just has everything we want. Great access to performing arts, great shopping, great restaurants, fantastic museums, universities, 20 minutes and we're up in the mountains, sun from October to April, shorts most if the winter, great medical care (tht becomes more important as one ages), and SPRING TRAINING with 12 major league teams playing all within 45 min drives at the most from each other. Life is good.:C
Fall of '14 we made the decision to buy a Park Model in Mesa, AZ as our winter base and use the MH to travel for 6 months during the summer. Best of both worlds for us for right now and further down the road we will probably sell the MH and just have the Park Model until assisted living near our daughter becomes the next move for us.