Why a 5th wheel? Have you done a lot of RVing before? If not, what made you decide on a 5th wheel.
We have full timed for 9 years. And we found that we always spend the winter in Arizona (Phoenix area) and then explore the rest of the country during the spring, summer, & fall. Didn't like Florida or south Texas and S. California gets pretty expensive.
This past fall we decided that we would get a park model for the winter, when we really don't move much, and then travel in the MH the rest of the year. Having a PM in Michigan will mean you have limited your chances of seeing the rest of the country during the summer. When you can no longer travel do you want to end up back in Michigan? You may want to rethink where to have a PM as well.
I'd be very leery of the 'health share' type of coverage. Make sure you know what happens if someone has a heart attack and requires 3-4 bypasses or is diagnosed with cancer requiring surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. You will approach ½ million rather quickly. Unless there is some form of underwriting for this type of thing, the whole arrangement could go south very, very fast.
My problems with the ACA is first of all it is very misleading.
ACA stands for Affordable Care Act. Unless you are at the very lowest income levels, the coverages are no where near affordable for the average American. A couple in their 50s making around $50,000 gross a year would have a subsidized premium in excess of $500 per month and deductibles around $5000 per person, per year. Factor in taxes on their income of around 20% that would bring total costs of healthcare for a year to nearly 40% of their take home pay. That cannot be called Affordable in anyone's book.j. Why are you mixing income tax with health care cost? You just didn't see the health care costs before because they were paid by your employer, with less income to you. No pre-existing illness making you uninsurable, no lifetime caps, etc. make things better for those that need individual plans.
My second problem is the subsidies appear to be very stair-stepped. Make 1 penny more than some percentage of the poverty level and you suddenly find your deductible going from $500 to $5000. Make less than the poverty level you get dumped into Medicaid, which has a federally mandated clawback provision meaning the government will come after your estate for the benefits paid, that isn't insurance. If you have assets then yes, that will get 'clawed back, Medicaid is for those without assets & income. The poorest of the poor. Always has been.
The ACA basically uses premiums that are too high for the younger workers to subsidize the premiums that are too low for the older workers. To many that is patently unfair. Furthermore, the law requires coverage that many people find morally offensive.. Spreading the risk is what ALL insurance is about.
Single payer would be best, but that requires everyone to get on board and so far people aren't frustrated enough to demand that their legislatures listen to them instead of the lobbyists.
We spend four months in AZ. The spots that we are in require at least a three month stay. We have been going there for about ten years. I haven't meet ONE couple that by the end of there stay wasn't anxious to get home to there sticks and bricks. There isn't an RV big enough (we had up to a forty footer) to live in full time. No yard, no garage to putter in drives me nuts. You can see by the end of the winter stay folks you spend almost every night with around the camp fire are getting a little testy.
Gee and we lived in one fulltime almost 9 years before we got the park model for the winter (which is almost the same size) and ours is only 37' ft long. Some people just aren't made for fulltiming and if you have to have a garage for puttering, then fulltiming isn't for you. Maybe so other interests outside of the park would help if you're getting testy. We've always got things to do, places to go, Spring Training in March, concerts, etc., so we don't feel the need to putter around the garage - have a perfectly good putter for use on any green and getting better at sinking puts.
You paid the lawyer good money and now you come here and ask for other opinions from non-lawyers so they will agree with you?
If you're worried about being sued get an umbrella policy from your insurance agent on top of your fulltimers policy.
People do very well on $3K a month, I think you will find that you can live comfortably and adjust as needed without feeling deprived on that amount. I put a page about Budget Considerations on our blog that might be helpful to you. Make sure you have your medical insurance in the budget and do establish a maintenance/repair fund and faithfully add to it each month. We all hope that nothing happens, but yesterday we got caught in cross winds west of Lordsburg, NM and lost the shroud over our front air conditioner. Luckily, Camping World in Anthony, TX had one in stock and we're able to work us in this afternoon and get it installed. Not a huge charge, but enough that I'll move a little money out of the repair fund to cover it.
I'd also recommend you read as many blogs as you can - lots of people have them in their signature lines (like ours below) and it is a good way to find out about all of the different ways to full time.
BTW - going south in the winter really will help to keep the utilities bills at a minimum. Plus it is so nice to essentially live in shorts/polo shirts year round. :B
Being full-timers we have Summer & Winter clothes so there is no way we can keep them all in our closet; hence basement storage. Thanks everyone for the tips.
Don't you move during the year? We wear our clothes year round - maybe add an extra layer if it turns chilly, but in reality we wear the same clothes year round.
We've traveled for 9 years, fulltime, never, ever had a problem with things stored in the basement. Moldy = moisture in the bays = water leaks. First should be to figure out how you're getting moisture built up in the bays. Since we are into a bay every day or two, there is always fresh air moving around. I store out-of-season clothes in vacumn bags and then place into a long plastic tub on rollers so it is easy to move around. Might it be that you are smelling adhesives that off gas from the luggage? We also don't carry that much in the way of 'off season' clothes - - we follow the 75° mark and add/take off as appropriate so we really wear the same clothes year round. Especially this winter - maybe 3 weeks total without shorts on.
My wife and I are preparing to be be full time RVers for the next few years. Is there an existing thread or can anyone offer advice on the best method for mail delivery and establishing a domicile? We are selling our primary residence. I have a small rental in another city. We are Texas residents. Thanks, Phil
Since you are already Texas residents, go over to Escapees and use them. Polk county has no emission testing required, the company was founded by RVers and they know what they are doing. We've been with them for going on 10 years now.
Don't forget to get an legal address in which ever state you choose - mail forwarding services are the easiest way to go and will help you get established. What about health insurance, have you got that covered? Also you will need full timer insurance on vehicle(s), will be more expensive than regular if you don't have a house that would include personal liability insurance.
One of the pitchers for the Colorado Rockies has not been in Spring Training camp for the past week because his two year old was outside and evidently stepped into the path of a rattler. At first they thought they were going to have to amputate his foot, but now looks at worse he will loose a toe or two but they will save the foot. Really touch & go for the little boy for a few days.
Warmer than normal temps got everything going in the desert before everyone had left for the summer.
If you have ridden in a DP you have the answer - the ride. Plus, if you are out west, climbing & coming down mountain passes, the exhaust brake just walks you down the pass so easily - again it contributes to the ride.
Next we have carrying capacity - - most DPs have a larger CCC - we had over 5000 lbs available when we started, plus big bays that are open clear across the rig.
Then there is the fact that the engine is in the back, so it is quite and you can listen to music, talk, all without that engine between the two of you.
As to maintenance costs - yes it is more, but the interval in between is longer. If we spent all of our time in the midwest or east, then a gasser would do fine, but we cross the Rockies & Cascades/Sierras at least twice each year - usually more than that as we wonder around for the summer.
Parks we stayed at have had them any where from $0.75 to $2.50 to wash, dryers are all over the place. I figure $3-$5/load and when I do have to use a laundromat (no FHU sites) it usually takes 3 loads to wash, 2 to dry, with shirts/lingere being hung up to dry. Which adds up pretty quickly. If you are paying electric, I calculated (at 12¢/KWH) it costs just over 25¢ per load in motorhome which would equal about 50¢ for regular sized loads. Short term payback for purchasing w/d.
We've never had a crank up antenna - ours is round omnidirectional one. So no worry.
The only problem we've ever had was when hooking up at a camp ground with just a dump station. We had been there 2 weeks, but the day we leave is when people want to ask questions and we got distracted while hooking up the toad. Each of us thought the other had released the parking brake in the toad. Result - one shredded tire! Now we start over if someone interrupts us and we each do a second check of the parking brake. Also the one doing the light checks then watches the wheels roll as we move forward to lock in the tow bar.
Do all of you do daily checks of the oil, water, tires every day for your daily driver? Unless we see a leak, we check things about once every 6 weeks when we do the battery checks, or just before we start out after sitting for a spell. But that is done a few days before leaving, not part of the we're heading out checks.
We have a motorhome, so some differences.
1) Empty black & grey tanks and put away hoses. We don't add anything to them as routine use the rest of the day/night will add sufficient water. If we added ? to each, that would be an extra 500# we would be hauling around for no reason. If overnighting this doesn't apply as we only drain tanks when ? or more full.
2) Take off the window and tire covers. If only overnighting, then this doesn't apply.
3) If in a pull-through we hook up the car that evening before going to be.
4) Turn Driver & Navigator seats back around. Put all loose items away.
Day of departure:
1) Store computer and computer table.
2) Pull up blinds and secure with bunge cords (did away with day/night shades years ago.
3) Fill travel mugs and dump excess coffee (and grounds). Secure coffee pot (velcro).
4) Put all dish detergent, other items into dishpan in sink.
5) Move trash can to travel area.
6) Bring in front slide
7) Turn off TV & slide back into place.
8) Up turn ottoman and place in chair.
9) Close all vents
10) Put shower head into bucket with shampoo and other loose shower items.
11) Put bathroom items into holding places or bucket bathroom sink.
12) check all drawers are closed
13) Pull in bedroom slide
14) secure vents in bedroom & toilet room
15) Put satellite dish & tripod away
16) Unhook water and put hose away.
17) Unplug power & put cord away.
18) Start Engine & raise jacks
19) Pull jack landing pads from underneath coach
20) Put window awning up.
21) Check lights on car, check correct setting for key in car, transmission in neutral
22) pull forward to engage tow bar
23) Do walk around coach/car to check for any items
Do walk from bed to cockpit making sure all doors/cabinets/drawers are secure; check seat belts and slowly head out.
We don't use a crackup over-the-air antenna, so don't worry about that.
I liked southeast Arizona so much I'm thinking of making it my go-to home for the winter from now on. With that said I wonder, with all the retirees living there, why isn't Arizona on the list of RV friendly "home" states? I'm just asking because the new Texas registration/inspection laws are already giving me a headache and to paraphrase fellow RVer Executive, I'm ready to "turn the key" on Texas.
Arizona registration fees are based upon the value of the rig. So for many of the big rigs it is several thousands a yr to register. That value does decline over time, but it is still a pretty good chunk of change.
No reason why the new registration/inspection law should be a problem. In fact it is just the same as it was before except that you don't have the second sticker on the windshield. Why do you think it is a problem?
A new requirement in TX (as of March 1) is an annual state vehicle inspection that is tied to your registration. Before you could register vehicles online and just get your inspection and sticker whenever you entered the state. Now you need the inspection to register. Also, inspections are now required on trailers as well.
I am afraid that you don't have it quite right. If you are out-of-state you just self-certify that you are out-of-state and then register. Then, when you get back into the state, you have 3 days to get the inspection done. Lots of people will go years & years without having their rigs inspected. Inspection stickers were always required on trailers - just that the place where the sticker went wasn't easy to see so that really wasn't enforced.
I don't think you can put a PO box on a driver's license so your official IRS address would be whatever is on your driver's license.
Mine has a P.O.Box address on my DL. here in Oregon and right below it....it says "continuous traveler"
Oregon is different & to get that DL you have to haved lived in Oregon for at least 6 months with a street address before you can apply for the continuous traveler designation.