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.
The answer seems so obvious that I almost hate to ask. I see a lot of RV parks in AZ or other SW states that say they are 55+ parks. I just retired and am going to be full timing it and am looking for a place in AZ probably, problem may be that I'm only 53. Do you really have to be 55 to stay in these parks?
like I said, the answer may be so obvious it isn't funny
Usually one of the partners has to be 55+, though often parks can allow a certain % to be under 55. What they don't allow are long term stays by someone with kids, because there are certain tax advantages to a 55+ park and in return, the park is telling the community that they will not burden the school system.
You will find most of the snow bird parks in AZ will be 55+ because they are catering to those people who are retired, like to be warm in the winter, and have enough of a disposable income to be able to stay there.
Could someone post the Urls of the various Campground Membership places so I can check out the various ones? I am looking into joining one or more. So far, I am aware of Passport American and Escapees.
Neither PPA or Escapees is a 'membership' campground program. Both offer discounts for their members.
Read our blog page on membership programs: Membership Parks then do a Goggle search for each of the ones that you want to consider. And get a used membership.
We've saved 10s of thousands of dollars using them over the past 8 years.
They will get something done. There is big oil money behind getting it corrected for all of the oil services companies and trucking outfits that are currently in ND. Not to mention the state rep and state senator for the Livingston area don't want to loose 10,000+ constituents.
Yes, the worst case scenario could occur, so you can go ahead and tell everyone how awful Texas is and encourage everyone to use Arizona as their fulltiming domicile.
Are you going to tell us what would happen to RVers who domicile in TX if the TX new vehicle registration goes into effect next March?
Since the state is now working on the problem and haven't posted how the exceptions will be handled, no one can tell you what will happen. And if they don't get it worked out, Escapees will lose a lot of customers with some moving to Florida and some to SD, just depending upon what there needs are. There may even be one or two that will move to Arizona, though I highly doubt it.
Again, I'm not sure why you are so angry about where others live. I get that you think Arizona is great - we love it in the winter and spend 3-4 months there. But for most people using AZ as their domicile while fulltiming just doesn't work.
BTW - what is the mail service that caters to RVers in AZ?
We use Havasu Mail & Business Center.
I see nothing on their site that gives information on what they provide for fulltimers - it is just a regular mail service for businesses, etc. If it works fine for you that is great. But how do they help with jury duty and how do they handle voting for you? There is a lot more than just forwarding mail that is involved in true full timer service.
No state income tax
Low RV & tow registration costs
Lower RV & tow insurance rates
Lower costs and nationwide coverage for health insurance.
Choose correctly & you will save $1000.s of $$$ a year
Also add whether or not voting at your address is allowed, how easy it is to take care of jury duty, what the inheritance laws are that will affect YOUR situation, etc. It takes work to find the state that will give you the greatest amount of freedom to pursue your dreams.
I disagree. If one does a bit of research on their state of choice then they can live in at mail box in any state. My vehicles were titled and insured in WA. I researched transferring them to TX or FL. I concluded that the high title transfer fees, acquiring a new drivers license, and the high auto insurance rates in those states was too much for me. I rented a mail box at a mom-and-pop parcel store located in a stand-alone building - not a strip mall. Changing my drivers license address was free ($10 if I wanted a new drivers license with the new address. I paid the $10). The auto insurance for the MH and toad went up $1 and $2 - simply because I moved 1 county away. My drivers license says "# nnnn" instead of "PMB nnnn" - because the state's computer system doesn't accept "PMB" as a valid abbreviation. If they don't care then I don't care.
Then for any other address change if they didn't accept "PMB nnnn" then I tell them "This is how the state has it on my drivers license, so if that's what they use then you can use that". I follow the path of least resistance in this regard. I have never had an address issue that wasn't easily resolved.
Try coming in from out-of-state to register your vehicles and get DL using a UPS mailbox as your physical address - can't be done as far as we could determine. Changing an address, yes, but not establishing a new one. Plus there was the additional amount of money that the state wanted in terms of registering. I was born in Skagit county so we really did want to 'come home' but the state made it impossible unless I was going to use my mothers address (could use my sister's because she lives in King county) and I didn't want my elderly mother to have to worry about getting and forwarding our mail.
The new law in Texas is NOT in effect yet, it doesn't go into effect until 3-1-15. So right now you register as we have always done. This wasn't a separate law, it was an amendment that was stuck on another bill on the last days of the legislature. Yes, Escapees missed it, as did the trucking industry and the oil service industry, all of whom have joined in getting the state to look at how they are going to address the issue of those out of state who can not get inspection done.
Not sure why you are so antagonistic about being in Arizona and a full timer and thinking everyone else would want to do the same. If it works for you, great, but it is obvious that it doesn't work for most people who fulltime or we would see a lot of people with AZ plates who are fulltimers. Others have rigs that the yearly registration fees would be prohibitive because it is based on value, or they have income from investments, etc., that would incur taxes that they don't have to pay if they are residents of SD, FL, or TX.
BTW - having a good mail service that caters to a full timer (whether RV or boats) is more than just dumping mail in a box and forwarding it on.
The best states for retirees in terms of taxes included things like property taxes. That's why Texas isn't on the list because property taxes are so high - - but since we don't own property, we don't worry about that.
BTW - what is the mail service that caters to RVers in AZ?
We have never used PMB in our address, always the #. We opened our BOA accounts using our Escapee address with the # and never had a problem. Vanguard doesn't have a problem with the # nor does TIAA-CREF. And in Texas our Livingston address is a legal PHYSICAL address.
The three states mentioned (FL, SD, TX) have mail forwarding companies that cater to RVers. That is one of the reasons that they are so popular. The other states that have no state income tax do not make it easy for fulltimers to do things like vote or get health insurance or any one of the myriad of different things they do like the three states mentioned, nor do they have mail forwarding companies that specialize in working with fulltimers.
If AZ was so good for fulltimers, there would be loads of people with AZ plates in every park all summer long throughout the US.
As to the Texas registration process - it is being worked on by Escapees, which is lobbying on our behalf and I have no doubt that it will be worked out this year. That is the other thing, who in Arizona is going to lobby on behalf of fulltimers?