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Old 01-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #101
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I have been reading some RVer blogs on and off. There was this younger couple who have been full-timing in a 17' trailer pulled with a Jeep. They reported spending $6000 for fuel cost and RV park fees in 2009, traveling 13,000 miles. They appear to boondock a lot. Details are here: Tales from Technomadia A Buck a Mile.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:00 AM   #102
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It's been nearly six months since this post went up, so it's time to report on our progress . . .

1) Our rig was delivered and we're going to take possession of it next Saturday
2) We received our Texas drivers licenses in the mail last week. . . Yeeee-Haaaaaaaw
3) Our individual health insurance policy was approved with no riders, exclusions or up-rates (phew!). Coverage starts in March.
4) We got insurance policies on our new rig and existing car in TX for $130 / yr less than what we're paying for just car insurance in NJ.
5) I'll be letting the fine folks at MegaCorp know of my plans this Tuesday.
6) We sold the first of our things on E-Bay and got better prices than we expected. Disposing of everything that can't fit into a ~300 sqft space is our next big task.
7) On track to disembark in mid-April.

So what originally seemed to be an overwhelmingly large to-do list is getting shorter and more manageable.

One of the interesting psychological aspects of this process has been how many times we needed to recommit to the decision to do this over the past six months. Ordinarily large decisions, once made, are usually made. No matter how much hand-wringing and deliberation takes place prior to a decision (whether for a large purchase, a new job, or a new family member) there usually isn't a good option to turn back once you've decided to go ahead. In this case the original decision was easy and cost free. But implementing that decision required certain actions that incrementally added to the cost of changing our minds. Telling friends and family of our plans created a small embarrassment factor if we ultimately decided not to do it. Flying to Texas to get our drivers licenses wasted money and time. Ordering the RV was a large financial commitment. Actually quitting a good job is harder than dreaming about it.

Before each of those decisions we had "gut-check" moments when we asked ourselves "are we really going to do this." Ultimately the answer always came back "Yes". So we're still on track. But the incremental process was grinding and allowed plenty of time for doubt and second guessing. It's kind of like jumping out of an airplane in stages. Better to just jump and be done with it.

But now at least we're in free-fall, fully committed and going forward come hell or high water. Lets hope the parachute opens safely.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:12 AM   #103
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Enjoyed your post. Keep on keepin' us updated! BTW, how can you get licenses in TX if you aren't residents there yet?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:13 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go View Post
1) Our rig was delivered and we're going to take possession of it next Saturday
Did you end up going with the Winnie? We want to see pictures!

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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go View Post
2) We received our Texas drivers licenses in the mail last week. . . Yeeee-Haaaaaaaw
Let me guess - your new home address is in Livingston, TX.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:15 AM   #105
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Things are really falling in place for you. Congratulations.

What kind of RV did you decide upon?
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:15 AM   #106
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Yrs to Go, I am so excited for you. This is a great thread, I hope you keep posting. Please allow me to live through you as I am still chained to my desk.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #107
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Did you end up going with the Winnie? We want to see pictures!
Yup. Got the Winne Sightseer 33C made to order. We'll be at the dealer's next weekend and will probably have pictures to post then.


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Let me guess - your new home address is in Livingston, TX.
Heh, heh, heh, heh (if I may borrow an expression).
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:29 AM   #108
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BTW, how can you get licenses in TX if you aren't residents there yet?
Home is where you hang your hat.

But what if the place you hang your hat keeps moving? The concept of "residence" becomes a little more complicated. The world, or at least the US, isn't particularly accommodating to nomads and requires you to declare a particular state as a "domicile". Ordinarily that is pretty straight forward. You live in a house or an apartment and get all of your documentation, pay all your taxes and vote in whatever state that "residence" happens to be in. But if you don't have one physical address to serve as an anchor, you have to figure out an alternative (and you have to have an alternative if you want a drivers license, any kind of insurance, the right to vote, and wish to stay out of jail for state tax evasion).

One alternative (and the one we're going with) is to use a mail forwarding service as your permanent address. Some states are more friendly than others with respect to being able to do this legitimately, and Livingston, TX, is one of the most friendly and court tested in the country. So we're in the process of migrating everything to our new Livingston address. And because a drivers license is often used as the basis of proof for most of the other stuff you need, that is one of the first things we needed to relocate.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:45 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go View Post
Home is where you hang your hat.

But what if the place you hang your hat keeps moving? The concept of "residence" becomes a little more complicated. The world, or at least the US, isn't particularly accommodating to nomads and requires you to declare a particular state as a "domicile". Ordinarily that is pretty straight forward. You live in a house or an apartment and get all of your documentation, pay all your taxes and vote in whatever state that "residence" happens to be in. But if you don't have one physical address to serve as an anchor, you have to figure out an alternative (and you have to have an alternative if you want a drivers license, any kind of insurance, the right to vote, and wish to stay out of jail for state tax evasion).

One alternative (and the one we're going with) is to use a mail forwarding service as your permanent address. Some states are more friendly than others with respect to being able to do this legitimately, and Livingston, TX, is one of the most friendly and court tested in the country. So we're in the process of migrating everything to our new Livingston address. And because a drivers license is often used as the basis of proof for most of the other stuff you need, that is one of the first things we needed to relocate.
Thanks YrsToGo for the explanation. That makes it much clearer. I'm curious - how does your health coverage work, with you being in different places all the time? Congratulations on getting covered with no riders or exclusions. You sure have been busy over the past 6 months!

P.S. Now you only have Months To Go!
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #110
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I'm curious - how does your health coverage work, with you being in different places all the time?
We went with a nationwide provider (Humana) who has lots of doctors, in lots of states, that are considered "in network". The Blue Cross network is bigger (Humana doesn't have doctors in most of the Northeast) but they don't have a plan that covers prescriptions, which could end up being a big deal. So we went with a smaller network, but better coverage, at roughly the same cost.

Health insurance is the thing that gives me the most angst out of everything we're doing. If this little project of ours ends up being a mistake I think the most likely cause will be problems with our health insurance. I have zero confidence that our individual policy will stand up if one of us gets chronically ill. Not necessarily because of what we're doing specifically, I just think the individual health insurance market is a sham in general. But what we're doing does put us at even greater risk, I fear.

After a lot of research we had originally decided on South Dakota for our domicile state. It seemed better for us for a variety of reasons. We were just about to fly out there when I started having a funny feeling that we might have issues with health insurance in SD. So I called a bunch of agents who all told me the same thing . . . I needed proof of a physical address in the state to get insurance. Meanwhile, the agent who was affiliated with the mail forwarding service told me "It's no problem. We write these policies all the time." Which I have no doubt is true. But writing a policy isn't exactly the same thing as enforcing a policy. The minute we try to put through a million dollar insurance claim, our friendly insurance company is going to look for a reason to avoid paying. Not actually having a physical residence in the state sounds just about as good as any, I imagine.

We could have similar problems in TX. But the Texas address has actually withstood previous court challenges by folks who questioned whether full-time RVers were actually residents of the state and county. So I get a little comfort from that. But the truth is, living an unconventional lifestyle entails certain risks, and this is one of them.

So that's basically how we ended up in TX. But in any event, now that I have my TX bona fides . . . when do we secede?
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:18 AM   #111
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Yrs to Go, the 33C what we are looking at currently as well. Nice rig, good size, right size tanks for us, we like the king bed option....schweet! We still have a while to go before we buy, but thinking about it.

One question, how much will the individual health insurance set you back? We are not looking at full time, but looking at enough time on the road that good coverage will be important to us.

Thx, R
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:08 AM   #112
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Home is where you hang your hat.

But what if the place you hang your hat keeps moving? The concept of "residence" becomes a little more complicated. The world, or at least the US, isn't particularly accommodating to nomads and requires you to declare a particular state as a "domicile". Ordinarily that is pretty straight forward. You live in a house or an apartment and get all of your documentation, pay all your taxes and vote in whatever state that "residence" happens to be in. But if you don't have one physical address to serve as an anchor, you have to figure out an alternative (and you have to have an alternative if you want a drivers license, any kind of insurance, the right to vote, and wish to stay out of jail for state tax evasion).

One alternative (and the one we're going with) is to use a mail forwarding service as your permanent address. Some states are more friendly than others with respect to being able to do this legitimately, and Livingston, TX, is one of the most friendly and court tested in the country. So we're in the process of migrating everything to our new Livingston address. And because a drivers license is often used as the basis of proof for most of the other stuff you need, that is one of the first things we needed to relocate.
And some states don't want you to leave. In Minnesota there is a court case which holds something to the effect that you must establish a permanent place of abode in another state with the intent to make it your permanent home to successfully drop your Minnesota domicile for income tax purposes. If you are a full time rv'er traveling around the country with no permanent home the court held that you will remain taxed as a Minnesota resident even if you don't come back to Minnesota. Changing your drivers license, voting, and mailing address don't cut it and Minnesota doesn't care if Texas or South Dakota thinks you are a resident of those states.

(Working off of memory here, don't remember the details of the court case).
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:43 PM   #113
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Hey we are still waiting for pictures... you are one year ahead of my wife and I as we too will sell it all and leve the rest behind... we are looking for a Tiffin 32 BA right now but still have time to change our minds. What made you pick the Winnie?
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:37 PM   #114
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Hey we are still waiting for pictures... you are one year ahead of my wife and I as we too will sell it all and leve the rest behind... we are looking for a Tiffin 32 BA right now but still have time to change our minds. What made you pick the Winnie?
We narrowed it down to the same two coaches (Winnebago 33C and the Tiffin 32B). There were a couple of small technical things that favored the Winnie (more basement space and higher CCC if I recall). But ultimately it was the floor plan of the Winnie that really sold it. We like the full bathroom versus the split (Tiffin used to have a 32 LA model with a full bath but they don't build it any more). Most of all we like the TV placement on the side wall across from the couch instead of over the driver's head at a 90 angle from where you normally sit. It feels much more like a living room . . . and considering that's what it will be, we like it a lot.

Here are the promised pics . . .













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Old 02-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #115
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One question, how much will the individual health insurance set you back? We are not looking at full time, but looking at enough time on the road that good coverage will be important to us.
Heath insurance costs vary greatly among states, among individuals and among plans. We're paying $250/month but I wouldn't use that as a rule of thumb. Check out ehealthinsurance.com to get an idea of what a plan will cost in your state and in your age bracket. And then keep in mind that the prices displayed assume you have zero health issues.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:54 PM   #116
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We own an Itasca Suncruiser 35L. Flawless so far at 1 year. One thing that is outstanding is the electrical system and its control panel. Let you keep track of almost everything from one place, intelligent engineering keeps you out of trouble, and built-in load shedding (handy when you only have 30 or even 15 amps availabe in a state park and don't want to keep blowing breakers.

Tiffins have a superb reputation, too. You will not go wrong either way. And, yes, floor plan trumps almost everything else, within similar price ranges.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:05 PM   #117
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Here are the promised pics . .
Nice!

When do you take your shakedown cruise?

How long do you plan on keeping the clear vinyl covers on your seats?
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:13 PM   #118
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How long do you plan on keeping the clear vinyl covers on your seats?
Until we move in . . . so about a month and a half.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #119
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Until we move in . . . so about a month and a half.
Seems like that's when you should be sure they stay on!
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:21 PM   #120
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OK, I'm envious. The new RV is beautiful, but..., but...

I can't resist.

There's plastic on the furnicha to keep it neat and clean...



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