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Old 07-11-2021, 09:44 AM   #1
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Overwhelmed - Where to Start?

Hi All,


I've started my journey into complicated world that is living small and living full time in a 5th Wheel



My challenge right now is that every search takes me to the next thing I never considered and I'm becoming overwhelmed.



I retire in 6 years and my wife and I have already begun the daunting task of reducing our overall footprint by selling our homes and "stuff" and renting so we can just walk away when it's time.


We are also learning to manage our outbound expenses by living on my projected Social Security income and not replacing our stuff.


I'm primarily focused on domicile options right now as well as purchasing in the domicile state and preparing it for the future.


I would welcome your thoughts and experience and hope we get to know some of you moving forward.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:06 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2 .

Many full timers among the members here so hopefully they can provide answers to your questions .

You already have the advantage of giving yourself time to figure things out .
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:11 AM   #3
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Welcome to the iRV2 forums. Lots of good info posted over the years and plenty of helpful folks to assist in understand it all.
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:25 AM   #4
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Best place to get full time and domicile information is join Escapees and use their website. They explain the options for domicile and the procedures. They offer an excellent mailbox service.

Most full timers pick Texas, Florida or South Dakota. You will need to see which one best suits your tax and insurance situation.

Do not get put off on Texas with the nay-sayer and their lack of understanding of the inspection needs for the RV. If you are out of state, you do the yearly registration on line and note that you are out of state. You have 72 hours once back in Texas to get the inspection done.

https://www.escapees.com/

Start out with shorter trips near you current home to see what you need or do not need.

Ken
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:37 AM   #5
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'TXiceman' makes good points

SD is cheapest
Vehicle registrations, Insurance but is VERY limited for Nationwide Medical Coverage if NOT on Medicare
PLUS if your birthday falls on a Winter Month you might have to deal with winter travel to renew DLs ---even on-line renewal requires a Receipt for 1 night stay within a year so PLAN Accordingly


TX ------higher Insurance costs and that 'yearly inspection' is require WHEN you return to TX
Think Nationwide Med is issue also if not on Medicare

FL......use to have Nationwide Med

Using Escapees is the easiest cause that have Locations/operations in SD, TX, FL so they can set you up in whichever 'Domicile' works best for you



FT Moto: LESS is MORE
*You do not need this/that or multiples
IF you haven't used it in 6 moths you do not need it
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:50 AM   #6
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We have been full time for a little over 8 years now and used Escapees since we before we started. We are native Texans and just kept it as out Domicile in Livingston, TX.

We have everything at the Livingston address and have no issues with any license, insurance or banking. Out current rig for full time is in the signature and out insurance is under $1800 per year and tags for the truck and trailer total a little under $220 per year.

Depending on the size of your rig, Texas requires and upgraded drivers license for a combined weight over 26,000 lb. Class A for 5ers and class B for motorhomes and they are not CDL licenses. The written and driving test are not difficult and to be be very frank, if you cannot pass the test, you should not be driving the rig.

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Old 07-11-2021, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalBleu View Post
Hi All,


I've started my journey into complicated world that is living small and living full time in a 5th Wheel



My challenge right now is that every search takes me to the next thing I never considered and I'm becoming overwhelmed.
Take a break. It doesn't have to be done overnight.



Quote:
I retire in 6 years and my wife and I have already begun the daunting task of reducing our overall footprint by selling our homes and "stuff" and renting so we can just walk away when it's time.


We are also learning to manage our outbound expenses by living on my projected Social Security income and not replacing our stuff.
Good. That's a reasonable first step. But remember, 6 years is a loooong time so do things in small easy steps. A lot of people will start and stop full timing by the time you retire.


Quote:
I'm primarily focused on domicile options right now as well as purchasing in the domicile state and preparing it for the future.


I would welcome your thoughts and experience and hope we get to know some of you moving forward.
Again, 6 year is a long time, so I think you are really jumping the gun. How much RVing experience do you have?
  • Once you are in your rental place, get a relatively inexpensive rig that you know probably won't be your full timing rig, but one to 'learn' on.
  • Go out as many weekends as you can.
  • Set up in a park not that far from your house and learn all the systems (they will be basically the same in any rig) and make notes of what you like or don't like about the current rig.
  • Visit as many RV shows as you can. Spend time in each rig and go through the motions of everyday living.
  • Don't assume you know what type of rig will be best for you. Maybe rent a couple of different types to try for a week.
  • Move all financial transactions to online ones.

Again, slow down, keep a notebook where you jot down your questions and revise your lists of must haves versus want to have as you look.

And yes, join Escapees and make sure to set up your new address at least 3 months before you want to start. That will give you plenty of time to get change of address notices to all
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Old 07-11-2021, 03:42 PM   #8
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I just did a quick Google on 'Steps to take to begin fulltime RVing' and this and many other articles appeared. There are also some YouTubes on the subject. Each list you find on the subject will have to be modified by your circumstances but it will give you a starting place. You can also do a 'Search' on this site regarding specific issues. Read all you can on the subject.

https://rvblogger.com/blog/full-time-camper-living/

You have 6 years. We made our decision in February while vacationing in Florida and took off in August... selling the house, everything in it, extra vehicle, boats & 35 years of stored things that we rarely or never used. Once we made the decision we couldn't move fast enough. It was an exciting time and absolutely no regrets! We sold big items individually through the local paper. We gave the kids what they wanted which wasn't very much. They were already collecting their 'stuff'. Then we had a garage sale. What was left was either donated or taken to the dump.

We had no idea if we'd like it or how long we'd continue but we knew we didn't want to store anything. As it turned out we are now in a completely new state that we discovered while full-timing. Our kids even moved out of state. Also, we were from Michigan and knew we wanted out of the cold and snow for our remaining years. We made the right decision.

The sale of the house was invested and that was our 'exit strategy' that so many talk about and was used for our final living place if and when we quit full-timing. We lasted for 16 awesome years and saw all we wanted. We also did a lot of fun volunteering in national and state parks. Our grandkids grew up with us full-timing and knew nothing else. They joined us for many special places and we always were there for all their special times in school and sports. They were disappointed when we stopped RVing.

We had a 27' travel trailer and truck at the time and just kept it for the first year until we could decide what we wanted next. Then we bought a new 33' 5th wheel which we used for 8 years and finally went to a 40' motorhome because we acquired a big interest in Jeeping. We used that for 8 years.

We also used the Escapees mail forwarding service for approx. 20 years with no issues. We joined Escapees before considering full-timing and just reading their great bi-monthly magazine helped us with some decisions in specific areas.

We set up our Escapees address 4 months prior to taking off and tackled the task of changing everything over to that address.

You'll get 'er done! Just start reading some articles and making a ToDo List. Best of luck to you!
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:25 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of friends here with good information to share. Read the various threads here and ask questions as they come up or add information if you can.

The learning curve is very, very long but thankfully only steep in the beginning. We have been using St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs for our domicile. We have our mail, vehicle regs, driver's lic, and voter reg all through them. WE have used them for 5+ years now with no problems.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 07-12-2021, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
'TXiceman' makes good points

SD is cheapest
Vehicle registrations, Insurance but is VERY limited for Nationwide Medical Coverage if NOT on Medicare
PLUS if your birthday falls on a Winter Month you might have to deal with winter travel to renew DLs ---even on-line renewal requires a Receipt for 1 night stay within a year so PLAN Accordingly


TX ------higher Insurance costs and that 'yearly inspection' is require WHEN you return to TX
Think Nationwide Med is issue also if not on Medicare

FL......use to have Nationwide Med

Using Escapees is the easiest cause that have Locations/operations in SD, TX, FL so they can set you up in whichever 'Domicile' works best for you



FT Moto: LESS is MORE
*You do not need this/that or multiples
IF you haven't used it in 6 moths you do not need it
South Dakota lets you renew six months in advance or postpone your renewal so you do not have to travel there in the winter months. For instance, mine is due for renewal in March, so we will spend one night there in September. No problem.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:32 PM   #11
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Overwhelmed - Where to Start?

WHERE TO START??
Right where you are! This forum is the right place.
Advice? Take a deep breath, and calm down. Every website is gonna take you something new,…. Because you’re new! You’ve got six years. Your best move right now is to relax and immerse yourself in the forum for a few months. You’ll learn an awful lot just by following threads that align with your planned interests. Fulltiming Questions and How To? There’s a section for that. Fifth wheel? There’s a section for that. Planning on a hefty pickup to tow that rig? There’s a section for that, too.
You’ll read and read, and you’ll ask some more questions, and you’ll read more, and one day you’ll disagree with some opinion you read and it will dawn on you….HEY! I know a little something about all this crap!!
Then you’re on your way, refining your focus, narrowing your choices. But you’re never going to get all the answers up front, nobody does. Nobody gets all the answers,….ever! Just keep learning.
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Old 07-13-2021, 09:04 PM   #12
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Look at the signature lines of people who you see post in different forums. See if they have a blog, if so, click on it and you can see all the different ways to full-time RV. We've had a blog going since 2006, for lessons learned the first few years had a LOT.
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Old 07-16-2021, 05:17 AM   #13
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6 years is a perfect amount of time to get debt free and setting up a nice emergency fund. Being debt free when going FT will be your biggest asset. We are also Escapee members.
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Old 07-17-2021, 12:55 PM   #14
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We tent camped for years but never had an RV or rented one prior to us jumping into going full time with or rig below. We've been wanting to do this for 15 yrs prior to actually going full time. Just read what's available on the various forums and blogs. Attend RV shows and ask people who attend them questions since RVers are generally always willing to help. Escapees did have a great guide on getting set up to full time.
We set up a Montana LLC and registered the RV and Jeep in MT. An LLC is a viable option for full timers. This past April, we switched our registrations to Florida where we are currently domiciled. Only need to wait 6 months and 1 day to register it in FL.
Even if you don't go the LLC route, you don't have to purchase the RV in the state you choose to set up your domicile in. You can get temporary plates which will allow you the time to register the RV in the state of your choosing.
What's great is you have time on your side!
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