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kb0zke

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About kb0zke

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  1. As Kirk said, you should sign up for Medicare before you turn 65. I don't know how automated the process is in the Medicare office, but since they have their funding they should be functioning normally. I'm guessing that if you sign up online there is little human interaction that would affect you. The packets are mostly preassembled, so the only human work would be putting your card into your packet and then the day's basket of new packets goes to the post office. You DO have some decisions to make, though. Original Medicare only pays 80% of the allowable cost, leaving you to cover the rest of the allowable cost. Most people buy a supplemental policy to cover that part, and those policies vary in what they pick up and what they cost. The policies are standard, in that a Plan G policy from ABC Insurance will cover the same things as a Plan G policy from XYZ Insurance. You can also get Advantage policies, which more or less replace the original Medicare and may have the drug coverage built in. They are network policies, though, so they may not be of much use if you travel a great deal. There are lots of options available to you, so start doing your homework. Just like buying an RV, pick the one that fits your needs, not what your neighbor got. Remember that you can change anything during the open enrollment time in late fall.
  2. kb0zke

    Mother Nature's Fury

    Weather radios, local television/radio stations, and weather apps all are appropriate. Be sure you know what county you are in, and what the neighboring counties are. I also have my 2 meter radio monitoring the local repeater that is used by the spotters. We don't have slides, so don't have to worry about them. I do put away all the outside stuff if there is any thought of bad weather. That includes the electric cord. Go out BEFORE the storm arrives and unplug and put away the cord. Fire up the generator if you want electricity. You don't want to be outside with lightning flashing, thunder roaring, and hail bouncing off your head trying to unplug. We do campground hosting, and several times I've gone out and knocked on doors to tell campers that we were in a severe weather watch. I tell them to monitor the television/radio and where the shelter is. I also tell them that I may be able to come around and give them additional warning, but that depends on what the storm is doing. We did have to leave a campground once due to flooding. We arrived, and got set up, planning on being there for a week. The next morning the ranger was knocking on our door - at 6:00 a.m.! He said the river was rising and everyone needed to be gone by noon. We were pulling out by 8:00, and the water level was less than a foot below the road level. When we called a week later to ask about our refund they said the river was over the tops of the electric pedestals.
  3. kb0zke

    Used RV sale prices and sold prices

    Bear in mind that PPL is mainly a consignment business and they push low prices in order to move inventory quickly. We visited them a few months ago and were told they would list our coach for less than $10,000 (out of which would come their fee). I've got it listed on foreforums for four times that, which is a much more realistic price. Now, they would have taken it as a consignment at my asking price, yes, but they would be pestering me to lower the price within a week or two. Also, the condition of the rigs varies a great deal. Some of them are really ready for you to live in, and some still have the trash there. We saw one that had the bathroom sink sitting on the floor, as if someone was in the midst of a remodel and just walked away. I'm not bad-mouthing PPL here. They have a huge selection at their Houston location, and if you don't have a trade-in you can find some bargains there. I'd use their prices as a rock-bottom price guide. RV Trader is another site that I check, but for the other end of the spectrum. A Foretravel similar to mine was listed for $54,000. That's too much. Remember that the value of a thing is what a willing seller and a willing buyer agree on. If you see something you are interested in, make an offer that you are happy with. If the seller says NO you haven't lost anything. They might just say YES, though.
  4. kb0zke

    How am I going to fix that whatchamacallit?

    Having a few tools (besides a credit card and cell phone) is certainly going to be helpful. If you can fix it you will have the tools to do the job. If someone else is helping you, the tools will be at the place where the problem is, not across the road. Back when our kids were learning to drive they all knew where the jumper cables were kept and how to use them. When they got their first cars I gave each of them a set of jumper cables. If they needed the jump, they had the cables. If someone else needed the jump they were prepared to help. Since I do some construction work I have a small set of tools with me in the Foretravel, and a few have to travel in the car. I've pulled out my tools to help people more than once. Yes, there are times when the best thing is to call someone who really knows what they are doing, but most often the problem is pretty simple. And yes, usually all you have to do is open the hood in a campground and several guys will immediately come over to see what's broke and offer to help.
  5. kb0zke

    Co-op waiting lists

    OK, I'm too paranoid. We did give them permission to post our names on the list. From what we're seeing, few lots come up during the year, so getting to the top of the list may take a year or two. We did talk to one person there who got on the list and got his lot within a week. It seems that he was the only one to say yes to that particular lot.
  6. kb0zke

    Toy Haulers Section

    As Kirk said, sometimes a question can be posted and go unanswered for weeks or months. By that time the OP has moved on, maybe not even checking in here anymore. I posted a question here recently because I was interested specifically in travel trailers. Most of the time I only check the first couple of sections and don't move farther down the list. My thinking is that most of the activity takes place in the first few groups, so that's where I check first. If I have time or a specific question for one of the groups farther down I'll go there. If I've posted a question I'll check back daily until several days have gone by with no additional posts.
  7. kb0zke

    Co-op waiting lists

    We put our names on the Active Waiting List at Lone Star Corral. Last week I got an email from them announcing their new website (looks great!) and asking our permission to post our names on the website under the AWL. The email said other co-ops do that. Do they? On one hand, once that list is posted on the website it will be easier for us to see how close to the top we are. On the other hand, anyone can go to the site and see who is on the list. That "anyone" could include someone from the State who will want to know why our vehicles aren't licensed in Texas and why we don't have Texas drivers licenses. From what I've seen, Texas isn't that hard up for money to actually do that, but some other States are. Am I being too paranoid? On the other hand (to quote Tevyv) maybe someone who is considering a co-op might look at that list, spot a friend's name, and decide to add their name to the list, too.
  8. kb0zke

    The Ranch

    Back to the original topic, we've made reservations at The Ranch, Branson, Livingston, and The Plantation. Lone Star Corral (Hondo) doesn't do reservations. If we're pretty sure that we won't have any troubles getting a site for the night we may just call when we're a couple hours out to make sure. If there is any question, though, we'll make reservations. A couple of years ago we hunted for hours trying to find an open site. It wasn't any holiday, or any other reason that we could think of to fill all of the campgrounds. Finally someone mentioned that a pipeline was going in and all of the campgrounds were full of pipeline workers. Two hours past that area gave us plenty of sites. This is one of the reasons why we're on the road by 9:00 a.m. and plan on arriving by 2:00 or so. Extending the travel day by another couple of hours doesn't hurt. We'll still be landed by dark even on the shortest day of the year.
  9. kb0zke

    What About Jury Duty?

    I was called once for a local court and once for a Federal court. I wasn't picked for either one. Both of those came several years ago, but fairly close in succession. Jo Ann was called once and was selected to be on the jury. Again, that was several years ago. Since we became SD residents we haven't heard from any jury calls. If and when that happens we'll call and see what we have to do. Here's a link for South Dakota jury information: https://www.juryduty101.com/states/south-dakota It looks like one could click on any other State to see what the requirements are there.
  10. kb0zke

    What is a reasonable price to pay for setting up a towed?

    It cost us nearly $4000 to set up our 2012 Jeep Liberty 4-5 years ago. That included the Blue Ox tow bars (previous owner didn't include them when we bought the Foretravel), Blue Ox baseplate, Invisibrake, and all labor. Not quite a year ago we traded the Jeep for a Lincoln MKT. I took the Invisibrake off of the Jeep so it could be used on the MKT. We didn't need to buy new tow bars, but obviously a different base plate. Total cost for base plate and labor was about $3000.
  11. kb0zke

    Taxation w/o representation

    This whole discussion points out the fact that we all have to figure out what's important to us and act accordingly. Some people choose to domicile in States that have no income tax, while others are willing to pay that tax because the property tax in another State is less. As was mentioned earlier, every government entity needs money and that money comes in the form of a tax. No law requires anyone to pay more taxes than necessary, and Courts have repeatedly held that one is free to structure their financial activities to minimize the tax bite. We chose a South Dakota domicile because that made the most sense for us. We're on the Active Waiting List at Hondo because that co-op makes the most sense for us. When we get a lot there we'll keep our SD domicile because we don't anticipate being in Texas long enough to make us residents there. We'll gladly pay the taxes on our lot, just as we gladly pay the wheel tax on our vehicles. Should the day come when we decide to spend more time at our lot in Hondo we'll switch our domicile to Texas and pay the additional fees for vehicle inspections. At that point, though, we won't be traveling as much so our fuel savings will more than offset that. The point is that everyone needs to do what makes the most sense for them and not worry about what might be good for someone else.
  12. kb0zke

    The Ranch

    We really liked The Ranch, and actually talked about getting a lot there, but opted for Hondo instead. We only got to stay at Hondo for a few nights last year, and when we tried to get in this year we were told that there were few open lots as all of the owners were there for the winter. Hondo does NOT take reservations. If they are full you can either boondock or go elsewhere.
  13. kb0zke

    Research phase pop up vs class c

    X2 on visiting dealers and shows. Go into everything on the lot, no matter the price or condition. At this point you are just getting a feel for what arrangements will work for you. Once you find the plans that fit your lifestyle you can start looking at brands. Join the owners forum for any brand that you are seriously considering. You can ask specific questions about specific models and get good answers. Also, you can find out what dealers specialize in the brand you are looking at. When the time comes to buy something check https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/ They are a (mostly) consignment place, but they more a lot of rigs. The prices asked are likely to be the least you can expect to pay. Then go to https://www.rvtrader.com/ This will give you a high-side price. You will probably pay somewhere between the two. Since you don't have a trade-in, you can look at private party sellers, too. Those will be on RV Trader, too. Buying from a dealer may cost you a bit more than from a private party, but the dealer is also selling you his reputation. Both a private party and a dealer will happily sell you something that is totally unsuited to your needs if you let them. YOU are the one who is making the decision, and you are the one who is shelling out the money, so make sure that what you get is what you think you need. Remember, though, many people go through two, three, or more coaches in a fairly short period of time before they get the right one. It isn't because they were taken by a fast-talking sales person but because they didn't really know what the needed. That's why a lot of people buy a used RV first. They know that they can sell it for pretty much what they paid for it in a few months, and they can learn more about what they actually need. We're a good example of that. When we bought our Foretravel in 2013 we had a certain plan in mind for our full-time journey, and the Foretravel was the best choice. Nearly six years later, though, it is plain that something else would suit us better, so we're wanting to sell the Foretravel. Nothing wrong with it, and we like it, but it just isn't the best choice for us at this time.
  14. kb0zke

    Retired Pastor Housing Allowance

    Different denominations have different policies for their workers, so it is difficult to know what the OP had in mind. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, for example, is structured differently than the Methodists. In the LCMS, workers generally stay until they accept a Call elsewhere. The congregation may or may not provide housing or a housing allowance. If a pastor spent his entire ministry in congregations that provided housing, he would be looking to buy (read get a mortgage) at age 65+. Since the housing was provided, the salary wouldn't be as high as it would need to be if he had to pay for his own housing. Now, at retirement, he doesn't have a lot in the bank, a fairly low pension, and he has to somehow provide a place to live for himself and his wife. IRS regulations have long recognized this, and allow retired pastors (and other rostered church workers) to have a housing allowance in retirement.
  15. kb0zke

    Goodbye Good Sam Club!

    CW is sometimes the best choice for something, and sometimes another place is a better choice. When we first started our research, we spent several hours at a CW store. We presented ourselves to a salesman, told him we were thinking about full-timing when we retired, and wanted to see what sort of rigs were available and at what price, and what might be suitable for us. The salesman took us to a few examples of various classes, then told us to spend an hour or so looking and then come back and talk to him. We did just that. When we talked to him after our tour he asked us what we saw that we liked and what we didn't like. He listened carefully and asked some intelligent questions. He didn't push us to buy anything. Yes, he pointed out a coach that he thought might be a good one for us to start with, but he also said that he had someone else coming in to buy that coach. That may or may not have been the truth, but we never heard back from him again. We also didn't buy anything there. I've read lots of reports of poor service at CW locations, so we usually try to find someplace else (like the factory) for our work. The Good Sam Club membership does sometimes get a discount at some commercial parks.
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