I wasn’t exactly sure which topic to post this under, so I apologize if it’s in the wrong place and please feel free to move it. I am totally new to this community and RV living, so thanks in advance for your patience.
I’m leaving apartment life and heading off in an RV full-time. My apartment lease expires at the end of April, so it’s getting down to the wire. A lot of last minute things have come up and I’ve only got a month to resolve them. I could find somewhere to stay temporarily for a month is necessary, but I really don’t’ want to do that. Believe it or not I’ve been preparing for move for the last 6 months, but I guess I didn’t get into as much detail on some things as I should have, hindsight is always 20-20. I totally thought I had my domicile choice in the bag, but last minute conflicting information has made me question things. I need to get this sorted out as quickly as possible so I would appreciate any advice. I would really love to hear from people who have recently used Escapees or St. Brendan’s Isle to establish Florida domicile and mail forwarding.
So, here’s some background on my situation that will hopefully help you to help me:
solo female travelers in her 40s
totally new to RV life – but I have done solo business and personal travel for many years, so am completely comfortable with that aspect
very excited for RV life – tired of apartment living and have never found a place I liked enough to buy a home, love travelling and meeting new people
current FL resident (for the past five years) with FL DL and car registration – although I will be getting rid of my FL car once I get the RV, it’s on it’s last legs and would not even be reliable as a TOAD
need mail forwarding service and to establish domicile – want a professional service, do not want to use family or friends for my address
new 2019 Class C RV 24-26ft (NOT PURCHASED YET) – I’ve decided on a small Class C and won’t be towing anything (no TOAD, at least not for the first year), I have NOT purchased the RV yet since I thought it might best to establish my domicile before buying and registering the vehicle (let me know if you feel differently and why)
I have qualified for a loan but signed anything yet – I’m getting the loan on my own (and not through RV the dealership), but again I wasn’t sure if I should officially establish the loan at my current apartment address or the new address that I will be using for my RV domicile (or if that even matters), I’ll probably have to re-apply anyway since it’s been over a month, I may get a slightly different rate but at least I already know I qualify for the general loan amount I need
After speaking at length today to representatives at both Escapees and St. Brendan’s Isle and extensively searching the FL DMV website, I’ve gotten some conflicting information with regards to my DL and RV registration in Florida. I thought being a current FL resident would makes things a little easier but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore (and now that I’m rethinking things South Dakota would actually be cheaper, the RV insurance would be about half the price and sales tax on an RV purchase is 2.5% less than in Florida).
But let’s focus on my Florida questions, because that still might be easier in the short term since I’m already a resident. Both Escapees and St. Brendan’s Isle has the same basic mail forwarding services, so are comparable in that regard. The big negative I saw with Escapees is that I’m going to wind up with two address – which I didn’t realize until I read the fine print. My physical address for FL, registration and insurance will be in FL, but I will have a mailing address in Texas for everything else (credit cards, banks statements, friends, family, magazines). The issue with Escapees would be the same if I decided to domicile in SD. Of all the times I’ve looked at the Escapees website in the past 6 months, I didn’t know about the two different addresses until today. This seems like it could wind up being a lot of of trouble, so anyone who has experience with this please let me know. Did having two address lead to any confusion with your credit card or bank accounts? I’m also now sure which I address I should use for my lienholder, rates may be different in FL vs Texas, although they might require my domicile state which would be Florida. And it also seems like it would lead to some double-forwarding fees, the mail that goes to FL address will automatically be forwarded to the Texas address as part of the Escapees contract, which will then have to be forwarded to me where ever I might be at the time. I’m not sure why Escapees does things this way, it seems to make things more complicated. But maybe that’s just because I have no experience with this so it seems overwhelming.
The issue that came up with St. Brendan’s Isle is one I’m really confused about, so I hope I can explain it in a way that makes sense. I would have just one physical address for both my domicile and mail forwarding, which seems like it would be easier than Escapees in that regard. But they said there would be this weird thing with my driver’s license (which I think would be the case whether you are a current or new FL resident). They said my registration would have their physical address and my specific box number, but that my drivers license would have my RV registration number instead of my specific box number. Basically that you are required to inform the FL DMV you are a full-time RVer and they will make this specific change the address field on your DL. So my RV registration address would say “411 Walnut Street, Box 5678” but my DL would say “411 Walnut Street, RV #ABCD”. Does anyone know if this is true? Escapees didn’t saw anything about this, they said both DL and registration would have use the physical FL address they assigned to me. I couldn’t find anything about this on the FL DMV website either. Could this be because Escapees uses the address of an RV resort park and St. Brendan’s Isle uses a commercial address? Can anyone who uses St. Brendan’s Isle please let me know how the address info appears on your DL vs registration?
Also, if you know of a different domicile/mail forwarding service for Florida that uses only one address, please let me know. And thank you so much for reading this long post and for any help you can offer!