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    Full time on the road
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    Cycling, hiking and Class A diesel pushers

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Bill&Anneli's Achievements

  1. Hi fpmtngal, to answer your question, we looked for a house with an RV garage, but did not find the right home in the right community for us with that amenity. Our coach is a pretty big investment for us so we prefer to store it indoors, do not want it sitting out in the sun for months when not in use. We ended up purchasing a home without an RV garage. We will be storing at National Indoor RV Center in Las Vegas. They have been great, we have had them perform service and repairs in the past and we stored our coach with them at their Dallas TX facility in 2019 when we went to Europe for a month. Not the cheapest option, but overall best option for us. As a side-note, once we get settled in our house, we may downsize to a smaller RV. This coach is great for fulltime living, but maybe a bit much (and expensive) for short trips. Depending on what we downsize to, we may store a small RV in our regular garage in the future. The HOAs we looked at all let you keep RVs inside your garage. Most let you park an RV on your lot so long as it can't be seen from the street and/or neighboring properties, ie has HOA approved RV parking.
  2. congrats on your purchase! We considered buying an RV lot, and rented one of the premium lots at the outdoor resort in indio for a month last year and agree, its gorgeous. The area has so much to offer, and the weather is nice. Ofcourse not for everyone and not for someone on a tight budget. We also rented for a month at Havasu RV resort in AZ- very nice resort too. Not as much to do in Lake Havasu for us as in Palm Springs/Indio. In general we found that we really like to stay at "owner" resorts. While a bit more spendy, the amenities are typically a lot nicer. And we seem to meet more people with common interests to ours. In the end we decided to purchase a home instead of a lot. Reason being we felt that if we were to stay put for 5-6 months at a time we would rather store the RV indoors and live in a sticks&bricks house with plumbing that is not as high maintenance as the RV. Some of the RV resorts we stayed at had casitas with full plumbing. We still felt we'd rather store our RV indoors when not actively traveling. It's a personal choice. One thing to add, the activities and communities and friends in these RV resorts are a big plus to owning a lot at a park that suits you. Of all the places we have stayed, the Motorcoach Resort in Indio was by far the nicest. Also the most expensive, its a 5 star resort, not a campground. We decided to splurge for a month and liked it. We don't have the budget to stay there all year though. Hope to be back at the outdoor resort in indio in the fall again- we love the resort and area and were really tempted to buy.
  3. Since the Jeep is in neutral, and we try to hook up on a level spot, hubby just pushes the jeep back til the arms lock, this is also a way to double/triple check the parking break is not on....
  4. We're technically part of class of 2019 too.... I wrote a long post about our first year experience on the Beginning Rv-in section of this forum sharing our experience. No regrets here !!
  5. We debated a dishwasher and did a lot of research and read a lot of posts about it. Because of what we read, we elected no to get one mainly because the storage space seemed worth more than the dishwasher for 2 people. Now, in hindsight, I would have gotten the dishwasher for one main reason. I don't mind doing the dishes, but I wish I had an easier way to sanitize water bottles.... We like to hike and cycle, and its harder to sanitize the water bottles manually, so wish I had the dishwasher for that reason. Space is not an issue in our awesome class A kitchen, so I would not have given any up that I really need.
  6. so for any of you that are interested, our "saga" continues.... While we were at the repair facility to fix the air valve control arm problem & damage in Dallas Texas, another coach hit the front of our coach.... Luckily only scratches to the clear coat and one of the mirrors, no structural damage. It's VERY expensive to repair scratches to class A RVs. Even though this was just a few scratches, the repairs came to over $10,000!! It was covered by someone else's insurance, but still makes you think how important good insurance is.... just the passenger side mirror alone was over $1,000. So because the process to re-paint, cure and re-apply the diamond shield takes 3-4 weeks we decided not to stay and have it fixed in Dallas but to keep on traveling west since late fall/winter was coming and we wanted to be west of the continental divide for winter. (As a side-note this seems like a stroke of genious in hind sight - sometimes you get lucky). Anyway, by November we rolled into the authorized repair facility that could repaint our specific coach to factory standards in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are not gamblers, never really thought much of going there, so were not thrilled at spending a whole month there.... BOY, were we blown away !!! There is fantastic cycling here, dedicated trails, great hiking, even a "real mountain" with skiing and hiking within 45 minute drive. AND you are within a few hours drive of 7 national parks. They have a State park (Valley of Fire) with rock formations that blew our minds !!! So, after a month, living in our coach while it was being repaired, we fell in love with the hiking, cycling, gorgeous desert landscape, blue Lake Mead and friendly people in Las Vegas. Las Vegas was not even on our list of possible home bases, or even places we particularly wanted to visit.... it took a scratch and specialized paint for us to find our new home base. When we left Las Vegas at the end of November to spend winter in Arizona we kept thinking how much we liked it in Las Vegas. So in February we canceled our plans for Tucson AZ and headed back to Vegas. And we found a house that is perfect for us. This is just further evidence that RV-ing requires flexibility and willingness to change your plans... and thinking of life as an adventure. If you can do that - this life-style rewards you in unbelievable ways. Again, to any of you thinking about full-timing, all we can say is if you are good at making lemonade when life gives you lemons, you will have a fantastic experience no matter how things go. After we get settled in our new home, we may downsize our RV as we won't be fulltime anymore. We will always love the adventure, and unique flexibility traveling and living in an RV brings. Oh, and ofcourse, the places RV-ing takes you if you let it.... Happy Travels !!
  7. our coach came with Rand McNally installed so I don't know cost to purchase - however, we never rely on it. We turn it on for long drives because it alerts to state border crossings, time zone changes and speed warnings. But I will say - compared to the Co-pilot app we use on our phone, we have found that RandMcNally picks routes very badly, we never rely on it for actual navigation. We rely on co-pilot installed on our i phones... I have used garmin many years ago and don't remember any issues with routing such as we have experienced with Rand McNally. Best nav system I have ever used that works without any cell service is the one that comes installed on a Lexus, not sure if it can be purchased as a stand-alone, or if you must also purchase a Lexus - nice ride but maybe not practical for RV-ing.
  8. We used NIRVC when we went to Sweden. We have used their Dallas as well as Atlanta facilities, not Lal Vegas (yet).They were great- we were able to stay in the RV on their site both 2 days before and also 2 days after our return flight to catch up on rest etc before hitting the road. If you ask, they may also be able to store your toad (we stored the jeep with them as well while in Europe). They will wash/wax/clean inside, empty/flush tanks, whatever you need. They have indoor storage which we used since we stored with them during winter. There are probably less expensive options, but I doubt you'll find much more convenient ones.
  9. YES, health insurance is our biggest bill.... VERY expensive. We are also many years away from medicare. Have been on COBRA thru a former employer, that is about $1,700 per month, which will expire in November this year. We have shopped a bit, and depending on your income you may qualify for premium tax credit thru the market place (healthcare.gov). And you can call the insurance agents affiliated with escapees (look under Benefits, endorsed vendors), they offer a different type of coverage that may work for you depending on your health and risk tolerance. You may want to review the other threads on this forum on this topic. lots of people provide links to different websites with info. Sorry, yeah, health insurance is a total mess in this country...
  10. No, the Economic Impact Payment is not includible in your gross income. Therefore, you will not include the Payment in your taxable income on your Federal income tax return or pay income tax on your Payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 Federal income tax return. A Payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs. As always, it's best to consult your tax professional or the IRS website directly for details.... https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payment-information-center-reconciling-on-your-2020-tax-return
  11. We went thru the Costco website to find an ACA provider - they were really helpful and knowleagble about what we would qualify for etc. Didn't try to sell us anything, directed us to the website, to type in the info so we could narrow it down to what we qualify for etc. Then we could click on the plans, read the fine print to learn about the things that are of importance to us. After we were educated we could call back and ask specific questions, help signing up etc. This took weeks for us. Here is the link. https://www.cbcins.com/ Remember, the income/subsidy thing for the ACA plans is a bit tricky and VERY important. - If you apply for insurance for 2021, you have to estimate your income for 2021. The exact amount of income on which your eligibility for the tax credit is based is not determined until you file your 2021income tax return (which you would do usually spring 2022). Say you take the tax credit. THEN, when you file your 2021 income tax return (usually in April 2022) - you will know if you either qualify for more of a credit than you got (ie your income turned out lower than estimated) THEN you get a tax refund, or the refund is applied to whatever you otherwise might owe the IRS for past years. If your income turns out higher than you estimated, you may have to PAY BACK the tax credit to the IRS. I have seen folks owe as much as $18,000 to the IRS because they signed up for a $1,500/month plan, took the full tax credit and paid $0 premium per month. Only to be shocked when they filed their income tax return a year and half later (from when they signed up for that insurance), had higher income than they estimated and now have to pay all that money back to the IRS. So estimate your income very carefully, err on the conservative side (ie estimate high), because you will eventually get all the credit to which you are entitled when you file your income tax return. I think its better to get money back from the IRS than to owe them money.... Ofcourse best is to estimate exactly right - but who has a perfect crystal ball. IF your circumstances change during the year after you sign up for the market place insurance and tax credit - NOTIFY the exchange immediately of your change in income so they can adjust your tax credit accordingly in the middle of the year. One example is if you cash in Retirement funds (IRA, 401K etc) - that is INCOME that counts for this purpose. This could wipe out your eligibility for the tax credit. So consult your tax professional about this! There does not seem to be any PPO plans in the ACA network - all HMO, so geographically limited. We are healthy, and think maybe an HMO would work for us if we plan once a year trip to Texas, schedule our regular medical etc then. And supplement with a Skymed type plan (that flies you "home" in an emergency). The HMO plans we looked at do cover out of area true medial emergency, and then all follow up treatment etc needs to be in the HMO area. This probably only works for people who don't go to the doctor often and are willing to pay for some office visits out of the area out of pocket if needed. This option gives us peace of mind that if we have a major medial event we are covered (albeit we have to go to Texas, we probably wouldn't do much traveling anyway if we had a major medical event like stroke, heart attack etc). And we have the option of paying out of pocket for minor things if we don't feel like driving all the way to Texas for a simple doctors office visit. Now, maternity care is a totally different situation, you need regular appointments, and I for one, would prefer the same doctor to care for me thru pregnancy and deliver the baby.... so would think long and hard about traveling full time without ability to go see that one doctor. But we're all different. Also, we found that the Fixed Indemnity plan thru RVer exchange specifically excludes maternity care, so you want to ask for that stuff in detail before signing up- they may have supplemental stuff they could sell you for that. We spoke to John Fitzpatrick at the RV exchange, he was very helpful, sent detail/fine print etc so we could answer specific questions we had. I agree, this whole insurance thing is time consuming, frustrating, complicated and there are way too many people out there just selling stuff they don't fully understand. Take the time to research this and educate yourself, I don't know of any shortcuts. Good luck !
  12. If your budget is flexible, consider Newmar, they make diesel and gas. We have a 37 ft diesel with a sleep number king bed. (3717 floor plan, I also like 3709 or 3409 in the 2019 line-up. Floor plan numbers vary with each year). We definitely do not feel we need more space, if we trade this in, it will be for smaller, not bigger. I wrote about our recent experience on the Class A blog on this forum. I think you will be impressed by the Newmar brand. I also wrote a post on the "Beginning RVing" about a week ago reflecting our first year experience full timing and included comments on what we spent. There are lots of bloggers out there sharing their budgets. And ofcourse there are people who live on $1,500 month all the way to $10,000 or more per month. I looked at a wide variety of budgets, made adjustments based on our life style and made one for us. The most helpful to me were budgets from people who fulltimed in the same type of RV as us (ie class A couple vs single people in a van for example). What I can say after one year, is that we spend about the same every month as we did in our sticks&bricks house. Our food/entertainment/cell plan etc spending is about the same on the road as it was in our house. The Mortgage payment, hoa fees, insurance, property taxes, utility bills etc are replaced by camp site fees, diesel, maintenance etc. We had a small mortgage (having planned and prepared for full timing for years), and we tend to stay in RV parks, maybe not always the free or cheapest option in a location, so that ofcourse may not be true for all. Happy trails !
  13. As an update, Newmar lives up to their reputation, and stands behind their brand. Today we spoke with the Customer service manager at Newmar, and he stated that they have what they call "seamless service". Meaning, Newmar works out issues directly with Freightliner, leaving us, the customer out of the middle. We are a few months out of warranty with Newmar, but still under warranty with Freightliner. Newmar has approved the entire claim today. We ofcourse don't know how Newmar and Freightliner work that out on their end, which is the whole point of seamless service. We are very grateful that Newmar is treating us the way we were told they would when we purchased their brand. Newmar has proven to us that they are standing behind their product.
  14. Lowest cost is not always the least expensive.... Buying from a reputable dealer with excellent support may end up costing you less in the long run. Especially first time buyers. Knowing what we know now... oh boy!! We could have been taken advantage of in a big way buying our first coach. Luckily the dealer didnt "cheat" us on anything and was very supportive and provided access to their service department thru our initial learning curve. I would personally rather buy from someone who treats me right, than a "shady" lowest price. And usually dealers will match other dealers for the exact same make/model etc.
  15. We first off had the coach professionally waxed before we went to the Gulf Coast. We spent one month near South Padres. Because we were cautioned about the salt, we stayed at Tropical Trails RV resort in Brownsville. Took about 20 mins or so to drive out to SPI. We didn't have any problems with rust. (Tropical Trails was by the way one of the nicest places we stayed this year). We then stayed in Galveston TX for a month, this time just across SanLouis Pass Rd, so walking distance to the beach. We washed with baking soda solution as recommended on various blogs and hosed things off. We also sprayed T9 liberally in certain spots. Had to scrub off a few rust spots on our bikes and Jeep, but nothing serious. After that we stayed in Gulf Shores Alabama for 3 months. Same procedure there, and we chose campgrounds about 1 mile from the beach. When we finally left after a total of 5 months on the Gulf Coast we didn't have any significant rust issues. We never did the "on the beach camping" though. It looks cool, but we feel that will have to wait for another chapter in our lives when we don't have so much (and expensive) equipment with us to take care of :-) Enjoy your trip !
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